Dauphin, Canada

Dauphin's Andrew Liwiski is getting set for his second full year of JR. hockey, but, it won't come in the same place his first full one did.

The 19-year-old played with the Lloydminster Bobcats last season, but now he's a Melfort Mustang.

He was acquired by the Mustangs earlier this month in a three-player trade, which also saw Foxwarren's Jacob Tibbats head Melfort's way.

"I'm excited for the opportunity to play in the SJHL," said Liwiski. "Melfort is always right up there in the standings. I think it's a good fit for me."

"When coming into the season, you always know who the top teams are," he added. "And, to know I'm going to join a top team is pretty awesome."

Liwiski was a near everyday player last season for the Bobcats, who play in the AJHL The AJHL is widely regarded as one of the top JR. leagues in Canada.

"Playing in that league as an 18-year-old allowed me to develop a lot," said Liwiski. "It's a super fast league, so I think just translating over to the SJHL and being able to make quicker decisions will come pretty naturally. I definitely feel I improved my skating throughout the season playing there."

Being wanted from one of the top teams in the SJHL every season, Andrew will be feeling extra confident heading into Fall Camp in August.

"That definitely gives me a lot of confidence," he added. "I think I'll be able to provide some more offence from the backend then I did last year, and I'm pretty excited about that."

Mustangs

Here is your local scoreboard for June 14.

Dauphin Minor Ball:

Strilkiwski Contracting Peewees lost 15-7 to Swan River. 

Dean Cooley GM Peewees lost 13-2 to Swan River. 

Competitive Slopitch League:

Denray Tire beat Outlaws, 17-16.

Giants beat Guns N' Hoses, 17-8.

The Dauphin Kings held their AGM tonight inside the Lion's Den at the Parkland Rec Complex.

Overall, the Kings posted a loss of just over $12,000 last season.

Dean Cooley, who was appointed the new Team President, shares his thoughts on the loss.

"Our goal of the hockey club is to make a little bit of money," said Cooley. "We are a non-profit organization, so making a lot of money isn't necessarily a must. I think we can note the attendance as one of the factors because we didn't quite have the numbers we wanted."

"Next year, we hope to have an exciting club on the ice, that fans want to come out and support," he added.

The Kings doubled their fundraising from 2017 to 2018. In 2018 the organization fundraised $267,801, $180,000 of which was combined between the Ag Project and Tractor Lotto. In 2017, they fundraised $127,028.

Here are some other comparisons:

Game Night Revenue - 2018 ($77,243)  2017 ($77,710).

Other Revenue - 2018 ($19,193)  2017 ($28,960).

Sponsorship - 2018 ($133,642)  2017 ($112,628).

Ticket Sales - 2018 ($105,399)  2017 ($107,566).

Regardless of it being the 50th Anniversary for the club last season, Cooley notes whatever year it is, the goal is to succeed financially and on the ice.

"I don't think it really mattered what year we were in, we were disappointed to be the 10th place team and the fact that we lost some money," he added. "Yes, we wanted to be able to celebrate more in our 50th year, but that's a part of sports. We're looking forward to an exciting year coming up."

Cooley takes over for the departing Randy Daley who decided to step down after 16 years as Team President. 

"I think it's important for everyone to take their turn," said Cooley. "I, first of all, want to say thank you very much to Randy for all he's done. I believe everyone deserves a turn, so now, I'll take over the presidency for a few years, and hand it off to someone at that point."

Here are some other changes in the organization:

New Team Governor - Jason Gibbs. 

Director of Billets - Ashley Shaw/ Lindsay Kyle.

Director of Volunteers - Cam Abrey.

Director of Marketing - Hector Paulhus. 

Board Resignations:

Randy Daley - President/Governor.

Ray Lofgren - Volunteer Coordinator.

Sherrie Volk - Marketing.

"I'm very pleased with our Board of Directors," said Cooley. "Again, I do believe in change and new and exciting ideas is always a good thing. I thank very much to the people who've come to our board and did everything they did. We're very excited to add new people to the board."

