Dauphin, Canada

Gilbert Plains Butch Mouck and his foursome are heading to the Manitoba Senior Men's Provincial Championships.

Mouck and his foursome beat Dauphin's Ray Baker and his foursome yesterday, in the final of the Neil Andrews Legends Classic at the Brandon Curling Club.

The final was 6-2.

"It was awesome to win the first event of the year and lock up our spot into the provincials," said Mouck. "It can be a long grind if you don't qualify early. It's nice to get our spot and now we can just put our focus on gearing up for the big event."

Before this weekend's tournament, Mouck and his foursome only played in a couple games in the Super League in Brandon. But, despite it being so early in the season, the foursome came out firing on all cylinders.

"We came out playing really well," said Mouck. "We played those couple games before at the club, so we were comfortable with the ice. We went at the end of last year to see Lorne Hamblin at the high-performance camp and just got kind of tuned up. We were definitely technically sound to start the season this year, and it showed."

The Provincial Championships aren't set to go until February. That'll give Mouck and his foursome lots of time to prepare.

"We'll go to three or four bonspiels now and play against the same calibre of team," said Mouck. "We'll also probably head back to Morris a couple times so we can get tuned up again."

Last year the foursome lost on a measurement in the tie-breaker game at the provincials. If they won that game, they would have advanced to the final four. Heading into this year's edition of the Championships, Mouck knows they can play with anyone.

"We've played all these teams, and we know we can beat them if we play well," said Mouck. "We're going in positive, and if we play well, we think we'll have a solid chance."

Photo Credit - CHRIS JASTER/THE BRANDON SUN.

The Mackenzie Middle School Magic grade 7 girls volleyball team aren't only Champions, but they're history makers as well.

Playing in a tournament this weekend that welcomed teams from around the region and into Saskatchewan, the ladies won it all.

The team was also the only one in the whole tournament that had only grade 7 girls on it. Every other team had a mixture of grade 7/8's.

With the win, the Magic became the first grade 7 school from Mackenzie to ever win the tournament.

Ashley Korney was named the Tournament MVP.

Here are the team scores:

Round-Robin:

Beat Russell - 25-20, 25-17.

Beat Yorkton - 25-15, 25-12.

Lost to Grandview - 23-25, 18-25.

Playoffs:

Beat Minnedosa - 25-10, 25-18.

Beat Swan River - 25-16, 18-25, 15-8.

Beat Mackenzie Grade 8's - 25-19, 14-25, 15-6.

Check out this great Championship celebration.

The team now heads to Yorkton this weekend.

It's not in North America, but Gilbert Plains Colby Robak is back playing the game he loves at the professional level.

He signed a contract with Vaasan Sport last Thursday. They play in the Finnish Liiga.

"It felt good to sign the contract for sure," said Robak. "I've heard a lot of good things about Finland as far as a hockey standpoint goes, but also just living in general. It was an easy decision for my family and I to decide to come over here."

Just like last season, Colby didn't begin the season with a contract. But, not having one wasn't something he was worried about.

"I've been through it before and things open up all the time," said Robak. "Whether that's in North America or Europe. I knew it was just a matter of time, and kind of where and when. As I said, I've been through it before and I was just kind of waiting."

After signing his contract, Colby didn't have much time to pack up his bags before him and his family boarded a plane for Vaasa. Quickly after arriving in town, Robak played his first games with the team this past weekend. Robak and the rest of the squad lost both games, but for Colby, it was just about getting used to the league.

"You know what, I never thought it would be as different as it is," said Robak. "I got here a little jetlagged and went on the road the next day and played that night. It's definitely different playing on the bigger ice surface. There's a lot more room out there and you need to skate a lot more. But, that's what we pay the trainers the big bucks in the summertime for."

"I think the key to having success out here is realizing how much more space there is out there," said Robak. "It's a little quicker in North America, but out here there's a lot more trapping and just sort of waiting. My biggest adjustment right now is just learning the European game."

Robak is now in his ninth season as a professional hockey player. The first eight were between the American Hockey League and National Hockey League. Despite playing so much in NA, Robak had a feeling playing in Europe could eventually happen.

"I think it's something that every pro hockey player sort of thinks about," said Robak. "It's one of the perks of the game. You get to travel the world and do what you love doing. We also have another baby on the way, so that's pretty exciting for us. It's been a really neat experience so far, and we're excited about our future here for as long as it lasts."

As he learns the European style of hockey, Robak is fully confident in himself that he can have success out in Finland as the team looks to win a Championship.

"Absolutely I think that I can have success out here," said Robak. "I feel like I'm getting more comfortable with the type of player I am as I get older. Being a big guy that can skate, I feel I can use that to my advantage out here. We'll see how it goes, but I'm feeling good."

As of today, Robak and the rest of the team are in 10th place in the league with a 3-4 record. Despite that slow start, the veteran defencemen knows it's early in the season and there is a lot of time to turn things around.

"I mean I still think that we're doing a pretty good job overall," added Robak. "It's early in the year here and I'm just trying to get settled here. I think it's going to be a pretty good season honestly."

Of course, living in Europe, there is also a life outside of hockey, and what a life it can be. Throughout the season, the Robak's plan on making the most of living in Europe by doing some travelling and enjoying life to the fullest.

"Something that's big over here is you get a lot of breaks," said Robak. "We don't play a game from November 4-14. The family and I are seeing where we can maybe go to during that time. Because once you're over here, it's pretty cheap and short to just hop on a plane and go to Berlin or Paris for example."

