Friday Night Finales
Two series came to a close last night in the THHL and one was extended to a third and decisive game.
The Hartney Blues and Virden Oil Kings each won their series 2-0.
Hartney downed Deloraine 6-2 on Friday while Virden doubled up Melita 6-3
Virden now takes on Killarney while Hartney battles Boissevain.
We will have all the action of the Boissevain Hartney series. No dates have been released yet
The Minnedosa Senior Bombers scored five third period goals en route to a 6-0 win in game two of their best of 3 series. Game 3 goes tonight in Minnedosa.
Neepawa and the Wawanesa Jets will play game 2 of their best of 3 series tonight as well. Neepawa leads 1-0.
Oil Kings Rally Past Bison
Last night in the THHL:
Melita @ Virden Oil Kings Game 1-
Ryan Crepelle opened the scoring then Mike Tilbury put Melita up 2-0. Andrew Gerrand put Virden on the board. It was 2-1 Melita after 1.
Will Brown had the lone 2nd period goal and the Bisons led 3-1 after 2
Just one minute into the third period Jaxon Heeney put Virden within one then Riley Shamray tied the game on the power play. The power play was beneficial for both teams in the third as moments later Ryan Crepelle put Melita back in front.
Then disaster struck the Bisons. Keifer Johnston scored on the power play to tie the game and 22 seconds later Cam Whyte scored what proved to be the game winner.
Virden wins 5-4 and take a 1-0 series lead. Game 2 is scheduled to go this evening. If a game 3 is needed it will take place February 20 in Virden
Other action tonight:
The Hartney Blues look to punch their ticket to the next round when they head to Deloraine for game 2. Opening face off is scheduled for 8:00 and the Minnedosa Senior Bombers try to stave off elimination in game 2 of their series against Neepawa. That game begins at 7:30 in Neepawa.
MacGregor/Minnedosa Game 1
The Minnedosa Senior Bombers and MacGregor Wild began their playoff series last night in Minnedosa. MacGregor broke out to a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes. In the middle frame Shane Jury put Minnedosa on the board. The score was 2-1 after 2 periods of play. Tanner Garnham restored MacGregors two goal lead. Minnedosa did not give up however Nick Cameron scored to make it 3-2 then Shane Jury tied the game at 3… for less than a minute. Darren Gisti scored the game winner for MacGregor and he also added one of two empty net goals for the Wild. MacGregor wins 6-3. They lead the series 1-0 and can wrap up the series with a win on home Ice on Friday. Should a game 3 be needed it will go Saturday in Minnedosa.
THHL Quarterfinals: Deloraine/Hartney game 1
The Opening contest in the Tiger Hills Hockey League post season was scoreless after one period. Just four minutes into the second Jeff Dort opened the scoring, putting Deloraine up 1-0. It didn’t take long for Hartney to tie the game, Tanner Ardron scored on the power play to even up the game at a goal apiece. The game would remain tied until Cole Olson put Deloraine up 2-1 with just under 8 minutes remaining in the second period. Ty Moffat added one more for Deloraine before the end of the period and Deloraine led 3-1 after 40 minutes.
Hartney did not quit despite being down by 2 after 2. Tanner Ardron scored 6:56 into the third period to pull the Blues within one. Moments later Justin Hobbs took a hooking penalty for Deloraine which gave Hartney a power play. It did not take long for the home side to score with the man advantage, with 11:05 remaining Tyler Bertholet found the back of the net on the power play which tied the game at three. The teams would trade chances the rest of regulation time but nobody found the back of the net. This one needed overtime.
There were some tense moments early on in the extra frame for the home side. Brayden Teetaert took a penalty, Hartney was able to kill off the penalty then 10 minutes later Troy Morrison scored the overtime winner for the Blues. The home side went home happy. Hartney wins 4-3 in overtime and take a 1-0 series lead. Deloraine will try to stave off elimination when game two goes on Friday February 18th in Deloraine, opening faceoff is set for 8:00.
