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The Hamilton Tiger-Cats, Winnipeg Blue Bombers, and B.C. Lions have all been fined by the CFL for exceeding the league’s 2023 salary cap.

But none exceeded the $5.45-million cap by more than $100,000 so the selection order for the '24 CFL draft on April 30 remains unchanged.

The CFL released the results of its detailed season-ending audit on Friday.

The 2024 salary cap is set at $5.525 million.

Hamilton went over the cap by just $2,654 while Winnipeg surpassed it by $25,947. B.C. was over by $85,979.

As a result, all three teams were fined the amount they exceeded the cap.

The Stanley Cup playoffs open up Saturday with eight great series set to take centre stage.

Darnell Duff will go up against Jeff Henson in a pick-em.

Bracket: Duffy


Bracket: Henny


It will go down as one of the best seasons in the history of AAA hockey in Manitoba. It may go down as one of the best seasons ever across the country.

The team knew they had a special group heading into the season, but not even they could predict what would happen. The Brandon U18 Wheat Kings were in a class of their own in the Manitoba AAA U18 Hockey League this year.

Led by a powerhouse first line of Jaxon Jacobson of Brandon, Brady Turko of McCreary, and Easton Odut of Dauphin, the Wheat Kings did not lose a single game in regulation during the regular season. Their only defeat was an overtime loss against Southwest and even then, that came way back on Friday, November 10.

The Wheat Kings ended the regular season on an incredible 31-game winning streak and won the league's regular season crown by 29 points. They ended up winning 43 of 44 regular season games. The next closest lost 13 games in regulation.

Brandon then hit double-digits in their first playoff game against Eastman and completed a sweep by outscoring the Selects, 26-4. They then scored another 14 goals in a three-game sweep of Pembina Valley and capped off their championship run by downing the Winnipeg Wild in three games. Through the playoffs, the Wheat Kings were 52-0-1. 

Travis Mealy is the team's head coach and he says this year's group is extremely motivated and they come to the rink with their work boots on every day. Mealy then led the club to the Telus Cup West Regionals in Winnipeg earlier this month at the Hockey For All Centre.

Brandon opened up the four-team tournament with a 4-1 win against Saskatoon before downing the Wild, 3-1. Brandon then lost their first game in regulation in a 5-3 defeat against Thunder Bay; however, the game did not mean much as Brandon had already clinched their berth in the final as a rematch with Saskatoon was on deck.

In the finals, Turko of McCreary was the overtime hero going coast-to-coast, swiftly moving past the Blazers defenders, only to beat the netminder on a nice deke as the Wheat Kings were crowed West Region champions.

"I think everyone was sort of holding their breaths, it's one thing to have success in the regular season, but it's another to do it in the playoffs," said Mealy. "It was very special that after the incredible season the boys put together, they were able to win a provincial title and the West Regionals, pretty special stuff."

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Jaxon Jacobson led the Wheat Kings all season and was recently named the CEHL Player of the Year. He had five more points in the regionals which if you combine the regular season playoffs and his performance at the Hockey for All Centre, the young phenom, who also had six points in the Western Hockey League this year, had 134 AAA points to his name. 

For Brady Turko; meanwhile, it has been a breakout campaign for the young man. He finished second in regular season scoring with 90 points before adding another 20 points in just nine playoff games. Then moving forward to the West Regionals, not only was he the hero in the final against Saskatoon, but the McCreary star also led the tournament in scoring with six points.

"He has probably taken the biggest steps from any player that I have coached in terms from being a 15-year-old to a 16-year-old," said Turko. "He has incredible IQ. He was a step behind guys last year, but when he came to camp this year, he took his game to the next level. He's a pretty special player that works tirelessly and he's reaping the benefits of his hard work."

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Telus Cup Journey:

The team will now get in vehicles on Saturday morning and head to Regina. From there, the team will board a plane and make their way to Membertou, Nova Scotia for the Telus Cup, Canada's U18 National Championship.

It's the final stop in what the Wheat Kings are hoping turns out to be a national title. It has been 13 years since a team from Manitoba won the event as the Winnipeg Thrashers accomplished the feat in 2011.

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20 years ago, the title went back to the Wheat City as the Wheat Kings beat Riverains du Collège Charles-Lemoyne in the national final. Heading into this year's tournament, the last time a Manitoba team took home a medal was that 2011 national-winning Thrashers team.

Brandon plays their first game on Monday evening against Cantonniers de Magog of Quebec. They have won three national silver medals since 2018 and two Telus Cup tournaments were cancelled because of the pandemic. Brandon then plays the host Sydney Rush on Tuesday evening before going up against the Kensington Wild on Wednesday evening.

They then play the Calgary Buffaloes on Thursday afternoon before wrapping up their round-robin portion of the event on Friday night against the Markham Waxers.

The semi-final round is Saturday while the medal games take place on Sunday. 

It's a national test and these will be the toughest tests the Wheat Kings have had to face all year, but they're ready for it after a record-breaking year in Manitoba.

"We have watched a lot of video over the week to prepare ourselves," said Mealy. "We know the top teams will be Magog alongside Markham and Calgary."

While winning a national title is the team's biggest and most important goal over the next 10 days, Travis also wants the players to understand what they have accomplished and soak it all in.

"I truly hope they are taking it in, it's a huge accolade for their accomplishments this year," ended Mealy. "Our message is to go in with confidence. We made this tournament for the first time in 20 years and we're going in with a purpose."

To stay up to date with how the Wheat Kings are doing next week, stay tuned to 730CKDM and you can also visit 2024 Telus Cup

The Swan Valley Stampeders Junior A Hockey Club is fresh off their 25th anniversary season.

As they now look forward to their 26th year, they are in dire need of volunteers and board members to operate. In a recent release, the organization said they are sounding the alarm on the current state of board members and volunteers with the organization.

According to the team, they ran the 2023-24 season with just six of 12 board seats filled. 

"When you look at what our team brings to this community, we don't just bring these young men into the community, other teams are coming to stay in our community," said Danielle Gordon-Broome. "They're staying at our local hotels, eating at our restaurants, and spending money at our grocery stores."

Several volunteers are needed for home games. From time clock to selling tickets to 50/50 and everything in between, it truly takes a great effort from so many incredible people to make home games run smoothly. 

As vice president, Gordon-Broome has announced that she will step down if others don't jump on board. On top of that, the team's president and governor, Cramer Coulthart, has already announced that he will not be seeking re-election.

Gordon-Broome says it would be heartbreaking if the Stampeders were unable to come back for the 2024-25 season as she knows how much this team means to so many community members.

"It's huge. I work very closely with our players throughout the season and they recognize how great the support is," offered Gordon-Broome. "There are many people in our community that don't miss a game, they're always in the stands cheering the guys on and they appreciate it."

Being a board member does not mean that you will be expected to attend and work at all home games. Just like being a volunteer does not mean that you will be tasked with making team decisions. But, the team needs people willing to do both of these tasks to be successful.

You can volunteer for a single game, a set number of games, or the entire season. The Stampeders are very flexible and are more than willing to work with you.

To move forward the board needs eight to 10 individuals to commit to a three-year term. Board duties include overseeing budgets and financials, high-level operations decisions, planning fundraisers, and organizing volunteers.

To express your interest in becoming a board member please call or text Cramer Coulthart at 204·281·4255 at your earliest opportunity.

The board is also looking to compile a list of volunteers to move forward with. If you are interested in volunteering with the team please call or text Danielle Gordon-Broome at 204·281·2082. You can also register using the online signup form located on the Stampeders website.

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."

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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."

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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. 

It was another great showing for five members of the Parkland Gators Swim Club at the Spring and Distance meet at the Pan Am Pool.

