Doug Zywina

Doug Zywina

It’s come down to crunch time for the Dauphin Kings.

Coming off a pair of losses in which they perhaps deserved a better fate, the team’s coaching staff has cut down the roster to 27 players, two of whom are currently injured.

Kings head coach and general manager Doug Hedley said the team played well in a 6-0 loss to the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League’s Melville Millionaires, Friday in Dauphin.

“Obviously, the rush defence wasn’t there, but I thought our energy and compete (was). We actually had more puck possession that them. We had more opportunities from the prime scoring areas,” he said. “It was just one of those games where every time they seemed to come down, we made a mistake and it went in the net. I liked the effort. Obviously, it’s a lot easier making decisions in the exhibition season when you’re losing than if you win every game. I think it’s a great evaluation tool.”

On Saturday, the Kings traveled south to face the Oil Capitals in Virden, losing 9-4.

Following the two games over the weekend, the Kings made some cuts, getting down to 27 players.

Defenceman Marco Bodnarski and forward Rylan Gage are battling injuries.

The team has been working on its defensive zone systems, as well as the forecheck in the neutral zone and will be reinforcing those in the lead-up to Friday’s season opener against the Swan Valley Stampeders.

“And try to get four solid lines to take the ice on Friday night and the backend, goaltending, just solidify everything and get some special team work going. We want to get off to a good start, so the first 10 games of the season can be very important,” Hedley said.

Some team bonding things are planned for this week to help the players become familiar with each other.

After Friday’s home opener, the Kings are on the road for the first time, Sunday, when the play the OCN Blizzard, Sunday.

Friday’s game gets underway at 7:30 p.m.

Tuesday, 19 September 2023 07:36

Decision to be made in goal for Rangers

The Parkland Rangers hit the ice for training camp, last week, before heading south to Souris for the annual preseason tournament hosted by the Southwest Cougars over the weekend.

Thirty-one players, including six goaltenders, attended this year’s camp, which head coach Tyler Carefoot said was competitive.

“There’s a couple of kids from the high school team came out for some conditioning and ended up challenging our guys that were there to make the team. So overall, I was pleased with camp,” he said.

In Souris, the Rangers played three games, beginning Friday, with a 6-3 loss to the Yellowhead Chiefs.

On Saturday, Parkland began the day with a 5-1 loss to the Brandon Wheat Kings, followed by a 6-1 setback at the hands of the Eastman Selects later in the day.

Carefoot noted the team is already battling injuries, with defenceman Sam Swanton out with a separated shoulder and forward Cade Legaarden dealing with back issues.

So with 23 players making the trip to Souris, Carefoot was able to ice the same lineup for all three games, while giving his three goalies equal playing time.

“It gave me an opportunity to put guys in different situations to challenge that way, so it worked out pretty good,” he said.

Despite the losses, Carefoot was pleased with the team’s play.

“I thought, overall, for some players, they were new to U18, so they were just getting adjusted to the different pace,” he said. “But, honest to goodness, I thought we got better every period. The scores looked like blowouts, but a lot of those goals were power-play goals. So we went without playing our systems. That is stuff we’ll be able to work on as we prepare for the season,” he said. “So all in all, we actually fared much better than I was anticipating.”

With no more preseason games scheduled, Carefoot will take the next two weeks to teach the players the systems ahead of the season opener, slated for Sept. 29 against Yellowhead.

“There’s so much to teach and so much for these kids to learn, so taking the next four to six practices might be a good thing,” he said.

With the focus shifting to the season opener, Carefoot is looking forward to it.

“Most importantly for this group, I want families that want to part of the Parkland Rangers family. And I think we have that. I’m excited about our goaltending, although we still have three goalies in camp,” he said, adding there have been a few surprises, such as the play of forwards Ethan Carnegie,

Cam Sarna and defencemen Ryder Gardner and Nathan Miller, who all played well in the three games in Souris.

While Chase Glover has a spot secured in goal as a second-year player, a decision will have to be made between Ethen Myhre and Owen Martyniuk, who split the first two games.

