Friday 26 February 2021

Yorkton's Kemp excited to kick-off final WHL season with Medicine Hat

(Photo from: Medicine Hat News)

It's almost been one year since a game was played in the Western Hockey League, but that'll change tonight (Fri) as the Central division in Alberta kicks off their 24 game 2021 schedule.

The schedule features the Lethbridge Hurricanes visiting the Edmonton Oil Kings while Red Deer Rebels entertain the Medicine Hat Tigers. 

Yorkton's Brett Kemp is one of three 20 year old's on the Tigers' roster and he says he's pretty anxious to get his final year in the WHL underway. 

"I'm pretty excited to get things back going and to be back with the boys and get a little normality in my life again and I'm looking forward to getting the games going."

Kemp is a veteran of over 230 career WHL games and in a year and season like no other, he's looking forward to see what he can do in this abbreviated campaign.

"I'm just going to go out there and have some fun and enjoy my last year. I of course I have some certain goals that I want to accomplish but I'm just going to go week by week here and see how it goes. 

The 20 year old, unlike some of his teammates was able to suit up in some hockey games earlier this season when he suited up with his hometown Yorkton Terriers of the SJHL.

"That was pretty cool experience, I mean growing up watching and going to Terrier games with your buddies you dreamed of one day possibly wearing that jersey, so it was great experience for me to get back on the ice and make some new relationships.

Kemp had 3 goals and 7 assists for 10 points in 6 games before the SJHL season was suspended back in November.

Full chat with Brett Kemp below:

Wednesday 17 February 2021

Manitoba Junior Hockey League's Annual Draft has been changed

The Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL) announced today that the annual MJHL Draft will move from a U16 Draft (formerly Bantam Draft) to a U17 Draft highlighting players who are going into their 16-year-old season.

As a result, there will be no 2021 MJHL Draft with the current 2006-born draft eligible age-group carrying forward into the inaugural U17 MJHL Draft to be held in the spring of 2022.

Players who will be eligible for the the draft are Manitoba players who are registered to play hockey in Manitoba according to Hockey Manitoba regulations and are in their 16th year.

“Moving the draft eligible age group to a year older will give MJHL organizations the ability to watch players develop for an additional season to allow for a better understanding of that players continued development and potential to play elite junior hockey,” shared MJHL Commissioner, Kevin Saurette.

The MJHL has conducted virtual MJHL Prospect Presentations over the past several months with the 2006 age-group.  These presentations have provided players and families with important information on what it takes to get to junior hockey and the significance of the MJHL being a strong pathway to the WHL, NCAA, U Sports and eventually professional hockey at the highest levels.

The MJHL is also currently in the planning process of including additional development and exposure events for the draft eligible age-group each season.  These events will compliment local league play in showcasing and educating players prior to each annual MJHL Draft.

Please stay tuned for further announcements in the coming weeks.

(MJHL Press Release)


Friday 12 February 2021

MJHL cancels remainder of 2020/21 season


The Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL) has made the extremely difficult decision to cancel the remainder of the competitive season which includes regular season games and playoffs.

After multiple discussions with Public Health, representatives of the Provincial Government, Facility Managers and Stakeholders, The MJHL Board of Governors have determined that the resumption and completion of the 2020-21 regular league / playoff season is not feasible due to current conditions.

It has become unrealistic to continue operating in a state of hope with so much uncertainty and no timeline provided. It is unfair to our athletes and staff, our community organizations who have been severely impacted financially and the communities / regions our organizations support and garner support from.

When hockey activities were paused as the entire Province moved to Code Red on November 12th, at no time did we not think or work tirelessly towards having the opportunity to resume our season safely. Return to Play scenarios were exhausted with Public Health to allow for a safe, responsible, balanced and financially feasible return to team activities.

This included the MJHL securing Hockey specific CCM Face Masks for on ice training along with demonstrated ability to safely manage our operations and extensive Return To Play Protocols from July to November 12, 2020.  MJHL teams completed 24 Prospect / Training Camps, 400+ On and Off-Ice Training Sessions and 60+ Games safely and responsibly during that time.

In the end, our advocacy efforts were not enough for Public Health to allow for a return to on ice team training activity, even in a non-contact, professionally managed, closed to public, distanced, 100% masked and extremely protected environment.

As a result, the Board of Governors see no reasonable prospect that future restrictions would be sufficiently altered, in time to allow for a feasible gradual return to Regular Season Play this season.

Moving forward, MJHL organizations will have the option to continue to provide Training / Development opportunities, exhibition games, etc. based on their individual circumstances and facility availability under current / updated Public Health Orders and Hockey Manitoba Directives.