Meredith Cottrell
50m backstroke - 24th
50m breaststroke - 17th
50m freestyle - 23rd

Roman Polovinka
50m backstroke - 12th
50m breaststroke - 18th
50m freestyle - 24th (Achieved Provincial 'A' time)

Polly Fjeldsted
50m backstroke - 8th (Achieved Provincial 'A' time)
50m breaststroke - 27th
50m freestyle - 30th

Frankie Fjeldsted
50m backstroke - 4th
50m freestyle - 20th

Evan Favel
50m backstroke - 37th
50m freestyle - 41st

It was a season that Dauphin Kings fans will never forget.

Doug Hedley was brought back as the team's head coach and general manager a couple of years prior and the culture was changed. The Kings went from a 14-win team in the 2017-18 season to a 29-win team the following season and they increased their win total to 31 in the 2019-20 season.  

The coronavirus pandemic then hit which shuttered the sports world. Back for the 2021-22 regular season, the Kings iced a very talented roster that included a few local stars such as Brayden Dube from Roblin, Jayden Jubenvill from Gilbert Plains, Aidan Brook of Roblin, to go along with Garrett Hrechka of Dauphin. The team also brought in Carson Cherepak and Kings fans will forever remember the save he made with 30 seconds left in game seven against Steinbacn when he flashed the leather to rob Travis Hensrud on a breakaway as Dauphin won the Turnbull Cup.

During a championship season, everything has to come together at the right time. The Kings beat Swan Valley in the first round, followed by a five-game series win against Winkler before dispatching Steinbach in the final.

There were stars on the team and players that fit incredibly well including Ben Hackl. While Ben did not light up the scoresheet, he was one of the team's most important pieces with his outstanding work ethic. Doug Hedley could play Hackl in any situation and come playoff time, he came up clutch offensively with a beautiful goal against Winkler in the team's second round series win. 

They say you never forget a championship run and Ben will never forget this one.

"I was incredibly grateful to have the opportunity to be a part of that team, I learned so much that year when I look back," said Hackl. "Not even just on the ice, but off the ice as well. We all still stay in touch and lifelong friends were built that year and we will have them for the rest of our lives. It was a year that I will never forget."

Dauphin then advanced to the Centennial Cup semi-final where the amazing journey ended against Pickering.

Back Home:

While Ben loved being a King, he only spent one full season in Dauphin. In time for the 2022-23 season, Hackl moved back home to join the Dryden Ice Dogs of the Superior International Junior Hockey League.

Ben grew up in Dryden and like so many young aspiring hockey stars, Ben always dreamt of playing with his hometown team in front of all of his family and friends. It was something he did not take for granted. Being home was a new chapter in his hockey journey in the Book of Life.

With a championship under his belt, Hackl was playing with all of the confidence in the world as he finished the regular season with 41 points which was tied for the 20th most in the league.

"It was a great experience to come back home and play for Dryden, it meant everything to me," offered Hackl. "Many of my friends hadn't seen me play in years and now they were so that was nice. It was also great to be around my family and friends every day."

In a playoff hunt that year, the Ice Dogs downed Fort Frances in five games in their first series; however, the Ice Dogs season ended heartbreakingly in the semi-finals as they lost in double overtime in game seven against Thunder Bay. They then lost against Kam River in seven games in the league final.

We will never know what would have happened had Dryden beaten the North Stars in game seven, but we know that Ben went out playing with a team he always dreamed of playing for. That loss officially ended the playing chapter of his book and being one of the nicest guys you will ever meet, Hackl was a player that coaches loved and fans couldn't wait to watch.

New Chapter: 

Ben has loved the sport for as long as he can remember. He still remembers going to Ice Dogs games when he was just a young kid and sticking around after games to get autographs from the players. 

He remembered being in awe when players visited schools in the community. Ben also remembers putting everything he had into honing his skills and being the best player on the ice and the best human possible off the ice. It wasn't always easy for Hackl, but he never quit and he always persevered.

He played for many incredible coaches, including Hedley, Chad Facey, and Brad Dupasquier here in Dauphin. For years, Ben has been taking everything in from his coaches and now, he's looking to share his knowledge and passion.

One year removed from playing with Dryden, Hackl joined the coaching staff for the Winnipeg Freeze this year as an assistant coach. While the season in all was not what the team was hoping for, it was an experience that Ben cherishes.

"Grateful for the chance, the organization was great to me and I have nothing but amazing things to say about everyone," said Hackl. "We were better than our record showed, we were a very young team. We improved so much from the start of the season to the end, it was great to see how much the players developed and I was thrilled to get my feet wet as a coach."

The former Turnbull Cup champion with the Kings knew he wanted to continue coaching after year one and in what could be called a crazy turn of events, an assistant coaching job opened with the Ice Dogs back in his hometown. 

It was an opportunity that Ben could not pass up and now, he's an assistant coach with his hometown team and also the team's assistant general manager. Preparation has already begun for next season and Hackl will do whatever he can as the team looks to bring the Bill Salonen Cup back to Dryden.

"It's an awesome opportunity, it was a no-brainer to come back home," ended Hackl. "I've played with this team and now to coach them and come full circle, it's pretty incredible. Our goal is to get back to our winning ways here, that's the main goal. I'm extremely excited to get going with the organization."


The Ice Dogs' last championship was in the 2017-18 season when they went 40-8-6-2 in the regular season. They then beat Fort Frances and Thunder Bay to win a championship and as the Ice Dogs now look ahead to the 2024-25 season, Hackl hopes the team can replicate that of six years ago. 

He gets up every morning nice and early and fuels himself with breakfast. 

After leaving his billet home through the front door, he starts his vehicle, following the same routine without fail. Every day, Owen Riffel heads to the rink for practice at 9:30 a.m. with the Sioux Lookout Bombers of the Superior International Junior Hockey League, engaging in a rigorous 90-minute session on the ice. Following practice, Owen takes a break to grab some lunch.

Later in the afternoon, he dedicates more time to the ice before hitting the weight room, conveniently located within the arena where he practices and competes. Returning for his second season with the Bombers, the Onanole sniper elevated his performance to new heights, netting 36 goals and providing 31 assists during the regular season. Riffel secured the third spot in league scoring, and for the first time in his career, he was honored as the league's top forward after the regular season concluded.

In his rookie season last year with the Bombers, Riffel posted 36 points, only to increase that by 31 this year.

"It means a lot to me, there is a ton of hard work that went into winning this award," said Riffel. "I also couldn't have achieved this without my teammates. I play with a great group of guys and we have great coaches, it's a great organization to be a part of."

Regular season success doesn't always guarantee playoff success, but for Owen, it's a different story. Throughout nine playoff games, Owen has made his mark with six goals and 13 points, emerging as the leading scorer for his team and tying for third place in league playoff scoring.

As a young boy, Owen harbored dreams of excelling at the elite level in junior hockey. Though his journey wasn't devoid of challenges, Owen's unwavering dedication and commitment to the game have enabled him to realize his aspirations.

"It's always nice to convert that success into the playoffs, it's all about winning now," offered Riffel. "I'm here to help this team win and I will do whatever I can to do just that. We have one common goal and that is to win a championship."

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With the Manitoba Junior Hockey League and Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League finals looming just days away, the SIJHL championship series is set to kick off on Wednesday night. Owen finds himself just four victories away from securing a spot in the national tournament.

After sweeping Fort Frances in the opening round and swiftly dispatching the Thunder Bay North Stars in five games during the semifinals, the Bombers are now poised to face off against the Kam River Fighting Walleye in the league final. The Fighting Walleye, reigning champions from last year, boast a flawless 8-0 playoff record this season.

