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Tyron Sweetman put the Dauphin Clippers on his shoulders Thursday evening and he lifted them to the next round.

Playing Killarney in game two of their first round series, Sweetman scored four times in a 5-2 victory against the Raiders.

Dauphin swept Killarney as a result and will now await their second round opponent. Liam Chartrand also scored for Dauphin in the win. 

It was a series that came right down to the wire, the Parkland U15 Rangers were looking to pull off what would have been a major upset. 

Heading into their first-round playoff series, the Rangers were heavy underdogs against the Wild after they were outscored 14-6 by them in a pair of regular season games. The Wild opened up the best of five with a win at the Hockey for All Centre and then, the Rangers caught fire as they won back-to-back games. The first of which came in Winnipeg and then back in Swan River for game three, Parkland took a 7-2 victory to put the Wild Red on the brink of elimination.

With a chance to move onto the second round in game 4 in McCreary, Fynn Huberdeau scored an even-strength goal with just 1:52 left in the third period to force overtime. Mark Munday of the Wild Red scored 9:13 into the first overtime to force a fifth and deciding game.

In that game, Dayson Martin put the Rangers up 1-0 after 20 minutes; however, the Rangers struggled in their end during the second period as they gave up six goals and trailed 6-3 after 40 minutes.

In desperation mode to start the third, Parkland scored two quick goals to trim the deficit to one. Ultimately, the Rangers would not get any closer as they lost the game 9-6 as they saw their season come to an end in Manitoba's capital.

With the off-season now here, Matt Kustra wants to thank all of the team's amazing supporters throughout the season especially the fans that cheered on the team during their two home playoff games in Swan River and McCreary.

"It felt like we were back at a big junior playoff game," said Kustra. "You could hear the fans, they were so excited all game. Our players fed off that energy and were talking about it after the game. It was a pretty special atmosphere to be a part of and I want to thank all the fans for coming out, it meant a lot to all of us."

As Matt now reflects on the 2023-24 season and everything that it brought, one play will stick out to him. The Wild Red had just scored a couple of minutes before cutting Parkland's lead to 3-1 in the first period of game 3.

Noah Smigelsky lost his stick in the offensive zone and going up against three members of the Wild Red in the corner, Smigelsky found a way to kick the puck free in front of the net where Dayson Martin was waiting and with just one second left in the first, Martin found the back of the net to give the Rangers a 4-1 lead after 20 minutes and they never looked back in a 7-2 win.

"Wild Red was deflated after that and we just took it from there," ended Kustra. "I've been around the game for many years and I have never seen a player with no stick make a play like that and see it translate to a goal with just a second left. I was jumping up and down, it was incredible."

The 2023-24 edition of the Parkland U15 Rangers provided plenty of excitement for fans across the region and now, the countdown to the 2024-25 season begins. 

The Dauphin Kings racked up 48 shots and completed a season sweep of their Parkland rivals in the process.

Playing their sixth and final game of the season against the Swan Valley Stampeders of the season on Wednesday afternoon, Dauphin responded after Tuesday's tough loss as they beat the Stampeders, 4-1, in front of an incredible crowd as the Stampeders hosted their school game at the Centennial Arena.

With the win, Dauphin moved to 33-14-1-1 and they also moved with two points of the Blizzard for second place in the West Division and Dauphin does have two games in hand.

The Kings scored two goals while on the man advantage Wednesday with two goals, one of which came from Cayden Glover and the other from Alex Senf. Havryil Simchuk scored Dauphin's other goal while Senf finished with one other.

Getting the start between the pipes, Austin Seibel was excellent between the pipes as he made 22 saves. Dauphin will return home to welcome the Freeze to town on Friday before heading to The Pas to play the Blizzard on Sunday evening. 

The Blizzard played great, the Kings proved to be no match for them on Tuesday. 

Dauphin had just 15 shots in a 4-0 loss, a key defeat for the Kings as they look to chase down the Blizzard for second place in the West.

Cole Sheffield was the lone bright spot for Dauphin as he made 41 saves. The Kings are now four points back of the Blizz for second in the West with a pair of games in hand. 

Dauphin now plays Swan Valley on Friday. 

In a matter of two hours, the Dauphin Clippers have put the Killarney Raiders on the brink of elimination.

Starting their playoff journey on home ice, the Clippers beat Killarney, 4-2, to take a one game to zero lead in the best of three.

Julien Lopez led the way for Dauphin with a pair of goals. Josh Yakielashek and Ronin Mouck also scored.

