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

Neepawa reflects on CMHA Talk Today presentation

In early October, the Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL) announced its continued partnership with the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) and their Talk Today Program.

Talk Today has grown into a national mental health initiative and now includes more than 50 CMHA provincial divisions and community branches across Canada supporting junior hockey teams, post-secondary sports programs, minor sports organizations, and more.

Earlier this season, players and staff from the Neepawa Natives took part in their presentation on mental health and suicide prevention.

“As a coach it’s very important to have these resources available to our players and right at the tip of their fingers,” Explained Head Coach & General Manager, Ken Pearson. “Our presenter did a great job and took the time to answer the questions that players had during the presentation.”

“I believe it’s also key for the players to have this available to them, with all the peer pressure and social media scrutiny sometimes things can become overwhelming as they grow as players and most importantly young adults.”

One of those players is 20-year-old Brady Morrison who spoke about what he learned and how he can benefit from the program.

“Mental health is something that impacts many people, and as a player I learned tools on how to address and talk to people or even teammates that are having mental health issues,” Morrison shared.

“These resources are key to have for players especially ones that are living away from home and don’t have the one person they feel comfortable opening up to,” he concluded.

Elite athletes face immense pressures, including balancing academic demands and performing in their chosen sport. Talk Today, one of the most comprehensive sport-related mental health programs in Canada, was designed to promote the mental health of these young athletes and to spread awareness about the benefits of positive mental health.

Convo with the Coach | Taylor Harnett

Over the next 12 weeks we’ll get to know the coaches from across the MJHL.

Dave Anthony asked all the coaches 12 questions and they shared their hockey history, how they got into coaching and a whole lot more.

We always get to hear their names, now let’s get to know the men behind the bench.

Taylor Harnett – Head Coach, Waywayseecappo Wolverines

DA: What’s your hockey background? Did you play?

TH: I grew up playing minor hockey in an area of Edmonton called Mill Woods up until Peewee and then graduated to the Southside athletic club (SSAC). I played some Jr “A” in Saskatchewan, WHL and ACAC college. I was also fortunate to attend an NHL training camp in 1995.

DA: How did you get into coaching?

TH: Somebody involved with the (SSAC)asked me if I would be interested in coaching as they were short a few coaches in their bantam program in 1997. So, I was able to grab a couple of my buddies and we had a blast. I ended up coaching for that organization at all different levels for many years.

DA: What do you remember feeling standing on the bench as a head coach for the first time?

TH: Very vague memories but I do remember how much I missed playing. Also, I remember realizing I did not know and remember that much about the game. Ha-ha

DA: What is your favorite or least favorite practice drill to run?

TH: Favorite drill to run would most likely be the “coaches challenge” it is more of a game, but we have a lot of fun with it. Least favorite drill would probably be ‘Board Rushes’. I feel it is a waste of time but sometimes necessary.

DA: Is there a trade you’ve made or player recruitment/signing that stands out to you as being one of the best moves you’ve ever made?

TH: We have recruited a lot of great players in the past few seasons that have put on the Wolverine uniform. It would not be fair to mention a favorite. As far as acquiring a player, the same would apply there. Although one player did come into our organization I will mention. That was Brody Moffatt. The reason I mention him was because he was the captain of the Winkler Flyers. And when he came to us, he did not wear a letter. But he led by example and with humility, he was a great teammate.

DA: Who from your past (either playing with or being coached by) would you say had a great influence or impact on you as a coach today?

TH: This is an interesting question because I have always been a head coach. But I look back on some of the coaches who had a positive and a negative impact on my life. I try to take something from all my experiences. I had a minor hockey coach by the name of Tom Hannah. I just remember he coached with equality and integrity. I still sometimes think back to certain tendencies that he had. The one thing that I remember about him was he always made me feel good and understood me as a person and player.  I have a lot of good friends in the coaching world, sometimes I rely on them for advice.  My good buddy Rylan Ferster is always willing to listen.

DA: Which former player stands out as one of your favorites to coach or to have around the rink every day?

TH: I would probably have to say Wolverines Associate coach, Josh Lee. I coached him at a young age, and I think that he probably understands me the best. Also, one player that really helped with my coaching transition here was former captain Jake Bestul. He was a true Wolverine and really took pride in wearing the uniform. He was a great captain and a great teammate.

DA: If you could coach an NHL team, which team would it be and why?

TH: If I were fortunate enough to put on a whistle in the National Hockey League, I would not have a preference. But I am an Edmonton Oilers fan.

DA: In a post-game interview, which question do you like answering the least?

TH: I think that it is important that fans hear from coaches and players before and after a win or a loss. I think when asked about the “officiating”. To me it is the most difficult, especially right after a loss. I think it is a question that a lot of coaches have a tough time answering.  Sometimes the emotions are not right for the best answer.

DA: Why do you like coaching for the organization you do?

TH: That is a well-rounded question. Coaching in Waywayseecappo for me is a privilege. I love the passion from the community. I also like the challenge. I am fortunate that the organization trusts in my ability moving forward and believing that we can put a team together that is truly capable of winning a championship one day.

DA: What do you like about the town/city you coach for?

TH: I love the people. I love the culture. I have lived here now since 2017 and some of my closest friends are now in this area. The valley is beautiful in the summer and nothing but hockey in the winter. It is a great place to call home.

DA: Who’s a current player on your team you feel deserves more attention from fans around the league?

TH: Reagan Rabbit. He is a great teammate, he is a great player, and he works his butt off.

Don MacGillivray named Wheat Kings Head Coach

The Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL) have named longtime MJHL Coach, Don MacGillivary their 24th Head Coach in team history.

MacGillivray has spent the past four seasons as an Assistant Coach with the Wheat Kings. Prior to joining Brandon, he made stops in the MJHL with the St. James Canadians (89-91), Southeast Blades (92-93), Neepawa Natives (93-96), Portage Terriers (00-06) and Winnipeg South/Blues (09-14).

Don is a four-time MJHL Coach of the Year (1995, 2005, 2012, 2013) and sits second all-time among MJHL coaching wins (669), one back of Doug Stokes (670) for the all-time lead.

In 2005, MacGillivray helped guide his Portage Terriers to a Turnbull Cup Championship in a 4-2 series victory over the Selkirk Steelers. In the Anavet Cup, it was the Terriers who would prevail over the SJHL’s Terriers, 4-games-to-2.

In Don’s final season (2013-14) in the MJHL, his Winnipeg Blues would shock the league. After finishing in sixth place during the regular season, the Blues would be forced to play in the now defunct Divisional Survivor Series where they would go on to knock out the Winkler Flyers in two straight games.

The team caught fire and lost just one game in each of their next series on the way to defeating the Dauphin Kings, 4-games-to-1 to win the Turnbull Memorial Trophy with a 14-3 playoff record.

Don sits third all-time in playoff wins (106) and has coached the most MJHL games in league history (1234).

 

 

12 Takes with Dave Anthony

Dave Anthony has been a broadcaster in the MJHL for the past 7 seasons. Every week, he’ll share a thought on the 12 teams in the MJHL and other things from across the league.

It was announced that the Winnipeg Blues and Winnipeg Freeze received their punishment for violating Hockey Manitoba’s directives at the time. Each team is losing their first-round draft pick. Also, the ownership group will pay a $5,000 fine. I do truly love the decision to put the money to charity. The funds will go towards COVID-19 PPE relief for frontline workers in Manitoba.  Great touch by the MJHL and a great cause.

Before jumping into the Takes this week, I should explain a bit about what is happening. Because there is no hockey currently, I wanted to dig into the past. I went into the 2010/2011 season and pulled the top scorer from each team. I’ll go over their stats from the MJHL and we’ll look at where they went after their time in the league.

1) Portage Terriers – 1st place Sher-Wood Division – 86pts
Leading Scorer: Brent Wold – 22 goals, 46 assists for 68 points in 61 games

Wold’s first season in Portage was the start of a pretty amazing hockey career. After putting up 53 points for the Eastman Selects, the Lac Du Bonnet native got a one game cup of coffee for Neepawa. The following season, he landed in Portage and went off from there. In the next 164 games for the Terriers, Wold scored 184 points. On top of that, 35 points in 39 playoff games.

Wold was named to the MJHL All-Rookie Team in his first season. He was also part of the back-to-back MJHL Championship teams Portage put together.

Portage traded Wold along with Dylan Butler to the Dauphin Kings in exchange for forward Taylor Sanheim and the CJHL rights to Landon Peel in November of 2014.

Wold scored over a point per game with the Kings to end the 2013-14 season, 23 points in 21 games. 12 more points in 13 playoff games for the Kings.

After his MJHL career, Wold played 9 games at Utica College scoring 4 goals and 5 assists for 9 points.

He returned home and played a pair of seasons with the Lac du Bonnet Blues before in the MSHL before a brief stop in Ste. Anne with the Aces of the Carillon Senior Hockey League. 2017-19 he’s back at home in Lac du Bonnet with the Blues where he was named Captain last year.

2) Winkler Flyers – 1st place Addison Division – 83 pts
Leading Scorer: Michael Wilgosh – 38 goals, 43 assists for 81 points in 60 games

The 2010/2011 season was the 20-year-old season for Wilgosh who ended up playing 272 MJHL games between his hometown Selkirk Steelers and the Winkler Flyers.

Highlighting his time in the MJHL was the 2006-2007 Championship with the Selkirk Steelers.

Wilgosh came to Winkler in a trade for steady defenseman Lucas Alexiuk who went to Selkirk in the deal.

In the playoffs in 2010/11, Wilgosh had 12 points in 12 games.

After his time in the MJHL, Wilgosh moved on to the University of British Columbia from 2011-2014 playing in 43 games scoring a total of 11 goals and 3 assists for 14 points.

3) Dauphin Kings – 2nd Sher-Wood Division – 81 points
Leading Scorer: Shane Luke – 28 goals, 61 assists for 89 points in 60 games

Shane Luke is a hockey players hockey player. Coming from the Parkland Rangers program, he exploded onto the scene in Dauphin scoring at an incredible rate.

Believe it or not, his 81 points in 2010/11 was a step back from what he did in 2009-10 where he scored 101 points in 62 games.

In total, the man from Saint Rose Du Lac played all 241 games he suited up for in the MJHL with the Kings, scoring 116 goals, 214 assists for 330 points.

Luke was part of that well-oiled machine like team in 2009-10 that saw Dauphin win the ANAVET Cup and head to the RBC Cup where Luke scored 6 goals in 6 games while adding an assist. He was named the RBC Cup MVP.

Providence College was where Luke headed after 2010-11 and stayed there until 2014-15. While at Providence, he suited up for 128 games putting up 81 points in that span.

A brief 24 game stint for Amiens in Ligue Magnus (it’s in France) before heading to Russell and playing in the NCHL-MB where all he did was continue to dominate.

Here’s his three seasons with the Russell Rams:

14 games – 42 points. 3 games – 12 points. 9 games – 18 points.

4) Selkirk Steelers – 2nd place – Addison Division – 81 points
Leading Scorer: Colan Jackson – 44 goals, 35 assists for 79 points in 61 games

Looking at Winnipeg native Colan Jackson’s numbers, he’s a guy that looked like he could do it all.

He played 223 games in total for the Steelers and was part of the 2006 Championship run. In his MJHL career he had 127 goals and 144 assists. On top of that, he put up 289 penalty minutes.

He led the Steelers in scoring in the regular season then continued to dominate in the playoffs scoring 17 points in just 16 games.

In his final season, he led the league in goals with 44 and was named a MJHL Second Team All-Star.

Jackson went quiet after his final MJHL season before making a return in 2016-17 for the Ste. Anne Aces in the Carillon Senior Hockey League. He helped the Aces come away with a championship scoring 3 points in 5 regular season games then adding 5 more points in 10 playoff games.

5) OCN Blizzard – 3rd place Sher-Wood Division – 78 points
Leading Scorer: Denis Restoule – 28 goals, 27 assists for 55 points in 57 games

It was an interesting career for Restoule who started in the SJHL before a stop in the MJHL then returning to the SJHL before finally settling the MJHL.

Still with me?

Restoule started the 2009-10 season with the Melfort Mustangs of the SJHL. After 10 games, he went to OCN where he spent 21 games before going to Flin Flon and suited up there for 21 games.

After all that movement the year before, Restoule ended up back in OCN in 2010 where he would play his last two years.

In 2010, the then 19-year-old not only led the Blizzard in points but led the entire MJHL in penalty minutes with 124.

He would win the most penalized player award the following season as well, this time with 234 minutes total.

6)Swan Valley Stampeders – 4th place – Sher-Wood Division – 71 points
Leading Scorer: Shelby Gray – 36 goals, 25 assists for 61 points in 55 games

Gray came to Swan Valley by way of trade in 2009-10 from the Weyburn Red Wings in exchange for David Marmen and the trade instantly paid off for the Stamps.

In the final 43 games of that season, Gray had 46 points.

He continued to score in his 20-year-old season leading the team in points before spending the next three seasons with Adrian College where he scored 72 points in 73 games.

He managed only two games for the Lloydminister Border Kings in 2014-15 but rebounded with the Foam Lake Flyers of the Wheatland Senior Hockey League where he found his scoring touch again putting up a staggering 110 points in 37 games over two seasons.

In 2018-19 he moved to the Yellow Grass, Saskatchewan to play for the Wheat Kings of the BSHL (Big Six Hockey League) where he continues to play this year. He’s only played in one game so far this year.

7)Waywayseecappo Wolverines – 5th place – Sher-Wood Division – 65 points
Leading Scorer: Paul Van De Velde – 21 goals, 51 assists for 72 points in 59 games

Van De Velde spent his entire MJHL career with the Wolverines that spanned over parts of 4 seasons. For his career in the MJ, in 88 games, he put up a total of 103 points. He also added 23 points in 87 WHL games between the Everett Silvertips and Brandon Wheat Kings.

After his 20-year-old season where he led the Wolverines in points and was named to the MJHL First All-Star Team, he moved on to the University of Toronto where he’d spend the next 4 seasons.

Over that time, Van De Velde would skate in 105 games scoring a total of 28 goals and 48 assists.

In 2015-16 he played his last two games of record for the Carmen Beavers of the SEMHL. In those two final games, he scored 3 goals and added 2 helpers for 5 points before putting up 9 more points in 3 playoff games.

8) Winnipeg Saints – 3rd place – Addison Division – 63 points
Leading Scorer: Brett Chartier – 29 goals, 53 assists for 82 points in 57 games

The 2010-11 season would be the career high in points for Chartier who at 19, led the Saints in assists while being tied for the team lead in goals with Cole Pruden.

Following the 2010-11 season where he was named to the MJHL Second All-Star Team, Chartier would score 67 points in 52 games for the Saints, his final year in the MJHL and also collected his second straight MJHL Second All-Star Team nod.

Chartier had a brief stint with the University of Manitoba, where he was held pointless in just two games. He would move on to the Carman Beavers in the same season putting up 8 points in 7 games. The next year, he added another 16 points in just 10 games for the Beavers.

In 2015-16, he suited up for the Ild-des-Chenes North Stars in the Allan Cup.

The next year, he did the same but this time for the South East Prairie Thunder.

