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Winnipeg Ice Punch Ticket to U-18 AAA Women’s Final

Photo of Stephanie Jacob by Darryl Gershman

Winnipeg Ice Punch Ticket to U-18 AAA Women’s Final

The 2022-23 U-18 AAA Manitoba Female Hockey League championship final will feature the Winnipeg Ice for the second-straight season.

This past weekend the Ice punched their ticket to the final round with a shot at an appearance at April’s ESSO Cup in Prince Albert, SK. on the line.

Having already taken care of business against the Interlake Lightning by way of an easy three-game, opening-round sweep, the Ice took on their rival Winnipeg Avros in what was expected to be a much closer set.

With three members from each team – as well as Avros’ head coach Ashley van Aggelen – having just returned from Prince Edward Island following a seventh-place finish with Team Manitoba in the 2023 Canada Winter Games in early March, the best-of-five series surprisingly only needed three games for the Ice to advance.

The Ice picked up their three wins in a span of just four days, with their Grade 11 offence-drivers Stephanie Jacob and Haley Braun taking charge up front.

Jacob – who led all U-18 AAA players with 36 goals prior to the postseason – picked up three more markers and eight points in the three-game series, while Braun – who entered the playoffs leading all players with 66 combined points on the year – scored four times and added three helpers for seven points.

Despite losing the opening game, 5-1 the Avros jumped out to a 1-0 lead in Game 2, but the Ice powered back for a 4-2 victory. Game 3 was the closest of the series, with the Ice finishing atop the Avros 2-1 on another multi-point showing from Jacob.

The 2006-born forward currently leads all MFHL players with six goals, 12 points and a staggering 35 shots on goal in her six postseason games. Her linemate Braun has five goals and nine points in five playoff games. Westman’s Haley Kolowsky has two goals and eight points in her five games so far in the Wildcats’ postseason run.

With head coach Eugene Kaminsky’s Ice having advanced to the final, his team will be forced to wait out its championship round opponent with a week of practice at the Hockey For All Centre. The first-place Wildcats and fourth-place Yellowhead Chiefs are currently tied 1-1 through just two of the possible five second-round matchups, thanks to weather-related game postponements. Games 3, 4 and 5 are scheduled to be played this Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.

The championship round will get underway as soon as a winner is determined from the Chiefs/Wildcats series. With the Chiefs (Shoal Lake) and the Wildcats (Hartney) playing out of rural locations, the Ice will be tasked with significantly more travel in the final round. That series is expected to kick off early next week.


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 or on Twitter at @GameOnHockey.


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