Blue Notes #6 November 4 Saturday vs Swan Valley
The Week That Was…………. VS NEEPAWA NATIVES…….. The Blues welcomed back the Natives to Bell MTS Iceplex for the second time this season last weekend. Winnipeg scored 3 times in a four-minute span in the first period and never looked back as they dropped the Natives 6-2. Dale Goodbrandson (2g, 1a) and Levi Cudmore (3a) led the way with three points each, while Dylan Cassie, Cam Olstad, Dexter Kuczek, and Matt Leblanc all lit the lamp on the night. Jeremy Link was solid in the pipes, stopping 34-of-36 shots fired his way. VS DAUPHIN KINGS……… Dauphin made their first appearance at Bell MTS Iceplex this season last Saturday and jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead after the first period. Winnipeg would come out flying in the second period and score four unanswered with goals from Dexter Kuczek, Kaelin Baydock, Matt Leblanc, and Levi Cudmore. Kyle Wiltshire put the Blues up 5-3 early in the third period. The Kings would get one back but that’s as close as they would come as the Blues snuck past the Kings 5-4, extending their winning streak to a season-best three games. @ WINKLER FLYERS……….. Winnipeg travelled to Winkler to face the Flyers Tuesday night in their last game of October. Dale Goodbrandson and Brett Opperman exchanged goals in the first period and that’s how things would stay through regulation. In overtime Weiland Parrish beat Jeremy Link to give the Flyers a 2-1 OT win. Link was solid all night, stopping 43-of-45 shots on the night as the Blues were outshot 45-25.
The Week Ahead…………… VS SWAN VALLEY STAMPEDERS……… The Blues begin November with four of their first five games away from home with their lone home game tonight when they welcome Swan Valley to Bell MTS Iceplex for the first time this season. It’s the second meeting of the season between the two clubs. Winnipeg took the first game 5-4 in overtime back on October 7th in Swan Valley. Leaders: Dale Goodbrandson (1g,1a), Levi Cudmore (1g, 1a), Dylan Cassie (1g, 1a) Stamps: Trevor Mann (1g, 1a), Quintin Sudom (1g, 1a). After tonight the Blues have games in Portage (Nov.5), Steinbach (Nov. 8), and Dauphin (Nov. 10) before returning home to face Virden (Nov. 12).
A Cud above the rest…….. After registering just three points in his first six games of the season, Levi Cudmore has found his stride. Cudmore has registered at least a point in eight of his 11 games, including a four-goal night against the OCN Blizzard on October 21st. During the Blues recent three-game winning streak, Cudmore led the way with 8 points (5g, 3a).
Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries Impact Player of the Month……….. The Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries Impact Player of the Month for the Month of October is Dexter Kuczek. Kuczek has picked up where he left off last season, leading the Blues in scoring and ranked 6th in league scoring with 25 points (11g, 14a) in 17 games.
Around the MJHL…………… Steinbach Pistons are riding a five-game winning streak, due in large part to the outstanding play of Drew Worrad, who has been named the Recycle Everywhere MJHL Player of the Week. Worrad, 20, exploded for seven points (4-3) in three wins last week for the Pistons, who are ranked No. 10 in the country by the CJHL. Worrad, who hails from Birr, Ont., is now on a two-point per game pace with 15 points (8-7) in seven games for the Pistons, who have a season record of 13-3.
The runners up are 20 year old goaltender Emilien Boily of the OCN Blizzard and 19 year old forward Dexter Kuczek of the Winnipeg Blues.
2017/18 League Leaders……… Points 33 Bradley Schoonbaert (Steinbach)
Goals 16 Bradley Schoonbaert (Steinbach)
Assists 19 Jeremy Leipsic (POR) Matt Christian (Wink)
2017/18 Blues Leaders……… Points 25 Dexter Kuczek
Goals 11 Dexter Kuczek
Assists 14 Dexter Kuczek
Blue Notes #5 October 27 and October 28 2017 vs Neepawa Friday vs Dauphin Saturday
The Week That Was…………. @ DAUPHIN KINGS………. Winnipeg travelled to Dauphin to take on the Kings for the first time this season. Winnipeg fired 42 shots at the Kings net, but Dauphin netminder Brennan Kitchen stopped 41 of them, en route to a 4-1 win. Dexter Kuczek had the lone Blues marker in the contest. VS OCN BLIZZARD…………… The Winnipeg Blues and OCN Blizzard faced off against each other for the third time this season last Saturday night, and it turned into the Levi Cudmore show. The 19 year old Blues veteran put up four goals as the Blues snapped a six-game losing streak dropping the Blizzard 6-5 in overtime. Cam Olstad capped off a three point night with the overtime winner 47 seconds into the extra frame. Dexter Kuczek had the other Blues goal, improving the Blues to 3-9-2 on the season.
The Week Ahead…………… VS NEEPAWA NATIVES………… Winnipeg welcomes the Natives back to Bell MTS Iceplex for the second time this season. Neepawa beat the Blues 6-5 in overtime during the last meeting between the clubs two weeks ago. Griffin Chwaliboga netted the winner 2:34 into overtime. Head-to-Head: Point Leaders Blues: Jayson Szun (2g), Ty Naaykens (2a), Dale Goodbrandson (2a) Ethan Unruh (1g, 1a). Natives: Ryan Heino (2g, 1a), Justin Metcalf (1g,1a). VS DAUPHIN KINGS…….. Dauphin makes their way to Bell MTS Iceplex for the first time of the season. It’s the second meeting of the season with the Kings winning the first game 4-1 in Dauphin. Head to Head: Point Leaders Blues: Dexter Kuczek (1g), Dale Goodbrandson (1a), Codey Behun (1a). Kings: Grady Hobbs (1g, 1a) Matthew Pitchenese (1g) Kyle Oleksiuk (1g).
Blues Youth Playing Big Roles……… Blues Head Coach Billy Keane has had to do a fair bit of line-juggling in the early part of this season due to injuries. Through the first 14 games this season, Winnipeg has had a total of 10 players make their MJHL debut, including four 16 year olds. Jayson Szun (Winnipeg Bruins Midget AAA) scored twice in his debut against the Neepawa Natives. Ty Naaykens (Winnipeg Bruins Midget AAA) registered a pair of assists in his first game with the Blues against the Natives. Kaden Bryant (Winnipeg Wild Midget AAA) notched his first assist in his first game against Neepawa. Brayden Foreman took to the ice for his first game against OCN and played big minutes in a 6-5 Blues win. Blues rookies this season include Codey Behun(00) 14 GP, 1g,3a. Ethan Unruh(00) 13 GP, 1g,4a. Cam Olstad(99) 13 GP, 3g,4a. Michael Ladyman(01) 14 GP, 0g,3a. Blake Stelmaschuk(99) 1GP. Riley Cusack(00) 0g,3a.
Around the MJHL…………… Portage Terriers’ newly acquired Rylee Zimmer made quite the positive impression with his new team last week, earning him the Recycle Everywhere MJHL Player of the Week award. Zimmer, who was acquired in a recent trade with Melville, scored six points (5-1) in his first three games as a Portage Terrier. Acquired for his size (6-foot2, 200-pounds), Zimmer also showed he knows his way around the offensive zone, helping the Terriers extend their winning streak to five games.
Zimmer, who hails from Russell, originally broke into the MJHL with Waywayseecappo Wolverines before moving onto the Saskatchewan Junior League. The runners up are 20 year old forward Matt Christian of the Winkler Flyers and 20 year old goaltender Hayden Dola of the Selkirk Steelers.
2017/18 League Leaders……… