Photo credit - Pederson Photographic

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The 2022 edition of the Manitoba Cup at the Centennial Cup will go down for the ages.

In a back-and-forth affair, the Flin Flon Bombers came up huge to keep their season alive with a 2-1 shootout win over the Dauphin Kings, who remain atop Pool B with seven points. 

Flin Flon opened the scoring in the first period when Jacob Vockler beat Carson Cherepak short side to give the Bombers a 1-0 lead. Dauphin responded in the second on the penalty kill as Logan Calder went hard to the net to score another marker to tie the game up.

Cherepak was nothing short of tremendous for Dauphin as he made 40 saves and was the biggest reason why the Kings earned a point in the game. 

No goals were scored in overtime, Vockler ended the game in the shootout to clinch a playoff spot for Flin Flon.

Dauphin is back on the ice Wednesday against the Soo Thunderbirds. A win Wednesday would advance the team to the national semifinal which goes Saturday. 

The stage was set and entering the 1993 Manitoba Junior Hockey League playoffs, the Dauphin Kings were underdogs.

With a record of 24-22-1-1 in the regular season, Dauphin finished third in the North Division behind the Winkler Flyers and Portage Terriers. Dauphin would open the playoffs by downing the Flyers in a thrilling seven-game series that went the distance. Dauphin would then come out firing in their next series against the  Terriers as they won that series in five games.

Portage was the top-ranked team in the league and had 15 more points than anyone with 70. The Turnbull Cup was then on the line and Dauphin wasn’t to be stopped as they brought out the brooms with a clean sweep against the St. Boniface Saints as they were MJHL champions.

Lyle Stokotelny was the team’s head coach that season and he says that win in the first round really helped the team build confidence.

“Winning that series brought our hockey club together, it was such a hard-fought series,” said Stokotelny. “Once we got past Winkler, the guys knew what it took to win and they just carried on with it past Portage and St. Boniface.”

Archie Milcharek of the Kings was named the playoffs most valuable player after their title run.

Anavet Cup:

There was no Anavet Cup this season; however, there was one in 1993 and it put the MJHL champion Kings up against the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League champion Flin Flon Bombers.

The series began on April, 24, 1993 at the iconic Whitney Forum in Flin Flon where the Bombers defended their home ice with a 5-3 win to take a 1-0 series lead. The series would switch to Dauphin for games two and three with the Kings and Bombers splitting as Flin Flon took a 2-1 series lead. With a chance to take a commanding 3-1 lead on home ice, the Kings weren’t about to let that happen as they won game four at the Whitney Forum to tie the series up at two. However, that is the final game Dauphin would win that season. Flin Flon won game five on home ice and then they came to Dauphin and won the Anavet Cup with a 5-4 overtime victory.

The win advanced Flin Flon to the 1993 Centennial Cup where they would go 0-4 and they were outscored 19-6.

Stokotelny remembers the series being one of the wildest ones that he has ever been a part of.

“The crowds were absolutely crazy,” he offered. “I remember in Flin Flon when they were throwing moose legs around and even chucking eggs, we always had to be watching. When we played on home ice it was so special, the DMCC was packed to the roof and it was so electric. We came up short but it was still a tremendous year and the fans were a big reason why.”

Nearly 30 years later:

10613 days, more than 254,000 hours and 348 months has passed since the Bombers and Kings played in that epic series. Now as the round-robin portion of the 2022 Centennial Cup continues to near an end, the two storied franchises are set to once again go head-to-head.

Dauphin advanced to the Centennial Cup this year by downing the Steinbach Pistons in the MJHL final while Flin Flon qualified by making the league final against Estevan. After two games at the tournament, Dauphin is sitting in a very good spot with two clean regulation wins which gives them six points and puts them atop Pool B.

Flin Flon; meanwhile, is in a tricky spot. With five points, they’re only one behind Dauphin and Summerside; however, a big loss for them against the Western Capitals Monday night now has them on the brink of elimination.

