Steinbach Regional will play its regular season finale against Garden City today (4 p.m.) at the T.G. Smith Centre. The Winnipeg High School Hockey League’s Platinum Promotions Division leading Fighting Gophers have 22 wins and an overtime loss this season. The Sabres are in fourth place with 14 wins, five regulation losses, three overtime losses and a shootout loss. The SRSS will meet the Miles Maconell Buckeyes in the opening round of the WHSHL playoffs next week.
Second place in the Hanover Tache Junior Hockey League will be decided tonight in St. Jean as the Red River Mudbugs face the Springfield Xtreme in the regular season finale for both teams. The Mudbugs and Xtreme are tied with 32 points each. The winner will meet Macdonald in the opening round of the playoffs. Tonight the Swarm face the Niverville Clippers in Sanford and the first place Steinbach Huskies host the Lorette Comets. The defending champion Comets are two points ahead of the Clippers in the race for fourth place. Both teams have two games left.
The Portage Islanders undefeated season came to an end Thursday night in Morden. Tyler Peers and Andrew Clark scored two goals each as the Bombers downed Portage 5-1. Lane Taylor had the lone goal for the Islanders who are 15-1 and had already clinched top spot in the SEMHL. Jessi Freund also scored for Morden. The Bombers moved into a second place tie with Warren. Both teams have 23 points. Morden has one game left and the defending champion Mercs have two. Braeden Binda scored the go-ahead goal at 9:30 of the third period and Matthew Osadick added an empty netter with 1:24 left as Ile des Chenes defeated Altona 5-3 at Sunflower Gardens. Thomas Freeman, Tyler Swerdyliak and Jordan Weir also scored for the Northstars who are in sixth place with 19 points. Ile des Chenes is one point back of the Red River Wild and one point ahead of the Notre Dame Hawks. Justin Augert, Skylar Klassen and Kirby Sawatzky replied for the Maroons who have been eliminated from playoff contention. The regular season schedule ends this weekend.
Two Manitobans will play for Team Canada in the final two Rivalry Series games against the United States. Defenseman Jocelyne Larocque of Ste. Anne and goaltender Kristen Campbell of Brandon have been named to Hockey Canada's 24-player roster. The Americans lead the series 3-2 with the final two games taking place in Quebec later this month.
The NHL all-star festivities kick off tonight in Sunrise, Florida with the skills competitions. The four returning events are fastest skater, hardest shot, the breakaway challenge and accuracy shooting. The three new ones will be the tendy tandem, splash shot and pitch n' puck. Defenseman Josh Morrissey and goaltender Connor Hellebuyck are representing the Winnipeg Jets.
The Winnipeg Blue Bombers have signed American defensive back Deuce Wallace and National defensive back Jacob Janke. Wallace was originally a walk-on at Louisiana-Lafayette and eventually became a starter in the defensive backfield. In his final two seasons, Wallace had 62 tackles, one interception and one forced fumble. As a senior in 2019, Wallace was named a team captain. He signed as an undrafted free agent with the New Orleans Saints in May of 2021. Janke joins the club after spending time with the Saskatchewan Roughriders. He was a fourth-round selection, 35th overall, by the Roughriders in the 2019 CFL Draft and returned to university that fall where he had an all-star season. Janke was a second-team All-Canadian and a first-team Ontario University Athletics all-star in 2019. He was also named the U-Sports recipient of the prestigious Russ Jackson Award, recognizing the football player ‘who best exemplifies the attributes of academic achievement, football skill and citizenship.’ Janke attended training camp with the Roughriders prior to the start of the 2021 season.
2022 American Association Player of the Year Max Murphy has re-signed with the Winnipeg Goldeyes. Murphy hit .308 while leading the league with 31 home runs, 97 runs batted in, and 242 total bases last season. He finished among the league leaders in runs (76), hits (124), and slugging percentage (.600). His 31 round-trippers tied the Goldeyes record set in 2021 by Kyle Martin. The 30-year-old Robbinsdale, Minnesota native has played in all 199 Goldeyes regular season games since joining the team prior to the 2021 campaign. His 2022 season came to a premature end during game one of the West Division Playoffs at Shaw Park when he fractured his left tibia and fibula in a home plate collision. Murphy is the Goldeyes’ third official player signing for the 2023 season. American Association clubs may carry up to 30 players during spring training, which begins May 3rd.
The regular season schedule ends this weekend. Steinbach Huskies coach Ben Plett will join Clayton Dreger on the Hanover Tache Junior Hockey League Report which airs Fridays at 5:15 p.m. on AM 1250 Radio.