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Vernon Adams Junior threw a pair of touchdown passes to Alexander Hollins in a 26-24 B-C Lions’ victory that kept the Winnipeg Blue Bombers winless this season.

Winnipeg has lost its first three games of the season for the first time since 2012. Zach Collaros continues to struggle offensively as he threw for just 247 yards in the defeat. Nic Demski had 94 yards on eight catches and Brady Oliveira ran for 64 yards. 

The Lions bumped their record to 2-and-1 in front of 30-thousand unhappy Bombers fans. Winnipeg will now look to win their first game of the season when they head to Calgary to play the 1-1 Stampeders on Saturday evening. 

On Friday morning, the Brandon Wheat Kings of the Western Hockey League (WHL) made a special announcement.

"Today, I am excited the Brandon Wheat Kings Hockey Club has officially submitted an intent to bid for the 2026 Memorial Cup," said Jared Jacobson, Owner & Governor of the Wheat Kings. "Our goal is to host this prestigious national event in May of 2026 at the Keystone Centre."

So many see the Memorial Cup as the holy grail in the Major Junior world. Four teams come together to battle for a national championship. Last month, Aiden Ziprick and the Moose Jaw Warriors competed in the event in Saginaw. While they did not fare as they would have hoped, Aiden said it was an event that he will never forget.

Dating back to 1919 when the University of Toronto Schools scored 29 goals in beating the Regina Patricias, the event is still going as strong as ever. Brandon last played host to the Memorial Cup in 2010 when they advanced to the national final to lose to the Windsor Spitfires of the Ontario Hockey League. 

The Wheat Kings returned to the playoffs this past season after finishing in sixth place in the Eastern Conference with 33 wins. Winning 33 games increased seven wins from the 2022-23 regular season.

It was an exciting past season for Brandon that saw many of the team's young prospects get a chance to show what they can do on the big stage. Jaxon Jacobson, the team's top prospect, rose to the occasion as a 15-year-old when he was given the opportunity to play with the big club as he scored four times and had six points in seven games.

Brady Turko; meanwhile, of McCreary also rose to the occasion. As another one of the team's top prospects, Turko had a goal and two assists across seven games with the big club. 

He then had 11 points at the Telus Cup after the U18 Wheat Kings won the Manitoba AAA U18 Hockey League at the Telus Cup West Regionals. Jacobson had one of the best years in Canadian history at the U18 level with 106 points in just 35 regular season games and he posted another 23 points in nine playoff games before a 12-point showing at the Telus Cup. Easton Odut of Dauphin has now played nine games with the big club, recording one assist. 

Putting a bid in for the Memorial Cup is no joke. It shows that an organization believes they are ready to compete for a national title. Brandon joins Kelowna as the other team that has now expressed their intent to bid for the 2026 event.

"The future of our team is exciting, we are entering into a very competitive and deep part of our cycle," said Jacobson. "We are ready to take the next step. Our draft and development model may have seemed longer to our fans, but it has been a key part of acquring and retaining a strong group of core players and a deep prospect pool that will make us competitive not only in the WHL, but the Canadian Hockey League (CHL) for many years to come."

Connie Lawrence, the CEO and General Manager of the Keystone Centre was on hand for the announcement on Friday morning.

"We are thrilled at the opportunity to support the team with their bid to bring this iconic event back to our community," said Lawrence. "We believe that the Keystone Centre and the City of Brandon has everything it takes to make this tournament a huge success. We are proud of the rich tradition of junior hockey in Brandon and we know this will be a fantastic opportunity to share that with the country."

730CKDM will provide any additional updates when it comes to Brandon's bid when they become available. 

When it comes to the 2024-25 season, Brandon will play their home opener on Friday, September 20 when Aiden Ziprick and the Warriors invade Westoba Place inside the Keystone Centre. 

The countdown is on and it is starting to heat up.

We are now 51 days away from the Opening Ceremonies of the 2024 Manitoba Summer Games that will take over Dauphin and the surrounding area from August 11 to 17.

This year's event is four years postponed because of the pandemic which means the organizing committee has had extra time to guarantee this is an event that everyone will remember for years to come.

The event will bring forward an incredible economic boost for the region. Hotels will be full, restaurants will be packed, and so many of the outstanding facilities will be used throughout the week-long event.

That includes Credit Union Place, as it will host the volleyball event while some of the province's top golfers will hit the links vying for a gold medal at the Gilbert Plains Country Club. 

