The Dauphin Kings game on Friday has officially been postponed.

The game was originally moved to the Roy H Johnston Arena after the Gordon Lathlin was closed at 4:00 p.m.

The ice; however, was deemed unsafe at the Roy H Johnston and the game won’t be played.

Dauphin is scheduled to welcome OCN to town on Saturday.

The Parkland U-18 Rangers will play in Credit Union Place for the first time this regular season on Friday evening. 

Parkland welcomes Yellowhead as the two rivals clash in the second of three straight. Parkland comes into the game with a perfect 2-0 record while Yellowhead is on the other side of the spectrum as they're 0-1. 

"We're jacked, there's no doubt about it. We had a great practice on Thursday as we worked on our specialty teams," said Tyler Carefoot. "We're in a tough division so every win is extremely valuable. We can't take our foot off the throttle, we need to give it all we have."

Parkland looked very impressive on Tuesday as they beat Yellowhead, 5-1. They outshot Yellowhead and they also killed off 7-of-8 penalties they took. The Rangers; however, did only go 1-for-7 on the man advantage. Trey Sauder had the hot stick on Tuesday as he scored twice while Brayden Dube, Josh Thompson, and Luke Decorby all scored singles.

"I thought our first period was elementary, it was very messy and we panicked," said Carefoot. "We went over that at practice on Thursday. We have to stop running around and we need to trust the process. If we do that, we'll put ourselves in a position to succeed."

Keaton Ziprick has won both games in net for Parkland. The all-star from Russell turned away 24-of-25 shots he faced on Tuesday. He also made 21 saves last Sunday in a 10-1 drubbing of Norman. The Dauphin King prospect has no doubt looked solid in the first two games and he will be back in the lineup for game three tonight.

"I think he would be the first one to tell you that he hasn't been as focused as he has in the past," ended Carefoot. "With that said, we're hopeful that he's found his magic after his two good performances. If he has, he's another big asset that is going to bring success to this team."

The puck drops at 7:30 p.m. Looking forward to Sunday afternoon, Parkland will host Yellowhead at 1:30. The game theme will be "Pink the Rink". The Rangers will wear pink in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month as well as the many other forms of the disease. The Rangers encourage fans to "Pink the Rink" in honour of everyone whose lives have been affected. 

The past two seasons have been extremely tough in Neepawa. The team has gone 22-86-5-7 in the past two years with 13 of the wins coming last year.

With the 2020-2021 season now underway, it looks like things have taken a turn in Neepawa, a team that is led by Ken Pearson behind the bench. Starting the season with four straight games against the Winkler Flyers -- who are expected to be one of the best teams in the league -- Neepawa won one of the games and lost in overtime twice. With a record of 1-1-2, the team finds themselves in third place in the Interior Division with four points. 

In comparison, it took Neepawa 13 games last season to get four points. Jaegar Lapointe is back with Neepawa for his second full season as a junior player. The Ste. Rose native was a standout with the Parkland U-18 Rangers from 2016 to 2019 where he would record 104 points, 40 of which were goals. He says the buzz in Neepawa truly has never been as high as it is right now during his time with the team.

"It's nice knowing that we're not worried about losing games this year. We're very confident in our abilities and we expect to have success this season," said Lapointe. "We are a lot closer than last year. We also added a lot of young guys so our bottom six is stronger and our top six is as well. We're so far ahead of where we were last year already."

Neepawa's biggest offseason acquisition was acquiring Carter Sawchuk from the Kings and he hasn't disappointed early on. From Brandon, Carter has one goal and three assists in the team's four games. Lapointe; meanwhile, scored once and added one assist in the first four games.

A 53rd overall selection by Neepawa in the 2016 MJHL U-15 draft, Jaegar scored nine goals and added 16 assists last year in his rookie season. With a year under his belt, the former star Parkland Ranger is expecting big things.

"I hope to be a point-per-game kind of guy," said Lapointe. "Scoring 20 to 25 goals is what I'm aiming for. I think I could have done better last year, but that's in the past. I put everything into this and I'm looking forward to seeing what I can do this season."