“That’s a decision that’s not going to be made lightly, so we’re going to have to take some time with it. So we’ll probably need the next four to six practices to do so,” Carefoot said.

Tuesday, 19 September 2023 07:34

JV girls capture gold in Elton tournament

The Dauphin Clippers JV girls volleyball team won its first tournament of the season, capturing the title at the Elton Sabres JV Invitational, Friday and Saturday.

The Clippers finished second in their pool, opening with a 23-25 and 17-25 loss to the Gilbert Plains Trojans.

Dauphin rebounded to beat the Glenboro Panthers, 25-10 and 25-6, then defeated the Hamiota Huskies, 25-24 and 25-12, before clinching second place with a 25-7 and 25-14 win over the Carberry Cougars.

The Clippers began their march to the tournament title with a 25-18 and 25-16 win over the host Sabres, then defeated the Prairie Mountain Predators, 25-14 and 25-15 in the semifinals.

The final was an all-Parkland affair as the Clippers got a measure of revenge over the Trojans, beating the Gilbert Plains squad, 25-22 and 25-18.

The Trojans’ march to the final began with a 25-14 and 25-7 win over Hamiota in pool play.

After beating Dauphin in the round-robin, Gilbert Plains split with Carberry, 21-25 and 25-13, before beating Glenboro, 25-11 and 25-11, clinching first place in their pool.

In the quarterfinals, the Trojans beat Hamiota, 25-23 and 25-21, and reached the final with a 19-25, 29-27 and 16-14 win over Carberry in the semifinals, setting the stage for the rematch with Dauphin in the final.

Second straight loss on the gridiron

The Dauphin Clippers played well in their second game of the Rural Manitoba Football League season, Saturday, but fell short in a 36-28 loss to the Southwest Sabres in Souris.

Clippers manager Jeff Michasiw said the team played “lights out”, but fell victim to a pair of speedy Southwest players.

“They have a couple of fast players that got the ball outside and were able to beat us on the outside. So they took one back on a touchdown on that,” he said. “And then Souris had two plays where their receivers made juggling catches. Our cornerback was in the right spot. He swatted the ball, but they just made really athletic plays and were able to catch the ball. And they scored on both those plays.”

Despite falling to 0-2 on the young season, the Clippers are continuing to improve with each game, he said.

“We’re seeing improvement with game after game, so we’re not worried about the season yet,” Michasiw said.

Among things the team needs to work on is simple execution of the small things that make a team successful.

“The defence had three or four takeaways. They held them good for most of the game. Souris was, at times, struggling to get any offence going. So it’s just a full 60 minutes that we have to put in,” Michasiw said.

The Clippers will host the Interlake Thunder, Friday at 4:30 p.m.

“I don’t have too much information on how Interlake is playing right now. But the coaches are going to get to work and we’re going to come up with a game plan and hopefully, get our first W at home,” Michasiw said.

Prior to the game, there will be some presentations made to the team.

Tuesday, 19 September 2023 07:31

Brewing up a success

Obsolete Brewing Company hosted its grand opening, Saturday, for an appreciative crowd.

The day included entertainment by Kyle Nault, Marc Clement and Ethan Drory, as well as a bouncy castle and Mariachi Mexican Tacos and Cantina food truck.

The company offers 16 beer options, two beer cocktails and four non-alcoholic beverages.

Published in Dauphin Herald News

NDP leader Wab Kinew promised to improve conditions for producers when it comes to Crown lands at a town hall meeting in Dauphin, Saturday.

More than 60 people heard Kinew promise to reinstate unit transfers and make investment in Crown lands more affordable for producers.

“We want to improve dramatically the situation on Crown lands to help young producers, to help producers who are thinking of retirement and to assure the producers here in the Parkland have a fighting chance,” he said. “The specific steps we’re announcing are that we are going to ensure that there are unit transfers. We’re bringing that back in a fulsome way. We’re going to make the payments much more affordable in what has happened under the PCs.”

As part of the process, Kinew said, the NDP will ensure that there is consideration for the improvements producers make to the land.

