Dauphin Kings Neepawa Titans Niverville Nighthawks OCN Blizzard Portage Terriers Selkirk Steelers Steinbach Pistons Swan Valley Stampeders Virden Oil Capitals Wayway Wolverines Winkler Flyers Winnipeg Blues Winnipeg Freeze

MJHL Spring Camps

February 20, 2015   Team Name Arena Location Dates Contact         Dauphin Kings Dauphin CUP April 10-12 dauphinkings@hotmail.com Neepawa Natives Yellowhead Arena Mar 27-29 nnatives@mymts.net OCN Blizzard GLMC – OCN April 10-12 ocnblizz@mymts.net Portage Terriers Portage CU Centre April 17-18 fwahard@mymts.net Selkirk Steelers East Selkirk Arena April 25, 26 ken@selkirksteelers.com Steinbach Pistons T. G. Smith Centre Mar 27-29 rob.smith@steinbachpistons.ca Swan Valley Centennial Arena April 3-5 erik@stampedershockey.com Virden Oil Capitals Tundra Oil & Gas Pl. April 10-12 troy@oilcapshockey.com Waywayseecappo TBA TBA wolver@inetlink.ca Winkler Flyers Winkler Rec Complex April 10-12 coach@winklerflyers.com Winnipeg MTS Iceplex May 1 – 3 dmacgill@mymts.net          

Flyers’ Carlson commits to Fredonia State Blue Devils

February 18, 2015   Flyers D Jon Carlson (94) has committed to the Fredonia State University Blue Devils (NCAA Div III) for the 2015-2016 season. The Fort Francis, Ontario native is set to graduate from Junior Hockey after this season after spending the last four years with the Fort Francis Lakers (SIJHL), Portage Terriers (MJHL) and the Winkler Flyers. Carlson was acquired by the Flyers in an off-season trade with the Portage Terriers before the 2014-2015 season and quickly took over as one of the club leaders on the blue line and in the dressing room. Carlson was named an assistant captain this season. To date, Carlson has played in 216 regular season games for Fort Francis, Portage and Winkler and has 87 points (31 goals – 56 assists). He has also played in 35 playoff games over the past three seasons, recording 16 points (9 goals – 7 assists). The Fredonia State Blue Devils play in the SUNYAC division of NCAA Div III Men’s Hockey, and are based out of Fredonia, New York, USA. The Flyers would like to congratulate Jon for his decision to continue his hockey career and education at FSU.

MJHL Power Rankings – Week 22

February 17, 2015   MJHL Power Rankings for February 16th   Portage Terriers – (50-2-4) (Last Week: 1st) – Congratulations to the Portage Terriers for getting to the 50 win plateau. The Terriers also remain at the summit of the CJHL Top 20 Rankings. Schedule this week: vs. Steinbach on Friday & @ Selkirk on Sunday Steinbach Pistons – (34-13-7) (Last Week: 3rd) – Steinbach is rolling, they’ve won four in a row overall and have taken over second place in the standings after a win Monday in Selkirk. This week is another busy one for the Pistons. Steinbach is an Honourable Mention on the CJHL Top 20! Schedule this week: vs. Neepawa on Wednesday, @ Portage on Friday & vs. Swan Valley on Saturday Winnipeg Blues – (34-15-6) (Last Week: 2nd) – A couple losses last week for the Blues. Winnipeg came up short to Dauphin and Steinbach but beat Selkirk. The Blues will conclude a three game road swing on Tuesday before kicking off a four game home stand to close out the season. Schedule this week: @ Winkler on Tuesday, vs. Selkirk on Saturday & vs. Swan Valley on Sunday Virden Oil Capitals – (29-16-8) (Last Week: 4th) – A tough loss at home Sunday moved Virden down the Power Rankings briefly. But after a big OT win against Portage on Monday the Oil Caps jumped back up. They’re three points back of the Winkler Flyers for fourth in the standings and have a game in hand.  Schedule this week: @ Selkirk on Friday & @ Winkler on Saturday Winkler Flyers – (29-14-11) (Last Week: 5th) – A big road win for the Flyers on Sunday in Virden as they continue to battle with the Oil Capitals for home ice in the first round of the playoffs. They beat them 3-1 and have taken four of their last five. Schedule this week: vs. Winnipeg on Tuesday, vs. Swan Valley on Friday & vs. Virden on Saturday Swan Valley Stampeders – (24-23-6) (Last Week: 6th) – The month of February has been a mixed one for the Swan Valley Stampeders. They’ve dropped four of seven overall. Last week they went 1-2-0. Schedule this week: vs. OCN on Tuesday, @ Winkler on Friday, @ Steinbach on Saturday & @ Winnipeg on Sunday Selkirk Steelers – (25-26-2) (Last Week: 7th) – The struggles continue for the Steelers as they go into a busy weekend. Selkirk has lost three straight and are falling behind Swan Valley for sixth in the standings. Schedule this week: vs. Virden on Friday, @ Winnipeg on Saturday & vs. Portage on Sunday Dauphin Kings – (20-28-6) (Last Week: 8th) – The Dauphin Kings have three huge games this week when it comes to standings implications. The good news is they seem to be playing well as they go into the seven day period; they’ve won two of their last three. Schedule this week: @ Wayway on Tuesday, @ OCN on Friday & @ Neepawa on Saturday Waywayseecappo Wolverines – (20-28-6) (Last Week: 8th) – A tough shootout loss in Dauphin on Saturday has the Wolverines two points back of the Kings for eighth place. They’ll get a shot at revenge Tuesday when they host the Kings in Wayway. Schedule this week: vs. Dauphin on Tuesday & @ OCN on Saturday Neepawa Natives – (14-39-2) (Last Week: 10th) – Neepawa kept their dim playoff hopes alive with a win against Dauphin on Friday. With five games left in their season the Natives need to win out and hope for some help. Schedule this week: @ Steinbach on Wednesday & vs. Dauphin on Saturday OCN Blizzard – (18-31-4) (Last Week: 11th) – OCN was able to snap out of their losing streak last week with a win in Selkirk but they still haven’t clinched the MJHL’s final playoff spot. The Blizzard have won just two in their last 12. Schedule this week: @ Swan Valley on Tuesday, vs. Dauphin on Friday & vs. Wayway on Saturday

Steinbach’s Goderis named Recycle Everywhere MJHL Player of the Week

February 16, 2015   The Recycle Everywhere MJHL Player of the Week for the week ending February 15 is 19 year old forward Hayden Goderis of the Steinbach Pistons (2 goals, 5 assists in 3 games played).  Goderis currently sits with 45 points – 17 goals and 28 assists in 51 games played.  The runners up are 19 year old forward Scott Rowswell of the Winnipeg Blues and 18 year old forward Scott Gall of the Winkler Flyers.

MJHL’s six major awards announced

February 13, 2015   Nominees for the MJHL’s six major awards were announced today. Not surprisingly, four members of the Portage Terriers ─ No. 1 ranked team in the CJHL ─ have been nominated for awards. “Each nominee should be extremely proud of their accomplishment and their excellence on the ice,” MJHL Commissioner Kim Davis said today. “The MJHL member clubs nominated players in each of the award categories. The voting for each award was done entirely by the head coaches.” Winners will be announced next week, with the players being honoured at a home game later this month.   MVP Award – Steve “Boomer” Hawrysh Memorial Trophy Tristan Keck      Winkler Flyers Tanner Jago      Portage Terriers Graham Hunt     Swan Valley Stampeders   Rookie of the Year Award – Vince Leah Trophy Dylan Thiessen            Virden Oil Capitals James Shearer             Steinbach Pistons Rylee Zimmer             Waywayseecappo Wolverines   Hockey Ability and Sportsmanship Award – Lorne “Windy” Lyndon Memorial Trophy Soren Frederiksen       Virden Oil Capitals Brad Bowles               Portage Terriers Jackson Keane           Winnipeg Blues   Top Goaltender Award Graham Hunt     Swan Valley Stampeders Dasan Sydora     Winkler Flyers Nick Deery        Steinbach Pistons   Top Defenseman Award – Brian Kozak Memorial Trophy Tanner Jago     Portage Terriers Ryan Bittner     Winnipeg Blues Jordan Greig     Virden Oil Capitals   Coach of the Year Award – Portage Terriers “Muzz McPherson” Award Paul Dyck                   Steinbach Pistons Don MacGillivray          Winnipeg Blues Blake Spiller                Portage Terriers   The MJHL’s other major award, Top Scorer  – Mike Ridley Trophy ─ will be announced upon the end of the regular season.

Former Blue Weise very Habby in Montreal

February 12, 2015   Dale Weise has re-launched his NHL career with the Montreal Canadiens after being traded by Vancouver Canucks. A former Winnipeg South Blue, Weise later played in the WHL before moving on to the greatest hockey league in the world: the NHL. Weise’s former coach with the Blues, Ken Pearson, sent us this link to a great story in the Montreal Gazette. We thought we would share it with our MJHL fans. And thanks again to Ken for sending this article our way. Enjoy the read: http://montrealgazette.com/sports/hockey/nhl/montreal-canadiens/dale-weise-living-a-dream-with-the-canadiens

RCMP & RCMP Foundation join forces with the MJHL

February 11, 2015   WINNIPEG, MB: MJHL Commissioner, Kim Davis, and Assistant Commissioner Kevin Brosseau, Commanding Officer of the RCMP, are pleased to announce a new community relations partnership agreement between the MJHL and the RCMP & RCMP Foundation. “The Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL) boasts teams in 11 communities across the province and these areas are also served by RCMP detachments,” said Davis. “RCMP officers and MJHL players are role-models in the community and our partnership will be focused on promoting positive choices for youth.” Comprised of over 275 players ages 16-20, the MJHL reaches a wide audience province-wide, including a large following from Aboriginal communities. Two MJHL teams are located on First Nations – the Opaskwayak Cree Nation Blizzard and the Waywayseecappo First Nation Wolverines. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) is Manitoba’s Provincial Police Service and provides policing services to approximately 98% of the geography of Manitoba and half of its population. “The RCMP and MJHL share values of teamwork, fair play and giving back to the community”, said Brosseau. “This partnership will focus on promoting healthy lifestyles for youth in Manitoba.”  The community relations partnership will include RCMP officers and MJHL players delivering positive messages to students and youth in schools and community centers. “The MJHL is excited about the partnership and we thank the RCMP and RCMP Foundation for their vision, leadership and support,” said Davis.   Shown in picture: (top from left) Dave Shuttleworth, RCMP; Kamerin Nault, Winnipeg Blues; Brian MacKenzie, Selkirk Steelers; Scott Kolody, RCMP (sitting from left) Kim Davis, MJHL; Kevin Brosseau, RCMP

