President's Update - February 8th, 2016

Bulldogs clinch first place….The Bethune Bulldogs have clinched first place with two victories over the Lumsden Monarchs this past week. On Tuesday evening in Lumsden they defeated the Monarchs 10-4 and on Saturday evening in Bethune won 9-4. The Bulldogs finished the season with a 15-1-2 record and have a bye into the semi-finals. The Raymore Rockets will finish second place with a 14-2-1 record, the Lumsden Monarchs will finish in third place with an 11-5-2 record while the Wynyard Monarchs will finish in fourth place with an 11-7-0 record. The final three positions will be decided this week and best of three quarter-finals will begin in the next week.

On Tuesday evening the Bulldogs held a 5-4 lead going into the third period and scored five times to secure the win over the Monarchs. Drew George had three goals and two assists and Russ Neilson had two goals and two assists to lead the way for the Bulldogs. Kyle Ross, Jacob Ulmer, Joel Kot, Dustin MacAngus and Derek Fuchs also scored for the Bulldogs. Ward Szucki, Zak Anderson, Liam Brennan and Brady Aulie scored for the Monarchs. Ryan Seibel picked up the win in net for the Bulldogs and Kurtis Sollosy was in net for the Monarchs. The Bulldogs had seven minor penalties, one major penalty, three misconducts and two game misconducts. Lucas Ulmer was suspended one game for an instigator penalty taken in the first period. The Monarchs had eight minor penalties, a major penalty and a game misconduct. On Saturday evening there were only three penalties in the game. Drew George duplicated his efforts from Tuesday evening with three goals and two assists. Mike Reich had two goals and four assists and Russ Neilson had two goals. Kyle Ross with a goal and three assists and Derek Fuchs with a goal and an assist also scored for the Bulldogs. Kyle Johnson from the Monarchs, second in league scoring, matched Kyle Ross who he was chasing for the scoring title with one goal and three assists. Austin Preete had two goals and Brady Aulie had a goal and an assist to complete the Monarch’s scoring. Ryan Senft stopped 28 shots and picked up the win in net for the Bulldogs. Kurtis Sollosy stopped 32 shots in the Monarch’s net.

On Friday evening, the Lumsden Monarchs secured third place with a 6-4 victory over the visiting Cupar Canucks. Tyler Murray scored the first goal of the game for the Monarchs and it was quickly matched by Taylor Orr from the Canucks. Braeden Raiwet would score on the power play and the Monarchs had a 2-1 lead going into the second period. In the second period Liam Brennan would score and then Carter Selinger would score on the power play and the Monarchs had a 4-1 lead. With four minutes left in the second period, the Cupar Canucks would come alive with a penalty shot goal from Brett Boha and two power play goals from Boha and Ryan Branton in a matter of three minutes and twelve seconds and this game was tied 4-4 going into the third period. Lumsden would get goals from Jared Adams and Ward Szucki in the third period making it a 6-4 final for the Monarchs. Kurtis Sollosy would pick up the win in net for the Monarchs stopping 18 shots. Colby Miller did all he could stopping 55 of 61 shots fired his way for the Canucks. The Monarchs were assessed nine minor penalties and the Canucks had six. At this game the Monarchs honoured the league on its 50th anniversary and the first team to play in the league during the 1966-67 season. The Monarchs are the only team to have played in all 50 seasons. Four of the original players from that team, John McCrae, Bob Lawson, John Irving and Ken Luhning, were at the game and were acknowledged.

There were two more games played this past weekend in the league. On Saturday evening, the Avonlea Arrows defeated the Wynyard Monarchs 4-2 in Wynyard. The Monarchs never had the lead in this game. James Dombowsky from the Arrows and Donovan Hall from the Monarchs notched first period goals. In the second period Kristian Brook would score for the Arrows and Donovan Hall would get his second goal of the evening for the Monarchs. In the third period Stuart Holland’s shorthanded goal would prove to be the difference. Keegan Ludwar would score the fourth Arrows goal. Aaron Husband picked up the win in net for the Arrows and Mason Brewster was in net for the Monarchs. Avonlea had five minor penalties and the Wynyard had three. On Sunday, the Raymore Rockets defeated the Cupar Canucks 6-0 in Cupar. Travis Bosch picked up his league leading 13th win and his first shutout of the season to lead the Rockets. The Rockets are now without 27 goal scorer Tyrell Shulko due to injury and got scoring from five different players. Nelson Davis, Brett Mohr, Davis Brown, Chad Filteau and Travis Mohr with two goals scored for the Rockets. Tanner Kehler was in net for the Canucks. The Rockets had five minor penalties and the Canucks had three.

Two HHL teams play each other in next round of Provincial ‘A’….The Bethune Bulldogs defeated the Watrous Winterhawks 6-3 and won their series 2-1. They now play the Raymore Rockets in the next round of Provincial ‘A’ play. Bethune will be in Raymore on Thursday evening for game one. Game two is Saturday evening in Bethune and a game three will be played Monday evening if required in Raymore. The Avonlea Arrows lost a double overtime game to the Balcarres Broncs 2-1 and lost a hard fought series 2-1. Balcarres will now play the Lumsden Monarchs in Provincial ‘A’ action. Game one is in Lumsden on Friday evening, game two will be in Balcarres on Saturday evening and if a game three is required it will be played Sunday evening in Lumsden. In Provincial ‘D’ action this past Saturday evening, the Cupar Canucks and the Redvers Rockets tied 2-2 in Cupar. Game two of this two game total point series will be on Saturday evening in Redvers. The Strasbourg Maroons and the Gull Lake Greyhounds begin their Provincial ‘C’ two game total point series on February 26th.

The league All-star ballots go out to the teams this week. We will review final statistics and nominations next week.

You can follow us on Twitter  All of our tweets, which include updates from all games, appear on our front page just under the Upcoming Games column if you just want to follow on the website. You can also follow my account Pensky File  If you follow us on any portable device remember you have the option of the mobile view or the regular desktop view which you can change at the bottom of the page. Thank you for your continued support of senior hockey in Saskatchewan and the Highway Hockey League… There are Provincials this weekend and the playoffs are about to start, please get out to a game near you.

Gerry Tomkins

President – Highway Hockey League