9) Neepawa Natives – 6th place – Sher-Wood Division – 54 points
Leading Scorer: Richard Olson – 16 goals, 29 assists for 45 points in 62 games

Olson was only 18-years-old when he led Neepawa in scoring in 2010-11. At that point, he was on his second MJHL team.

His career started in Selkirk before Neepawa. The 2011-12 season was a wild one and that might be putting it lightly. Olson travelled… that’s putting it mildly. Here’s how it goes.

Neepawa to Dauphin to Steinbach to Winnipeg Saints. In 2012-13, Virden to Swan Valley back to Steinbach where he was part of the 2012-13 Championship team that upset the Dauphin Kings.

In total, Olsen played for 7 MJHL teams. 283 games, 77 goals and 103 assists for 180 total points.

After the MJHL run, Olsen skated with the Wawota Flyers in the BSHL for 11 games scoring 8 points.

It all came back to Steinbach for one more season at least as Olsen suited up for the Steinbach Huskies of the Carillon Senior Hockey League. In 13 games he had 10 points and added 1 goal in 2 playoff games.

10) Winnipeg Blues – 4th place – Addison Division – 46 points
Leading Scorer: Patrick Henderson – 15 goals, 29 assists for 44 points in 49 games

After the conclusion of his MJHL career, Henderson went to play for Brock University for two seasons.

By far, one of the most interesting moves by any MJHL player belongs to Henderson.

In 2015-16, he went to the Hong Kong Tycoons. He’d finish the season with 14 goals and 20 assists in 17 games. That was good for 2nd place in team scoring behind Lucas Eshleman.

Random fact, Eshleman is still playing in Hong Kong today. Over the last 5 seasons, he has 234 points. Not connected to Henderson but I still thought it was worth noting.

I may never get to write about hockey in Hong Kong again, so give me a break.

11) Steinbach Pistons – 5th place – Addison Division – 45 points
Leading Scorer: Mitch Chagnon – 21 goals, 37 assists for 58 points in 57 games

‘Twas a tough year for Steinbach in 2010-11 but an impressive year for Chagnon who managed to score over a point per game on a team that won just 21 contests.

After leading the Pistons in scoring the season before, Chagnon moved on to the Dawson Creek Rage in the NAHL before settling in Portage for 11 games. He would score twice and added 5 assists for 7 total points. The final points of his MJHL career.

From 2014-15 he played for Mount Royal University.

In 2019-20, he made a dramatic comeback when he suited up for the Ste-Anne Aces of the Carillon Senior Hockey League. He found his scoring touch again putting up 6 goals, 2 assists for 8 points in 9 games.

Chagnon ended that season’s playoff run with 3 points in 3 games.

12) There were only 11 teams back in 2010-11. Any hockey fan would tell you the game has changed a lot in the past 10 years. Was it harder to score then, then it is now? Was there more physicality then? Is there more high-end skill overall on rosters now?

Either way, it’s safe to say… hockey cant come back soon enough.

CJHL coaches perspective: Paul Dyck, Steinbach Pistons

Courtesy of Canadian Junior Hockey League

CALGARY, Alta. – No stranger to the Canadian Junior Hockey League, Paul Dyck has had tremendous success as head coach and general manager of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League’s Steinbach Pistons.

After joining the Pistons back in 2010, he was appointed interim head coach in December of 2011 before officially taking reign of the club as bench boss and GM in the summer of 2012.

An alumnus of the CJHL in his Jr. A playing days with the Dauphin Kings (MJHL), Dyck is a two-time league coach of the year award honouree and was also a finalist for CJHL top coach laurels in 2017.

He guided Steinbach to MJHL championships in 2013 and 2018, along with an ANAVET Cup crown in 2018 and a berth in the national Jr. A championship that same season.

Since officially becoming the team’s head coach in 2012, he has led his squad to an impressive record of 340-111-15-21 through 487 regular season games played, boasting an equally solid .735 winning percentage.

Here’s a look as some of Dyck’s other accomplishments as well as his favourite practice drill and advice he has for those looking to play in the CJHL, in this latest coach’s perspective.

BIO: The Steinbach, Man., product was a selection of the Pittsburgh Penguin in the 1991 NHL Draft, he played 15 years professionally, winning an IHL championship with the Houston Aeros in 1999 and a DEL German League crown in 2003 as a member of the Krefeld Penguins. … Helped Canada West win gold, as an assistant coach, at the 2015 World Junior A Challenge. … Guided Team West to victory in the 2015 CJHL Prospects Game. Holds the MJHL record for fastest to win 250 games as a coach, doing so in just 376 outings.

FAVOURITE PRACTICE DRILL: One of my favourite drills is a two-vs.-two, below the dots, with two coaches that can be used as shooters several feet above the hash marks.

We typically do this drill at the start of practice on the day before a game.

It is intended to set the tone for that session as the expectation is to see a very high level of compete; winning of puck battles in a confined space and getting to the front of the net, once a coach receives the puck.

This drill has become a favourite for the players as well, due to its competitive nature; with the intensity from it carrying into the next drill.

ADVICE ON PLAYING IN THE CJHL: A player entering the CJHL should look for a team where he is going to have an opportunity to play and develop.

I would suggest that the player look for the best fit for him and not be focused on a specific league or location.

There are numerous excellent options for a player and I would be thorough in looking into the options if I was a player today.

The internet can be a great resource for information on programs in the CJHL and gives the player the ability to research the teams he is interested in.

Convo with the Coach | Billy Keane

Over the next 12 weeks we’ll get to know the coaches from across the MJHL.

Dave Anthony asked all the coaches 12 questions and they shared their hockey history, how they got into coaching and a whole lot more.

We always get to hear their names, now let’s get to know the men behind the bench.

Billy Keane – Head Coach OCN Blizzard

DA: What’s your hockey background? Did you play?

BK: I grew up in Winnipeg, playing with the Assiniboine Park Rangers and the Winnipeg Monarchs at the AA and AAA level. Went on to play in the MMJHL for the Charleswood Hawks in my 17- and 18-year-old years. Then, the Fort Garry Blues, at that time. They’ve evolved into the Winnipeg South and the Winnipeg Blues. I got a scholarship to the University of Alaska Anchorage out of the MJHL. Played my first year NCAA then transferred back to University of Manitoba and graduated as a student athlete. I then got an opportunity to get into the coaching ranks at UofM right after I graduated. Was at UofM from ’89 to ’99 as a member of the coaching staff. I went back from ’07-’09 and in between I was involved in coaching in the MJHL.

DA: How did you get into coaching?

BK: I would say my dad, actually. My dad was a coach to me when I was growing up and he was a great, great person to lean on in terms of his humor and his interest and passion. He was a great role model for us as players. Certainly, I developed a passion for it watching his energy and his passion, his love of the game. That’s for sure where it started from.

DA: What do you remember feeling standing on the bench as a head coach for the first time?

BK: Boy, that’s a good question. That’s, back in 1999-2000 around there. You know, it’s just another challenge. Whether you’re behind the bench as an assistant coach or behind the bench as a head coach, you’re behind the bench. You’re with the guys and preparing with them through the week and getting ready for the game. It’s an exciting experience.

DA: What is your favorite or least favorite practice drill to run?

BK: I got lots of favorites. The least favorites they disappear. You put a big black X over the drill and then you never see it again so you forget about it. But I got lots of favorites. The internet provides thousands of opportunities for coaches to learn drills but honestly, I bet you I got 25 that I make modifications from and those are my go-tos. You don’t need to have thousands of drills; you just need 20-25 that you like and you just make adaptations and progressions from those drills and that will benefit you quite a bit.

DA: Is there a trade you’ve made or player recruitment/signing that stands out to you as being one of the best moves you’ve ever made?

BK: I think we all go through it. There are times and years when you figure you have a chance to win and you pull a big deal off at the trade deadline. You hope it’s going to bring you a championship and we’ve done that a few times. I’ll say the deadline times are the most exciting, that’s for sure.

DA: Who from your past (either playing with or being coached by) would you say had a great influence or impact on you as a coach today?

BK: Again, my dad. He’s number 1. I’m a big soccer guy, too. I might have been a better soccer player than a hockey player. My soccer coaches were a big part of my development as a coach as well. I grew up in the Scottish community in Winnipeg and I had some Scottish coaches growing up and they were integral. It’s a different sport but same skill, same passion, same love of the game.

DA: Which former player stands out as one of your favorites to coach or to have around the rink every day?

BK: You know, I don’t want to do any dis-service to any one guy. I’ve had a lot of great characters and a lot of great people that have over the years, come and gone. Every year there’s new groups that have new personalities. That’s a real love for me, the personalities in the game, the personal relationships you develop. I think it goes back to my coach mentor, in a lot of ways was Andy Murray. Through Hockey Canada and through a lot of the things Andy has done over the years, one thing he shared with me and shared with coaches in Hockey Manitoba, was that kids don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. I’ve held that close to my heart as my philosophy.

DA: If you could coach an NHL team, which team would it be and why?

BK: Oh boy. I’d have to go with my Boston Bruins, actually. I grew up loving the Boston Bruins in the ’70’s. I could tell you every guy on those championship teams in 1970 and ’72. So, I would say Boston for that reason. I’ve had my heart strings pulled because my younger brother Mike played for Montreal for a lot of years and won a cup in Montreal. Obviously, growing up as a Boston fan, I couldn’t stand Montreal. I don’t use the “H” word very often in my life but I hated Montreal back then. So, then it became a situation for me where when my Bruins played my brothers Canadiens, I was hoping Boston would win 3-2 and my brother would get a goal and an assist in a losing cause. So, I’d say Boston because it was my favorite team growing up.

DA: In a post-game interview, which question do you like answering the least?

BK: We don’t do a whole lot of post-game interviews, to be honest with you. You know, I don’t mind at all talking with the media. It doesn’t bother me a whole lot. I like working with the media, they are promoting the game and its free promotion. I try and make a response as best we can to provide a news outlet with a good piece of work.

DA: Why do you like coaching for the organization you do?

BK: I got into this gig this year… I wasn’t about to drag my family around the globe when the kids were younger. My kids are 26, 24, 22 now. I wasn’t going to globe trot to pursue my coaching dreams. I wanted to stay in Winnipeg. Wanted to raise my family in Winnipeg. Both sets of grandparents are in Winnipeg so the support system was there. I was able to cobble out a career. We’re not a wealthy family but we’re a comfortable family. This job came up this year and for the first time, I left my family. My wife and kids are in Winnipeg. This opportunity really intrigued me. I was with the Blues for a lot of year and the ownership, there were some differences that made it clear I wouldn’t be a part of that group. This chance in OCN came up and quite frankly, they’ve been awful for a couple years. This is a chance for me to come into an organization and work with some coaches that I’m familiar with in Greg Hunter and Nic Rusak, also Kris Menard our director of player personal and head scout. The challenge for us is we want to return this organization back to the glory days and championship years.

DA: What do you like about the town/city you coach for?

BK: This community has a tremendous history. They were almost spoiled to a point because 4 of the first 6 years they were champions. That’s almost unheard of. We’re looking forward to providing this community with more positive things within the hockey program. And, quite frankly, working with the Northern region was really intriguing for me. The region has always been really passionate about its development. We’ve done hockey camps in Thompson and Churchill and up in Grandview and Dauphin. The region itself has had a lot of good players and it’s been getting a bit thin on its development right now so I thought it was a good opportunity to mentor some of the coaches up in this region.

DA: Who’s a current player on your team you feel deserves more attention from fans around the league? (This will be used for a future 12 Takes story).

BK: We’ve got a couple Western Leaguers in our group right now. Evan Herman is someone who’s joined our group, he’s from The Pas and he’s playing for the Prince Albert Raiders. Certainly, when we get back playing and I’m hoping he can resume his playing time for PA because that means the Western League is a go, but boy, since he’s been a part of our group, he’s a dynamo. He’s just a ball of energy on skates. He’s got really good skill, he’s busy, he’s passionate and diligent. He’s a guy that’s been a tremendous addition to our group. He’s a great role model to our group. He’s taken the step to the next level and his passion to become a pro. Great to see him within our group right now and hopefully our guys will take note of.

Roeland & Mahoney selected to officiate 2021 IIHF WJC

Courtesy of Hockey Manitoba

WINNIPEG – Manitobans Kelsey Mahoney (linesman) and Brett Roeland (referee) have been selected to officiate the 2021 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship which is being hosted in Edmonton, Alberta between December 25th, 2020 – January 5th, 2021.

Brett Roeland is a current referee in the MJHL while Kelsey Mahoney is a former linesman and referee in the league.

This is the first time that both Mahoney, 33 and Roeland, 27, have been selected to officiate at the prestigious tournament, which is a showcase of some of the best Under-20 players in the world.  This year’s World Junior Championship will be held without spectators in a single-venue in Edmonton as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s obviously something I’ve really worked for the last 10 years to try to get this assignment so it’s very rewarding. It’s going to be a little different living in a bubble but I’m looking forward to it. It’s just going to be a lot of fun and I’m excited for it.” said Mahoney, the Director of Officiating for the Manitoba U18 AAA League.

Mahoney has been a linesman in the American Hockey League since 2015 and has also been a linesman in the Western Hockey League since 2010, and his WHL experience includes working the lines in four-straight WHL Championship Series between 2015-2018.  Mahoney’s previous IIHF experience includes being assigned to the 2018 IIHF Ice Hockey U20 World Championship Division II, Group B in Belgrade, Serbia and the 2017 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship Division III Group B in Mexico, Mexico City.

“It’s going to be completely a different atmosphere with no fans. There are going to be a lot of quality hockey players there with the NHL shutdown and there is a really good group of officials going,” Mahoney said. “Obviously Brett has worked really hard over the last couple of years with his fitness and his drive to make it to the NHL as a referee and it’s just going to be exciting to share this experience with another Manitoba guy.”

Brett Roeland spent last season refereeing in the American Hockey League and East Coast Hockey League (click here for Hockey Manitoba’s feature story on Roeland) and his previous IIHF experience includes officiating at the 2018 Hlinka Gretzky Cup in Edmonton and the World Under-17 Challenge in Fort St. John, British Columbia.

“I’m just looking forward to getting back on the ice at a high level especially after the way last season ended,” said Roeland. “Combined with the uniqueness of a bubble, I’m excited for the experience and know it will be something that I draw upon for the rest of my life. It’s a tournament that I’ve watched over the holidays ever since I can remember and I’m humbled and honoured to be able to represent the branch, everyone I grew up officiating with, and also my friends and family.”

Mahoney and Roeland will fly out to Edmonton on December 13th and will start working pre-season games on December 20th. The regular competition begins on Christmas Day.

Manitobans Seth Jarvis (Winnipeg, Carolina Hurricanes draft pick) and Daemon Hunt (Brandon, Minnesota Wild draft pick) have been invited to attend Hockey Canada’s National Junior Team Selection Camp in Red Deer, slated to begin on Monday November 16, 2020.

For more information on the 2021 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship, please visit HockeyCanada.ca, or follow along via social media on Facebook or Twitter.

Flyers treat billets to dinner

While the MJHL is on pause, players across the league are looking to keep busy.

For the Winkler Flyers Ryan Monias and Kyle Crewe, they decided to give back to their billets by making them a special dinner last week.

“We’re in code red here, we can’t skate so we got some extra time on our hands” Monias said. “We figured why not cook dinner for the billet family. Got home and went to work making tacos for the family.”

