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It was a great day of competition and the hosts came out on top.

Hosting the Crocus Cup at the Gilbert Plains Country Club on Wednesday, Team Gilbert Plains came out on top.

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Finishing in second was the Russell Golf Club while Team Dauphin Lake finished in third.

Attendance increased at Dauphin Kings games in the 2023-24 regular season.

21,236 fans packed the stands at Credit Union Place, which was an increase of 630 from the 2022-23 season. It's also an increase of nearly 1000 fans from the 2019-20 regular season.

"It's great to see that our attendance continues to increase and we hope that will be the case moving into the new season in the fall," said Ashley Shaw, Team President. 

As the Kings hosted their Annual General Meeting inside the Aspen Lodge on Wednesday evening, they shared their key financials from this past season. 

Expenses:

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Regarding last season's revenue, the team announced an overall deficit of $128,963. 

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Tractor Lotto serves as a major fundraiser for the team and as the team netted nearly $80,000 less in fundraising this past season, Tractor Lotto was a factor in the decline.

"I think one thing that we need to look at is possibly putting more boots on the ground," said Shaw. "This could include going back to the mall and going back to rural communities and selling tickets there as we have in the past."

You may be wondering how more fans attended games this past season, but ticket sales declined by roughly $23,000. 

"We had been deferring some tickets from previous years after the pandemic," said Shaw. "We decided last year that we were going to account for all of that now. The 2023 ticket sales were a bit higher than they should have been, that's why the difference."

A deficit of $128,963 is certainly not what the Kings were looking for, but they aren't hitting the panic button. As a new season nears, Shaw, the board of directors, and Christian Laughland are ready to turn things around financially.

"There has to be some urgency when you see that number," said Shaw. "We tried our best this year to make things as close to even as we could, but there are some things that are out of our control. I am not panicked right now, I think we have a good plan moving forward, and everyone is on the same page."

On Wednesday, the organization also formally announced that Christian Laughland is back. He will serve as the team's Director of Business Operations. He will be responsible for managing and developing the team’s strategic marketing plan, partnerships, fundraising, promotions, game day operations, advertising, and events on behalf of the franchise.

"We're happy to have Christian back, he is a great asset in the office," ended Shaw. "He has some great ideas and he has some great connections in the community. I think it will be amazing for our hockey club to have him back. We are looking forward to working with him."

The Swan Valley Stampeders held their Annual General Meeting and it was a big positive.

While ticket sales were down this past season compared to the 2022/23 campaign due to the lack of playoff hockey at the Centennial Arena, the Stampeders are pleased to report a profit of $57,248 for the 2023/24 season.

"We had some strong corporate partnerships and we had a pretty good yield from our grow project," said Evan Morden, President. "It was a solid financial year for us."

On top of the strong finances, the Stampeders are also pleased to announce that they now have a full board. Not long ago, the organization was in desperate need of board members. Following the team's AGM, they now have a full board of 12 people.

Cramer Coulthart has stepped down as the team's President but will remain the team's Governor. Returning board members include Danielle Gordon-Broome, Rod Pidsklany, and Morden. Dallas Anderson, Erin Hodgson, Ken Kirkpatrick, Jackie Mullin, Ricky Barker, Cole Windsor, Dave Fletcher, Jordan Olson, and Warren Clark are now on the board.

Anderson will be the team's Vice President while Hodgson will be the team's secretary. 

Morden is pleased with how so many people have stepped up.

"It's great to see, we really did need some help, and people stepped up," offered Morden. "We were also able to compile a pretty good list of volunteers which wasn't the case before. We want to thank those that did step up, it is greatly appreciated."

When it comes to Evan, he has become the team's new President. From Swan River, Evan opened up his junior career by playing 62 games with his hometown Stampeders during the 2009-10 season. He then played three full seasons in the Western Hockey League with the Everett Silvertips and Prince Albert Raiders. Then to end his junior career in the 2013-14 season, Evan returned home to play with Swan Valley. 

Morden then went on to play collegiately at Brock University for four years and for the past five seasons, the Swan River star has been playing senior hockey with the Swan Valley Axemen.

"I'm looking forward to working with our new board members and with people that will bring different perspectives and ideas to the table," ended Morden. "It's a great opportunity for me and I am thrilled to be the team's President. I have always loved the Stampeder organization."

Swan Valley opens their 2024-25 season on September 20 at the Centennial Arena against the Blizzard. The first all-Parkland battle of the campaign between Dauphin and Swan Valley will be on November 16 at 7:30 at the Centennial Arena. 

It was a perfect weekend for the Roblin Stars 15U baseball team.

Playing in the regional championships in Dauphin, the Stars won all four of their games to advance to the Tier 2 provincial championships next month in Stonewall. 

Roblin 16 vs Ste Rose 13
Roblin 15 vs Dauphin 0
Roblin 10 vs Swan River 1
Roblin 6 vs Grandview 2

Greg Clark is the team's head coach and is very proud of how the group came together.

"It's a great feeling, the kids have worked hard all year and a regional title was one of our goals from the start of the season," said Clark. "It's great for the team to be rewarded for all of their hard work."

The team will compete in the 15U Tier 2 event from July 12 to 14 in Stonewall and Warren.

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Also over the weekend, the Ste. Rose Reds also qualified for the provincial championships. With their record of two wins and two losses, the Reds are off to Minnedosa from July 12 to 14 for the 15U Tier 3 provincial event. 

The Mavericks Rugby Club opened up their season with a dominating win.

It was the team's largest margin of victory in years as they downed the Winnipeg Wasps by 70 points in late May to open up their campaign. Practicing twice a week with a loyal group of team members, the Mavericks continue to grow. 

Players from the high school level have joined the club and while it has sometimes been a struggle to get enough players to field a roster for games and practices in recent years, that is no longer the case. Rugby in the Parkland region is in incredible hands. From youth to high school to senior play, rugby is becoming a household summer sport in the region. 

The Mavericks saw game action for the second time this season over the weekend when they were in Winnipeg to play the Assassins. They were a tough competitor with a full roster which included a full complement of substitutions. The Mavericks stuck close and battled right until the end, but it wasn't ultimately meant to be.

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The Assassins scored a late try and finished a successful convert to down the Mavericks, 31-24. Nick Searl scored two tries in the game while Joseph Lopez and Ryan Dreger also recorded a try. Dreger took care of the converts. The Mavericks now sit with a record of one win and one loss as they prepare for their next game. 

Jordan Campbell had this on the team's first two games.

"We are playing pretty strong. We're a strong defensive team and we stick with teams offensively," said Campbell. "We are playing with a smaller group compared to some of these teams. We play a hard style, we finish our tackles, and we're competitive with the city teams which is nice."

After playing back-to-back games on the road, the Mavericks will now get to show off their talents on home field. On Saturday afternoon at KIN Field, Dauphin will host the Winnipeg Wombats. Dauphin has never beaten them in the past, but Campbell is looking forward to the challenge, which he knows will be good.

"This weekend will be a very good test, the Wombats are a very good team," said Campbell. "I feel like this is our chance to get a big win for the guys in Red & Black." 

Saturday's game will be at 1:00 p.m. and everyone is welcome to show their support for the Mavericks. 

Jordan is a second-generation Maverick after his uncle played for the Dirty Dozen in the early 2000s. He now has two sons of his own and loves every moment of being a Maverick.

"It's quite the feeling, it's the best feeling ever," ended Campbell. "We protect eachother, we protect our brothers. At the end of the day, we all go home together with smiles on our face. I'm living the dream and I have the Mavericks to thank for that."

Shawn Sarkonak knows how it feels to be a Parkland U18 Ranger.

He knows how the long bus trips feel, he knows how great it felt after the team won and he knows how it felt after the team came up short. He also knows the great pride players and coaches take in getting the opportunity to represent the region at the U18 AAA level.

In the 1996-97 season, Sarkonak donned the White & Blue as a member of the Rangers. They finished that season with 13 wins and 29 points. A hockey team is often referred to as a brotherhood. Players come together and spend hundreds and hundreds of hours together throughout a season. At the end of the day regardless of wins and losses, the friendships made and memories made last a lifetime.

For Shawn, being a Ranger was a dream come true.

"It was amazing to be a part of the program, I had the chance to play with guys that I grew up playing with and even guys I grew up playing against," said Sarkonak. "It was a great year even though we didn't win as often as we would have liked."

Following that season, Shawn moved forward to play some senior hockey, his last year coming in the 2006-07 season when he had five goals and 13 points in 13 games. These days, Shawn spends plenty of time travelling to Saskatchewan to watch his daughter play in the winter months. During the summer, you can find Shawn on the field coaching rugby.

Sarkonak is one of the main reasons why the rugby programs in Dauphin have become somewhat of a powerhouse in the province. Just recently, Shawn coached the Clipper girls to a league and provincial championship.

Last winter, Shawn was back with the Rangers, but this time, with the U15 program as he served as an assistant coach. Sarkonak takes great pride in being as involved as he can and his passion is helping young athletes excel as much as possible.

Come this fall, Shawn will remain with the Ranger program; however, he is back with the team he enjoyed playing so much with more than 25 years ago. As the 2024-25 season continues to near, the U18 Rangers have announced that Shawn has become the team's new President. 

"It's an honour to be a part of the program once again," said Sarkonak. "I am really looking forward to working with everyone on the board and the team moving forward."

Jason Gibbs will return as the team's general manager.

"I have known Jason for a number of years, but I haven't had a chance to work with him closely," offered Sarkonak. "Everyone has amazing things to say about him, he puts everything into the Rangers program, he is a very hard worker. I'm looking forward to working alongside him."

With confirmation that Jason will return and Shawn now in the fold, next up is the team's coaching staff. Tyler Carefoot will not return as the team's head coach, nor will Colton Robak or Chris Belhumeur as assistant coaches.

"With the new season around the corner, there will be an announcement coming up shortly with a new coaching staff," ended Sarkonak. "New faces that have been a part of it either as a coach and or player. We are looking forward to sharing that with the public soon."

