The Parkland U18 Rangers wrapped up main camp on Sunday afternoon inside of Credit Union Place.

The three-day camp began on Friday afternoon with fitness testing consisting of bench press sessions and a two-mile run. Austin Roos set the bar finishing the run in just 12:59, the fastest of all players.
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After a pair of on-ice skill sessions on Friday evening, a mini round-robin tournament was held starting on Saturday morning and it ran for the remainder of camp.

Rick Freese said he was expecting more on Sunday and that was certainly the case as the battle for spots on the 2020-2021 Rangers continues.

"The players were playing with a higher sense of urgency," said Freese. "There was a higher compete level and I think the players performed better on Sunday than they did all weekend."

Next up is a pair of practices that will take place on Tuesday evening before the Club holds its intrasquad game on Thursday night at 7:30 at Credit Union Place. The Rangers will then make cuts after that game as the preseason begins next weekend in Swan River. Freese says they will likely take 25 players into the preseason.

"There are some guys that need this game on Thursday to prove themselves," ended Freese. "Some guys will make it into the preseason and some won't based on how they perform in the intrasquad game. We're looking forward to making some tough decisions moving forward. 

The team will play Norman next Saturday and Sunday in Swan River at the Centennial Arena and they are also looking to confirm a couple of home preseason games before beginning the regular season on Saturday, October 17 in Thompson against the Northstars. 

After a 6-1 win in their preseason opener, the Dauphin Kings will play their second game inside of Credit Union Place on Sunday evening.

Grady Hobbs, Koby Morrisseau, Austin Lamotte, and Parker Malchuk are just four of the Kings that will draw into the lineup.

Darnell Duff will have the broadcast beginning with the Parkland Source for Sports pregame show at 7:15.

Parkland U18 Rangers main camp began on Friday afternoon with fitness testing followed by two on-ice skill sessions during the evening inside of Credit Union Place.

On Saturday, the camp continued to roll on with a mini round-robin that began at 11:00 a.m. and wrapped up just before 7:00 p.m. The players were split up into three teams, each of which will play each other once leading up to the championship final which will be played on Sunday afternoon.

The final game of the night saw Team Black come back from a 3-1 deficit to beat Team Green, 7-5. Kyan Grouette was a leader on Team Black alongside Brayden Kohlman who played on the team last year.

Camp included returning players Rylan Gibbs, Steven Arp, Jayce Legaarden, and Keaton Ziprick, just to name a few. Newcomers included Brayden Dube, Carter Zalischuk, and Grouette, all three of which played on the U15 Rangers last season.

Rick Freese is coaching this year's team alongside Tyler Carefoot and he had this to say on day two.

"I think things went really well, guys came prepared and you can definitely tell who put in the work over the summer," said Freese. "There is some serious competition and I really liked the last session that we had."

Sunday could be the last day for some players as the Club will look to trim its numbers down ahead of the exhibition schedule and eventual regular-season opener in mid-October. 

"The bottom line is that these players have no choice but to be a little more intense on Sunday compared to Saturday," offered Freese. "They have to become a bit more intense, a bit faster, and grittier out there. It's going to be an exciting day."

After taking part in Kings main camp earlier this month, Keaton Ziprick will look to provide this year's team with what he did last year after he was named a second-team all-star. He faced 1205 shots last season and he also made 54 saves in a 2-1 win against the Winnipeg Wild in what was the Rangers' biggest win of the campaign.

"Zipper had a good day. He started off a bit slow and then improved throughout the day. He's looking good out there," said Freese.

In case you missed it:

The Manitoba AAA U18 Hockey League needed to clear one more hurdle to begin the new season and they have successfully cleared it. The league has received approval from all necessary levels and the season will officially begin on Friday, October 16.

The Rangers; meanwhile, will begin their season on Saturday, October 17 as they're in Thompson to play the Norman Northstars. They will also play Norman once again on the Sunday afternoon to wrap up the first weekend of the season.

Each team will play 36 games this season and the Rangers will be in the West Division alongside the Yellowhead Chiefs, Brandon Wheat Kings, and Southwest Cougars.

"Yeah, we're really looking forward to getting the season going. Starting in Norman is a positive for us because we'll get on the road and all the guys can spend time with each other and it's a good way to bond to begin the season," ended Freese.