They must beat Dauphin and then hope for Summerside to beat Ottawa or else they will be eliminated from playoff contention. A single win from Dauphin in their final two games will clinch them a spot in the quarterfinals and if they were to win Tuesday, they will advance directly to Saturday’s national semifinal.

Stokotelny says it’s amazing that Dauphin is in this spot.

“I wish them all the best,” said Stokotelny. “I’m so happy for Doug Hedley and the entire organization, this is well deserved, it has been such a great season. And to the players, leave everything on the ice and have some fun.”

The Western Hockey League held the prospects draft last week and it was a tremendous showing for the Parkland.

The first U15 Ranger to get drafted was Ryan Gower as the McCreary native was selected 32nd overall by the Prince Albert Raiders. 

The good times would then continue as Luke Myhre was taken 106th overall by the Portland Winterhawks. Tom White is the head coach of the U15 Rangers and he says both Ryan and Luke are well deserved of being drafted.

"As a coach, it's very satisfying to see players from your program drafted," said White. "Luke and Ryan are very deserving and I am very happy for them."

Shortly after Gower was picked, the Brandon Wheat Kings selected Easton Odut of Dauphin, he is coming off a championship season with the U15 Wheat Kings. Brady Turko of McCreary was also selected by the Wheat Kings.

Tom does say it is a little disappointing as he believes there were more Rangers that should have been drafted; however, he says that just because you're not drafted doesn't mean the journey is over. 25% of current players playing in the Western Hockey League are made up of players that weren't drafted.

When talking about the players that did get drafted from the Parkland, White says it just shows that you don't need to leave the region to get noticed and advance.

"There has been quite a few players from this region that have been drafted over the years and it just shows that we are in a good spot," said White. "We have some great minor hockey associations in the region that are doing a great job of preparing these kids for the AAA level."

Special teams was the difference Sunday night and the Dauphin Kings earned a huge win because of them.

The team scored five times on the man advantage as they hammered the Summerside Western Capitals, 7-1, on day four of the Centennial Cup at Affinity Place in Estevan.

It was a very close period in the first with Summerside getting some good chances and they led on the shot clock after 20. However; the second period was a very different story as the Manitoba Junior Hockey League champions completely took over.

Parker Malchuk scored back-to-back powerplay goals to end the period, Nick Braun scored back-to-back goals to start the period, Logan Calder added one in the middle and Dauphin took a commanding 5-0 lead after 40 minutes.

Kaden Bryant and Brayden Dube scored in the third period while Will Irvine responded for the Western Capitals.

With the win, Dauphin moves to a perfect 2-0 and they lead Group B with six points, Flin Flon is one behind with five. Dauphin's next game is Tuesday against the Flin Flon Bombers and that will be the biggest game of the championships so far.

You can hear it with Darnell Duff on 730CKDM beginning with the pregame show at 4:45. 

The Western Hockey League held the prospects draft last week and it was a tremendous showing for the Parkland.

The first U15 Ranger to get drafted was Ryan Gower as the McCreary native was selected 32nd overall by the Prince Albert Raiders. 

The good times would then continue as Luke Myhre was taken 106th overall by the Portland Winterhawks. Tom White is the head coach of the U15 Rangers and he says both Ryan and Luke are well deserved of being drafted.

"As a coach, it's very satisfying to see players from your program drafted," said White. "Luke and Ryan are very deserving and I am very happy for them."

Shortly after Gower was picked, the Brandon Wheat Kings selected Easton Odut of Dauphin, he is coming off a championship season with the U15 Wheat Kings. Brady Turko of McCreary was also selected by the Wheat Kings.

Tom does say it is a little disappointing as he believes there were more Rangers that should have been drafted; however, he says that just because you're not drafted doesn't mean the journey is over. 25% of current players playing in the Western Hockey League are made up of players that weren't drafted.

When talking about the players that did get drafted from the Parkland, White says it just shows that you don't need to leave the region to get noticed and advance.

"There has been quite a few players from this region that have been drafted over the years and it just shows that we are in a good spot," said White. "We have some great minor hockey associations in the region that are doing a great job of preparing these kids for the AAA level."

