Four basketball stars from Pine Creek First Nation and one from Ebb & Flow First Nation are provincial champions.

Mason Chartrand, Kamdyn McKay, Rylan Chartrand, Kendall Neapew, and Leland Malcolm won the 18U boys’ event at the Hoop it Up basketball tournament.

Playing under the name Toba’s Tuffest, it was a dominating performance for the four as they won all five of their games.

On their first day of action, they scored 55 points and gave up just 31 as they got off to a red-hot start. Then on Championship Sunday, Toba’s Tuffest wasn’t to be stopped. They beat the Panthers, 18-14, and then clinched the championship with a solid 18-14 win against Team Eastman.

The five will now be heading to Phoenix for the national championships in October.

Jose Mekish-Lacquette is a part of foursome that went low on Saturday to claim a championship.

Playing in a four-man scramble at the Gilbert Plains Country Club on Saturday, Jose's team fired a 15-under to win the tournament. He was joined by Tyler Lacquette, Johnny Baptiste, and Austin Dobrescu.

Finishing in second was the team of Elvis Nepinak, Scott McCallum, Barry McKay, and Ryan Horn. Finishing third was the foursome of Daryl Lacquette, Doug Hanska, Dale Murray, and Drew Jones. 

A better day could not have been scripted for the Dauphin Clippers rugby program.

On the women's side, Emma Fox recorded three tries as Dauphin hammered Rivers, 36-3, in the final to win a league title. Tanya Devos, Megan Thompson, and Bree Walker also scored tries for Dauphin in the win. Megan Thompson had a pair of tries and Ruth Evans had one.

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On the boys' side, Matthew Zurba was on a mission as he had three tries for Dauphin and the team's defence was outstanding in a 26-0 win against Crocus Plains. Joseph Lopez had one try and Louis Prevot had three converts. 

Both teams will now head to the provincial championships next week at St. Pauls School in Winnipeg.

Riley McKay played 60 games in the 2015-16 season with his hometown Swan Valley Stampeders where he scored 12 times while adding 23 assists.

Then, the Swan River native made the jump up to the Western Hockey League as he joined the Spokane Chiefs the following season where he played two full seasons before he was dealt to the Saskatoon Blades where Riley then played another two seasons.

McKay was also an assistant captain for Saskatoon in his last season and it was a career year for McKay as he scored 19 times while adding 19 assists.

His junior journey came to an end in 2020; however, his hockey journey was far from over as Riley turned professional the following year where he played five games in the ECHL with the Indy Fuel and he also suited up in 12 American Hockey League games with the Rockford IceHogs.

Now three years after beginning his professional career, McKay is coming off another busy season that was well travelled.

Riley began this past season at the Chicago Blackhawks camp before he was sent down to the Rockford IceHogs where he took part in main camp and played some exhibition action. McKay then found himself back in Indy where he would play two more games before he was traded to the Laval Rocket of the American Hockey League.

McKay was then sent down to the Trois-Rivières Lions of the ECHL and McKay scored eight times in 25 games with them while adding two assists.

After playing in those 25 games, Riley was once again on the move as he was called up by the AHL's Rocket and that's where he would end the season. All in all, Riley spent time with four different teams throughout the 2022-23 campaign.

"That's kind of part of the game, it's how it goes sometimes," said McKay. "Going to a new organization in Laval and not knowing anyone, it was a little tough to adjust at first but everyone was pretty welcoming." 

McKay ended the season by playing 23 games with Laval, recording a pair of goals and five assists to go along with 118 penalty minutes. In a pair of games that had a little extra hype and buzz to them, Riley made his return to Manitoba as the Rocket headed to Manitoba's capital for two games against the Moose on March 26 and 28 at Canada Life Centre. McKay had a large group of family and friends that made their way to the rink to show their support and the Rocket won both games, scoring 10 times while giving up just four. 

It was a short trip back to his home province, but it was an extremely special one for the Swan River native.

"It was awesome to be able to play close to home and play in front of my family and friends," offered McKay. "I had a chance to visit with family and it was great, I was happy to have that opportunity."

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Those two wins in Winnipeg proved to be the start of a red-hot patch for McKay and the rest of the Rocket as they won their final five games of the season as they qualified for the Calder Cup Playoffs. 

Laval won 33 of their 72 games and finished fifth in the North Division. After dropping their first playoff game against Utica in the best of three, the Rocket led 1-0 in game two, but their season came to an end in heartbreaking fashion.