The Rangers preseason will begin with a pair of games against Norman on October 3-4 in Swan River at the Centennial Arena. 

The Dauphin Kings are back on the ice on Sunday evening when they welcome the Neepawa Natives to town.

If you've purchased a season ticket, they will be available to pick up at the game ahead of the 2020-2021 season. Also ahead of the game, Ashley Shaw has the following to say.

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After a preseason game on Monday followed by three practices on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, the Dauphin Kings stayed competitive on Friday, but in a different fashion.

They had the chance to show off their skills on the links as the team had a group outing at the Gilbert Plains Country Club. Teams were split into groups of four and the format was a nine-hole scramble on a gorgeous day here in the Parkland.

"It was great to get the guys away from the rink for a day," said Chad Facey, assistant coach. "They've been going hard here through training camp so to come out here and get a round in at the Gilbert Plains Country Club and have some fun, it was a great opportunity."

Playing in ideal conditions, the team of Parker Malchuk, Kaden Bryant, Ben Hackl, and Ian Lee caught fire as they went 4-under par to win amongst the players. Their day was highlighted with an eagle on #6 after a gorgeous approach shot from Malchuk. His second shot landed just inches away from the hole.

Overall, the team of Facey, Christian Laughland, and Darnell Duff got the job done as they fired a nine-hole score of 29 (6-under). 

"There were a lot of good scores out there, apparently many of these guys are multi-sport athletes, it was great to see," ended Facey.

The Kings will return to the ice on Saturday morning as they prepare for their second exhibition game on Sunday against the Neepawa Natives. Darnell Duff will have the broadcast beginning with the Parkland Source for Sports pregame show at 7:15 p.m.

The Gilbert Plains Country Club is one of the Parkland's premiere golf destinations and they have a deal right now that is as great as the course is.

If you purchase a membership for next season, you can play the rest of this season for free and with the beautiful weather we're having, there is still plenty of time to get a round in. 

The price for an early bird membership is just $950.

"It's something that we have done in the past and we thought we would bring it back again," said Scott McCallum, general manager. "We want to thank people for giving us their commitment to being a member next year and I've already had some people take advantage of this deal."

If you've ever played a round at the Club, you know why it's dubbed as one of the best courses in the province. A hardworking grounds crew report to work every day with the goal of giving golfers the best possible experience every single day.

"We take so much pride not only in our golf course but also the hospitality," offered McCallum. "You're definitely going to feel welcome every time you come down; it's a great place to be."

$40 is what it cost for an adult to play 18 holes. That means that you'll have to play just more than 23 rounds next summer to pay off your membership which for an avid golfer is an extremely easy thing to accomplish. 

When it comes to the rest of this season, Scott says the Club just aerated their greens, they've come back in beautiful shape and the course remains open to the public.

"The course is in great shape right now," ended McCallum. "We've had some warm temperatures so everything is looking great and that's really exciting for us."

You can call the pro shop to book a tee time at 548-3030 or visit Golf Gilbert Plains

It's been a busy month for the Parkland U15 Rangers as they look to trim the numbers down and create a final roster. At this point, the league is waiting for approval from Hockey Manitoba to confirm that league play can begin just as the U18 Rangers are. 

Tom White is returning as head coach of the program after a couple of very solid seasons. Last year's team were favourites to win the rural provincial championships before the season was cut short because of the novel coronavirus. 

They held their tryouts back on September 4-5-6 in Swan River and they have now held five other practices.

"Everything is going well, the kids have had some solid skates up until now," said White.

Nine of the forwards that remain with the team are born in 2007 which means this is their first year of full-time bantam hockey. The list includes a strong McCreary presence with Ryan Gower, Brody Fayant, and Brady Turko still remaining with the team. The McCreary trio dominated the peewee age level last year.

The list of players remaining also includes Ethan Carnegie, Linden Smigelsky, Hayden Seib, Brady Burghart, Easton Odut, and William Miner, just to name a few. In net, three of the remaining goaltenders are born in 2007 (Owen Martynuik, Ethan Myhre, and Chase Glover). Owen Chubka was born in 2006.

On the back end, Ronin Mouck (07), Maddix Eisner (07), Sam Swanton (07), Ryan Gower (07), and Boston Karlson (07) are five of the seven first-year players still remaining in camp. Jackson Badowski and Andrew Pidskalny are born in 2006.