Former MJHL Commissioner Frank McKinnon entering Member of the Order of Canada

February 11, 2015   This Friday (Feb. 13) will be a very special day for the MJHL, and its former commissioner Frank McKinnon, who will be officially welcomed to the Member of the Order of Canada. You can watch it live on www.gg.ca. Feb. 13th at 10:30am EST. Earlier this summer it was announced that Mr. McKinnon had been selected to this prestigious group. McKinnon served as commissioner for 10 years (1992-2002) and was known for his charisma and vast knowledge of MJHL history. “This is a tremendous honour for Frank,” said MJHL Commissioner Kim Davis. “We are all very proud of him. After leaving the office of commissioner Frank always followed our league closely. He’s a true gentleman and deserving of this honour.” McKinnon served two decades on the executive of the Manitoba Amateur Hockey Association (now Hockey Manitoba), including five as president in the 1970s. He was also president of the Carman-Dufferin Minor Hockey Association. He also left his mark beyond Manitoba. As a trustee, he helped create the Centennial Cup (now RBC Cup) in 1971. He was a member of the congress of the International Ice Hockey Federation and part of the committee that organized the first IIHF World Junior Championship in 1974. In 1979, McKinnon became the first chairman of the board of the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association (now Hockey Canada), a post he would hold until 1982. His contributions to growing the game at the grassroots levels weren’t unnoticed. In 1981, he was awarded the Gordon Juckes Award for efforts in developing amateur hockey at the national level. Two years later he was named Hockey Canada’s Volunteer of the Year. He received a third award from Hockey Canada, the Order of Merit, in 1991. McKinnon also made a difference beyond hockey, serving two years as director of the Sports Federation of Canada and four years as vice-president of the Canadian Olympic Association. In 1993, McKinnon was named a Life Member of Hockey Canada. He’s also been made a Life Member of the Canadian Junior Hockey League and Hockey Manitoba, and been inducted into the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame and Manitoba High Schools Athletic Association Hall of Fame. To see a full list of other Canadians named to the Order of Canada go here: http://www.hockeycanada.ca/en-ca/

MJHL Power Rankings – Week 21

February 10, 2015 MJHL Power Rankings for February 9th Portage Terriers – (49-2-3) (Last Week: 1st) – Two wins in three games for Portage. With their victory on Sunday over the Dauphin Kings, the Terriers the 100 point plateau, they enter this week with 101. They'll go for their 50th win of the season on Sunday. Portage remains first on the CJHL Top 20. Schedule this week: vs Swan Valley on Sunday Winnipeg Blues – (33-13-6) (Last Week: 2nd) – Three for three were the Winnipeg Blues last week. Winnipeg has separated themselves from the pack and control their own destiny when it comes to finishing second in the standings. The Blues are an Honourable Mention this week on the CJHL Top 20. Schedule this week: vs. Dauphin on Thursday, @ Selkirk on Friday & @ Steinbach on Saturday Steinbach Pistons – (30-13-7) (Last Week: 3rd) – Steinbach picked up a win and a loss over the last seven days. They’re now five points back of Winnipeg for second, but they may need to start paying more attention to what’s coming up behind them in the standings. Schedule this week: vs. Neepawa on Wednesday, vs. OCN on Friday & vs. Winnipeg on Saturday Virden Oil Capitals – (27-15-8) (Last Week: 4th) – The Virden Oil Capitals won their only game of the week last week and are getting set to kick off a two game home stand on Thursday. The Caps have won three straight. Schedule this week: vs. Wayway on Thursday & vs. Winkler on Sunday Winkler Flyers – (27-14-10) (Last Week: 5th) – After a shaky start to the month of February Winkler has started to pick thing up again. They enter this week on a modest two game winning streak. Schedule this week: vs. Neepawa on Tuesday, @ Swan Valley on Saturday & @ Virden on Sunday Swan Valley Stampeders – (23-21-6) (Last Week: 6th) – An impressive weekend for Swan Valley. They forced OT with Portage Terriers on Friday and then beat the RBC Cup hosts in a shootout on Saturday. A tough finish after that though, they lost 6-1 to the Winnipeg Blues on Sunday. Schedule this week: @ Wayway on Wednesday, vs. Winkler on Saturday & @ Portage on Sunday Selkirk Steelers – (25-23-2) (Last Week: 8th) – That four game losing streak in late January is in the distant past for the Steelers. Selkirk has now won three in a row and are in a tight battle with Swan Valley for sixth in the standings. Schedule this week: vs. OCN on Thursday & vs. Winnipeg on Friday Dauphin Kings – (18-27-6) (Last Week: 7th) – Three losses over the weekend has pushed the Dauphin Kings losing streak to four games. They’ll go out for another three-in-three later this week. Schedule this week: @ Winnipeg on Thursday, @ Neepawa on Friday & vs. Wayway on Saturday Waywayseecappo Wolverines – (19-29-3) (Last Week: 9th) – Wayway continues to slowly climb the standings. They enter this week just one point back of Dauphin for eighth overall. Schedule this week: vs. Swan Valley on Wednesday & @ Virden on Thursday Neepawa Natives – (13-37-2) (Last Week: 11th) – Neepawa’s playoff hopes may be on their last leg, but they did win a big game against Wayway last week. With eight games left in their campaign there is still a shot at the post season, but the Natives need points. They’re 10 back of OCN. Schedule this week: @ Winkler on Tuesday, @ Steinbach on Wednesday & vs. Dauphin on Friday OCN Blizzard – (17-30-4) (Last Week: 10th) – The MJHL’s longest losing streak is currently being held by OCN. The Blizzard have dropped seven in a row. Their schedule doesn’t get any easier. They’re on the road for their next three. Schedule this week: @ Selkirk on Thursday & @ Steinbach on Friday  

Swan Valley’s Mullin named Recycle Everywhere MJHL Player of the Week

February 9, 2015   Tristen Mullin of the Swan Valley Stampders went on a scoring blitz last week, earning him the Recycle Everywhere MJHL Player of the Week honour. Mullin, 18, led all MJHL scorers with six goals and 11 points in four games for the Stamps. A highlight for Mullin and the Stampeders was a shoot-out win against the Portage Terriers, who are ranked the No. 1 team in the CJHL. Mullin, a native of Cartwright, also sits atop the Stampeders’ points race with 18 goals and 39 points in 48 games. The runners up are 19 year old forward Kamerin Nault of the Winnipeg Blues and 20 year old goaltender Dasan Sydora of the Winkler Flyers.  

Up close to the action

February 9, 2015   We thought you might want to see the action up close and on the ice. Thanks to Christian Laughland (Sports director of CKDM/Dauphin), he sent us this very cool look from ice-level. The game was recently held in Dauphin between the Steelers and Kings. Enjoy the view! And again, thanks to our pal Christian! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mvzi5OfR1sM

Kings’ Martyniuk enjoying his MJHL experience

February 6, 2015   By Derek Holtom MJHL Web Correspondent   At the 2014 Western Canada Cup, the host Dauphin Kings were in a pickle. Already down one net minder, the Kings were dealt another blow: Jordan Piccolino – their starting goalie in a win-and-you’re-in contest – also got injured in the first period. Enter 16-year-old Winnipeg native Troy Martyniuk. He came in, stopped 24 of 26 shots, and the Dauphin Kings advanced to the RBC Cup in Vernon, B.C. Now a full-time member of the Kings, Martyniuk remembers the sequence of events which led him to help the Kings to the national championship. “I was drafted by the Kings in the draft year, and after my season (last year) was done they brought me up for the Western Canada Cup, just in case, as the third goaltenders,” said Martyniuk, who graduated from the Winnipeg Thrashers’ program.  “Then we had one goalie go down early in the tournament, and another in the final. It ended up being very exciting, getting a chance to play. It was a surreal moment for me.” Martyniuk also got the chance to attend the RBC Cup, and though he wasn’t called upon again, he did have the opportunity to soak in the national junior A championship. “It was a great experience for me, getting to see the top junior A hockey in Canada, and seeing how fast hockey can be,” he said. That was last year. This year, Martyniuk is a 17-year-old rookie with the Dauphin Kings who are in a rebuilding mode after last year’s RBC Cup run. Martyniuk has been getting plenty of starts, tied for first in rookie starts with 26, along with a GAA of 3.38 and a save percentage of .896. Martyniuk is also the recent winner of the Recycle Everywhere MJHL Player of the Week award, putting together a 2-0 record, a 2.50 GAA and a .935 save percentage to win that honour. With the Kings likely headed to the survivor series round, Martyniuk said the team is starting to round into shape as the playoffs draw near. “We’re a team that feeds off momentum, and once we get the ball moving, we’re hard to stop,” said Martyniuk, whose father Wayne also played in the MJHL with St. James Canadians. The five-foot-10-inch, 140-pound net minder had plenty of starts in his two seasons with the Winnipeg Thrashers of the Manitoba Midget AAA Hockey League, including one season where he posted a GAA of 1.36 and a save percentage of .940. But this is junior hockey, and Martyniuk says there are some big differences. “The strength of the guys, they battle harder,” he said. “And the speed, how fast they can move the play – those are some major differences.” Martyniuk took to goaltending at a young age, following his older brother, Brett, into the net. (Brett played a couple of seasons in the WHL before retiring.) Playing junior hockey is just one adjustment for the younger Martyniuk. He’s also had to adjust from coming from the capital of Manitoba to the heart of the Parkland – not always an easy transition but one he’s enjoyed making. “The experience has been good for me, to see what it’s like living in a small community where everyone knows everybody, as opposed to Winnipeg where you only really know people from a certain area,” he said. “And the arena is really nice – the staff treat us really well, and it’s an honour for us to play there.” Martyniuk now says it’s time to prepare for the playoff run, and he figures the Kings can make some noise this year. “Lately every game seems like a playoff game,” he said. “And when we put the finishing touches (on this team) we’ll be tough to beat.”

22 CJHL Alumni Nominated for 2015 Hobey Baker Award

February 6, 2015   Calgary, Alberta (February 6, 2015) – The nominations for the 2015 Hobey Baker Award, given to the top player in NCAA Division I men's hockey, have been announced and 22 of the 59 nominees on the national ballot are CJHL alumni. "The Hobey Baker Award is one of hockey's most historic and prestigious awards," said CJHL President Kirk Lamb. "Congratulations to all the nominees, including the 22 CJHL alumni.  These former CJHL players exemplify the exceptional skill level and character of players graduating from Junior A hockey across the CJHL and all are deserving of this honoured nomination." This first phase of fan balloting will run through March 8, 2015. Phase two of fan balloting will begin on March 19, 2015 from the list of Top Ten Hobey Baker finalists.   Award criteria include candidates emulating the exceptional character traits exhibited by the award's namesake, Hobey Baker. Key Hobey Baker announcement dates for 2015 include: Top Ten list of candidates: March 29 Hobey Hat Trick of three finalists: April 2 Hobey Baker Award announcement: April 10 The 2015 Hobey Baker Award winner will be announced from a field of three Hobey Hat Trick finalists on Friday, April 10, 2015 during the NCAA Frozen Four Championships in Boston, Massachusetts. Currently leading the way in fan voting for the Hobey Baker Award is CJHL alumni Zach Hyman of the Michigan Wolverines and formerly of the Hamilton Redwings (OJHL). He also leads his team in scoring and has been nominated for two other NCAA awards, the Senior CLASS Award and Hockey Humanitarian Award.  “It is very humbling!  I am appreciative and extremely honoured to be nominated for the Hobey Baker Award and I am very grateful for the opportunity to play for the University of Michigan,” said Hobey Baker nominee Zach Hyman of the Michigan Wolverines.  The players nominated represent 4 CJHL leagues which breakdown as follows: BCHL 13 nominees, OJHL 9 nominees, CCHL 4 nominees, AJHL 1 nominee. Here is a list of the CJHL Alumni nominated for the 2015 Hobey Baker Award. Player                                                                     Casey Bailey – BCHL Kyle Baun – OJHL Ralph Cuddemi – OJHL Charlie Finn – OJHL Max French – BCHL Matt Garbowsky – BCHL Bryce Gervais – BCHL Mitch Gillam – OJHL / BCHL Matt Ginn – OJHL / BCHL Andrew Gladiuk – BCHL Ben Hutton – CCHL Zach Hyman – OJHL Joey LaLeggia – BCHL                                          Alexander MacMillan – AJHL / BCHL Tyler Morley – BCHL Matthew Peca – CCHL         Jamie Phillips – CCHL / OJHL / BCHL Mario Puskarich – BCHL Mike Reilly – BCHL                                                                                                               Brett Seney – OJHL              Tyler Sikura – OJHL                                                                              Matt Zay – CCHL                   

