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The 2024 Turnbull Cup playoffs get underway on Friday across the Manitoba Junior Hockey League.

Dauphin goes up against the Blizzard while Virden plays Neepawa. The two East Division matchups will see Portage going up against Winkler and Steinbach plays Niverville. Darnell Duff and Jeff Henson will be taking part in 730CKDM's Playoff Pick 'Em.

Below are the predictions for round one. Two points will be given for each correct series in the first round, five points will be awarded for each correct series in the second round, and 10 points will be awarded for picking the correct championship series.

Kings vs Blizzard: 

Duffy's Thoughts:  This should go down as one of the top series in the first round. Both teams beat each other three times in the regular season with Dauphin winning 2-0 in their most recent meeting. Both teams have exceptional goaltending in Tomas Anderson for the Blizzard and Cole Sheffield for the Kings. Both teams work extremely hard and while goals should be hard to come by, it will be interesting to see what player comes up with a timely goal

Duffy's Prediction: Dauphin in 6

Henny's Thoughts: Should be the best series of the opening round. Two very evenly matched clubs.  Key matchups will be the starting goalies and the Kings' power play against the Blizzard's penalty kill.  A pick-em series that will go the full seven games.

Henny's Prediction: Blizzard in 7

Oil Capitals vs Titans:

Duffy's Thoughts:  The Titans are making their return to the big dance for the first time since 2017 when they lost in the first round against Steinbach. They are one of the hardest-working teams in the league and Ken Pearson has them playing some very good hockey. If Mason Lobreau can play solid in the net, the Titans could pull off an upset against a team that advanced to the league final last year.

Duffy's Prediction: Titans in 6 

Henny's Thoughts: Neepawa's first playoff appearance since 2017 will give them a boost.  If Neepawa goalie Mason Lebreau stands on his head, there is the potential for an upset.  But Virden has too much experience from last year's run to the final and too much depth at all positions to not get out of round one. 

Henny's Prediction: Oil Capitals in 6

Pistons vs Nighthawks:

Duffy's Thoughts:  They won 47 games this season, five more than they won last year in the regular season when they won the MJHL and represented Manitoba at the Centennial Cup. Most teams are wondering, how do you stop the Steinbach Pistons? While this year's edition of the Pistons is beatable, the Nighthawks do not have nearly enough to achieve that feat over a seven-game series.

Duffy's Prediction: Steinbach in 5

Henny's Thoughts: Raiden Legall could steal one game at home for the Nighthawks, but he can't win this series by himself.  The defending champion Pistons are just way too deep for Niverville.

Henny's Prediction: Steinbach in 5

Portage vs Winkler:

Duffy's Thoughts: Both teams play heavily, both teams can score, and both teams have good goaltending. This series is shaping up to be a classic. Portage won four of five games against the Flyers in the regular season, three of which were one-goal games. Both teams have a very strong complement of 20-year-old firepower with the Flyers boasting the top two scorers in the league in Dalton Andrew and Trent Penner while the Terriers feature Gabriel Laflamme and Slade Stanick. This should be fun.

Duffy's Prediction: Portage in 6

Henny's Thoughts: The Flyers are deeper in all three areas (forward, defence, and goal) than the Terriers.  As long as they can cut down on the number of penalties they take due to their physical forecheck, they will survive a good challenge from Portage.

Henny's Prediction: Winkler in 6 

The big dance opens Friday and don't forget, you can hear all of the Kings playoff action with Darnell Duff.