While he may not be a master chef, Crewe says he knows his way around the kitchen a little bit. “I can cook eggs and a little bit more stuff. I took food class in high school but I’m not much of a cook.”

Monias also does what he can in the kitchen. “I try my best. I wouldn’t say I’m a good cook but if there’s instructions, I think I can follow them pretty good.”

The billet brothers came together to make the taco night decision. “It’s a great way to come together with the billets.” Crewe adds. “There’s six people in total in the house so it’s lots of fun. There is never a dull moment.”

Working together on the ice is one thing but working in the kitchen is a whole new world for the pair. They managed to work together pretty well, according to Monias. “Well, I mean, I just did my job and he did his job. I think we stuck to that pretty well because some of the stuff he was doing, I don’t think I could have done.”

Crewe agrees it was a good working dynamic. “We had our own jobs. Ryan was cooking the taco meat and I was on veggies and organizing everything on the table. We stayed in our own lane and it all came together at the end.”

The most critical part of taco’s is the meat and that responsibility went to Monias who explains his process. “I started cooking the hamburger… actually, it’s pretty simple. Added the taco seasoning and the onion powder. Cooked that up and then left the rest to Kyle.”

“I basically just got the cheese and shredded it.” Crewe explained his role in executing a perfect taco night. “Cut some lettuce and washed it. Pulled the salsa and everything out of the fridge and put it on the table. Popped some tortillas into the oven and bam.”

The key to any taco night is the shell. Soft or hard shell.

“We had a mixture” Crewe says. “I eat the hard tacos and everyone else had the soft. I got all the hard tacos to myself cause no one wanted them, so I was like ‘okay, I’ll eat all of these and get them out of the way.”

Here is how Ryan Monias and Kyle Crewe create their tacos.

Crewe: Hard taco shell, taco meat, cheese, lettuce and pack it all down with salsa.

Monias: Soft taco, taco meat, lettuce then the cheese, then the salsa. “I’m not the best at wrapping it up but I did my best.” Monias adds with a laugh.

Giving back to the billets meant a lot to Monias. “I’ve been here for almost two months and it’s my first time living away from home. They’ve been so great, it meant a lot to give them something.”

There are more kitchen adventures coming as Crewe details what they’re working on for the weeks to come.

“We’re thinking of homemade pizza. Down the road, we’re thinking of maybe baking some cookies… if we’re feeling up to it.”

12 Takes with Dave Anthony

Dave Anthony has been a broadcaster in the MJHL for the past 7 seasons. Every week, he’ll share a thought on the 12 teams in the MJHL and other things from across the league.

With the province going into Level Red, we knew things were going to change and it was announced the MJHL has paused all activity till 2021.

As a fan, I’m disappointed it had to come to this. As a rational human being, it’s a great way to display what they’ve said all along, that health and safety comes first.

I hope we can all do our part to helping the province and each other get through this.

Let’s be selfless. Let’s wear our mask and let’s make some adjustments to our lifestyles.

It’s not just for us but for those around us.

Take 1: All the teams across the MJHL did a great job putting something on social media about Remembrance Day. Teams across the league would normally have done something in the arena but because of no games, this was the next best way to show respect and it’s cool to see the different accounts put their own creativity on it. If you don’t follow all MJHL teams on Twitter, you should.

Take 2: The final game of 2020 was Saturday, November 7th, a win for the Waywayseecappo Wolverines. There are a few teams that were rolling before the pause and Wayway at 7-3 was one of them. Jaymes Knee broke out with a pair of goals and Wolverine fans are hoping he can carry that positive momentum over to 2021.

Take 3: The final goal of 2020 was scored by Mack Belinski of Wayway. The first goal of 2020 was scored by Carter Loney of the Steinbach Pistons on January 3rd.

Take 4: There will be 53 days between the last game of 2020 and the first game 2021 (fingers AND toes crossed) January 1st.

Take 5: I’m pretty sure the only way you’d stop Virden from winning is to literally pause the league. A come from behind win over Swan Valley marks that point as even down two in the third, they manage to come back and win. Hunter Cloutier has 6 goals and 11 assists at the pause. He’s put-up points in all but 2 games this year for the Oil Caps. Oh, he also had 5 in that last game vs the Stamps.

Take 6: Mo-vember causes are always great… even if the mustaches on some of the guys are not. It takes a lot to rock a dirty duster proudly. But it’s so much more than that for Steinbach Piston Zac Patrick. The story is up on the MJHL website and for anyone that’s had a family member impacted by cancer, it’s a must read. Wishing the Patrick family all the best. The Pistons are raising money for Cancer Care Manitoba and here’s the link to get involved. Right now, they’re over $4,300!

Take 7: If you’re looking for a hockey fix until the MJHL comes back, take a look at the Humboldt Broncos of the SJHL. There’s something really special happening there. They are a legit power house and easily top 3 if not THE top of the class in the entire CJHL.

Take 8: In Alberta, they’ve announced things will start up this weekend. Judging by the exhibition season where some teams played 10 games and others 2, safe to say nothing can really be figured out just yet. Except the Sherwood Park Crusaders and the Brooks Bandits are once again really, really good.

Take 9: The BCHL has had to delay things. They wanted to get started this weekend as well but COVID ruined that. The league announced they’ve cancelled 7 games between Nov. 13th and 21st. Welcome to the canceled games club, BCHL. It sucks. You’re gonna hate it.

Take 10: If you’re still looking for a hockey fix, why not learn a little about hockey history? Go watch the movie Miricle, it’s a classic. If you can find it, the CBC did a documentary style movie on the ’72 Summit Series which is fantastic. Heck, watch anything about the ’72 Summit Series and you’ll be happier for it.

Take 11: I fully support the idea of their being 2 Masters ever year. If you had plans for Saturday and Sunday that do not involve couching and golf, you need to cancel them and sit on the couch and watch golf. Especially if Tiger is in the hunt. Does anyone wear red on Sunday better?

Take 12: Speaking of the Masters, shoutout to former MJHL’er Scott Mikoski who put together a great Masters pool filled with current and former players. The winning’s are high but the bragging rights among the ones involved are even higher. Yes, I’m involved and yes, I took Dechambeau…. no Tiger either…. not liking my chances.

A message from the Commissioner

To our Fans, Sponsors & Hockey Community…

The Manitoba Junior Hockey League along with all of you have been faced with an unprecedented set of circumstances which challenge our way of life.

Along with all Manitoba Businesses and Community groups we worked shoulder to shoulder with our Government Liaisons and Public Health Authorities to put in place protocols that would keep our employee’s, players, and patrons safe.

We worked diligently with Hockey Canada, Sport Manitoba and Hockey Manitoba to put in extensive Hockey specific protocols which would allow us to Return to Play in a safe manner, while balancing the Social/Mental/Physical health and safety of our Players, Staff and general public.

We have shown without question that the Manitoba Junior Hockey League can offer hockey in a safe environment.

Since early summer, we worked diligently to put develop a phased in approach for Return to Play Protocols which have been incorporated by minor hockey and across the Junior Hockey Leagues in Canada.

We have been leaders throughout through our efforts to help allow hockey to be played in a safe and structured environment.

We were the first Junior Hockey League in Canada to receive approvals across the various regulating authorities to resume the game of hockey.

All of our member teams have been successful in their contribution to the Social, Mental, Physical, and economic fabric of our Communities.

We are going to regroup, refocus, and reflect on what has worked well this season to date and areas for improvement.

We appreciate your support and understanding when we return better than ever.

Kevin Saurette
MJHL Commissioner

MJHL pauses hockey activities until 2021

WINNIPEG, MB – The Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL) has announced that all hockey activities have been paused effective immediately until the beginning of 2021.

As of 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 12, the entire province of Manitoba has moved to the Critical level (red) on the #RestartMB Pandemic Response System to halt COVID-19 transmission and protect Manitoba’s citizens.  These Public Health Orders will remain in effect until 11:59 p.m. on December 11, 2020 at minimum.

The tentative date planned for hockey activities to resume is Friday, January 1st, 2021 which would be dependent upon public health guidance as outlined in the #RestartMB Pandemic COVID-19 Response System.

Thank you for your continued support and understanding as the MJHL along with entire province of Manitoba works through this challenging time.

Please stay tuned for upcoming schedule announcements in the coming weeks.

Stay safe!

For all media inquiries, please email media@mjhlhockey.ca

MJHL Power Rankings | 2020-21 Week 5


  1. (8-0-1-0) Previous: 1st
    The Virden Oil Capitals took part in one game last week and were successful, beating the Swan Valley Stampeders 5-4 at Tundra Oil & Gas Place.
    Schedule this week: OFF
    Player to watch: (F) Hunter Cloutier – 2G, 3A in 1GP last week.
  2. (5-0-0-1) Previous: 2nd
    The Winnipeg Blues did not play last week.
    Schedule this week: OFF
    Player to watch:NA  
  3. (5-1-0-1) Previous: 4th
    The Steinbach Pistons did not play last week.
    Schedule this week: OFF
    Player to watch: NA
  4. (7-3-0-0) Previous: 6th
    A couple wins has the Waywayseecappo Wolverines climbing the standings. They are now up to 4th in the league standings after two wins over Neepawa.
    Schedule this week: OFF
    Player to watch: (D) Chad Nychuk – 4A in 2GP last week. 
  5. (4-3-0-1) Previous: 6th
    The Portage Terriers did not play last week.
    Schedule this week: OFF
    Player to watch: NA
  6. (5-4-0-0) Previous: 5th
    One game and one loss for the Swan Valley Stampeders. After a hot start to the season Swan Valley has now dropped four of their last five.
    Schedule this week: OFF
    Player to watch: (F) Carter Cockburn – 2G in 1GP last week.
  7. (1-4-1-0) Previous: 7th
    The OCN Blizzard did not play last week.
    Schedule this week: OFF
    Player to watch: NA 
  8. (3-3-0-0) Previous: 8th
    The Dauphin Kings did not play last week.
    Schedule this week: OFF
     Player to watch: NA   
  9. (3-5-0-0) Previous: 9th
    The Selkirk Steelers did not play last week.
    Schedule this week: OFF
    Player to watch: NA
  10. (3-5-0-0) Previous: 10th
    The Winkler Flyers did not play last week.
    Schedule this week: OFF
    Player to watch: (F) Kolton Shindle – 3G in 2GP last week.
  11. (2-6-2-0) Previous: 11th
    Neepawa played in two contests last week but dropped them both, falling 4-3 and 6-1 to the Waywayseecappo Wolverines.
    Schedule this week: OFF
    Player to watch: (F) Will Highet – 2G in 2GP last week.
  12. (0-4-0-1) Previous: 12th
    The Winnipeg Freeze did not play last week.
    Schedule this week: OFF
    Player to watch: NA    

Lest we forget | Turnbull Memorial Trophy

Upon the conclusion of each MJHL championship series, the Turnbull Memorial Trophy is awarded to the team who comes away victorious.

Astoundingly as one of the oldest trophies in junior hockey, across the world, the Turnbull Memorial Trophy has been coveted for over 100 years.  Donated in 1920 in honour of Capt. Walter James “Ollie” Turnbull, Canadian Army (Field Artillery 10th Bde.) veteran of World War I.  Turnbull was killed in active duty in 1916 and was awarded the Military Cross for Bravery.

Son of James Holt and Sarah Turnbull, of Winnipeg, Manitoba; husband of Evangeline Bancroft Turnbull, of Vancouver, British Columbia.

Please consider making a donation to the Poppy Fund.

Movember an extra important cause for Pistons’ Patrick

Courtesy of Steinbach Pistons

The month of November, or ‘Movember’ as it’s now commonly known, may be a time where men get to grow out and dye their moustaches throughout the 30 days of the second last month of a calendar year.

But for Pistons defenceman Zac Patrick, Movember is a little more important this time around.

Patrick is currently in his first year with the Pistons after spending the majority of his career in the Western Hockey League with the Kootenay ICE. The 19-year-old d-man from Winnipeg currently has had a solid start to the 2020-21 season with a goal and an assist through eight games. And there’s been extra motivation for him knowing that he has a couple of special people watching every game back at home.

Patrick’s grandparents, Jim and Ruby, make sure that if they can’t make it out to games, which they haven’t been able to this season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, that they watch every single game of his on HockeyTV.

“(They’ve) been one of, if not the biggest supporters of me in hockey and in life,” Zac said. “From the start of my hockey all the way until now they always find a way to make the game or watching it on TV, and (Jim) was always there to drive me to practices or games if I ever needed it.

“Over the past couple of years with playing junior hockey away from home, he’s travelled across provinces to come watch me play,” he continued. “He always makes sure that he tells me how proud of me he is to see me play.”

But things began to change for the Patrick family this past July, when Jim was diagnosed with stomach cancer that has now spread.

“He’s just been staying at home on the couch for most of the day, as he’s been gradually getting weaker over the past month,” Zac explained. “He’s been a role model for me in my life because he’s always been such a kind, happy man who’s always smiling and never fails to put a smile on other’s faces, and making sure everyone is happy and enjoying themselves. Even now when he isn’t doing well, he’s always doing that.”

When the team kickstarted their Movember campaign last week, Patrick was one of the first in the dressing room to quickly jump on board. Movember is a cause around the world that raises awareness about men’s health issues, such as cancer, mental health, and even suicide awareness as well.

Patrick says it means the world to him and his family knowing that the Pistons and his teammates are fighting this sickness. “Especially now being away from home and with COVID, at times I feel helpless in the way that I can’t be with him other than on FaceTime. It does take a toll not knowing what to do or how to help, but with knowing the whole organization is doing their part to raise awareness and money for cancer, I’m really appreciative and proud to be a part of the difference.”

The Pistons have currently raised just over $3,500 after starting to collect donations last week Tuesday. Three brand-new special edition Movember jerseys, designed by local graphic and jersey guru Tyson Kehler at Fifth Corner Graphic Design, have been created. The largest donor to the team’s Movember page, one random donor, and the Piston player who has raised the most will get the opportunity to take these sweaters home at the end of the month.

But even in spite of that, Patrick urges those who are looking to donate, or may be unsure, that every little bit helps those who are battling cancer, including his grandpa. “Helping to fund research into cancer is invaluable to families who have been and are being affected by it,” he explained. “Like I said before, it’s a very heart wrenching feeling watching a family member have to go through this and I wouldn’t want anyone else to have to go through this.

“By raising money for this cause, you are helping the cause of preventing more families from having to go through this experience, and you would be making a difference. No matter the amount.”

Click the link below to donate to the Pistons Movember page, and help families like the Patrick family in the fight against cancer and men’s health issues.

https://ca.movember.com/team/2393751

MJHL provides a further update regarding regional restrictions

Following the below decision announced by Hockey Manitoba on Monday, November 2:

The Hockey Manitoba Board of Directors announced that all hockey teams and individuals (players, team staff and officials) residing in the Winnipeg Metropolitan Region are ineligible to participate in hockey programming effective immediately.

The above restrictions include travelling outside of all regions identified as Critical (Red) to participate in sanctioned hockey activities.

This was the direction provided to all member teams internally and was outlined in a statement made publicly Monday afternoon by the MJHL.

As such, any hockey activity that takes place outside the above Hockey Manitoba restrictions for regions identified as Critical (Red) is not permitted and is not sanctioned by Hockey Manitoba, the governing body of the MJHL.

Any teams or individuals who participate(d) in hockey activities outside of the above restrictions would be choosing to do so in an un-sanctioned environment outside of Hockey Manitoba and MJHL jurisdiction.

The MJHL will provide no further public statement regarding the restrictions outlined above.

In response to the announcement made on Tuesday, November 10, that the entire province of Manitoba will move into Level Red or critical on Thursday, November 12, the MJHL Board of Governors will be meeting on Wednesday, November 11 to further discuss the current situation – Please stay tuned for important announcements in the upcoming days.

MJHL provides current COVID-19 status update

To date, the MJHL has recorded four positive test results involving two unrelated organizations since team hockey activities began in early September.

The first organization had one player test positive who was exposed to the virus outside of the team cohort and community.  The asymptomatic individual immediately went into self-isolation and all potential close contacts were notified.  To date there have been no further positive cases associated with the individual.  All identified close contacts are currently in self-isolation while continuing to self monitor for symptoms as instructed by public health.  All games involving the organization have been postponed until the necessary self-isolation period is completed.  No further positive cases are expected involving this situation.

The second organization has had three individuals test positive.  It is not yet determined by public health if the cases are related or if they were exposed to the virus outside of the team cohort environment and community.  The organization proactively instructed all potential close contacts to self-isolate in advance of receiving test results due to the individuals experiencing flu like symptoms.  All identified close contacts are currently in self-isolation while continuing to self monitor for symptoms as instructed by public health.  All games involving the organization have been postponed until the necessary self-isolation period is completed.  No further cases are expected regarding this situation.

The affected individuals are feeling well and are expected to be fit to return upon resumption of their individual schedules.

Each organization continues to follow the MJHL Return to Play Guidelines, current Manitoba Public Health Orders while working closely with public health officials.

MJHL Facilities have and continue to receive Public Health audits.  The reports received contained minor concerns which have been addressed with each facility.

The MJHL will continue to provide periodic updates going forward.

The MJHL respectfully requests that the privacy of all individuals and organizations be adhered to and that stigmatization of any individual or organization be avoided at all times.  All individuals in the MJHL have been encouraged to come forward when having symptoms or being identified as a potential close contact to exposure.  The MJHL is very proud of all the individuals to date who have came forward and expect and encourage individuals to continue to come forward with any potential concerns.

Public Health are the only informed authority to provide public information via daily bulletins on possible exposure, close contact to exposure or the declaration of an outbreak.  The MJHL will adhere to these Public Health Protocols concerning any COVID related public announcement.

Thank you for your continued support and understanding.

MJHL provides regional restriction updates

MJHL teams have moved into the first planned break week of the regular season with no games currently planned for the upcoming weekend at this time – MJHL game action is set to resume on Friday, November 20th.

The Manitoba Junior Hockey League made the decision to significantly reduce the 2020/21 schedule this season while also implementing self-imposed breaks knowing the significant challenges that would be faced throughout the season.  The implementation of breaks have proven essential to provide flexibility to the schedule and to provide a necessary buffer for teams to recover from COVID-19 implications, postponements and/or weather related disruption.

As per the announcement by Manitoba’s public health officials this past Friday regarding the Southern Health-Santé Sud Region joining the Winnipeg Metro Region in being upgraded to Critical – Red under the Pandemic Response System:

Effective Monday, November 9, 2020.

  • All casinos, VLTs, recreational facilities, group sports, arcades, bowling alleys, all indoor and outdoor sport facilities, museums, galleries, libraries, movie theatres and concert halls are closed.

MJHL teams currently affected by the above restrictions and whose locations reside within critical red regions include:

Winnipeg Metro Region:  Winnipeg Blues, Winnipeg Freeze and Selkirk Steelers

Southern Health-Sante Region:  Steinbach Pistons, Winkler Flyers and Portage Terriers

These teams are not permitted at this time to travel outside the region to participate in sanctioned hockey activities.

As per the #ResponseMB Pandemic Response System as it relates to the rest of the province, the remaining six MJHL organizations are located in regions that have been moved to Restricted (Orange).

Sports and Recreational Facilities:

  • Fitness clubs, gyms and training facilities, martial arts, gymnastic clubs, yoga studios and dance, theatre and music schools must remain at occupancy levels of 25 per cent or one person per 10 square metres, whichever is less.
  • Contact information must be collected for all attendees.
  • Mask use is required except when doing physical activity.

This includes:

Prairie Mountain Health Region: Neepawa Natives, Virden Oil Capitals, Waywayseecappo Wolverines, Dauphin Kings, and Swan Valley Stampeders

Northern Health Region: OCN Blizzard

The MJHL Board of Governors will be meeting this week to further discuss the situation – Please stay tuned for upcoming schedule announcements in the coming days.

As always, we appreciate the continued support of the entire MJHL community as we continue to navigate through these unprecedented and difficult challenges together.

The MJHL would also like to acknowledge the outstanding support and commitment provided by league corporate partners in the midst of these difficult times.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

For all media inquiries, please email media@mjhlhockey.ca

Players of the Month | OCT 2020

October 2020   |  The Manitoba Junior Hockey League is pleased to announce the Players of the the Month supported by IBAM, Farmery Estate Brewery, RBC, APTN, and Manitoba Pork:

IBAM Rookie:  Hughie Hooker, Winnipeg Blues (D/’03) 6GP, 2G-5A, 7PTS
Honourable Mentions: A.Ingram (SEL), Q.Mulder (SVS)

Farmery Brewery Goaltender: Kyle Kozma, Virden Oil Capitals (G/’01) 6W, 194SVS, 2.42GAA, .919SV%
Honourable Mentions: C.Hatfield (WPB), C.Fines (POR)

APTN Defenceman: Logan Rands, Virden Oil Capitals (D/’01) 7GP, 1G-7A, 8PTS
Honourable Mentions: J.Betcher (SVS), P.Malchuk (DAU)

RBC Player of the Month: Mackenzie Belinski, Waywayseecappo Wolverines (F/’00) 8GP, 7G-7A, 14PTS, 5PP-PTS, 2SH-PTS, 2GWG

Honourable Mentions: B.Foreman (WPB), H.Delorme (SVS)

MB Pork Peak Performer: Ty Naaykens, Steinbach Pistons (F/’01) – While providing consistent leadership by example on & off the ice for the Pistons, Naaykens produced 3G & 9A in 8 games and was also named Steinbach’s Player of the Month.

Blues Ride Inside fundraising efforts reach $20K

When the Winnipeg Blues were shut down this earlier this week, it became quite apparent that the team would need to find a unique way to stay connected during difficult times.

Look no further than the 2020 Ride Inside Wheel with the Wheelers – A cancer fundraiser led by Winnipeg Jets captain, Blake Wheeler that is aimed toward supporting PROFYLE at CancerCare Manitoba. Short for PRecision Oncology For Young peopLE, this initiative gives children, adolescents and young adults who are out of conventional treatment options another chance to beat their cancer.

“At the start of the year we were thinking of team building activities we could do,” shared Blues Head Coach & General Manager, Taras McEwen. “It became evident, that with the restrictions in place we would have to think outside the box. Brian Foreman (Brayden Foreman’s dad) approached us about this great initiative and we jumped at the idea of getting the players together and raising money for a great cause.”

“As a team, we were able to work together on something positive, something that made a difference. Our players and staff have a competitive spirit which has helped us to exceed our expectations over and over again. I am very proud of what we have accomplished,” McEwen concluded.

According to McEwen, Blues captain, Brayden Foreman was a big part of the teams success during their fundraising efforts. When asked about why it means so much to the Blues, Foreman was quick to point to the impact cancer has had on so many members of the team.

“I think most people you would talk to on our team have been affected one way or another through cancer whether it’s a family member or a friend and when we saw that Blake Wheeler was being a front runner for this initiative, it was really cool for us to see that,” Foreman explained.

“I don’t think any of us really imagined that we would raise over twenty thousand dollars collectively as a team. Our original goal was to reach ten thousand but we continued to see the generosity and that number grew and grew. It was really incredible to reach that twenty thousand dollar mark.”

When it was all said and done, the Blues raised an outstanding $20,300 that will go directly towards helping Cancer Care Manitoba.

“It’s tough on everybody with our season at a bit of a stand still right now, especially with the start our team got off to but we’ve all been keeping in touch whether it’s playing video games together or just checking up on everybody on a day to day basis. We’re all very excited for when we get the news to start again,” Foreman finished.

12 Takes with Dave Anthony

Dave Anthony has been a broadcaster in the MJHL for the past 7 seasons. Every week, he’ll share a thought on the 12 teams in the MJHL and other things from across the league.

Before we get started, something that obviously needs to be talked about.

We all knew there was a pretty good chance the MJHL would be affected by COVID-19 this season.

It happened, it was expected and the MJHL will continue to move forward as it has since September in a safe, structured and responsible manner.

Take 1: The OCN Blizzard must have been watching Happy Gilmore over the past couple weeks as they’ve learned to harness energy, block bad. Off to a dreadful start to the season and down 4-1 in the first period to the Dauphin Kings, the Blizzard went to work and scored 6 straight goals to grab their first victory. Congrats to Billy Keane on his first win as Head Coach and GM of the Blizzard.

Take 2: Dauphin was on the other side of that comeback and while I’m sure their disappointed, one player they can’t be anything but thrilled with is Charles Massey. The Quebec native has exploded onto the MJHL scene after spending last year in the United States Premier Hockey League. He has 7 goals in 6 games including scoring in 5 straight contests. He hopes to play college hockey and if he keeps up this pace, he’ll have his choice of programs.

Take 3: Sticking with Dauphin, I wondered why it seems Nakodan Greyeyes has been so quiet to start the season… a couple of clicks on mjhlhockey.ca and that question was quickly answered. He’s played in one game. He had an assist. He’s a point-per-game player. So basically, he’s still Nakodan Greyeyes.

Take 4: Waywayseecappo is a bit of a hidden gem when it comes to rinks in the MJHL. Not sure how many fans from other teams have gone to see a game there. It also helps the team has been playing pretty well of late. Other teams have to earn what they get from the Wolverines. How about Mack Belinski who has 14 points in 8 games. Another guy to keep an eye on is former Parkland Ranger Tyson Zimmer who at 16-year-old has 5 points through 8 games. The Russell product was picked by the Brandon Wheat Kings 6th overall in 2019 and he’s learning from some solid vets in Wayway.

Take 5: Great touch by the Stamps putting a poppy on their helmets. Watching the fight in that division will be fascinating all season long. Gotta think that Swan goes where Mikael Foucher takes them and betting on the 20-year-old from St-Hubert, Quebec is a smart investment. Coming off a breakout season last year, he hasn’t missed a beat. His GAA is 1.35 and SV% .957 jump off the stats page. The Stampeders can score but it’ll be goal prevention against some major players on Dauphin, Waywayseecappo and OCN that will tell the tale. Foucher makes a lot of saves he should and a lot he shouldn’t but somehow does. Coaches dream keeper.

Take 6: Does anyone work as hard and keep as many things balanced as Benny Walchuk? The guy is just all over the place. From Swan Valley to the SJHL’s Melville Millionaires and Yorkton Terriers, all this guy knows is how to work hard and love hockey. Benny is taking part in Mo-Vember. Check out his twitter, @BennyGX94Sports to donate to his page. It’s a great cause and like trying to grow a sweet mustache, every little bit helps.

Take 7: New Piston Michael King exploded for a natural hat trick against the Steelers. It was the first ever hat trick in a Pistons debut plus it was the fastest in franchise history, breaking Hayden Goderis’ record from 2013-14. All three goals happened in the second period. He picked up another goal in the second period of the next game. Also, an assist. My math says that’s 5 points in 2 games. He’s fit in magically with Codey Behun and Ty Naaykens. They really bring out the best in each other and its fun to watch… unless you’re the opponent. Then there is Matt Osadick and Rylan Bettens to contend with. Long story short, Steinbach is pretty deep upfront.

Take 8: Selkirk got a boost in the return of Tanner Pochipinski. Having to quarantine is tough mentally for anyone. When you’re far from home and can’t play hockey… the reason you’re there in the first place, I can’t imagine what that’s like. Pochipinski played on Saturday night and it had to feel good. The Steelers could use him too. Connor Roulette broke out for two points but the Steelers need scoring. They have the talent on the roster to get it and their goalie holds them in. But they got to get the power play going. 2 for 21 just won’t cut it. They’re too talented to have that number stay that low.

Take 9: Portage had to move their tribute to Geno because of provincial Covid restrictions. The team released that due to uncertainty of Covid, they do not have a future date determined. Here’s hoping it’s sooner rather than later. The decision to postpone must have been hard but giving Geno the tribute, he deserves, with what friends and family could be in attendance, means more than the date. Also, Cody Buhler, sales and marketing director for the Terriers who also does their play-by-play, celebrated a birthday this week, so happy birthday!

Take 10: Teams do the 7th skater and it’s always great. Neepawa let Chance Duggan right down where the players were getting ready to come out and even got a picture next to one of the guys. Standing on the blue line is a thrill at any age but especially for young kids. Love to see it. Also, looking at the video Neepawa posted earlier this week, keep your head up when Rhys Bremner is on the ice. This kid hits like a truck.

Take 11: Don’t know if fans will be able to buy tickets but if you’re in Virden or playing the Oil Capitals soon and you have the chance, snatch them up. Seeing Daemon Hunt in person is sure to be worth it. The defender who went 65th overall in the NHL Draft to the Minnesota Wild has 3 goals and 4 points in two games from the back end. Also, check out the plays of the week for a sweet celly. When you score like Hunt, you can celly hard.

Take 12: November is a time to remember and give thanks for those who’ve served. Scott Stroh, the man behind Junior Night In Manitoba, served in the military for 16 years. He’s been open about how things have not been easy at times. Scott is one of the most passionate people in the country when it comes to his love for hockey at the junior level. He travels around, takes pictures, tells stories and gives fans a unique perspective on the game. Find his work on twitter @juniornightMB. Keep up the great work, Scott.

And thank you for your service. #LestWeForget

MJHL Schedule & Precautionary Health Update

The Waywayseecappo Wolverines and Neepawa Natives have rescheduled their December 18/19 games to this upcoming weekend.  Games will now be played Friday, November 6th in Neepawa (7:30 PM) and Saturday, November 7th in Waywayseecappo (7:00PM).

The Swan Valley Stampeders and Virden Oil Capitals have rescheduled their March 5th game to this upcoming weekend.  Game will now be played Friday, November 6th in Virden (7:30 PM)

The Dauphin Kings have postponed their two upcoming games vs the Portage Terriers scheduled for this weekend due to precautionary public health concerns – Reschedule date TBD.

The Steinbach Pistons have postponed their two upcoming games vs the Winkler Flyers scheduled for this weekend due to precautionary public health concerns – Reschedule date TBD.

The Manitoba Junior Hockey League made the decision to significantly reduce the 2020/21 schedule this season while also implementing self-imposed breaks knowing the significant challenges that would be faced throughout the season.  The implementation of breaks have proven essential to provide flexibility to our schedule and to provide a necessary buffer for teams to recover from COVID-19 implications, postponements and/or weather related disruption.