Stilwell’s Commitment to College has Extra Special Meaning

February 5, 2015 Submitted by Winnipeg Blues Bill Burfoot   Winnipeg Blues continue to see their veterans committing to colleges for the upcoming season. The most recent player to get the call is forward Jake Stilwell. Stilwell will be attending Concordia College in North Dakota for the upcoming season. The 20 year old from Jamestown North Dakota has 19 points (10g, 9a) in 48 games so far this season. Committing to a college is special for any player, but committing to Concordia has an extra special meaning for Stilwell. "Concordia is where my parents met." says Stillwell. "My dad was on the hockey team and my mom was on the volleyball team, so being able to attend the same college as my parent’s means a lot to me and my family." "Not only am I excited to join Concordia's hockey program, but I can pretty much thank the school for my life as well," adds Stilwell. While most kids dream of playing in the NHL growing up, Stilwell says playing college hockey was always his goal and is very thankful for the opportunity to fulfill his dream. The "Cobbers" play in NCAA Division III and are coached by Chris Howe.      

Winnipeg Blues’ Stilwell named MJHL Manitoba Pork Peak Performer of Month

February 4, 2015 An active volunteer in his community, Jake Stilwell of the Winnipeg Blues has been named the MJHL Manitoba Pork Peak Performer for January .Stilwell, 20, was honoured for his off-ice volunteerism in promoting the game of hockey. He is a volunteer at Winnipeg’s Harrow Elementary School and reads to students from Nursery through grade-six. Stilwell, who hails from Jamestown, ND., also volunteers his time with the school's Hockey Discovery Days program. “Through this program,  Jake works mentoring students who have never had an opportunity to play hockey before,” MJHL Commissioner Kim Davis said of Stilwell. “He has a great rapport with the students and is an excellent  role model. He provides mentorship and academic support as a 'buddy' to two EAL students with unique needs.” Stilwell also volunteered for Harrow School's Culture Day, where student diversity was celebrated. “Jake epitomizes what the MJHL is all about: community involvement, making a difference and showcasing his hockey talents,” said Davis. “Congratulations on behalf of the Manitoba Pork Council and the MJHL.”    December Connor Martin of the Steinbach Pistons has been named the Manitoba Pork-MJHL Peak Performer of the Month of December. A newcomer to Steinbach, the affable Martin has quickly immersed himself into the community. The rookie defenceman attends local schools several mornings a week assisting teachers and working with students. “Connor is also an assistant coach for his billet family’s sons minor hockey team,” Pistons’ GM/Head Coach Paul Dyck says of Martin, who hails from Owatonna, MN. “In addition, he has volunteered with the Helping Hands: Drive Away Hunger campaign. “As a role model in the community, Connor understands and respects the opportunity to make a difference with area youth.” The MJHL Manitoba Pork Peak Performer award recognizes the volunteerism of an MJHL player who is making a difference in their community. “Connor epitomizes what the MJHL is all about: community involvement, making a difference and showcasing his hockey talents,” said MHL Commissioner Kim Davis. “Congratulations on behalf of the Manitoba Pork Council and the MJHL.”   November   Brian MacKenzie of the Selkirk Steelers has been named the MJHL Manitoba Pork Peak Performer of the Month of November.   MacKenzie, who hails from Winnipeg, has made the commitment to raise cancer awareness among both his teammates and the community of Selkirk. Recently, the MJHL family was saddened to hear the news that former player Cole Hamblin had lost his battle against cancer.   MacKenzie, a former teammate and friend of Cole, decided he was going to be a difference maker ─ starting with the popular “Movember” movement of cancer awareness.   “MacKenzie, and his Steelers teammates participated in raising funds through a Movember Brunch hosted by Roxi’s on the Red Uptown Café and On the Rocks Bar and Night Club in the Selkirk Motor Hotel,” said Steeler’s GM Dave Obirek. “Through this event, and further donations from players, staff and fans, a total of $1,100 was raised in support of Movember Canada and men’s health.”   MacKenzie, who is the Steelers’ captain, was also instrumental in having the Steelers’ don ‘CH 13’ decals on their helmets ─ in honour of Cole, who wore number 13 with the Steelers.   “Brian took his captaincy to the next level,” said Obirek. “Having suffered the loss of a friend and former teammate, he took it upon himself to bring awareness to ‘Movember’ and men’s health. We are all very proud of him.”   “Brian epitomizes what the MJHL is all about: community involvement, making a difference and showcasing his hockey talents,” said MHL Commissioner Kim Davis. “Congratulations on behalf of the Manitoba Pork Council and the MJHL.”     October   Daylon Creasy of the Swan Valley Stampeders has been named the Manitoba Pork – MJHL Peak Performer of the Month for October.   Creasy, 18, has been involved in a variety of community activities this season, including the Terry Fox Run, Taylor School BBQ and Swan Valley Minor Hockey Breakfast Club.   “Daylon’s involvement in his community is all encompassing,” said MJHL Commissioner Kim Davis. “He’s has become involved with Communities that Care, Haunted House project for Spooktober fest.   “In addition, Daylon is participating in the Swan River 'Chop the Top' for cancer awareness where he may have to endure a buzz-cut at center ice during a game in November.”   Creasy, who hails from Carberry, is also passing on his hockey expertise to young players, serving as a guest coach with Swan Valley Pee Wee teams.   “Daylon epitomizes the community involvement of the MJHL,” said Davis. “This award couldn’t have gone to a more worthy recipient.”   September   Zach Whitecloud of the Virden Oil Capitals is committed to making a difference in his community. And it’s that quality which earned the rookie defenceman the Manitoba Pork Peak Performer of the Month for September.   Whitecloud, 18, excels both on the ice and in the community. He volunteers his time with the Virden Minor Hockey school and assisted during local peewee tryouts.   “While Zach is a newcomer to the community of Virden, that didn’t stop him from getting involved quickly,” MJHL Kim Davis said of Whitecloud’s contributions.   “ Zach, along with his teammates, recently participated in the Virden Junior High Terry Fox Run/Skate. Zach will also be speaking in local schools as part of WE Day Celebrations. He’s doing all of this community work while dealing with the pressure of being a rookie in the MJHL.”   Whitecloud, who hails from Brandon, plans to speak to the WE Day audience about his path to the Oil Capitals, and his experience playing for Team Manitoba at the North American Indigenous Games in Montreal.   “Zach epitomizes what the MJHL is all about: community involvement, making a difference and showcasing his hockey talents,” said Davis. “Congratulations on behalf of the Manitoba Pork Council and the MJHL.”   Archive 2013-2014   March   The Manitoba Pork Peak Performer of the Month for March is Steinbach Pistons goaltender Zach Rakochy.   Zach spent over 60 hours volunteering in Steinbach schools assisting teachers, spending time with students, and was also involved in minor hockey during the month of March. "Zach has made a tremendous impact with youth in Steinbach and has set the bar extremely high when it comes to giving back to the community,” said Pistons Head Coach & GM, Paul Dyck. “I am often approached by parents with a son or daughter in one of the schools where Zach volunteers and they always comment on the positive influence he has been on their child. Zach understands the opportunity he has as a Junior hockey player to make a difference in the lives of people and he selflessly gives his time."   Congratulations Zach as this month’s Manitoba Pork Peak Performer!     February   For his tireless community service efforts, Clay Van Diest of the Portage Terriers has been Manitoba Pork Peak Performer for the Month of February.   Van Diest, 20, is a firm believer in giving back to his community and the fans of the Terriers.   “Clay is active in the community and has participated in the Terry Fox Run, volunteered for Manitoba Heart and Stroke Association, United Way, Cancer Care Manitoba and the Portage Jingle Bell Breakfast,” MJHL Commissioner Kim Davis said of Van Diest’s selection.   “Clay truly understands what it means to give back to the community. Clay has also volunteered to read at schools in surrounding communities such as Austin, Treherne and MacGregor, as well as nearby Hutterite communities and schools in Portage la Prairie.”   Van Diest, who patrols the blueline for the Terriers, hails from Helena, Mt. His community efforts have not gone unnoticed by his teammates.   “Clay sets a very good example for his younger teammates as well as for all youth in the community,” said Davis   “Clay is a true ambassador of the Terriers and the MJHL. He’s a worthy winner of this award. The MJHL and Manitoba Pork Council congratulate Clay on his award.”     January   Cody Nelson of the Virden Oil Capitals has been Manitoba Pork Peak Performer for the Month of January.   The 20-year-old forward has been recognized for his outstanding leadership skills both on and off the ice.   “Cody volunteered as an instructor at the Southwest Peewee Development Camp, sharing his passion and knowledge of hockey with the young players,” MJHL Commissioner Kim Davis said of Nelson’s selection.   “The Camp included two speaking sessions where Cody addressed the players and their parents about his work ethic and daily routine and what it took to become a Junior ‘A’ hockey player.”   Nelson, who hails from Brandon, has demonstrated strong public speaking skills and a willingness to share his personal experiences with others.   “Recently, Cody spoke in front of the entire Virden Collegiate student body at their WE Day event and is a tremendous ambassador for the Oil Capitals,” said Davis.   Nelson was a Peak Performer on the ice as well, recording six points (3-3) in the month of January.   “Cody is a true ambassador of the Oil Capitals and the MJHL,” said Davis. “He a worthy winner of this award. The MJHL and Manitoba Pork Council congratulate Cody Nelson on his award.”   December   The Manitoba Pork Peak Performer of the Month for December is 18 year old forward Kamerin Nault of the Winnipeg Blues. Kam is in his second year with Blues and has been active in giving back to the community. Kam participated in a Kal-Tire-MJHL BBQ helping to promote the MJHL and the Blues. Kam has volunteered his time coaching with the AA Titans (northwest) girls hockey team and participates with Seven Oaks Middle School helping out students in their Physical Education program in the afternoon and on-ice in the mornings.   November   Read More Riley Hillis of the Neepawa Natives is full of energy both at the hockey rink and within the community. And it’s that quality which earned the talented forward the Manitoba Pork Peak Performer of the Month for November.   Hillis, 18, volunteers his time at an early morning hockey clinic helping young players work on their skills before school. The Winnipegger is also enjoying a strong season, reflected in 14 points (10-4) after 27 games.   “Riley also volunteered at local schools and with the Salvation Army in support of their annual food donation drive for the food bank,” MJHL Commissioner Kim Davis said of the selection.   “Riley is a good example of community volunteerism at its best. He’s combining a very busy hockey schedule with helping others in Neepawa.”   The MJHL and Manitoba Pork are proud of the contribution Hillis has made to his community.   October   For his outstanding volunteerism in the community, Max Provencher of the Swan Valley Stampeders has been awarded the MJHL Manitoba Pork Peak Performer of the Month for October.   Provencher, 20, hails from Montreal and is fully bilingual ─ a language he’s putting to good use in Swan River and area.   “Max is a volunteer French tutor for Swan River and area students,” Commissioner Kim Davis said of Provencher’s selection. “He also volunteers his time at the local Animal Protection Agency and has supported the Swan Valley Communities That Care (SVCTC) Youth Initiative.”   Provencher, a 6-foot-3, 200-pound forward, has also enjoyed a strong season to date, reflected in 13 goals and 22 points for the Stamps, who sit fourth in the Sher-Wood Division.   The Manitoba Pork Council and the MJHL congratulate Max on his outstanding achievements in the community and on the ice.     September   Adam Vander Linden of the Winkler Flyers believes in making a difference in his community. And it’s that quality which earned the rookie goaltender the Manitoba Pork Peak Performer of the Month for September.   Vander Linden, 18, has been honoured with this award for his unconditional commitment to his community and unselfish volunteerism.   “Ty is a newcomer to the community of Winker, but that didn’t stop him from getting involved quickly,” MJHL Kim Davis said of Vander Linden’s contributions.   “He is contributing to the community by volunteering in the Canadian Tire ‘I Love to Skate’ program which provides skates and encouragement to new immigrant children who have never skated on ice before. This year in Winkler, 25 kids are learning to skate as a result of the efforts of Canadian Tire and people like Adam."   “He did all of this community work while preparing for several Manitoba Junior Hockey League games and all the while moving to his new town,” Davis said of Vander Linden, who hails from Winnipeg.   Vander Linden and some of his teammates also volunteered with the Winkler Horticultural Club who had the task of removing flower pots from various locations in the city to prepare for the upcoming winter season.   On the ice, Vander Linden has also contributed over his first two games, reflected in stopping 72 of the 76 shots he faced for an outstanding .947 save percentage and a 2.0 goals against average.   The MJHL and Manitoba Pork are proud of the contribution Vander Linden has made to his community.     2012/2013   March   Jordan Neduzak of the Swan Valley Stampeders has been named the Manitoba Pork Peak Performer for March.   Neduzak, 20, has demonstrated a tireless work ethic both on and off the ice. Throughout the season, Neduzak has been a strong ambassador for his hockey club. He mentored young minor hockey players during on-ice practice sessions and also visited local schools in Swan River to read to students and be a positive role model.   A native of Morden, Neduzak became a tireless volunteer while a member of the Winkler Flyers. He continued his volunteerism this season with his new team and community.   “It’s this type of selfless volunteerism which embodies the spirit of our league,” said MJHL Commissioner Kim Davis. “While moving to a new community, Jordan was determined to give back to his adopted community.”   “Jordan is a fantastic ambassador for both the Stampeders and our league,” said Davis.   February   Justin McDonald of the OCN Blizzard has been named the Manitoba Pork Peak Performer for February.   McDonald, 20, has demonstrated a tireless work ethic both on and off the ice. The Blizzard goaltender has been a tremendous ambassador for the organization, volunteering at various community events such as reading to youths at local library nights, in addition to signing autographs at school pancake breakfasts.   “Justin has been very steady throughout the year and has been a huge part of the regular season success,” said Blizzard Head Coach Clay DeBray. “Justin strives everyday to be the best that he can be on the ice and especially off the ice. He comes from a great family and being raised on a farm, he learned that hard work will make you a better person in life and in sports.”   McDonald was raised on a farm near Turtleford, Sk., which is located near North Battleford. A strong believer in giving back to his community, McDonald also tutored young goaltenders in the minor hockey system. A highlite for him this season was attending a number of events staged at the iconic Trappers Festival in The Pas.   “Justin is a fantastic ambassador for both the Blizzard and our league,” MJHL Commissioner Kim Davis said of McDonald’s selection.   January   Kyle Bodnaruk of the Winnipeg Blues has been named the Manitoba Pork Peak Performer of the Month for January.   Bodnaruk, 20, believes strongly in making a difference in his community. The Blues’ captain recently organized an event at Siloam Mission, where his teammates served food to patrons, assisted with laundry duties and organized much-needed clothes for pick-up.   Bodnaruk’s community involvement is far-reaching. He’s also befriended two autistic young men and on a regular basis takes them to lunch or a Blues’ game/practice.   “Kyle and his teammates felt good about helping the community and realized the good fortune they have in their lives compared to others,” MJHL Commissioner Kim Davis said of Bodnaruk’s selection.   “Good works like these make solid contributions to the community at large. Manitoba Pork and the MJHL are proud of the efforts of Kyle Bodnaruk.”   December   Zach Rakochy of the Steinbach Pistons has been named the Manitoba Pork Peak Performer of the Month for December.   Rakochy was involved significantly in local fund raising with a focus on charities that support men’s mental health. After a recent home game, Zach and teammate Kyle Rous shaved their heads publicly in support of the Canadian Mental Health Association and Prostate Cancer Awareness, respectively.   Between the two players, they raised about $2,000 for the local charities.   The hair-cutting project started growing after Rakochy was deeply impacted when a former hockey teammate took his own life.   “We had played junior together. He was a good buddy of mine,” said the Pistons’ goaltender, who hails from Canora, Sk. “He suffered from depression. When he took his life it really hit me hard. I wanted to make a difference after that.   “When I was getting my hair cut I was thinking about him. It was very emotion for me. It really felt unreal knowing I was helping and making a difference.”   Rakochy, 19, has also been actively involved in minor hockey and has worked one on one with several minor hockey goalies to develop their skills. In December he also packed food hampers that were distributed to needy families. In addition to all these activities he also made four school appearances and spoke to students at local schools.   “The MJHL and Manitoba Pork are proud of the citizenship displayed by Zach,” said MJHL Commissioner Kim Davis.   November   Bryce Lipinski of the Portage Terriers has been named the Manitoba Pork Peak Performer of the Month for November.   Lipinski, 19, is not only a hard-worker on the ice, but is also a tireless volunteer away from the rink.   “Bryce has volunteered in the community with various events including the Terry Fox Run, United Way, as well as assisting his teammates at a fund raiser for the Terriers’ former home, the Centennial Arena,” MJHL Commissioner Kim Davis said of Lipinski’s selection of Manitoba Pork Peak Performer.   “Bryce understands the benefits for kids to stay active with sports and the importance in keeping the old arena in operation in Portage. He leads by example and is a very good role model for his younger teammates and youth in the community.”   Lipinski, who was acquired in the off-season from the North Bay Trappers, plays alongside his twin brother Lyndon. Bryce has nine goals and 14 points in 23 games for the Terriers, who sit third in the Addison Division with 13 wins and 29 points.   “The MJHL and Manitoba Pork are proud of the citizenship displayed by great young men like Bryce Lipinski of the Portage Terriers,” said Davis.   October   Jeff Archibald of the Dauphin Kings is hands-on when it comes to making a difference in his community. And it’s that quality which earned the veteran forward the Manitoba Pork Peak Performer of the Month for October.   Two nights per week Archibald spends quality time with Jonathan Foster, the special needs trainer for the Kings. As a result of this one-on-one bonding, both have become good companions.   “Jeff’s contributions don’t stop at the rink,” Kings’ GM/Head Coach Marlin Murray says of Archibald. “During the month Jeff played road hockey on several occasions with local school children, as well as teaching hockey skills with the Timbits minor hockey program.”   Archibald, a Kings’ assistant captain, is having a good season thus far, reflected in 12 points (5-7) after 12 games. He and his King teammates also recently put smiles on the faces of many a youngster in Dauphin.   “Jeff and some of his teammates dressed up and passed out candy to local children on behalf of the hockey club,” said Murray.   The MJHL and Manitoba Pork are proud of the contribution Jeff Archibald has made to his community.   September   Even though he is new to the Town of Virden, Grade 11 student Ty Edmonds has made a huge community contribution. 16 year old goaltender, Ty Edmonds of the Virden Oil Capitals has been named the Manitoba Pork Peak Performer of the Month for September. For two full weeks in September Ty has worked on the ice with goaltenders in the Virden Minor Hockey School. He did all of this community work while preparing for several Manitoba Junior Hockey League games and all the while moving from Winnipeg to a new town and new high school. The MJHL and Manitoba Pork are proud of the contribution Ty Edmonds has made to his community.

Terriers’ Bowles named RBC Player of Month

February 3, 2015   Portage Terriers continue to dominate the MJHL, bolstered by an outstanding collection of players. Shawn Bowles of the Terriers was outstanding last month, earning him the RBC Player of the Month award. Bowles, 19, exploded for 19 points (6-13) in 10 games for the league-leading Terriers, who remain No. 1 in the CJHL’s weekly rankings. Bowles, who hails from Elkhorn, sits second in team scoring with 66 points (23-43) in 48 games. A 6-foot-2, power forward, Bowles and his teammates look forward to hosting this year’s RBC Cup (May 9-17). The runners up are 19 year old forward Daniel Taillefer of the Steinbach Pistons and 19 year old forward Kamerin Nault of  the Winnipeg Blues.    Sher-Wood Hockey Defenseman of the Month Winnipeg Blues continue to sit near the top of the MJHL standings, due to the outstanding  performance of players such as Mack Heisinger, who has been named top defenceman for February. The 20-year-old from Winnipeg was not only solid on the blueline, but also contributed offensively with 13 points (1-12) in 11 games last month. The runners up are 20 year old Tanner Jago of the Portage Terriers and 20 year old Jordan Greig of the Virden Oil Capitals.   MGEU Goaltender of the Month Justin Laforest of the Portage Terriers has emerged as the top goaltender for February. A runner-up for the award in January, the native of Carlton Place, Ont., continued his outstanding play, reflected in a perfect 7-0 record, which included three shutouts. Laforest, 19, sported a nifty save percentage of .941 and 1.57 GAA. The runners up are 20 year old Nick Deery of the Steinbach  Pistons and 20 year old Mitch Wiebe of the Waywayseecappo Wolverines.   IBAM Rookie of the Month Devin Muir, 18, of the OCN Blizzard topped all freshmen last month. The product of Oak Bluff produced 14 points in 12 games. He also sits atop team scoring for the Blizzard with 14 goals and 38 points in 43 games played. The runners up are 17  year old defenseman James Shearer of the Steinbach Pistons and 16 year old forward Dylan Thiessen of the Virden Oil Capitals.