The stakes are high as the two top teams in the league vie for supremacy in a best-of-seven showdown. The winner will earn the opportunity to compete in the Centennial Cup from May 9 to 19 in Oakville. With the Fighting Walleye clinching the regular season's top spot with 79 points from a 39-win campaign, the Bombers closely trail behind with 74 points, secured through 35 wins.

The Fighting Walleye led the league with 269 goals, which Riffel knows is something the Bombers will have to key in on.

"They're extremely skilled, we know how important it is to play tight defensively," said Riffel. "They're just a very good hockey club, but we're confident in our abilities."

In the regular season series against the Bombers, Kam River held the upper hand, securing victories in five out of seven matchups. Notably, three of their wins were decided in extra time, with two requiring a shootout.

Acknowledging that his team may be perceived as underdogs entering the series, Owen remains confident in their abilities.

"We're feeling good, we plan to just do what we do," ended Riffel. "Two good teams are set to battle for a championship, this is what you play for, and we're excited to get down to business.

Game one and two of the series will take place at Kam River on Wednesday and Thursday. Sioux Lookout will then host games three and four on Saturday and Sunday. The following three games will rotate as follows: game five is scheduled for Tuesday, April 23, game six for Thursday, April 25, and if necessary, game seven will be on Saturday, April 27.

They're allowed to continue playing after the ball hits the roof, utilize a libero, and compete with a raised net.

Things are quite different when it comes to the rules at the club volleyball level in the United States. Just ask the Predators 14U volleyball club from the Parkland. The team who has had great success in Manitoba so far this year made their way to Minot, North Dakota over the weekend to play in the Empire Spring Spike tournament. The event featured the top U14 teams from North Dakota.

In the team's round-robin, they started things off with back-to-back straight-set wins as they downed Empire White and Minot before splitting with Capital VC which saw the Predators finish first in their pool.

Qualifying for the championship bracket in the playoffs, the Predators lost a hard-fought quarterfinal matchup to Southside. The Parkland-based team would then rebound as they beat Team Chaos and the Minot Force to finish in fifth place out of 24 teams.

Dave Sigvaldason is the team's head coach and he says it was once again another great weekend for the team.

"I thought our kids did a really good job of adjusting to the rules," said Sigvaldason. "We saw several different teams which was nice, it's always nice to play different competition. To finish fifth was a nice ending to the weekend, I was very proud of our team."

This tournament marked the team's last outing before the provincial championships, set to take place in Winnipeg in a matter of days. The Predators have enjoyed a season of triumph, clinching victory twice at the Bandits tournament and securing another win at an event held in Swan River.

To go along with their three championships, the Predators finished with a pair of bronze medals at the BVC tournament in Brandon and an event in Regina. They also finished fifth at a premier tournament in Winnipeg.

"We have so many strong players on our team and we grind out every game," offered Sigvaldason. "One of our strengths as a team is our ability to grind out games. Whether we're playing well or if we're a little off, we just can grind out points and stay in games. Our team doesn't seem to get flustered which is not very common at this age group."

The Predators are gearing up for the provincial tournament scheduled for this weekend in Winnipeg. Ranked fifth in the province, they will compete in a power pool alongside the top-ranked team, along with the third and seventh-ranked teams.

Of the top teams in the event, the Predators have gone up against and beaten all of them, except the Jr. Bisons Gold which they have not gone up against.

Despite the tough competition, Sigvaldason believes in his team's abilities and emphasizes the importance of confidence and determination.

"I think we have to have that confidence going in and we also have to know that anything can happen at this level," ended Sigvaldason. "If we play with confidence and play how we have all year, things will be just fine."

Four teams remain and two best-of-three series remain.

The Winkler Flyers vs Virden Oil Capitals series has gone back and forth with both teams getting in punches while the same can be said about the Steinbach Pistons and Blizzard Junior 'A' Hockey Club series. Both are tied at two games apiece heading into game five on Saturday night.

