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Sweeps, Survivals, and Sacrifice: MJHL Playoffs Don’t Disappoint

By Bill Burfoot

Photo by Laurie Anderson

We are just over a week into the 2018/19 Manitoba Junior Hockey League playoffs, and as usual, they have not disappointed. 

Sweeps, Survivals, and Sacrifice: MJHL Playoffs Don’t Disappoint

The number one ranked Portage Terriers completed the series sweep over the Waywayseecappo Wolverines on Friday night. Chase Brakel and Sam Huston led the way for Portage with each player putting up seven points in the series.  In total, 18 players registered points for the Terriers.  Wolverines 20-year-old Jake Bestul put up five points (3G, 2A) in the final two games of the series, but it wasn’t enough as the Terriers will now await their opponent for Round 2. 

The second-ranked Swan Valley Stampeders are also on their way to Round 2, with a four-game sweep of the seventh-ranked Dauphin Kings.  The Stampeders scored 5-or-more goals in all four games, with Kasyn Kruse, Alexander Uryga, and Quintin Sudom all registering six points in the series.  Despite the sweep, there were some positives for Dauphin as Kings rookie Carter Sawchuk, getting his first taste of MJHL playoff action, led the Kings in scoring with five points (1G, 4A), while rookie Cole DeKoninck led the team in goals with three. 

The Steinbach Pistons jumped out to a 3-0 series lead, led by Kyle Bettens who put up seven points (1G, 6A) in the first three games, but the Winnipeg Blues have turned the series around with wins in games four and five and now trail 3-2 heading into Game 6 on Monday night.  Winnipeg has outscored Steinbach 10-2 in the last two games with Mikol Sartor collecting six points (4G, 2A) in the wins.  Blues captain Kelton Sutherland leads the MJHL playoffs in scoring with eight points (3G, 5A) in five games.  Game 6 goes Monday night at Bell MTS Iceplex, with Game 7 going Wednesday night at the T.G Smith Centre in Steinbach if necessary.

The Virden Oil Capitals and Selkirk Steelers have been going back-and-forth in their first round series, and they will be heading to a Game 6 Sunday night.  Virden took the first two games of the series by scores of 3-2 (in triple overtime) and 5-1 respectively, but Selkirk answered with a pair of wins of their own in games three and four to even the series.  On Saturday night, Dyaln Halliday broke a 1-1 tie midway through the third period to put the Oil Caps up for good, as Virden took a 3-2 series lead with a 3-1 win.  Oil Caps netminder Riley Wallace was sensational in the win, turning aside 46-of-47 shots in the win.  Oil Caps Kolten Kanaski leads the playoffs in goals with six.  Game 6 goes Sunday night in Virden, with Game 7 schedule for Tuesday night in Selkirk if necessary.

Carter Brooks - Associate Editor of Game On Magazine - is a news writer and sports columnist situated in Winnipeg, MB. On top of reading and writing, his favourite pastimes include camping, car-modification projects and coaching hockey. Carter can be reached at

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