Going forward, Cooley believes Ticket Sales is a huge way to turn things around financially.

"We're very excited to have Doug Hedley as our HC/GM," he added. "Everyone knows the success he's had, and what he's already brought to our club. Getting people in the stands will help without a doubt."

The Kings also unveiled a new logo at the AGM, that will be used going forward. 

New Logo

Closing facts:

The Kings officially wrapped up their "50 for 50" campaign and successfully raised over their $50,000 goal.

For the first time since 2012, the teams debt is now under $100,000 ($98,000).

You can officially set your calendar for the winter if you're a Dauphin Kings fan.

The MJHL has released this upcoming season's schedule.

Kings Preseason Schedule:

Sunday, September, 2 - JoFo Cup - 2:00 p.m.

Monday, September 3 - Swan Valley - 6:00 p.m.

Tuesday, September 4 - @ Swan Valley - 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, September 8 - Virden Oil Capitals - 7:30 p.m.

Monday, September 10 -  @ Waywayseecappo Wolverines - 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday, September 12 - @ Virden Oil Capitals - 7:30 p.m.

Friday, September 14 - Waywayseecappo Wolverines - 7:30 p.m.

To see the entire regular season schedule for the team, head to Dauphin Kings Schedule.

Here are some important dates throughout the season:

Saturday, September 22 - "Home Opener" Sponsored by Dauphin Clinic Pharmacy.

Friday, September 28-30 - First Road Trip (3 games in 3 days).

Saturday, October 6 - Skate with the Kings.

Friday, November 9 - Heroes Night.

Wednesday, November 21 - Rain Check Night.

Saturday, November 24 - Ag Appreciation Night.

Friday, December 7 - Teddy Bear Toss/ Hockey Cards.

Sunday, December 9 - Tractor Lotto.

Tuesday, December 11-12 - "MJHL Showcase" in Winnipeg.

Saturday, December 22 - Skate with the Kings/ Christmas Game.

Friday, January 18 - Skate with the Kings.

Saturday, January 19 - Kings Comedy Night.

Saturday, January 26 - Ukrainian Night.

Wednesday, February 13 - Rain Check Night.

Saturday, February 16 - Skate with the Kings.

Thursday, February 28 - Awards Night/ Final Home Game.

He's already worn a Dauphin Kings jersey in game action, but, going forward Nakodan Greyeyes will be wearing a Kings jersey full-time.

The 17-year-old top prospect officially committed to the Kings earlier today.

"I was super happy to commit to the Kings," said Greyeyes. "I'm looking forward to the season, and it was nice to get the decision over with."

"The young group we're going to have next year," said Greyeyes on why he decided to commit. "Doug's a really good coach, and he's going to provide me with a really good year of development."

Doug Hedley, HC/GM for the Kings is thrilled just like Nakodan that he committed.

"Getting to commit him to us this year is a great signing for us," said Hedley. "Teams in the WHL were interested in him, but the good thing is he's decided to go NCAA Division 1. We feel he's going to add some speed, and skill to the lineup. He will definitely contribute offensively for us this season."

Nakodan will be coming over from the Rink Hockey Academy (RHA) where he absolutely tore it up. In just 36 games, he scored 24 goals and assisted on 29 other for a 53 point total, which is an average of 1.47 points per game.

"That program really took my game to the next level," said Greyeyes. "It really prepared me for JR., and it's pretty much the same schedule I'm on now which is really exciting."

"Nakodan had the chance to play exceptional competition from around Canada and the United States during his time at RHA," said Hedley. "We're looking forward to him wearing a Kings jersey."

Greyeyes becomes the third 17-year-old to commit to the Kings in the last month, with the other two being Mitchell Joss and Alex Cattani. 

"We're getting some really good hockey players," said Doug Hedley on getting commitments from younger players. "When you can sign a 17-year-old that can play in this league, it means we'll have them for a couple years, and we can develop them. We're going to surround them with experience, and put them in situations that we feel they can succeed in."

Nakodan will now skate with RHA all summer, and workout to prepare for the Kings Fall Camp in late August.

Last year, the Dauphin Kings profited over $40,000 from their "AG Project", and the project is once again underway right now.

This year the project is located just outside of Dauphin near the Vermillion Sportsplex off Industrial Road.

"This year we have Canola planted," said Gary Sydor. "We got it planted on June 10. We're hoping to reach last year's amount or get even more."

All of the money raised through the project goes directly towards the Dauphin Kings, meaning last year over $40,000 went right to the Kings.

"It's super important," said Sydor. "If you combined this project and the "Tractor Lotto" it brings in 35-40% of the season's expenses for the team."

"We need to keep the club going," he added. "We have a beautiful arena, and the Dauphin Kings can't go anywhere. We need people to help us."

If you want to help out in any aspect for the "AG Project" or find out more information about it, you can contact Rae Csversko at 648-7941. Or, you can call Gary at 638-2480.

It's the official beginning of a new season for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, as they get set for their home opener tonight against the Edmonton Eskimos at Investors Group Field.

Players Reaction:

The Bombers will enter the contest without their star quarterback, Matt Nichols who was injured a couple of weeks back. That means Chris Streveler will get the start. It'll be Chris' first ever start and first ever game played in the CFL. 

"I wouldn't say it's a daunting task," said Streveler. "It's a really exciting opportunity. It's been a short week of practice, so there's been lots of preparation. I'm really excited to play in a real game with the team, and hopefully, I can give us a chance to win."

One of the Bombers biggest additions in the offseason was star receiver and former Eskimo Adarius Bowman. From 2014 to 2016, Bowman racked up 4521 yards which included a career-high 1761 yards in the 2016 season. He then fell back a little bit last season due to an injury, receiving for just 534 yards, but Adarius is confident heading into this season.

"I'm looking at this season like every other one," said Bowman. "Definitely last year wasn't up to my standards, and I think everyone's having talks because I set the standard for myself super high every year. For me, it's the same preparation. I'm going in to be the best I can be for this team."

"I feel amazing," said Bowman on playing against his former team. "My time in Edmonton was amazing, but my journey as a professional athlete has to continue. I have the same mindset in a new place. It's a great environment over here, and I'm approaching it how it should be."

With the deletion of Bowman from the Eskimos lineup, many people are wondering how strong the Esky's receiving core will be, but quarterback Mike Reilly isn't too worried. 

"It's really a challenge every year because teams always change," said Reilly. "We played a ton of football together, and we've had our success basically at the same time. It's a challenge not having him on the team anymore, but we're very confident in what we have this season."

Another big addition for the Bombers was Adam Bighill, who is expected to make a major impact on the Bombers defensive core immediately.

"He's a great football player, and I knew that since we played college football together," said Reilly. "He's an extremely strong guy, and he works as hard as anyone. In his free time, he's working to make sure he's ready for anything that comes his way. He understands the game. It's always a challenge playing against a guy like him, but, that's my favourite part as a quarterback. 

"It's going to be a little strange seeing him in Winnipeg and not BC," he added.

Gametime:

The Bombers were 6-3 at IGF last season which was tied for second and was just behind Calgary who was 7-2. 

Tonight's season opener will be the earliest regular-season opener in league history. The prior earliest was June 15, 2004. 

Both clubs are 5-5 in their last 10 season openers, but the Bombers are 3-1 in their last four.

Kickoff:

For the first time this season, you can hear tonight's game right here on 730CKDM, as we're a proud member of the Blue Bomber Radio Network. Kickoff is set for just after 7:30.

It was a busy night in the Santa Clara Baseball League, and Southeast Senior Baseball League tonight.

Here are the scores:

Santa Clara:

The Dauphin Brewers played one of their best games of the season, as they smashed Neepawa, 8-2.

Carberry beat Minnedosa, 7-5.

Plumas beat Austin, 13-7.

Southeast:

Langenburg doubled up Canora, 4-2.

Yorkton beat Back Forty, 3-2.