Jaegar and the rest of the team will now open a four-game set against the Portage Terriers, a team that is 1-2-0-1, and game one is this evening at the Yellowhead Centre in Neepawa. Playing in Neepawa means Lapointe's family is just a short ride away and that's another reason why he's loving every step of the way as he pursues his hockey dreams of playing at the next level.

"Absolutely, my family tries to make it out to every game in Neepawa and that's extremely special to me," ended Lapointe. "They've always been right by my side."

In other Neepawa news, the team announced in the summer that they will stop using the term "Natives" as their nickname beginning next season. They currently have a Twitter poll which allows you to give your opinion.

The OCN Blizzard and Dauphin Kings will meet eight times before the Christmas break and meeting one is set for Friday night inside of the Gordon Lathlin Memorial Centre.

Dauphin enters the evening in a tie for second place in the Northwest Division with a record of 2-2 while OCN has gone 0-3-1 in their four games and they're at the bottom of the Division. Although OCN is winless, they have shown signs of strong play throughout the season.

In their third game against Swan Valley, they gave up a 2-0 and 4-2 lead as they lost 5-4 in overtime. The very next night, the Blizzard was up 4-1 with less than six minutes left against the Stampeders before they lost, 5-4.

OCN is led by Trent Crane and Aiden Litke -- both of which have five points -- however, Litke won't play on Friday evening as he serves a one-game suspension. 20-year-old Danick Rodrigue has played 109 minutes this season and he has certainly struggled.

He has a 6.06 goals-against average to go along with a .838 save percentage. In fact, all three of OCN's goalies that have played this season have a save percentage below .900 and a goals-against-average of at least 4.22. 

"I don't think the numbers prove much. They have solid goaltending that certainly has the ability to play very well," said Doug Hedley, Head Coach, and General Manager. "We feel that we can exploit their back end with our speed. They have a really solid top six and the bottom line is we're going to have to have our A-game."

Charles Massey has been one of Dauphin's leaders early in the season. The 20-year-old has scored four times already in four games while he also has one assist.

He trails Grady Hobbs who has five goals and six total points this season. Although his offensive touch has been surprising to Hedley so far, the bench boss knew the young man had it in him.

"The scouting report on him was that he was a hard-working player and that's the case," offered Hedley. "With the opportunities he's had in our top six, he's made the most of it. He's fit in very well."

If they get the chance, Dauphin would love to boost their power play which is off to a very tough start. They've scored just two times on 18 chances. The team's penalty kill; meanwhile, has gone 17-for-21 early in the season. 

In the other Northwest Division tilt on Friday, the Swan Valley Stampeders (4-0) play the Waywayseecappo Wolverines (2-2). Darnell Duff will get the broadcast going with the Parkland Source for Sports pregame show at 8:15.

Lindsey and Jerron Kyle have been married for 10 years. They've both played high levels of hockey in the past and although they don't anymore, they are still heavily involved in the game. Lindsey is on the Board of Directors for the Dauphin Kings and she's also the billet co-coordinator for the MJHL Club. 

Prior to moving to Dauphin in 2016, Lindsey and Jerron billeted Brandon Wheat Kings players. Grandview's Ryan Pulock billeted at the Kyle's house for three years and following him, Kale Clague stayed at the Kyle's house in the season that Brandon won the league championship which came in 2016 when they beat the Seattle Thunderbirds. 

When they did move to Dauphin, Jerron, Lindsey, and their two sons, Lawson and Bennett welcomed Dauphin King players into their homes.

For three years, Riley Shamray called the Kyle's house home. Prior to playing with Mount Royal University last year, Shamray played 154 games with the Kings in a junior career that also saw him play in Waywayseecappo and OCN. The Kyle family also welcomed Ian Briscoe into their home as he played 39 games with Dauphin.

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For the past two years, the Kyle's have welcomed what has become an extremely familiar face into their home as Grady Hobbs has called the Kyle's home. From Deloraine, Manitoba, Grady is in his fifth year with the Kings and it's safe to say that quite the bond has grown between Hobbs and the entire Kyle family.

"Grady and our two kids are inseparable. It's been such a great feeling watching our kids become so close with Grady and Riley before that," said Lindsey. "Grady is amazing with our kids. They really look up to him and they love him as a big brother."