Our athletes, staff, organizations, facilities and the entire MJHL community are to be commended for their efforts as they meticulously followed and executed the strict and extensive MJHL Protocols that were put in place to ensure the safety of everyone involved.  The MJHL Community were Return To Play leaders throughout the province and beyond and it is disappointing that we were not able to do so once again.  I would also like to recognize the entire Manitoba Minor Hockey Community who went above and beyond this season to ensure that the many benefits of organized hockey could be enjoyed in a safe and responsible environment.

The League and Member Organizations operational focus has now turned toward actively stabilizing our financial position, the continued advocacy for the safe and responsible return to on ice team training activities for all Players / Teams across the Province and planning for upcoming Team Training / Development Activities, Spring Camps, Prospect Camps, Events and Showcases.

The MJHL and each Member Organization will determine based on their own unique circumstances how they will proceed with their commitments to their stakeholders going forward.

I would like to personally thank all of our stakeholders for their commitment, patience and understanding during a very difficult and challenging season.

We are very grateful to our Communities, Billets, Sponsors, Supporters, Officials, Volunteers, League Staff, Team Staff and Players for their support and leadership in navigating through the very difficult challenges faced over this past year.

Although we are extremely saddened to make this announcement, we now look forward to the future as we prepare for bigger and better things for the 2021/22 season.

Kevin Saurette
Commissioner, Manitoba Junior Hockey League

(MJHL Release)

Yorkton Terriers sign local F Maksimow for 2021/22 SJHL season

The SJHL's Yorkton Terrriers have made another signing for the 2021/22 season.

The hockey club announced 2003-born forward Rhys Maksimow has signed a letter of intent.

The Yorkton product spent the past 3 seasons with the Yorkton SeCon Maulers U18 AAA Hockey league squad and in 93 career games he compiled 10 goals and 21 assists for 31 points.

Maksimow was an affiliated player for the Terriers, three times during the 2019/20 season.

Tuesday 9 February 2021

February 9th Local MJHL & SJHL News

Swan River's Sauder signs LOI to join MJHL's Swan Valley Stampeders for 2021/22 season

The Swan Valley Stampeders Junior Hockey club is pleased to announce that local boy and Swan River product Trey Sauder has signed a Letter of Intent to join the hockey club for the 2021-22 MJHL season.

"We are excited to add another local product into our line-up, and with Trey he brings tremendous offensive upside and a nack for scoring goals and we are excited for that", Stampeders' Head Coach/GM Barry Wolff said.

Sauder was having a breakout season with the Parkland U18 AAA Rangers where he 7 goals and 4 assists for 11 points in 7 games played this year before the Manitoba U18 AAA Hockey League season was put on pause.

The 2003-born forward spent the previous season with the Westman High School Hockey League's Swan Valley Tigers.


Stampeders' alumni Lanthier commits to UOIT Ridgebacks (U Sports) for 2021/22 season

Swan Valley Stampeders' alumni F Ryley Lanthier will playing Canadian University hockey for the 2021/22 season. 

 Lanthier, who originally committed Wisconsin-River Falls (NCAA Div III) after his Junior career wrapped up as now decided to join the U Sports' University of Ontario Institute of Technology Ridgebacks.

The Surrey, BC played in 19 career games with the Stampeders scoring 8 times while adding 16 assists for 24 points before his last season of Junior Hockey was shutdown last March.


Terriers' sign 2019 1st round pick Norberg for 2021/22 season 


The SJHL's Yorkton Hyundai Terriers have announced their 2nd signing ahead of the 2021/22 season. 

 The club have signed a letter of intent with 2004-born defenceman Kody Norberg.

The Warman, SK product was the Terriers' 1st round pick, 5th overall in the 2019 SJHL draft, had 1 point in 3 games with the Tisdale Trojans of the Saskatchewan U18 AAA Hockey league before their season was suspended 


Millionaires' alumni Hextall named as GM of the NHL's Pittsburgh Penguins

The Pittsburgh Penguins announced on Tuesday the hiring of Melville Millionaires' alumni Ron Hextall as the team's new general manager.

Hextall spent one year as a net minder with the Millionaires' during the 1980-81 season.

He most recently was the general manager for the Philadelphia Flyers for four seasons from 2014-18.

The Penguins also announced the hiring of long-time NHL executive Brian Burke as the teams' President of Hockey Operatiors.


Monday 8 February 2021

Canora's Sleeva commits to Yorkton Terriers (SJHL) for 2021/22 season

 The SJHL' Yorkton Hyundai Terriers have announced their first signing for the 2021/22 season. 