Owen Chubka earned the win and Dauphin can advance to the second round with a win on Thursday in Killarney. 

It was a shame how the Dauphin Clippers' journey to a championship in Las Vegas ended.

The team was firing on all cylinders and they were looking to upset a team from Calgary in the semi-finals. Ultimately, it wasn't to be. The game ended up coming down to a skills competition, one that Dauphin came up short in as they lost to Bow Valley, 3-2, in a shootout. The loss sent the Clippers packing as they departed later that day for Dauphin.

The Clippers won three of their four round-robin games and finished with a single tie. Bow Valley; meanwhile, won all four of their round-robin games, dominating teams in the process.

"I think it was pretty cool in the end that the four Canadian teams were the top teams in our division," said Jason Alf. "To push the top team to a shootout in the Final 4, I think that's a pretty big positive for our group. It was an incredibly positive experience for our group and one that they will never forget."

Dauphin then returned home to play Crocus Plains this past Friday in their final regular season game of the year. Ronin Mouck, Jesse Hockridge, and Norman Lacquette scored for Dauphin in the 3-2 win that clinched their 22nd win of the campaign.

Alf says he was very impressed with how much effort the guys put in throughout the season.

"There are still a lot of things to clean up with how we played," said Alf. "With that said, we finished in fourth place and pretty some pretty great hockey throughout the season. I think the guys should be proud of their efforts."

Next up for the Clippers is a new season. They begin their playoffs on Tuesday evening at Credit Union Place against the Killarney Raiders. Both Killarney and Dauphin finished the season with 22 wins; however, the Clippers finished with 46 points while Killarney had 44. 

They met twice in the regular season, with Dauphin coming out on top in a 2-1 victory while they lost 8-3 in their second meeting. The best of three series will see Dauphin starting the series on home ice and if needed, they will host game three as well.

"There's a general animosity between the two clubs, we have had some pretty great meetings against each other over the past couple of years," offered Alf. "We played pretty well down there and struggled here. If we play like we can and stay out of the box, I think we have a very good chance."

Alf said that is the biggest key to success. The Raiders pose a very good offensive attack and if Dauphin isn't able to stay out of the penalty box, the Raiders will have the upper edge in the series. Game one is set for Tuesday at 7:30. 

It was a tough ending to the season for the Parkland U18 Rangers.

Finishing up their 44-game 2023-24 schedule in Beasujour, the Rangers lost two games against the Eastman Selects. On Saturday, Parkland led 3-1; however, they couldn't hold it, losing 9-5 in a high-scoring affair to the Selects. 

Hayden Seib scored two goals for Parkland and he also reached the 100-point mark as a Ranger with his performance. Ryder Gardner, Cam Sarna, and Ethan Carnegie also scored for the Rangers in the defeat. Then on Sunday afternoon in their season finale, Ryzlie Nepinak and Quinten Fisk scored in a 5-2 loss.

The Rangers finished in 11th place at 13-28-2-1. With their weekend sweep of Parkland, Eastman qualified for the playoffs. They will now play the Brandon Wheat Kings, who did not lose a regulation game in the regular season, in the first round of the playoffs. 

The Dauphin Kings are firing on all cylinders as the regular season continues to dwindle away.

After a big win against Portage, Dauphin put up a four spot to extend their winning streak to five games in a 4-1 victory against Niverville. 

Cole Sheffield was once again brilliant in net for Dauphin as he made 32 saves in the win as Niverville lost for the 13th time in their last 16 games.

Jordan Bax, Ashton Paul, Logan Walker, and Naaman Hofer scored for Dauphin in the win. The Kings remain tied for second place in the West with the Blizzard and the two teams meet Tuesday night in The Pas.

Dauphin has also clinched a playoff berth. 

The Dauphin Kings are back in a tie for second place in the West Division after an outstanding performance on Friday night.

Opening up a busy stretch that will see the team play six games in the next nine days, Dauphin shutout the Portage Terriers, 2-0. Cole Sheffield was once again brilliant and made a huge save late to preserve his fourth shutout of the season. Trey Gnetz also made a gorgeous play as he batted down a puck at the goal line to help Dauphin secure their 31st win of the season.

Alex Senf scored the game winner as Dauphin was on the man advantage in the first period and Ashton Paul sealed it late into an empty net. It was Dauphin's fourth straight win as they improved to 31-14-1-1 on the season.

The Kings now have the same amount of points as the Blizzard; however, Dauphin does still have a game in hand. The Kings will return to the ice on Saturday night as they look to keep it going when they play the Niverville Nighthawks at Credit Union Place. All the action gets underway on Saturday at 7:30. 