Up in Clear Lake country, Luke Love is thrilled about the triathlon event which he is the co-chair. For those who do not know what a triathlon is, it's one of the more challenging disciplines in the sporting world.

Athletes must complete a swimming portion, followed by a bike portion, and then they must dig deep to finish with a run. It's an event that will challenge competitors not only physically, but mentally as well.

"I would say competitors are in the pool at least three times per week preparing," said Love. "This on top of riding their bike and running multiple times a week. It's also learning how to do all three disciplines one after the other."

Clear Lake also played host to the triathlon in 2004 when Dauphin hosted these same Manitoba Summer Games. The swim will be at the main beach, the biking will be down Wasagaming Drive and the run will be down the paved trail along the lake shore. 

There's a good chance that you have not seen a triathlon live in action. That can change in less than two months and as Love explains, it should.

"The interesting thing about watching a triathlon is there is always action going on,"  said Love. "If you go to the main beach, you'll be able to watch the swim and then you will also get the chance to watch the athletes transition to the bike portion. We have created the course in a way that the athletes will be able to be seen multiple times."

For those living in Dauphin and the area, you are no stranger to the beauty that is offered in Clear Lake. There's something for everyone, from the wildlife to countless camping spots to everything in between.

However, that isn't the case for everyone. When the triathlon competitors arrive in Clear Lake, for some, it will be their first time being in the National Park just south of Dauphin.

Luke is looking forward to showing off the beautiful views and experiences that one enjoys while visiting the Riding Mountain National Park.

"We're pretty fortunate here in Dauphin to having a national park right at our doorstep," ended Love. "I know it's something that I took advantage of growing up in Dauphin. It's nice that we're going to be able to showcase what we have."

Make sure you continue to stay tuned for the Manitoba Summer Games Report that airs Thursday morning at 9:15. On Thursday, June 27, Darnell Duff will be joined by Chris Wolfenden who is the co-chair of the cycling event that will take place at Northgate Trails. 

It was a great day of competition and the hosts came out on top.

Hosting the Crocus Cup at the Gilbert Plains Country Club on Wednesday, Team Gilbert Plains came out on top.

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Finishing in second was the Russell Golf Club while Team Dauphin Lake finished in third.

Attendance increased at Dauphin Kings games in the 2023-24 regular season.

21,236 fans packed the stands at Credit Union Place, which was an increase of 630 from the 2022-23 season. It's also an increase of nearly 1000 fans from the 2019-20 regular season.

"It's great to see that our attendance continues to increase and we hope that will be the case moving into the new season in the fall," said Ashley Shaw, Team President. 

As the Kings hosted their Annual General Meeting inside the Aspen Lodge on Wednesday evening, they shared their key financials from this past season. 

Expenses:

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Regarding last season's revenue, the team announced an overall deficit of $128,963. 

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Tractor Lotto serves as a major fundraiser for the team and as the team netted nearly $80,000 less in fundraising this past season, Tractor Lotto was a factor in the decline.

"I think one thing that we need to look at is possibly putting more boots on the ground," said Shaw. "This could include going back to the mall and going back to rural communities and selling tickets there as we have in the past."

You may be wondering how more fans attended games this past season, but ticket sales declined by roughly $23,000. 

"We had been deferring some tickets from previous years after the pandemic," said Shaw. "We decided last year that we were going to account for all of that now. The 2023 ticket sales were a bit higher than they should have been, that's why the difference."

A deficit of $128,963 is certainly not what the Kings were looking for, but they aren't hitting the panic button. As a new season nears, Shaw, the board of directors, and Christian Laughland are ready to turn things around financially.

"There has to be some urgency when you see that number," said Shaw. "We tried our best this year to make things as close to even as we could, but there are some things that are out of our control. I am not panicked right now, I think we have a good plan moving forward, and everyone is on the same page."

On Wednesday, the organization also formally announced that Christian Laughland is back. He will serve as the team's Director of Business Operations. He will be responsible for managing and developing the team’s strategic marketing plan, partnerships, fundraising, promotions, game day operations, advertising, and events on behalf of the franchise.

"We're happy to have Christian back, he is a great asset in the office," ended Shaw. "He has some great ideas and he has some great connections in the community. I think it will be amazing for our hockey club to have him back. We are looking forward to working with him."

The Swan Valley Stampeders held their Annual General Meeting and it was a big positive.

While ticket sales were down this past season compared to the 2022/23 campaign due to the lack of playoff hockey at the Centennial Arena, the Stampeders are pleased to report a profit of $57,248 for the 2023/24 season.

