Hockey Manitoba would like to congratulate both U-16 Team Manitoba and U-18 Team Manitoba for capturing Silver at their respective championship tournaments.
U-16 Team Manitoba, comprised of the province’s top male players born in 2000, competed at the Western Canada U-16 Challenge Cup in Calgary, AB from October 27 – November 1, 2015. Team Manitoba started the tournament off against Saskatchewan and proceeded to win 4-3 in regulation with Matthew Thiessen stopping 17 of 20 shots and had goals from Justin Nachbaur (2), Koby Morrisseau (1), and Riley Stotts (1). Team Manitoba’s 2nd game of the round robin was against BC, where they outshot their opponent but eventually lost 4-2. Duncan McGovern stopped 12 of 16 shots before Thiessen was put in to stop the remaining 5 shots from BC. Nachbaur scored again to tally his 3rd of the tournament, while Samuel Stewart scored his 1st for Team Manitoba. The final day of round robin play had Team Manitoba take on the home team, Alberta. Although they killed off numerous penalties, the abundance of power plays for Alberta cost Team Manitoba as 2 of 3 Alberta goals were on the power play in a 3-0 loss. Thiessen stopped 33 of 36 shots. Team Manitoba finished the robin in 3rd place with a 1-2-0 record, setting up a rematch against 2nd place BC in the semi-finals, with the winner facing off against Alberta for Gold. Thiessen stopped 29 of 31 shots on route to a 4-2 win and a berth in the Gold Medal game. Goals came from Cedric Chenier (2), Michael King (1), and Caiden Daley (1). On Championship Sunday, Team Manitoba battled hard but could not put one past Alberta’s goaltender eventually losing 3-0. After the Gold Medal game Jett Woo and Matthew Thiessen were named to the All-Star team for their hard work and stellar play. This silver medal ties the best finish by U-16 Team Manitoba at this event.
U-18 Team Manitoba, featuring the province’s top female players born in 1998 & 1999, competed the following week at the National Women’s U-18 Championships in Huntsville, ON from November 4-8, 2015. Sheridan Oswald and Ryleigh Houston scored in the shootout of game 1 against Saskatchewan to start the tournament with a victory. Oswald also scored the lone goal for Team Manitoba in regulation and Tory Micklash stopped 16 of 17 shots before shutting the door in the shootout. Day 2 saw Team Manitoba in its second straight shootout, with Houston scoring the lone goal to secure the win over Quebec. Kayla Friesen and Jenai Buchanan scored in regulation to tie the game at 2-2. Kerigan Dowhy stopped 18 of 20 shots, as well as all 3 of Quebec’s shooters to secure the win. The final day of round robin play saw Team Manitoba face-off against Ontario Red, who was also 2-0 up to that point in the tournament. Team Manitoba went to overtime yet again but this time lost 4-3 in the extra frame. Friesen, Houston, Oswald and Hannah Fouillard scored with Micklash stopping 26 of 31 shots. With this loss Team Manitoba was 2nd in Pool A and was to face Ontario Blue (1st in Pool B) in 1 of 2 semi-final games. After 2 and a half periods of play, Team Manitoba and Ontario Blue were tied 0-0 yet in the final 7 minutes of the 3rd period 4 goals were scored – with Team Manitoba scoring 3 of them. Savannah Rennie scored a pair of goals and Oswald scored her 3rd of the tournament. Dowhy stopped 21 of 22 shots on route to the victory and the berth into the Gold Medal game in a rematch against Ontario Red. Jaedon Cooke scored halfway through the 3rd of the Gold Medal game to tie it 1-1 and send Team Manitoba to overtime for the 4th time in 5 games. Although the team played a penalty free game they could not pull off the victory as Ontario Red scored with 2 minutes left in overtime to win the Gold Medal. Micklash stopped 31 of 33 shots in the loss. This silver medal marks the 2nd in 3 events for the U-18 Team Manitoba program.
Hockey Manitoba would like to recognize the hard work and commitment into this year’s Program of Excellence by the players, coaching staff and support staff. As evident this year’s team staff, our province is certainly blessed with numerous talented, creative and dedicated people which indicates a bright future for both programs. The players represented Manitoba extremely well, both on and off the ice, and should be very proud of their accomplishment. Hockey Manitoba wishes both players and coaches the best of luck this season.
For more information about the Hockey Manitoba Program of Excellence please visit hockeymanitoba.ca/poe. Hockey Manitoba is pleased to recognize Canad Inns, CCM Hockey, and the Western Hockey League as Official Partners of the Program of Excellence, along with Gatorade as the Official Sport Drink of Hockey Manitoba.