As noted above, Lindsey and Jerron have always been around the rink, whether it be playing a game or just watching. Kale Clague and Pulock were both exceptional players when they stayed at the Kyle's.

Shamray was an all-star and Ian Briscoe made noise in his short time in Dauphin and the tradition of the Kyle's housing exceptional players has certainly continued over the past two years.

Grady won the MJHL's most valuable player award last year when he scored 43 goals and he added 38 assists for an 81 point total. His biggest goal as a King arguably could have been in game three of the playoffs last year against Portage when he scored in double overtime. In the first four games of this season, Hobbs already has five goals to his name -- three of which came last Saturday -- as he's off to another torrid start. 

"We are so fortunate that we get to go to the rink every night and watch Grady and the rest of the Kings," said Lindsey. "We're grateful to have him for one year and we hope he can end off his time with the Kings as a champion."

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The defending MVP announced back in the summer that he would return to Dauphin for one final season because of the novel coronavirus and the uncertainty of the NCAA season. Grady is currently sixth in league scoring.

"We like to call this our bonus year with Grady and we're very lucky to have him," ended Lindsey.

Darnell Duff's full interview with Lindsey will air during the Dauphin Kings Power Play Show after the 4:00 p.m. news, weather, business, and sports on Friday.

The Western Hockey League has announced that a new season will officially begin on January 8, 2021. The WHL originally had a date of Friday, December 4 — which was just a tentative date — but things are now set in stone.

When the 2019-2020 season came to an end, the Portland Winterhawks had 97 points as they won the U.S. Division by one point over the Everett Silvertips and they were also named Regular-Season Champions.

The Brandon Wheat Kings were trending in the right direction as they finished the season by going 6-3-1 in their final 10 games and they had already clinched a playoff berth. They were also just six points behind Prince Albert for the top spot in the East Division. Luka Burzan was leading the team with 62 points and Ben McCartney had 61. All of that is now in the past as we look forward to January 8, 2021.

Darren Ritchie is the General Manager of the Wheat Kings and he had this to say on the news of the league returning in early 2021.

“Yeah, it’s great news for our players and our entire league,” said Ritchie. “It gives us all something to build forward to and look forward to.”

Because of the novel coronavirus, the league has announced that each team will only play games within their division. The Wheat Kings will be joined by Swift Current, Regina, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Prince Albert, and Moose Jaw as the seven teams will make up the East Division.

Although that is set in stone, the league hasn’t announced a schedule for the upcoming season. Four of the six teams in the East Division qualified for the playoffs last year with Regina and Moose Jaw being the two teams on the outside.

“For what we’re dealing with, this is a perfect way for us to play our games in close travel,” continued Ritchie. “The league has done a lot of work and I think it’s a really good idea.”

2020 NHL Draft:

It was postponed for several months due to COVID-19 but when it did take place, it was a huge two days for the Wheat Kings organization. The team led all WHL Clubs with four players selected. Braden Schneider, Ridly Greig, Cole Reinhardt, and Ben McCartney were all selected over the two-day event that was held virtually.

Schneider was chosen 19th overall by the New York Rangers in what was a huge first round for New York. They picked Alexis Lafreniere first overall.

Schneider scored seven goals last season and 35 assists as he recorded a career-high 42 points. In fact, he smashed his previous high as he had 18 more points last year than in 2018-2019.

“It’s a great accomplishment for Braden and his family, we’re really excited for him,” said Ritchie. “It’s a great opportunity for him to continue pushing on to his goal which is to be an NHL player.”

Brandon didn’t have to wait much longer to hear another name from their team as Ridly Greig was chosen 28th overall by the Ottawa Senators. It was Ottawa’s third selection in the first round. They selected Tim Stuetzle third-overall followed by Jake Sanderson at fifth-overall.

Ridly scored 26 times last season — the third most on the team — as he finished with 60 points in his most productive season as a Wheat King. From Lethbridge, AB, Ridly also played in the Hlinka Gretzky Cup with Canada last year. That’s where he scored two goals and had one assist in five games.

