Brian MacKenzie of the Selkirk Steelers has been named the MJHL Manitoba Pork Peak Performer of the Month of November.
MacKenzie, who hails from Winnipeg, has made the commitment to raise cancer awareness among both his teammates and the community of Selkirk. Recently, the MJHL family was saddened to hear the news that former player Cole Hamblin had lost his battle against cancer.
MacKenzie, a former teammate and friend of Cole, decided he was going to be a difference maker ─ starting with the popular “Movember” movement of cancer awareness.
“MacKenzie, and his Steelers teammates participated in raising funds through a Movember Brunch hosted by Roxi’s on the Red Uptown Café and On the Rocks Bar and Night Club in the Selkirk Motor Hotel,” said Steeler’s GM Dave Obirek. “Through this event, and further donations from players, staff and fans, a total of $1,100 was raised in support of Movember Canada and men’s health.”
MacKenzie, who is the Steelers’ captain, was also instrumental in having the Steelers’ don ‘CH 13’ decals on their helmets ─ in honour of Cole, who wore number 13 with the Steelers.
“Brian took his captaincy to the next level,” said Obirek. “Having suffered the loss of a friend and former teammate, he took it upon himself to bring awareness to ‘Movember’ and men’s health. We are all very proud of him.”
“Brian epitomizes what the MJHL is all about: community involvement, making a difference and showcasing his hockey talents,” said MHL Commissioner Kim Davis. “Congratulations on behalf of the Manitoba Pork Council and the MJHL.”
Daylon Creasy of the Swan Valley Stampeders has been named the Manitoba Pork – MJHL Peak Performer of the Month for October.
Creasy, 18, has been involved in a variety of community activities this season, including the Terry Fox Run, Taylor School BBQ and Swan Valley Minor Hockey Breakfast Club.
“Daylon’s involvement in his community is all encompassing,” said MJHL Commissioner Kim Davis. “He’s has become involved with Communities that Care, Haunted House project for Spooktober fest.
“In addition, Daylon is participating in the Swan River ‘Chop the Top’ for cancer awareness where he may have to endure a buzz-cut at center ice during a game in November.”
Creasy, who hails from Carberry, is also passing on his hockey expertise to young players, serving as a guest coach with Swan Valley Pee Wee teams.
“Daylon epitomizes the community involvement of the MJHL,” said Davis. “This award couldn’t have gone to a more worthy recipient.”
Zach Whitecloud of the Virden Oil Capitals is committed to making a difference in his community. And it’s that quality which earned the rookie defenceman the Manitoba Pork Peak Performer of the Month for September.
Whitecloud, 18, excels both on the ice and in the community. He volunteers his time with the Virden Minor Hockey school and assisted during local peewee tryouts.
“While Zach is a newcomer to the community of Virden, that didn’t stop him from getting involved quickly,” MJHL Kim Davis said of Whitecloud’s contributions.
“ Zach, along with his teammates, recently participated in the Virden Junior High Terry Fox Run/Skate. Zach will also be speaking in local schools as part of WE Day Celebrations. He’s doing all of this community work while dealing with the pressure of being a rookie in the MJHL.”
Whitecloud, who hails from Brandon, plans to speak to the WE Day audience about his path to the Oil Capitals, and his experience playing for Team Manitoba at the North American Indigenous Games in Montreal.
“Zach epitomizes what the MJHL is all about: community involvement, making a difference and showcasing his hockey talents,” said Davis. “Congratulations on behalf of the Manitoba Pork Council and the MJHL.”
The Manitoba Pork Peak Performer of the Month for March is Steinbach Pistons goaltender Zach Rakochy.
Zach spent over 60 hours volunteering in Steinbach schools assisting teachers, spending time with students, and was also involved in minor hockey during the month of March. “Zach has made a tremendous impact with youth in Steinbach and has set the bar extremely high when it comes to giving back to the community,” said Pistons Head Coach & GM, Paul Dyck. “I am often approached by parents with a son or daughter in one of the schools where Zach volunteers and they always comment on the positive influence he has been on their child. Zach understands the opportunity he has as a Junior hockey player to make a difference in the lives of people and he selflessly gives his time.”
Congratulations Zach as this month’s Manitoba Pork Peak Performer!
For his tireless community service efforts, Clay Van Diest of the Portage Terriers has been Manitoba Pork Peak Performer for the Month of February.
Van Diest, 20, is a firm believer in giving back to his community and the fans of the Terriers.
“Clay is active in the community and has participated in the Terry Fox Run, volunteered for Manitoba Heart and Stroke Association, United Way, Cancer Care Manitoba and the Portage Jingle Bell Breakfast,” MJHL Commissioner Kim Davis said of Van Diest’s selection.
“Clay truly understands what it means to give back to the community. Clay has also volunteered to read at schools in surrounding communities such as Austin, Treherne and MacGregor, as well as nearby Hutterite communities and schools in Portage la Prairie.”
