President's Update - January 6th, 2014

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The Highway Hockey League was back in the swing of things on Friday. Two games were played and in Avonlea, the Arrows overcame a 2-0 deficit after the first period to pull out a 4-3 victory over the Strasbourg Maroons. Quinn McIntosh and Eric Schultz scored for the Maroons in the first period before Scott Arnold scored in the second period for the Arrows to make it a one goal game going into the third period. The Arrows had one power play opportunity in the game and took advantage of it half way through the third period as Mark Ardelan scored to tie the game at two. Just 37 seconds later Stuart Holland scored to give the Arrows their first lead of the game in the third period. Eric Schultz would score his second goal of the game to tie the game for the Maroons but less than a minute later Jared Molnar would score what turned out to be the winner and the Arrows won 4-3 on home ice. There were just three penalties in the game. Nathan Fischl picked up the win in net for the Arrows and Jeremy Ellis was in net for the Maroons.

In Southey, the Marlins picked up their first win of the year with an 8-3 victory over the Bethune Bulldogs. The Marlins never trailed in this game. Jordan Heggin scored early in the first period and in the second period, league scoring leader Pat Thompson-Gale would score three times and Jared LaCosta and Elliot Hubick would score on the power play. The Marlins would add two more power play goals in the third period both coming off the stick of former Bulldog Cody Hall. Jens Johnson, Mike Reich and Jacob Ulmer scored for Bethune. Ryan Senft picked up the win in net for the Marlins and Ryan Seibel was in net for the Bulldogs. The Marlins took six minor penalties and the Bulldogs took nine minor penalties.

Fresh off their first victory the Marlins travelled to Lumsden on Saturday evening to play in the 3rd Annual Wall of Fame game in Lumsden. This was a very entertaining game. The Marlins scored twice in the first period with goals from Dominic Perrault (ppg) and Shay Wirll. They took a 3-0 lead in the second period when Wirll scored his second goal of the game. The Monarchs then scored three times to tie the game as Brady Aulie scored twice (1 ppg) and Steve Eberts scored and this game was tied in the going into the third period. Devin Hillier would score on the power play to give the Marlins the lead back. Half way through the period Brendan Ryan would score to tie the game up again and just one minute later the Marlins scored on their own net on a miscommunication between goalie and defenceman and the Monarchs had the lead again. Denby Haysom was credited with that goal. Not deterred, the Marlins bounced back with a power play goal from Dominic Perrault and the game was tied once again. With just one minute to go Brady Aulie would notch his third goal of the game to give the Monarchs the lead again. Credit the Marlins as they pulled goaltender Sollosy and Mac Hubick scored with just thirty seconds left and this game went to overtime. There were five penalties in the first sixty minutes and all five penalties resulted in power play goals. In overtime the Marlins would get the final power play opportunity of the game and despite outshooting the Monarchs 7-3 in overtime could not notch the winner. In the shootout both the Marlins and Monarchs would score in the first round but then the goalies took over and denied the shooters in the next four rounds. In the sixth round the Marlins would be denied on their shot and Brendan Ryan would score for the Monarchs to secure a 7-6 shootout victory for the Monarchs. Trevor Thiessen made 30 saves to secure the victory for the Monarchs and Kurtis Sollosy stopped 37 shots for the Marlins. The Monarchs honoured Bert Wills, Kenner Lees and Brad Schmidt for their contributions for the Monarchs in a ceremony between periods.

In Bethune, the Bulldogs bounced back from their Friday evening loss with five goals scored in the second and third periods on their way to an 11-5 victory over the Raymore Rockets. Captain Dustin MacAngus led the way for the Bulldogs 4 goals and two assists….2 on the power play, 1 shorthanded and 1 even strength goal along with 2 assists. Joel Kot and Jacob Ulmer (1 ppg) both scored two goals and Tyler Dobrescu, Tyler Riche and Jeremy Forbes each scored for the Bulldogs. Forbes also assisted on 3 of the MacAngus goals. For the Rockets, Tyrell Shulko maintained his league lead in goals notching his 17th and 18th goals of the year. Todd MacMurchy scored and Kyle Schmalenburg and Cody Mapes both scored on the power play. Josh Jordan had three assists in this game. Ryan Seibel picked up the win in net for the Bulldogs and John Arscott was in net for the Rockets. The Bulldogs had nine minor penalties, five misconducts and two game misconducts. The Rockets had six minor penalties, three misconducts and two game misconducts.