"We're going to be a young team, there's no doubt about it. It's going to take some time for these kids, but from what I can see, there is a lot of skill here," offered White. "It's a big adjustment to play at this pace and style of hockey, so it's going to take some time."

Tom's message to the team has been just to go out and compete. If that happens, good things will continue to happen for a program that continues to ice extremely competitive teams over the years.

The Rangers will have another practice tomorrow in Swan River before they return to Dauphin for an intrasquad game on Monday evening.

Nearly a week has passed since the Dauphin Kings opened up main camp inside of Credit Union Place. Beginning last Friday, the push to the regular season officially began and the battles were fierce and they still continue to be.

After Sunday's JoFo Cup which was won by Team Trotz, 7-5, the organization quickly flipped the page and focused on their preseason game on Monday evening. The Kings came out on fire with a goal just 59 seconds into the game and they easily took care of the Stampeders in the annual rookie game, 6-1. 

"We were very happy with that game to start the week, there was a great compete level and everyone played extremely hard," said Doug Hedley, head coach, and general manager. "I think in general, having to keep camp down to just 34 players has been challenging at times."

The Kings would then begin a full week of practices on Tuesday afternoon with everyone that played in Monday's game getting the day off. Everyone was back on the ice on Wednesday as the battle for spots on the 2020-2021 Kings season continues.

Practices will continue on Thursday afternoon before the Club takes a day off on Friday. After another skate on Saturday morning, they host Neepawa for their second preseason game on Sunday evening.

"The speed has been outstanding this week so far. We're looking forward to skating on Thursday and Saturday to get ready for Sunday," offered Hedley. 

The Kings have sent home a few players, including Zach Turner who had a great camp, but he's only 16-years-old and felt more comfortable playing one more year of AAA hockey. 20-year-old Gabriel Beauvais has also been released.

The team will now move some guys out this weekend or by Monday morning with the plan of getting down to 26 or 27 skaters.

"We're probably going to keep 15 forwards, eight defencemen, and a couple of goaltenders to start the season," said Hedley.

One of the most intriguing parts of camp so far has been the battle between the pipes which includes Zach Grouette.

Matthias Smith is back from last year and has looked very impressive so far. Mathias Savoie and Ian Lee round of the four that are looking to earn spots. At this point, Smith is a lock with the remaining three battling for a backup spot.

"A lot of it comes down to attitude. Some of them have put work in over the summertime and it pays off now," Hedley said. "Smith has been our best goaltender in camp and we expected that. It should be a good battle and some good competition with the other three battling right now."

(Jayden Jubenvill beats Zach Grouette)

Hedley adds that Jayson Argue will have a big say in who is chosen. The Kings have the luxury of saying they have a goaltending coach and one that has played at a very elite level.

Originally from Swan River, Argue played four years of Division 1 college hockey with Bentley University. Prior to that, he played 71 games with his hometown Stampeders. Argue is entering his second season as the Kings goaltending coach.

"He did a tremendous job for us last year and we've had him for just about every practice this year," said Hedley. "We couldn't ask for a better guy in town that is working in our community and that has the passion to be involved. There is a little bit of compensation, but it is nowhere near the valuable input that he has on our goaltenders."

Sunday evening's game will be inside of Credit Union Place at 7:30 against as noted above the Neepawa Natives. Neepawa's first preseason game is on Friday when they play Waywayseecappo.

Although Neepawa won just 13 games last season, many of their losses were by one goal and the team will return an all-star from last year in Eli Lieffers.

Carter Sawchuk will also play for Neepawa this season as he was acquired from Dauphin in the off-season, a trade that saw the Kings grab Parker Malchuk.

"They're going to have guys that have speed and work hard. It's going to be a great battle absolutely," ended Hedley. 

The Winnipeg Goldeyes played their first-ever game at Shaw Park on June 4, 1999. The at time brand new home of the Goldeyes cost 13-million dollars and is located right by the "Forks" in Winnipeg's downtown.

In that season, nearly 300,000 fans came out to support the Goldeyes. The average attendance of 6,048 per game represented a 98.5 percent capacity for the season. Since that year, more than 5,750,000 people have entered Shaw Park to watch the home team play with each year roughly 270,000 entering the facility.

