Players, goalies, coaches, and everyone involved in the Grand Plains U18 Ice Dogs team this year have several reasons to be proud and smile as the off-season has arrived.

The team that features players from throughout the Parkland region came up just short in the provincial final as they lost a hard-fought game against Birtle. Then in the league final of the Rural Manitoba Female Hockey League, Grand Plains and Birtle met again and it will go down as a series that won't soon be forgotten.

Four of the five games went into at least a single overtime and game five ended with Birtle scoring in double overtime. 

Dwayne Damsgaard has been with the program since its inception seven years ago and he stepped up as the team's head coach this year.

"It was an awesome season, the girls played so well," said Damsgaard. "Every practice and game our players improved. They never gave up and always continued to give it their all."

Damsgaard wanted the team to know how proud he is of them.

"We accomplished so much this year and there is a lot to be happy about," ended Damsgaard. "I am very happy with how things went this year and I believe female hockey in the Parkland is in a great spot."

Durability and consistency are two words that can be used to describe Owen Wareham of the Dauphin Kings.

From Rivers, the 20-year-old is in his final season with the only junior team he has ever played with and with that, Friday is the final time he will play in game one of a first-round series in the league.

Wareham has suited up in 117 regular season games with Dauphin and 18 playoff games after the Kings went on to win the league title last season. This year, Wareham played in all 58 games with Dauphin, something that no one else on the team has done. Whether it's in practice or in a game, Wareham gives it everything he has and he had this to say on his time with the Kings.

"It's been so much fun here, I am so glad that I have been able to spend my junior career here," said Wareham. "Winning that league title last year, you can't ask for anything else and we're looking to make it happen again this year."

Wareham also posted a career-high in points this year. After a 22-point season last year when he was an integral part of the team's roster, Wareham scored eight times in the regular season while adding 29 assists this year. Owen did also score twice and added six assists in the playoffs last year.

In his final year as a King, Owen also takes great pride in being the team's captain.

"It's definitely an honour, I was able to learn a lot from Parker Malchuk last year and Grady Hobbs before that," said Wareham. "I'm trying to pass down what I have learned in past years."

Dauphin finished 32-21-3-2 in the regular season which saw them earn the final playoff spot in the West Division by six points over Waywayseecappo. Dauphin won five of their last six games and they earned points in their final six. A highlight of the regular season saw Dauphin beat the Portage Terriers four times in as many games. The Terriers finished first in the East Division and MJHL, respectively.

"I was lucky enough to stay healthy for the whole season which was great," offered Wareham. "We have a great group of guys so to be able to go to war with them every night has been a lot of fun."

With their fourth-place finish in the division, Dauphin will now battle the Swan Valley Stampeders, a team that Dauphin beat four times in the regular season. It's an all-Parkland battle and it is one of the biggest rivalries in the MJHL. The two teams also played in the first round last year. The Stamps' are led by their first line of Jakob Jones, Trey Sauder, Justin Keck, and their all-star goaltender in Kobe Grant.

"We're very excited about this series," said Wareham. "We know we can beat them so it's just about getting down to business and getting it done." 


The Skownan Rebels U13 hockey team brought home a championship from Thompson.

The team put together a great weekend as they played in the Little Chiefs U13 Tournament. In the finals, the Rebels downed the host Thompson Little Chiefs, 7-6.

In their previous action before the championship game, Skownan beat Cross Lake, 6-4. Then Skownan followed that up with a solid 11-2 win against Nelson House before they beat the Little Chiefs for the first time, 11-5. 

Skownan will now have their team name along with each individual name engraved on the championship trophy and they will look to defend their title next season.

Sarah Hogue put together a very solid high school career on the volleyball court which included her getting the chance to jump up and play with the varsity girls' team at the provincials when she was only in grade 10. That provincial tournament led to a silver medal. 

Now years removed from representing the DRCSS, Hogue is just less than eight hours away from her hometown as she plays collegiate volleyball with the Lakeland College Rustlers. Hogue has been at Lakeland for four years now; however, she just completed her second season on the court with the team after the pandemic shut down the sports world and as a result, the Rustlers season for two years.

Hogue finished conference play this year with 49 kills and 33 digs over 50 sets played. Hogue ultimately played an integral part in a season to remember for the team. Lakeland went 18-1 in conference play and their only loss was a five-set thriller. They won 56 of 59 sets played in those 19 games and they finished the regular season with eight straight wins. 

Sarah had this to say about what it was like to be on such a dominant team.

"It's a really cool feeling, getting to learn and play alongside some of the best players in the country is great," said Hogue. "We had some incredible athletes and everyone came together with one goal in mind, it was really special to be a part of."

Lakeland was then handed the top seed for their conference tournament which they won three straight games and won all nine sets. The team's next challenge was now going up against the top teams from around Canada. Following wins against Rouges de Saint-Boniface and Humber, the Rustlers were just one game away from completing a near-perfect season. In the end, the Camosun Chargers were no match for Lakeland as Hogue's Rustlers won the national final in straight sets.

"It's been a little bit of a whirlwind. The first few days after it happened, it didn't feel real," said Hogue. "As an athlete, winning a national title is something that you dream of, it's such an incredible feeling."

Combining conference play, their conference tournament, and the national championship, the Rustlers went 24-1 and they won 75 of the 79 sets they played in. Sarah says off-season workouts have now begun as she prepares to play her third season with the team next year.

The 16U Predators can't be stopped this season.

The team won the Vipers tournament over the weekend as they won their third title of the season. They previously won events in Yorkton and Moose Jaw.

The team is off to Brandon this weekend. 

The Junior Rangers Hockey Academy is aiming to begin operations in September of 2023. 

The Academy is like many others in the country where Parkland hockey players will either be on the ice in the morning followed by in the classroom during the afternoon, or in the classroom in the morning and on the ice in the afternoons.

Running out of the Rotary Arena in Dauphin, the Academy has been approved by the government and they are now looking for student-athletes that may be interested. The cost would be anywhere from $8,000 to $9,500 per year. The fee includes all components of the academy, on and off the ice. The Academy will follow the Mountain View School Division (MVSD) school calendar for the 2023-24 year and all classroom instruction will take place upstairs at the Rotary.

Here is a breakdown of what each day would look like.


Any student-athlete that attends the Academy will be required to play their hockey season with their home Minor Hockey Association. Meaning if you're from Ste. Rose, you will be a part of the Academy during the day and you will be in Ste. Rose at night. In the classroom, students will be taught science, social studies, English, and math. 

Jordan Pernarowski says they have been working to put together the Academy for quite some time.

"We're just out recruiting right now to see if there is enough interest to make it run," offered Pernarowski. "Our number one goal is to provide top-level education and the next is to give these players time to focus on hockey as well. We have a really great skills coach lined up that would allow players to really improve and develop."

The dates are set. It's the Swan Valley Stampeders and Dauphin Kings in the first round of the Turnbull Cup Playoffs.

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The top senior curling teams in the province will be in Dauphin this week battling for a buffalo.

The Dauphin Curling Club will be playing host to the Strathcona Trust Senior Men's and Pharmasave Senior Women's Provincial Championships. The men's event is slated to open on Thursday morning at 9 with four games hitting the ice while the women's event will begin at the same time with a pair of games hitting the ice.

The provincial final on both the men's and women's sides will take place at 1:00 p.m. on Monday. 

Greg Thompson is a part of the chair committee and he's pleased that Dauphin is getting the chance to host the event.

"I think there is a fair amount of buzz around the curling rink," said Thompson. "We're hoping that the locals come out and enjoy some really good curling."

Randy Neufeld -- who recently won the Masters Provincials in Thompson -- highlights a very strong men's field that overall features 16 rinks. Butch Mouck of Gilbert Plains will also be playing in the event with his team consisting of Butch, Glenn Parrott, Peter Prokopowich, and Dave Clark. Dwight Bottrell is the team's, fifth man. The women's field consists of eight teams including Team Laurie Deprez. Deprez just skipped a team to a Manitoba title at the Masters' Championship.

"Most of these curlers have been competitively curling for their entire life," ended Thompson. "There is going to be some excellent curling and shotmaking here in Dauphin."

All the action will be free and the curler's lounge will be open from 11 to 11 daily. 

Katelynn Preston was named a tournament all-star as the Ste. Rose Celtics wrapped up the provincials with a silver medal.

Ste. Rose opened up their tournament with a 24-point win over Pine Creek in a 53-29 victory. Ste. Rose then downed Hamiota in one of the best games of the tournament, 42-40.

The Celtics came up short in the finals against Glenboro/Baldur, but it was still a great run to the finals. 

The Swan Valley Tigers hockey team is on top of the Westman High School Hockey League. 

After beating Vincent Massey in the first round and the Dauphin Clippers in the second, the Tigers completed a series sweep in the championship against Neepawa. After opening the series with a dominating 9-0 win, the Tigers won the title with a 4-3 nailbiting win on Sunday.

Swan Valley finished third in the regular season standings before going on their championship run. 

The Parkland U17 Vipers put together a great weekend as they finished in fourth place in a tournament that included 10 of the top teams in the province.

The Vipers started by winning six of their nine sets in the round-robin. Parkland then downed the Winnipeg Wild White, 25-17, 25-22. Then in a game against the Bisons Gold, the top team in the province, Parkland pushed the Bisons all game. Scoring 13 points in the first set, the Vipers scored 25 in the second set, but they came up just short.

Parkland then wrapped up their event with a loss to the Bandits, 22-25, 22-25.