The golf season is slowly coming to a close for the summer. Although it was cool and breezy over the weekend, the conditions didn't seem to bother Benito's Dustin Sas.

He played in the 57th Annual Rosebowl tournament at the Neepawa Golf & Country Club and he won the 2nd Flight title. Playing in the quarterfinals, Sas rolled to a 4&2 win and he did the same thing in his semifinal match.

In the finals, Dustin really came to play. He won 7&5 in the winner take all final.

"It feels pretty good to finally win. Last year I was up and I sort of crumbled near the end and lost," said Sas. "To finally win feels great."

"I played really well for the most part," he continued. "If I struggled, the guy I was playing would struggle so it evened itself out."

Dustin is right back at it this weekend. He'll play in the Blue Owl Men's Open at the Deer Park Golf Club in Yorkton. Playing against some of the top golfers now from Yorkton, Dustin is ready for the challenge.

"It's really important that I keep it in play and safe," said Sas. "It's going to be colder, so that plays a factor. I just want to have fun and I guess we'll see what happens."

Dustin also hopes to use the momentum he built in Neepawa to have success in Yorkton.

"I think anytime you do well, you'll have confidence going forward that you can do it again," he concluded. "I've played a few good rounds at Deer Park this year, so hopefully, I can make it happen this weekend."

Dustin also played in the Manitoba amateur early this summer where he just missed the cut. He will be back at that event next summer.

The Dauphin Kings used a phenomenal goaltending performance from two Parklanders last night to earn a 3-2 shootout win in their preseason opener.

Zach Grouette and Keaton Ziprick made a combined 56 saves in the game for the home team.

Dauphin opened the scoring when Drayden Kurbatoff found the back of the net 15:18 into the game.

After holding that lead into the intermission, Swan Valley tied it in the second. Owen Harris beat Zach Grouette on the power play just 1:17 into the second. 

16 minutes later, Owen Wareham regained the lead for Dauphin on a shot from the point. 

With just 4:10 left in the third, Parker Johnson scored a beautiful goal on an end-to-end rush to tie the game. 

Despite getting a late power play, Swan Valley couldn’t find the winning goal as Ziprick shut the door. 

Overtime also solved nothing, so the game was shootout bound. 

Drayden Kurbatoff and Brayden Stevenson scored for Dauphin in the shootout. Only Josh Olson beat Ziprick, which gave Dauphin the two preseason points.

Grouette, who started the game, made 33 saves. 

“I thought I played pretty well, the boys played well in front of me,” said Grouette after the game. “I worked really hard this summer because I want to make this team. It’s really important to me.”

Ziprick from Russell came in and made 23 saves. He ended up earning the win. 

“I let one weak goal in, but other than that, I think I played solid as I should,” he said. “I’m looking forward to having a solid season.”

Assistant coach Mitch Topinka also shared his thoughts on how Grouette and Ziprick played. 

“It’s great to see that the local talent in between the pipes is there for us,” he offered. “It was fun to watch and it was nice that we picked up the win.”

Dauphin heads to Swan Valley today.

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers defence showed up in Regina, but their offence proved to be their downfall in a tight loss to Saskatchewan.

Brett Lauther kicked a short field goal as time expired for the Riders’ as they won the Labour Day Classic, 19-17.

Cody Fajardo continued his great play for Saskatchewan, as he threw for 300 yards.

Chris Streveler, meanwhile, threw for 161 yards in the loss.

Saskatchewan has now won six in a row and 14 of the last 15 Labour Day Classic’s.

Winnipeg is now just one game ahead of Saskatchewan. The two teams will battle next weekend in the Banjo Bowl.

A win from Winnipeg would restore their two-game lead. A loss would mean the prairie rivals would be tied atop the West.

Brendan Arnold has done something no other Dauphin King main camp attendee has ever done. For the fifth time, he was on the winning squad for the JoFo Cup. Arnold helped Team Trotz win the annual intrasquad game, 5-4 over Team Goring today at Credit Union Place.

In a game where Team Goring got out to a 4-1 lead, Arnold and Team Trotz battled all the way back thanks to a three-goal second period, which tied the game at four. Avery Smith would eventually score the game-winner on a nifty backhand in the third period.

"It's a pretty awesome feeling that I won this again," said Arnold after the game. "I think it's going to be pretty hard for anyone to come close to that. I love coming to camp every year to put my best foot forward."

Brendan Arnold

Owen Wareham opened up the scoring for Team Goring in the first. Koby Morrisseau then went coast to coast and finished off a gorgeous play to give Team Goring a 2-0 lead. 

Jonah Fleischer would cut into the deficit on a hard-working play, also in the first. Dauphin's Garrett Hrechka picked up one of the assists on the goal.

The goals kept on coming after that. Parker Fofonoff and Carter Eha would put up Team Goring 4-1 after 20.

In the second, it was all Team Trotz. Mitchell Joss, Jonah Fleischer, and Mattie Boonstra would score three straight to tie the game at four after 40.

That set the stage for Avery Smith, who scored the game-winner in the third. Last year for Dauphin, Smith scored 13 goals.

Three fights also set the tempo in what was a very physical game. Brayden Pawluk dropped the gloves with Auston Kerridge, Koby Morrisseau challenged Brendan Arnold and Mitchell Joss took on Jaxon Heeney.

Mitch Topinka shared his thoughts on the game after 60 minutes.

"We were impressed by today. The coaching staff and scouting staff are happy with how it went," said Topinka. "We had great overall speed all weekend and things went well."

American Carter Eha scored once today. He also dropped the gloves yesterday with Avery Smith. 

"I love what Carter brings to the club. He's a big guy and he skates well and he doesn't shy away from anything," offered Topinka. "His presence is definitely a big thing for us."

Carter had this to say postgame.

"I thought the weekend went pretty well," he said. "I got into a good fight yesterday and made a good connection with some of the boys. I was pissing some people off yesterday and someone stepped up and asked me to go, and I had to answer the bell. He got the best of me, but it worked out well for me."

Brendan Arnold also spoke after the game and he mentioned he's more ready this year than any other season.

"I stayed in Dauphin this summer and I worked out a lot harder than I have in the past," he said. "I'm really prepared for this season to make it a big one."

The preseason officially starts for Dauphin tomorrow. They're at Credit Union Place, as they welcome Swan Valley to town at 7:30. It will be a rookie game between the clubs. Topinka and the rest of the staff are looking for a few things from the young guns as they look to stay around.

"Speed and compete, that's huge for us," said Topinka. "These kids need to have the pride to wear the crest. As long as they have speed and play with a little bit of an edge, that's what we want. We want that win."

Swan Valley and Dauphin will complete their home-and-home on Tuesday night. That game will be played at the Centennial Arena in Swan River. Dauphin welcomes Melville to town on Thursday before they head to Neepawa on Saturday. Dauphin ends their preseason with a two-game homestand. Melville is in town once again on September 9 and Neepawa pays a visit to town on September 13.

Dauphin opens up their regular season on September 20 in Swan Valley.

There were good goals, great saves, a lot of hard work and even a fight as Dauphin Kings main camp continued at Credit Union Place.

Day two saw four teams hit the ice twice each, adding up to four games that begun this morning and wrapped up earlier this evening. After this morning's two games took place, there was a goaltenders session this afternoon.

I caught up with Mitch Topinka to get his thoughts on day two.

"We're very happy as a coaching staff and as a scouting staff," said Topinka. "There's some good competition that's happening here. There are also some younger kids making some veterans upset. We're happy with how things are going."

Things took a turn in the final game of the day. Avery Smith, who played on the team last year, dropped the gloves with American Carter Eha.

Dauphin is looking to build a team that can build off their successful season last year. Although they were eliminated in the first round, Dauphin earned 34 more points than the prior season. They also gave Swan Valley a good test in the first round.