Each organization is following the MJHL return to play guidelines, Manitoba public health orders while working closely with public health officials for their direction.

Public Health are the only informed authority to provide public information via daily bulletins on possible exposure, close contact to exposure or the declaration of an outbreak.  We will adhere to these Public Health Protocols concerning any COVID related public announcement.

Thank you for your support and understanding.

For all media inquiries, please email media@mjhlhockey.ca

MJHL Power Rankings | 2020-21 Week 4


  1. (7-0-1-0) Previous: 1st
    Two more wins last week for the Virden Oil Capitals as they continue to go without a regulation loss. They took out Winkler 5-3 and 3-2 last week.
    Schedule this week: @ OCN Friday and Saturday
    Player to watch: (D) Daemon Hunt – 3G, 1A in 2GP last week.
  2. (5-0-0-1) Previous: 2nd
    Due to COVID-19 the Winnipeg Blues didn’t hit the ice last week but remain near the top of the standings with a strong .917 winning percentage.
    Schedule this week: @ Wayway on Friday & vs. Wayway on Sunday
    Player to watch:NA  
  3. (5-1-0-1) Previous: 4th
    The Steinbach Pistons grabbed two wins over the Selkirk Steelers last week, both in impressive fashion.
    Schedule this week: @ Winkler on Friday & vs. Winkler on Saturday
    Player to watch: (F) Matt Osadick – 2G, 3A in 2GP last week.  
  4. (5-3-0-0) Previous: 6th
    A couple big divisional wins for the Waywayseecappo Wolverines over the Swan Valley Stampeders this past weekend.
    Schedule this week: vs. Winnipeg Blues on Friday & @ Winnipeg Blues on Saturday
    Player to watch: (F) Rayman Bassi – 2G, 2A in 2GP last week. 
  5. (5-3-0-0) Previous: 3rd
    The Stampeders slipped a little with a couple losses to the Wolverines but they remain tied with Wayway in the standings with a .625 winning percentage.
    Schedule this week: @ Selkirk Friday and Saturday
    Player to watch: (F) Brad Fortin – 2G in 2GP last week.
  6. (4-3-0-1) Previous: 10th
    The Terriers snagged two key victories over the weekend as they took down Neepawa. The victories helped bump them back up into the standings, adjusting their win percentage to .563.
    Schedule this week: vs. Dauphin on Friday & @ Dauphin on Saturday
    Player to watch: (F) Parker Johnson – 2G, 1A in 2GP last week.
  7. (1-4-1-0) Previous: 11th
    Just one game last week for the OCN Blizzard but they managed to get their first win of the season under their belts.
    Schedule this week: vs. Dauphin on Tuesday & vs. Virden on Friday and Saturday
    Player to watch: (F) Aiden Litke – 2G, 1A in 1GP last week. 
  8. (3-3-0-0) Previous: 5th
    The Dauphin Kings fell 7-4 in their lone game of the week. They’ll hit the ice for three this week as they look to make up some games on the rest of the league.
    Schedule this week: @OCN on Tuesday, @ Portage on Friday & vs. Portage on Saturday
    Player to watch: (F) Grady Hobbs – 1G, 1A in 1GP last week.   
  9. (3-5-0-0) Previous: 7th
    Selkirk dropped two games with the Steinbach Pistons last week.
    Schedule this week: vs. Swan Valley Friday and Saturday
    Player to watch: (F) Conner Roulette – 1G, 1A in 2GP last week.
  10. (3-5-0-0) Previous: 8th
    Two straight losses to the Virden Oil Capitals have the Winkler Flyers dropping to a .375 win percentage. They’ll renew their rivalry with Steinbach this week.
    Schedule this week: vs. Steinbach on Friday & @ Steinbach on Saturday
    Player to watch: (F) Kolton Shindle – 3G in 2GP last week.
  11. (2-4-2-0) Previous: 9th
    After a win over Portage earlier in the month the Neepawa Natives came up short two the Terriers twice over the weekend.
    Schedule this week: vs. Winnipeg Freeze on Friday & @ Winnipeg Freeze on Saturday
    Player to watch: (F) Carter Sawchuk – 1G in 2GP last week. 
  12. (0-4-0-1) Previous: 12th
    Like the Winnipeg Blues the Freeze were idle last week due to the changes on the COVID-19 landscape.
    Schedule this week: @ Neepawa on Friday & vs. Neepawa on Saturday
    Player to watch: NA    

MJHL renews partnership with Recycle Everywhere

WINNIPEG, MB – The Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL) is excited to announce its continued partnership with Recycle Everywhere.

Through the agreement, Recycle Everywhere will continue to be featured on the MJHL Stars of the Week on web, social media and in each MJHL team facility.

“The Canadian Beverage Container Recycling Association, and our Recycle Everywhere program, is proud to support junior hockey in Manitoba,” said Ken Friesen, Executive Director. “The role the young athletes play in their community extends far beyond the ice, that’s why we believe investing as a sponsor is so important. Our partnership with the MJHL has been beneficial throughout the years, and together we have grown awareness about the importance of recycling empty beverage containers.”

Throughout the years, Recycle Everywhere has been a strong supporter of the MJHL and its athletes, which supports the league and its ability to operate in communities across Manitoba.

For more information on Recycle Everywhere, please visit: https://www.recycleeverywhere.ca/ 

Stars of the Week | 2020-21 Week 4

Week 4, October 26 – November 1, 2020   |   The Manitoba Junior Hockey League Stars of the Week proudly presented by Recycle Everywhere:

Southeast Division: 

Rylan Bettens (FWD/’00) – Steinbach Pistons – 2GP, 2G – 3A, 5PTS

Honourable Mentions: M.King (STN), T.Naaykens (STN)

 

Interior Division: 

Daemon Hunt (DEF/’02) – Virden Oil Capitals – 2GP, 3G, 1A – 4PTS

Honourable Mentions: K.Shindle (WNK), H.Cloutier (VIR)

 

Northwest Division:

Mackenzie Belinski (FWD/’00) – Waywayseecappo Wolverines – 2GP, 4G, 3A – 7PTS

Honourable Mentions: C.Nychuk (WAY), R.Bassi (WAY)

MJHL public health update

This weeks scheduled games involving the OCN Blizzard have been postponed due to a public health concern.

The Manitoba Junior Hockey League is following our return to play guidelines while working closely with public health officials and following their direction.

Public Health are the only informed authority to provide public information via daily bulletins on possible exposure, close contact to exposure or the declaration of an outbreak.  We will adhere to these Public Health Protocols concerning any COVID related public announcement.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

MJHL updates current situation

On Monday, November 2, the Hockey Manitoba Board of Directors announced that all hockey teams and individuals (players, team staff and officials) residing in the Winnipeg Metropolitan Region are ineligible to participate in hockey programming effective immediately.

This weekends scheduled games involving the Winnipeg Blues, Winnipeg Freeze and Selkirk Steelers will be postponed – Reschedule date TBD.

All other MJHL games will continue as scheduled for the upcoming weekend.  The MJHL will then move into a planned self-imposed break week before games resume on November 20th.

The MJHL continues to support and follow all orders put forth by Public Health affecting our operations within Manitoba.

As an organization which operates within all regions of the province, we will continue to evaluate and make decisions based on current health orders along with the mental/physical health and well-being of our players, staff, and supporting communities.

This also involves constantly assessing the crucial cultural, societal, economic and mental health benefits our organizations provide within their supporting communities.

This balance has and will continue to require operational changes to our schedule and hockey activity protocols / procedures moving forward.  Each MJHL team/ownership group remains steadfast in their commitment to providing elite on and off ice development opportunities for MJHL players in a safe environment during this difficult time.

As always, we appreciate the continued support of the entire MJHL community as we continue to navigate through these unprecedented challenges together in a safe, structured and responsible manner.

The MJHL would also like to acknowledge the outstanding support and commitment provided by league corporate partners in the midst of these difficult times.

Schedule Update | OCN/DAU

The OCN Blizzard and Dauphin Kings have postponed their game scheduled for Saturday, October 31 due to poor driving conditions.

Saturday nights postponed game has been rescheduled to be played on Sunday, November 1 at 7:30 in Dauphin.

Schedule Update | WPB/WPF – SEL/STN

The Winnipeg Blues and Winnipeg Freeze have postponed their games scheduled for Friday, October 30 and Sunday, November 1 in Winnipeg. The games will be rescheduled to a later date.


The Steinbach Pistons at Selkirk Steelers game scheduled for Sunday, November 1st has been postponed.  Reschedule date TBD.

12 Takes with Dave Anthony

Dave Anthony has been a broadcaster in the MJHL for the past 7 seasons. Every week, he’ll share a thought on the 12 teams in the MJHL and other things from across the league.

Take 1: The Virden Oil Capitals who haven’t lost in regulation, added four more players on top of Connor Geekie (who scored his first MJHL goal vs the Flyers).  With a roster already at 24 before adding NHL draft pick Daemon Hunt (Moose Jaw Warriors), Grady Lane (Spokane Chiefs), Jake Poole (Kelowna Rockets) and Garrett Sambrook (Swift Current Broncos), somethings got to give. Head Coach Tyson Ramsey called it a “balancing act”. It will be just that as the Oil Caps balance winning now while keeping chemistry together for the 20 games that will remain after the WHL players head back.

Take 2: The team looking up at the Oil Caps in the standings and coming off back to back losses to Virden is the Winkler Flyers, who also managed to scoop up a pair of WHL transfers in forward Justin Svenson (Swift Current) and defender Jordan Chudley (Spokane Chiefs). Winkler also pulled off a trade with the Llyodminster Bobcats to bring in defenseman Jordan Wood. The short-term addition of Chudley and the 19-year-old Wood, should give the Flyers four 18-year-old defenders a little more time to develop.

A longtime coach has told me more than a few times that moving up from one level to the next is the hardest on defensemen. So, it’s a smart move by Jeff Jeanson to give Kelvin Cech the best chance to succeed long term with a young group on the blueline.

Take 3: Staying in the Interior Division, is there a coach in the MJHL having more fun on and off the ice then Ken Pearson with Neepawa? If he’s not biking around the streets of the town promoting a particular MJHL sponsor, showing off his sewing skills or cheering on the Tampa Bay Rays (sorry, Ken. Better luck next year), Pearson is pulling the franchise up by the boot straps. A 2-2-2 record doesn’t jump off the page but for a team that had 13 wins and 30 points last year, it’s an above average start. Adding 6’4 veteran goalie Thomson Phinney might turn into one of those quiet acquisitions that speaks the loudest down the stretch and into the playoffs.

Side note: I’m very much looking forward to the Neepawa name change. The decision to change the name seemed like an easy one to make but to step up and do it, says the team understands and wants to be part of a solution. I wonder if they have a name in place already or if they’ll take submissions from fans? How about the Neepawa Brewers?

Take 4: I’m far from an MJHL Insider or anything like that, but every now and again there are hints of things being done from around the league… Cole Dekoninck being traded to Portage was a complete surprise. It’s an interesting move for the Terriers who not only added the 20-year-old Dekoninck who has 115 games of MJHL experience under his belt, they also added forwards Noah Wagner and Dylan Winsor. It came at a price. Layne Toder was a lot to give up but as the old expression goes, you gotta give something to get something. Dekoninck should get quite a bit of ice time with the Terriers and after coming off a 21-goal season, could be primed for a similar year. Have to wonder if the Terriers view Dekoninck as a player for the year or as a piece to build up and move towards the trade deadline. He would have a few teams interested and would bring back a pretty good haul for a team looking to make moves with future success down the road in mind.

Take 5: Dekoninck’s former team the Dauphin Kings have been busy adding Toder and recently announcing they’ve added Tyson Kozak who is on the NHL Central Scouting “Players to Watch” list for the 2021 draft. While the additions and play on the ice has been impressive, perhaps the most impressive is their social media work. What the Kings have done with their “Free Looks” of warmups, the graphics of their mascot and now with posting pictures of their players as kids dressed up for Halloween, keeps fans engaged and shows the team having fun. I hope Christian Laughland in costume makes an appearance at some point.

Take 6: There are a few early season surprises in the MJHL this year and one that maybe shouldn’t have been is the Swan Valley Stampeders. A 5-1 start has opened eyes and demanded the respect they deserve. Haydn Delorme is tied for the league lead in points with 13 over his first six games. Alex Danis and Jackson Zloty are right near the top with 10 and 7 points respectively. Don’t recognize the names? You’re not alone as all three are first year MJHLer’s but they won’t be relatively unknown for long. A pair of games against the Waywayseecappo Wolverines awaits and pair of solid efforts could go a long way to keeping Swan near the top tier of MJHL teams. If not the very top.

Take 7: Speaking of Waywayseecappo, which people seemingly haven’t done enough, they are off to a fair 3 win and 3 loss start. Opening the season vs Dauphin and Swan Valley and coming through even through six games doesn’t get a lot of applause but also shouldn’t be a cause for concern. Players that will be expected to score, have and will continue too. Conrad Phillips, Mack Belinski and Gerrik Ripley are tops in that category for the team and will be most likely all year and all within a point or two of each other. But there’s not a dip after the top three. The Wolverines are a balanced team and that should bring success over the course of this shortened season.

Take 8: It doesn’t get much rougher than what’s happening in OCN. No regulation wins and only an overtime loss point through the first five games of the year. Getting Evan Herman (who had 7 points in 7 games for the Blizzard back in 2018-19) and Justin Nauchbar (who had 31 points in 55 games back in 2016-17) should help immensely. If not only in the win column but in the confidence column.  While I question having WHL players come down only for a short period of time, for the Blizzard, it could have lasting impressions. If Herman and Nauchbar come with the attitude of helping the team both on AND off the ice, it could really help a franchise in need of a boost. It’s a lot to ask of two players around for just a couple weeks, but if you’re the Blizzard, you got to take advantage.

Take 9: No Mikol Sartor? No Mitchell Joss? No worries for the Winnipeg Blues who are on fire with a 5-0-1 record and atop the Southeast Division. Despite losing their top two scorers from last year, Brayden Foreman and the emerging star Ethan Hersant have been shot out of a cannon to start the year. Hersant is tied for the league scoring lead with 13 points while Foreman is right there with 12 but perhaps the scoring pace of rookie Hughie Hooker that has been most impressive. The Winnipeg native has 2 goals and 7 point in 5 games. Last season, the leading scorer was head of second place by 22 points. This year, the Blues are showing a more balanced attack with 18 players already registering at least a point. Cooper Hatfield has to be the early favorite for MJHL Goalie of the Year with a 4-0 record, a GAA of 1.50 and SV% of .944 so if Winnipeg can keep up the team scoring and the lack of other teams scoring, they could be very, very dangerous.

Take 10: The Steinbach Pistons were dealt a blow before the season even started as it seemed like just a day after being named Captain for the 2020-21 season, veteran defenseman Curtis Ireland was shelved with a lower body injury that has kept him from seeing any game action to this point. Without Ireland, 16-year-old Sam Court has been given more opportunity and he’s run with it. He’s put up 3 points in 5 games and his defensive game has been steady as well. As Court finds his way in the MJHL, he’ll only get better and more relied upon, even as one of the youngest players in the league. The whole D-Core has been solid limiting scoring chances against in every game and when chances have gone against, the goalie duo of Simon Harkness and Thomas Couture have been there to answer the bell. As a team, Steinbach has only allowed more then 26 shots against once in their first five games.