Van Diest, who patrols the blueline for the Terriers, hails from Helena, Mt. His community efforts have not gone unnoticed by his teammates.
“Clay sets a very good example for his younger teammates as well as for all youth in the community,” said Davis
“Clay is a true ambassador of the Terriers and the MJHL. He’s a worthy winner of this award. The MJHL and Manitoba Pork Council congratulate Clay on his award.”
Cody Nelson of the Virden Oil Capitals has been Manitoba Pork Peak Performer for the Month of January.
The 20-year-old forward has been recognized for his outstanding leadership skills both on and off the ice.
“Cody volunteered as an instructor at the Southwest Peewee Development Camp, sharing his passion and knowledge of hockey with the young players,” MJHL Commissioner Kim Davis said of Nelson’s selection.
“The Camp included two speaking sessions where Cody addressed the players and their parents about his work ethic and daily routine and what it took to become a Junior ‘A’ hockey player.”
Nelson, who hails from Brandon, has demonstrated strong public speaking skills and a willingness to share his personal experiences with others.
“Recently, Cody spoke in front of the entire Virden Collegiate student body at their WE Day event and is a tremendous ambassador for the Oil Capitals,” said Davis.
Nelson was a Peak Performer on the ice as well, recording six points (3-3) in the month of January.
“Cody is a true ambassador of the Oil Capitals and the MJHL,” said Davis. “He a worthy winner of this award. The MJHL and Manitoba Pork Council congratulate Cody Nelson on his award.”
The Manitoba Pork Peak Performer of the Month for December is 18 year old forward Kamerin Nault of the Winnipeg Blues. Kam is in his second year with Blues and has been active in giving back to the community. Kam participated in a Kal-Tire-MJHL BBQ helping to promote the MJHL and the Blues. Kam has volunteered his time coaching with the AA Titans (northwest) girls hockey team and participates with Seven Oaks Middle School helping out students in their Physical Education program in the afternoon and on-ice in the mornings.
Riley Hillis of the Neepawa Natives is full of energy both at the hockey rink and within the community. And it’s that quality which earned the talented forward the Manitoba Pork Peak Performer of the Month for November.
Hillis, 18, volunteers his time at an early morning hockey clinic helping young players work on their skills before school. The Winnipegger is also enjoying a strong season, reflected in 14 points (10-4) after 27 games.
“Riley also volunteered at local schools and with the Salvation Army in support of their annual food donation drive for the food bank,” MJHL Commissioner Kim Davis said of the selection.
“Riley is a good example of community volunteerism at its best. He’s combining a very busy hockey schedule with helping others in Neepawa.”
The MJHL and Manitoba Pork are proud of the contribution Hillis has made to his community.
For his outstanding volunteerism in the community, Max Provencher of the Swan Valley Stampeders has been awarded the MJHL Manitoba Pork Peak Performer of the Month for October.
Provencher, 20, hails from Montreal and is fully bilingual ─ a language he’s putting to good use in Swan River and area.
“Max is a volunteer French tutor for Swan River and area students,” Commissioner Kim Davis said of Provencher’s selection. “He also volunteers his time at the local Animal Protection Agency and has supported the Swan Valley Communities That Care (SVCTC) Youth Initiative.”
Provencher, a 6-foot-3, 200-pound forward, has also enjoyed a strong season to date, reflected in 13 goals and 22 points for the Stamps, who sit fourth in the Sher-Wood Division.
The Manitoba Pork Council and the MJHL congratulate Max on his outstanding achievements in the community and on the ice.
Adam Vander Linden of the Winkler Flyers believes in making a difference in his community. And it’s that quality which earned the rookie goaltender the Manitoba Pork Peak Performer of the Month for September.
Vander Linden, 18, has been honoured with this award for his unconditional commitment to his community and unselfish volunteerism.
“Ty is a newcomer to the community of Winker, but that didn’t stop him from getting involved quickly,” MJHL Kim Davis said of Vander Linden’s contributions.
“He is contributing to the community by volunteering in the Canadian Tire ‘I Love to Skate’ program which provides skates and encouragement to new immigrant children who have never skated on ice before. This year in Winkler, 25 kids are learning to skate as a result of the efforts of Canadian Tire and people like Adam.”
“He did all of this community work while preparing for several Manitoba Junior Hockey League games and all the while moving to his new town,” Davis said of Vander Linden, who hails from Winnipeg.
Vander Linden and some of his teammates also volunteered with the Winkler Horticultural Club who had the task of removing flower pots from various locations in the city to prepare for the upcoming winter season.
On the ice, Vander Linden has also contributed over his first two games, reflected in stopping 72 of the 76 shots he faced for an outstanding .947 save percentage and a 2.0 goals against average.
The MJHL and Manitoba Pork are proud of the contribution Vander Linden has made to his community.