His days as a member of the Edina High School hockey team were numbered.

In one last year with the team during the 2022-23 campaign, Charlie Sandven scored eight times while adding 26 assists. To advance to the next level after his high school career came to an end, Charlie was able to achieve his goal as he went over to play with the Minnesota Wilderness of the North American Hockey League. Ultimately, it was a short stop for Charlie as he made the move to Manitoba and Dauphin to join the Kings.

Sandven, who is an avid golfer, is now 30 games into his first year with his new team and he has become one of the team's most reliable defenders. He's also enjoying every second of being a part of the Kings organization, even if it means being several hours away from his family and back-home friends.

"The guys are great, the coaches are great, and the entire organization is great," said Sandven. "It's first class, I'm very happy that I decided to come here.

Standing in at 6'3", Charlie has rapidly improved throughout his time in the MJHL and Doug Hedley has relied on the 19-year-old in any situation. Whether it's five-on-five, a power play, to the Kings killing off a penalty, Sandven has stepped in and done a wonderful job.

A couple of weeks back, Charlie also got the chance to spend some time with his family as his parents and grandparents made the trip to Dauphin to watch Charlie live in action twice at Credit Union Place.

"It was great to be with my parents and grandparents, it meant a lot that they made the trek up here," offered Sandven. "They had a chance to see how I'm living and what I do on a day-to-day basis. It was great to be with them." 

Heading into this past Tuesday's home game against Swan Valley, Charlie was still in search of his first goal with Dauphin. With 30 seconds left in the game, the Edina native was able to beat the Stampeders netminder as Sandven scored his first goal as a King in his 30th game with the club. 

Charlie kept the puck and it's a moment that he won't forget.

"It felt pretty good, it took some weight off my chest," said Sandven. "It was a great game overall. Goaltending was phenomenal and everyone played their part, it was a solid win for our group."

Dauphin will look to keep it rolling this weekend. Entering a weekend that will see the team play two games, Dauphin has won three straight games, scoring 16 goals in the process. The team will be very busy over the next three weeks ahead of the Turnbull Cup playoffs as they continue to chase down the Blizzard for second place in the West Division. 

The Kings have been getting outstanding goaltending from Cole Sheffield and Austin Seibel, and great defensive play from Charlie among the remainder of the defensive core and offensively, the Kings have been very efficient as of late. 

One of their recent wins came against the Steinbach Pistons, who are ranked as the third-best team in the country. 

"We have just come together as a tight-knit group, everyone is playing for the guy next to them," offered Sandven. "No one in our room is selfish. We all have one common goal and that's winning as many games as we can and making some noise this year."

Dauphin heads to Portage to play the Terriers on Friday before returning to Dauphin to host the Nighthawks on Saturday evening. They then play the Blizzard on Tuesday before taking on Swan Valley on Wednesday afternoon at 12:30.

Get to know Charlie:

What are some of your hobbies? I'm a pretty big golfer, I play a lot throughout the summer months. I also enjoy hanging out with my friends and I enjoy the company of my family.

What is your best golf shot? I had like 100 yards in for eagle on a par 5 and I sunk it, so that was pretty great. 

Who are your favourite sports teams? Being from Minnesota, I'm a big Minnesota Vikings fan. I'm also a big fan of the Wild and Twins.

Who has been a big inspiration in your life? Definitely my grandpa, he is a very hard working man. I respect him very much for what he has done for our family, he's an incredible man that I love dearly. He's always there for me.  

Would you like to travel? I would love to go back to Scottsdale and play some golf, pretty amazing place.

You can hear Charlie's full chat with Darnell Duff during the Dauphin Kings Power Play Show after the 4:00 p.m. news, weather, business, and sports on Friday. 

Three members of the Parkland Gators Swim Club recently took part in the provincial championships and once again, it was Parkland strong in the water.

Meredith Cottrell

50m backstroke - 5th
50m breaststroke - 3rd
100m backstroke - 5th
100m freestyle - 3rd
100m individual medley - 3rd
100m breaststroke - 4th
50m freestyle - 3rd

Chayne Paziuk

50m backstroke - 3rd
50m breaststroke - 7th
100m freestyle - 8th
100m individual medley - 8th
100m breaststroke - 10th
200m backstroke - 4th

Renee Fee

50m backstroke - 11th
50m breaststroke - 21st
100m backstroke - 7th
100m freestyle - 16th
100m individual medley - 15th
200m backstroke - 7th
50m freestyle - 19th