QVHHL Update - February 7th, 2022

Provincials Update - The Drake Canucks defeated the Balcarres Broncs 4-3 on Saturday evening and won the first round 'A' series 2-0. The Canucks now move on to play the Milestone Flyers in the next round. In Grenfell, the Spitfires defeated the Rocanville Togers 6-2 to take a 1-0 lead in their 'B' series. Game two of this series is this Saturday evening in Rocanville at 8 p.m. If a third game is required then that game will be played on Sunday at 3:00 p.m. in Grenfell. The Bruins will play the winner of this series. This Friday evening at 8:30 p.m. in Lumsden the Monarchs host the Southey Marlins in game one of their Provincial 'A' series.

Things are winding down in league play. We are doing our best to complete the schedule. Playoffs begin February 17th with number 2 seed playing number 7, 3 playing 6 and 4 playing 5. First place has a bye into the semi-finals. These will be best of three series. This past Tuesday, in a game that only took one hour and 42 minutes to play, the Lumsden Monarchs defeated the Bethune Bulldogs 9-4 in Lumsden. Riley Riddell led the way for the Monarchs with two goals. Kyle Johnson, Josh Beaudry, Kevin DuFour, Braeden Adamyk, David Brown, Tanner McKechnie and Torrey Lindsay also scored for the Monarchs. Joe Lech scored twice for the Bulldogs with other goals coming from Cam Reich and Jake Ulmer. Dawson MacCauley stopped 24 shots in the Lumsden net for the win. Arlen Kirshniryk stropped 41 shots in the Bethune net. There was just one minor penalty in this game.

We had one game played on Wednesday evening. The Bruins were in Milestone to play the Flyers. Logan Herchak scored just 17 seconds into the first frame and the Bruins had a 1-0 lead. Just a minute after that goal Kyle Stroh would score and give the Bruins a 2-0 lead. Jacob Cardiff would the score for the Flyers and then midway through the period Tanner VanDesype would score and the game was tied 2-2 going into the second period. Just 4 seconds into the second period Nathan Murray would score to get the Bruins back on top. With just over three minutes left in the period Troy Murray would score to put the Bruins up 4-2. With just over two minutes left in the period Logan Gorsalitz would score to get the Flyers within one heading for the third period. In the final period Logan Herchak would score to give the Bruins a 5-3 lead. The Flyers would get one more goal from Shelby Gray and the Bruins would win 5-4. The Flyers had nine minor penalties, two misconducts and a game misconduct. The Bruins had three minor penalties. Garrett Bloomquist picked up the win in net for the Bruins and Riley Ross was in net for the Flyers. On Friday evening the Bruins hosted the Southey Marlins. Lots of scoring in this game. It was 3-3 after one period and then 6-5 for the Marlins going into the third period. Midway through the third period Logan Herchak scored to tie the game up. four minutes later the Marlins would regain the lead on a goal from Chaston Sare. Just 40 seconds later the Bruins would tie this game up again thanks to Marshall Wilton. With three minutes left in the third period Sare would score the game winner and the Marlins had an 8-7 win. A huge night for Sare as he notched four goals includsing a power play marker. Other goals scored by the Marlins came from Drew Wilde, Pat Thompson-Gale and power play goals from Jake Tezerowski and Arthur Miller. Kyle Stroh and Marshall Wilton led the way for the Bruins with two goals each. Other goals came form Eamon Milligan, Troy Murray and Logan Herchak. Kevin Orther picked up the win in net for Southey and Shane Bloomquist was in net for the Bruins. The Bruins had five minor penalties and the Marlins had one. The Marlins complete their 2021-22 schedule at 8-8-2 and with a five game winning streak and their last loss coming from these same Bruins on January 21st in another one goal game. 

So after a big win in Milestone and then a tough one goal loss at home the Bruins continued their busy week as they were in Lumsden to play the Monarchs on Saturday evening. Despite being outshot 20-9 in the first period the Bruins were tied 2-2 with the Monarchs. Going into the third period it was 4-3 Lumsden. In the third period the Monarchs scored four unanswered goals and won 8-3. Kyle Johnson had a hat trick for the Monarchs and Andrew Perrault and Kevin DuFour each scored twice. Nolan Reid had a power play goal to round ourt the scoring for Lumsden. Kyle Stroh scored twice including a power play tally and Zak Zborosky also scored for the Bruins. Dawson MacCauley stopped 25 shots in the Monarchs net to pick up the win and Garrett Bloomquist stopped 47 shots in the Bruins net. The Monarchs had 6 minor penalties, a double minor and also a major with a game misconduct. The Bruins had six minor penalties, a misconduct and also a major with a game misconduct.

On Sunday we had two make up games played, In Balcarres the Broncs defeated the Bethune Bulldogs 8-4. This game was tied 3-3 going into the third period with the Broncs outscoring the Bulldogs 5-1 in the final frame. Tyler Bell and Brayden Frank led the way for the Broncs with each scoring two goals. Bell was credited with the game winner. Andrew Williams, Brett Boha, Cory Kosloski and Justin Bernhardt also scored for the Broncs. The Bulldogs got scoring from Jake Ulmer, Joe Lech, Russ Nielson with a power play goal and a shorthanded goal from Landon Fahlman. That shorthanded goal by the Bulldogs leaves the Grenfell Spitfires as the only team in the league without a shorthanded goal scored this year. Dean Brothen picked up the win in net for the Broncs and Duncan Paddock was in net for the Bulldogs. The Broncs had two minor penalties and the Bulldogs had one. Also on Sunday the Milestone Flyers were in Grenfell. The Flyers scored twice in the first period and once in the second and held on for a 3-2 victory over the Spitfires. The Flyers led from start to finish in this game. Chance Olsen, Austin Yano and Tyler Giebel with the game winner in the second period scored for the Flyers. Justin Nychuk and Jayden Issac scored for the Spitfires. Thomas Spence picked up his league leading 9th win in net for the Flyers and Mitch Kilgore was in net for the Spitfires. The Spitfires had three minor penalties and the Flyers had only one.

The scoring race is tight. After weekend play Kyle Stroh from the Bruins and Kevin DuFour from the Monarchs are tied up top with 37 points each. Kyle Johnson from the Monarchs and Andrew Miller are one point behind with 36 points. Johnson has one game left to play and Miller has completed league play. Sanfred King from the Spitfires rounds out the top five with 33 points. Thomas Spence leads all goalies with 9 wins and a 2.56 GAA. Cam Pateman from the Marlins is next at 3.39 and he is followed by David Spooner from the Broncs and Mitch Kilgore from the Spitfires. Withe a week to go it appears the Flyers have the Team goaltening award in the bag. The Highway Hockey League trophy for this category is named the Gunnar Lindal Memorial Trophy. The Balcarres Broncs own the best power play in the league and are clicking at 23.1%. The Spitfires are at 21.2% and the Bulldogs are at 21.1%. The Monarchs have the lowest power play conversion rate at 13.3%. The top penalty kill unit belongs to the Milestone Flyers at 88.2%.The Spitfires are next at 86.5% and the Broncs are at 84.5%. The Bruins have the lowest penalty kill rate at 71.2%. The Milestone Flyers lead the league with an average of 20.9 minutes of penalties assessed per game. The lowest assed penalty minutes per game belong to the Bethune Bulldogs who average 10.6 minutes per game. A couple of other interesting team stats...the Balcarres Broncs and the Milestone Flyers have each won 10 games when scoring first and have not lost when doing same. The Bruins, Bulldogs and the Marlins have not won a game this year when they have been scored on first. Of the 57 games played so far this year only 8 times has the team that didn't score first gone on to win.

On Wednesday evening the Spitfires (9-6-1) will be in Holdfast...yes Holdfast...to play the Bethune Bulldogs (0-14-0) at 8:30 p.m. On Friday evening the Broncs (11-3-1) are at Odessa/Vibank to play the Bruins (8-8-1) at 8:00 p.m. Also on Friday evening the Lumsden Monarchs host the Southey Marlins at 8:30 in game one of their Provincial 'A' series. On Saturday evening the Monarchs (8-9-0) will be in Bethune to play their last game of the regular season against the Bulldogs. Also on Saturday evening the Spitfires will be in Rocanville for game two of their Provincial 'B' series against the Tigers starting at 8:00 p.m. If the Tigers force a game three it will be played at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday in Grenfell. Also on Sunday the Milestione Flyers will host the Drake Canucks in their first game of second round Provincial 'A' series at 6:30 p.m.

There you have it...best time of the hockey year with season winding down, playoffs just on the horizon and Provincials have started. No final placings for our teams yet other than the Bulldogs will finish 7th and play the 2nd place team in the playoffs. We will have playoffs set for you next week and we also will be announcing award winners. Please follow us on twitter @HighwayHockey, @GeraldT or @QVHHL and keep up to date on all the happenings in oujr league. Thank you for supporting senior hockey, have a good week, be kind and stay safe and please get out to a game near you.