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MJHL Semi Finals Begin Friday Evening

By Bill Burfoot

Photo by Laurie Anderson

The second round of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League playoffs get underway Friday night, and the matchups have fans across the league salivating.

MJHL Semi Finals Begin Friday Evening

Swan Valley Stampeders VS Steinbach Pistons

The Swan Valley Stampeders swept the Dauphin Kings in four straight to get to the second round, while the Steinbach Pistons needed a double-overtime Game 6 win to reserve themselves a date with the Stampeders in the semi-finals.

Swan Valley finished the season with three of the league’s top 5 scorers in Josh Tripp, Brady Goethals, and Matt Osadick finishing first, second, and fifth respectively, but were led by defenseman Quintin Sudom in the first round. The reigning MJHL Top Defenseman assisted on seven of the 23 goals the club scored to lead the team in scoring in the first round.

The Stampeders scored five-or-more goals in each of the four games in the series. That potent offence will now face the team which allowed a league-low 127 goals against in the regular season.

The two clubs have not seen each other since December 16th, and during the regular season there wasn’t much to give between the Stamps and Pistons as both teams won three games including once each on the road.  

The Stampeders scored 54 more goals than the Pistons during the regular season, while the Pistons allowed 40 less goals than the Stampeders. Something will have to give in this series, and it’s sure to be exciting.

Game 1 @ Swan Valley – Fri. Mar.22                               

Game 2 @ Swan Valley – Sat. Mar.23

Game 3 @ Steinbach     – Wed. Mar 27               

Game 4 @ Steinbach            – Thur. Mar 28

Game 5 @ Swan Valley – Sat. Mar 30 (If Nec)    

Game 6 @ Steinbavch – Mon. Apr 1 (If Nec)

Game 7 @ Swan Valley – Wed. Apr 3 (If Nec)

Portage Terriers VS Virden Oil Capitals

The top-ranked Portage Terriers outscored Waywayseecappo 20-9 in their first-round series en-route to their four-game sweep of the Wolverines. Forward Sam Huston accounted for a quarter of the Terrier goals, lighting the lamp five times while adding a pair of helpers in the wins.

The Oil Capitals had a grinding series against the Selkirk Steelers in the first round, with all but one game being decided by two goals or less, including a triple-overtime thriller that was won by Virden in Game 1, and an overtime loss in Game 4.

Oil Caps forward Kolten Kanaski was dynamite against Selkirk, firing home a playoff-high eight goals and tied for the MJHL lead in playoff points with Winnipeg Blues forward Kelton Sutherland with nine points after the first round.  

When these two teams met in the regular season, it was a high-scoring affair. Portage won four of the six contests during the regular season, with the winning team in all six games scoring five-or-more goals.

In total, the two clubs combined for 56 goals in their six regular season games, with four of the six games being decided by two goals or less.

Game 1 @ Portage – Sat. Mar. 23                         

Game 2 @ Virden – Sun. Mar. 24

Game 3 @ Portage – Tues. Mar. 26                                  

Game 4 @ Virden – Thurs. Mar. 28

Game 5 @ Portage – Sat. Mar 30 (If Nec)            

Game 6 @ Virden – Mon. Apr. 1 (If Nec) 

Game 7 @ Portage – Wed. Apr. 3 (If Nec) 

Bill Burfoot is a writer for Game On Magazine based out of Winnipeg MB. In addition to his love of writing and telling stories for gameonmag.ca, Bill also loves to tell the story of the Winnipeg Blues of the MJHL as their play by play announcer. Bill can be reached at burf17@live.c

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