President's Update - February 15th, 2016

Regular Season over….The Avonlea Arrows defeated the Strasbourg Maroons in the last regular season game of the year 6-1 and clinched fifth place. The Arrows got two goals from both Dayton Picard and Kyle Oleniuk. Picard’s second goal was shorthanded and he ended up leading the league this year with three shorthanded goals. James Dombowsky and Kristian Brook also scored for the Arrows. Dillan Hubick scored the first goal of the game and it was the only goal that the Maroons would score. Dean Brothen picked up the win in net for the Arrows and Jeremy Ellis was in net for the Maroons. Each team had two penalties in the game. With the win the Arrows advanced to a best of three playoff series against the Wynyard Monarchs and the Maroons finished seventh and will play the Raymore Rockets. The Lumsden Monarchs play the Cupar Canucks in the other quarter-final. Bethune Bulldogs have a bye into the semi-finals with their first place finish.

The first playoff game was played this past Saturday evening in Wynyard. A goal from Matt Strueby and a shorthanded goal from Brett Donovan Hall gave the Monarchs a 2-0 lead after one period. Chad Mazurak would score early in the second period to give the Monarchs a 3-0 lead. Cue the Arrows as Josh Jelinski would score and Devin Cobbold would score twice including a shorthanded goal and this game was tied 3-3 going into the third period. Donovan Hall would score midway through the third period to give the lead back to the Monarchs. With just over two minutes left in the game Josh Jelinski would score his second goal of the game on the power play and this game would go to overtime. 1:11 into the overtime frame Calvin Watson scored to give the Arrows a 5-4 victory in game one of this best of three series.  Amazingly the Monarchs never trailed and the Arrows never led in this game until the overtime goal was scored. Aaron Husband picked up the win in net for the Arrows and Kevin Orthner was in net for the Monarchs. The Monarchs were assessed seven minor penalties and the Arrows six. Game two of this series is in Saturday evening in Avonlea.

Other playoff games this weekend include Strasbourg at Raymore on Friday evening at 8:00 in game one of their series. Game two of this series will be in Strasbourg on Tuesday, February 23rd.  Lumsden will be in Cupar Saturday evening at 8:00 p.m. Game two of the Lumsden/Cupar series will be Sunday in Lumsden at 5:30 p.m.

Lumsden and Bethune advance in Provincials….On Thursday, February the Bethune Bulldogs defeated the Raymore Rockets 7-3 in game one of their Provincial ‘A’ series. Game two was played on Saturday evening and the Bulldogs defeated the Rockets 4-3 and won the series 2-0. On Friday evening in Lumsden the Monarchs defeated the Balcarres Broncs 5-1 to win game one of their Provincial ‘A’ series. The Monarchs outshot the Broncs 63-33. On Saturday evening the Monarchs completed the series win with a 6-1 victory over the Broncs. Lumsden now plays the Bethune Bulldogs in the next round and this means that the HHL will have one team guaranteed in the final four of the Provincial ‘A’ draw. In Provincial ‘D’ action the Cupar Canucks lost 3-2 in overtime last Saturday evening in Redvers and lost the two game total point Provincial ‘D’ series 5-4.

Kyle Ross of the Bethune Bulldogs wins Tyson Sievert HHL Scoring Trophy…Congratulations to Kyle Ross the 2015-16 Highway Hockey League scoring champion. Ross finished the year with 23 goals and 25 assists for 48 points in 17 games played. This is the fourth season Ross has played in the league and he now has 162 points in four HHL seasons.  He also has 72 points in 25 playoff games played. Kyle Johnson from the Lumsden Monarchs came in second with 17 goals and 27 assists and 44 points. Mike Reich from the Bulldogs finished third with 16 goals and 25 assists and 41 points. Despite getting injured at the end of the season Tyrell Shulko led the league with 27 goals. He would finish fourth in league scoring with 35 points. Josh Jordan from the Rockets finished fifth with 32 points. Rounding out the top ten scorers were two time scoring champion Brett Leffler from Wynyard, Chad Filteau from the Rockets, Andrew Perrault from Lumsden, Riley Storzuk from Wynyard and Russ Nielson from Bethune. Defenceman Andrew Perrault from Lumsden led all power play scorers with five goals.

Travis Bosch from Wynyard led all goalies with 13 wins, 970 minutes played and 2.78 goals against average. Mason Brewster from Wynyard was next with a 3.33 GAA followed by Ryan Seibel from the Bulldogs at 3.37 GAA and Ryan Senft from the Bulldogs at 3.51 GAA.

In team statistics, the Bethune Bulldogs finished the season with the best power play at 28.8%. Lumsden Monarchs were second at 28.1% and the Raymore Rockets were third at 26%. In the penalty killing department the Lumsden Monarchs led the league with an 81.3% success rate. The Raymore Rockets were next at 80.3% and the Wynyard Monarchs were third at 79.7%. There were 22 shorthanded goals scored this year. The Avonlea Arrows led the league with 7 of those goals. Lumsden was second with 6 shorthanded goals. Every team had at least one shorthanded goal. The Cupar Canucks gave up 8 shorthanded goals. The Raymore Rockets and the Bethune Bulldogs did not give up a shorthanded goal this year. The final home record for all teams was 34-25-3 and away teams finished 28-29-5.

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All Star and Award nominees will be published this week. There is plenty of hockey this weekend so please try and get out to a game near you!

Gerry Tomkins

President - HHL