Utica scored with just two seconds left in regulation to tie it and they scored the game and series winner just 2:45 into overtime. It may have been a tough ending to the season, but McKay is happy with how the team played down the stretch just to make it into the playoffs.

"It was awesome, we knew we had a chance to make it down the stretch because things were so close," ended McKay. "We caught fire when we needed to and got the job done. It was pretty cool to be a part of and it was a great experience."

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Riley is now back in Manitoba as he prepares for the 2023-24 season, wherever that may land him. 

The Parkland hole-in-one club has a pair of new members as the golf season is nearly a month in action. 

While there have been some fantastic shots, none have been better than Kristen Starkewski's or Owen Sigvaldason's. 

Sigvaldason aced the fourth hole on May 15 while Starkewski aced the shot but challenging ninth hole. 

The course is in incredible shape and you can book your tee times by calling 548-3030. 

It was an exciting day for teams across the Manitoba Junior Hockey League as teams announced their auto protects ahead of the MJHL Draft.

For Dauphin, the Kings have protected Luke Myhre and Sam Swanton.

Swan Valley; meanwhile, protected Tyrell Leaske and Tavyn Boychuk.

There has always been plenty of great basketball talent in Dauphin over the years and that talent continues to travel throughout the province to show off their game.

The Dauphin Hawks Basketball Club has been around for a few years now and this year, there are four teams. On the boys' side, there is a 14U, 16U, and 18U team while there is also a 15U girls' team. 

In their most recent action, all Hawks teams made their way to Brandon for a tournament and it was a weekend to remember for many. Starting with the 16U boys' team, they finished the event by winning two of their four games as they won a bronze medal in their division. 

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John Marshall is the President of the Club and he says they are really taking things to the next level in all age groups.

"We have developed greatly, our competitiveness is much more developed," said Marshall. "We know that we're going to play against some very strong teams from Brandon, Yorkton, and Winnipeg and we're competing with them. You can see each game that players are developing and that's the most important thing."

It was also an extremely special weekend for the 15U girls as they made program history. With a short bench of three players, everyone contributed to battle through plenty of adversity and the team ultimately finished in third place. This year is the second for the Hawks female program and they won their first two games in program history. Marshall says he and so many others are incredibly proud of the team.

"You can see that the girls are playing with so much confidence and their skills have grown so much," offered Marshall. "We're very proud of those girls and coaches as well, it is so deserved."

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In some other action, the U14 boys played in a higher age class and showed plenty of improvement throughout the weekend.

Both teams dominated from start to finish and the Dauphin Clippers rugby teams will now be playing for a championship.

The girls' team hammered Souris on Wednesday, 67-0. Tanya Devos and Emma Fox led the way for Dauphin as both had three tries while Chloe Fletcher notched a pair. Jana Manzano and Megan Thompson also recorded a try for Dauphin in the dominating win as did Paityn Borgouin. Brooke Miner finished off six converts.

On the boys' side, it was all Clippers as they easily got past Vincent Massey, 38-0. Louis Prevot had one try and four converts in the win while Guzman Garcia and Joseph Lopez both recorded two tries in the win.

The Clipper girls' will now play for a league title on Saturday at 12 in Dauphin against Rivers while the boys' team will hit the field right after that game as they battle against Crocus Plains for a title. Both games will be at the DRCSS football field. 

The Florida Panthers entered the Stanley Cup Playoffs with the fewest points among the final 16. 

Now just more than a month after the playoffs began, what the Panthers have done is shocking to many in the hockey world, but it isn't for a coach from Dauphin. Myles Fee was hired on as an assistant coach back in 2022 and a year later, he has helped Florida advance to the Stanley Cup Final.

Florida's run to the Cup included coming back from three games to one down against the Boston Bruins, who had a history-making regular season before the Panthers dumped the Toronto Maple Leafs. Then on Wednesday night, Matthew Tkachuk once again played the role of hero for the Panthers in a four-game sweep.

Florida will now play either Vegas or Dallas and that series could wrap up on Thursday evening. Fee, of Dauphin, is no stranger to being a part of a championship series. Back in 2019, Fee was a part of the coaching staff that led the Charlotte Checkers of the American Hockey League to a Calder Cup championship. 

The Predators 18U Girls' Volleyball Club is still in celebration mode after claiming a bronze medal at the national championships.

