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The Dauphin Kings are firing on all cylinders as the regular season continues to dwindle away.

After a big win against Portage, Dauphin put up a four spot to extend their winning streak to five games in a 4-1 victory against Niverville. 

Cole Sheffield was once again brilliant in net for Dauphin as he made 32 saves in the win as Niverville lost for the 13th time in their last 16 games.

Jordan Bax, Ashton Paul, Logan Walker, and Naaman Hofer scored for Dauphin in the win. The Kings remain tied for second place in the West with the Blizzard and the two teams meet Tuesday night in The Pas.

Dauphin has also clinched a playoff berth. 

The Dauphin Kings are back in a tie for second place in the West Division after an outstanding performance on Friday night.

Opening up a busy stretch that will see the team play six games in the next nine days, Dauphin shutout the Portage Terriers, 2-0. Cole Sheffield was once again brilliant and made a huge save late to preserve his fourth shutout of the season. Trey Gnetz also made a gorgeous play as he batted down a puck at the goal line to help Dauphin secure their 31st win of the season.

Alex Senf scored the game winner as Dauphin was on the man advantage in the first period and Ashton Paul sealed it late into an empty net. It was Dauphin's fourth straight win as they improved to 31-14-1-1 on the season.

The Kings now have the same amount of points as the Blizzard; however, Dauphin does still have a game in hand. The Kings will return to the ice on Saturday night as they look to keep it going when they play the Niverville Nighthawks at Credit Union Place. All the action gets underway on Saturday at 7:30. 

His days as a member of the Edina High School hockey team were numbered.

In one last year with the team during the 2022-23 campaign, Charlie Sandven scored eight times while adding 26 assists. To advance to the next level after his high school career came to an end, Charlie was able to achieve his goal as he went over to play with the Minnesota Wilderness of the North American Hockey League. Ultimately, it was a short stop for Charlie as he made the move to Manitoba and Dauphin to join the Kings.

Sandven, who is an avid golfer, is now 30 games into his first year with his new team and he has become one of the team's most reliable defenders. He's also enjoying every second of being a part of the Kings organization, even if it means being several hours away from his family and back-home friends.

"The guys are great, the coaches are great, and the entire organization is great," said Sandven. "It's first class, I'm very happy that I decided to come here.

Standing in at 6'3", Charlie has rapidly improved throughout his time in the MJHL and Doug Hedley has relied on the 19-year-old in any situation. Whether it's five-on-five, a power play, to the Kings killing off a penalty, Sandven has stepped in and done a wonderful job.

A couple of weeks back, Charlie also got the chance to spend some time with his family as his parents and grandparents made the trip to Dauphin to watch Charlie live in action twice at Credit Union Place.

"It was great to be with my parents and grandparents, it meant a lot that they made the trek up here," offered Sandven. "They had a chance to see how I'm living and what I do on a day-to-day basis. It was great to be with them." 

Heading into this past Tuesday's home game against Swan Valley, Charlie was still in search of his first goal with Dauphin. With 30 seconds left in the game, the Edina native was able to beat the Stampeders netminder as Sandven scored his first goal as a King in his 30th game with the club. 

Charlie kept the puck and it's a moment that he won't forget.

"It felt pretty good, it took some weight off my chest," said Sandven. "It was a great game overall. Goaltending was phenomenal and everyone played their part, it was a solid win for our group."

Dauphin will look to keep it rolling this weekend. Entering a weekend that will see the team play two games, Dauphin has won three straight games, scoring 16 goals in the process. The team will be very busy over the next three weeks ahead of the Turnbull Cup playoffs as they continue to chase down the Blizzard for second place in the West Division. 

The Kings have been getting outstanding goaltending from Cole Sheffield and Austin Seibel, and great defensive play from Charlie among the remainder of the defensive core and offensively, the Kings have been very efficient as of late. 

One of their recent wins came against the Steinbach Pistons, who are ranked as the third-best team in the country. 

"We have just come together as a tight-knit group, everyone is playing for the guy next to them," offered Sandven. "No one in our room is selfish. We all have one common goal and that's winning as many games as we can and making some noise this year."

Dauphin heads to Portage to play the Terriers on Friday before returning to Dauphin to host the Nighthawks on Saturday evening. They then play the Blizzard on Tuesday before taking on Swan Valley on Wednesday afternoon at 12:30.

Get to know Charlie:

What are some of your hobbies? I'm a pretty big golfer, I play a lot throughout the summer months. I also enjoy hanging out with my friends and I enjoy the company of my family.

What is your best golf shot? I had like 100 yards in for eagle on a par 5 and I sunk it, so that was pretty great. 

Who are your favourite sports teams? Being from Minnesota, I'm a big Minnesota Vikings fan. I'm also a big fan of the Wild and Twins.

