Accessibility Tools

The Parkland Rangers program was a massive part of Bo Eisner's life growing up as an elite hockey player.

From Swan River, Bo started his elite hockey journey by playing 71 games with the U15 Rangers scoring six times and adding 18 assists.

Ascending to the U18 program, Eisner faced a setback when the coronavirus pandemic limited the 2020-21 season to just seven games, costing him almost an entire year of eligibility. However, the subsequent season proved to be monumental for the Swan River standout as he became a pivotal part of the Rangers' historic campaign.

Parkland not only secured a playoff berth but also advanced to the second round for the first time in over two decades, triumphing over the Yellowhead Chiefs. Returning to the Rangers for his final season the following year, Eisner assumed a leadership mantle as the team's captain. Across 44 games, he achieved a personal best in points, tallying 10 goals and 22 assists, while also accumulating 18 penalty minutes.

While a championship eluded him during his time with the Rangers, Eisner acknowledges the invaluable role played by his exceptional coaches in honing his skills. Grateful for the camaraderie forged with his teammates throughout his five-year journey with the Rangers, Eisner also reflects on the countless hours spent on the road and the considerable distance covered in his vehicle. For Eisner, being a Ranger was a cherished privilege, and he approached every moment with gratitude and dedication.

"It was a huge opportunity to develop at home and have my family and friends be at games," said Eisner. "I had the chance to develop and get ready for the next level. I will forever be grateful that I had the opportunity to be a Ranger and I want to thank everyone who was involved during my five-year stint with the program."

Bo has always wanted to be a hockey player. When he was just a young boy growing up in Swan River, he spent nearly every Friday night at the Centennial Arena cheering on the Stampeders. He would show up to the games early to watch warmups and stay late to get autographs in the lobby. He truly was one of the Stampeders' biggest fans growing up.

While becoming a Stampeder was not in the cards after his days as a Ranger, Bo did achieve his goal of playing at the next level as the Swan River star signed his letter of intent to join the Melfort Mustangs of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League ahead of the current season that is slowly nearing a close.

The Mustangs are one of the SJHL's most storied franchises and being only three and a half hours away from home, his family and friends could still make the trip quite easily to see him play live at the Northern Lights Palace. 

One regular season is now in the books at the junior level for Bo and it was one to remember. Scoring twice and adding six assists, Eisner stepped up his game as his comfort level rose, and towards the end of the season, the Mustangs 20-man gameday roster always included the former Ranger.

"I thought I had a pretty good regular season, it was a bit of a learning curve because I was scratched for a few games at the start," offered Eisner. "I thought I fit in pretty well being a true defensive defenseman and I really picked things up in the back half of the season."

The Mustangs also put on a good show for their home fans on multiple occasions, in fact, on 22 different occasions. The Mustangs finished the regular campaign with a record of 22-6 on home ice and their 44 home ice points were the second-most in the league, only behind the Flin Flon Bombers. In all, Melfort finished at 38-14-3-1 which put them in second place in the league, thanks to a stretch that saw them win nine of their final 10 games. 

"I'm a part of such a great organization," said Eisner. "We have great coaches and the support we receive from the community has been nothing short of incredible."

434705656 1418235058871863 8100367026626488999 n

Canterra Seeds Cup Journey:

It was a near-perfect round for Melfort as they opened the playoffs against the Estevan Bruins. After opening the series with back-to-back wins, the Bruins punched back with a game three victory to trim the deficit to two games to one.

However, Eisner and the Mustangs responded with two straight wins to win the series in five games, putting them in the semi-finals against the Humboldt Broncos.

The SJHL playoffs have featured some incredible playoff series over the years including two years ago when the Bruins outlasted Flin Flon in the league final in seven games. Last year, the Bombers got their revenge as they beat Estevan in seven games.

Meanwhile for the Mustangs last year, they beat La Ronge in six games just to get swept in the second round against the league-champion Battlefords North Stars.

This year, a new script has been written and a series that has just ended will be talked about for years. It was the Mustangs against the Humboldt Broncos. The Mustangs jumped out to a three-games-to-one lead, just to see that disappear. Melfort was less than two minutes away from losing three straight and seeing their season come to a close.

That was until Aidyn Hutchinson scored with 1:54 left in the third period to force overtime and just 2:55 into overtime while on the power play, Ryan Duguay snapped a shot past Benjamin Motew as Melfort capped off the wild comeback and won the series in seven games to book their berth in the SJHL Final. 

"What a crazy ending, we were all pretty down on the bench when we went down late," offered Eisner. "When we came back and won it, it was one of the craziest moments I've experienced in my hockey journey. Knowing that we will be playing for a league title was an incredible feeling."

434841969 411089244876452 516646994244289791 n

Melfort last played in the league final back in 2019 when they lost in five games to Battlefords.

Title on the Line:

This year, the Mustangs will have to get by the train called the Flin Flon Bombers, who spent more than three months as the top team in the country. 

It's set to be a battle between the top two teams in the regular season standings. Without a doubt, Flin Flon is favoured in the series after a dominating season that saw them spend more than three months as the top team in the country. They are extremely talented up front, they have a solid defensive core led by Division 1 committed Noah Houle and in net, Harmon Laser Hume who has been outstanding in the playoffs. He's 8-0 with a 1.38 goals-against average to go along with an incredible .955 save percentage.

Melfort; meanwhile, shines brightest on the back end as they allowed the second-fewest goals in the regular season. If he can find a way to get hot, James Venne is capable of stealing games between the pipes. He had a 2.62 goals-against average and a .917 save percentage. 

The Mustangs have also proven they can beat Flin Flon. The two teams went 3-3 against one another in the regular season. Oddly enough, no team won on home ice. The Mustangs beat Flin Flon three times at the Whitney Forum while the Bombers beat the Mustangs three times at the Northern Lights Palace. 

Most fans are taking Flin Flon as the series winner; however, Bo is confident in his group.

"We're staying confident and getting ready to play in the hostile Whitney Forum environment," ended Eisner. "We have to continue playing our way, fast, and physically."

The winner of this series will represent Saskatchewan at the 2024 Centennial Cup, May 9 to 19 in Oakville.