President's Update - February 3rd, 2014

Strasbourg Maroons on a roll….

Here is a wrap up of last week’s games in the Highway Hockey League…..since coming off an 8-3 loss to the Lumsden Monarchs on January 24th, the Strasbourg Maroons have won three straight games including a 7-6 shootout win over League Champion Cupar Canucks, a 4-3 victory over the current first place team, Avonlea Arrows, and a 7-4 victory over the Southey Marlins.  The Maroons are now entrenched in 5th place. In Avonlea last Tuesday, the Maroons got two first period goals from Greg Ferguson and Tanner Exner but gave up one to the Arrows with just four seconds left in the period as Calvin Watson scored to make it 2-1 going into the second period. Scott Arnold would score in the second period to tie game. The Maroons would get two goals from Quinn McIntosh in the third period and the Arrows would get another goal from Watson to make the final 4-3 Maroons. Jeremy Ellis picked up the win in net for the Maroons and Nathan Fischl took the loss for the Arrows. There were only two penalties in the game and both minors went to the Arrows. The Maroons would then play the Southey Marlins on Saturday evening at home.  Goals by Mitch McNish, Brady Heintz and Greg Ferguson gave the Maroons a 3-0 lead going into the second period. Tanner Exner would make it 4-0 before the league’s top scorer, Pat Thompson-Gale, scored twice to get the Marlins within two. Mitch McNish would get his second goal late in the period and it was 5-2 going into the third period. Aaron Decorby and Brandyn Wasyliw would score for the Maroons and Devin Hillier and Jared LaCosta would score for the Marlins in the third period to make the final score 7-4. Jeremy Ellis picked up his sixth win of the year in net for the Maroons and Kurtis Sollosy was in net for the Marlins. The Maroons took seven minor penalties while the Marlins took four. The Maroons capped off their perfect week with a 2-1 double overtime victory against Bruno in Provincial ‘A’ action on Sunday. Mitch McNish scored the winner just thirty seconds into the second OT frame.

The Cupar Canucks also had a good week. Since their SO loss to Strasbourg they halted the Bethune Bulldogs winning streak at six with a 4-1 victory in Bethune last Wednesday and they defeated the Wynyard Monarchs on Saturday evening in Wynyard 6-3. The Canucks also wrapped up their first round provincial series with Arcola with a 4-2 victory in Cupar last Thursday evening. In Bethune the Canucks led the entire game as Shea Van Luven scored twice (1 PPG) and Davis Brown and Justin Schulhauser scored. Kyle Ross assisted on all four goals. Derek Fuchs scored on the power play in third period for Bethune. Jamie Wutke picked up the win in net for the Canucks and Ryan Seibel was in net for the Bulldogs. Unfortunately this game had 183 minutes in penalties. Ira McNabb was a assessed an eight game suspension for leaving the bench, for second instigator call penalty this season, for multiple game misconducts and for a game misconduct in the last ten minutes. In Wynyard on Saturday evening, a short bench for the Canucks did not deter them as they defeated the Wynyard Canucks to tie the season series at two games apiece.  Kyle Ross and Shea Van Luven each scored twice and Kyle Ermel and Cody Hansen with a power play goal did all the scoring for the Canucks. Mike Anderson, Matt Strueby and Bryan Kauk scored for the Monarchs. This was the first loss of the season for the Monarchs at home.  Jamie Wutke picked up the win in net for the Canucks and Dave Perkin was in net for the Monarchs. The Canucks had nine minor penalties and the Monarchs had fourteen. There were no power play goals scored in this game.