Take 11: Back to back solid team wins has Selkirk’s confidence sky high. Getting to see them in person for the first time this past weekend, I can say that what Head Coach Hudson Friesen is selling, the players are buying. They’ve found enough offence when needed then have played lock down defense with outstanding goaltending as the cherry on top. With every season, there are new names people need to know and goalie William Desmarais is one that should leave opposing fans looking up at the ceiling and asking “how did that not go in?”.  As Travis Hensrud of Steinbach who looked to have a wide-open net on Saturday night until Desmarais snatched it out of mid-air with a beautiful second effort glove save. Desmarais is the real deal.

Take 12: Being a brand-new franchise is never easy. Take into account it was a bit of a quick start up and there’s a global pandemic, things were a bit stacked up against the Winnipeg Freeze right off the hop. Even with all that, the Freeze don’t take games off. Josh Green is molding and developing his young team but it will take time and there will be some tough lessons along the way. Goaltender Will Gurski’s numbers don’t reflect just how good this 18-year-old is. He’s a legit stud between the pipes.

Final thought

There are moments in a season that are bigger than hockey. More important that winning or losing. One of those moments is coming up in Portage on November 6th.

Geno Romanow, the longtime Terrier Trainer and Equipment Manager passed away suddenly in May. Geno was unlike any other. A true champion on and off the ice.

Prior to the game vs the Dauphin Kings at Stride Place, Geno will have a tribute video shown in his memory. A special touch by the Terriers to a man and family that has meant so much to the franchise over the years.

Lastly, I want to thank Erik Swar and Kevin Saurette from the MJHL for this opportunity. I am excited that we can look around the league and share thoughts about teams, players and more.

MJHL announces new partnership with APTN

WINNIPEG, MB – The Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL) is excited to announce a new partnership with APTN.

The MJHL and APTN are teaming up to help share the importance of inclusivity in the game of hockey through the APTN Hockey Hopes Program.

Each MJHL team will make two virtual school visits to First Nation and non-First Nation schools in their region, where players will read to a classroom, share the importance of inclusivity in hockey and answer questions from the curious students.

“Children are especially feeling the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, which is why we’re delighted to team up with the MJHL for this unique initiative,” said Monika Ille, CEO of APTN. “We look forward to seeing the APTN Hockey Hopes Program foster inclusivity, connection, inspiration and generate well-being among the students and players alike.”

Hundreds of young Indigenous men from across Canada have taken to the ice in the MJHL over the years and continue to greatly contribute to the success of the league. No matter your ethnicity, religion, socio-economic background or sexual orientation, the MJHL prides itself on ensuring an inclusive atmosphere for all players and their families.

“We are honoured to partner with APTN in the creation of the MJHL APTN Hockey Hopes Program.  The range of benefits this program will bring to hundreds of kids throughout the province is very rewarding as we appreciate and embrace the amazing diversity within the MJHL and the Province of Manitoba,” said Kevin Saurette, MJHL Commissioner.

For more information about APTN, visit their website: www.aptn.ca

MJHL Power Rankings | 2020-21 Week 3


  1. (5-0-1-0) Previous: 3rd
    Four straight wins have the Virden Oil Capitals atop this week’s MJHL Power Rankings. Over the weekend Virden beat Winkler twice, scoring 10 times.
    Schedule this week: @ Winkler on Friday & vs. Winkler on Saturday
    Player to watch: (F) Hunter Cloutier – 1G, 3A in 2GP last week.
  2. (5-0-0-1) Previous: 4th
    The Winnipeg Blues have now won three in a row. They took out their city rivals, the Winnipeg Freeze, 10-1 and 5-1 and remain without a regulation loss on the season.
    Schedule this week: @ Winnipeg Freeze on Friday & vs. Winnipeg Freeze on Sunday
    Player to watch: (F) Pearce Gare – 1G, 3A in 2GP last week.  
  3. (5-1-0-0) Previous: 1st
    The Swan Valley Stampeders suffered their first loss of the season on Friday but bounced back with another home ice win Saturday.
    Schedule this week: vs. Wayway on Friday & @ Wayway on Saturday
    Player to watch: (F) Haydn Delorme – 3G, 2A in 2GP last week. 
  4. (3-1-0-1) Previous: 2nd 
    Two losses in a row over the weekend saw the Pistons slip a little down the standings. Steinbach was able to gain a point in Friday’s 3-2 shootout loss to Selkirk.
    Schedule this week: vs. Selkirk on Friday & @ Selkirk on Sunday
    Player to watch: (F) Codey Behun – 1G, 1A in 1GP last week.
  5. (3-2-0-0) Previous: 6th
    The Dauphin Kings got just one of their two games in over the weekend, but they got the job done winning their second straight to get above .500 for the first time this season.
    Schedule this week: @ OCN on Friday & vs. OCN on Saturday
    Player to watch: (F) Charles Massey – 2G, 1A in 1GP last week.   
  6. (3-3-0-0) Previous: 7th
    Another split weekend for the Waywayseecappo Wolverines, this time they won at home and lost on the road to the Swan Valley Stampeders.
    Schedule this week: @ Swan Valley on Friday & vs. Swan Valley on Saturday
    Player to watch: (F) Conrad Phillips – 4G in 2GP last week.
  7. (3-3-0-0) Previous: 9th
    Two big wins over Steinbach bumped the Selkirk Steelers up to .500 after the third week of action. They’ll try for four more points against the Pistons this weekend.
    Schedule this week: @ Steinbach on Friday & vs. Steinbach on Sunday
    Player to watch: (F) Graeme Patrick – 1G, 1A in 2GP last week.
  8. (3-3-0-0) Previous: 5th
    The Flyers lost both of their games over the weekend, 5-3 and 5-2 to the Virden Oil Capitals. The division rivals will hook up for two more tilts this week.
    Schedule this week: vs. Virden on Friday & @ Virden on Saturday
    Player to watch: (F) Tanner Andrew – 2G, 1A in 2GP last week.
  9. (2-2-2-0) Previous: 8th
    The Natives were another team that picked up a split over the weekend. Both the Natives and Terriers won on the road with Neepawa grabbing their victory on Saturday, 4-2.
    Schedule this week: @ Portage on Friday & vs. Portage on Saturday
    Player to watch: (F) Rylan Gudnason – 2G, 1A in 2GP last week.
  10. (2-3-0-1) Previous: 10th
    As mentioned the Terriers and Natives split their weekend series. Portage was able to win 5-3 in Neepawa.
    Schedule this week: vs. Neepawa on Friday & @ Neepawa on Saturday
    Player to watch: (F) Tyson McLean – 1G, 2A in 2GP last week.
  11. (0-4-1-0) Previous: 12th
    OCN is one of two teams still looking for their first win. They’ll try again this weekend when they take on the Dauphin Kings.
    Schedule this week: vs. Dauphin on Friday & @ Dauphin on Saturday
    Player to watch: (F) Evan Herman – 1G in 1GP last week. 
  12. (0-4-0-1) Previous: 11th
    The Freeze are still in search of their first victory this season. They dropped two games to the Blues last weekend.
    Schedule this week: vs. Winnipeg Blues on Friday & @ Winnipeg Blues on Sunday
    Player to watch: (F) Mathew Carlson – 2G in 2GP last week.    

Schedule Update | OCN/DAU

The postponed game between the Dauphin Kings and OCN Blizzard from Friday, October 23 in OCN has been re-scheduled to be played in Dauphin on Sunday, November 1 at 7:30 PM.

The upcoming Dauphin Kings and OCN Blizzard game scheduled for Friday, October 30 has been postponed. A re-schedule date will be announced in the coming days.

 

Stars of the Week | 2020-21 Week 3

Week 3, October 19-25, 2020   |   The Manitoba Junior Hockey League Stars of the Week proudly presented by Recycle Everywhere:

Southeast Division: 

William Desmarais (G/’01) – Selkirk Steelers – 2W, 1.44GAA, .961SV%, 73SV

Honourable Mentions: E.Hersant (WPB), E.Friesen (WPB)

 

Interior Division: 

Logan Rands (DEF/’01) – Virden Oil Capitals – 2GP, 1G, 2A – 3PTS

Honourable Mentions: R.Raeside (POR), H.Cloutier (VIR)

 

Northwest Division:

Haydn Delorme (FWD/’00) – Swan Valley Stampeders – 2GP, 3G, 1A – 4PTS

Honourable Mentions: C.Phillips (WAY), M.Belinski (WAY)

MJHL partners with Pan Am Concussion Program

WINNIPEG, MB – The Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL) is excited to announce that we have partnered with the Pan Am Concussion Program (a WRHA clinical initiative) for the 2020-21 season.

The MJHL is committed to advancing player safety standards and this partnership will allow for improved access to medical care for MJHL athletes with suspected concussions. The Pan Am Concussion Program is a provincial government-funded program that provides multi-disciplinary care to patients with concussion and traumatic brain injuries.

“We are pleased to be able to provide our teams and athletes with additional supplementary concussion support through this partnership,” shared MJHL Commissioner, Kevin Saurette. “Working with the Pan Am Concussion Program allows us to further optimize the robust concussion care already provided across the MJHL.”

Each MJHL athlete will have the opportunity to be assessed and managed by a Pan Am Concussion Program physician who will provide the athlete with written documentation indicating what activities they are medically cleared to return to. The physician will also provide the athlete with written documentation indicating when they may return to full contact practices and game play. For athletes living in rural and northern communities, some care may be able to be provided through telemedicine.

MJHL Power Rankings | 2020-21 Week 2

2020-21 Week 2  |  October 12-18, 2020


  1. (4-0-0-0) Previous: 3rd
    The Stampeders went a perfect 4-0 against the OCN Blizzard to start their season. Both wins this past weekend were come from behind decisions. They erased a 4-2 deficit on Friday and a 4-1 deficit on Saturday. 
    Schedule this week: @ Wayway on Friday & vs. Wayway on Saturday
    Player to watch: (F) Haydn Delorme – 1G, 4A in 2GP last week. 
  2. (3-0-0-0) Previous: 1st
    The Pistons are the only other perfect team through the first two weekends of the season. They won their first game over the Freeze, 5-4 in a shootout but their second game was suspended on Sunday following bad ice conditions in Winnipeg.
    Schedule this week: vs. Selkirk on Friday & @ Selkirk on Saturday
    Player to watch: (F) Codey Behun – 1G, 1A in 1GP last week.
  3. (3-0-1-0) Previous: 5th
    Two games and two wins on the road for the Virden Oil Capitals last weekend. Virden beat Portage 7-3 at Stride Place on Friday and 4-3 in a shootout on Sunday.
    Schedule this week: vs. Winkler on Friday & @ Winkler on Saturday
    Player to watch: (F) Josh Belcher – 2G, 2A in 2GP last week.
  4. (3-0-0-1) Previous: 2nd 
    A couple one goal wins for the Winnipeg Blues. They edged the Selkirk Steelers in a shootout on Friday then slipped passed them again 2-1 in regulation on Saturday.
    Schedule this week: @ Neepawa on Saturday & vs. Neepawa on Sunday
    Player to watch: (F) Ethan Hersant – 1G, 1A in 2GP last.
  5. (3-1-0-0) Previous: 4th
    The Flyers split their weekend set with the Neepawa Natives. Winkler lost in Neepawa on Saturday and won in overtime at home on Sunday.
    Schedule this week: @ Virden on Friday & vs. Virden on Saturday
    Player to watch: (F) Tanner Andrew – 2G, 1A in 2GP last week.
  6. (2-2-0-0) Previous: 6th
    The Kings split their weekend series with the Wolverines once again, this time the set saw each team winning on home ice.
    Schedule this week: @ OCN on Friday & vs. OCN on Saturday
    Player to watch: (G) Matthias Smith – 1-1, 1.50 GAA & .953 SV% in 2GP last week.   
  7. (2-2-0-0) Previous: 8th
    As mentioned above the Wolverines and Kings both won games on home ice in their weekend set. Waywayseecappo took out Dauphin 3-1 on Friday for their lone victory of the weekend.
    Schedule this week: vs. Swan Valley on Friday & @ Swan Valley on Saturday
    Player to watch: (F) Mackenzie Belinski – 1G, 2A in 2GP last week.
  8. (1-2-1-0) Previous: 9th
    Three of a possible four points for the Neepawa Natives last week. They beat Winkler 4-2 at home on Friday and then squeezed a point out of the Flyers with a 4-3 OT loss on Sunday.
    Schedule this week: vs. Portage on Friday & @ Portage on Saturday
    Player to watch: (F) Carter Sawchuk – 3 Assists in 2GP last week.
  9. (1-3-0-0) Previous: 10th
    The Steelers are on the board with their first win of the season after they edged the Blues 3-2 in a shootout in Winnipeg on Friday. 
    Schedule this week: @ Steinbach on Friday & vs. Steinbach on Saturday
    Player to watch: (F) Ryan Ostermann – 2 Goals in 2GP last week.  
  10. (1-2-0-1) Previous: 7th
    Not a great start on home ice for the Portage Terriers. They dropped both their games to the Virden Oil Capitals over the weekend. The Terriers were able to gain a point in Sunday’s 4-3 shootout loss.
    Schedule this week: @ Neepawa on Friday & vs. Neepawa on Saturday
    Player to watch: (F) Jacob Piller – 2 Goals in 2GP last week.  
  11. (0-2-0-1) Previous: 12th
    The Freeze had some milestones over the weekend, the most notable was their first goal as a franchise, scored by Brock MacDonald, shorthanded. The Freeze will look for more goals and points this week when they meet the Winnipeg Blues.
    Schedule this week: vs. Winnipeg Blues on Friday & @ Winnipeg Blues on Saturday
    Player to watch: (F) Brock MacDonald – 2 Goals in 1GP last week.     
  12. (0-3-1-0) Previous: 11th
    OCN is still looking for their first win of the season. They lost two last weekend to the Swan Valley Stampeders, giving up two third period leads in the process.
    Schedule this week: vs. Dauphin on Friday & @ Dauphin on Saturday
    Player to watch: (D) Aiden Litke – 2G, 3A in 2GP last week.

Freeze & Pistons announce rescheduled game

This past Sunday’s suspended game between the Steinbach Pistons and Winnipeg Freeze has been rescheduled to Sunday, November 15 at 3:30.

The game on Sunday, October 18 was suspended due to unsafe ice conditions with 5:20 remaining in the first period with the score tied at 0-0. Play will resume from that point and will be played to completion.

 

Stars of the Week | 2020-21 Week 2

Week 2, October 12-18, 2020   |   The Manitoba Junior Hockey League Stars of the Week proudly presented by Recycle Everywhere:

Interior Division: 

Josh Belcher (FWD/’00) – Virden Oil Capitals – 2GP, 2G, 2A – 4PTS

Honourable Mentions: C.Sawchuk (NEE), T.Andrew (WNK)

 

Southeast Division: 

Ryan Ostermann (FWD/’01) – Selkirk Steelers – 2GP, 2G – 2PTS, SOW

Honourable Mentions: E.Buenaventura (WPB), C.Behun (STN)

 

Northwest Division:

Aiden Litke (FWD/’03) – OCN Blizzard – 2GP, 2G, 3A – 5PTS

Honourable Mentions: A.Danis (SVS), M.Smith (DAU)

Unsafe ice conditions force postponement in Winnipeg

Due to unsafe ice conditions on Sunday, October 18 in Winnipeg, the Steinbach Pistons and Winnipeg Freeze game was suspended with 5:20 remaining in a scoreless first period.

The remainder of Sunday’s game between Winnipeg and Steinbach will be completed at a later date. Stay tuned for an announcement regarding the rescheduled game day.

 

Leah Hextall named MJHL Brand Ambassador

WINNIPEG, MB – The Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL) is thrilled to name Leah Hextall as an Official MJHL Brand Ambassador.

Over the last 17 years, Leah has been an on-air presence for some of the largest networks in North America including ESPN, Sportsnet, Hockey Night in Canada and NESN. In 2020, Leah made history as the first woman to call play-by-play for an NHL game on Sportsnet.

“We are very excited to have Leah officially join the MJHL as a Brand Ambassador and we look forward to growing our already strong relationship with her,” said MJHL Commissioner, Kevin Saurette. “She brings a wealth of knowledge, experience and professionalism from the highest levels of the sporting world which will prove very valuable for the MJHL moving forward.”

In her role of MJHL Ambassador, Leah will focus on special MJHL projects & content throughout the season and will be a valuable asset for the MJHL relating to communications, social media and branding best practices.

“The MJHL strives to provide outstanding opportunities for all its players pursuing both their educational and hockey dreams,” Hextall shared. “The league has also done that for me, laying the foundation early on in my career as one of the first hockey league’s I covered. Now, nearly two decades later, the MJHL is providing me the opportunity to develop in the play-by-play role in a collaboration that supports my hockey dream.”

“The league has a special place in my heart. My late father, Randy Hextall, won a Centennial Cup in 1973 with the Portage Terriers. I grew up listening to my dad relive his time in the league while he remained life long friends with his teammates. It’s a special league and special to Manitoba,” Hextall concluded.

Hextall has already contributed to the MJHL with her work as Host of the MJHL Roundtable Webinar Series in June. Fans attending games will also hear Leah’s voice on MJHL PA Announcements throughout the 2020-21 season.

MJHL Power Rankings | 2020-21 Week 1

2020-21 Week 1  |  October 9-11, 2020

  1. (2-0-0-0) 
    Two games and two wins last week for the Steinbach Pistons. They didn’t allow a goal and outscored their opponent 10-0 in the process.
    Schedule this week: vs. Winnipeg Freeze on Saturday & @ Winnipeg Freeze on Sunday
    Player to watch: (F) Ty Naaykens – 2G, 4A in 2GP last week. 
  2. (2-0-0-0) 
    The Winnipeg Blues got off to a strong start this season. They beat the Selkirk Steelers twice over the weekend. First by a score of 5-3 then 6-1.
    Schedule this week: vs. Selkirk on Friday & @ Selkirk on Saturday
    Player to watch: (F) Brayden Foreman – 3G, 4A in 2GP last week.
  3. (2-0-0-0) 
    The Swan Valley Stampeders are the third of four teams that remain perfect after two contests. The Stamps beat OCN twice over the weekend and will try and keep rolling when they battle the Blizzard again this week.
    Schedule this week: @ OCN on Friday & vs. OCN on Saturday
    Player to watch: (F) Quinn Mulder – 2G, 2A in 2GP last week.
  4. (2-0-0-0)  
    The Flyers also had a good weekend. They got two victories over the Neepawa Natives, beating them 3-2 in OT on opening night then 4-1 on home ice Saturday.
    Schedule this week: @ Neepawa on Saturday & vs. Neepawa on Sunday
    Player to watch: (F) Ian Tookenay – 2G, 1A in 2GP last week (2 GWG).
  5. (1-0-1-0) 
    Three of a possible four points for the Virden Oil Capitals over the weekend. The Oil Caps suffered an overtime loss to the Terriers on Sunday. They’ll be in Portage for both games this weekend.
    Schedule this week: @ Portage Friday & Sunday
    Player to watch: (F) Hunter Cloutier – 1G, 1A in 2GP last week.
  6. (1-1-0-0)
    The Kings started off with a rough 7-3 loss in their home opener but bounced back very strong with a 7-0 decision on the road on the Wayway.
    Schedule this week: @ Wayway on Friday & vs. Wayway on Saturday
    Player to watch: (F) Koby Morrisseau – 2G, 2A in 2GP last week. 
  7. (1-1-0-0) 
    The Terriers snagged an overtime win in Virden over the weekend, picking up two of a possible four points on the road. They’ll return to Stride Place for two tilts this weekend.
    Schedule this week: vs. Virden on Friday & Sunday
    Player to watch: (F) Tyson McLean – 2G, 1A in 2GP last week. 
  8. (1-1-0-0) 
    Waywayseecappo started their year with an impressive 7-3 win in Dauphin but unfortunately followed that up with a flat 7-0 loss in their home opener to the Kings the next night.
    Schedule this week: vs. Dauphin on Friday & @ Dauphin on Saturday
    Player to watch: (F) Conrad Phillips – 1G, 2A in 2GP last week. 
  9. (0-1-1-0) 
    Neepawa had an exciting start to their season on home ice, but couldn’t get the extra point in a 3-2 OT loss to the visiting Flyers. The Natives then dropped a 4-1 decision on the road the next night in Winkler.
    Schedule this week: vs. Winkler on Saturday & @ Winkler on Sunday
    Player to watch: (F) Eli Lieffers – 2 Assists in 2GP last week.   
  10. (0-2-0-0) 
    The Steelers were outscored 11-4 in their two opening weekend losses to the Winnipeg Blues. Selkirk will get another shot at the Blues this weekend.
    Schedule this week: @ Winnipeg Blues on Friday & vs. Winipeg Blues on Saturday
    Player to watch: (F) Adam Ingram – 2 goals in 2GP last week.   
  11. (0-2-0-0) 
    The Blizzard dropped both their games to the Swan Valley Stampeders on Friday and Saturday, scoring just five times. They’ll try and get their offense going this weekend.
    Schedule this week: vs. Swan Valley on Friday & @ Swan Valley on Saturday
    Player to watch: (D) Kieran Cooke – 3 assists in 2GP last week.   
  12. (0-2-0-0) 
    Not the best start for the MJHL’s newest franchise. The Freeze are still in search of their first ever goal after falling twice to the Steinbach Pistons over the weekend.
    Schedule this week: @ Steinbach on Saturday & vs. Steinbach on Sunday
    Player to watch: (F) Kurtis Luke 

MJHL announces playoff format

WINNIPEG, MB – The Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL) is excited to officially announce the 2020-21 COVID-19 Modified Playoff Standings and Format.

2020-21 MJHL Standings
The MJHL Playoff Standings will be based off Winning Percentage (three decimal points) for the upcoming season instead of overall points. This will allow for consistency throughout the season in the realistic event that all teams are not able to play an equal amount of games this season due to COVID-19 or weather related scheduling implications.

Tie breakers
1) Overall Winning Percentage based on games played
2) Head to Head Winning Percentage
3) Head to Head Goal Differential
4) Most games played

2020-21 MJHL Playoffs
Playoff format will follow closely to the divisional structure that has been implemented for the Regular Season as expected by Sport Manitoba, Hockey Manitoba and Public Health to allow for significantly reduced travel, risk of spread and/or potential exposure between teams as much as reasonably possible.

Series length will be determined prior to the start of the playoffs to allow for flexibility to adapt and for teams / league to have a better understanding of the COVID-19 situation closer to that time. Buffer time will be applied between each round during the Playoffs as has been implemented during the upcoming regular season.

Playoff Format
All Teams Make 2020-21 Playoffs
First Two Rounds Divisional Format
Seedings based on Divisional and Regular Season Standings (W%)
Playoffs Begin Friday, March 19th

Round 1 (Divisional Semi-Finals) – Friday, March 19th
#1 Seed vs #4 Seed
#2 Seed vs #3 Seed

Round 2 (Divisional Finals)
Winner of 1v4 VS Winner of 2vs3

Wild Card Play-In
Three Divisional Finalists
Seeding based on Regular Season Standings (W%)

Wild Card Game 1
#2 seed vs #3 seed
One game – Winner moves on – Game is played at Home arena of #2 seed

Wild Card Game 2
Winner GAME 1 vs #1 seed
One game – Winner moves on to MJHL Semi-Finals (Round 3) – Game is played at Home arena of #1 seed

MJHL Semi-Finals (Round 3)
Matchups based on Regular Season Standings (W%)
#1 Seed vs Wild Card (If Wild Card is from same division as #1 seed, then #1 would play #3 Seed and #2 Seed would play Wild Card)
#2 vs #3 Seed

MJHL TURNBULL CUP FINALS

MJHL continues partnership with CMHA Talk Today program

Winnipeg, Oct. 8, 2020 – The Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL) will bring mental health awareness and suicide prevention training to its players for a second-consecutive season in 2020-21 through the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA)’s Talk Today program.

CMHA’s Talk Today program is being delivered across the MJHL and the broader Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL) with the generous support of the NHL Foundation and Fifth Line Foundation. Last season, the MJHL entered a partnership with the CJHL, CMHA Manitoba Division and local branches to bring Talk Today to MJHL teams. Building off the success from the inaugural season, which saw 147 players trained, training will continue across the league with an additional 180 players anticipated to receive mental health awareness and suicide prevention workshops this season.

Elite athletes face immense pressures, including balancing academic demands and performing in their chosen sport. Talk Today, one of the most comprehensive sport-related mental health programs in Canada, was designed to promote the mental health of these young athletes and to spread awareness about the benefits of positive mental health.

“We’re grateful to the leadership of the MJHL for providing CMHAs the opportunity to support and educate these young athletes again this season,” said CMHA Manitoba and Winnipeg executive director Marion Cooper. “Through Talk Today, we’re pleased to work with the MJHL and its players to reduce the stigma of mental health issues that often keeps people from seeking the help they need when they need it most.”

“Based on the success of the first year of Talk Today in the MJHL, we’re thrilled to be working with CMHA Manitoba and branches again this year to support our players,” said MJHL commissioner Kevin Saurette. “It’s very important to the MJHL that we equip our athletes with the tools to manage the unique stresses they face, and Talk Today is a perfect fit to guide these efforts.”

Key components of the Talk Today program include workshops, community programs, and a partnership between an MJHL team and its local CMHA branch.

Mental Health Coaches – A CMHA Mental Health Coach acts as a direct link to a team participating in Talk Today. This relationship allows for greater knowledge of and access to community mental health and addictions resources.

Mental Health / Suicide Prevention Workshops – Talk Today offers participants standardized, certified and evidence-based mental health and suicide-awareness workshops.

Mental Health Champions – Talk Today actively encourages at least one person within a participating sport organization to become a Mental Health Champion. This person is a positive force for mental health within their team.

Talk Today Events / Games – Elite athletes and sports organizations are positive role models within their communities and can help destigmatize mental health issues. Participating teams and CMHA branches will host a Talk Today game-day event to raise awareness about mental health and suicide prevention. Further details regarding the events will be announced by the host teams throughout the 2020-21 MJHL season.

Originally launched in 2014, Talk Today has grown into a national mental health initiative and now includes more than 50 CMHA provincial divisions and community branches across Canada
supporting junior hockey teams, post-secondary sports programs, minor sports organizations, and more. Since the program’s inception, more than 5,000 participants have received mental health awareness and suicide prevention training.

For more information:

Lynn Russell
Executive Assistant, CMHA Manitoba and Winnipeg
T: 204-982-6141
E: lrussell@cmhawpg.mb.ca

Kyle Prystupa
Manager, Programming & Communications, Manitoba Junior Hockey League
E: kprystupa@mjhlhockey.ca

MJHL Season Preview | Interior Division

The Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL) is preparing for a season like no other, during what’s been one of the most trying years in recent history.

To mitigate the risk and spread of COVID-19, the MJHL significantly reduced travel & overnight trips by splitting the league into three divisions – Southwest, Interior and Northwest.

The final installment of divisional previews features a look at the Interior Divison, which is home to the Neepawa Natives, Portage Terriers, Virden Oil Capitals and Winkler Flyers.

Neepawa Natives

2019-20 Regular Season: 13-43-1-3
2020 Post Season: Missed by 25 points
Top Returning Scorer: Eli Lieffers | 51GP – 19G – 24A
Estimated Veterans: 
14
Players to watch: Eli Lieffers (F), Carter Sawchuk (F), Austin Clyne (D)
Breakout Candidate: 
Jaeger Lapointe (F)

Coaches Outlook: “Expectations are to have success in the playoffs. Fans can expect to see an improved team that will work hard each night.” – Head Coach & General Manager, Ken Pearson

A look inside: Back for his second season as Head Coach & General Manager, there’s no question that Ken Pearson will be looking for his group to take the next step in 2020-21. In the final third of last season, Neepawa found themselves battling in a lot of one goal games and became a pain for teams to play against. They’re going to need to bring their best every night in what will be another tight division in the MJHL. Pearson was able to make some solid acquisitions in the offseason including Austin Clyne and Carter Sawchuk, along with goaltender Thomson Phinney who has plenty of experience in the MJHL.

Portage Terriers

2019-20 Regular Season: 44-14-2-0
2020 Post Season: Led Dauphin 2-1 in the first round at the time of shutdown
Top Returning Scorer: Jacob Piller | 39GP – 14G – 26A
Estimated Veterans:
6
Players to watch: Reece Henry (F), Jacob Piller (F), Layne Toder (D)
Breakout Candidate:
Tyler Dodgson (D)

Coaches Outlook: “There’s been more turnover this season compared to any other and we are in a very tough division. As always we hope to get off to a good start to the season. Our returning players are character people with good work ethic. We hope the veterans along with more practice time in the 40 game schedule will help our newcomers adjust to junior hockey.” – Head Coach & General Manager, Blake Spiller

A look inside: As Blake Spiller shared, the Portage Terriers will have a completely different look in 2020-21. The Terriers lost a good chunk of their roster due to the graduation of their 20-year-old veterans along with a handful of solid pieces that were lost to fulfill future considerations deals they made to bolster their roster for the Centennial Cup. It’s hard to write off the Terriers since year after year they seem to make solid pick-ups and recruit well, but this could be a different season in Terrier town. Only time will tell.

Virden Oil Capitals

2019-20 Regular Season: 32-23-3-2
2020 Post Season: Led Winkler 2-1 in the first round at the time of shutdown
Top Returning Scorer: Hunter Cloutier | 55GP – 29G – 36A
Estimated Veterans:
15
Players to watch: Jack Einarson (F), Logan Rands (F), Kyle Kozma (G)
Breakout Candidate:
Hunter Andrew (F)

Coaches Outlook: “I think expectations as a group are high. We felt we were playing really well as a group at the end of last season when things got cut short and with a lot of returning players we are excited to build on what we started. I think if you ask our returning guys, they would tell you that they are ready for a deep playoff run. Our returning players are poised to continue what we started last season and we expect them to take a step forward as a group. Our young players are guys that play the game fast and with skill and they work extremely hard. Oil Caps’ fans can expect an exciting team to watch.” – Head Coach & General Manager, Tyson Ramsey

A look inside: Returning more than half of their roster from last season has Tyson Ramsey and his Virden Oil Capitals in a great spot entering 2020-21. With eight of their top ten in team scoring back for the new season, it’s clear that scoring depth shouldn’t be an issue. The Oil Caps’ added even more skill to their lineup, making a handful of key offseason signings that included former draft picks and a trio of players who were set to play in the WHL this season. Goaltender, Kyle Kozma saw 24 games of action as a rookie last season and should be set to take the reigns is his second year with the club. Expect Virden to be a very consistent club.

Winkler Flyers

2019-20 Regular Season: 38-17-2-3
2020 Post Season: Trailed Virden 2-1 at the time of
Top Returning Scorer: Jayden McCarthy | 58GP – 28G – 36A
Estimated Veterans:
11
Players to watch: Reid Dyck (G), Connor Gallagher (D), Jayden McCarthy (F)
Breakout Candidate: 
Trent Sambrook (D)

Coaches Outlook: “We want to focus on our process and compete every day in practices. Off the ice we will worry what we can control and hopefully create an environment where winning takes care of itself. Keep building the program into a premier destination for junior hockey players all over the continent. Fans can expect a competitive team that defends themselves and their teammates every single night. Tough, high octane offence, skilled defence and rock solid goaltending.” – Head Coach, Kelvin Cech

A look inside: Besides the Dauphin Kings, Winkler comes into the new season with some of the strongest depth from top to bottom in the MJHL. Adding pieces like Tanner Andrew, Logan Danis and Kolten Shindle to what will be an already impressive lineup should give the Flyers what they need to have success on a nightly basis. Losing Goaltender, Dorrin Luding and MJHL Defenseman of the Year, Drake Burgin is a big hit to the back end but its one that Cech was prepared for. The Flyers have gone young in net with the tandem of returning netminder, Dylan Meilun and 16-year-old Reid Dyck who will be put to the test early.

MJHL announces new partnership with Leech Printing

The Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL ) is excited to announce a new partnership with Leech Printing.

Since opening their doors in 1927, Leech Printing has grown to become a leader in Manitoba’s print industry. A one-stop print shop, Leech Printing provides everything from graphic design and marketing campaigns to quality printing and signage.

“During this challenging time, we are pleased to partner with the Manitoba Junior Hockey League to support the teams and athletes,” shared Leech Printing VP of Sales & Marketing, Meredyth Leech. “Leech Printing has enjoyed a great relationship with the league and teams over many years and we’re proud to be associated at a higher level this season.”

For the 2020-21 season, Leech Printing will be featured on the MJHL Plays of the Week with a strong presence on MJHL social media and web. Leech Printing will also provide opportunities to work with MJHL member clubs.

For more information, visit leechprint.com

MJHL Season Preview | Northwest Division

The Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL) is preparing for a season like no other, during what’s been one of the most trying years in recent history.

To mitigate the risk and spread of COVID-19, the MJHL significantly reduced travel & overnight trips by splitting the league into three divisions – Southwest, Interior and Northwest.

Next up is a glance at the Northwest Divison, which features the Dauphin Kings, OCN Blizzard, Swan Valley Stampeders and Waywayseecappo Wolverines.

Dauphin Kings

2019-20 Regular Season: 31-24-3-2
2020 Post Season: Trailed Portage 2-1 in the first round at the time of shutdown.
Top Returning Scorer: Grady Hobbs | 60GP – 43G – 38A
Estimated Veterans:
12
Players to watch: Koby Morrisseau (F), Grady Hobbs (F), Colby Jaquet (D), Parker Malchuk (D), Vincent Nardone (F)
Breakout Candidate:
Austin Lamotte (F), Nakodan Greyeyes (F), Kaden Bryant (F)

Coaches Outlook: “As they are every year, expectations are to be a hard working team that competes every night and one that makes a push for a long playoff run. Look to see a team that plays fast, unselfish, physical and one that competes at a high level.” – Head Coach & General Manager, Doug Hedley

A look inside: Returning four out of their five leading scorers from last season, the Kings look poised to score plenty of goals in 2020-21. The Kings come into the season with a deep roster from top to bottom which should match well against any team in the league. The one question mark for the Kings will be who takes the reigns in the crease following the graduation of last seasons’ deadline acquisition in Levi Mitchell.

OCN Blizzard

2019-20 Regular Season: 16-39-5-0
2020 Post Season: Missed postseason by 18 points.
Top Returning Scorer: Aidan Litke | 25GP – 12G – 9A
Estimated Veterans:
10
Players to watch: Ben Hilhorst (D), David Queree (F), Cole Haukaas (D), Jaden Pashe (F)
Breakout Candidate:
Riley Zimmerman (F), Levi Thiessen (F)

Coaches Outlook: “I really like the mix of solid returning MJHL’ers combined with our young newcomers. Expectations are to build the right team culture and then a winning culture. Fans will see a hard working group that is committed to pace, being physical and hard to play against on a nightly basis.” – Head Coach & General Manager, Billy Keane

A look inside: The Blizzard will look to put a rocky 2019-20 season behind them when the puck drops on October 9, and it all started mid-summer with the hiring of Billy Keane as Head Coach & General Manager. It didn’t take long for Keane to put his stamp on the organization after he moved on from a number of Blizzard regulars. An injection of fresh blood along with a stable of young players should help the Blizzard compete on a nightly basis in what will be an ultra-competitive division.

Swan Valley Stampeders

2019-20 Regular Season: 35-19-5-1
2020 Post Season: Led Waywayseecappo 2-1 in the first round at the time of shutdown
Top Returning Scorer: Carter Cockburn | 50GP – 12G – 11A
Estimated Veterans:
10
Players to watch: Carter Cockburn (F), Alex Danis (F), Haydn Delorme (F)
Breakout Candidate:
Jackson Betcher (F)

Coaches Outlook: “Our goal is to get better every day, every game. Fans should expect entertaining games from our group.” – Head Coach & General Manager, Barry Wolff

A look inside: After finishing in the top four of the league standings over the past two seasons, the Swan Valley Stampeders will look to continue that consistency in 2020-21. The Stamps’ graduated seven players but seem to have added a nice mix of youth and experience that will be at the disposal of Barry Wolff. They shouldn’t have to worry about who’s playing behind them every night with returning goaltender, Mikael Foucher back in the crease. Foucher was arguably one of the best goalies in the MJHL last season.

Waywayseecappo Wolverines

2019-20 Regular Season: 32-21-5-2
2020 Post Season: Trailed Swan Valley 2-1 in the first round at the time of shutdown
Top Returning Scorer: Jaymes Knee | 56GP – 19G – 39A
Estimated Veterans:
12
Players to watch: Jaymes Knee (F), Mackenzie Belinski (F), Conrad Phillips (F), Reagan Rabbit (D)
Breakout Candidate:
Kieran Thiessen (F)

Coaches Outlook: “We want to win a championship and develop as people. Expect us to compete, compete, compete.” – Head Coach & General Manager, Taylor Harnett

A look inside: The Wolverines are coming off their second-best finish in franchise history and have the offensive pieces back in place to take another step in 2020-21. Harnett was busy in the offseason, acquiring a trio of defensemen with Junior A experience along with a pair of goaltenders. The key acquisition of the offseason for the Wolverines saw local product, Mackenzie Belinski join the fold. That acquisition along with another year of experience under the belt of their veterans players should give the Wolverines plenty of depth scoring.

MJHL Season Preview | Southeast Division

The Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL) is preparing for a season like no other, during what’s been one of the most trying years in recent history.

To mitigate the risk and spread of COVID-19, the MJHL significantly reduced travel & overnight trips by splitting the league into three divisions – Southwest, Interior and Northwest.

First up is a glance at the Southeast Divison, which features the Selkirk Steelers, Steinbach Pistons, Winnipeg Blues and the newly minted Winnipeg Freeze.

Selkirk Steelers

2019-20 Regular Season: 23-30-6-1
2020 Post Season: Missed by two points
Top Returning Scorer: Eric Krywy | 54GP – 5G – 21A
Estimated Veterans:
11
Players to watch:
Sheldin Howard (F), Eric Krywy (D), Jordan McFarlane (D)
Breakout Candidate:
Ryan Ostermann (F)

Coaches Outlook: “We expect to be a very competitive team this season that can compete with any team across the league. We feel very confident in the group that we have to play the right way night in and night out and to be a difficult team to play against. We believe that we can be a playoff team and one that can do some damage as we continue to grow together as a group. Fans expect to see a hard working group that brings a high level of intensity every night, a group that plays for each other and plays fast. We have a competitive group that cares about winning and that is passionate about improving each day.” – Head Coach, Hudson Friesen

A look inside: After unloading many of their significant pieces prior to last seasons trade deadline, the Selkirk Steelers have fully embraced a youth-movement which included a number of key signings in the offseason. First year Head Coach and former Steelers’ standout, Hudson Friesen will look to steer the ship in the right direction early on in his tenure as Head Coach.

Steinbach Pistons

2019-20 Regular Season: 42-10-5-3
2020 Post Season: 4-0 1st Round Series Win over Blues
Top Returning Scorer: Ty Naaykens | 58GP – 23G – 32A
Estimated Veterans: 6
Players to Watch: Matt Osadick (F), Christian Riemer (D), Sam Court (D)
Breakout Candidate: Ty Naaykens (F)

Coaches Outlook: “We expect to be a team that competes on a nightly basis and strives to improve and grow as a group each week. We hope that can translate into a team that can contend for a league title in 2021. Expect a team that plays fast and with a lot of tenacity. We expect our team to play with pace and one that transitions quickly from defence to offence.” – Head Coach & General Manager, Paul Dyck

A look inside: There’s no question the Pistons looked poised to make a run at the Turnbull Cup in 2019-20 before the season was cancelled due to the global pandemic. Paul Dyck had another busy off-season that featured key acquisitions of Matt Osadick, Blake Burr and Zac Patrick. The Pistons own one of the deepest rosters in the MJHL and will look to pick up where they left off when the pandemic ended their season in March.

Winnipeg Blues

2019-20 Regular Season: 24-29-6-1
2020 Post Season: 0-4 1st Round Series Loss to Pistons
Top Returning Scorer: Brayden Foreman | 50GP – 17G – 45A
Estimated Veterans: 10
Players to Watch: Cooper Hatfield (G), Brayden Foreman (F), Josiah Vanderhooft (F)
Breakout Candidate: Hughie Hooker (D)

Coaches Outlook: “We want to continue to build off of last season with our late push into the playoffs and use that playoff experience going forward. We have a good mix of veterans and first year players that have committed to our development plan and want to compete for the top spot in the division. I think fans will really enjoy watching our players this season because of all the speed and skill that we have. We are going to be a younger team again this season but we have some good first year players that will make an immediate impact in the league.” – Head Coach & General Manager, Taras McEwen

A look inside: To say the Winnipeg Blues shocked the MJHL in 2019-20 might be an understatement. Most pundits who follow the league wrote off the team from Winnipeg who decided to inject a youth-movement of their own. While the Blues may have lost a pair of key pieces in the off-season, a solid tandem in net and a year of experience under the belt of their returning veterans should bode well for the Blues. General Manager, Taras McEwen also added Head Coach to his list of duties this offseason, following the advancement of Gord Burnett to the Moose Jaw Warriors (WHL).

Winnipeg Freeze

2019-20 Regular Season: N/A
2020 Post Season: N/A
Top Returning Scorer: N/A
Players with MJHL Experience: Will Gurski (G), Evan Kaufman (D), Kurtis Luke (F), Nick Trudel (D), Nathan Driver (F), Derrick Lange (F)
Players to Watch: Brandt Young (D), Nathan Driver (F), Kurtis Luke (F)
Breakout Candidate: Erik Mork (F)

Coaches Outlook: “Our expectations are to compete on a nightly basis. We are short on experience but we have kids willing to work and learn and that will be the key to our success. Our defence and goaltending will be the backbone of our team so expect a stingy group. We will play hard team defence and hopefully rely on opportunistic scoring to win our games.” – Head Coach & General Manager, Josh Green

A look inside: The newest franchise in the MJHL will certainly have their work cut out for them as they embark on their first season in the league. The Freeze will lean on their six MJHL veterans who will look to guide what is shaping up to be another young team in the Southeast. Josh Green steps into the role of Head Coach & General Manager after spending last year as an Assistant with the Winnipeg ICE (WHL). The former NHL’er will try to bring his experience as a player to the table during what will also be his first time as a Head Coach & General Manager. If anyone learned their lesson last season, you simply cant write off a roster who is young and hungry.

MJHL announces continued partnership with Viterra

The Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL) is pleased to announce its continued partnership with Viterra for the 2020-21 season.

Through the agreement, Viterra will be featured on the MJHL’s weekly Power Rankings as well as being profiled on Game Days throughout the season.

“Viterra is a longstanding supporter of junior hockey across Western Canada, and we’re excited to be strengthening our partnership with the MJHL,” said Jeff Cockwill, Viterra’s Director of Corporate Affairs. “Our support of junior hockey aligns well with the importance we place on teamwork, integrity and high performance across our organization, with our team working hard every day to support our customers.”

Throughout the years, Viterra has been a strong supporter of the MJHL and its athletes, which supports the league and its ability to operate in communities across Manitoba.

For more information on Viterra, please visit viterra.com.

MJHL Job Posting | Neepawa hiring Marketing Manager

Courtesy of Neepawa

Job Title: Manager of Marketing – Partnership Services

Department: Marketing

Reports To: Marketing Committee

Basic Function: Manage the strategic development and execution of partnership marketing programs for Hockey Club. Work with an assigned group of board members.

Essential functions and responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

Manage and execute contractual elements within a portfolio of corporate accounts
Understand and articulate sponsors’ marketing, sports marketing and hockey marketing objectives
Develop meaningful relationships throughout each sponsor’s organization
Play a key role in renewal of sponsorship agreements
Other duties as assigned
Required Qualifications:

Experience

Previous experience is an asset but not required
Experience activating integrated digital and social media partnerships preferred
Excellent organizational abilities to handle multiple tasks, establish priorities, and consistently meet deadlines
Creativity and entrepreneurial tendencies
Work Conditions:

Standard office equipment
Must be willing to work long hours, irregular schedules and weekend
Salary:

Commensurate with experience. This is a full-time position, with a base salary plus generous commission.
Availability:

Position to begin immediately

Please forward resumes to General Manager Ken Pearson at npanatives.marketing@gmail.com

MJHL announces new partnership with Bodylogix

The Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL) is excited to announce a new partnership with Bodylogix.

Bodylogix provides a wide range of protein powders and supplements made with quality ingredients from only the best sources. Their natural products are made without artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners and are gluten-free, non-GMO and made in a peanut free facility.

“Bodylogix is proud to provide all MJHL member clubs and their players this season with safer, clean, and performance driven supplements,” shared Bodylogix Athlete Relations Manager, DJ Lalama. “As a Canadian company, we feel a responsibility to take care of our own athletes and ensure they have access to the quality products they deserve in order to compete day in and day out on and off the ice. We are excited to see hockey return to rinks around the province this month and watch the MJHL lead by example in their return to play process.”

MJHL fans can look out for a Bodylogix presence on social media that will feature prizing and further collaboration. MJHL teams and athletes will also have access to Bodylogix products at special pricing.

With this new partnership, Bodylogix becomes the Official Supplement of the MJHL.