The first place Wynyard Monarchs scored four times in the first period on their way to a 7-3 victory in Cupar against the Canucks. Brett Leffler scored twice for the Monarchs while Dale Spelchen, Mike Anderson and Matt Strueby scored on the power play. Chad Mazurak scored a shorthanded goal and Matt Strueby scored his second goal of the game even strength. Ira McNabb and Davis Brown scored on the power play for the Canucks and Jordan Pratt scored even strength. The Canucks had 11 minor penalties and the Monarchs had 12. Dave Perkin picked up his league leading tenth win in net for the Monarchs. Jamie Wutke took the loss for the Canucks. Colby Miller played the third period in net for the Canucks.

On Sunday the Maroons and the Arrows had a rematch in Strasbourg. Two goals from Scott Arnold, including the game winner, led the way to a 4-1 victory for the Arrows and moved the Arrows into second place alone in the HHL. Josh Jelinski and Stuart Holland also scored for Avonlea. Strasbourg’s lone goal came off the stick of Mitch McNish. The Maroons had two minor penalties and the Arrow had four. Nathan Fischl picked up the win in net for the Arrows and Tyler Kifferling was in net for the Maroons.

Pat Thompson-Gale from the Marlins leads all scorers with 38 points. A pair of Wynyard Monarch players follows him with Brett Leffler at 31 points and Bryan Kauk at 30 points. Kyle Ross from the Cupar Canucks is next with 28 points in nine games played and Tyrell Shulko is next with 27 points. Nathan Fischl from the Arrows leads all goalies with a 2.65 GAA. David Perkin from the Wynyard Monarchs leads all goalies with 10 wins and 697 minutes played. Brett Leffler leads all scorers with 7 power play goals. Dominic Perrault from the Marlins has 6 and Brady Aulie from Lumsden and Chad Mazurak from Wynyard have 5 power play goals each. Mike Reich from Bethune and Pat Thompson-Gale from Southey lead all scorers with 3 shorthanded goals.

The top power play in the league belongs to the Southey Marlins at 38.1%.  The Wynyard Monarchs are next at 35.2% and they are followed by the Avonlea Arrows at 25.6%. The Raymore Rockets at 18.5% are the lowest in the league. The top penalty killing unit belongs to the Cupar Canucks at 82.8%. They are followed by the Avonlea Arrows at 81.1% and the Wynyard Monarchs at 76.3%. The lowest PK% belongs to the Raymore Rockets at 64%. The Bethune Bulldogs average 34.5 minutes of penalties a game and are followed by Raymore at 28.8 minutes and Cupar at 26.6 minutes. The least penalized teams in the league are the Strasbourg Maroons (11.8 mins), Lumsden Monarchs (12.5 mins) and the Southey Marlins (14.9 mins).

On Friday evening the Avonlea Arrows (8-2-0) are in Lumsden to play the Monarchs (7-6-0), the Southey Marlins (1-11-1) visit Cupar to play the Canucks (7-4-0) and the Bethune Bulldogs (6-4-1) visit the Strasbourg Maroons (5-4-1). On Saturday evening the Cupar Canucks are in Wynyard to play the Monarchs (10-3-0) and the Strasbourg Maroons are in Bethune for a rematch against the Bulldogs. On Sunday the Wynyard Monarchs are in Avonlea to play the Arrows at 3:00 p.m.

Thank you for supporting the Highway Hockey League. Please get out to a game near you. Next week we will have an update on the upcoming Provincials.

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Gerry Tomkins

President - HHL