The Ste. Anne Aces have successfully defended their South Eastern Manitoba Hockey League championship.

Cody Fowlie and playoff MVP Jordan DePape scored two goals each as Ste. Anne shutdown the Mercs 7-0 Saturday night in Warren.

Ste. Anne swept the best-of-seven final in four games.

The Aces won four straight in last year's final after losing the first three games to the Morden Bombers.

Brenden Walker, who had four assists in game four, compared last year's dramatic seven-game series with the Bombers to their four-game sweep of the Mercs.

“I wouldn’t say as exciting but for sure a great feeling,” said the Aces captain. “There’s nothing better than winning with a great group. I’ve got many good friends on this team. The whole team put the work ethic in, and we got the job done.”

hockey_2023Braden Purtill, Brenden Walker, SEMHL commissioner Tom Vatrt, Miguel Rondeau & Yvan Pattyn

Tanner Harms, Miguel Rondeau and Caleb Paisley also scored for Ste. Anne.

Travis Bosch made 27 saves in recording the shutout.

“Just played simple tonight,” Bosch said after game four. “Didn’t really make many mistakes. It was an all-around team effort.”

Warren netminder Jared Hogue faced 47 shots.

Hogue got the starting assignment in game four because Mitch Adamyk was serving a one-game suspension for the slashing major and game misconduct he was penalized for in the third period of game three Wednesday night in Ste. Anne.

The Aces outscored the Mercs 24-4 in the final and veteran defenseman Yvan Pattyn noted their team speed was the difference.

“We’re a fast team. We were able to get by their defensemen, use each other and we just continued to outwork them.”

hockey_2023Playoff MVP Jordan DePape

It’s the sixth straight championship for the Aces who captured four consecutive Carillon Senior Hockey League titles before joining the SEMHL in the fall of 2022.

“Huge character in this whole organization,” said Ste. Anne defenseman Pat Normandeau. “It starts with Kevin (coach Lansard), and it’s gone all the way down throughout the whole lineup. The new rookies we bring in every year, everybody steps up. We have that winning mentality, and everybody just follows."

The Aces season will carry on into April.

Ste. Anne will face the Tiger Hills Hockey League champion in the best-of-three Hockey Manitoba Senior “A” championship.

The Miniota/Elkorn C-Hawks defeated the Killarney Shamrocks 4-0 Saturday night in game one of the THHL’s best-of-five final.

The C-Hawks won the Manitoba Cup last season as Miniota/Elkhorn downed the Aces 7-3 in the deciding third game.

“We had big goals right from the beginning and obviously winning this is one of those steps,” said Ste. Anne coach Kevin Lansard shortly after his team won its second straight SEMHL title. “It was a sour taste, us losing the Manitoba Cup last year, and I felt that motivates us even more when we have those things to overcome so we’re as ready as we could be. We’re excited, whoever is there, that we’re going to give it all we got.”