"We had some strong corporate partnerships and we had a pretty good yield from our grow project," said Evan Morden, President. "It was a solid financial year for us."

On top of the strong finances, the Stampeders are also pleased to announce that they now have a full board. Not long ago, the organization was in desperate need of board members. Following the team's AGM, they now have a full board of 12 people.

Cramer Coulthart has stepped down as the team's President but will remain the team's Governor. Returning board members include Danielle Gordon-Broome, Rod Pidsklany, and Morden. Dallas Anderson, Erin Hodgson, Ken Kirkpatrick, Jackie Mullin, Ricky Barker, Cole Windsor, Dave Fletcher, Jordan Olson, and Warren Clark are now on the board.

Anderson will be the team's Vice President while Hodgson will be the team's secretary. 

Morden is pleased with how so many people have stepped up.

"It's great to see, we really did need some help, and people stepped up," offered Morden. "We were also able to compile a pretty good list of volunteers which wasn't the case before. We want to thank those that did step up, it is greatly appreciated."

When it comes to Evan, he has become the team's new President. From Swan River, Evan opened up his junior career by playing 62 games with his hometown Stampeders during the 2009-10 season. He then played three full seasons in the Western Hockey League with the Everett Silvertips and Prince Albert Raiders. Then to end his junior career in the 2013-14 season, Evan returned home to play with Swan Valley. 

Morden then went on to play collegiately at Brock University for four years and for the past five seasons, the Swan River star has been playing senior hockey with the Swan Valley Axemen.

"I'm looking forward to working with our new board members and with people that will bring different perspectives and ideas to the table," ended Morden. "It's a great opportunity for me and I am thrilled to be the team's President. I have always loved the Stampeder organization."

Swan Valley opens their 2024-25 season on September 20 at the Centennial Arena against the Blizzard. The first all-Parkland battle of the campaign between Dauphin and Swan Valley will be on November 16 at 7:30 at the Centennial Arena. 

It was a perfect weekend for the Roblin Stars 15U baseball team.

Playing in the regional championships in Dauphin, the Stars won all four of their games to advance to the Tier 2 provincial championships next month in Stonewall. 

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Greg Clark is the team's head coach and is very proud of how the group came together.

"It's a great feeling, the kids have worked hard all year and a regional title was one of our goals from the start of the season," said Clark. "It's great for the team to be rewarded for all of their hard work."

The team will compete in the 15U Tier 2 event from July 12 to 14 in Stonewall and Warren.

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Also over the weekend, the Ste. Rose Reds also qualified for the provincial championships. With their record of two wins and two losses, the Reds are off to Minnedosa from July 12 to 14 for the 15U Tier 3 provincial event. 

The Mavericks Rugby Club opened up their season with a dominating win.

It was the team's largest margin of victory in years as they downed the Winnipeg Wasps by 70 points in late May to open up their campaign. Practicing twice a week with a loyal group of team members, the Mavericks continue to grow. 

Players from the high school level have joined the club and while it has sometimes been a struggle to get enough players to field a roster for games and practices in recent years, that is no longer the case. Rugby in the Parkland region is in incredible hands. From youth to high school to senior play, rugby is becoming a household summer sport in the region. 

The Mavericks saw game action for the second time this season over the weekend when they were in Winnipeg to play the Assassins. They were a tough competitor with a full roster which included a full complement of substitutions. The Mavericks stuck close and battled right until the end, but it wasn't ultimately meant to be.

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The Assassins scored a late try and finished a successful convert to down the Mavericks, 31-24. Nick Searl scored two tries in the game while Joseph Lopez and Ryan Dreger also recorded a try. Dreger took care of the converts. The Mavericks now sit with a record of one win and one loss as they prepare for their next game. 

Jordan Campbell had this on the team's first two games.

"We are playing pretty strong. We're a strong defensive team and we stick with teams offensively," said Campbell. "We are playing with a smaller group compared to some of these teams. We play a hard style, we finish our tackles, and we're competitive with the city teams which is nice."

After playing back-to-back games on the road, the Mavericks will now get to show off their talents on home field. On Saturday afternoon at KIN Field, Dauphin will host the Winnipeg Wombats. Dauphin has never beaten them in the past, but Campbell is looking forward to the challenge, which he knows will be good.

"This weekend will be a very good test, the Wombats are a very good team," said Campbell. "I feel like this is our chance to get a big win for the guys in Red & Black." 

Saturday's game will be at 3:00 p.m. and everyone is welcome to show their support for the Mavericks. 