With the practice and scrimmage portion of camp now over, Topinka has noticed something.

"Things seem faster. With the hard work that our scouting staff and the coaching staff has done with our list and getting these kids in here, it makes a difference," said Topinka. "We're going to be bigger and heavier than we were last year. I'm definitely more confident now than I was at this time last year."

Next up for the organization is the annual JoFo Cup. That takes place tomorrow afternoon at 2:00 p.m. It'll be a regular game, so three-20 minute periods. The preseason officially starts on Monday, when the Swan Valley Stampeders pay a visit to Credit Union Place at 7:30.

"With the JoFo Cup, it'll be a lot of veterans and older guys that are pushing to make this team," added Topinka. "We'll trim down a little bit, but we have to keep in mind that we have two rookie games on Monday and Tuesday against Swan Valley. We want to make sure we don't let any guys slide under the radar after tonight."

One thing that silenced the crowd was an injury to Cole DeKoninck. He skated off by himself during the second last game but did not return.

Day one of Dauphin Kings main camp at Credit Union Place is officially a thing of the past.

Nearly 70 players made the trip to the Sunshine City as they hope to gain a spot on the Kings' roster. The day began with two team practices. The evening session included two games. The format for the games was one period of 3-on-3, one period of 4-on-4 and one period of 5-on-5.

Leeam Tivers scored in overtime in the final game of the night to give his team the win.

 

After a meeting with the rest of the staff, Doug Hedley had this to say on day one of camp.

"It was okay. We haven't seen the kids since spring and you could tell some of the guys came bigger, faster and stronger," he said. "We would have liked to see more offence at times but the kids are just getting back on the ice and getting their timing back."

After putting up 32 points last year, Grady Hobbs has come back as his usual self. The hard-working, speedy, hard shooting forward looked impressive when he was on the ice. Other returnees included Nakodan Greyeyes, Carter Sawchuk, Mitchell Joss, and Brendan Arnold, just to name a few.

"Hobbs was the best player on the ice. I think Sawchuk was skating, but he could do more," added Hedley. "Tivers had a good game. Arnold and Joss had good games and Jaxon is battling. I think we could just take another step up."

Returning goalies included Bryan Landsberger and Ethan Slobodzian. They were joined by the likes of Keaton Ziprick from Russell and Matthias Smith. Smith was picked up earlier this off-season and it didn't take him long to impress the Kings' organization.

"He made some great saves," added Hedley. "Matthias has been good in net since he reported, for sure."

Every player that was on the ice today will return on Saturday. There are four total games. Two hit the ice in the morning and two are later in the day. In between, there is a session for the goaltenders.

Hedley's Takeaways:

1) There is definitely some backend mobility. Several players make good first passes and they can skate.

2) Gavin Wendorf and Carter Eha looked solid.

3) Hard-working players and things will only get better moving forward.

The schedule for today is as follows:

9-10:00 a.m. - Team Kotyk vs Team Trotz.

10:30-11:30 a.m. - Team Goring vs Team Luke.

1-2:00 p.m. - Goaltender Session.

4-5:00 p.m. - Team Luke vs Team Trotz.

5:30-6:30 p.m. - Team Goring vs Team Kotyk.

Brayden Kohlman put up 33 points in two seasons with the Parkland Bantam Rangers from the 2016-17 season to the 2017-18 season. Last year, he switched things up and played with the McCreary Mountaineers.

He led the team with 39 points (18G) in just 24 games played. He kept it up in the playoffs by adding nine points (5G) in six games as the team enjoyed their most successful season ever.

After a one-year hiatus from the AAA scene, Brayden is right back in it. He was at Parkland Midget Rangers tryouts last weekend at Credit Union Place. Known for his speed and great shot, Kohlman showed off both through the three-day session.

"I thought I did pretty good," said Kohlman. "We have a pretty solid top-end. If we work hard I think we should be able to compete in the league."

Among other top-end players, Kohlman definitely made his mark felt. When chatting with Arnie Caplan after Sunday's final day, he had good things to say about the McCreary native.

"Brayden definitely stepped up his game, he looked solid," said Caplan.

"That felt really good to me. It makes me happy that I was able to make a good impression on him already," continued Kohlman. "It just makes me want to prove myself more to him now."

Kohlman and the rest of the Rangers' begin their preseason next Friday in Yorkton. Next Saturday, the team welcomes Yorkton to Credit Union Place to end a home-and-home. The team will then take part in the Souris tournament the weekend after.

After leading the Mountaineers' last season, Kohlman hopes to do the same thing this season with Parkland.

"I'm expecting to play a big role for our team and to make some noise around the league," he said. "I'll go in every game with a good mindset and I'll try my best to help the team win as much as possible."

This weekend, Brayden is spending his weekend in Neepawa. He's taking part in Natives main camp. It's the first main camp for him, after taking part in rookie camp last year. Being main camp, that means the 15-year-old will be competing against guys as old as 20-years-old, but he's okay with that.

"I'm not really nervous, I'm just excited to get out there and get things going," he continued. "I want to show the coach what I can do and hopefully, I can leave a good impression."

"I just need to keep my feet going at all times," he said. "If I stop doing that, I'm just your average player. Speed is what it's all about for me."

After a few sessions combined today and tomorrow, Kohlman hopes to stick around for Sunday. That's when the Founders Cup will take place at the Yellowhead Centre. Only a select group of players will play in the game, as the camp trims its roster from four teams to two.

"My goal is to make that game and play a few preseason games with the team," Kohlman concluded. "If I play as I can, I know I can make it to Sunday and to some preseason games. I just have to go into every game with a good, proper mindset and keep going hard at all times when I'm on the ice."

The push towards the 2019-20 regular season starts this afternoon for the Dauphin Kings. They host their main camp at Credit Union Place.

It begins at 1:00 p.m. and runs right through the JoFo Cup on Sunday.

"This is a very exciting time for the hockey club. Going through the process of picking the teams and seeing the potential for the season," said Christian Laughland, Marketing Director & Media Relations. "Camp weekend is always great to be a part of."

Roughly 70 players are expected to be in attendance. That includes Ste. Rose's Reece Hopfner, Dauphin's Bradyn Smelski and so much more. 

"The cost for the entire weekend is absolutely free. Anyone can come in and watch and enjoy," said Laughland.

Rosters and schedules will be available, also for free, on the concourse at Credit Union Place. 

No matter how bright the lights have gotten this summer on the golf course for Swan River's Crystal Zamzow, they haven't stopped her at all from doing her thing at an elite level.

Playing on the Maple Leaf Junior Golf Tour, the 13-year-old had a wonderful ending to her season. The last stop on the tour came at the Breezy Bend Country Club for the 2019 MJT Bieber Classic PGA of Manitoba Junior Championship.

In a rain-shortened first round, Zamzow shot a 42 to take an eight-stroke lead into the final round. Crystal's second round included two birdies as she shot an 84, four better than what the second-place finisher shot on day two. In the end, Zamzow picked up a huge 12 stroke victory as she won the U15 girls division.

Crystal also won the MJT Manitoba Series event at the Selkirk Golf & Country Club on July 22-23. That victory came by 13 strokes as she posted two 90's. She also finished second in a tournament earlier this summer. That's two wins and a second-place finish in one summer on the Maple Leaf Junior Tour for the Swan River native.

"It felt good to win. I drove the ball well and I played solid golf and made a few longer putts," said Zamzow. 

One of the long putts was a 30-footer for birdie on 18. Crystal also won the season-ending Order of Merit with 500 points.

Besides playing on that tour, it's been a very busy summer for Crystal. She played a seven-round qualifier to represent Manitoba at the Western Canada Games. At that event, Crystal shot 90-80-88 and her team won a bronze medal. 