“You put all these steps together and our commitment to working with the producers themselves, we’re going to create a situation where a young producer can still get their start here in the Parkland region and find success, while the existing producers have the time and energy investments that they’ve made into the land and to their operations respected and honoured. And that they’ll be able to get fair value for those investments when they decide to retire or perhaps move ahead with succession planning.”

One of the comments heard at the town hall was young producers in the Crane River area being pushed out of the industry.

“And that’s a very grim picture for the future of ag in the Parkland, if we allow that situation to continue. So what we’re saying is, let’s stop that damage, but let’s push it back, make it more affordable for operations, ensure that there are unit transfers and other considerations around improvements and help to give the ag industry here in the Parkland region a real chance to prosper in the future,” Kinew said.

While the two measures announced Saturday will help with the issues surrounding Crown lands, Kinew said the NDP will also commit to working with producers to identify additional needs.

“I think there are side conversations happening right now about just what that process (unit transfers, affordability and succession planning) should look like. We know that the PCs moved it over to an auction-based process. Our commitment would be to work with the producers to ensure we find an approach that works for them.”

Kinew was thankful to everyone in attendance for taking the time to attend the meeting and taking part in the discussions regarding some of the issues in this campaign.

“You can tell from the questions people aren’t holding back. People are frustrated with health care. People are frustrated with the PCs approach to the ag industry. And people are giving us a very straight forward account of what they need for the Parkland region and for Dauphin to succeed,” he said. “And so we’re here to listen and we’re making commitments to fix those situations.”

Kinew touched on the new justice facility announced a month ago for Dauphin, as well as the new supports for Crown land lease holders and health care, not only for Dauphin, but smaller communities within the Parkland, as examples of the commitment the NDP is taking to address the needs of Parkland residents.

Kinew feels the Dauphin riding is important for the NDP’s chances of forming the next provincial government.

Noting his wife Lisa, worked in Dauphin as a physician, Kinew said his wife told him they need more rural representation on their team.

“And you have a great candidate in Ron Kostyshyn here in this area, and I’m coming back to the community and to the region time and time again, because I believe in Ron and I want him to get elected,” he said. “I know it’s time for the Parkland to have a voice in the legislature. You’ve been missing that for the past two terms of government. But Ron will stand up for you. Mr. Kostyshyn will be a voice for you and that’s why I keep coming back, because I believe in this candidate and I want to see him get elected.”

Having the party leader come to Dauphin and the Parkland means a lot for Kostyshyn, noting Kinew shows his credibility.

“As he speaks, he connects with the general public. All we have to do is identify the seven years of what the PC party, Heather Stefanson and Brian Pallister, has done to our area,” he said. “Was there any consultation about the jail closure? No. It was automatic. They showed up one day and it was closed. We talk about the potential closing of Grandview hospital. We talk about other hospitals being subject to possible closure. That’s a reverse of rural economic development. I’m here to fight to be your MLA, to work with Wab Kinew.”

Published in Dauphin Herald News
Tuesday, 12 September 2023 07:36

Kings defence shining in early preseason games

It’s coming down to crunch time for those players hoping to crack the roster of the Dauphin Kings.

Dauphin played three preseason games, last week, starting with a 2-1 shootout loss to the Neepawa Titans, Tuesday, in a game which feature all-rookie lineups for both teams.

Kings head coach and general manager Doug Hedley said the rookies on the ice in that game played very well and had a lot of energy.

“We directed over 100 shots and had 65 and lost in a shootout. But at the same time, both goaltenders were really good,” he said. “We saw some speed, some energy, some hard work. It was a great game by our young kids.”

The next night against the Swan Valley Stampeders saw each team dressed some veterans, along with prospects hoping to make the team.

The result was a 5-0 Kings victory.

Hedley thought the back pressure was outstanding, as well as the work ethic and compete level.

“I really liked our speed and our work ethic. And we were fortunate enough to get some goals half way through the game,” he said.

The final game of the week was a rematch in Swan River, Friday.

After a slow start, the Kings picked it up, erasing a 2-0 first-period deficit to skate away with a 5-2 win.

“I thought our back end controlled the game. The two American kids (Trey Gnetz and Karson Raymond), both were very good. And I thought Wicks (Nolan Wickham) and Brooksy (Aidan Brooks) were good. Baxy (Anthony Bax) and (Naaman) Hofer, I thought they controlled the game and really limited the opportunities,” he said. “I think they had five shots in about 35 minutes between the last five minutes of the first and five minutes left in the third. So I’m very happy with the effort.”

Even after falling behind 2-0 after the first period, the Kings still worked hard and created some opportunities and were rewarded for their efforts.

The veterans are starting to step up their play, especially on the blueline.

“I think it’s just a matter of getting into it. We’ve just got to get a little more urgency, a little bit more compete and using our speed the way they can,” Hedley said.

After skating over the weekend, Hedley hopes to cut down to about 28 players for the final two preseason games, Friday at home against the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League’s Melville Millionaires, and Saturday in Virden against the Oil Capitals.

Defenceman Ryan Gower has been reassigned to the Kings from the Western Hockey League’s Prince Albert Raiders and will skate with the team this week.

Hedley said the two remaining preseason games will be a good test for those still trying to make the cut.

“The one thing that we really have to get back to from a couple years ago, and I really shouldn’t say we didn’t last year, but I think the consistency needs to be there with the compete and hard work. They’re both choices,” he said. “The skill you have to work at, but they’re individual choices on how hard you work, how hard you compete, how many stick battles you win. It’s all an amount of effort and decision to work hard. The exhibition season has shown that our vets have come back with a purpose and they’re working hard and it’s contagious. Our young guys are working hard and, you combine that with some skill that we have, it’s going to be an exciting year.”

Tuesday, 12 September 2023 07:30

Defending the title

The Dauphin Clippers girls 7s rugby team opened defence of its high school 7s rugby title by going 4-0 in their home jamboree, Sunday morning.

Dauphin opened the jamboree with a 25-0 win over their Clippers JV counterparts, followed by a 25-0 win over Crocus Plains Maroon, a 31-5 win over Vincent Massey and completed the undefeated day with a 22-5 win over Rivers.

The JV Clippers also lost to Souris, 22-5 and Crocus Plains Gold, 31-0. The next jamboree will be, Sept. 17, in Souris.

Tuesday, 12 September 2023 07:42

Power of the pedal

MS Bike Riding Mountain made its triumphant post-COVID return this past weekend, but with a twist.

Rather than beginning in Dauphin and proceeding to Clear Lake on day one with a return to Dauphin on day two, the event involved a looped course beginning and ending at Elkhorn Ranch in Riding Mountain National Park.

What did not change, however, is the scenic views and diverse sightings of wildlife that come with a trip through RMNP.

Riders were able to choose from two loops, with a 71-kilometre option featuring a turn around at Moon Lake or a 109-kilometre round trip with a turn around at Northgate Trails.

Whichever ride they chose, riders celebrated their accomplishments with awards, food and fun. This year, the Riding Mountain event had a fund-raising goal of $85,000 with over $53,514 raised to date. MS Bike Riding Mountain is one of 12 MS Bike events happening over a four-month period across Canada with the goal of raising funds to support people living with multiple sclerosis.

Published in Dauphin Herald News

The Parkland Rangers are set to hold their training camp ahead of the 2023-24 Manitoba U18 AAA Hockey League season, next week.

The Rangers will practice and scrimmage, Sept. 12 and 13, before hosting a modified intrasquad game, Sept. 14.

The team will then play two games at the annual preseason tournament hosted by the Southwest Cougars in Souris, Sept. 15 and 16.

Rangers head coach Tyler Carefoot said a lot of players are trying out for junior teams in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League, as well as the Western Hockey League.

“That will give everybody a chance to get their feet wet in junior camps. When they come back, they’ll have been on the ice for a good portion and then we’re going to get right into it,” he said, adding there are just shy of 30 players registered for the Rangers camp so far.

Registrations were slow in coming and, at one point, Carefoot said management was wondering why.

“But a few kids have now registered, so things are looking a little bit more positive,” he said.

