President's Update - March 14th, 2016

***League Final set...Bethune vs. Lumsden***       Highway Hockey League 2015-16 Award winners...Congratulations to Travis Bosch, goaltender with the Raymore Rockets, this year’s Most Valuable Player in the Highway Hockey League. Bosch is the first goalie to win the MVP award since Justin Mrazek from the Avonlea Arrows won in 2010. Bosch finished the year with 13 wins, 3 losses, one shut out and a 2.78 GAA. He also led the league in minutes played with 970 minutes. The Most Valuable Player Local, the Eckdahl-Jenkins Memorial Award, goes to Tyrell Shulko of the Raymore Rockets. Tyrell led the league with 27 goals. He finished fourth in scoring with 35 points and had his season cut short with injury in a Provincial game. The Stats-Van Trott Award for Rookie of the Year goes to Brayden Frank of the Cupar Canucks. Brayden had 5 goals and 7 assists for 12 points in 16 games played. The HHL Most Sportsmanlike Player Award goes to Tyrell Shulko of the Raymore Rockets. This is the eighth time the Rockets have an award winner in this category. Previously this award was won by Darren Miller in 1981; Murray Cranch in 1990, 1993 and 1995…always wanted a Murray Cranch hockey card; Travis Asmundson in 1997 and 1999 and by Brett Kuglin in 2010. The Ken Hale Memorial Award for Manager of the year goes to Howard Dobson of the Raymore Rockets. Howard would be our longest serving Manager in the HHL. The Rockets have had years of success in our league and last won the championship in 2011. The Lynwood Miller Coach of the Year award goes to Darrell Haysom of the Lumsden Monarchs. The Monarchs finished in third place this year with a 11-7-0 record and until this year had not had a regular season winning record since the 2001-2002 season. 2002 was also the last season the Monarchs won their last league championship upsetting the first place Raymore Rockets in five games. Previously announced winners of awards include Kyle Ross of the Bethune Bulldogs who won the Tyson Sievert HHL Scoring Champion Trophy with 23 goals and 25 assists for 48 points. The newly named Gunnar Lindal Memorial Team Goaltending was won by Travis Bosch and Anthony Bergen of the Raymore Rockets. This tandem went 14-2-1 with a 2.90 GAA. The Pennant Winners were the Bethune Bulldogs who posted a 15-1-2 record for 32 points.

2015-16 HHL All-Star team

Congratulations to the following players that were voted all-stars for 2015-16:

Goaltender      Travis Bosch                         Raymore Rockets

Defenceman   Russ Nielson                         Bethune Bulldogs

Defenceman   Andrew Perrault                    Lumsden Monarchs

Center             Kyle Ross                              Bethune Bulldogs

Right Wing      Tyrell Shulko                         Raymore Rockets

Left Wing         Kyle Johnson                        Lumsden Monarchs

All award winners and all-stars will receive 50th anniversary plaques either during the league final or at their team windup. The league trophies will be on display at rinks throughout the league. We are presently giving them a bit of a cleaning.

Bethune Bulldogs are back in the SHA Provincial ‘A’ Final

Congratulations to the Bethune Bulldogs for getting back to the Provincial ‘A’ final after defeating the Radville Nationals 6-5 in overtime on Friday, March 11th and winning the semi-final series 2 games to 0. The Bulldogs lost in three games to the Lanigan Pirates last year in an excellent final that saw all games decided by one goal. The Bulldogs will now play the Rosetown Redwings in the 2016 Provincial final.

Bethune Bulldogs back in the HHL Final

On Monday, March 7th the Bethune Bulldogs defeated the Wynyard Monarchs 10-3 and advanced to the league final. Our defending champions scored five times in the first period, including three shorthanded goals and never looked back in this game. Kyle Ross had four goals (one ppg, one shg) and two assists to lead the Bulldogs. Lucas Ulmer had two goals (one shg, one ppg) and the rest of the scoring came from Derek Fuchs (shg), Barrett Nielson, Paul Alber’s and Shea Van Luven (ppg).  Cody Straker, Donovan Hall and Eric Popadynec with a power play goal scored for Wynyard. Ryan Seibel picked up the win in net for the Bulldogs and Kevin Orthner was in net for the Monarchs.  Bethune had six minor penalties and a major penalty and the Wynyard has seven minor penalties and a major.  The Bulldogs are 11-1 in playoffs and Provincials so far this year. The Bulldogs will now play the winner of the Raymore/Lumsden series.

On Friday, March 11th the Lumsden Monarchs were facing elimination from playoffs down 2 games to 0 against the Raymore Rockets. The Rockets scored just 53 seconds into this game to take a 1-0 lead on a goal from Michael Jordan. Later in the period Liam Brennan would score for the Monarchs to tie the game and with just 21 seconds left in the period Warren Szucki would score shorthanded and the Monarchs were up 2-1 heading to the second period.  In the second period Travis Mohr would score to tie game up 2-2 but quickly Liam Brennan would score his second goal of the evening to give the Monarchs the lead back. Late in the period Cody Mapes would score for the Rockets and this game was tied going into the third period. There was no scoring in the third period and it took only one minute and forty seconds into overtime for Tyler Murray to score and give the Monarchs a 4-3 win and force a game four in Lumsden. Kurtis Sollosy picked up the win in net for the Monarchs and Travis Bosch was in net for the Rockets. Lumsden was assessed five minor penalties and Raymore was assessed three. On Sunday, March 13th the two teams met again in Lumsden. Again the Rockets scored quickly on a goal from Reid Colley and just two minutes later Andrew Perrault would score to tie the game. The Monarchs would score on the power play on a goal from Carter Selinger and the Monarchs would have a 2-1 lead going into the second period. There was no scoring in the second period and the Monarchs led the shot clock 28-14. In the third period the Monarchs would get a power play goal from Warren Szucki and Carter Selinger would score his second goal and the Monarchs had a 4-1 lead. Reid Colley would score his second goal of the game to get the Rockets back within two but goals by Tyler Murray and Liam Brennan would put the Monarchs up 6-2. Brendon Eisnor would score for the Rockets and the final score was 6-3. The Monarchs ended up outshooting the Rockets 40-25. Kurtis Sollosy picked up the win in net for the Monarchs and Travis Bosch was in net for the Rockets. The Rockets ended up with ten minor penalties and the Monarchs had four penalties and one major. That major ended up giving Andrew Perrault a one game suspension that will be served in game five of this series. Deciding game five is Tuesday, March 15th in Raymore.

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Just a couple weeks of hockey left and there is a Provincial final and a League final for you to attend. Thank you for supporting senior hockey and the Highway Hockey League!

Gerry Tomkins

President - HHL