Logan Calder has been nothing short of exceptional since joining the Kings at the trade deadline. Calder's work ethic is unbelievable and more often than not when he goes into the corners battling for a puck, he will come out with it.

In game six of the finals against Steinbach, Calder took a nice pass from Brayden Dube at the left post and beat Will Hambley and that goal added some insurance as Dauphin and Steinbach needed a game seven. In game seven, Calder once again came to play and came up huge.

While a man down, he stopped a clearing attempt with his stick and skated down to the left-side circles and snapped a shot past Hambley. Later in the game with about eight minutes to play, Calder won a battle in the right corner and centred a puck for 16-year-old Brayden Dube and the Roblin native did the rest, giving Dauphin a 2-1 lead and they never looked back.

You can either sell at the trade deadline, stay firm with what you have or try to add some all-stars, Doug Hedley decided the latter was the best decision and Calder has turned out to be a huge reason why Dauphin are MJHL champions.

"It was such a great feeling to win with a great group of guys," said Calder. "We were very happy to get the job done in Steinbach."

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Logan is a proven champion -- he won a title with Portage in 2019 -- when the Terriers downed the Swan Valley Stampeders in seven games. Now the focus has switched to the Centennial Cup which begins on Friday against the Ottawa Jr. Senators. They took down Hawkesbury in the final of the Central Canada Hockey League. 

Calder has been crucial to the team's success so far and if Dauphin wants to have success in Estevan, you can expect the two-time MJHL champion to be front and centre. 

It looks like the Canadian Football League season will start on time.

According to reports, the CFL and CFL Players' Association came to an agreement on a seven-year collective bargaining agreement Wednesday night.

It must be ratified still by both the board of governors as well as the CFLPA membership; however, it appears that teams will report to their teams Thursday.

The first preseason game between Winnipeg and Saskatchewan will take place May 31. Prior to that, Winnipeg opens their preseason on May 27 against Edmonton. 

The Dauphin Kings open up their Centennial Cup on Friday afternoon at 1 p.m. Manitoba time against the Ottawa Jr. Senators

The team will play four round-robin games thru next Wednesday and the top three teams in their pool will advance to the playoffs. The top-team will advance directly to next Saturday's semifinal.

2022 centennial cup Schedule 2 768x432

Vs Ottawa:

HOW THEY GOT TO ESTEVAN

Central Canada Hockey League
Quarterfinal: defeated Smiths Falls 4-0 (6-1, 8-0, 2-1 OT, 6-1)
Semifinal: defeated Renfrew 4-1 (1-3, 2-3 OT, 2-1, 4-2, 4-0)
CCHL championship: defeated Hawkesbury 4-0 (5-4 2OT, 4-3 OT, 4-3, 4-0)

Ottawa has four players that have committed to play Division 1 hockey next season and don't have many holes on their roster. Three of their leading scorers were in the top six in league scoring in the regular season and they lost just once in the playoffs across 13 games. They were outside the top six in CJHL's top 20 rankings just once all season and they play with a lot of speed. 

Add speed with legit offence, a strong back-end and all-star goaltending, the Ottawa Jr Senators are for real, I mean they did win one of the best junior leagues in Canada so that goes without saying. Dauphin also boasts a legit offence, solid back end and all-star goaltending. This game will be played on the second day of the tournament but it very well could go down as one of the best of the entire tournament. Time will tell, both teams are confident heading in.

Vs Summerside:

The Maritimes Hockey League is a little bit of a question mark. Some say it's not as strong as other junior leagues across Canada but to some, it is a solid league. One thing we know is that the Western Capitals did dominate this season and it appears that they are for real.

Summerside topped the MHL standings at 31-4-2 and closed its campaign with just a single regulation-time loss in its last 11. 

The offence led the way, with Western Capitals scored a league-high 206 goals – 50 more than any other team – and claiming four of the top five spots in the MHL scoring race, led by Colby McArthur, who joined his older brother Brodie (2018-19, 2019-20) as a league scoring champion.

When the postseason began, it was more of the same. Summerside rolled through Edmundston in five games, swept past Fredericton and downed Truro in the MHL final, losing just two games – both in overtime – to claim a fifth Maritime title and punch its ticket to Estevan. Facts are facts and the fact is this team has lost just six times all season. While they aren't favourites in the pool, if their offence can continue to chug along like they have all season long, they will be a very tough out. It's the national championships, no game in the end will be easy and you can expect the Western Capitals to provide a legit test.

Vs Flin Flon:

While there still is a few days until this game happens, it is arguably the most highly anticipated matchup of the round-robin. The Flin Flon Bombers are the only team in the tournament that didn't win a league title this season, they lost in seven games against the Estevan Bruins who are hosting the event. Speaking about Estevan, what a beautiful little city and Affinity Place is incredible. With more than 20 private suites and just an overall incredible facility, fans are going to be treated to quite the experience starting Thursday.