For the latest on the THHL keep it locked to TL_Media
THHL: East Quarterfinal Preview
The regular season is in the books for the Tiger Hills Hockey League west division, now it’s time for the playoffs. The top seeded Boissevain Border Kings and the Killarney Shamrocks, who finished a distant second each have byes in the quarterfinals. The Virden Oil Kings finished in third place and will take on the sixth seeded Meita Bisons. The other west division quarter final series has the fourth seeded Hartney Blues battle the Deloraine Royals.
Virden and Melita met three times this season and each game was decided by two goals or less. On November 26th Tanner Koroscil scored midway through the third period to give the Oil Kings a 3-2 victory. They met again on December 4th this time Melita skated away with a 5-3 win. Mike Tillbury had 2 3rd period goals including an empty netter. The 3rd meeting was a shootout, 17 total goals were scored as Virden skated home with a 9-8 victory. The 2 teams have top notch goaltending, Andrew Greig is between the pipes for Melita Virden has Ryley Lamb. The series starts on Thursday February 17th in Virden. The next night they meet again in Melita and should a game three be necessary it would take place on Sunday February 20th in Virden.
Hartney and Deloraine first met back in December, both games were in Deloraine. Home ice did not prove to be an advantage as the visiting Hartney Blues won each contest. In the first meeting Brayden Teetaert and Mark Agnew each had 2 goals for the Blues en route to a 7-4 Blues win. The next matchup saw Blues netminder Riley Feser only allowed 1 Royals goal in an 8-1 triumph. The two teams met again in February, this one had a different result. The Royals skated away with a 6-3 triumph. Ty Moffat led the Royals with 27 points while Jesse Linner had 30 for the Blues. Game 1 of this series goes Friday February 11 at 7:30 in Hartney. Game 2 takes place in Deloraine Friday February 18 at 8:00 with game three the next night in Hartney beginning at 7:30.
For the latest on the Tiger Hills Hockey League playoffs keep it locked on TL_Media!
Unbeaten Border Kings: Best in the West
For the second consecutive completed regular season the Boissevain Border Kings finished with an undefeated regular season record. In 2019-2020 the Border Kings had 18 wins and no losses but had the championship series wiped out due to the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. Fast forward almost two years later, Boissevain once again finished with 18 wins to capture the regular season championship and league's best record.
The world is still in turmoil but restrictions are set to be loosened over the next several days/weeks/months giving a sense of optimism that the playoffs and provincials will be completed. In 2019-2020 the Border Kings were scheduled to faceoff against Neepawa in the championship series when the world shut down. This left Boissevain Border Kings head coach/general manager Ed Dyck with a sense of unfinished business and a hunger to not just get back to the championship series but to win it and the provincial championship as well.
The Border Kings regular season is over. “Now the real games begin, this is where it gets fun.” Dyck says. “The playoffs are what it’s all about. The intensity is going to ramp up and every Wednesday practice is going to be more intense.”
The Border Kings opponent is unknown at this time as they await the conclusion of the regular season and first round of the playoffs. They have a first round bye.
This season the club was led by a balanced attack. Kirklan Lycar, Devon LeBlanc and Rylee Zimmer all had over 40 points. The Border Kings are the envy of many teams in the league because of their large abundance of talent and roster depth. In addition to Lycar, LeBlanc and Zimmer they also have Tyler Lewis, Jeremy Johnson, Zeanan Ziemer, Tyler Dittmer, Josh Elmes, Keith Grondin and several others with more points than games played.
Tyler Dittmer is the captain of the team. The versatile player is capable of playing both forward and defense. “Tyler Masterminds the Team.” Dyck says. He has almost become a D full time.”
Not all players can be point producers and have other roles on the team. They are often referred to as “glue guys.” These players work hard every shift but don’t always find the score sheet. Patrick Leask, Dakota Scheirlink, Eli Halcrow, Dustin Fisher, Myles Stevens, Carter Sawchuck, Andrew Albrecht.
