When Jaden Townsend entered this hockey season, it was set to be his third full season with the Swan Valley Stampeders.

The first two offered a mixed bag. The team missed the playoffs in his first year but rebounded and made the postseason last season. Before this season even started, though, the 20-year-old was handed a high honour. Every hockey player dreams of being the team's captain.

That dream became a reality for the former Parkland Ranger as he was named the Swan Valley Stampeders captain as the team embarked on their 20th Anniversary season.

"It really is an honour to be able to lead this team through what has been a great season," said Townsend. "I'm having so much fun. There are so many great guys so that makes it easier to be a captain, it's awesome."

The team began their season way back on September 21 against the OCN Blizzard where they scored six goals en route to a convincing 6-3 win. 

Since that win, Jaden and the Stamps' have gone 39-13-3-2 and they have clinched the second spot in the MJHL heading into the postseason. Not only has Jaden done a fantastic job in leading this team off the ice, but the 20-year-old is doing great things on the ice as well.

He's played in 50 games and has 36 points (18G). That total is just one less than the past two seasons combined for the Roblin native.

"Things are going really great," said Townsend. "It's a great feeling that we've clinched second place and the town is all super excited. The buzz around town is really high and we're getting more people at games which is awesome."

"I would say I'm just playing with more confidence and I'm getting more of an opportunity to produce points," he added. "I'm playing with a couple of great line mates in Alex Uryga and Tucker Scantlebury so that helps a lot as well."

Jaden and the rest of the Stampeders conclude their regular season this weekend with two games, one against Neepawa and one against Winnipeg. If the Stamps' win both games, the team will finish just one win shy of their franchise record in wins which was set way back in the 2002-03 season when they won 43 games. 

It's been a remarkable season for Jaden and the rest of the team and he's looking forward to what's up next as the team looks to win the MJHL.

"At the start of the year, everyone thought we would be a bottom team in the league," said Townsend. "We knew what we could do and we're just going out there and playing our best and we're hoping it's enough to win it all. That's our main goal."

The Dauphin Clippers are back in come from behind mode. The team lost game one of their semifinal series against Killarney, 4-3 on the road.

After both teams were tied up after 20, Dauphin took a 2-1 lead after 40 minutes. It was the Raiders who came out flying in the third and scored three goals for the win.

Logan Storey scored one shorthanded goal for Dauphin.

Wade Kopytko who made his return to the lineup after serving a one-game suspension also scored. Brayden Broome scored Dauphin's third goal.

The loss makes up the same story as the Clippers quarterfinal series. They were down 1-0 against Virden and won two straight games to advance. Dauphin will look to even up the series on Friday evening in Dauphin.

Gametime for the Raiders and Clippers at Credit Union Place is set for 8:00 p.m.

The MJHL handed out their league awards last week and winning the Top Defencemen Award for the first time was Swan Valley Stampeders, Quintin Sudom.

The 20-year-old from Fort McMurray is extremely deserving of the award as he's having an all-star type of season.

Quintin leads the MJHL in points from the back end with 55 in just 50 games. He was also named the Telus Defencemen of the Month in both October and December.

"It's a great honour to be named the top defencemen in the league," said Sudom. "It shows that all the work I've put in paid off. Also, the players I get to play with every day helped me a lot."

Quintin spends enough time practicing his own game on the ice. The Stamps' practice every day and play usually two to three games a week. That's not where the practice stops for Quintin, however. 

The term being a "student of the game" sums up the 20-year-old perfectly. When he's not playing, there's a good chance you can catch Sudom watching an NHL game.

"I watch a lot of hockey and especially NHL to see what those players’ habits are and that sort of thing," said Sudom. "I try to take as much as I can from them."

Sudom's 55 points are by far a career high for him. Last year he had 35 points. Before joining Swan Valley, Sudom had eight points combined between the Fort McMurray Oil Barons and Calgary Mustangs in the AJHL where he spent a limited amount of time playing.

"I'm really pleased with what I've been able to provide this season," said Sudom. "I'm also really proud of what this team has been able to do."

Quintin and the Stamps' wrap up their regular season this weekend. They play Neepawa on March 1 and Winnipeg on March 3.

The Dauphin Clippers hockey team find themselves in the exact same spot as last season. That spot is in the Westman High School Hockey League semifinal and it comes against the same team as last year, the Killarney Raiders.

Last season, the Raiders spoiled the Clippers bid for a final spot as they beat Dauphin at Credit Union Place in game three.

Now the two teams are set to begin this year's semifinal series tonight. The only difference from last year is the Raiders have home-ice advantage. That means game one will be played down there at 8:15.

"We're excited for this and we're proud of what we did in the first round," said Trevor Robak. "We came back and won that series after losing the first game, so we're pretty pumped up."

Killarney finished at the top of the East division with a 22-2 record. One of the losses came against Dauphin when the Clippers beat the Raiders back on November 23. Since that game, each team has lost once.

"We just have to play really good in every zone," added Robak.  "I think the neutral zone is going to be really key to this series and we have to do a good job of generating speed through it."

"The guys that lost to Killarney last year are absolutely looking for some redemption," he added. "I think that will give us a little extra boost and some extra fire to try and take this series."

Series schedule:

Game #1 - Wednesday, February 27 (Tonight) @ 8:15 p.m. in Killarney.

Game #2 - Friday, March 1 - @ 8:00 p.m. at Credit Union Place.

Game #3 - To be determined in Killarney.

Noah Hanneson and Quinten Fisk both scored twice last night as the Dauphin Knights went on to beat the Dauphin Jr. Kings in a great game, 6-4.

Forrest Karlson and Sadie Swanton also went on to score for the Knights in the game.

Responding with a solid game for the Jr. Kings was Cash McCallum as he scored three times. Brayden Budolowski scored the team's other goal.

It was a very slow start for Dauphin, but they caught fire late and picked up a 5-4 win tonight over OCN.

It was OCN that opened up the scoring just 6:57 into the opening frame on the powerplay and they led 1-0 after 20.

Entering the second on their own powerplay, it didn’t take Dauphin long to strike. Just :31 seconds in, Bryon Fobair scored his 15th of the season to tie the contest up. 

From there, it was all Blizzard for the rest of the period. 

Tanner Brewster and Alonsa’s Dustin Mozdzen scored to give OCN a 3-1 lead after 40.

After OCN owned the first five minutes of the third, Dauphin woke up and took over. 

Grady Hobbs scored just over five minutes in and Brendan Arnold had a dandy of a coast to coast goal eight minutes later to tie it up. 

The Kings’ kept coming as Riley Buller scored to give Dauphin a 4-3 lead with less than four minutes left. 

Buller had a fantastic game with one goal and two assists.

Dauphin’s Andrew Liwiski made it 5-3 for Dauphin late, but it wasn’t over. 

OCN scored to bring the contest within one, but that was it. 

The Kings’ ended up skating off with two points and what a big two points it was. 

They are now three points ahead of Waywayseecappo for seventh and a win on Thursday against Neepawa would lock up that spot. 

Swan Valley won today and clinched second.

Jaegar Lapointe has been through just about everything possible with the Parkland Rangers organization.

Starting with the Bantam team in the 2015-16 season and through this season, the Ste. Rose native has been a part of the lows, the highs, and everything in between.

This past weekend, it all ended for the 17-year-old. He played his final game as a part of the organization in a loss against the Winnipeg Thrashers where he scored two goals.

As everyone has come to expect, it was a very good season once again for the flashy forward. 

He played in 43 games and recorded 43 points to lead Parkland. Last year, Jaegar notched 48 points in 47 games. In his first season with the Bantam Rangers, Jaegar put up 33 points in 36 games which is nearly a point per game.

The only season he wasn't near a point per game was in the 2016-17 campaign in his first Midget season where he had 13 points in 43 games. All in all, it really was an outstanding few years for the now-graduated Midget hockey player. 

"It was great and was really cool to be with the team for three years of Midget and before in Bantam," said Lapointe. "My first year was tough but it came to me later on. I had a lot of fun last year and this year. We obviously didn't do as well as we wanted, but I had a lot of fun and I'll never forget playing with the team."

"I've made so many friends that will be my closest friends for life," he added.

Lapointe was tied for 20th in goals this year league wide with 22. 

"Yeah, I'm pretty glad about what I've been able to do in the past few seasons," said Lapointe. "We, of course, wanted to make the playoffs but that didn't happen. I wish I could have done a little bit more but overall, I'm pretty proud of myself."

Jaegar is now hoping his next step is junior hockey. He's had a taste of junior hockey in the past, including this season. He played a couple games with the Neepawa Natives. His hope is to crack the team full-time next season.

"It's a lot better than Midget AAA, so I have to improve for sure," said Lapointe. "I think playing a couple games with them really helped me and I learned what it takes to have success in the league."

Before even thinking of that, Jaegar is Yukon bound. He was chosen to represent Manitoba at the National Aboriginal Hockey Championships that go from May 6-14 in Whitehorse. This tournament features the best young aboriginal players in all of Canada.

"It's definitely really special to me, It means a lot to me that I get the chance," said Lapointe. "I get to play with a ton of good players and see a lot of cool things up there."

"It's going to be an unreal experience. Like representing Manitoba is something I've always wanted to do," he added. "And of course, the views are going to be incredible. Not everyone gets to experience Yukon so I'm really looking forward to it."

Although Jaegar won't play another game with the Rangers this season, he will have some more ice-time. The team will still practice through March which will allow him to get ready for the NAHC.

The Dauphin Kings' really hold their fate in their own hands. Right now, the team is in seventh place and if they win out, they will likely remain in that spot. With just three games left in the regular season, the team is back at it tonight as they welcome the OCN Blizzard to town.

Chasing the Kings' is the Waywayseecappo Wolverines who are the hottest team in the MJHL and are just one point behind Dauphin. Just like the Kings', Wayway also just has three games left which includes a tilt against Winnipeg tonight.

Looking forward, this is the likely scenario. If Dauphin remains in seventh, they will likely play their Parkland rival, Swan Valley Stampeders in the first round of the playoffs.