It's become one of the most popular events of the summer and it's coming back this July to the Gilbert Plains Country Club. 

The Battle for the Belts is all set for Sunday, July 24. It's a two-person scramble and the entry fee is $130/team which is just $65 per person. That includes your round and a meal alongside a great chance for prizes.

There's also a $10,000 hole-in-one prize and it's a 10 a.m. shotgun start. Pre-pay registration opens on May 23.

For more and to register beginning in just a few days, get in touch with Danny Scott at 572-7552 and Chris Todoruk at 648-7989. 

The Dauphin Kings have their first win at Canada's National Junior A Hockey Championships.

Opening their Centennial Cup Friday afternoon against the Ottawa Jr. Senators, Dauphin scored back-to-back goals in the second period and held on late for a 2-1 win. 

The win gives Dauphin a 1-0 record at the Centennial Cup ahead of a day-off Saturday.

Ottawa was the better team in the opening 20 as they outshot the Kings 16-7; however, the second period was a completely different one. Luke Morris and Nakodan Greyeyes scored for the Kings, Greyeyes' was on the man advantage as Dauphin took a 2-1 lead after 40.

Carson Cherepak was marvelous in the game as he made 30 saves, including one at the buzzer as Dauphin skated off with the win. Next up is a battle with the Summerside Western Capitals on Sunday afternoon. 

He is only 16-years-old but clearly, that hasn't stopped him from getting the job done against guys a few years older than him. The T.G. Smith Centre was the venue and with eight minutes left, Brayden Dube scored a goal that has sent the Dauphin Kings to the Centennial Cup.

It's not often that a 16-year-old will send a junior hockey team to the national championships but the young sensation from Roblin has done just that. Brayden finished his first MJHL playoffs with three goals and six assists.

"It was the best feeling ever, especially getting the game-winning goal," said Dube. "There's no better feeling than winning a championship, especially with such a great group of guys."

The line of Dube, Logan Calder and Mathew Rathbone has been a big reason for the team's success. They were firing on all cylinders in the final and combined for three points in game seven. It's a line that wins a ton of battles and when they get the puck on their stick, they have found a way to put it in the back of the net. They're now hoping to ride that momentum into nationals.

"We have some really good chemistry between us," said Dube. "We're really good friends off the ice as well so I believe that helps us play together on the ice. We're looking forward to playing together on the national stage, it's going to be a great challenge."

Dube says there will be some pressure playing in a national championship; however, he believes the team is confident and they're ready to play the best teams in Canada.

"We just have to focus on doing the things that help us succeed," said Dube. "If we play hard the entire game and play as one unit, we're confident."

One of Brayden's highlights of the playoffs was playing in front of the amazing fans at Credit Union Place. Nearly 1500 fans packed into the rink for game six and a group of nearly 300 made their way to Steinbach for game seven.

"That's what it's all about, so much passion and energy," offered Dube. "We love that support and we appreciate it."

Luke Myhre is the newest member of the Portland Winterhawks.

As the Western Hockey League draft rolls on, they drafted Luke 106th overall. Not long ago, Portland drafted Ryder Thompson 105th overall and Ryder is now a full-time player on the team.

Luke is coming off a season in which he scored 28 times and had 18 assists. 

He just won a championship with the Brandon U15 Wheat Kings and now, Easton Odut is sticking in the Wheat City.

With the 34th overall selection in the WHL Draft, the Wheat Kings picked Easton Odut of Dauphin. 

He had 36 goals and 39 assists this past season with Brandon and also played in a single game with the U18 Wheat Kings. 

Wednesday, May 19, 2022 will go down as a day that Ryan Gower will never forget.

The McCreary native was drafted 32nd overall by the Prince Albert Raiders in the Western Hockey League draft.

Ryan had 13 goals and 21 assists this past season with the Parkland U15 Rangers and he just recently took part in Hockey Manitoba's Program of Excellence Top 40 camp.