Training camp for the Rangers will take place in September with the season beginning later that month. 

For the first time since 2016, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers have opened their season with back-to-back losses.

Playing in Ottawa on Thursday night, the Bombers once again failed to get much going offensively in a 23-19 loss. Winnipeg still had a chance to win the game late when they marched the ball down to Ottawa's seven-yard line; however, two incomplete passes and a sack of Zach Collaros was the nail in the coffin for the Blue & Gold. Winnipeg only hit double digits on the scoreboard in one quarter when they scored 10 points in the second.

In the defeat, Collaros completed 15 passes for 285 yards. Keric Wheatfall put together an impressive performance with 111 yards through the air on three receptions. Winnipeg will look to earn their first win next week when they take on the powerful B.C. Lions.

That game next week will be on Saturday at 6:00 p.m. and you can hear it right here on 730CKDM as we're a proud member of the Blue Bomber Radio Network. 

One more win and the Stanley Cup is coming back to Dauphin.

Myles Fee serves as video coach for the Florida Panthers and on Thursday evening, the Panthers opened up a 4-1 lead and held on late for a 4-3 win over Edmonton to take a three-games to-nothing series lead in the Stanley Cup Final.

From Dauphin, Fee has had an extremely successful coaching career which includes a Calder Cup championship with the Charlotte Checkers of the American Hockey League. On Saturday evening, Fee could become a Stanley Cup champion if the Panthers win in Edmonton.

The last Dauphinite to win the Stanley Cup was Barry Trotz when he guided the Washington Capitals to a title in 2018. 

Registration for the Dauphin Kings development camp is now open.

Running from August 6th to 9th, the camp is open to those born in 2019 and older. Along with registration players will receive a jersey when they check in on the morning of August 6th.

Daily activities include multiple on and off-ice sessions, as well as development.

This year's instructors include Roblin’s Brayden Dube, Aidan Brook, Riese Gaber, and Carson Cherepak, to name a few.

Head to DEVELOP to register today.

Seven members of the Parkland Gators were in Winnipeg for the Manitoba Junior Open Provincial Championships at the Pan Am Pool.

All seven had previously qualified for the event and here are the results. (bold denotes podium finish).

Renee Fee
50 back - 14th
100 back - 13th
200 back - 18th
100 free - 22nd
100 IM - 18th
200 back - 9th
50 free - 23rd

Frankie Fjeldsted 
50 back - 9th
100 free - 15th

Polly Fjeldsted
50 back - 13th
50 breast - 16th
100 back - 9th
100 free - 24th
100 IM - 8th

Lily Montagnion
50 back - 3rd 

50 breast - 18th
200 free - 15th
100 free - 14th
100 IM - 14th
100 breast - 15th
50 free - 6th

Ena Morrisseau
50 back - 18th

Chayne Paziuk
50 back - 8th
50 breast - 15th
100 back - 10th
100 free - 12th
50 fly - 13th
50 free - 1st

Roman Polovinka
50 back - 11th
50 breast - 19th
100 back - 12th
100 free - 15th
100 IM - 14th
100 breast - 19th
50 free - 11th

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Lily, Roman, Renee, and Chayne also teamed up in a mixed 200m freestyle relay and finished with a silver medal. Renee, Roman, Chayne, and Lily also finished with a bronze medal in the 200m medley relay. 

When Lucas Hurren heads to the Lidstone Combat Sports Academy in Swan River, he always has a smile on his face.

Lucas began Jiu-Jitsu when he was just nine years old and instantly fell in love with it. He said his teammates in Swan River are like one big family and that they all push each other to become the best competitors that they can.

For Lucas, it did not take him long to hit his stride. Competing in the Manitoba Open on three different occasions before this year, Lucas has been all over the podium. In his first time competing at the event against the best of the best from around the province in 2019, Hurren racked up a pair of gold medals.

With some silver medals to go along with bronze medals along the way, Lucas was back at it over the weekend in Winnipeg competing in another Manitoba Open. In the 14-15 aged, 155-pound Gi event, Lucas racked up a gold medal with an outstanding performance. The Swan River star then earned a silver medal in the NoGi competition in the same age and weight class. 

"It's always a great feeling to win," said Hurren. "Especially when you win a gold medal and a silver medal."

Back in Swan River, Hurren trains three days a week for an hour. This is on top of his extremely busy school schedule to go along with working part-time and spending time with his friends. It's never a dull moment for Lucas, but he's okay with that knowing all of his hard work is paying off.

"It's very rewarding to see it on such a large scale," offered Hurren. 

When Lucas earned his gold medal at this past weekend's competition, he also entered the history books at his club back home. His gold was the 150th gold medal that a club member has won dating back to 2018. 

In reaction to that, Lucas knows how big of an achievement it was.

"You may have your losses and wins throughout the time, but no one can ever take away that I secured the 150th gold medal for the club," offered Hurren. 

Lucas adds that he's looking forward to competing in future events.

"I will always try my best to do better and better, I'll push myself as hard as I can," ended Hurren. 

Hurren and his family are also moving to Dauphin in the next month and he looks forward to meeting new friends and joining a new club.