Crystal also finished fourth at the Manitoba Junior Championships which earned her a spot to the Canadian Junior Championships. She shot 90-85 there, which saw her place second out of the four Manitobans taking part. 

"We played on a really tough course in Lethbridge, but I was really happy with how I played," she added. "I had a busy summer working on my golf game and I'm happy it paid off with a couple of wins and some other good performances."

Starting the season as a 22 handicap, Crystal has shaved 13 strokes off that and she's now a nine handicap.

Crystal Zamzow

Training camps across the junior hockey ranks are well underway as players get ready for the upcoming 2019-20 season. Players, however, aren't the only ones getting ready for the season. So are referees and linesmen, one of which is Wasagaming's, Karlin Krieger.

As a referee in both the MJHL and WHL, Karlin's season will begin on September 7, when he's one of the referees for the first "Manitoba Battle". Brandon takes on the Winnipeg ICE at Stride Place. 

"It's always exciting to get back into it and get out there with the guys," said Krieger. "It's starting to feel like hockey outside so it's definitely time to go."

Karlin will ref his first MJHL game on September 13, when Swan Valley wraps up their preseason on home ice against the OCN Blizzard. This year will be Karlin's eighth season in the MJHL. 

Just like many other officials, the love of the game is why the Wasagaming native continues to come back year after year.

"It's a lot of fun and it gives me an outlet to be competitive," he said. "It's great that I get to pursue a sport at a high level. To be on the ice with some really good players is a lot of fun."

On the same note, being an official is certainly not an easy job. Tasked with having to make the right call at all times. Regardless of what call is made, someone in the arena will likely be unhappy, whether that be the coaches, players or even fans. In the end, staying cool, calm and collected is important for Karlin as he does what he loves.

"I think it's important to know where the coach is coming from. There's a lot of pressure on them as you get up to the higher levels," added Krieger. "That's definitely a big thing for me to realize. Strong communication is also important and building good relationships over the years."

Being a ref has taken Karlin all over the place. He started his career over a decade ago in the SJHL. He's also gotten the chance to be on the ice for a Canada-Russia game at the World U17 Hockey Challenge. 

Other career highlights include getting the chance to ref at the Western Canada Cup in Estevan back in 2016. 

"I'll definitely never forget my first game in the SJHL as a linesman, it was a special night," he continued.

Throughout the season when you go to Dauphin Kings games, you might get the chance to see Karlin live. He refs a few games per year in Dauphin, which makes it an easy travel day for him. Just like reffing in any other arena, it's business as usual, even when he's right near home.

"It's just another game. I think there's pressure in every game to make the right call, but I don't think that's amplified based on where you ref," he continued. "It's all about making the right call and making sure the game is played the right way."

Four years ago, Karlin's career took the next step. He was hired by the Western Hockey League. Krieger now refs Brandon Wheat King games. He also refs around Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia.

Winnipeg Blue Bombers Willie Jefferson has been named a Shaw CFL Top Performer for the month of August. Last month, Bombers' Winston Rose was named a Performer of the Month.

Willie collected four tackles, a career-high trio of sacks, a pair of forced fumbles, a fumble recovery and a knockdown en route to being named a Performer of the Week.

Jefferson talks about his recent success.

"I'm just staying mentally focused and keeping my routine. I'm also eating well and just not getting caught up in the hype and glory of winning," said Jefferson. "I'm pushing myself to help this team win games every week. Our goal is to go 1-0 every week."

Jefferson will look to keep it going this weekend as Winnipeg takes on Saskatchewan in the Labour Day Classic. 

"We know we have a tough opponent and we're going into a hostile environment," he concluded. "We just want to go in and play a cool, calm and collected game and come out with a win."

Jefferson’s productive August included his third career interception, three forced fumbles to propel him into the league-lead at five. It also included six sacks to reach a tie for second behind Charleston Hughes. At eight sacks on the season through 10 games, he is on pace to surpass his personal best of 10, set in 2018.