The road to the 2020-2021 season for the Westman High School Hockey League was filled with uncertainty and many questions; however, those questions have officially been answered.
It was announced earlier this month that the season would go on with eight teams and now opening day is just days away. The Dauphin Clippers and Crocus Plains Plainsmen open the season on Sunday afternoon at Credit Union Place at 12:30 p.m.
Alongside Dauphin and Crocus Plains, the North Division will feature McCreary and Vincent Massey. Playing in this year's South Division is REMP, Boissevain/Souris, Deloraine/Hartney, and Killarney.
"Things are starting to progress here to finally getting on the ice and playing a game and that's really exciting," said Jason Alf who will be one of the coaches this season for the Clippers.
Dauphin was in the league championship last season when everything was shut down because of the novel coronavirus. This year's team will certainly have a different feel with many new faces. Here's who will play on the Dauphin Clippers this season.
Goalies: Ben Talbot, Cody Coombs, and Kyler Swanton.
Forwards: Brayden Broome, Anthony Rizzi, Allee Hrechka, Kayden Bodnar, William Miner (AP), Austyn Roos, Ashton Hlady, Seth Masson, Liam Chartrand (AP), Logan Chapman, Madden Murray, Parker Boguski, Jaymen Fee, and Matthew Zurba.
Defence: Landon Brown, Declan Sweetman, Oliver Dandeneau, Rhett Tkachyk (AP), Cohen Smigelsky, and Bradyn Paskaruk.
AP - affiliated player.
"We're young, there's no doubt about that. We have a lot of new bodies coming in, but they're very capable," said Alf. "We're looking forward to working with them and hopefully, we can get back to that championship game."
Dauphin will play 24 games this year with the regular-season ending on Saturday, March 6 at Credit Union Place. Joining Alf behind the bench will once again be Curtis Yaschyshyn, Josh Yaschyshyn, and Rob Dreger.
All four were coaches last year when the team advanced to the league final.
"Really looking forward to coaching with them. We had a great season last year and we don't plan on changing much from last year," ended Alf. "I believe things will go smooth for us."
Here is Dauphin's complete schedule: (Bold denotes home game at Credit Union Place)
Sunday, Nov 1 - 12:30 p.m. vs Crocus Plains
Friday, November 13 - 7:30 p.m. vs Crocus Plains
Saturday, November 14 - 4:30 p.m. vs Vincent Massey
Thursday, November 26 - 7:45 p.m. @ Crocus Plains (Enns Arena)
Sunday, November 29 - 2:00 p.m. vs McCreary
Thursday, December 3 - 6:30 p.m. @ Vincent Massey (Kinsmen)
Saturday, December 5 - 6:00 p.m. @ Vincent Massey (Kinsmen)
Sunday, December 6 - 2:00 p.m. vs Vincent Massey
Wednesday, December 9 - 7:00 p.m. @ McCreary (Ste. Rose)
Sunday, December 13 - 6:00 p.m. @ McCreary (Ste. Rose)
Thursday, December 17 - 7:45 p.m. @ Crocus Plains (Enns)
Friday, December 18 - 2:00 p.m. vs McCreary
Friday, January 8 - 7:30 p.m. @ REMP (Elkhorn)
Saturday, January 9 - 7:30 p.m. @Deloraine/Hartney (Deloraine)
Friday, January 15 - 7:30 p.m. @ REMP (Melita)
Saturday, January 16 - 3:30 p.m. vs Boissevain/Souris
Friday, January 22 - 8:00 p.m. @ Killarney
Saturday, January 30 - 4:00 p.m. @ Boissevain/Souris (Souris)
Friday, February 5 - 7:30 p.m. vs Killarney/Wawanesa
Saturday, February 6 - 7:30 p.m. vs Deloraine/Hartney
Friday, February 12 - 8:00 p.m. @ Deloraine/Hartney (Deloraine)
Saturday, February 20 - 7:30 p.m. vs Killarney
Saturday, February 27 - 7:30 p.m. vs REMP
Saturday, March 6 - 2:30 p.m. vs Boissevain/Souris