Earlier this week, news broke out that Goldeyes' owner Sam Katz had signed a 10-year lease on a state of the art ballpark in Ottawa. The lease is broken up into two five-year options and the lease is effective January 2, 2021, and the new organization will be required to pay the city $125,000 per year. 

"It's a phenomenal ballpark, it was built for professional baseball," said Katz in an interview. "It's right near the LRT and it has a huge parking lot of about 850 cars. I'm very happy that I was able to work something out with the Mayor and council."

The ballpark was the former home of the Ottawa Lynx, a minor league team that competed in the Triple-A International League (IL) from 1993 to 2007. Over the 15 seasons, the team was an affiliate of the Montreal Expos (1993–2002), Baltimore Orioles (2003–2006), and Philadelphia Phillies (2007). At the time, it was the only IL franchise in Canada.

Katz has now begun the process to bring professional baseball back to the nation's capital in time for the 2021 season.

"I'm really excited about it, a ton of hard work has gone into it," he offered. "We have a lot of work to do in a short period of time and with COVID-19, this is a challenging time as well. We're getting down to business and working on everything right now."

With the news that Katz had signed the lease, many people were asking questions of would the Goldeyes continue playing in Winnipeg. The answer to that question is one that Katz doesn't hesitate to answer.

"I'll put this the best way I can. I put blood, sweat, and tears into bringing baseball back to Winnipeg," said Katz. "My goal is for the Goldeyes to be here for a long, long time."

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So a Winnipeg summer tradition will continue, hopefully, in time for the 2021 summer season. Winnipeg played this past season in Fargo as the American Association played to a truncated schedule of 60 games with just six teams because of the novel coronavirus. Winnipeg missed the playoffs with a mark of 29-31 in the regular season.

It was the first time in Shaw Park history that Winnipeg didn't play a single game at the stadium during the summer months and because of that, not only did the team miss the playoffs in Fargo, but they also lost a significant amount of money.

"We're hoping we don't hit the seven-figure mark, but we know it's going to be near that and there's no doubt about that," said Katz. "Not having any income for 20 months is tough for any business. It wasn't an ideal situation for many teams this season, but we felt that going on the road and playing this season was something we needed to do."

So Winnipeg Goldeyes fans, you don't have to worry anymore as professional baseball will continue in Manitoba's capital in 2021 and for many years to come. And if you haven't been to Shaw Park before but you're planning on doing it in the near future, you're in for a treat watching a game in the ballpark that can fit more than 6500 fans.

"Shaw Park is one of the nicest parks in North America, it's plain and simple," ended Katz. "My goal has always been to keep this team in Winnipeg and that's what will happen."

The Goldeyes currently have three more years on their lease to play inside Shaw Park. Sam says he is working diligently with Mayor and council to sign a new lease. 

It didn't take Tyson Zimmer long to score his first preseason goal with the Waywayseecappo Wolverines.

In fact, it look less than three periods as he scored with less than three minutes left against Virden on Wednesday night. 

The goal came in a losing cause, but the Russell native is certainly off and running as he waits to find out when Wheat Kings camp will take place.

The Manitoba Junior Hockey League has announced that Ryan Galley is the new Manager of the Department of Player Safety.

Starting immediately, all Department of Player Safety activities will be managed by Ryan who owns an extensive resume as an official on and off the ice.

“We are excited to have Ryan join the MJHL team and he will be a valuable resource for all involved as we continue grow as a league on and off the ice," said Kevin Saurette, MJHL Commissioner. "His extensive background as an on-ice official and officiating coach will also prove extremely beneficial as an additional resource for the league office and current MJHL on-ice officials."

Ryan has been involved in the Hockey Canada Officiating Program (HCOP) since the late 1990’s, and received the Level VI certification in 2008.  He has officiated within the MJHL, CJHL and at the USports level.

In his time as an official, he worked a World U17 tournament as a linesman, and as a referee he worked ANAVET Cups, a Royal Bank Cup, an Allan Cup, and a World U20 pre-tournament game.

Between 2015 and 2017, Ryan worked for the NHL as an off-ice official in Winnipeg.  Currently he is a WHL Video Goal Judge in Winnipeg.