Two other games were played last week. The Avonlea Arrows pulled into first place in the league with an 8-3 victory over the Raymore Rockets in Raymore on Friday evening and a 6-3 victory over the Bethune Bulldogs on Saturday evening at home. In Raymore the Arrows scored four times in the first period and three times in the second period to put this game away early. Shay Neufeld and Ryan Cruse (1 PPG and game winner) each scored twice to lead the way for the Arrows. Calder Neufeld, Michael Holland, Scott Arnold and Mark Ardelan scored the balance of the Arrow goals. Tyrell Shulko and Cody Mapes scored on the power play in the first period for the Rockets. Todd MacMurchy scored his seventh goal of the year in the third period. Nathan Fischl picked up the win in net against his former team and John Arscott was in net for the Rockets. Each team had four minor penalties. Against the Bulldogs it was once again four first period goals propelled the Arrows. Calvin Watson and Gavin Mievre each scored twice and Mark Ardelan with a power play goal and Calder Neufeld finished off the scoring.  Lucas Ulmer scored on the power play for the Bulldogs. Mitch Boucher and Ryan Funk scored the other two goals for the Bulldogs. Nathan Fischl picked up the win in net for the Arrows and Ryan Seibel was in net for the Bulldogs. Bethune had four minor penalties and Avonlea had three.

In Provincials, the Lumsden Monarchs lost 6-3 to the Balgonie Bisons and are now eliminated. The Cupar Canucks defeated Avonlea 4-2 and win their series 2-0 and now play Balgonie in the second round of Provincial ‘A’. Game one of that series is this coming Sunday at 7:30 p.m. in Cupar. The Strasbourg Maroons play game two of their series against Bruno at home this Friday at 8:00 p.m. The Wynyard Monarchs open up their Provincial ‘A’ series with Drake this Saturday evening in Wynyard at 8:00 p.m. The Bethune Bulldogs open their two game total point Provincial ‘D’ series with Craik on Sunday at 5:00 p.m.  in Craik. Avonlea opens up with Kelliher next weekend in Provincial ‘D’ action..

The Marlin’s Pat Thompson-Gale continues to do what he has done most of this season by leading all scorers in the chase for the Tyson Sievert Scoring Trophy with a league leading 25 goals along with 25 assists. He is followed by Bryan Kauk from Wynyard who has 43 points, Brett Leffler from Wynyard with 42 points, Kyle Ross from Cupar who has 39 points in 12 games played and by Tyrell Shulko from Raymore who has 36 points. Brett Leffler leads all scorers with seven power play goals and Mitch McNish from Strasbourg leads all scorers with three game winning goals. If you include McNish’s winning goal against Bruno on Sunday he has four this year. Nathan Fischl from the Avonlea Arrows continues to lead all goalies with a 2.73 GAA and David Perkin from Wynyard leads all goalies with 13 wins and 977 minutes played. Avonlea also leads the team goaltending award with a 2.97 GAA.

The Wynyard Monarchs have the best power play in the league with a 33% success rate. They are followed by Southey at 30.7% and Avonlea at 26.6%. The top penalty killing unit belongs to the Cupar Canucks at 84.5%. They are followed by Avonlea at 81.4% and Wynyard at 79.8%. The four lowest averages for penalty minutes per game are the Strasbourg Maroons at 12.3 minutes per game followed by Avonlea with 12.8 minutes, Southey at 13.2 minutes and Lumsden at 14.7 minutes. The highest penalty minutes per game have been taken by the Bethune Bulldogs who average 35.7 minutes per game. They are followed by Cupar at 29.2 minutes, Wynyard at 22.4 minutes and Raymore at 22.3 minutes.

Our regular season ends on Tuesday, February 11th. First round of playoff games are a best of 3 affair and we are targeting beginning by February 14th and being done by the last week of February. We know Raymore will finish seventh and Southey will finish eighth and we know Lumsden will finish fifth or sixth.  Everything will sort itself through this weekend. In league play the Strasbourg Maroons (9-8-1) are in Southey to play the Marlins (1-16-1) on Tuesday evening. On Wednesday evening we have two games. The Raymore Rockets (4-12-1) host the Wynyard Monarchs (13-5-0) and the Avonlea Arrows (13-3-1) are in Lumsden to play the Monarchs (8-9-0). On Thursday evening the Cupar Canucks (11-5-1) are in Southey to play the Marlins. On Friday evening Raymore is in Avonlea and Wynyard is in Lumsden to play the southern Monarchs. On Saturday evening the Bethune Bulldogs (11-6-1) host the Strasbourg Maroons(9-8-1) and the Cupar Canucks are in Raymore to play the Rockets.

There is lots of hockey, league and Provincials, this week. Please get out to a game near you and thank you for supporting senior hockey at its best!

Gerry Tomkins

HHL President

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