Dauphin, Canada

It was a tough Sunday for several Parkland athletes yesterday at the Canada Games Trials in Winnipeg.

Lane Prokopowich and her team fell in the semifinal after going undefeated in round-robin play.

Emma Jensen and her rink also fell in the semifinal, but still completed a very successful season.

On the men's side, Dauphin's Nolan Hadway came out on the wrong end of the scoreboard, also in the semifinals.

The Steinbach Pistons were in danger of heading to Nipawin down 2-0, but that's not the case, after winning last night's game two, 3-1.

The Pistons went into the third frame down 1-0, but scored three-third period goals while locking down defensively.

Braden Purtill led the Pistons with two goals in the third, with two of the three goals being on the man advantage.

Game three goes on Tuesday in Nipawin, with four and five also in Nipawin.

Sunday, April 29th will go down as one of the biggest days in their young lives for several athletes from the Parkland.

They're competing for a berth in the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer.

Updates.

Dauphin's Lane Prokopowich is playing on team Gray-Withers, and the squad went a perfect 4-0 in the round robin. They will now play in tomorrow morning's semifinals.

Prokopowich

After winning a gold medal at the Manitoba Winter Games, and representing Manitoba at the U-18 National Championships, Emma Jensen and her foursome are continuing their incredible season.

The foursome which consists of Jensen, Jaycee Terrick, Kaitlyn Szewczyk, and Gracey Gulak went 3-1 in the round-robin. They will also play in the semifinals tomorrow morning for a berth in the finals.

Emmas

On the men's side, Dauphin's Nolan Hadway's newly created team has found their stride. The foursome will play together next year when Nolan goes off to University, and they ended up going 4-1 in the round robin.

They will also play in one of the semifinals.

Hadways

Keep it locked here to 730CKDM.com to find out how these hard-working Parkland athletes do tomorrow.

Emma Jensen and her foursome are off to the playoffs at the Canada Games Trials in Winnipeg this weekend.

The team rattled off three straight wins, before slipping in their final game of the round-robin.

They'll now get the rest of the afternoon off, before finding out who they face in the playoffs.

More

Dauphin's Anya Jackson and her rink play their final round-robin game this afternoon, after going 1-2 in their first three.

On the men's side, Dauphin's Nolan Hadway and his team are still battling to advance to the playoffs.

They're 2-1 with two more round-robin games left.

Stay tuned to 730CKDM throughout the day to see how the Parkland teams do.

Another former Dauphin King will continue his hockey career next season.

Mark Ziobro, who started this past season with the Kings has committed to Portage College who play in the Alberta College Athletic Conference.

"It's awesome that I was able to make the next step in my hockey career," said Ziobro. "It'll also be cool getting an education while playing the sport that I love."

Mark's known as an extremely hard-working power forward, who puts his body on the line whenever needed. His offensive ability makes him a great two-way player, which will help Portage succeed.

In 25 games with the Kings, Mark had six points and added another 11 with the English River Miners when he was traded midway through the season.

"I just plan on playing as hard as I can at Portage," said Ziobro. "There's going to be a lot of different levels of talent, and muscle so I just need to give it my all. It's going to be a really good challenge, and I'm looking forward to it."

When asked for his thoughts on Dauphin, Mark had nothing but tremendous things to say.

"Dauphin helped me a lot," said Ziobro. "The MJHL is a great league to play in. The coaching staff helped me so much not only as a player but as a person. I had great billets, and the atmosphere in Dauphin was just incredible."

"The facilities were top notch, and just everything in the organization was amazing," he added.

Mark will study Power Engineering at Portage College.

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It's been a long road, a successful road, and a road that is continuing as Riese Gaber and the Steinbach Pistons kick off their Anavet Cup tonight against the Nipawin Hawks.

"Everyones really excited," said Gaber. "Obviously it's a big opportunity with a berth in the RBC Cup on the line, and it all starts tonight. I think the whole city and everyone involved is geared up and ready to go."

At times, it's crazy to think how much success Gaber has already had in his hockey career, and he's only 18-years-old.

He's won gold at the World Jr.A Challenge, he's committed to play college hockey, and he was invited to the CJHL Prospects game, and that's just to name a few.

But, despite all the success he's had, the fact that he's never played in the Anavet Cup remains the same, and nerves will be present when the puck drops tonight.

"There will be some nerves at the start, but I think that's for everyone," said Gaber. "It'll take a couple shifts to shake them off. It's a huge game, so it's to be expected, but I think they'll be easy to shake off."

For the Pistons, they didn't need more than six games to advance to the Anavet Cup, while the Hawks needed seven games to win the SJHL Championship. None the less, it's the top team in the MJHL (Steinbach) and the top team in the SJHL (Nipawin) facing off a spot in the big dance (RBC Cup).

"We know they're a really hard-working team," said Gaber. "We have to match that, and ideally, outwork them. We gotta stick to our game, work hard and keep it simple."

Tonight's game goes at 7:30.

The wait is finally just about over at the Gilbert Plains Country Club.

The course is set to open tomorrow at 1 p.m.

"We're going to start running mowers over the greens today," said Scott McCallum, General Manager. "It's a really exciting time."

"I can't say enough about the grounds crew," said McCallum. "They've worked so hard this week. They know how important weekends are to golfers, and the course."

Scott also says the course will be looking good for "Opening Day" tomorrow.

"Our greens came through the winter in fantastic shape," said McCallum. "If you've been here before, you can expect much of the same. Hopefully, we'll get some rain on Monday to help the grass grow, but things are looking good."

"It's the premiere golf course in the Parkland," he added. "It's manicured to perfection, and it's just a great place to be.

You can head down to the course now until 5 to help out with some cleaning.

For more information or to book your tee time today, call 548-3030.

You won't need your driver for the Dauphin Kings Par 3 Extravaganza, but you'll need the skill to win.

Registration for the tournament on June 9th at the Gilbert Plains Country Club is now open.

"It's a key fundraiser for the Dauphin Kings Hockey Club," said Christian Laughland, Marketing Director & Media Relations for the Kings. "It raises between $8-12,000 every year. It's a great event, and it sold out quickly last year, so I wouldn't wait if you want to get in."

"It's an awesome way to get out, and just have some fun," he added. "It's always a great day. There are lots of prizes, and then the steak supper at the end of the round is always fantastic. If you're a golfer, this is always an event you want to play in."

The fee to play is $150, or you can sign up a team of four for $600.

To register today, you can head to Aspen Insurance on 701 Main Street South right here in Dauphin. You can also call 622-7776.

The Dauphin Kings aren't playing in the Anavet Cup, but a former King will be.

Thomas Lenchyshyn will be suiting up for the Nipawin Hawks when they begin their Cup tomorrow in Steinbach.

"It'll be a really good challenge for us," said Lenchyshyn from his hotel in Steinbach. "Everyones really looking forward to it. It'll be cool to see how the two leagues compare."

The Pistons will be the more rested team when the series starts tomorrow, having last played on the 21st, while the Hawks won the Canalta Cup on Tuesday.

"It's been a quick turnaround since playing Estevan in the SJHL Final," said he added. "We've watched some film to learn about their tendencies and habits, and I think everyone will be ready to go come tomorrow."

"It's an amazing feeling to be in the Anavet Cup," said Lenchyshyn. "It's a complete honour to be so close to having the chance to play in the RBC Cup. We're going to try to represent Saskatchewan the best we can, and we'll see how it goes."

If anything's hindered the Hawks this postseason, it would be their play on the road. They're 3-4 on the road, but Thomas has a solution to the team's road woes.

"Our starts have been our biggest deficit on the road," he added. "If we tighten that up, I think we'll be fine. It's always going to be hard to win on the road in the playoffs, so we need to take any chances we get."

Playing in the final will be a homecoming for the 21-year-old. He's from Steinbach, and he will also be playing against his brother, Jack Lenchyshyn.

"It's going to be a once in a lifetime opportunity," he said. "It'll be cool to get back in the home rink where it all sort of started. I'll definitely have to show my brother who the older one is."

Thomas spent the majority of his 18-year-old year with the Kings in the 2015-2016 season, where he suited up in 46 games.

"I really enjoyed my time in Dauphin," he added. "It definitely helped me grow as a player. The community was great, and they always really supported the Kings. The Kings are making steps in the right direction, and it's really good to see. Dauphin definitely deserves to have success moving forward."

In 56 games this year as the Assistant Captain for the Hawks, he had 34 points (3 G), and 215 penalty minutes.

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Dauphin's Blaire DeLaMare wrapped up her first year of college volleyball at ACC in Brandon, and things are looking bright heading into year two.

"I won the Most Improved Player Award for the women's volleyball team," said DeLaMare.

"It means a lot to me," she added. "My goal coming into the season was to improve my play. Especially my blocking, so I'm thankful to be recognized for my hard work."

It wasn't the season record-wise that Blaire and the rest of the Cougars were hoping for, as they went 5-11, but she's still pleased with how things went.

"It totally exceeded my expectations," said DeLaMare. "We only had four returning players, so it definitely took us some time to gel and click on the court. But, now that we have that under our belts, we can hit the ground running next season."

Although this season wrapped up not long ago, and next season is month's away, Blaire isn't using that as an excuse to take time off.

"We've already had our first practice to meet with the new recruits and our new Assistant Coach," said DeLaMare. "The plan is to have Sunday evening practice all summer, and workout as much as I can."

Blaire notes winning the award will give her confidence moving into next season.

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It's set to be a battle of Saskatchewan's best & Manitoba's best, and not just one time like in the past few years at the Western Canada Cup, as the Anavet Cup is back and what a Cup it should be.

The Western Canada Cup took over in 2013, which saw five teams battle for two spots in the National Championship.

Since that 2013 season, only three teams have advanced out of the MJHL-SJHL and moved onto the RBC Cup, with the Dauphin Kings being one of the teams in the 2014 season.

Now that the Anavet Cup is back, either an SJHL or MJHL is guaranteed to be heading back to the RBC Cup.

The best-of-seven set which starts Friday in Steinbach could perhaps feature an advantage to Nipawin if they find a way to win either game one or two in Steinbach. That's because, after the first two games at the T.G. Smith Centre in Steinbach, the series will shift over to the "Cage" in Nipawin for three straight games.

The Hawks were 24-2-1-2 on home ice in the regular season, and their 8-1 on home ice in the postseason so far.

But, the same could be said about the domination on home ice for the Pistons. They went 25-2-2-1 in the regular season, and they went 7-1 in the postseason on home ice.

If either team had struggles this season, they came on the road.

Steinbach went 23-6-0-1 in the regular season on the road, and 5-3 in the postseason. Nipawin went 19-6-2-2 away from the "Cage" in the regular season, but are below .500 in the playoffs at 3-4.

The Anavet Cup is back after an absence, and hockey fans are in for a real treat of a series. 

Here's the full schedule:

Game 1 - Friday, April 28th - in Steinbach.

Game 2 - Saturday, April 29th - in Steinbach. 

Game 3 - Tuesday, May 1st - in Nipawin.

Game 4 - Wednesday, May 2nd - in Nipawin.

Game 5 - Friday, May 4th - in Nipawin. **

Game 6 - Monday, May 7th - in Steinbach. **

Game 7 - Tuesday, May 8th - in Steinbach. **

** If necessary