"Getting the chance to experience so much is definitely another perk of playing over here," he added. 

So for now, Robak will continue to grind it out in Finland as he looks to make a big difference on the team. But, he knows North America is the place to ultimately be.

"I mean obviously I think the ultimate goal is to get back in the NHL," said Robak. "But I mean, we're just enjoying the ride right now. I won't ever take for granted the fact that I get to play pro hockey here in Europe and experience so many new things."

Robak and the team are back on the ice on Wednesday.

The Gilbert Plains Trojans varsity girls volleyball team continues to put solid weekends together. 

Coming into the Killarney tournament, the team hadn't finished lower then third place at any tournament this season. 

At the tournament this weekend, the Trojans kept that trend going. 

They ended up beating the host Killarney team in straight sets to win the bronze medal. 

Here is the complete playoff results for the team:

Quarterfinal vs Roblin - Straight set win. 

Semifinal vs Warren - 18-25, 22-25.

Third Place Match vs Killarney - 25-13, 25-19.

The Trojans are also doing something fantastic off the court. Find out what that is tomorrow!

The Dauphin Clippers varsity boys volleyball team no doubt improved over the weekend as they played in the Campbell Collegiate tournament in Saskatchewan. 

But, it was before the team even began their tournament that they made a big splash. 

Playing in the hitting competition, JJ Love, Ethan Thacker, Brody Voll and Matt Angus teamed up to win it. 

Then once the team took to the court in game action, they also provided a big upset.

After finishing fourth in their pool, the Clippers were put up against the top seeded Vanier squad in the playoffs. 

That’s when the Clipper ship continued to roll. They upset Vanier in three sets and the third set was in dominating fashion. 

It was 15-4.

The Clippers eventually ended up losing in straight sets in their next match.

The Parkland Midget Rangers lost, but they didn't go down without a fight earlier this afternoon.

The Central Plains Capitals ended up picking up a 6-4 win.

For the second straight game, it was the Rangers who opened the scoring. Kevin Chrisp scored his first of the season at 4:17 of the first. Jayden and Warren Jubenvill picked up the assists. 

The Caps would tie it late in the first and it was all tied at ones after 20.

Parkland regained their lead early in the second. Jaegar Lapointe fired a puck past the Caps goalie to take a 2-1 lead. Colby Cherneski had the assist.

After that goal, the Capitals opened things up with four straight goals that saw them lead 5-2 in the third.

That's where the game took a big turn. At the 13:58 mark of the final frame, DJ Taylor-Luke scored on the power play with Lapointe picking up the assist.

Just 57 seconds later Leo Chartrand scored to trim the deficit to just 5-4.

That's as close as the Rangers would come, however, as the Capitals iced it with an empty-netter late in the affair.

The loss saw the Rangers drop to 1-6 on the season. They'll look to get back on track next weekend when they take on the Interlake Lightning and Norman Northstars.

The games will be in Portage as a part of the League's Showcase.

The Dauphin Clippers grade 9 girls volleyball team had a fantastic performance this weekend.

They played in a 16-team tournament in Winnipeg and finished in second place overall.

In the playoffs yesterday, the Clippers beat MBCI and St. Mary's both in three sets.

That set up a battle with the host River East Collegiate Kodiaks in the final. The Clippers battled but ended up falling 23-25, 23-25.

None the less, it was a fantastic weekend for the squad.

The Gilbert Plains Trojans varsity boys volleyball team are Champions!

They went a perfect 10-0 as they hosted their own tournament yesterday. 

They beat Grandview, MCI, Rorketon and McCreary on their way to winning it all. All the matches were in straight sets.

The Parkland Midget Rangers scored first last night, but overall things didn’t go well. 

They dropped a 12-3 decision to the Eastman Selects.

Hunter Glover put the Rangers up 1-0 just over five minutes into the game. 

The Selects then responded with three goals in the frame with two of them coming within 10 seconds of each other. 

Garrett Hrechka scored for the Rangers in the second, but the Selects scored five to take a huge lead. 

Landyn Brasch added one more for Parkland in the third, while the Selects tacked on four more for the huge win. 

Parkland returns to action on Sunday afternoon. They’ll welcome the Central Plains Capitals to town. The puck drops at 1:30.

The Dauphin Kings ended up being awarded a win this weekend. 

On Friday night, the Kings lost 5-3 to Selkirk, but the Steelers used an ineligible player. 

Because of it, the Kings earned the full two points. 

With that win and a loss yesterday, the Kings are now 6-5.

Photo Credit - Dauphin Kings.

The Dauphin Kings put another good battle forth, but it wasn’t enough tonight in Winnipeg.

They lost to the Winnipeg Blues, 4-2.

Winnipeg opened the scoring late in the first period and led 1-0 after 20. 

Wayde Johannesson tied it up for the Kings 5:32 into the second off a seeing eye shot from the point.

From there, Winnipeg scored two goals in just over a two minute span just halfway through the frame to take a 3-1 lead.

George King brought the Kings back within one with under two minutes left in the second, but that was it. 

Winnipeg locked down defensively in the third and they scored an empty netter with just two seconds left.

Dauphin’s back at it on Tuesday. They head north to challenge OCN. 

The Parkland Source for Sports pregame show goes at 6:45!

Photo Credit - Dauphin Kings.