This time of the year is always exciting, Carefoot said, with graduates from the U15 program coming up and the veterans looking to improve enough to crack junior rosters in the future.

One thing Carefoot is looking for from players trying out is their commitment to the program.

“We want kids that want to be Rangers. We want families to buy in and support the program,” he said. “After that, the kids that are buying into the program, they want to be coached. They want to get better. These are the kids that are willing to sacrifice their high school years to play competitive sport. When you get athletes like that, they’re usually a lot easier to coach. But the number one thing is we want families to buy into the program and, for the most part, the families that are choosing to be Parkland Rangers are all good people. Our role as a coaching staff is to help develop them for the high levels of hockey, but also help develop them to be good human beings.”

Although the last couple of weeks have been stressful, Carefoot is looking forward to getting back on the ice with the players.

Elias Eisenbarth’s goal with one minute remaining lifted Team Hobbs to a 6-5 win over Team Cherepak in the Dauphin Kings’ annual JoFo Cup intrasquad game, Sunday afternoon at Credit Union Place.

Blake Boudreau was named player of the game for Hobbs after he scored twice and added an assist.

Linemate Rylan Gage had a goal and two assists, while Riley Borody and Jordan Bax had the other goals.

Joshua Schmidt was named player of the game for Cherepak with a two-goal effort. Josh Heistad, Sam Boldt and Danylo Dolin also scored.

Austin Siebel and Ethan Fechter combined to make 24 saves in goal for Team Hobbs. Luke Swanson and Piet Mierreau had 30 stops for Team Cherepak.

Coming into camp, Kings head coach and general manager Doug Hedley knew the team would be strong on the backend and in goal.

“We’ve had six guys in here and a couple of young kids that are going to be good in the future. There’s three of our guys that are battling for those spots,” he said, noting veteran Cole Sheffield and rookies Siebel, Swanson, Fechter and Mierreau all had good camps.

Mierreau and Chase Glover will likely play in the opening preseason contests, Tuesday against the Neepawa Titans and Wednesday against the Swan Valley Stampeders.

Both games get underway at 7:30 p.m. at Credit Union Place.

Dauphin will travel to Swan River for the rematch, Friday, at 7 p.m.

Newcomer Naaman Hofer, who was acquired in a trade with the Winnipeg Freeze, last week, was one of the best players in camp all weekend.

“And we really like the pairing with (Karson) Raymond and the (Trey) Gnetz kid that we got from the States, they looked really well. So our backend, we like our mobility, we like our speed and we like our first passes” he said. “And I think there’s some real good potential up front with the speed and the youth that we have.”

Most of the veterans in the intrasquad game were being outplayed by the rookies fighting to make the roster.

“Boudreau has been good all camp. Bouds has separated himself, but I think the rest of our guys, the 17 and 18 year olds have looked really good,” Hedley said, adding he liked the speed and work ethic he saw, as well as the plays that were made. "We showed some really good IQ and some creativity. At this time of year, that’s what we have to do as a coaching staff is get that compete level to the intensity that we want,” he said. “But I do like our speed and the skill sets are really good. There’s something to work with, that’s for sure.”

Tonight’s preseason game with Neepawa will feature the team’s draft picks and list players.

Following Tuesday’s game, the Kings will drop to between 25 and 30 players heading into the remainder of the preseason.

Defenceman Marco Bodnarski and Aidan Murray are out with injuries, so the team will likely carry 10 defencemen and 18 forwards, as well as three goaltenders.

For the remainder of the preseason, Hedley would like to see the work ethic and speed to continue.

“We’re looking to really get some good depth with some size, speed and compete. Hopefully, we can get six lines out of there. Six lines and 10 D and three goaltenders to go into the exhibition (games),” he said.

Kings court:

The Kings will end the preseason with a home game, Sept. 15, against the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League’s Melville Millionaires at 7:30 p.m. at Credit Union Place, followed by a game in Virden the next night against the Oil Capitals. The regular season begins, Sept. 22, with the Stampeders in town for the home opener at 7:30 p.m.

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