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Hooker, Kozma, Belinski Earn Monthly MJHL Awards

Photo by Zachary Peters

Hooker, Kozma, Belinski Earn Monthly MJHL Awards

On Thursday, the Manitoba Junior Hockey League announced its monthly award winners, including its rookie, goaltender and player of the month. With each award being handed out midway through the first week of each new month, the MJHL hopes to continue with this tradition as the growing health concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic also skyrocket.

With most of the teams within Manitoba’s superior junior hockey league having seen game action in four different weekends, the opening month is now complete, and the stars can be formally announced. Seven teams (Waywayseecappo, Swan Valley, Virden, Portage, Winkler, Neepawa and Selkirk) have played eight contests, three teams (Dauphin, Opaskwayak Cree Nation and the Winnipeg Blues) have skated in six games. One team (Steinbach) has played seven times, while the Winnipeg Freeze have only had five games.

As 11 of the 12 league teams are situated in different geographical regions, the MJHL continues to follow the guidelines and protocol from the various provincial health agencies, involving travel, competition, practice and team events. On top of those major components, fan attendance, arena capacity and mask use are other hot topic pieces of conversation surrounding the continued league play.

For the month of October, Winnipeg Blues defenceman Hughie Hooker (2003-born) was named as the Rookie of the Month, while Waywayseecappo Wolverines forward Mackenzie Belinski (2000-born) was named the league’s Player of the Month. Virden Oil Capitals backstop Kyle Kozma (2001-born) joined the two others following a strong monthly performance and was named MJHL Goaltender of the Month.

Hooker, 17, had two goals and five assists for seven points in his six games with the Blues. While averaging over one point-per-game, Hooker had two power play points. Belinski, 20, scored seven goals and seven assists for 14 points in eight games for the Wolverines. Of his 14 points, five came on the power play, two came shorthanded, while two of his goals were game-winners. Kozma, 19, put together a month that saw six victories, to go alongside .919 save percentage and 2.42 goals against average. His 6-0-1 record on the season includes 194 saves on 211 shots and just 17 goals allowed.

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 carterbrooks1994@gmail.com.

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