President's Update - February 6th, 2018

Congratulations Bethune Bulldogs...2017-18 Pennant Champions. For the fourth year in a row and the fifth time since they rejoined the league eighteen years ago, the Bulldogs have captured the regular season crown. The Bulldogs finished the season last week with two wins to claim the crown. Last Thursday evening they defeated the Cupar Canucks 9-1 in Bethune. Lucas Ulmer, Coltyn Sanderson and Matt Delahey led the way with two goals each. One goal from Ulmer was on the power play. Carter Smith, Derek Fuchs and Drew George also scored. Brayden Frank scored the lone Canuck goal. Ryan Holfeld stopped 41 shots in the Bulldog net. Tanner Kehler stopped 56 shots in the Canuck net. Yes, I would say 107 shots in one game was a bit wide open. Bethune had eight minor penalties and Cupar had six. On Saturday evening the Bulldogs defeated the Southey Marlins 5-2 in Bethune. Considering the short Southey bench the Marlins put up a great effort and even had a 1-0 lead after one period on a goal from Ryley Storzuk. In the second period the Bulldogs would score four times with goals from Lucas Ulmer, Carson Sinclair, Drew George and a power play goal from Mike Reich. Mitchell McNish scored for the Marlins in the second period so it was 4-2 Bulldogs going into the third period. Tory Wilfong would score the only goal in the final period to make the final 5-2. Ryan Holfeld picked up the win in the Bulldog net with 23 saves. At the other end of the ice Ryan Senft stopped 51 shots in the Marlin net. Each team had one minor penalty. The Bulldogs now have a bye into the semi-finals.

Monarchs secure second place...Last Tuesday evening the Lumsden Monarchs defeated the Strasbourg Maroons 10-4 and with the Bethune Bulldogs win over Cupar secured second place and a bye into the semi-finals. This game was a close contest until the third period. Braeden Adamyk for Lumsden and Tanner Exner with a power play goal was all the scoring in the first period. In the second period each team scored twice. Kyle Johnson and Brady Aulie scored for Lumsden. Sean Delwo and Tyson Orban with a power play goal scored for Strasbourg and it was 3-3 going into the third period. Brady Aulie, Braeden Adamyk and Austin Preete would score the first three goals of the third period and Lumsden had a 6-3 lead. Tyson Orban would then score his second goal of the game and get the Maroons to within two. Brady Aulie would then complete the hat trick and his goal would be followed by goals from Kyle Johnson, Liam Brennan and a power play goal from Torey Lindsey. Aaron Moran stopped 27 shots for his second win of the year in the Monarch's net. Dallin Sorenson faced 53 shots in the Maroon's net. Lumsden had nine minor penalties and Strasbourg had seven minor penalties, one major penalty and a game misconduct. Rhett Sandercock received a two game suspension for an instigator penalty and for taking a game misconduct in the last ten minutes of the game.

Rockets RED HOT...The Raymore Rockets finished the season with an 8-5 victory over the Southey Marlins on Friday evening in Southey. This was the fourth win in a row for the Rockets and they finished firmly in fourth place with a 9-9-0 record. In the first period of this game, Marlin Evan Mohr was injured. The report I received is that he broke a bone above the ankle, had surgery Sunday and should be good in eight weeks. We all hope that all turns out well for Evan. Mohr came back to play with the Marlins this year and had not played in our league since 2013 after having played four years with the Marlins and one year with the Canucks. Both teams scored three times in the first period. Tyrell Shulko scored twice and Josh Jordan scored a shorthanded goal for Raymore. Riley Probst, Ryley Storzuk and Brendan Bentz scored for Southey. In the second period Braden Bentz scored three times in succession including one power play goal and he had himself a natural hat trick. In between his second and third goals of the game Southey got goals from Mitchell McNish and Ryley Storzuk and it was 5-4 Rockets going into the third period. Tyrell Shulko ould score twice in the third period, including a power play goal, to bring his game total to four goals and two assists. Shulko led the league this year with 21 goals. Bentz would finish with three goals and three assists. Riley Focht-Gabriel picked up the win in the Rocket's net and Ryan Senft was in the Marlin's net.