Canora's Clay Sleeva, who suited up with the Tisdale Trojans of the Saskatchewan U18 AAA Hockey League this past season, will join the hockey club this fall. 

Sleeva had one goal and two assists in 3 games with the Trojans before the AAA campaign was suspended. 

He played the previous two seasons with the Saskatchewan's U18 AA Hockey League's Yorkton Kinsmen Terriers.

Friday 5 February 2021

Hockey Canada cancels all Spring 2021 National Championships

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the decision has been made to cancel all spring 2021 national championships, including the Esso Cup, TELUS Cup, Centennial Cup, presented by Tim Hortons, and Allan Cup. The following is a statement on behalf of Hockey Canada from Tom Renney, chief executive officer, and Scott Smith, president and chief operating officer:

“Despite a strong desire to work with four great communities to host the top players at various levels across the country this season, the health and safety of all participants and the communities at large continues to be of the utmost importance to Hockey Canada. The ongoing pandemic, coupled with the fact that many regions in the country are not currently playing organized hockey, left us with no other option. We believe the decision to cancel our spring 2021 national championships is the safest decision given the ongoing uncertainty of the pandemic at a local level, as well as the uncertainty around each region being able to compete for a national championship.

Hockey Canada is grateful for the continued support of local host committees and event partners, including B.C. Hockey, Hockey Alberta, the Saskatchewan Hockey Association, the Ontario Hockey Federation and the Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL), as well as the communities of Penticton, B.C., Prince Albert, Sask., Calgary, Alta., and Dundas, Ont., and all local and provincial funding partners. Our organization is appreciative of the commitment and support of all stakeholders and we look forward to showcasing our national championships and all participants to fans next year.”

Hockey Canada will continue to work with event stakeholders to host the spring 2022 national championships with a confirmation of all 2022 host communities to be announced in the coming months.

Thursday 4 February 2021

Yorkton's Korczak added to Taxi-Squad of NHL's Vegas Golden Knights

 Yorkton product Kaedan Korczak has been added to the taxi-squad of the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights.

Korczak who has been skating with the AHL’s Henderson Silver Knights will be on hand as an emergency option for the foreseeable future as Alex Pietrangelo is still in on the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol list.

The former Yorkton Mauler had 49 points in 60 games with the WHL’s Kelowna Rockets during the 2019/20 campaign and was a part of Team Canada’s Silver medal winning squad from last months World Junior Hockey Championships.

Tuesday 2 February 2021

Melville Millionaires (SJHL) request City of Melville to keep Ice Surface in hopes of resuming 2020/21 SJHL season

The City of Melville is giving the Melville Millionaires of the SJHL about 3 weeks to provide a plan to City Council on how they will use the main ice surface in the community which is the home of the Millionaires.
Director of Community Services Chris Bruce says the team requested an extension in the hopes hockey games will be permitted by the end of March.
"We're going to wait and see if there is any regulatory changes when the current ones expire on Feb. 19th to see if game play will be allowed, and if it is then we take a look at the plan and see if we can pull it off.
The deadline for the Millionaires to establish the plan is February 22nd so that city council can review that plan on March 1st.

Mils Head Coach/GM Mike Rooney says it's part of a league plan as each team is trying to work with their respective communities to make sure there is a good plan in place just in case. 

"We understand that their plan is based on the COVID situation, but we wanna make sure we have a plan, and I also understand not only with the City of Melville but with other communities in the province that they have to make a tough decision of just how long they can keep the ice surfaces in and how feasible it would be the usage."

The Mils had a record of 4-2-0-0 when their 2020/21 Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League season was put on pause in late November.

Monday 1 February 2021

Balcarres' Petrichuk recognized as Hockey Canada "Champion"


(Photo from Hockey Canada:  Petrichuk receiving Jersey from Balcarres Minor Hockey Board Member Craig "Gubba" Geisler)

Balcarres' product Chris Petrichuk has received the recognition of a Hockey Canada Champion.

"It's pretty overwhelming actually, but it's not about the individual accomplishment as there's a lot of a other people that were involved that helped out", Petrichuk said in an interview with GX94.

Petrichuk, was acknowledged for the accomplishment because of his hard-work in the hockey circles in Balcarres, and for his great effort to establish and develop the Balcarres Barracuda female hockey program in the town and helping resurrect the Parkland Fire U18 AA program in Melville.

"The girls around our area didn't really have anywhere else to play, and with the hard-work it came together and took off quickly from there."

If you want to check out the video that shows the accomplishments of Hockey Canada Champion Chris Petrichuk, we have it up on our GX94 Facebook page.

Hear Petrichuk's full interview with GX94's Matt Dekker below: