President's Update - January 29th, 2013

There were just three league games this past weekend. On Friday evening, the Cupar Canucks clinched their sixth League pennant and their first pennant since 2007 without playing as the Raymore Rockets went into Wynyard and defeated the Monarchs 5-2 eliminating Wynyard from their chance at first place. Raymore scored two quick goals in the first period as Josh Belair scored just ten seconds into the game and then Dallas Thiessen scored on the power play 3:40 into the period. Donovan Hall would then answer back very quickly for the Monarchs as he scored twice in the next three minutes to tie this game up. There was no scoring in the second period, in fact there was no scoring for the next forty-five minutes until Shane Baum would score what would be the winner almost thirteen minutes into the third period. Tyrell Shulko would score while the Rockets were shorthanded and Josh Belair would pick up his second goal of the game in the last minute of the period. Nathan Fischl, in his first start of 2013, picked up the win in net for the Rockets. Dave Perkin was in net for the Monarchs. Raymore had eleven minor penalties in this game and Wynyard had nine minor penalties and misconduct. Also on Friday evening, the Avonlea Arrows were in Strasbourg and defeated the Maroons 9-0. The Maroons lead the league in fewest penalty minutes by a wide margin averaging nine minutes a game but on this night they had eight minor penalties and the league’s second best power play unit took advantage of that scoring four power play goals. Shay Neufeld scored three times, including two power play goals, and had three assists for six points and moved into second in the league scoring race with 16 goals and 20 assists for 38 points, just five points behind league leader Brett Leffler from Wynyard. James Ardelan had two goals and two assists and Gavin Mievre had two goals and an assist. Other Avonlea scorers were Brendon Vanthuyne and Mike Miller on the power play. Goalie Justin Mrazek picked up his eleventh win of the year for the Arrows and is tied with the Canuck’s Jamie Wutke in wins. Tyler Kifferling was in net for the Maroons.

On Saturday evening we had what could be termed an interesting and exciting game in Bethune.  Raymore gave up four goals on Bethune’s first four shots of the game but still managed to close the gap to 5-4 after one period.  Captain Dustin McAngus and Mike Reich each scored twice (one SHG) and Jacob Ulmer scored in the first period for the Bulldogs. Raymore’s scoring came from Captain Todd MacMurchy, Justin Menke, Josh Jordan and Kyle Schmalenburg. In the second period there wasn’t a goal scored until there was just sixteen seconds left in the period and Shane Baum tied the game up at 5-5 going into the third period. In the third period Bethune would take the lead two more times but Raymore would come back to tie after each goal. Mike Reich scored his third goal of the game only to see Todd MacMurchy score his second goal of the game to tie the game 6-6 and then Jacob Ulmer would score his second goal of the game with just over nine minutes to play. Bethune, outshot in this game, would hold on until the Rockets pulled Nathan Fischl in the last minute of the game and Josh Belair would send this game to overtime with just forty seconds left in the game. There was no scoring in overtime and both Ryan Seibel and Nathan Fischl had a key save in that overtime frame. The shootout went eight rounds and Raymore’s Mike Nowosad scored to make the final score 8-7. This was the third game in a row that Bethune had an overtime game at home with two of those games going to a shootout. The Bulldogs would lose all three games and now have a home record of 1-3-3 yet they have one of the best road records in the league at 7-2-0. Bethune had eight minor penalties, a fighting major and a game misconduct. Raymore had five minor penalties, a fighting major and a game misconduct. There were no power play goals scored in this game. Nathan Fischl picked up his second win of the weekend in net for the Rockets and Ryan Seibel was in net for the Bulldogs. Warren Bashutski from Raymore and Avery Riche each received a one game suspension for being assessed a game misconduct in the last ten minutes of the game.

Brett Leffler from Wynyard leads all scorers with 43 points. He is followed by Shay Neufeld from Avonlea who has 38 points, Bethune’s Lucas Ulmer (37 points), Bryan Kauk from Wynyard (36 points) and Kyle Ross from Cupar (35 points). Kyle Ross leads all scorers with six power play goals…Brett Leffler, Shay Neufeld and Cupar’s Tyler Stewart each have five power play goals. Southey’s Pat Thompson-Gale leads all scorers with four shorthanded goals. Brett Leffler and Bethune’s Lucas Ulmer each have three shorthanded goals. Leffler leads all scorers with six game winning goals. Jamie Wutke from Cupar leads all goalies with a 3.15 GAA. Nathan Fischl from Raymore is next with a 3.41 GAA and he is followed by Wutke’s teammate Colby Miller who is at 3.60 GAA. Justin Mrazek leads all goalies with 1,095 minutes played and he and Wutke lead all goalies with eleven wins. The Cupar Canucks have a firm hold on the team goaltending trophy they won last year with a 3.28 GAA team average. The Wynyard Monarchs are next at 4.08 GAA.

The Cupar Canucks lead all teams with a 31.9 % power play success rate. They are followed by Avonlea at 25.3% and Raymore at 24.4%. Wynyard continues to lead all penalty kill units with a an 84.7% success rate. They are followed by Cupar at 80.7% and Raymore at 80%. There have been 34 shorthanded goals and 157 power play goals scored in 67 games/ 687 power plays this year. All teams have registered a shorthanded goal and the Bethune Bulldogs lead all teams with nine shorthanded goals. Wynyard Monarchs have scored eight shorthanded goals and the Southey Marlins have scored six. The Southey Marlins are the only team that has not had a shorthanded goal scored on them this year. Teams scoring first have won 50 of the 67 games played so far this year. Visiting teams have a record of 35-27-5 and home teams are 32-30-5. We have had ten overtime games this year and five of those games have gone to a shootout with the visiting team winning three of those shootouts.

We thank Barry Herman for the meticulous job he does with our statistics and again I encourage our alumni and current players to please check out your statistics that appear under our archive tab. If you have any questions please email Barry directly,

Tonight the seventh place Southey Marlins (5-10-1) are in Lumsden to play the Monarchs (0-16-0). On Wednesday evening the Cupar Canucks (16-1-0) are in Wynyard to play the Monarchs (12-4-1) and the sixth place Strasbourg Maroons (6-7-3) are in Bethune to play the fourth place Bulldogs (8-5-3). On Friday evening, the Raymore Rockets (9-8-1) are in Cupar and the Wynyard Monarchs are in Southey. On Saturday evening the Lumsden Monarchs are in Bethune. The Southey @ Avonlea game scheduled for Saturday evening will not be played and we will post the new date shortly.

In Provincial ‘A’, congratulations to the Wynyard Monarchs who defeated the Lanigan Pirates two games to one in a series that featured three one goal games. Wynyard now plays Dalmeny Fury with game one in Wynyard this Saturday evening at 8 p.m. Congratulations to the Cupar Canucks who swept the Nokomis Chiefs and now play the LeRoy Braves. LeRoy swept the Strasbourg Maroons in two games. LeRoy will be in Cupar this Saturday evening at 8 p.m. The Lumsden Monarchs lost game one of their series with Arcola and play the Combines on Friday evening in Lumsden at 8:30 p.m. The Raymore Rockets begin their series with Balcarres on February 6th in Raymore.

In Provincial ‘C’, the Southey Marlins lost game one of their two game total point series with Langenburg 5-4. Game two of that series takes place on February 10th. In Provincial ‘D’, the Bethune Bulldogs defeated Holdfast 6-3 in game one of their two game total point series. Game two is in Bethune tonight at 8:15. The Avonlea Arrows host the Frontier Flyers in Avonlea on Saturday evening at 7 p.m. All series and scores are on Provincial page, just click the tab at the top of the page. All provincial games being played in the next week are listed in our Upcoming Games column on the left side of the home page.

After this weekend we have seven regular season games left to play before playoffs. There is lots of hockey to see and please get out and see the best in senior hockey at a rink near you…League and/or Provincial. Thank you for supporting the Highway hockey League.

As always, I will be sending tweets from two accounts on game nights and when there is HHL and Provincials news to share… long as I keep getting updates….all of our recent tweets can be found at the bottom of our web pages. and from our new account

Gerry Tomkins

HHL President