Making this year’s championship extra special is the fact that the entire weekend will be dedicated to the Humboldt Broncos and in honour of late captain Logan Schatz. The former Broncos’ star centreman – who put up 22 goals and 85 points in 57 games for the Broncos in the 2017-18 season before the deadly April 6th crash took his life – spent a good portion of his life playing ball hockey.
Schatz was an accomplished ball hockey player who played primarily in Saskatchewan but also dressed as a Junior for Team Manitoba, before earning as silver medal with Team Canada in the U-20 division. Between the two opening games of the 2018 national championship, the Manitoba Ball Hockey Association, in partnership with the Canadian Ball Hockey Association will hold a ceremony announcing the inaugural recipient of the Logan Schatz Award, presented to the top junior ball hockey player.
Included in the ceremony will be the presentation of a framed Schatz jersey to Logan’s parents, prior to a ceremonial faceoff, featuring a dropped ball from the only Manitoban from the Humboldt Broncos squad, and former Steinbach Piston Matthieu Gomercic.
The national tournament will run from August 6th to 11th, featuring three divisions of play, men’s, women’s and men’s masters. Teams will be made up of amateur, university, college, professional and olympic athletes. Team Manitoba will look to earn its first gold medal at the 2018 running of the national championship in 40 years. More information can be found at ManitobaBallHockey.com.