Pistons vs Blizzard:

After a grueling seven-game series against Dauphin, most people are surprised by the Blizzard. In reality, there isn't much to be surprised about. While they faced a daunting task going from finishing off the Kings in triple overtime in game seven to playing game one against Steinbach with just one day rest, the Blizzard are used to very little rest and plenty of travel.

They are the most northern team in the league and no road trip is a short one, other than their trip to Swan Valley. Besides that, the Blizzard are very used to spending dozens of hours on the bus. The Blizzard may be the most impressive team remaining in the playoffs. They never seem to lose a step and now, they're two games away from advancing to the league final.

That; however, will not be an easy feat. After dropping game four, 4-2, their series against Steinbach now heads back to La Broquerie as the Pistons will host game five. Steinbach also holds home-ice advantage should the series go to seven games. 

The winning team in this series scored four goals in the last three games. The losing team has given up two goals in the last two games. The Blizzard won 21 games away from home ice in the regular season and they proved in their first-round series with Dauphin that they can get the job done on the road.

Steinbach lost just three games on home ice in the regular season. They then won their first two home games of the playoffs before losing game one against the Blizzard.

Steinbach has all the experience in the world. They won a championship last year. The Blizzard does not have that same experience. But, they have the top goaltender in the league and a group that never quits and works harder than any other team. 

This should be a fun best-of-three with the winner advancing to the league championship

Oil Capitals vs Flyers:

After winning game three on the road, the Virden Oil Capitals had a great opportunity to take a three-games to one series lead on home ice. They came within inches of doing so as they hit the crossbar twice in overtime against Winkler at Tundra Oil & Gas Place.

Dalton Andrew ended it. The 20-year-old, who led the MJHL in regular season scoring, finished the game just more than halfway into double overtime on Thursday night in a thrilling 5-4 win. What did Andrew do to celebrate the big goal? He immediately opened the bench gate and went right into the dressing room. He knows it is a big goal, but he knows the job is not done yet. 

Both teams were great in the regular season on home ice. The Flyers went 24-4-0-1 while the Oil Capitals went 19-6-1-3. Neither team has won a home game in this round yet. Virden nearly put the Flyers on the brink of elimination. Instead, the Flyers now regain home-ice advantage as they get set to host game five on Saturday evening and if needed, they will also host game seven next week.

Surely, one of these teams will be able to win a game on their home ice. Virden has outscored the Flyers, 14-8 in the series. What do they have to show for outscoring their opponent by six goals? Nothing. it comes down to a best-of-three and the winner will advance to the championship series where a berth to the Centennial Cup in Oakville will be on the line.

Winkler is an extremely physical team and Virden has shown that they can play that way as well, even though that isn't their true identity. Both teams boast great offensive talents and both teams have solid goaltending. 

It's a true toss-up regarding who will win this series; however, many fans still think the Flyers will win as they have home-ice advantage.

The second round of the MJHL playoffs has been a thrill and the ride continues Saturday evening in Steinbach and Winkler. 

It was another strong season off the field for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

The CFL club announced it posted a net operating profit of $5.7 million in 2023, a season that saw Winnipeg (14-4) finish atop the West Division for a third straight year.

The community-owned franchise also made a fourth straight Grey Cup appearance, dropping a 28-24 decision to the Montreal Alouettes at Tim Hortons Field in Hamilton. Winnipeg announced its 2023 profit Thursday upon releasing its annual report.

Revenue totalled $50.5 million in 2023, up $5.1 million (11.2 per cent) over 2022. The club's gate receipts increased to $15.1 million (9.6 per cent ahead of last year) while game-day, merchandise, and concessions revenue hit $11.5 million, (10.5 per cent increase).

However, the numbers continue to look bleak for Valour FC, the Winnipeg-based Canadian Premier League soccer club owned and operated by the Blue Bombers. The report stated that Valour lost $1.25 million last year and said the club's finances continue to be uncertain.

The Bombers reported a $950,000 loss from operating the CPL franchise on its 2022 annual report.