Playing in the event in Calgary, the Predators won all three of their games on the first day of pool play and they did not lose a set in the process. After being placed in a power pool on day two, the Predators continued to roll as they beat the Blazers from Winnipeg, Slave Lake from Alberta, and CBS Puffins from Newfoundland as they extended their record to 6-0 and once again, they did not lose a set.

Now in the Tier 1 playoffs, the Predators downed Central Valley in three sets in their quarterfinal. The Predators then won the first set against the Condors from Quebec in their semi-final; however, the Condors completed a comeback to win the match in three sets.

"I thought the girls really battled hard all week," said Dave Sigvaldason, coach. "These are long days, and you have to be mentally tough at times and I thought our girls did a great job of handling the pressure of the nationals."

Then in one of the best matches of the tournament with a bronze medal on the line, the Predators got into an early hole against DVC Smash as they lost 32-30 in the first set. The Predators then won the second set, 26-24, and they capped off the event by winning the bronze medal with a 15-6 win in the third set. They were playing in Division 5 at the event following an eighth-place finish at the provincials.

"It's a huge event, with over 140 teams from across Canada, and it can be a bit overwhelming," he offered. "The girls did a great job of just being focused on their play and what they wanted to accomplish. And in the end, to walk away with a medal is a fantastic way to end the season.  This group has worked so hard over the years and for them to get that reward here at nationals is really well deserved. I am so proud of our group!"  

Team members are Hailey Tabak, Cassidy Dundas, Raelee Brasch, Amanda Evans, Taylor Sigvaldason, Emma Froese, Jorja Cords, Lauren Vaters, Breanna Gryba and Jaidyn Cords. Sandy Hafenbrak joined Dave as coach. 

Hayden Lacquette was one of the key pieces in a blockbuster trade that happened on January 10, 2021.

As the Dauphin Kings acquired Logan Calder from the Portage Terriers, Lacquette alongside Slade Stanick was traded to the Terriers. Just days after the trade on January 14, Lacquette made his Terriers debut in a 2-1 loss against Neepawa.

Hayden then scored his first goal with the Terriers the following night and he chipped in with one assist in a 6-1 win. From that point on, Lacquette was a regular contributor on the scoresheet as he finished the campaign with three goals and 14 assists in just 22 games. It was the first time in a long time; however, that Portage was ousted from the playoffs as their off-season began much earlier than what fans in Portage expect.

After a very productive summer in the gym, Hayden returned to Portage this year and finished the regular season by averaging a point per game with 15 goals and 39 assists. Hayden was named Star of the Week on multiple occasions this season and he was tied for third in team scoring. Playing on the back end, Lacquette has incredible hands and has been known to easily maneuver his way around a defender.

Lacquette says it was a great feeling playing with one of the most storied franchises in league history.

"It was a great season in Portage," said Lacquette. "It was exciting and I put up some pretty good numbers which is always nice."

Hayden helped Portage finish atop the MGEU East Division and overall league standings and the Terriers then quickly dispatched Niverville in five games in the first round of the Turnbull Cup Playoffs.

Flu Bug:

The Terriers then got off to a great start against Virden as they won the first two games of the semi-final series. Despite winning those first two games, Portage was nowhere near healthy as several members of the team were playing sick.

That is what happens in the playoffs, players play hurt and players play sick. It's certainly not an excuse, but the Terriers' sickness certainly did not come at a good time and Virden ultimately downed Portage in seven games to send Portage packing and Virden advanced to the league final, where they came up short against Steinbach.

Second Chance:

Losing to Virden in the second round was without a doubt a setback for Portage as they entered the playoffs as the top-ranked club and they had championship aspirations, but that was not the case. However, because they played host to Hockey Canada's Centennial Cup, the Terriers would be playing in the event regardless of if they won the MJHL or not. 

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So Hayden was set to play in his first Centennial Cup as Portage was paired with Steinbach, Battlefords, Collingwood, and Kam River. Portage finished the round robin with three wins and they then beat Yarmouth in the quarter-finals. With a berth in the national final on the line, Portage came out flat and was downed by Battlefords as a result, 7-1. Despite the exit, it was still a season that Lacquette will never forget.

"It was my first-ever chance to play in a Centennial Cup and it was very special," said Lacquette. "You don't usually get that opportunity, it was so amazing."

Hayden has one year of eligibility left and the 2023-24 season is shaping up to be his biggest yet. You can also expect to see plenty of Hayden on the ball diamonds this summer as he is one of the top pitchers in the fastball scene in the province.