The hockey season in our province came to a close late last week when Hockey Manitoba cancelled all remaining play due to the growing concern of COVID-19. That meant the high school hockey season was abruptly cut short and for a Parkland team it was when they were competing in the provincials while another Parkland team (Dauphin) was just getting set to travel to do so.
The Major Pratt Trojans were in Rivers playing in the A/AA Provincial Championships. They hadn't quite played their first game when the plug was pulled; however, they were tournament favourites after a great regular season. In the end, it wasn't to be for Russell's Josh Thompson and the remainder of the team.
"Yeah, it would have been great to see how we could have finished in provincials," said Thompson, the brother of Ryder Thompson who has already signed his first WHL Standard Player Contract with the Portland Winterhawks. "It's a shame that it came to a close like that, but it is what it is."
When it comes to the regular season in the Westman High School Hockey League, Josh put together a fantastic season. He played in 20 of the team's 23 regular-season games and he had 45 points. The most impressive part about the season was his goal streak that will continue into the next regular season. Josh scored at least one goal in every single regular-season game.
His biggest night came in a big win against McCreary when Thompson lit the lamp four times and he added two assists for a huge six-point evening. He scored twice in a game on five other occasions as he finished fourth in team scoring.
"That was one of my goals all season long. It was a ton of fun to score every game and I kept the pressure on myself to do so," said Thompson. "I was at the right spot at the right time. I stood in front of the net and got the cheap goals, they all count at the end of the day."
When it came to playoff hockey, Josh continued doing his thing. He had three goals and three assists in five games. All three goals were scored in the team's first-round sweep of the Rivers/Elton Rage. In the second round which was the league semi-final, the team fell short against Killarney in three games. There was just one time all season long that Killarney lost a game in regulation and that's when the Trojans made it happen in game two.
The regular season saw the team go 19-3-1. Add up the playoffs and the team won 22 games.
"I was very proud of the guys, especially in that second round against Killarney, we gave it everything we had," continued Thompson. "I'm glad we made it as far as we did and everyone should be proud."
Being in grade-11, Josh has one more season left of eligibility. That means he'll return to next year's team as they'll look to win their first league title since 2006. In all, Major Pratt has four league championships to their names.
"I think our team will be just as good if not better next season," concluded Thompson. "For myself, I want to have an even better season, that's what I'm pushing for."