WINNIPEG, MB- The 2013 Hockey Manitoba Provincials presented by Cargill Ltd. wrapped up on Sunday with the Female & Male Rural Bantam AAA champions being crowned. The Pembina Valley Hawks defeated the defending champion Yellowhead Chiefs 2-1 in overtime to win the Female Rural Bantam AAA Provincials hosted in Pilot Mound, MB. Meanwhile in Stonewall, MB the Interlake Lightning defeated the Southwest Cougars in triple overtime to win the Male Rural Bantam AAA Provincials.
The minor hockey attention now remains on several playoff series that will conclude with a provincial title being awarded;
· Male Bantam AAA – Provincial Championship Series
· Male Midget AAA – Manitoba Midget Hockey League (MMHL)
· Female Midget AAA – Manitoba Female Midget Hockey League (MFMHL)
The (Male) Bantam AAA Provincial Championship Series will be hosted by the Interlake Lightning who will take on the Hockey Winnipeg AAA Bantam 1 Champion, Winnipeg Hawks. The two teams will playoff in a three-game series held March 22-24 in Stonewall, MB with the winner advancing as the Hockey Manitoba representative to the Western Canada Bantam Championships in Kindersley, SK. The Western Canada Bantam Championship annually features the provincial champion from Alberta, BC, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and a host team. This year's Western championship will be held April 4-7, 2013.
The (Male Midget AAA) Manitoba Midget Hockey League finals are underway with a highly anticipated match-up between the Winnipeg Thrashers and Winnipeg Wild. The best-of-five series opened up on Sunday afternoon with the Winnipeg Thrashers coming out on top in overtime to take a 1-0 series lead. The winner of this series will represent Hockey Manitoba at the TELUS Cup Regional Qualifier hosted April 4-7 in Kenora, ON. The regional tournament will feature branch champion teams from Manitoba, Northwestern Ontario, Saskatchewan, and a host club. The winner of the regional qualifier will advance to the TELUS Cup – Midget National Championship held April 22-28 in Sault Ste. Marie, ON.
On the female Midget AAA side, the Manitoba Female Midget Hockey League finals will get underway on March 20th. The best-of-five series will feature the defending National champion Pembina Valley Hawks taking on the 2009 National champion Westman South Wildcats. The series winner will represent Hockey Manitoba in the Esso Cup Regional Qualifier hosted April 5-7 by the MFMHL champion. The qualifier will be a three-game series against the Saskatchewan provincial champion with the winner then advancing to the Esso Cup – National Female Midget Championship held April 21-27 in Burnaby, BC.
Hockey Manitoba would like to thank Cargill Ltd. for their continued support of Hockey Manitoba's minor hockey provincials program. To see all 2013 category champions please visit www.hockeymanitoba.ca/provincials.php.