The Calder Cup Finals didn't start off well for Dauphin's Myles Fee and the Charlotte Checkers. But it's not about how you start, it’s how you finish and it was a dream ending for the Dauphinte and the rest of the Checkers.

The Chicago Wolves took game one of the league final in overtime, 4-3 in Charlotte. That's when the Checkers turned it up a notch and they ended up tying the series with a 5-3 home win in game two.

After the first two games in Charlotte, the best-of-seven series switched to Chicago for the next three games.

It's not often a road team will win three straight in their opponent's barn, but that's exactly what Charlotte did. They tallied 14 goals in Chicago and 19 total in the final four games of the series to win it in just five games.

The last time the league final took less than six games to complete was back in 2016 when the Lake Erie Monsters dispatched of the Hershey Bears in four games. 

Zach Nastasiuk scored the game-sealer with 16 seconds left into an empty net. That's when it finally started to sink in that Myles was going to win his first professional title.

"The word finally kept flashing through my head. It was relief and joy," said Fee. "It's been 15 years and half of those years we weren't even close to making the playoffs. The ability to have a title that no one can ever take away is quite joyful. I was able to find my wife and got her out on the ice and she never stopped smiling, it was incredible. I'll never forget it."

With another off-season now underway, Fee has already spent several seasons with an NHL team, and he's hoping he can make a return to the best league in the world in the near future. He does, after all, have an AHL title on his resume which will be a big part of his pitch to the big league bosses.

"I've worked with some of the best young players on the development side and that's really allowed me to learn a lot over the years," added Fee. 

With the NHL season set to wrap up tonight, Myles also shares his pick for the winner take all.

"I still have to go with St. Louis," added Fee. "Quite honestly I think it's a flip of the coin, but the Cinderella story with St. Louis from going last to first, it would be pretty cool."

Jay Thiesen plays most of his golf at the Russell Golf Course where he resides. If he's in the mood to travel, the 32-year-old heads down the road to play at the Clear Lake Golf Course, a venue he loves and has played many rounds on.

Over the weekend, Jay made Clear Lake his home as he teed it up in the 59th Annual Grey Owl tournament. The two-day tournament will forever go in the books as a memorable one for Thiesen as he won his second ever Grey Owl title.

Thiesen came out firing in round one with six birdies and just two bogies for a -4 total. Despite the hot first round, Jay was still looking up towards another Jay. Jay Doyle fired a first round 66 to lead by two strokes heading into the final round.

Doyle faltered in the second round as he scored 11 shots worse than day one. 44 of his 77 strokes came off the putter. Thiesen, meanwhile, was steady with two birdies and two bogies as he grabbed a three-shot victory over the first-round leader.

Jay's last Grey Owl title came back in 2012. That year it took two playoff holes to beat Garth Collings who won this year's "Greyer Owls" division by six strokes.

"It felt pretty good. I've played in it a few times since my last win and I came up short," said Thiesen. "I really enjoy playing on the course; it's kind of like home to me. I used to work up there and stuff, so it's always nice to play well and win on the course."

"I thought I would have to post a pretty good score on day two, but it was a pretty tough day. It was really windy and it seemed to change every hole," he added. "It was kind of a battle and no one played really well. I figured if I shot around even, I would have a chance and it worked out well."

The lead heading into the par 4-18th hole was a comfortable one for Thiesen. He had a three-stroke lead after Doyle doubled the short par 3-17th hole. Thiesen proceeded to bring out his trusted 2-iron on the 18th tee and the rest was history.

"I was pretty nervous on the tee shot, I just wanted to make sure it was in play," said Thiesen. "It was one of my best shots all day and I sort of figured I had it in the bag from there. I hit a good approach shot as well, I was kind of upset that I missed the birdie putt, but overall, it was a great feeling to win the tournament."

Thiesen will now prepare for the Manitoba Mid-Amateur which goes down from July 2-4 at the Selkirk Golf & Country Club. The top 12 golfers from that event will earn their spot to the Canadian Men's Mid-Amateur Championship from August 20-23 at the Summit Golf & Country Club in Richmond Hill, Ontario.