They say offense wins games and defense wins championships. The Border Kings only allowed 37 goals all season. They arguably have the strongest defense in the league which features the likes of Josh Elmes, Nathan Bruyere, Cory Rae, David and Bailey Robertson
Between the pipes Jay Pringle and Brody Palmer put up impressive goaltending stats this season. Pringle went 12-0-0-0, allowing just 26 goals and one shutout. Palmer had a 6-0-0-0 record with one shutout he allowed 11 goals on the season.
Only time will tell if Dyck and the Border Kings accomplish their ultimate goal of a provincial championship. Right now their focus is the same as it has been all season, on the next game… whoever that is against and whenever it happens to be Dyck will have the team ready.
For the latest on the Border Kings and the rest of the Tiger Hills Hockey League check out tlmedia.org
THHL Action Heats up!
There was a plethora of pucks being pounded in the Tiger Hills Hockey League this past weekend but not as many as there could have been. The Boissevain Border Kings had one game postponed. They were supposed to play on Saturday and Sunday but only managed to get one game in despite that, it was still an intense weekend of action.
Friday night there were two games and seven was the magic number. Neepawa hammered Carberry seven to two. The Killarney Shamrocks also put up seven when they took on Souris.
Neepawa 7 @ Carberry 2
Souris 1 @ Killarney 7
2 Pilot Mound @ Wawanesa Jets 5;
Pilot Mound 2: Kyle Nixon, Josh Van De Velde
Wawanesa 5: Jackson Wallis (3), Brock Sutherland, Cole Lockhart
Melita 2 @ Hartney 3
Melita: Will Brown, Tanner Serruys
Hartney: Mark Agnew (2), Jesse Linner
Souris 4 @ Deloraine 2
Souris: Terry Doull (2), Michael Butler, Nic Chudley
Deloraine: Brendin Hammond , Cole Olson
Neepawa 2 @ Minnedosa Senior Bombers 6
Neepawa: Brad Marshall, Corbin Mariash
Minnedosa: Shane Jury (2), Bryson Werbicki-Mallett , Logan Robinson, Derek Cameron, James McCarville
Carberry 0 @ Gladstone Lakers 6
Gladstone: Josh Beaulieu, Graham Leiding, Sean Kubas, Jesse Toth, Derek Walker, Trey Evenson
MacGregor 2 @ Cartwright 5
MacGregor: Maverick Rafter, Drake Sheppard
Cartwright: Tanner Fluker (2), Jory Mullin (2), Bryce Enns
Then on Sunday in a game seen live on TL_Media the Boisseva in Border Kings hit the road and had two people score three goals or more en route to a 13-2 victory over Deloraine. Tyler Lewis had four goals, Kirklan Lycar added three.the game could have been even more lopsided had it not been for the play of Royals netminder Rylan Rommelaere. He made several saves to keep his team in it for as long as he could but the offense of the Border Kings was too much for the Royals to overcome.
The Border Kings are in Souris Friday night then back home Saturday to tangle with Hartney on Saturday. You can catch Saturdays game live on TL_Media. (www.tlmedia.org)
Other action this weekend:
Fri Jan 21, 2022 8:00 PM Minnedosa 0 MacGregor 0
Fri Jan 21, 2022 8:00 PM Boissevain 0 Souris 0
Fri Jan 21, 2022 8:00 PM Virden 0 Melita 0
Fri Jan 21, 2022 8:00 PM Cartwright 0 Wawanesa 0
Sat Jan 22, 2022 7:30 PM Gladstone 0 Minnedosa 0
Sat Jan 22, 2022 8:00 PM Deloraine 0 Killarney 0
Sat Jan 22, 2022 8:00 PM Carberry 0 Cartwright 0
Sat Jan 22, 2022 8:00 PM MacGregor 0 Pilot Mound 0
Fleming Jets Alumni Series-
Remembering Wade “CD” Steffenson
On December 22 1979 one of the greatest people to ever wear a Fleming Jets jersey was born. Wade Steffenson would have recently celebrated his 42nd birthday. Sadly Wade passed away at the age of 36, leaving behind a legacy that is still being talked about today. He was not only a phenomenal ball player but a phenomenal person as well. He could hit, he was fast and he had a cannon for an arm. That was just Wade Steffenson the ball player but Wade was so much more than just a ball player.
Steffenson was commonly referred to as Ceedee. A nickname he inherited from his father Cecil James Steffenson. When Cecil was in school he had a teacher mistakenly call him Cedrick. Cedrick was shortened to Ceedee. As a result, Wade had the nickname Ceedee Junior. After Cecil passed away the junior was dropped and Wade became Ceedee.
“Wade's dad was named Cecil and his middle initial was a D so he was nicknamed CD first and Wade was called CD Jr.” According to friend Neil Morrow “After his dad passed away he was just called CD.”
In addition to being a phenomenal ball player Steffenson was a son, a brother, a teammate, a friend and an all around great person.”From the time he was 3 years old, Wade loved playing ball.” Wade’s mom Marj says. “He would practice pitching, batting and catching everyday and took any advice anyone would offer him. He literally wore a patch of grass down to the dirt in the backyard. He had an amazing arm. I witnessed him throwing runners out at home plate from deep center field more than once. I used to be his catcher when he practiced pitching but stopped when he got to be too fast and too fancy for me. One day he threw a curve ball that hit me in the chest and knocked me off my feet. Lol. That's the day I stopped. Loved watching him . So proud.”
“At a home tournament in Fleming, Wade was playing in centre field, he threw the ball and made it to home plate to get the runner out.” His sister Candice recalls. “He was always taking risks like that to surprise everyone with his talent. For this he was awarded MVP that weekend.”
It wasn’t just his mom or sister that realized how great of a ball player he was and how strong of an arm he had. “Wade had a cannon of an arm- especially from Center field. Legendary umpire Lyle Balogh adds.”He was a great hitter and could hit the ball as far as most have seen.”
He could change a game in multiple ways. Whether that’s a clutch hit, smart and speedy base running, a spectacular catch or one of his patented outfield assists. He was also a very coachable player. “What I remember most about Wade was that he was a nice, quiet, respectful young man. Former Jets coach Eric Shire explains “He was always interested in what others had to say. He loved fastball and curling; he was very good at both games.
“I remember Wade catching a ball at the centre field fence.” Shire recalls “The base runner at third headed for home. Wade caught the ball and threw it to home plate. The ball was about two feet off the ground when it got there. A perfect throw! That’s a major league throw! What a terrific arm! Wade made many throws like that and it seemed like he had legs like a giraffe as he could cover a lot of the outfield. I always considered Wade to be a friend.”
“CD was just an all around player, a good strong batter, excellent bunter and good speed on bases.” Long time Jets coach Orey Hudym says. “He played every position on the ball diamond.”
He had a deceiving appearance to those that first met him. One Jets legend was pleasantly surprised when he first saw Steffenson play.
“I have to be honest when I first came up to Fleming he was a strapping young fella, very likable and soft spoken but to me he didn’t look very athletic.”Jets legend Kenny Shaw says. “I remember when he showed up, had a short warm up and went out and played. Boy, was I in for a treat as time went on, oh how wrong I was on his athletic ability and competitiveness. He was one of if not the best center fielder I have ever played with. I was in awe, catch after catch in the field and his accurate arm gunning many base runners out on a lot of occasions. More than the ball I really became friends with CD and was honored that he always wanted to stand beside myself in all our team photos.
