Throughout the season, I'll be chatting with players who used to play with the Dauphin Kings as I take a "Blast to the Past". The full interviews will play during the Dauphin Kings Power Play show after the 4:00 p.m. news, weather, and sports on Friday afternoon.
This week's "Blast to the Past" is Gilbert Plains Riese Gaber. In 77 games with Dauphin, Riese had 30 goals and 26 assists. He made his debut with the team in the 2015-16 season where he had two goals and one assist.
He followed that up with a 32-point campaign (13G) in the 2016-17 season. The 2017-18 season ended up being a title-winning season for Gaber. He had 15 goals for Dauphin through 27 games before he was traded to the Steinbach Pistons.
In 24 games in Steinbach, he had 15 goals and he helped the team win the MJHL Championship. The club also won the Anavet Cup that season and they played in the Royal Bank Cup where they came up short.
Now, Gaber's off playing in the United States Hockey League with the Dubuque Fighting Saints for the final time. After this year, he'll move to North Dakota to play for the Fighting Hawks Division 1 team.
As Riese looks back at his time playing for Dauphin, he knows the club helped him become the player he is now.
"It's crazy to think back really, that was a long time ago. I will cherish those years forever," said Gaber. "Playing in Dauphin is where things really took off for me. Starting with the Kings and getting the chance to play in other tournaments where I was able to build my confidence, it really helped me and it's a big reason I am where I am today."
Riese had 52 points last year for Dubuque. This year, the Gilbert Plains native is off to a great start. He already has three goals in just three games and he's added an assist as well. His four points have him tied for second in team-scoring and 17th in league scoring. Former Portage Terrier, Reilly Funk leads the league with eight points.
"Our first week we obviously got off to a great start by winning two games and I was very happy with how I played, I think I came out of the gates flying," added Gaber. "I knew I was ready for the season and I had a lot of energy to get things started."
The first two wins came at the USHL Showcase. Where his UND coaches and coaches from the professional ranks were in attendance.
"I wanted to make a good impression and it was great to perform well in front of UND," added Gaber. "It was nice to prove myself to the pro teams and make a statement there. I'll keep working toward my goal of playing pro one day."
As mentioned before, Dubuque won their first two games, but Gaber also helped them win their most recent which means they're 3-0. They will try to go 4-0 on Sunday when they play Tri-City. After being bounced from the playoffs against Muskegon last season, Gaber is looking forward to making a big push this year, in his final year of junior hockey.
"Winning always makes it better when you go to the rink because the mood is good," concluded Gaber. "It's a really exciting time at the rink. It's something you have to really sink in because your junior hockey years go fast and this is my last one, so I really want to make it count."
Make sure you stay tuned for the full interview with Riese tomorrow afternoon during the Dauphin Kings Power Play show.