Jordan is a second-generation Maverick after his uncle played for the Dirty Dozen in the early 2000s. He now has two sons of his own and loves every moment of being a Maverick.

"It's quite the feeling, it's the best feeling ever," ended Campbell. "We protect eachother, we protect our brothers. At the end of the day, we all go home together with smiles on our face. I'm living the dream and I have the Mavericks to thank for that."

Shawn Sarkonak knows how it feels to be a Parkland U18 Ranger.

He knows how the long bus trips feel, he knows how great it felt after the team won and he knows how it felt after the team came up short. He also knows the great pride players and coaches take in getting the opportunity to represent the region at the U18 AAA level.

In the 1996-97 season, Sarkonak donned the White & Blue as a member of the Rangers. They finished that season with 13 wins and 29 points. A hockey team is often referred to as a brotherhood. Players come together and spend hundreds and hundreds of hours together throughout a season. At the end of the day regardless of wins and losses, the friendships made and memories made last a lifetime.

For Shawn, being a Ranger was a dream come true.

"It was amazing to be a part of the program, I had the chance to play with guys that I grew up playing with and even guys I grew up playing against," said Sarkonak. "It was a great year even though we didn't win as often as we would have liked."

Following that season, Shawn moved forward to play some senior hockey, his last year coming in the 2006-07 season when he had five goals and 13 points in 13 games. These days, Shawn spends plenty of time travelling to Saskatchewan to watch his daughter play in the winter months. During the summer, you can find Shawn on the field coaching rugby.

Sarkonak is one of the main reasons why the rugby programs in Dauphin have become somewhat of a powerhouse in the province. Just recently, Shawn coached the Clipper girls to a league and provincial championship.

Last winter, Shawn was back with the Rangers, but this time, with the U15 program as he served as an assistant coach. Sarkonak takes great pride in being as involved as he can and his passion is helping young athletes excel as much as possible.

Come this fall, Shawn will remain with the Ranger program; however, he is back with the team he enjoyed playing so much with more than 25 years ago. As the 2024-25 season continues to near, the U18 Rangers have announced that Shawn has become the team's new President. 

"It's an honour to be a part of the program once again," said Sarkonak. "I am really looking forward to working with everyone on the board and the team moving forward."

Jason Gibbs will return as the team's general manager.

"I have known Jason for a number of years, but I haven't had a chance to work with him closely," offered Sarkonak. "Everyone has amazing things to say about him, he puts everything into the Rangers program, he is a very hard worker. I'm looking forward to working alongside him."

With confirmation that Jason will return and Shawn now in the fold, next up is the team's coaching staff. Tyler Carefoot will not return as the team's head coach, nor will Colton Robak or Chris Belhumeur as assistant coaches.

"With the new season around the corner, there will be an announcement coming up shortly with a new coaching staff," ended Sarkonak. "New faces that have been a part of it either as a coach and or player. We are looking forward to sharing that with the public soon."

Training camp for the Rangers will take place in September with the season beginning later that month. 

For the first time since 2016, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers have opened their season with back-to-back losses.

Playing in Ottawa on Thursday night, the Bombers once again failed to get much going offensively in a 23-19 loss. Winnipeg still had a chance to win the game late when they marched the ball down to Ottawa's seven-yard line; however, two incomplete passes and a sack of Zach Collaros was the nail in the coffin for the Blue & Gold. Winnipeg only hit double digits on the scoreboard in one quarter when they scored 10 points in the second.

In the defeat, Collaros completed 15 passes for 285 yards. Keric Wheatfall put together an impressive performance with 111 yards through the air on three receptions. Winnipeg will look to earn their first win next week when they take on the powerful B.C. Lions.

That game next week will be on Saturday at 6:00 p.m. and you can hear it right here on 730CKDM as we're a proud member of the Blue Bomber Radio Network. 

One more win and the Stanley Cup is coming back to Dauphin.

Myles Fee serves as video coach for the Florida Panthers and on Thursday evening, the Panthers opened up a 4-1 lead and held on late for a 4-3 win over Edmonton to take a three-games to-nothing series lead in the Stanley Cup Final.

From Dauphin, Fee has had an extremely successful coaching career which includes a Calder Cup championship with the Charlotte Checkers of the American Hockey League. On Saturday evening, Fee could become a Stanley Cup champion if the Panthers win in Edmonton.

The last Dauphinite to win the Stanley Cup was Barry Trotz when he guided the Washington Capitals to a title in 2018.