It's the first time that Jay will play in the event.

"I've always wanted to play in it, but it hasn't really worked in my schedule," added Thiesen. "Many of the guys that play in that tournament played in the Grey Owl, so I think I'll stack up pretty good heading in. I'm hoping I can put a few good rounds together and we'll see what happens."

Every single athlete that competes at the high school level has a goal of becoming a Provincial Champion. Not that many athletes achieve that goal, but Ste. Rose's Eric Preston sure did. He won the Junior Varsity Javelin Throw at the provincials in Winnipeg.

Eric placed in first with some authority as well. His 43.95m final throw was more than 4m better than the second place finisher. The big toss also beat his prior personal best of 42.5m which he also threw at the event.

"The second place competitor was high-fiving me and everything and all the guys were congratulating me on all of my throws," said Preston. "It was a pretty special feeling."

The Ste. Rose native didn't enter the final round as the favourite, however. He was in second place, and that's when he turned things up a notch.

"I knew I had a good chance of placing because no one was really hitting the marks that I was," said Preston. "When I got to the second last throw I knew I had a good chance of getting first because no one even hit the 40m mark. I was pretty excited at that point. It was a pretty cool experience overall, and it's great that I got first in the province."

Next up for Eric is decision time. He's thinking of trying out for Team Manitoba this summer. He's eligible to compete at the U16 level, or he can make the jump up to U18 level. When it comes to next year's school season, Preston will compete at the Varsity level. 

Whatever he does decide to do this summer, placing first this year has him feeling good moving forward.

"I'm definitely feeling good and I feel more comfortable competing with the best," added Preston. "I also have more confidence in other sports that I'll play as well."

This past weekend was the track and field provincials in Winnipeg.

Reuben Houle, from Dauphin, competed in the discus throw and threw 39.65m earning him a silver medal.

This fall, He is off to the University of Manitoba and he’ll continue with track on the university track team.

Former Swan Valley Stampeder and Dauphin King, Justin Valentino just recently finished his fifth year of hockey at the University of Lethbridge. He played for the Pronghorns and they hosted this past season's National Championships.

Although it wasn't the ending Justin was hoping for as the team didn't win, he will have a chance to win a title elsewhere. He's signed his first professional hockey contract as he will join Briançon of the France Elite League. 

Justin showed off his skill by putting up 80 points over the past four seasons with Lethbridge. 38 of the points were goals.

"It's definitely pretty exciting," said Valentino. "I'm just kind of finding out all the details on when I have to report and all that. It's a slow process, but it's definitely an exciting one."

Although most pro contracts signed by a player go through their agent, that wasn't the case with Justin. 

"I don't actually have an agent. A former teammate of mine played in the league and he helped a lot," continued Valentino. "Current coaches and past ones as well have really helped a lot. I'm really looking forward to it for sure."

Justin is coming off a near career season with the Pronghorns. He put up 27 points (9G) in 28 games. He had 28 points two seasons prior. Now it's all about preparation for Valentino. He'll spend a ton of time in the gym as he gets ready to play against guys that have been professionals for years.

"It's definitely going to be a lot different. The nice thing is I won't have to balance school with hockey anymore, I'll be able to solely focus on the game," said Valentino. "Obviously it's a different game over there and it's a new opportunity. It should be a challenge, but I'm ready for it."

Valentino's friend, Tim Campbell helped with the process of Justin signing his contract, and Justin is hoping he can do exactly what Tim is. Campbell is getting set for his second professional season and he's combined for 75 points in the first two seasons.

"I'm hoping I can do what Tim's been able to do, he's done really well for himself," added Valentino. "I'm just going to enjoy the new opportunity that's come about and we'll see how it goes."

Of course, travelling around Europe is also something Justin's looking forward to.

"I've never really been over to Europe, so if I can play some hockey and check it out, it's going to be pretty great," added Valentino. "I really can't wait to get over there."

Today was the MJHL Draft. Heading in, the Kings auto protected Rylan Gibbs and Marco Bodnarski. 

The Kings had the 5th pick in the draft and they selected forward Ethan Williment from the Winnipeg Warriors. The 14-year-old had 38 points, 16 goals in 34 games this past season. 

In the second round, 16th overall the Kings drafted forward Brayden Stevenson. The 15-year-old played for the Interlake Lightning this past season, scoring 14 goals and adding 18 assists for 32 points in 34 games. 

A defenceman was selected in the third round, 27th overall. Ben Bonni played for the Winnipeg Sharks and had 6 goals and 21 points in 33 games. 

In the 4th round, 38th overall, forward Drake Pahl, from Ste. Rose, was drafted. He had 18 points in 35 games for the Parkland Batam Rangers this past season. 

With the 49th overall pick, in the 5th round, forward Sean Williams from the Rink Hockey Academy Bantam Prep Team was picked. In 24 games, the 14-year-old had 8 goals and 8 assists.

To finish off in the draft, Dauphin had pick 60 in the 6th round and took a defenceman. Zach Turner played 36 games for the Southwest Cougars and had 20 goals and 8 assists.  

Today’s Kings Par 3 saw a hole in one!

Former Dauphin King Jason Shaw won 10,000 dollars on the fourth hole. 

Him and his team, featuring Jerron Kyle, Mike Sparrow, and James Stosez ended up winning with a score of 48 (-6). 

 

 

Brian Harris played 136 total games for the Swan Valley Stampeders over the course of two regular seasons and one lengthy playoff run. With one season left on his eligibility, Harris had a big decision to make. Go back and play Jr. A hockey for another season or move on to the next level.

The decision was to move on and now the former Stampeder is set to join the University of Manitoba Bison's men's hockey team in the fall.

The decision closes a 190 game junior hockey career for Brian, which included 54 games with the WHL's Edmonton Oil Kings.

"It was definitely awesome to commit to the Bison's hockey team," said Harris. "I'm kind of ready for school so I thought it would be a good idea to skip my last year of junior eligibility. I'm pretty excited about the whole experience."

"I was kind of talking to them like throughout the season," he added. "It's also pretty close to home which is great and I know some of the guys on the team which is nice."

Brian is from Wawanesa, Manitoba. 

Harris is coming off an extremely strong season with Swan Valley. He had 52 regular season points and he played in all but one of the team's regular season games. He also chipped in 15 points for the team on their road to the league final where they nearly got past Portage for their first ever league title.

"Oh yeah, it was a lot of fun," commented Harris. "The fans are great and they packed the barn all throughout the playoffs. Obviously, we came up a little bit short, but I wouldn't change it for anything, we had lots of fun."

"Being one of the top guys in Swan Valley really did boost my confidence," he added. "I have a lot more confidence in my abilities going into U of M now."

After being a veteran on the Stampeders, Brian is ready to play his first season as a rookie. Although it's never easy on a rookie, Brian isn't worrying about that too much.

"It's going to be a new experience for sure. I'm just going to work as hard as I can and I want to help the team win games," said Harris. "I have a lot to learn for sure, but I feel playing for the U of M will allow me to do that."

The Bison’s went 6-22 in conference play this past season.

Tyson Zimmer's hockey road has been well travelled in the past couple of years. In the 2017-18 season he tore it up with the Parkland Bantam Rangers where he put up 69 points in just 34 games.

Now we fast forward to this season where he compiled 54 points in 29 games with the Okanagan Hockey Academy Bantam Prep team.

His domination over the course of the past two seasons certainly didn't go unnoticed. He was drafted sixth overall at last months WHL draft in Red Deer, Alberta. The next stage Zimmer was going to compete on was Westoba Place. That came late last month when he took part in the Brandon Wheat Kings Prospects Camp. It featured more than 30 of the team's top prospects. 

Team White ended up getting past Zimmer and the Black team, 6-3.

"It was a really good weekend. It was nice to just get a feel for all the players," said Zimmer. "I grew up watching the team so to finally get in the room and finally put a jersey on, it was definitely pretty special."

Taking part in the camp gave Zimmer a chance to realize what has to be done to make it to the next level. From the outside, there are high expectations on Zimmer to make great things happen at the WHL level. Last year's #6 pick was Colton Dach and he was drafted by the Saskatoon Blades. Dach went on to put up 28 points in 32 games with the Fort Saskatchewan Rangers Midget AAA team. 

Colton is also the brother of Kirby Dach who is one of the better Saskatoon Blades players ever. If you go back two years, Jack Finley was the sixth overall pick to the Spokane Chiefs and he played 63 games as a 16-year-old with the team this year where he put up 19 points. 

"I definitely have to work on all aspects of my game to be a top player in the league," said Zimmer. "I'm committed to giving it everything I have and I'm looking forward to the challenge ahead."

"The organization looks for guys that are consistent. Guys that can score, but also play good in every zone," he added. "I also have to show that I can play with speed and I need to use my skill set to my advantage as often as I can."

Tyson's now back in BC where he continues to work hard every day with the Okanagan Prep Team. 

Austin Storey pitched a gem and the Grandview Lakers got their bats going in a 9-1 win against the Roblin Stars earlier tonight. 

Storey pitched seven full innings and he threw just 82 pitches to do so. 

Derrick Pulock led the way offensively by going 3 for 4.

Austin Storey also chipped in offensively by going 2 for 4. 

Also going 2 for 4 was Branden Storey, Kieran Raknerud, Alex Michaleski, and Jon Tokar.

Grandview is now 2-2 and they head to Canora on Saturday.

Dauphin's Ethan Chartrand has one goal when it comes to his future in Track & Field. He wants to be just like Canada's Andre De Grasse who is a superstar on the track. That's down the road, however. For now, Ethan just wants to give it everything he has as he represents the Dauphin Clippers, and he's sure done a great job in achieving his current goal.

Competing in the Zone Championships late last month, Ethan showed the Parkland how strong he is. He finished 1st in the 400m race and 2nd in the 800m race. The most impressive part about his finishes is, he did so against varsity aged athletes. 

Being in grade 10, Ethan made the jump up to compete against the Parkland's best grade 11 and 12 athletes.

"It was really fun to compete against everyone," said Chartrand. "It was definitely hard because I was competing against older guys. It was a fun experience overall and I'm pretty proud of myself."

"My mindset was just to have fun. I just wanted to give it my all and not stop," he added. 

Ethan is now in Winnipeg for the Dairy Farmers of Manitoba Provincial Track & Field Championships. He will once again compete in the 400m and 800m races. Competing at the event will be a first for the 15-year-old track speedster.

"It's going to be very challenging for sure, I'm really excited to see more people and compete against people from around the province," added Chartrand. "I'm feeling pretty calm, but at the same time I'm very nervous about it."

When it comes to preparing for the event, Ethan has been giving it his all since his great finishes at the zones. That's because he knows he will have to be at his best to have success on the provincial stage.

"I've been jogging a lot at night and I've been doing some long distance sprints at practice," added Chartrand.

Ethan isn't the only Clipper that will represent Dauphin at the provincials. 

Here's a full list: 

Jorja Furkalo will race in the JV girls 400m and 800m. Emmalie Thompson will race in the 800m.

Jayselyn Nybo and Thompson will race in the JV girls 1500m.

Jayselyn Nybo, Jorja Furkalo, Emmalie Thompson, and Chloe Kuzyk will race in the JV girls 4x100m relay.

Meagan Brunelle will race in the Varsity girls 1500m and 3000m.

Sandi Chief will compete in the girls 100m Para-Intellectual and 200m Para-Intellectual.

Sergei Blazic and Rueben Houle will compete in the Varsity shotput and discus.

Ethan Thacker and Blake Zamrykut will compete in the Pentathlon. That includes the 100m, 800m, high jump, long jump, and shot put.