MJHL Power Rankings – Week 20

MJHL Power Rankings for February 2nd Portage Terriers – (47-2-2) (Last Week: 1st) – Two more wins for the Portage Terriers has them ranked first on the CJHL Top 20 for another week and they're just three wins away from the 50 plateau.  Portage also recently set a new franchise record for points in a season! Schedule this week: @ Swan Valley on Friday and Saturday & @ Dauphin on Sunday Winnipeg Blues – (30-13-6) (Last Week: 3rd) – The Winnipeg Blues are rolling into their road trip this weekend. They’re in second in the MJHL and have taken five of their last six. Winnipeg is an Honourable Mention this week on the CJHL Top 20! Schedule this week: @ OCN on Friday and Saturday & @ Swan Valley on Sunday Steinbach Pistons – (29-12-7) (Last Week: 2nd) – Three out of four points for the Pistons last week. The race for second in the standings is heating up. Steinbach is also an Honourable Mention this week on the CJHL Top 20! Schedule this week: @ Winkler on Tuesday & @ Wayway on Saturday Virden Oil Capitals – (26-15-8) (Last Week: 4th) – It’s a quiet week for the Virden Oil Capitals which isn’t a great thing considering the way they’ve been playing lately. The Oil Caps have points in six straight games as they head into Dauphin for a Saturday night affair. Schedule this week: @ Dauphin on Saturday Winkler Flyers – (25-13-10) (Last Week: 5th) – The struggles continue for the Winkler Flyers who are now tied with the Oil Capitals for fourth in the MJHL standings. Their only contest last week had them falling in OT (5-4) to Virden. The loss was the Flyers’ third in a row. The good news is they got points in all three of those games. Schedule this week: vs. Steinbach on Tuesday, @ Wayway on Friday & @ Neepawa on Saturday Swan Valley Stampeders – (21-20-5) (Last Week: 6th) – A mixed bag for Swan Valley last week as they went 1-1-0. It’s a busy weekend on tap for the Stampeders. They open up a three game home stand on Friday. Schedule this week: @ OCN on Tuesday, vs. Portage on Friday and Saturday & vs. Winnipeg on Sunday Dauphin Kings – (18-24-6) (Last Week: 7th) – Like Swan Valley the Dauphin Kings went 1-1-0 last week, but they snagged a big road win in Selkirk before falling to Portage the next night. The Kings are at home for three straight this weekend. Dauphin has won three of their last four. Schedule this week: vs. Selkirk on Friday, vs. Virden on Saturday & vs. Portage on Sunday Selkirk Steelers – (22-23-2) (Last Week: 9th) – Kind of the opposite story for the Selkirk Steelers as of late, they’ve lost five of their last six. The Steelers have just one game in hand on the teams creeping up behind them in the standings. Schedule this week: vs. Neepawa on Tuesday, @ Dauphin on Friday & @ Neepawa on Sunday Waywayseecappo Wolverines – (18-27-3) (Last Week: 10th) – One game, one win last week for the Waywayseecappo Wolverines. Their strong play since the start of the new year is helping them move up the standings. Going into this week they find themselves in ninth place Schedule this week: @ Neepawa on Wednesday, vs. Winkler on Friday & vs. Selkirk on Saturday OCN Blizzard – (17-27-4) (Last Week: 8th) – Four straight losses has the Blizzard slipping to the final survivor series playoff spot. OCN was outscored 21-4 last week. They’ll be back on home ice for three in a row starting Tuesday. Schedule this week: vs. Swan Valley on Tuesday & vs. Winnipeg on Friday and Saturday Neepawa Natives – (12-34-2) (Last Week: 11th) – Neepawa comes into the week continuing to fight for their playoff lives. They’re 12 points out of the final spot with 12 games left in their campaign. Schedule this week: @ Selkirk on Tuesday, vs. Wayway on Wednesday, vs. Winkler on Saturday & vs. Selkirk on Sunday

Dauphin Kings’ Lapointe named Recycle Everywhere MJHL Player of the Week

February 2, 2015   Dauphin Kings’ Mathieu Lapointe has been named the Recycle Everywhere MJHL Player of the Week honour. Lapointe, 18, displayed his offensive skills with five points (2-3) in two games for the Kings, who split their two games last week. Lapointe, who hails from Edmonton, is having an excellent season, sitting second in the Kings’ points race with 38 points (16-22) in 47 games. The runners up are 20 year old forward Ben Williams of the Virden Oil Capitals and 17 year old forward Tyler Jeanson of the Portage Terriers.

Phone call landed Deery in Steinbach

February 1, 2015   By Derek Holtom MJHL Web Correspondent Sometimes recruiting a quality player involves a bit of luck. Okay ─ make that a LOT of luck in the case of Steinbach Pistons’ stand-out goaltender Nick Deery. Deery is arguably the best goaltender in the MJHL. But on how earth did a kid from La Crosse, Wis., (located approximately half way between Chicago and Minneapolis) end up in the Automobile City of Manitoba? A phone call. “The team I was on in the NAHL, they cut me during the summer, but held onto my rights, and they weren’t trading me anywhere, so I really had no choice (but to look north),” said Deery. “So I called up one of my coaches who knew Paul (Dyck), and that’s how I ended up here.” The NAHL’s loss was Steinbach’s gain. Dyck, head coach and general manager of the Pistons, said ever since Deery joined the Pistons last season, he has been a leader. “Nick came to us last year and we knew he had a lot of potential,” said Dyck. “He’s followed it up this year. The best way to describe Nick is that he stops the pucks that he should and gives us a chance to win hockey games every night. “He also had tremendous habits in practice, and has brought a lot of leadership from the goaltender position as well.” And Deery’s stellar play this year has led to committing to the University of Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs, an NCAA Division school, for next season. It’s a hockey institution which has produced many NHL alumni over the years, including Brett Hull, Justin Faulk, and former Portage Terriers star Junior Lessard attended the University of Manitoba, and went on to play pro hockey. “I was really excited – it was a long-time dream and goal, and it came  true,” said Deery on his scholarship. “To me it was important that the schooling fit. It just happened to be a school that is close to home, with a good engineering program, which I want to go into. So it was just a perfect for me.” This year, Deery posted the stats needed to make the jump to the next level. In 36 starts this year, Deery had the second-best GAA in the league at 2.50 and a save percentage of .911. His three shutouts were also tied for second in the MJHL. Deery said there was an adjustment period in moving to the MJHL, but once here, he said he couldn’t imagine a better place to play junior hockey. “If was different, and I wasn’t sure how it would be in my first time playing outside the United States,” he said. “After a month, I absolutely loved it, and this has been one of the best places I’ve played in. This is a great organization, and two years later, I wouldn’t have traded this for anything.” With his scholarship and future plans set, Deery said there’s only one thing left to do – help drive the Pistons deep into the post season. “Having the commitment is a big weight off my chest, so now I can focus on helping the team get as far as we can go, and doing everything in my power to help take the team as far as we can go,” he said. “We want to succeed and win a championship.” That means beating the RBC Cup hosts from Portage, and Deery said he thinks the Pistons can give them a run if they should meet in the playoffs. “We’ve played them a few times, and if we capitalize on some opportunities we have a good shot,” said Deery. “We hang in there every time we play them, and I think it just comes down to executing the small details, and not making as many mistakes.”

Schedule Unveiled for 2015 RBC Cup in Portage la Prairie, MB

January 29, 2015   PORTAGE LA PRAIRIE, Man. – Thursday marks 100 days until the puck drops at the 2015 RBC Cup in Portage la Prairie, and to celebrate the occasion Hockey Canada has announced the schedule for the tournament, which will be held at the PCU Centre from May 9-17, 2015. The RBC Cup, Canada’s National Junior A Championship, will return to Manitoba for the first time since 2010, and just the fifth time in the tournament’s 45-year history. The event kicks off May 9 with two games on the schedule, including the host Portage Terriers taking on the West Region champions in the opening game. CLICK HERE FOR THE 2015 RBC CUP SCHEDULE The 2015 RBC Cup will bring together four regional representatives (Central, East, West #1, West #2), along with the host Terriers, to face off for the national championship. It will be the fifth time the Terriers will appear at Canada’s National Junior A Championship, tied for third-most in tournament history, and fourth time in the last 11 years. Portage won its lone national title in 1973, defeating the Pembroke Lumber Kings in five games when the final series was held in Brandon and Winnipeg, Man. The championship game will be broadcast on TSN/RDS, official broadcasters of Hockey Canada, on Sunday, May 17. Please check your local listings for broadcast times in your area. All other games, including the preliminary round and semifinals, will be available via webcast at www.hockeycanada.ca/rbccup. Full-tournament ticket packages are still on sale, although fewer than 400 remain. Packages include all 13 games at the 2015 RBC Cup, and are available for $200 (plus applicable fees). All ticket packages bought in February will receive a free ticket to the Terrier Pep Rally at the Portage Mutual Arena on May 8. A decision on the availability of additional packages and single-game tickets will be made closer to the start of the tournament. For complete ticket information, including how to purchase, CLICK HERE. For more information on the 2015 RBC Cup, please visit www.hockeycanada.ca/rbccup, or follow along via social media at www.facebook.com/rbccup or www.twitter.com/hc_rbccup.  

Blues’ alumni Heisinger nominated for the 2015 Hockey Humanitarian Award

January 29, 2015   Former Winnipeg Blues’ Jake Heisinger is one of 15 college players nominated for the prestigious Hockey Humanitarian Award. In total, six of the 15 nominees played in the Canadian Junior Hockey League. The winner will be announced next month. The award, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, recognizes a student-athlete who makes significant contributions not only to his or her team, but also to the community-at-large through leadership in volunteerism.  Heisinger, who hails from Winnipeg, is a sophomore at Curry College. He was nominated for his work in organizing the First Annual Curry College Teddy Bear Toss to benefit children at the Dana Farber Children's Hospital Cancer Center. "I am very proud of Jake's contribution to the Milton and Boston communities through his efforts in making the Teddy Bear Toss such a successful event,” said Curry head coach TJ Manastersky . “This is another strong example of what our hockey program is all about. We want to be leaders on campus and in the community by striving to win games, do great work in the classroom, and develop as citizens." Heisinger, who won Curry’s rookie of the year award, sits second in team scoring this year with 17 points (5-12) in 16 games. 2015 CJHL Alumni Hockey Humanitarian Award Nominees are:   Tyler Brickler                         Sr.            F             Geneseo                BCHL             Sebastien Gingras                  Jr.             D             Union                    CCHL Jake Heisinger                       So.            F             Curry                     MJHL Zach Hyman                          Sr.            F             Michigan                OJHL Mark MacMillan                      Sr.             F             North Dakota         BCHL Joel Rumpel                           Sr.           G             Wisconsin             BCHL 

Pistons’ Robertson commits to Norwich University

January 27, 2015   Submitted by Steinbach Pistons The Steinbach Pistons are excited to announce that 20 year-old defenseman David Robertson has committed to the Norwich University of the NCAA Division III. This is more good news out of Pistons camp as the organization saw its third NCAA commitment this season in less than two weeks. Their recent roster deadline acquisition from the Portage Terriers will be a part of one of the top programs in Division III next year. “I’m pretty excited,” said the Bossivian product about playing for Norwich, who are currently ranked number one in Division 3. “It’s something that has been in the back of my head over the last couple of years. It’s nice to know where I’m going next year.” Robertson may have only played 10 games for the Pistons so far since being acquired from the Portage Terriers. However, the Boissevain product was originally an up–and-coming Piston, scoring his first junior goal with the Pistons as an alternate player back in the 2011-2012 season. “Exciting news for David and our organization,” said Pistons Head Coach and General Manger Paul Dyck about the Southwest Cougar alumni. “It’s another player who will be moving on to the next level.” The 6’2’’ 210lb blue-liner played for the Estevan Bruins of the SJHL for the 2012/2013 and 2013/2014 seasons. He was then acquired earlier this season by the Portage Terriers. The Pistons re-acquired their former prospect because of his gritty defensive play. “He brings a lot of maturity and stability and he has been great with the younger players,” Dyck said. “Hopefully, he will be a big contributor as we move towards the playoffs.” Robertson says it’s nice to know what will be happening at the end of his junior career. He also mentions that when he's not busy battling in the corners for the Norwich Cadets he will be taking some business courses in the classroom.