Steffenson was the ultimate team player who could change a game with his arm as well as his bat and legs. He was a smart heads up ball player. One story that stands out to Shaw is the Jets first provincial title in Saskatoon. “We were down about eight runs early and were on the verge of being mercied after four or five innings.” Shaw recalls “CD bunted for a base hit and started a rally as the opponents third baseman was irate, thinking they had it in the bag but to me that got everyone going! We ended up coming back for a very incredible unexpected win on our way to take our first provincial championship.
Steffenson was an integral part of the decade of dominance. In that time they were essentially unbeatable. The voice of the Jets Mr. Philip Hamm had the pleasure of calling all the hometown action. “The Fleming Jets of Wade's era were a very good ball club, they won lots of games, many championships and didn't have a weakness throughout their lineup.” Hamm explains. “The chemistry on the Jets was incredible, they became a closely knit band of brothers. Away from the diamond they were known to play just as hard, having fun together.”
The team was a joy to watch during the decade of dominance. Everyone could tell what a tight knit cohesive unit the Jets were. “Their passion for the game of fastball and love of competition was true of the manager, coaches, fans and definitely amongst all the players. On top of all that, that team took it upon themselves to take an already respected ball park, and with the support of local businesses and individuals created Green Acres BallPark, arguably the most iconic ball park on the Prairies.”
At a very early age Steffenson fell in love with ball, he kept that fire lit up his entire life. “No Fleming Jet was more passionate, dedicated, talented or successful than Wade Steffenson!” Hamm believes. “I witnessed his development as a player and how he grew as a man. His fellow players knew what Wade brought to their team and his coaches found him highly coachable. Jets fans were awed by the plays he made and everyone around the team loved Wade's huge smile and sunny personality. Opposing clubs respected Wade and thought highly of the way he played the game. I've seen some very memorable plays on ball diamonds, both fastball and baseball, terrific plays by great players. The very best I ever saw was one Wade made at Redvers during a provincial tournament. His run, catch and throw defied description, so I won't try. It was a play I feel lucky to have seen.
There is an old song called Only the Good Die Young. Wade was one of the greats. “Unfortunately, very unfortunately, Wade was taken from us while a young man.” Hamm finishes off by saying. “He fought hard to beat cancer and showed courage throughout his illness. It is the proof of how Wade loved and was loved, how much he meant to so many, in the sorrow that his passing brought. It is how well Wade lived that will be his legacy, not his death.”
Steffenson had a memorable career with the Jets but he did play with a few other teams as well. The Pipestone Pirates were up in Prince Albert at provincials. Quinn Glasser was Steffensons teammate. “Wade hit a home-run that I'd say is the longest home-run I've ever seen.” Glasser says. “After he came back to the dugout he told me that he just choked up and tried to make contact. I said really? Then he said f**k no I swung from my ass lol.” Wade was always light hearted and enjoyed having a good time with friends as well as teammates.
When Wade was attending the University of Regina he joined a ball team called the Bottle Rockets. Also on the team was long time friend Neil Morrow.
Steffenson always lightened the mood everywhere he played and this was no different. “He used to enjoy debating random things both during and after games.” Morrow says “One night he had about half the team debating whether it was the speed of the bat or the weight of the bat that was more important. We spent most of the game and about five hours after the game debating the same thing. In the end all of us disagreed and Wade had changed his opinion about five times.”
Morrow and Steffenson spent a lot of time together. Whether it was on the ball field, the curling ice or just hanging out at other places. The two were friends until the end and shared several special memories. “I was also with him for his last beer, it was a duff at Universal Studios in California. Morrow adds. Even though he was in pain we went and watched the Bruins and Kings play (Boston being his favorite team). He spent most of the time teasing me and making fun of my golf game.”
Steffenson was a lot of things to a lot of people. Everyone that had the pleasure of meeting him loved him. Wade was the type of person who would go out of his way to talk to you if he saw you and was always up for catching up. His legacy will live on forever and generations will remember his name because from this day forward I suggest the team MVP award be called the Wade Steffenson memorial award presented by TL Media!