“Ottawa had a really good day with those three picks,” said Ritchie. “Ridly is a really skilled guy with a great edge. I believe he’s going to complement any team he plays with.”

That ended up being it for Brandon on day one. On day two, Cole Reinhardt and Ben McCartney were selected. Cole was selected by the Senators in the sixth round, 181st overall while McCartney went in the seventh round, 204th overall to the Arizona Coyotes.

Ben was second in team scoring last year with 25 goals and 61 points while Reinhardt scored 31 times — the second-most on the team — and he recorded 55 points.

After he was drafted, Reinhardt had this to say.

“It’s a pretty special feeling, my phone was blowing up with people congratulating me,” he said. “Every kid wants to get drafted and I couldn’t be any happier to be drafted by the Senators organization.”

Ritchie went on to add this on Cole and Ben getting drafted. This was Cole’s third time going through the draft while this was Ben’s second.

“It’s a great accomplishment for them. It proves that they have stuck with it and continued to get better over the years,” said Ritchie. “That’s also a great compliment to our coaching staff. To have four players drafted, our staff should be proud of what they have done to help our players improve.”

All four players will return to the Wheat Kings this season. They have all been leaders on the ice and in the dressing room in the past and Ritchie expects the same moving forward into the new season.

Tyson Zimmer:

He is one of Brandon’s top prospects that will look to make the team this season. The sixth overall pick in the 2019 WHL U-15 Draft, Zimmer hasn’t been shy to say his goal is to make the team this season. While training camp won’t begin until after the Christmas break, Zimmer will certainly be ready.

He’s currently playing with the Waywayseecappo Wolverines of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League — a team that auto-protected him in 2019 — and he’s now played in two games. He looked solid in both games as he continues to gear up for Wheat Kings camp.

“We’re really happy that Tyson can play some games. I watched the game on October 9 and I was quite impressed with the young man playing in his first junior game,” ended Ritchie. “Anytime you can start playing games, it’s going to help for sure.”

There is certainly a lot to be excited about right now. The league will begin play on January 8, 2021, and in the Wheat City, it’s a club that believes this year could be a big one after they won 35 games last season.

Another week of practice is well underway for the Dauphin Kings as they prepare for a four-game set against the OCN Blizzard that begins on Friday night at the Gordon Lathlin Memorial Centre. 

Parker Fofonoff and Kaden Bryant were back skating with lines at Tuesday's practice. Both players haven't played in a regular-season game this year yet. In net, the goaltending duo of Matthias Smith and Mathias Savoie continue to work hard with Smith starting all four games this year so far.

He's gone 2-2 with a .921 save percentage and a 2.47 goals-against average. Smith has won both Saturday games this season and he has played excellently in both. In a 7-0 win back on October 10, Smith turned away all 30 shots he faced.

One week later, Matthias was stellar once again as he made 41 saves in a 5-1 win for Dauphin in front of their home crowd at Credit Union Place. Matthias has played 33 more minutes than any other goalie in the league with Reid Dyck of the Winkler Flyers playing 186 minutes.

"I think things are going pretty well. Opening night was kind of tough, I just needed to regroup and think of it as one game," said Smith. "The guys are playing unbelievably in front of me as well. We're getting better every single game and that's huge."

Smith is once again billeting at Kailey Armstrong's house this season which means he spends a ton of time with her son, Dane O'Shea. The three have formed quite the bond last season and moving into this season. 

"Being away from home for so many months, being comfortable is extremely important," offered Smith. "I definitely feel right at home here with the Armstrong's. Whatever kind of day I have, I can go there and just feel good and relaxed."

Stay tuned in the coming weeks as Darnell Duff will be chatting with different billets and coming up this week during the Dauphin Kings Power Play Show is Lindsey Kyle. 

Prior to joining the Kings, the 19-year-old played in his home province of British Columbia and with the New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs U-16 team. Matthias also played in 36 games last year with Dauphin where he had a 3.55 goals-against average to go along with a .889 save percentage.

In his first four starts last year, the second-year King turned away 92 of the 104 shots he faced. This year in four starts, Smith has made 105 saves on 114 shots. He has certainly taken a step ahead and he does believe the team, in general, has as well.

