It's a busy week for the Parkland Rangers program.

Check out a full schedule for both the U18 and Bantam teams.

U18 Rangers: (Both games played in Portage La Prairie)

Saturday, October 19 at Showcase - 1:30 p.m. vs Winnipeg Thrashers.

Sunday, October 20 at Showcase - 3:30 p.m. vs Interlake Lightning. 

Bantam Rangers: (@ Graham Tuer Bantam Challenge in Regina)

Thursday, October 17 - 8:15 a.m. vs Warman Wildcats.

Thursday, October 17 - 5:55 p.m. vs Yorkton Terriers.

Friday, October 18 - 1:05 p.m. vs Northeast Wolfpack.

The above games are in the round-robin. Playoffs will follow and the tournament goes through Sunday.

Dauphin's second indoor hockey arena is officially open. The Rotary Arena opened its doors last night for the season.

"We had a little bit of trouble with the Credit Union Place and Curling Rink plant, but everything went off without a hitch at the Rotary," said Wesley Carnegie, Operations Manager. "Everythings up and running and we're excited that we got the second rink going. It's an exciting time."

Just like every season, the Rotary will be home to Parkland Ranger practices, rec hockey, and other minor hockey practices. The first big thing going on at the arena is the Peewee A/AA Tournament that takes place mid next month. The event is also at Credit Union Place. It's the same weekend as Rogers Hometown Hockey which will invade Dauphin on November 16-17.

"We're really excited about hosting this tournament and it's great that it coincides with Hometown Hockey," added Carnegie.

Just like Credit Union Place isn't just for hockey, the Rotary Arena also isn't just for hockey. They have archery, hot yoga, regular yoga, exercise classes and more upstairs.

"When those classes start, the Rotary Arena is just as busy as Credit Union Place, there is always something going on," he continued.

All of the classes are open to the public. On top of evening sessions, there is also noon hour yoga. That means whether you want to get in a workout during the day or at night, there will be an option for you.

"Just call our front desk at 622-3150 and we can get you all the information," concluded Carnegie. "Everything at the Rotary Arena is super popular."

Dauphin's Rueben Houle is heading to the 2020 North American Indigenous Games.

The University of Manitoba student was selected to take part thanks to his fantastic past results in Track & Field.

He will be on the Manitoba Athletics Team at the event which takes place in Halifax.

"I'm really excited about being selected for the team and I'm looking forward to participating at the event," said Houle. "I also want to thank Justin Charrier for working with me over the summer, it helped me a lot."

The Dauphin Kings have went through a losing streak early in the season and now they'll look to build a winning streak. The team is in Waywayseecappo to play the Wolverines for the second time this season.

The Kings are 2-5-0-1 and they find themselves in 10th place but they did snap a five-game skid on Sunday.

"There's been a lot of positives and there are areas we need to get better in," said Doug Hedley, head coach, and general manager. "We got solid goaltending from Duncan on Sunday and that win was a small step forward for us. If you work hard, you're going to get breaks and we need to make them count."

In some news for the team yesterday, the Prince Albert Raiders acquired the playing rights of Duncan McGovern. However, he won't report to PA. He will only report to play on an emergency basis which means he remains with the Kings.

Also, Koby Morrisseau is back. After a Leave of Absence, he was back with the team yesterday for their first practice after Sunday's game. 

"He's talked to a few people and he's keen on playing," said Hedley. "He's a talented kid and he didn't look like he missed a step out there. He's an exceptional talent and we're looking forward to getting him back in our lineup."

In their meeting last month, Waywayseecappo scored an empty-net marker for a 4-2 win. They are 7-2-1 this season and they find themselves in second place in the league, only trailing the Portage Terriers.

They are 3-1-1 on home ice while Dauphin is 1-3.

"There's a reason why they're 7-2-1 and that's because they work hard," continued Hedley. "I think we deserved more last time we played them, but we allowed them to have a two-goal lead. It should be a very good hockey game. They always come hard in their own arena."

Who's hot?

Jaymes Knee has 12 points for the Wolverines while Thomson Phinney already has six wins.

Nakodan Greyeyes leads Dauphin with nine points. Just behind him are Baron Thompson, Grady Hobbs, and Cole DeKoninck, all with six points.

Darnell Duff has the call of the game tonight beginning with the Parkland Source for Sports pregame show at 7:15 from the Waywayseecappo Arena Complex.

Grady Hobbs had a great week for the Dauphin Kings and he’s being rewarded for it.

The forward had two goals and three assists last week to earn 3rd-star honours in the MJHL Player of the Week.

He now has six points this season.

This weekend will be a special one for Brandon University athletics.

A few athletes and the 2008-2009 men's volleyball team are being inducted into the school's Sports Wall of Fame. 

Paul Sanderson and Andrew Korol were on that team and they are being recognized. Others being recognized include Becky Birch, Teagan Hunter (athlete category) and Bill Gadd, Daryle McCannell, and Bev Neufeld in the community leader category.

In that 2008-09 season, the Bobcats qualified for their first-ever National Championship, when they beat the UBC Thunderbirds in the Canada West quarterfinal on their home court.

"It's pretty surreal, to be honest, it's super exciting," said Grant Wilson, coach. "We had a special group of guys and I'm thrilled to be a part of it."

Brandon went 10-and-8 that season which gave them fourth place in the conference. They ended up beating UBC 3-0 on night one in the best-of-three. In game two, the teams went to the wire with the Bobcats outlasting the Thunderbirds, 28-30, 25-20, 25-14, 23-25, and 24-22.

"The place was absolutely vibrating on that day and it's a day that I'll never forget," said Wilson. "It was a super intense game and it was really exciting. I don't think anyone involved will ever forget that."

In their first national appearance, they ended up beating McMaster to win the bronze medal. 

After making another appearance at the nationals last season and winning the Canada West Championship, Brandon is set to embark on another season this weekend. They will take on the Thompson Rivers Wolfpack. Both games will be played in Brandon on Friday and Saturday. First serve on Friday is set for 7:45 while Saturday things get started at 6:45 p.m.

"Yeah, we're looking forward to it. We have our core back with the exception of two players that graduated," concluded Wilson. "We have some players that are ready to step it up. We're comfortable with the group we have and what roles they will play in."

"We feel we have a pretty competitive group heading in," he added. "Canada West is a grind. There are always four-or-five teams that can not only win the league but nationals as well and we feel we're in that group. We'll roll the dice and see how it goes."

The Parkland Bantam Rangers have been cruising along early in their season. They're out to a 5-1 start to the season and their only defeat came in a game that could have been different in a 6-4 loss against the Winnipeg Sharks.

Over the weekend, the club took Thompson by storm and got past Norman twice, 10-1, and 7-4. On their current four-game winning streak, the club has scored 33 goals. They have also only allowed 11 which is just as impressive.

"We're playing strong right off the bat here this season," said Carter Zalischuk, a second-year player on the team. "Our first periods we start out rough, but we get a lot better as the game goes on."

"We all start getting looser as the game goes on and we just feel more confident in ourselves it seems later in the game," he continued. 

Of the team's 44 goals this season, Carter has scored five of them. He also has five assists as he's averaging two points per game. On Sunday in Norman, Zalischuk led the way with three goals and one assist. In a 10-1 drubbing on Saturday, the Dauphinite had two assists.

"I think I'm playing alright, but I need to work on scoring more goals, moving the puck around, and communicating," said Zalischuk. "We have a really good group and I think we have a lot to offer this season."

"We're all really enjoying playing with this team, it's awesome heading to the rink," continued Zalischuk. "We want to take it all the way this year."

Their regular-season is on a break until October 27 when they're in Winnipeg to take on the undefeated Winnipeg Wild. However, the team plays again later this week as they head to Regina. They're playing in the Graham Tuer Bantam Challenge, a tournament that welcomes some of the best teams from across Canada. 

Parkland plays their first game of the tournament on Thursday morning against the Warman Wildcats. On Thursday night, they play the Yorkton Terriers and they wrap up their round-robin on Friday afternoon against the Northeast Wolfpack. 

"It's going to be a really good tournament with a ton of good teams playing," added Zalischuk. "It's going to be tough to go all the way to the final, but that's our goal."

"I'm confident in the group that we can go really far," he continued. 

Carter is also draft eligible this season. That means he can be taken in the WHL and MJHL Drafts in May and June, respectively. 

"I'm just trying to play my game and whatever happens, happens," he concluded. "I'll work as hard as I can and we'll see what happens."

After playing just more than 30 games with the Dauphin Kings, Bryan Landsberger’s junior career will continue closer to home. 

The goaltender has been traded to the Ottawa Jr. Senators of the CCHL. 

Coming back to Dauphin is Future Considerations.

 

When the Western Hockey League season kicked off on Friday, September 20, the Brandon Wheat Kings knew that 68 games were ahead and that included 10 against their new provincial rival, the Winnipeg ICE.

Brandon split their first two games of the season against Winnipeg, and then they were swept by Moose Jaw in a home-and-home. At that point, the Wheat Kings were 1-3.

Things didn’t get any easier for the club to start October. They hosted the Vancouver Giants on October 4. An all-star performance from Jiri Patera and enough offence led the club to a 3-0 win over a very good club. A 2-1 defeat at the hands of a strong Edmonton club the next night saw Brandon drop to 2-4.

Perhaps their game on Sunday, October 6, was a turning point for all the right reasons. In Saskatoon to cap off a stretch of three games in three nights, Brandon stunned Saskatoon by scoring two goals late and earning the win in the shootout.

At 3-4, Brandon played their final home game until November over the weekend against Saskatoon. A back-and-forth game saw the Blades earn their revenge in a 2-1 win.

With all of that in the past, Brandon can now move forward with a 3-5 record and they’ll do so on the road. The club kicks off their first extended road trip of the season later this week on Wednesday against Everett. The trip includes stops in Seattle, Portland, Tri-City, Spokane, Lethbridge, and finally Swift Current. All in all, the team plays seven games in 11 days.

“I think our last game against Saskatoon set us up really well to play on the road,” said Don MacGillivray, courtesy of wheatkings.com. “Our guys are getting better at understanding how we need to play to be successful. We’re going into some tough buildings. It’s a good time for us to get away as a group. We’re looking for a lot of hard work and for our guys to gel.”

“We’re half a step off at times. Getting away will be good for us,” he continued.

As of this posting, Brandon’s opponents are a combined 27-24-2-3. 15 of those wins come from the US Divison as Portland, Everett, and Tri-City all have five. Of course, these records will change as the days go on and the trip continues for the Wheat Kings.

There’s one glaring stat that jumps out when talking about the 3-5 Wheat Kings and that’s converting on the power play. It’s something that Brandon has yet to do very much this season. They are just 6-for-37 on the man advantage. That’s just 16.2%, which is 19th in the league.

In their last two games against Saskatoon, Brandon went 0-for-10. Their last power-play goal was against Edmonton when they tallied one.

“I think that sometimes happens when you’re pressing early, and things don’t go the way you want them, and guys start to grip their sticks a little tight,” added MacGillivray. “It’s just about making the right reads and getting everyone on the same page. It’s a work in progress. We have some different guys playing in different spots. It’ll get better as we go along here.”

As much as their power play has struggled, Brandon has been fantastic on the penalty kill. They’ve killed off 25-of-28 penalties they have taken. That adds up to 89.3% which is tops in the league by almost 3%.

They have also done a pretty good job at staying disciplined. Only six teams have taken fewer penalties than Brandon.

Locker room talk:

As mentioned previously, Jiri Patera will be sidelined for the next 2-3 weeks. That means he will likely miss the entire trip.

(Photo credit – wheatkings.com) Connor Ungar has played some solid hockey with Brandon when he’s been given the chance.

As a result, Connor Ungar has been recalled from the Okotoks Oilers of the Alberta Junior Hockey League. He will be joined by Ethan Kruger, who has had the chance to play this season and he’s been solid.

Marcus Kallionkieli continues to improve as he rehabs from an injury. He will not join the club for their upcoming trip but could join them by mid-November. He had 29 goals last year with the Sioux City Musketeers.

 

The Dauphin Kings are back in the win column. For the most part, they dominated Winnipeg as they beat the Blues, 4-1 in their only game of the weekend.

In their first visit to the Rink Hockey Training Centre, Dauphin used a strong power play and things started early.

7:09 into the contest, Grady Hobbs beat a screened Cooper Hatfield as Dauphin went up 1-0 on the power play. Baron Thompson and Hugo Laflamme notched the assists.

1:06 into the second, Dauphin kept things going on the man advantage. This time it was Nakodan Greyeyes who beat Hatfield to put Dauphin up 2-0.

Winnipeg did respond in the third. 7:58 into the final frame, Jack Oleksiuk snapped a shot past Duncan McGovern. Still up 2-1, Dauphin pushed and they made it happen. 

On a pass from Austin Lamotte, Carter Sawchuk made it 3-1 at the 15:47 mark.

With 1:48 left, Avery Smith scored into the empty net as Dauphin skated off with a 4-1 win.

The Kings are now 2-5-0-1 and they’ll continue their season on Wednesday in Waywayseecappo.

The Parkland Bantam Rangers are coming back from Thompson after a perfect weekend.

Carter Zalischuk scored three goals as the Rangers completed a weekend sweep against Norman by winning, 7-4.

Will Munro, Domi Leask, Madden Murray, and Aiden Ziprick all scored one goal in the win.

Parkland heads to Regina next weekend.