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Manitoba Junior Hockey League to Expand to Niverville for 2022-23

Photos by Scott Stroh

Manitoba Junior Hockey League to Expand to Niverville for 2022-23

The Manitoba Junior Hockey League will soon been a 13-team entity. On Friday afternoon, the MJHL announced that it will be expanding to Niverville for the 2022-23 season. The newest team will be based out of the Niverville Community Resource and Recreation Centre located in the westernmost portion of the town off Provincial Road 311.

“Niverville is recognized as one of the fastest growing communities in the province,” MJHL Commissioner Kevin Saurette said in a statement Friday. “The MJHL is thrilled to bring a new organization into this community, while adding another first-class, state of the art facility to our League.”

Having recently expanded to 12 teams (Winnipeg Freeze) for the 2020-21 season, the MJHL was unable to see its recent season through start to finish. With COVID-19 taking away yet another MJHL postseason, the league is set to begin a 2021-22 season with 12 teams, for the final time.

The league is currently made up of three divisions with four teams apiece:

  • Northwest Divison: Waywayseecappo, Swan Valley, Dauphin, OCN
  • Interior Division: Virden, Portage la Prairie, Winkler, Neepawa
  • Southeast Division: Winnipeg, Winnipeg, Steinbach, Selkirk

“We have been in ongoing discussions with this group for a number of years and are very confident that the community owned non-profit organization and the Town of Niverville will provide an ideal new home market for the MJHL going forward,” Saurette added. “I would also like to recognize the significant commitment and efforts of Clarence Braun who was instrumental in helping bring a new MJHL franchise to the Town of Niverville.”

Putting together a brand new, ultra-modern facility was the final piece for Niverville Junior ‘A’ Hockey Inc. in order to ice a team for the 2022-23 season.

“After considering this opportunity for some years, we at Niverville Junior ‘A’ Hockey Inc. are both excited and proud to be accepted as the newest franchise entry into the MJHL,” Niverville’s official Junior ‘A’ ownership team stated. “As we have been exploring entry into the MJHL, we have extended the opportunity for ownership and have seen many new shareholders added within the past few months. That opportunity will continue as we follow a plan to be ready for the 2022-2023 MJHL season.”

There has been no indication for the League or ownership group as to Niverville’s team name, colours or its makeup of players. The likely scenario would see a start-from-scratch scenario like that of the recent expansion club Winnipeg Freeze. With one full season of play before Niverville officially steps on the ice, the coming year will certainly be a big one for hockey fans in and around the community of Niverville.

“On behalf of the Town of Niverville I would like to take this opportunity to welcome the MJHL to our community and to congratulate the group of local residents for their hard work in making their dream a reality today,” Niverville Mayor Myron Dyck said. “We are excited for this news and wish both the MJHL, local resident Clarence Braun, his management team, and all their supporters much success in the years ahead.”

Further information from Niverville Junior ‘A’ Hockey Inc. will be provided through a new website in the coming weeks. Immediate assistance can be found through Clarence Braun by telephone: 204-791-2587 or email clareb2@shaw.ca.

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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