Congratulations to Kyle Johnson of the Lumsden Monarchs who is this year's recipient of the Tyson Sievert HHL Scoring Trophy. Johnson led scoring most of the year and was hotly pursued by many including Tyrell Shulko and Josh Jordan from Raymore and by his teammate Torey Lindsey. Johnson ended up with 17 goals and 23 assists. Johnson is the first Monarch to win the scoring title since 1998...I wonder who was co-Manager was way back then....when Scott Davies captured the title. In 52 years Johnson is the fourth Monarch to win the title. Other Monarch scoring champions were Rod Matlock in 1978, Wayne Wagner in 1984 and 1987 and Kim MacDougall in 1985.  Congratulations to Tyrell Shulko from the Rockets and Torey Lindsey on their excellent seasons as they both finished with 38 points. Josh Jordan from the Rockets finished fourth with 37 points. Kyle Hall from the Canucks finished fifth with 35 points and Brayden Frank from the Canucks had 33 points and finished sixth. Rounding out the top ten were Coltyn Sanderson (32), Drew George (31), Carter Smith (30) from the Bethune Bulldogs and Monarch's captain Brady Aulie (30). Shulko led the league in goals with 21 and Jordan led the league in assists with 26. Greg Ferguson from Strasbourg and Tyrell Shulko from the Rockets led all scorers with six power play goals. Kyle Hall from the Canucks led all scorers with three shorthanded goals. Shulko also led the league, along with Mike Reich from the Bulldogs, with three game winning goals.

Congratulations to the Bethune Bulldogs goaltenders Ryan Holfeld, Ryan Seibel and Riley Christison winners of the Gunnar Lindal Team Goaltending Trophy. This is the second year in a row that the Bulldogs have won this trophy. Holfeld led all goalies with a 2.69 GAA. He also had ten wins, one shutout and led all goalies with 781 minutes played. Lumsden goalies Aaron Moran with a 3.33 GAA and Kurtis Solosy with a 3.38 GAA. were next. Tanner Kehler from Cupar finished his excellent year in the Canuck's net with a 3.96 GAA. Rhett Freistadt from the Maroons rounded out the top five with a 4.47 GAA.

In team statistics the Bethune Bulldogs led all teams with a success rate of 28.1% on the power play. The Raymore Rockets finished second in this category at 27.9% and they were followed by the Lumsden Monarchs at 25.8%. The Rockets led all teams on the penalty kill posting an 88.5% success rate. They were followed by Lumsden at 84.3% and then Bethune at 83.3%. The Bulldogs were the only team in the league not to have allowed a shorthanded goal against them. The Lumsden Monarchs led the league with five shorthanded goals. The Bethune Bulldogs were 9-0-1 this year when scoring first. They were 3-3-0 when they did not score first. No team had a winning record when they did not score first. Cupar led the League scoring first eleven times. The Strasbourg Maroons only scored first five times. Home teams were 35-13-4 this year and visiting teams were 17-35-0. Thank you to our long time statistician Barry Herman for his many years of compiling our statistics. If you get a chance take a look at our archive of statistics. We wish we had everything from all 52 years of our existence but we have 30 years of statistics in our archive. This year's league awards winners will be announced in March.

Playoffs start with two series. The Raymore Rockets play the Southey Marlins and the Cupar Canucks play the Strasbourg Maroons in our first round of playoffs. Bethune and Lumsden have first round byes. With everyone but Bethune playing the next two weekends in Provincials we will work to get our first round done by the third week of February. Game one of the Raymore/Southey series will be on Wednesday, February 7th in Raymore. Game two will be Thursday, February 15th at 8 p.m. in Southey. Game three if necessary will be on Monday, February 19th in Raymore at 8:00 p.m. The Cupar/Strasbourg series starts on Wednesday, February 14th in Cupar. Game two is on Tuesday, February 20th in Strasbourg and if a third game is required it will be played on Wednesday, February 21st in Cupar. All game times are 8:00 p.m.

Provincials begin this weekend. On Saturday evening two Provincial 'A' series begin with Balgonie in Southey and Grenfell will be in Cupar. Both games start at 8:00 p.m. On Sunday another Provincial 'A' series begins in Lumsden where the Monarchs will be hosting Milestone at 7:30 p.m. The Raymore Rockets begin defence of their Provincial 'C' crown in Wawota at 7:30 p.m. This game is available on radio on line...go to and click the blue ON CJ1150 link to hear the Estevan radio broadcast. We will keep you up to date on scores on Twitter and the front page of our website or on the Pensky File

Thank you for supporting the Highway Hockey League and please get out to a game near you. This is the best time of the year....season is over so spring is near....playoffs are starting and Provincials begin.