Dauphin Kings’ Martyniuk named Recycle Everywhere MJHL Player of the Week

January 27, 2015   An undefeated record last week has earned goaltender Troy Martyniuk of the Dauphin Kings the Recycle Everywhere MJHL Player of the Week honour. The 17-year-old native of Winnipeg posted a 2-0 record, while posting an impressive GAA of 2.50. His save percentage was .935 in his two starts last week. The runners up are  20 year old forward Zack Waldvogel of the Portage Terriers and 19 year old  forward Kamerin Nault of the Winnipeg Blues.

Pistons’ Penner commits to NCAA Division I

January 23, 2015   Submitted by Steinbach Pistons The Steinbach Pistons are excited to announce that 19 year-old forward Tyler Penner has committed to the Colgate University of the NCAA Division I. Penner returned to Steinbach late Wednesday with a huge smile on his face after taking a quick trip to upstate New York to get a taste of what life would be like at Colgate. He said it didn’t take long and he knew that Colgate was where he wanted to be. “You got out there and you have to imagine spending four years of your life in the same spot,” said the Winnipeg product, who used that time to meet the coaches and players. “Everything fit together perfectly.” The news of Penner committing to Colgate comes right on the heels of Nick Deery’s Division 1 commitment at the end of last week. The Pistons organization couldn’t be more pleased with the recent success of their players. “It’s been a great week for us,” said Pistons Head Coach and General Manager Paul Dyck about the memorable week. “We have been working towards this and our players have been too. Hopefully, we can carry some momentum forward with this and we have a few other players who are also garnering some interest.” Normally this kind of news means an organization will be without one of their best players the following season, but that won’t be the case with Penner. “They [Colgate] said that they are more or less set for next year and I would come in for the 2016-2017 season,” commented Penner about receiving the news he won’t be leaving the automobile city just yet. “That’s fine with me because that means I get to play one more year of junior hockey in Steinbach, which is a place I love.” Penner showed up in Steinbach in the midst of Steinbach’s memorable 2012-2013 championship run as an alternate player in round two of the playoffs. He kicked off his junior career with a championship and a trip to the very first Western Canada Cup in Nanaimo, British Columbia before he was technically considered a rookie. His work ethic, responsible defensive play and grades in the classroom were never in question, but there were some who asked if he could be an offensive threat at the MJHL level. Penner has proved this year that there is very little to question in his game. He currently leads the Pistons and is 3rd in the MJHL in scoring with 29 goals 25 assists for 54 points in 44 games. Penner is now the Pistons’ third NCAA Division 1 commitment along with Deery and alumni defenseman Justin Baudry. Colgate is currently ranked 15th out of 59 NCAA Division 1 schools with a 14-7-1 record so far this season.

Steelers’ Kraus leaves it all on the ice

January 22, 2015    By Derek Holtom MJHL Web Correspondent   “It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog.” ─ Mark Twain Mark Twain never met Ty Kraus. But if he did, he’d like him. Kraus is one of those players, who doesn’t let his size get in the way of excelling out on the ice. High energy. Loads of enthusiasm. Kraus is one of the players you can’t help but watch. The affable Selkirk Steeler forward is all about leaving it all out on the ice. “I’m a hard worker, with some playmaking-type skills,” said Kraus, who also knows he’s not the tallest player on the ice. “I try to play a little bigger. I’ve never really been the biggest guy on the ice, and I’m used to it, but I try to not back down from anyone or anything.” Kraus, plays much bigger than his 5-foot-8, 185-pound stature. The kid from East St. Paul has been consistent this season, scoring nearly a point a game. And outside a mini dry-spell in December, you would be hard pressed to keep Kraus off the scoreboard two games in a row. Despite his flourishing offensive role, Kraus remains a team-goal-oriented type of player. “Things are going pretty well right now – as a team we’re competing every night, we’re winning a lot of games, and we’re having some team success,” said the native of East St. Paul. “But I’m also having some personal success as well.” In what is probably considered a rebuilding year, Kraus has emerged as a veteran, go-to type of player on a young team. “He’s really stepped up for us this season as far as offensive production this year,” said head coach Wayne Bartley. “He’s playing a lot on special teams, he’s very good with the puck, slows the play down when he needs to, and has been really great for us this year.” Kraus, 19,  had 33 points in 39 games midway through January – 11 goals and 22 assists. It’s a different role from the one he had on last year’s powerhouse Steelers squad. “Last year we had a very strong team with lots of skill up front, like Parker Thomas, guys like that,” said Kraus. “This year we have to play a lot tougher, as we don’t have those high skill guys for goals every night. All four lines have to contribute each and every night, and that comes through hard work.” With double the assists compared to goals, Kraus describes himself as the prototypical set up man. With the league getting down to the final stretch, Kraus and his Steelers are in a battle with several teams for sixth place and avoiding the survivor series portion of the playoffs. And for that, the Steelers will be counting on Kraus to continue with his near point-a-game pace. After his final year of junior next season, Kraus says he still wants to lace up the skates, and that will be his goal for the final one and a half years of junior A hockey. “I’d still like to continue to play hockey after junior, either with school or Europe,” he said.

Steinbach Pistons’ Deery named Recycle Everywhere MJHL Player of the Week

January 19, 2015   It’s been quite the week for Steinbach Pistons’ goaltender Nick Deery, who has been named the Recycle Everywhere MJHL Player of the Week. This honour comes on the heels of the recent announcement that Deery, 20, has committed to the Division I, University of Minnesota Duluth next season. Deery, who hails from La Crosse, WI., was outstanding last week, reflecting in a perfect 3-0 record and stellar GAA of 1.33. His save percentage was equally impressive at .958. The runners up 18 year old forward Devin Muir of the OCN Blizzard and 18 year old forward Adam Wowryk of the Selkirk Steelers.

Blizzard’s New Coach Settling in

January 17, 2015   By Derek Holtom MJHL Web Correspondent It’s been a tumultuous time for the OCN Blizzard in recent weeks, what with the recent passing of general manager Derek Fontaine and the resignation earlier this season of head coach Clay DeBray. The team also suffered through a tough stretch which only saw them win two of 10 starts. However, head coach Jason Smith and newly named assistant coach Andre Murphy are determined to move the franchise upward and forward.  “We’ve had some ups and downs, as I’ve tried to get all the players on the same page,” said Smith. “It was a bit of a challenge at first. We would play games and be in it in the first period, and then we’d lose it in the second period and get back into it in the third. “We were hanging with teams, but it seemed like we were finding a way to lose,” he added. “But our game in Wayway before the (Christmas) break, I thought we played really well, but we just couldn’t buy a goal, and that seemed to be how it was going for us during that stretch.” The Blizzard had a lengthy stretch off between Dec. 20 and Jan. 9, and when they got back they learned there had been some changes with the players, as Smith started dealing veterans for younger players and draft picks. “I think what we needed was some youth back in our system,” said Smith. “We also want to bring in more Aboriginal players, and get back to that, but what we’re looking for is quality kids. We don’t just want hockey players, but good people off the ice as well.” Smith knows the high expectations placed on this proud hockey franchise. Smith hails from The Pas and brings a wealth of hockey experience to the Blizzard organization. He played his junior hockey in the WHL with Tri-City Americans and Swift Current Broncos, and played professional hockey extensively throughout the minors throughout North America and in Europe. The offensively-minded defenceman even played some roller hockey in Philadelphia. And of course he got his start at home, playing minor hockey in The Pas and OCN, and playing midget AAA in Thompson. “It’s a different game over here compared to Europe, but I’d like to think I can bring some things from each team I played for and against to the Blizzard,” he said. Smith said he’s basically at the rink all day as he learns adjusts to his new position, though he said things have settled somewhat since Murphy has come aboard. Either way, the Blizzard organization is dedicated to icing a good product on the ice for their loyal fans.

Pistons’ Deery Commits to University of Minnesota Duluth

January 16, 2015   Submitted by Steinbach Pistons The Steinbach Pistons are pleased to announce that 20 year-old goaltender Nick Deery has committed to the University of Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs of the NCAA’s Division 1. “It was a surreal moment after I got off the phone,” said Deery about hearing the news earlier this week. “I didn’t know what to do with myself. I made sure I called my parents right away.” Deery’s accomplishment is the Pistons second NCAA Division 1 commitment in as many years. Justin Baudry’s commitment to Bemidji State University early last season was Steinbach’s first. The organization couldn’t be more pleased. “We are very excited for Nick and proud of his accomplishment,” said Pistons Head Coach and General Manager Paul Dyck about his starting net-minder. “He’s been a very good fit here. Not just in our dressing room, but also with his involvement in the community.” As a 14 year-old, Deery set his sights on a Division 1 commitment. After having a rough go in the North American Hockey League with the Odessa  Jackalopes, Deery decided to shift his focus to Canada and the MJHL. “I looked at Steinbach as a new opportunity, with a new organisation that really wanted me,” said the LaCrosse, Wisconsin product. “When I got up here I absolutely loved it and enjoyed it. It didn’t take long and I knew that I wanted to finish my junior career here.” Deery’s goal of playing Division 1 hockey could have come true last season, but he turned down an offer from a different school. The goaltender wasn’t only looking out for his best interests on the ice, he also wanted the best opportunity in the classroom. “It wasn’t just about the hockey, academics mean a lot to him,” said Dyck about Deery turning down his 1st Division 1 offer because it didn’t have the engineering program that he was looking for. “Last year when that opportunity came we as an organization were selfishly wondering why he was passing up the opportunity. “It’s really a testament to his maturity,” Dyck added. “He processed it thoroughly and didn’t jump at the first opportunity just because it was there for him. He wanted to do what was best for him long term.” Now that Deery has his future under wraps, he says it’s time to focus on the task at hand and that is winning A MJHL Championship and then moving on to the RBC Cup.  So far so good for number 35, immediately after Deery was told the good news he made 37 saves in a shutout performance against the Neepawa Natives. In under a year’s time Deery will be wearing the same Bulldogs jersey that has been worn by quite a few NHLers. That list includes Brett Hull, Curt Giles, Norm Maciver,  Justin Falk, Jason Garrison, Matt Niskanen, Mason Raymond and Tim Stapleton to name a few.  

Stampeders’ Hunt earns Honourable Mention for Gongshow CJHL 3 Stars

January 15, 2015   CALGARY, Alberta (January 9, 2015) – The Gongshow CJHL 3 Stars for the month of December 2014 are Félix-Antoine Bergeron (Princeville Titan, QJHL), Thomas Stavert (Summerside Western Capitals, MHL) and Cole Golka (Dryden GM Ice Dogs, SIJHL). 1st STAR – FÉLIX-ANTOINE BERGERON, F, Princeville Titan, QJHL (7 GP, 11 G, 12 A, 23 PTS, 3.30 PPG) Félix-Antoine Bergeron of the Titan Princevillehad an amazing month of December. The 20-year-old compiled a record of 11 goals, 12 assists and 23 points in just 7 games.  This included two hat tricks, five power play goals, three shorthanded goals, 1 game winning goal and 7 games with over two points.  He was a +14 during this time and was the QJHL Offensive Player of the Month for December.  2nd STAR – THOMAS STAVERT, F, Summerside Western Capitals, MHL (8 GP, 14 G, 7 A, 21 PTS, 2.63 PPG) Thomas Stavert of the Summerside Western Capitals played in eight December contests.  During the month Stavert scored 14 goals and added seven assists. The 19 year old from Kensington, Prince Edward Island registered at least one point in every game during the month. In addition, Stavert registered two points or more for six consecutive games leading into the holiday break. Other highlights of Stavert’s performance was a three goal, four point effort on December 12th and a three goal, five point game on December 21st. 3rd STAR – COLE GOLKA, F, Dryden GM Ice Dogs, SIJHL (8 GP, 14 G, 6 A, 20 PTS, 2.50 PPG) In eight games during the final month of 2014, Cole Golka the 20-year-old from Strathcona County, Alta., registered points in each of the contests he skated in racking up a league-best 14 goals, while also dishing out six assists for a total of 20 points in December.  Currently riding a 10-game point streak, Golka has also scored at least one goal in each of his past seven outings.  He also leads the SIJHL in both overall offensive production and tallies with 51 points and 32 markers.  This marks the second time this season Golka has been earned the SIJHL Gongshow Gear performer of the month after capturing the initial award for the 2014-15 campaign. Honourable Mentions: Graham Hunt, Swan Valley Stampeders (MJHL), Mario Culina, Soo Thunderbirds (NOJHL), Felix Chamberland, Pembroke Lumber Kings (CCHL)

CJHL and FASTHockey Partner for Prospects Game

January 14, 2015   Annual game of CJHL's top prospects to be featured on FASTHockey   CALGARY, Alberta (January 14, 2015) – The Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL) and FASTHockey have announced that they will partner for the 2014 – 2015 CJHL Prospects Game, which will be hosted at the Sixteen Mile Sports Complex in Oakville, Ont., on January 20, 2015.    FASTHockey will webcast the CJHL Prospects Game free of charge which can be seen on www.fasthockey.com as well as on FASTHockey’s Roku and Google TV channels and through their iOS and Android apps. The broadcast is scheduled to start at 7:30 pm EST.  FASTHockey will also sponsor the game with much needed support. “FASTHockey is thrilled to partner with the CJHL and have a small part in this wonderful event," said Marc Ruskin, FASTHockey’s founder. "Not only is it important to showcase this talent to fans across the globe, it is of even greater importance to be able to contribute, in some small way, to junior hockey and development of players at this level.” The CJHL Prospects Game is one of the premier Junior A hockey events in the country and provides tremendous exposure for the top CJHL prospects to play in front of scouts from all over the hockey world – including the NHL, NCAA, CHL and Canadian universities and colleges. “We are extremely happy to have FASTHockey come on board as a web broadcasting partner of the CJHL Prospects Game," said CJHL Executive Director Rick Morocco. "Our goal is to provide the game and players with as much exposure as possible and showcase to the fans across the country the best CJHL prospects playing in a highly competitive game at no cost.”

Flyer vet having a Keck of a good season

January 14, 2015   By Derek Holtom MJHL Web Correspondent   The Winkler Flyers are one of the elite teams in the MJHL this season, battling it out with the Winnipeg Blues and Steinbach Pistons for positions two through four. And a big part of the Flyers' success this season has to be the play of forward Tristan Keck, who is doing this year what he's done his whole career – score goals. Keck, who hails from Morris, leads the league with 33 goals in 40 games – two more than he scored as a rookie in 60 games two seasons ago. Add in his 20 goals scored in a shortened season last year, and Keck has already scored 84 MJHL goals, with lots of time to add to that total. The personable 19-year-old was quick to credit his teammates for helping him pile up the goals this year. "Going into this season I set big goals, and one of them was to lead the league in scoring, and I've been put with some great guys who can give me the puck," said Keck, who also has nearly 20 assists this year. "I was looking to get a goal a game, but I'm a little under that but still trying to reach that (level)." Keck also displayed this sort of offensive prowess in his high school days as he scored 44 times in just 20 games for Morris. "In the past I've usually had more goals than assists – in my first year (with Winkler) I was pretty even in goals and assists, but usually I'm a shoot-first kind of guy," he said. "My coach wants me to shoot, but if the pass is there, I'll definitely take it." As for how Keck has managed to dent the twine so often, he said he make a point at getting rid of the puck before the goalie has time to set himself. "I really work on my release a lot, and I really work at trying to catch the goalie off-guard," said Keck, who stands five foot nine inch weighs 175 pounds. That quick release is important, as Keck is drawing a lot of attention from the shutdown players from other teams. "I find guys are cutting me off a little bit more, and I'm not getting that space – sometimes they're right on me, so I find I have to skate around more to look for open space." As Keck keeps scoring, he also has some short and long-term goals in mind. "This year I want to win it all – I think that's the goal everyone has," he said. "And long-term, I'd really like to play college hockey in the States somewhere, and if things go well, play professionally."

MJHL Players Promote Recycling

January 13, 2015   Recently, players from the Steinbach Pistons visited Green Valley School in Grunthal, MB as part of the Recycle Everywhere-MJHL Ambassador Program. All 11 MJHL teams are participating in the program, with players delivering recycling messages to Manitoba youth, focusing on the importance of recycling empty beverage containers. MJHL players will visit over 40 schools throughout the province during the current hockey season. “MJHL players are role models for students and youth and we are pleased to support recycling and good environmental stewardship,” said Kim Davis, MJHL Commissioner. “It is important for all of us to do our part for the environment.” The Recycle Everywhere-MJHL Ambassador program complements the Recycle Everywhere 101 school program. For more information and to order free Recycle Everywhere bins for your school, visit: www.recycleeverywhere.ca   Twitter: @RecycleMB Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RecycleEverywhere

OCN Blizzard Claeys named Recycle Everywhere MJHL Player of the Week

January 12, 2015   Goaltender Brody Claeys of the OCN Blizzard has been named this week’s Recycle Everywhere MJHL Player of the Week. Claeys, who hails from Ste. Rose, posted a 2-1 record for the Blizzard last week, boasting a GAA of 2.00 and save percentage of .945. The runners up are 19 year old forward Shawn Bowles of the Portage Terriers and 19 year old forward Tristan Keck of the Winkler Flyers.

MJHL Trivia – Answers

January 11, 2015   Recently, we challenged your knowledge of the MJHL. Hope you enjoyed testing your memory skills. Drumroll please..………..here are the answers to the questions:   Which MJHL alumni has been a long-time referee in the NHL? (Rob Martel of Selkirk Steelers) Who was the last captain in the MJHL to hoist the national championship trophy? Hint: Centennial Cup. (Ken Neufeld of Selkirk Steelers) This Portage Terrier alumni went on to play with Los Angeles Kings? (Dan Bonar) This MJHL player was named CJHL Player of the Year. (Eric Delong/Portage Terriers) Who was the first-ever signed Selkirk Steeler? (Willy Cole…..went on to become a radio personality.) Who was the first-ever coach of the then-MJHL franchise Steinbach Hawks? (Al Hares….former bench boss of Selkirk Steelers) This Dauphin King goaltender went on to star in the NHL. (Ron Low) This player was arguably the highest-profile player to suit up for the then-MJHL franchise Kenora Muskies. (Charlie Simmer….went on to star with the Los Angeles Kings; most notably the Triple Crown Line) This MJHL alumni went on to win four Stanley Cups. (Butch Goring/Dauphin Kings) Who is the MJHL’s all-time winning coach? (Don MacGillivray/Winnipeg Blues. He started his coaching career with St. James Canadians) This MJHL alumni went on to play for his native country in the Winter Olympics/World Championships. (Karl Friesen/West Kildonan North Stars.) This former MJHL coach went on to coach Theo Fleury. (Glenn Watson/OCN Blizzard)

Pair of Blues Commit to Schools

January 10. 2015   Winnipeg Blues Jackson Keane and Mack Heisinger have committed to schools for the upcoming season.   Keane has accepted a scholarship to the University of North Dakota. "UND" are members of the National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC) and compete in NCAA Division 1.   The 17 year old from Winnipeg is in his 2nd season with the Blues.  In two seasons, Keane has compiled 73 points in 86 games and was also a member of Team Canada West for the 2014 World Junior A Challenge in Kindersley Saskatchewan this past December.  Heisinger is headed east after accepting a scholarship to Division III Curry College near Boston.  The 20 year old will join his brother and former Winnipeg Blue Jake who currently suits up for the Colonels.  Heisinger has been a key member of the Blues blue line for the past two seasons, playing big time minutes against many of the top lines in the MJHL.  Heisinger has suited up for 93 games with the Blues, lighting the lamp seven times while adding 37 assists.

2 MJHLers named to Prospects Game

January 8, 2015   Jackson Keane of the Winnipeg Blues and Lycar Kirklan of the Dauphin Kings have been named to Team West roster for the for the CJHL Prospects Game scheduled to be played Jan. 20 in Oakville, Ont. This is the second prestigious event to be attended by Keane, 17, who recently suited up for Canada West at the World Junior A Challenge last month. Paul Dyck of the Steinbach Pistons will lead Team West as Head Coach. "I would like to congratulate the players from both teams for earning their position in the CJHL Prospects Game," said Dyck. "It speaks highly to the quality season that they have had thus far and to their future potential. I am excited to work with this talented group and proud to represent Western Canada in Oakville." Team West includes 12 players from the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL), 5 players from the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL), 2 selections from the Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL) and 1 player from the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL). The CJHL Prospects Game was created to showcase the top NHL prospects in the CJHL as identified by NHL Central Scouting. The game features players from the CJHL's five western leagues (BCHL, AJHL, SJHL, MJHL, SIJHL) competing against players from the CJHL's five eastern leagues (NOJHL, OJHL, CCHL, QJHL, MHL). The winning team is awarded the President's Cup. Player selection for the annual CJHL Prospects Game is a joint initiative of the CJHL and NHL Central Scouting. Rounding out the Team West roster: TEAM WEST     Player Current Team League Goaltenders     DIDUR, BO LANGLEY RIVERMEN BCHL WORNIG, STEFAN POWELL RIVER KINGS BCHL Defence     BAST, GABE PENTICTON VEES BCHL BUONO, CARMINE POWELL RIVER KINGS BCHL DESHARNAIS, VINCENT CHILLIWACK CHIEFS BCHL HILDERMAN, JAROD PENTICTON VEES BCHL SYCH, CONNOR BATTLEFORD NORTH STARS SJHL VERMEULEN, JAMES WHITECOURT WOLVERINES AJHL Forwards     BERG, ADAM CALGARY MUSTANGS AJHL BUSCH, TYLER SPRUCE GROVE AJHL CRAIGHEAD, DARIEN COWICHAN VALLEY CAPITALS BCHL DUHAIME, BRANDON MERRITT CENTENNIALS BCHL GAMMER, COLE SHERWOOD PARK CRUSADERS AJHL GARDNER, RHETT OKOTOKS OILERS AJHL KAWAGUCHI, JORDAN CHILLIWACK CHIEFS BCHL KEANE, JACKSON WINNIPEG BLUES MJHL LYCAR, KIRKLAN DAUPHIN KINGS MJHL O'BRIEN, BROGAN PRINCE GEORGE SPRUCE KINGS BCHL VELA, MARCUS LANGLEY RIVERMEN BCHL ZERTER-GOSSAGE, Lewis PENTICTON VEES BCHL    

Steinbach Pistons’ Martin named MJHL Manitoba Pork Peak Performer of Month

Connor Martin of the Steinbach Pistons has been named the Manitoba Pork-MJHL Peak Performer of the Month of December. A newcomer to Steinbach, the affable Martin has quickly immersed himself into the community. The rookie defenceman attends local schools several mornings a week assisting teachers and working with students. “Connor is also an assistant coach for his billet family’s sons minor hockey team,” Pistons’ GM/Head Coach Paul Dyck says of Martin, who hails from Owatonna, MN. “In addition, he has volunteered with the Helping Hands: Drive Away Hunger campaign. “As a role model in the community, Connor understands and respects the opportunity to make a difference with area youth.” The MJHL Manitoba Pork Peak Performer award recognizes the volunteerism of an MJHL player who is making a difference in their community. “Connor epitomizes what the MJHL is all about: community involvement, making a difference and showcasing his hockey talents,” said MHL Commissioner Kim Davis. “Congratulations on behalf of the Manitoba Pork Council and the MJHL.”

Portage Terrier Laforest named Recycle Everywhere MJHL Player of the Week

Portage Terriers’ goaltender Justin Laforest has been named the Recycle Everywhere MJHL Player of the Week. Laforest, 19, posted a perfect 3-0 record, highlighted by a shutout effort. A native of Carleton Place, Ont., Laforest’s GAA was 1.33 during the three-game win streak. His save percentage was .952. The runners up are 20 year old forward Jonah Wasylak of the Steinbach Pistons and 18 year old forward Scott Gall of the Winkler Flyers.

Condolences to Fontaine Family

The MJHL sends its deepest condolences to the family of Derek Fontaine, who passed away last week. Derek was the general manager of the OCN Blizzard and his loss will be felt not only with the Blizzard, but the entire MJHL family.   “Derek was a passionate, dedicated executive,” MJHL Commissioner Kim Davis said. “We are all saddened by his passing and I extend the league’s deepest sympathy to Derek’s family and wide-circle of friends. He was totally committed to making the OCN Blizzard a well-run, competitive hockey operation.”   Derek’s full obituary can be read here: http://passages.winnipegfreepress.com/passage-details/id-220463/name-Derek_Fontaine/min-run-date-1420437600/order-publish_date%7CDESC,last_name%7CASC/

Q & A with Kris Kringle

  Q: You’re name is Kris Kringle, but you’re also know as Santa Claus? What’s up with that? A: It’s a bit complicated. Kris Kringle is derived from the Christian tradition, the ritual is known as Secret Santa in the United States and the United Kingdom; as Kris Kringle or Kris Kindle (Christkindl) in Ireland; as Secret Santa, Kris Kringle, or Chris Kindle (Christkindl) in parts of Austria; as Secret Santa or Kris Kringle in Canada and Australia; and as Secret Santa, Kris Kringle, or Monito-monita in the Philippines. Q: Favourite NHL team? A: Montreal Canadiens, because they wear my favourite colour of red. Q: Favourite NHL player? A: Guy Lafleur. But, I also like Carey Price. Q: Any superstitions? If so, how about listing a few? A: I don’t like to eat cookies in package. I like the home-baked variety. Chocolate chip. I also like to give the reindeer a pep talk before we head off from the North Pole. Q: Do you have a favourite MJHL team? A: Nope. But I like the food in Winkler. Good sausage dog. Selkirk has good popcorn. Q: Who’s the greatest player? Gretzky or Lemieux? Or Bobby Orr? A: Not even close. Orr.   Q: Favourite MJHL player? A: A few. Troy Martynuik in Dauphin has been writing me letters for years; Devin Muir in OCN always leaves me cookies; Brad Bowles in Portage is always a good boy. Q: Favourite songs on your IPod? A: White Christmas – Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer – Hell’s Bells by AC/DC. Q: Favourite pre-Christmas meal? A: Rib steak (medium well). Baked potato (just butter/no sour cream) – Fresh corn – beef/barley soup. Q: Any favourite MJHL town? A: Dauphin. Home of the best-ever broadcaster! Love his ‘casts. Q: If you could spend 15 minutes with anyone in the MJHL, who would it be? A: Ken Pearson, coach of Winkler. I don’t have to look up at him when we’re talking. Q: Anyone getting a lump of coal in the MJ? A: Well, Tre Potskin and Suede Omeasoo of OCN, and maybe Jonah Wasylak of Steinbach, they’ve spent a bit of time in the sinbin.   Q: Any hobbies? A: Absolutely. Jogging. Lifting weights. Boot camps. Fishing sometimes. I also like to race the elves around the workshop. Q: If they made a new “Santa Claus” movie, would it be action/adventure? Comedy? Romantic? Mystery? A: Mystery. A who dunnit. Q: Which actor would play you? A: Colin Farrell (he’d have to bulk up quite a bit) Q: Who would be the leading lady in your movie? A: That’s easy – Jennifer Coolidge. Q: Last movie you went to? A: Santa Claus Conquers the Martians Q: If not being Santa Claus, what would you be doing? A: Coaching hockey. Looks like fun standing on the bench. Q: Don Cherry … love him? Can’t stand him? A: Love the suits! And, he kind of looks like a Santa Claus with the white hair. Q: Top 3 things on your bucket list? A: Lose 10 pounds … go surfing in Hawaii … have lunch with Marlin Murray. Q: Other than hockey, any other favourite sports? A:  Reindeer racing … curling … cross-country skiing. Love those winter sports! Q: Best verbal jab aimed at you? (No profanity, please.) A: “I like the Easter bunny better” … or, “The Tooth Fairy leaves better presents”.

Former Stamp star Argue Adjusting to College Hockey

Jayson Argue made quite the impression in the MJHL. The rookie goaltender for the Swan Valley Stampeders was named the league’s most outstanding player, was a first-team all-star and named rookie of the year honours. He then made the very difficult decision to leave the MJ to play in the BCJHL. These days the product of the Valley is enjoying his time in college hockey with Bentley University. Argue, now 21 years old, was recently chosen as an Atlantic Hockey Co-Rookie of the Week and followed that up with the Goaltender of the Week the next week. He posted a 2.02 GAA and a .926 save percentage to earn the first honour. But before he won the award, Argue had to recover from an injured knee, though he didn’t get hurt in some great hockey collision. “I was injured for the first two months (of the season),” said Argue. “It was an off-ice injury. I have a bad knee and I was walking down the stairs and it buckled on me. “I had to have some surgery and they cleaned out some cartilage.” As a 20-year-old, Argue nearly won a second league MVP award, finishing as a runner up in the BCHL and still being named to the first all-star team. And now he’s in the college ranks and still earning honours. “In my first week back I got rookie of the week, and in the second week I got goalie of the week – it was a nice way to come back,” he said. Argue has learned quickly about the differences from junior A hockey and NCAA hockey – but as his recent awards show, he’s been a quick adapter. “The competition is a few steps above what I was playing before – you’re playing against men,” said Argue. “I’m the youngest guy here at 21, and you’re playing against guys who are 25 years old. “There’s a lot more strength, the shots are harder, the systems are smoother, and there are no lapses, and if you do lapse, the next day you won’t be playing.” Argue added it’s a very structured hockey environment focused on the team winning, which is great from a goaltender’s perspective. “It’s very unselfish hockey – it’s all about the team,” he added. “I think it makes you a better person as well.” For example, Argue notes the team is structured around team defense, and said players focus on clearing guys from in front of the net and blocking shots. Then there’s adjusting to the daily grind of being a college athlete – and the realization that there isn’t much free time. “College is a lot more time consuming – in junior there’s a lot more free time and you’re with the guys more, but here I have class from 8 a.m. until 12 noon, and then straight to the rink for practice at 1 p.m. until about 3:30 p.m.,” said Argue. “And then you leave the rink and you have some night classes. “It’s a big change, and when you’re done your classes, you have homework,” he added. “The days are pretty full but I like it.” Argue said being out of school for three years made getting back to school interesting, but his hard work has already paid off in his first semester. “And a lot of what I’m studying has to do with American things, so that’s a little different coming from small-town Manitoba,” he said. “I just wrapped up my finals today, and my grade point average is higher than what I had in high school, so I’m pretty happy about that.” Argue also noted his mother Fran, a teacher in the Valley, was an invaluable source for him as he adjusted back into life as a student. No doubt his father, Dale’s sense of humor has rubbed off on the fun loving netminder. For those who don’t know where Bentley University is, it’s located in Waltham, Mass, very close to Boston. It’s considered a Division Two school for NCAA sports, with men’s hockey being the exception – it competes in Division One against all the top teams in America. Most of Bentley’s games are on the east coast, but Argue said he’s hopeful they will make the trip west to a school such as UND next year, which would probably be the closest school to the Manitoba. “In our out-of-conference games this year we didn’t play UND but I’m hoping next year,” said Argue. “I’m hoping we get there one day because I’m pretty sure I’d have a lot of friends and family in the rink.” Famous alumni from Bentley University includes Joaquin Bacardi (president of the line of drinks that shares his last name) and former Tonight Show host Jay Leno.

Pistons’ Dyck to coach Prospects’ Game

Steinbach Pistons’ GM/Head Coach Paul Dyck will lead Team West at the CJHL Prospects Games next month in Oakville. James Richmond of the Aurora Tigers (Ontario Junior Hockey League (OJHL)) will lead Team East. "I am honoured and grateful to have been given this opportunity. I am truly excited to be a part the CJHL Prospects Game and to be working with some of the elite Junior A players in our country," said Dyck, who has been head coach of the Pistons for the last four seasons. During the 2012-13 season, he guided the Pistons to a 5th place regular season finish and won the MJHL championship, all while finishing as runner up for MJHL Coach of the Year. In 2013-14, he finished 2nd in the regular season and lost in the MJHL semi-finals. Currently, his club is ranked 18thin the country in the Pointstreak CJHL Weekly Top 20 Rankings. Dyck, a native of Steinbach, has an extensive hockey playing career playing in the MJHL, CHL, IHL and the DEL in Germany. He was drafted by the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins. He won the IHL's Turner Cup in 1998-99, as well as the DEL Championship in 2002-03. Dyck attended several NHL training camps in including the Pittsburgh Penguins, San Jose Sharks, Los Angeles Kings and New York Rangers. The CJHL Prospects Game was created to showcase 40 of the top NHL prospects in the CJHL. The CJHL Prospects Game features players from the CJHL's five western leagues competing against players from the CJHL's five eastern leagues. The winner of the game will hoist the President's Cup, which is awarded annually to the winning team. Rosters for the CJHL Prospects teams will be announced in early January 2015. The player selection for the annual CJHL Prospects Game is a joint initiative between the CJHL and NHL Central Scouting. The CJHL Prospects Game will be played on Tuesday, January 20th at the Sixteen Mile Sports Complex in Oakville, ON at 7:45PM. Tickets to the CJHL Prospects Game in Oakville, Ont., are on sale at Puckz Pub in the Sixteen Mile Sports Complex, at all Oakville Blades home games as well as online atwww.oakvilleblades.com