Vs Swan Valley this season:

Dauphin is 1-3-2. Dauphin held leads in two of the games and was tied in two others. This is a season series that could have easily gone the other way.

Goals for - 17.

Goals against - 23.

If Dauphin ends up dropping in the standings to eighth, it looks like they will play the Portage Terriers.

Vs Portage this season:

Dauphin is 1-5. Four of the losses came by at least three goals.

Goals for - 11.

Goals against - 28.

Dauphin's remaining schedule:

Tuesday, February 26 - OCN Blizzard (Tonight).

Thursday, February 28 - Neepawa Natives.

Saturday, March 2 - Virden Oil Capitals - broadcast on 730CKDM with Darnell Duff.

Dauphin has dominated OCN this season going 5-0 and they beat them last time, 10-1 when Riley Buller scored three times. 

Riley Shamray continues to lead Dauphin with 42 points and he was just named to the MJHL's second all-star team. 

The action at Credit Union Place gets underway at 7:30 tonight.

It wasn’t the end result they were looking for, but it was still a fantastic week of curling for Gilbert Plains Butch Mouck and his foursome. 

The team advanced all the way to the finals of the Strathcona Trust Senior Men’s Provincial Championships. 

They did so by going 6-1 in the round-robin. 

They than won the 3-4 game this morning before squeaking out a semifinal win this afternoon.  

Playing their third game of the day in the finals, the team ran out of gas. 

Despite the loss, they still finished as the second best senior men’s team in all of Manitoba.

The Kelly Robertson rink finished fourth in the province. The team consisted of Peter Prokopowich and Ray Baker.

Dauphin's Devin Himpe has been on a journey that will now see him being a part of leading our country in Russia. The now 30-year-old will be an Assistant Coach for Team Canada as they take part in the World University Games that start up next week in Krasnoyarsk, Russia.

Devin will join the 22 members of the team and the rest of the coaching staff as they begin their trip to Krasnoyarsk today. Himpe is also joined by Mike Sirant who coaches with him at the University of Manitoba.

"It's going to be amazing. It's a complete honour to get the chance to represent Manitoba and Canada," said Himpe. "I don't think there's a little boy or girl that doesn't dream of playing hockey at the international level."

"It's a really big accomplishment for myself to get this chance," added Himpe. "It's almost like the Olympics in the aspect that there are so many different events going on and people are coming from all over the world. Everything about it is going to be amazing, not just the hockey part. I can't wait."

Devin played with the Parkland Rangers from 2004-06 before joining the Kings' for a brief stint in the 2006-07 season. After that, he moved to Winnipeg to continue his education at the University of Manitoba where he played for the Fort Garry Twins of the MMJHL from 2007-10. Since 2015, Himpe has been an Assistant Coach for the University of Manitoba Bisons. 

"Mike has a ton of experience and I've been fortunate to work with him for the past few years," added Himpe. "He was pushing for me to get this position and when I was offered it, I certainly happily accepted."

Himpe and the rest of the team are joined by Great Britain, Latvia, Switzerland, Sweden, and Kazakhstan in their pool. The team's first game is on March 2 against Great Britain.

In the other pool are Hungary, Japan, Czech Republic, Slovakia, and the always powerful Russia and United States squads. 

"I'm definitely going to be a little nervous going in. This is the stage that everyone is trying to get to," said Himpe. "Travelling to a new country is also going to be a new experience and will sort of keep me on edge. We have things so great here in Canada so I'm definitely preparing myself for a culture shock."

"I just want to try and soak everything in, there will be so much going on throughout the couple of weeks," he added.

When the puck drops at the event, 11 other teams will be battling for a gold medal. Only one team will achieve that goal of winning it, so will it be Canada?

"Whenever you go to these types of tournaments on the International stage, the expectation is always winning that gold for Canada," said Himpe. "I don't think we expect anything less than that."

Devin's Story:

Why did you start coaching at a high level? I just wanted to stay in the game. Playing was always the goal but I don't think I had the drive when I was younger and maybe I missed out on some opportunities.

Is it your goal to make the NHL? I think that's everyone's goal if you love the game. I think heading to Russia is definitely a solid resume builder and it will allow me to learn so much more from so many people.

It was a very impressive weekend for the Parkland Bantam Women’s Rangers today. 

They played Norman twice in Minitonas and won both of their games. 

First up, Trynity Turner, Ashley Shiner, Brittan Yaschyshyn, and Samantha Moshenko each scored once in a 4-1 win. 

The goals kept on coming in game two. Trynity Turner added two goals for a three-goal day as the Rangers won 6-3.

Samantha Moshenko, Mya Kubrakovich, Madison Haliuk, and Allee Hrechka all scored singles.

The team heads to Portage for the provincials in two weeks. 

Grand Plains Midget Ice Dogs:

It was simple, the team needed to win to advance to the playoffs and that’s exactly what they did. 

Brady Grasby was the star as she scored a hat-trick in a 3-2 win against Manitou.

Rylee Zalischuk had two assists. 

The team begins their playoffs on Tuesday against the top-ranked, Birtle squad.