Dauphin Minor Ball: 

Dauphin Clinic Pharmacy Mosquitos beat Parkway Lanes Mosquitos, 25-11.

Shane Roulette played the last 71 games of his Jr. A hockey career with the Swan Valley Stampeders.

Now, the 20-year-old is set to head to Ashland, Wisconsin to play for the Northland College Lumberjacks Division 3 hockey team.

"It's really exciting for me," said Roulette. "It's a big step in growing as a person, and as a hockey player. I'm really excited to get it started."

When going through his options, Northland was a no-brainer for the hardworking forward.

"Northland plays in one of the top Division 3 hockey leagues," he said. "It's also not that far from home, so I can always come home for a weekend, or my family and friends can come out to see me. It's a great program, and I can't wait to be a part of it."

Shane is now set to join one of his best friends, Duck Bay's Daniel Chartrand who is also getting set to play with the Lumberjacks.

"We've been playing against or with each other for the last six years or so, and we've become really good friends," Roulette added. "I can definitely see myself helping him, and him helping me succeed. It's really exciting that I'll get to play some more hockey with him."

The hard-hitting Roulette began his Jr. A career with the Waywayseecappo Wolverines, and also spent time with the OCN Blizzard, before playing with the Stampeders, and he feels he'll be ready for college hockey.

"I know it's going to be a bit faster, but I'm not too concerned," he said. "I feel I've been getting better with each passing year, and I'm hoping that'll continue when I lace up the skates for the Lumberjacks in the fall."

AUDIO - Shane Roulette:

Dauphin's Mason Rody has been on quite the football ride for the past few years, and that ride is not stopping anytime soon.

As a part of the Dauphin Clippers football team, the 18-year-old was a part of three straight League Championships, and now the grade 12 is set to play his football in the Canadian Junior Football League (CJFL).

On June 7, Rody signed a contract with the Winnipeg Rifles, that will extend his football career and see him play against some of the best football players in Canada at the Jr. level.

"It's a really big honour," said Rody. "I've been wanting to continue my football career for the past couple years. I always made sure I went to practice, so I could get to the level I'm at right now."

"I've been working on my speed a ton," he added. "I'm flat-footed, so that's a problem, but I've been working on it. Last spring I went to Winnipeg once or twice a week for Team Manitoba tryouts and other camps. I'm working my hardest, and it's awesome to sign with the Rifles."

Making the Rifles is extra special for Mason. Because he's from Dauphin, it's harder to make a major city team because of the skill that comes from the big city, but obviously, that didn't stop Rody from making a great impression which led to the signing.

"It feels really good," said Rody. "They're 80 guys on the team, and they signed just five guys from outside of Winnipeg, and that includes players from out of the province as well. I'm the only guy from Rural Manitoba, so it feels amazing."

For now, Mason will continue to work on his strength and conditioning in town, before moving to Winnipeg in mid-July, where he'll meet his billets and get ready to get to the grind with the team.

"I'm really looking forward to meeting new people, and having new experiences," he added. "I love being in the city and seeing all the lights. It's a stress reliever for me."

Rody know's it won't be an easy transition to the league, but he's had past experiences that he believes will help him.

"I definitely think winning those Championships will help me succeed," said Rody. "It won't be easy, but I love being in the big game and having more pressure on me. It pushes me to be better. It'll be a fun experience."

"I don't think it'll take me too long to get used to the pace and style of play," he added. "Realistically, I'm thinking a few games at most."

When Mason takes a look back at when he knew he wanted to play football, he's got a pretty cool story to tell.

"When I was about nine-months-old I was in a shopping cart with my mom, and she tossed a ball at me and I caught it," said Rody. "Ever since then, my parents would grow up throwing balls at me, and I always loved it."

Rody and the Rifles play their first game on August 18 against the Edmonton Wildcats at Investors Group Field. 

AUDIO - Mason Rody:

Rody1

You can start counting down the days until the Dauphin Kings Home Opener, which will once again be sponsored by Dauphin Clinic Pharmacy.

The date for the game will be September 22, and it'll once again be against the Virden Oil Capitals.