"Yeah, we're coming together really well. The new guys on our team have been welcomed really well," said Smith. "I think we have a really strong team and we're pushing ourselves to be better every day."

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

The Parkwest School Division has suspended all high school sports due to the novel coronavirus. The Major Pratt Trojans in a normal year would ice a team in the Westman High School Hockey League; however, because of the suspension by the school division, that is not the case this season.

The WHSHL has announced that they will go ahead with a season, but it won't involve Major Pratt. There will be hockey in Russell despite the news as through the Russell Minor Hockey Association, the Russell Rams will ice a U-18 team that will play in the Parkissimo Hockey League.

Arlis Bomback will be one of the coaches this season and he says it is unfortunate that there will be no high school team; however, he's just happy that there will be a season.

"We're excited to have a lot of our players come back," said Bomback. "I feel that we're going to be a pretty competitive team in the league. Considering the circumstances, we're just happy to be able to play."

Joining Arlis behind the bench will be Brock Nixon. From Russell himself, Nixon is one of the most successful hockey players in Parkland hockey history having played the better part of seven years professionally. He also played in the Western Hockey League and USports with the Calgary Dinos where he served as captain in his final year.

Including playoffs in the past two years with the Russell Rams of the North Central Hockey League, Brock scored 44 goals and had 109 points in just 44 games.

The team will also be reaching out to Chad Kilimnik who they hope will join the coaching staff. Also from Russell, Chad played hockey with the Parkland Rangers program and in the MJHL with Waywayseecappo and OCN.

"We've basically just taken the high school program and just implemented it into our U-18 roster and coaching staff," ended Bomback. "As I said, we're excited to have a lot of the returning players coming back and we're really looking forward to getting the season going."

There will be a managers meeting in the very near future which will likely include some of the schedulling. Arlis expects a season will begin early to mid-November. 

The Parkland U-18 Rangers spoiled the Yellowhead Chiefs parade on Tuesday night. 

As the Chiefs hosted their home opener, the Rangers came to Shoal Lake and they're leaving after a solid 5-1 victory.

Trey Sauder led Parkland offensively with two goals. Luke Decorby, Brayden Dube, and Josh Thompson also scored for the Rangers.

In net, Keaton Ziprick was solid as usual as he turned away 23-of-24 shots he faced.

Parkland will now host their home opener on Friday when Yellowhead pays a visit to Credit Union Place.

When Taylor Armstrong puts her mind to something, there's a good chance that she will do a great job in whatever she is preparing for and that's the case for the young woman from Dauphin. 

She's embarked on a new journey in her life and it's competing in powerlifting competitions. It all started last November when she started training several times per week. Powerlifting wasn't even on Taylor's radar a year ago and now, she's a provincial champion.

"I got into weight lifting as a stress outlet and a way to better myself," said Armstrong. "I wanted to focus on being strong and not just skinny."

Taylor hasn't had a coach for her entire journey which means she has had to learn everything by herself along with some help from a family friend. She put all of her hard work to the test for the first time in February when she took part in the Brickhouse Power Challenge.

Armstrong racked up 306.81 points to win her age category and weight class. Placing first only fuelled her passion for powerlifting as she continued to train for the provincial championships that were hosted this past weekend in Portage la Prairie.

"I really didn't know what I was doing when I first started," she said. "As the months have gone on, I've developed my training style and what works for me and what doesn't." 

The Dauphinite says the most important thing from the very beginning is having fun and that's what she's having as she becomes one of the top young powerlifters in the province all in the matter of one year.

At the provincials competing in the sub-junior category, she added up 185 points. She finished with 57.5kg in her squat, 40kg in her bench press and 87.5kg in her deadlift. Just as she did in February, Armstrong came out on top of her competition as she won her first-ever provincial powerlifting gold medal.

"It felt really good. A lot of people have told me that this isn't a real sport or I'm not that strong throughout the way," said Armstrong. "It felt really cool to show people how hard I have worked over the past year and it's incredibly special to know that I've won a gold medal."

Taylor says one of the best parts of competing is seeing all the other competitors lifting the weights and living out their dreams. Another part of her enjoyment is spending time with her mom, Jamie Derhak who has been right by her daughter's side the entire time.

"She has been my number one supporter and she's my rock," ended Armstrong. "I'll never forget the memories we have shared together at all of the meets and everything."

The provincial gold medallist will continue training as she prepares for future competitions. 

Jayden Jubenvill was drafted by the Dauphin Kings 26th overall in the 2017 MJHL U-15 Draft. Playing with the U-15 Rangers in the season leading up to the draft, Jayden scored 13 goals and added 21 assists for a 34 point total. That total was a 23 point surge than the previous season where he had three goals and eight assists.

Jubenvill from Gilbert Plains has been in the Kings system ever since and it was this preseason where he made the most noise that he has with the organization. Starting with prospects camp in early September and running right through the end of the month where the team ended its preseason in Portage, Jubenvill was given every opportunity to show what he can do against junior players, some of which were three years older than him.

The 17-year-old was on the ice in Dauphin's first preseason win against Swan Valley in the annual "rookie game". An everyday defenceman, Jayden played up front in the team's final preseason tuneup against the Portage Terriers.

The team would end up dropping that game; however, Jubenvill provided fans with a glimpse of what the future could look like as he scored one goal and added one assist, and was named the team's first star. The goal was a case of Jayden being in the right spot at the right time.

Jayden's time as a King has come to an end for now, but don't be surprised to see the 26th selection in the 2017 draft making noise again in the near future with his home region AAA team.

"Getting that chance to play with the Kings was great, I've always wanted to play with the team," said Jubenvill. "Playing with the older guys allowed me to get better and the competition was great."

He's now back with the Parkland U-18 Rangers, a team that he is entering his final season with. In his first season with the team in the 2018-2019 campaign, he scored four times and added 11 assists in what went down as a solid individual rookie season.

His point total was doubled last season where Jubenvill set up 18 goals and he scored 12 of his own as he racked up 30 points. Coming into this year one year older, bigger, and with that much more experience, Jayden is primed for big things. 

"Things have been going well so far. We've been working really hard on and off the ice," said Jubenvill. "We also have a great group that's coming together really nicely."

Jayden and the rest of the U-18 Rangers set the tempo in the preseason where they won all three of their games in rather dominating fashion. The team opened up the regular season this past weekend and once again, they set the tempo as they hammered Norman, 10-1.

Not only did the team get off to the start they were looking for, but so did Jayden. He scored two goals in the big win and both goals came on the same penalty kill and were scored just 40 seconds apart. The young man from Gilbert Plains also had one assist.

"I was pretty happy with my effort. I think I played pretty physical and I was able to help the team," said Jubenvill. "And at the end of the day, that's the most important thing for me. I just want to help this team win games, it's what we do as a group, I can't do anything I do without their help."

Leadership:

Jayden likes to lead by example but he can also be a big voice when needed and he will get the opportunity to do both this season. For the first time in his AAA career, Jayden has been named the captain of the 2020-2021 U-18 Rangers. The team's assistant captains will be Steven Arp, Brayden Kohlman, and Keaton Ziprick.

"That means a ton to me. Just leading the rookies and letting the veterans know that I'm here for them if they need," he added. "It's an honour and a complete privilege to be the captain for this year's team."

Game day:

Parkland will play the Yellowhead Chiefs on Tuesday night in Shoal Lake. The Rangers skated by Yellowhead, 8-1, in the preseason thanks to three goals from Luke Decorby. Kyan Grouette, Matthew Munro, Carter Zalischuk, Jayce Legaarden, and Rylan Gibbs also scored in that win.

Yellowhead is led by Sloan and Slade Stanick. Sloan is only expected to be with Yellowhead until Christmas as he aims to make the Western Hockey League's Regina Pats for the second straight season

While Parkland is 1-0 entering Tuesday night, Yellowhead will play their first game and the tilt will also be the first of three in a row between the two teams. The Rangers will host Yellowhead on Friday and Sunday at Credit Union Place.

"We just have to stick to our game plan and never give up," ended Jubenvill. "We also have to listen to what Tyler and Rick is telling us and if we do that, there's no reason we can't have success against Yellowhead and going forward this season."