Who has been a big inspiration in your life? Definitely my grandpa, he is a very hard working man. I respect him very much for what he has done for our family, he's an incredible man that I love dearly. He's always there for me.  

Would you like to travel? I would love to go back to Scottsdale and play some golf, pretty amazing place.

You can hear Charlie's full chat with Darnell Duff during the Dauphin Kings Power Play Show after the 4:00 p.m. news, weather, business, and sports on Friday. 

Three members of the Parkland Gators Swim Club recently took part in the provincial championships and once again, it was Parkland strong in the water.

Meredith Cottrell

50m backstroke - 5th
50m breaststroke - 3rd
100m backstroke - 5th
100m freestyle - 3rd
100m individual medley - 3rd
100m breaststroke - 4th
50m freestyle - 3rd

Chayne Paziuk

50m backstroke - 3rd
50m breaststroke - 7th
100m freestyle - 8th
100m individual medley - 8th
100m breaststroke - 10th
200m backstroke - 4th

Renee Fee

50m backstroke - 11th
50m breaststroke - 21st
100m backstroke - 7th
100m freestyle - 16th
100m individual medley - 15th
200m backstroke - 7th
50m freestyle - 19th

The Dauphin Clippers varsity boys and girls basketball teams are one step closer to competing for a provincial championship.

In Swan River Tuesday for one final zone championship game, both teams easily cruised past their Parkland rivals.

On the boys' side, Nick Hudyma -- as he has so many times this year -- led the team with 27 points, four assists, and five steals. Ronin Mouck had 22 points, seven rebounds, and eight assists to go along with six steals. Ryder Waggoner; meanwhile, had 10 points, 13 rebounds, and three blocks.

On the girls' side, the Clippers downed the Tigers, 49-33. Both teams will now advance to a pre-qualifying tournament next weekend at a location to be determined. 

They were in a heated battle for third place in the East Division with the Portage Terriers.

Entering the Christmas break at 20-12-1, the Niverville Nighthawks were looking to pass the Terriers in the standings so they could avoid playing the top-ranked team in the first round of the Turnbull Cup playoffs. At this point, that is the Steinbach Pistons.

As we now approach the home stretch of the 2023-24 regular season, the Nighthawks are just trying to advance to the big dance. Since the flip of the calendar from 2023 to 2024, it has been a big struggle for the league's newest franchise. In their second year in the league, Niverville has won just three of their first 15 games of 2024.

Nine of the losses have come in regulation while the team has two overtime losses and one shootout loss throughout their first 15 contests. The Nighthawks made two rather large trades at the deadline that saw them add Alex Walicki and Josh Danis. Walicki had 36 points in 34 games to start the season with Swan Valley while Danis had 23 points in 31 games to start the campaign with the Stampeders. Since joining Niverville, Walicki has just nine points in 13 games while Danis has struggled heavily with one goal and three assists across 13 contests.

Not only has Niverville struggled as of late offensively, they have not been able to keep the puck out of their net. Coming off an 8-2 loss against Portage, Niverville has given up 57 goals over their last 10 games which is an average of just less than six goals allowed per game over the 10-game period. The Nighthawks have given up five goals or more in eight of those contests and six or more in six of them. 

Between the pipes, Raiden Legall, last year's top goaltender in the Manitoba U18 AAA Hockey League, has seen his goals-against average rise to 3.04 while Keegan Gordon's is at 3.60 to go along with his .888 save percentage.

Kevin Pauls is the team's marketing director as well as play-by-play voice and as he says, things need to change.

"If you look at the team's defence playing in front of Raiden and Keegan, I am seeing some pretty discouraging things," said Paul. "Also on the offensive side of things, the team has struggled to capitalize on the power play and that has been a big difference. The team hasn't been able to battle enough throughout a full 60-minute game."

Mired in a slump at the worst of times, Niverville is also getting used to a new man who is leading the organization on an interim basis. Last week, the club announced that they relieved Kelvin Cech of his duties as head coach and general manager. 

kelvin cech crop4

Cech, who was named MJHL Coach of the Year with the Winkler Flyers in the 2019-20 season, led Niverville to the playoffs last year in the team's first season; however, the team felt a new direction was needed.

The team's chair of the board of directors, Clarence Braun commented after the news.

“Upon the recommendation of hockey operations, we decided to relieve our head coach/general manager,” says Braun. “The trend within the past three weeks was not good. We had a difficult post-Christmas last year, but we were at the least competitive. This year we were getting blown out and that was unacceptable. It’s all about players competing and not necessarily winning. We were not competing.”

On the same note, Pauls believes Kelvin won't be out of a job for long.

"Kelvin was fantastic to work with, he knows the game and he is a great evaluator of talent," said Pauls. "He has a great mind to be a coach. He is a big reason why Winkler was so successful when he left and that will be the case here in Niverville as well."

Niverville has now announced that Mike McAulay has accepted the interim role of general manager and Dwight Hirst has been hired as interim coach for the remainder of the 2023-24 season. Hirst has spent the past four seasons as head coach of the Eastman Selects, a team the Parkland Rangers will play two times this weekend in Beasujour to wrap up their season.

Kings fans will get a chance to see Dwight and the rest of the Nighthawks this weekend as Dauphin plays host to them on Saturday night at Credit Union Place. Dauphin beat the Nighthawks, 6-0, in their last meeting earlier this year. Niverville is just three points ahead of Selkirk for the fourth and final playoff spot in the East Division. 

The Parkland U15 Rangers are just one win away from advancing in the playoffs.

On home ice against the Winnipeg Wild Red in game three of their best-of-five series Tuesday in Swan River, the Rangers came out firing on all cylinders in the first period as they scored four times in the opening 20 minutes and they cruised the rest of the way in a 7-2 win against the Wild. 

It was a clinical performance for Parkland as they went up two games to one in the series and they can win it on Thursday in McCreary. Ben Poole led the way for Parkland with two goals while Kyle Pelletier made 35 saves in the net to record the win.

Noah Smigelsky, Josh Yakielashek, Noah Hanneson, Carter Moncrief, and Dayson Martin also scored for Parkland in the win. 

Parkland will host game four on Thursday at 7:00 p.m. in McCreary. 

The Dauphin Kings dominated from start to finish Tuesday night as they picked up their 30th win of the season.

Capitalizing on four of their five power-play chances, Dauphin hammered Swan Valley, 7-1. It was Dauphin's fifth straight win against the Stampeders this season and they have outscored their Parkland rivals, 30-7, in the process.

Dauphin racked up 57 shots in the contest while Swan Valley, who have long been eliminated from playoff contention, fired just 20 as Austin Seibel made 19 saves for Dauphin to earn the win. Dauphin's first three goals of the game came on the man advantage as they inched closer to the Blizzard for second in the West. Dauphin is now two points back of them with a pair of games in hand.

Gabriel Bugeaud led the way for Dauphin with a pair of goals in the game while Aiden Murray, Naaman Hofer, Jordan Bax, and Rylan Gibbs also scored for Dauphin. Charlie Sandven scored his first goal as a King with just 30 seconds left in the game.

Ahston Paul had three assists while Trey Gnetz and Cayden Glover both had two. The Kings will look to keep it rolling on Friday night when they head to Stride Place to play the Terriers. It will mark the first time that Dauphin has gone up against Aidan Brook and Rhett Perrin since the Kings dealt them both at the trade deadline. 

The Predators soared to victory, bringing home the championship trophy to Parkland!

At the Bandits tournament in Winnipeg, they dominated their pool, defeating the Junior Pilots, Bandits #1, and Dynamo White. Their quarterfinal match against BVC from Brandon was a breeze, winning in straight sets.

Although they stumbled in the first set of the semi-final against the Winman Tide, the Predators rallied back, claiming two consecutive sets to secure the win.

In a nail-biting final against the Sturgeon Heights Huskies, they again found themselves trailing after the first set. But true to form, they fought back, taking the second set and ultimately clinching the championship with a thrilling 15-13 victory in the deciding set. What a triumphant journey for the Predators!

The Dauphin Clippers journey to a championship in Las Vegas ended in heartbreak on Monday.

On Louis Riel Day in Manitoba, the Clippers came up short against the Bow Valley Flames of Calgary, 3-2, in a shootout in a semi-final. It was a very impressive performance for Dauphin as the Flames won all four of their round-robin games, scoring 17 goals and giving up just four in the process. Jesse Hockridge and Ronin Mouck scored for Dauphin in the defeat as they finished in the top 4 as no bronze medal match was played.

In the round-robin, Dauphin won three of their four games with one game ending in a tie. A great weekend it was for Dauphin and the experience provided moments that the players and coaching staff will cherish forever.

Dauphin will now return home for one more league game on Friday when they welcome Crocus Plains to town. 

The Parkland U18 Rangers were able to manage just a single goal this weekend in a pair of losses to the Winnipeg Bruins as the Rangers season dwindles away.

On Saturday, Chase Glover made 36 saves while Tavyn Boychuk scored the team's lone goal in a 4-1 loss to the playoff bound Bruins. On Sunday, Ethan Myhre turned away 28 shots in a 6-0 loss. 

Parkland is off to Brandon on Wednesday before heading to Beasujour next weekend for a pair of games against Eastman to wrap up their season.