Now back to Dauphin vs Flin Flon. It's the Battle of Manitoba. Flin Flon beat Dauphin in the 1993 Anavet Cup in six games. The Bombers were down 2-0 in their first round playoff series this year against Battlefords before they came back to win that series, they then downed the Humboldt Broncos -- who were one of the favourites to win the league -- before falling to Estevan. The SJHL final didn't actually matter as far as ending Flin Flon's season as by playing the Bruins in the final, they had already earned their berth to the big dance. Now, their goal was to win a league title... they didn't, so their new goal is winning a national title. 

If they want to do so, it's going to have to be Cal Schell who leads the charge just like he did in the SJHL playoffs. Schell had a 2.13 goals-against average to go along with a superb .934 save percentage. When Flin Flon arrived in Estevan, they likely did with a bad taste in their mouth after losing game seven at Affinity Place. But they're a legit team and this is a game you certainly do not want to miss.

Vs Soo:

The Soo Thunderbirds ended their regular season in the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League with 18 straight wins. They then advanced to the league finals but they were on the brink of elimination after just three games. Yes, you read that right -- they lost the first three games of the league final against the Hearst Lumberjacks -- making a comeback incredibly improbable.

But just because something is improbable doesn't mean it can't happen and in this case, it did. Soo completed the comeback with a thrilling 3-2 overtime win in game 7 on home ice and with that, they earned their berth to compete at the nationals. It's a pretty deep pool and Soo is likely the heaviest of underdogs in the five-team pool; however, who doesn't like a good underdog story? They have proven that they can rise to the occasion when their backs are against the walls... the new question is will they be able to do it on the national stage. Time will certainly tell. 

It’ll be the third trip to Canada’s National Junior A Championship in the last decade for the Thunderbirds; they finished fourth in 2012, the year they memorably upset the eventual national champion Penticton Vees in the preliminary round, and missed out on the playoffs in 2015. This game will wrap up the round-robin for both teams and the playoff field will be set for Friday's quarterfinals after a day-off on Thursday.

--

They say playoff time is the best time of year so that must make the national championships the greatest time of year. A beautiful city, an NHL-like facility and 10 of the best teams from around the country. A national title is on the line and it all begins for the Dauphin Kings at 1 p.m. on Friday afternoon against Ottawa. You can hear all the games with Darnell Duff on 730CKDM. 

The Dauphin Kings have arrived in Estevan ahead of the Centennial Cup which begins on Friday for the club as they battle the Ottawa Jr. Senators of the Central Canada Hockey League.

Dauphin booked their berth to the national championship by beating the Steinbach Pistons in a seven-game thriller, capped off by a 2-1 win at the T.G. Smith Centre.

It's Dauphin's first appearance at the nationals since 2014 when they played in the event in Vernon. Christian Laughland was there as the voice of the team and is now the Mayor of Dauphin.

He says it's incredible how much support the team has received during the playoff run and he knows that will continue into Affinity Place.

"I think I can speak on behalf of the entire community and say we are so proud of the organization," said Laughland. 

Laughland has had the opportunity to be a part of national championship games on three occasions, once when Dauphin hosted the event in 2010, the 2014 event in Vernon as noted above and he was invited by Hockey Canada to call games at the 2015 event in Portage. He provided colour commentary and did interviews in 2010 while he did play-by-play in 2014 and 2015.  Laughland says getting the chance to be a part of three national championships was very special.

"It's a ton of fun to be a part of the nationals," said Laughland. "There is also a ton of things going on behind the scenes that I got the chance to be a part of."

This year's event is unique in 10 teams will take part, that's five more than in a normal year. Teams from coast to coast with the exception of the British Columbia Hockey League -- who are no longer a part of Hockey Canada - will take part.

The Brooks Bandits will enter the tournament as favourites, they downed Spruce Grove in five games to win the Alberta Junior Hockey League.

In closing, Christian said 'Go Kings Go' and he wishes the team the very best in their quest for a national title. 

He was on the siren as the Dauphin Kings came out onto the ice for game six of the MJHL final against the Steinbach Pistons and then he moved to his seat right by his dad for the game.

About 12 years after ending his junior career with his hometown team, Ryan Dreger is still a big-time Kings supporter and he's thrilled that the team are champions and is Centennial Cup bound.

"The atmosphere in Credit Union Place for game six was amazing," said Dreger. "Even the Steinbach fans came and made some noise, it was great to be in a packed arena again."

Ryan says he was glued to the TV with his dad for game seven when the Kings won a 2-1 thrilling contest against the Pistons. Ryan is no stranger to competing in a national championship as he was on the Kings roster that played in the 2010 event. Prior to the nationals that year, Dreger scored 53 times and had 99 points and he followed that up by notching another 13 points in the playoffs.

Dreger continued with his offensive dominance in the Anavet Cup as he scored three times and had three assists in four games. Dauphin lost the first game in that series against La Ronge, they won the second in overtime and they never looked back as they won the trophy in five games.

Back home in Dauphin for the Royal Bank Cup, the Kings made the national final where they came up short against Vernon. Dreger would chalk up another goal and eight assists in the event.

"That was a special year, we had such a great team," said Dreger. "I look back and think, we were brothers."

As Dauphin prepares to hit the ice for this year's Centennial Cup, Ryan offered some advice "just try and enjoy every second, playing in the nationals doesn't happen often".

Following his time with the Kings, Ryan went on and played for four years with Nuemann University. In his final year with the team, the former King scored 24 times and had 24 assists in 23 games. 

If you're looking to watch the Dauphin Kings in action in Estevan, a limited number of tickets are available for purchase. 

Tickets are just $12.50. If you want one, follow the links.

GM 4: Preliminary Round - Ottawa Jr. Senators vs Dauphin Kings
https://tickets.estevanbruins.com/events/21053?promo_code=MJHL

GM 10: Preliminary Round - Dauphin Kings vs Summerside Western Capitals
https://tickets.estevanbruins.com/events/21059?promo_code=MJHL

GM 16: Preliminary Round - Dauphin Kings vs Flin Flon Bombers
https://tickets.estevanbruins.com/events/21065?promo_code=MJHL

GM 19: Preliminary Round - Soo Thunderbirds vs Dauphin Kings 
https://tickets.estevanbruins.com/events/21068?promo_code=MJHL

Tyler Carefoot led the Parkland U18 Rangers to their first appearance in the second round of the playoffs for the first time in more than 20 years this past season. The former president of the Dauphin Minor Hockey Association pairs his passion for the game with his great knowledge and it's certainly a combination that is very effective.

The Rangers will be looking to build off the momentum they built this past season and when they attempt to do so, Carefoot will be front and centre. The organization announced that Tyler will remain the team's head coach for the 2022-23 season. 

Tyler said he was thrilled when he was presented with the opportunity. 

"It's an honour to be back, I'm happy to be given the opportunity to carry on," said Carefoot. "I'm excited to be able to meet with some players throughout the summer and things will ramp up as camp opens in the fall."

One thing that Tyler has stressed over the last little while is players don't need to leave the region to excel and develop. There are so many great homegrown stories over the years, including Riese Gaber who played for Parkland and now he just wrapped up a season with the North Dakota Fighting Hawks, one in which he was one of the nations leading scorers.

One of the recent stories includes Kyan Grouette who had an excellent season with the Rangers and just finished playing with Team Manitoba at the National Aboriginal Hockey Championships.

Grouette was team captain and he was joined by Ranger teammates Will and Matthew Munro alongside Carter Zalischuk. The team wrapped up their event with a 7-1 win over Team Atlantic.

It was an event that Carefoot was watching closely.

"It's just a nice little feather in the cap for those guys to be able to represent the province at that level," said Carefoot. "We develop players right in our back yard here, that's how it goes. 

When looking forward to next season, Carefoot says the team will be a young group but a group that will be very competitive.

The Dauphin Hawks put together a tremendous weekend in Winnipeg and they have come home to the Parkland as champions.

Playing in the Manitoba Club Basketball Championships, the team beat Winkler in a thrilling come-from-behind final, 74-69. Prior to that, they downed Moose Lake, 89-50 and dispatched the Junior Royals, 69-50.

Add it all up and the team outscored their opponents, 232-169. 

It was a golden weekend for the WCHL Stealth Wolves team and Dauphin is a big reason why. 

Nolan Shaw, Carter Smigelsky, Kellen Shtykalo, and Jace Paterson-Brading helped the Wolves win the championship in the 2011 Silver Division at the Winnipeg Spring Shootout.

They went a perfect 5-0 and Carter led the way in points in the division. 

The Manitoba women have claimed glory at the National Aboriginal Hockey Championships.

They beat Team Ontario, 3-2, in a great back and forth gold medal game. They went a perfect 7-0 at the event. 

The team includes Lundar's Kenady Christensen, Dauphin's Mya Kubrakovich and Breigh Rank. 

On the men's side, Carter Zalischuk scored once and had one assist in their 7-1 win against Team Atlantic in the relegation round. 

Will Munro also had a goal and one helper. Matthew Munro and Kyan Grouette were also on the team. 

The golf season has arrived at the Gilbert Plains Country Club.

Tee times are now available for Saturday's opening day at one of the best courses in the province. Memberships are also available if you're looking to play lots this summer. While there is plenty of rain in the forecast for Friday, Scott McCallum says that won't stop the course from being very busy on Saturday.

"We have such tremendous drainage here, we're very fortunate," said McCallum. "Come tomorrow, you won't even be able to tell that it rained today."

You can book your spot by calling the pro shop at 548-3030. 18 holes with a cart is $65 while juniors can play 18 holes for just a buck a hole. McCallum also said the course is in excellent shape.

"We can't believe how well the course wintered," said McCallum. "We also have such a hard-working and dedicated grounds crew that work tirelessly to assure everyone looks great."

The Country Club will also play host to the Dauphin Kings Par 3 Extravaganza on June 11. 730CKDM will have a team in the event.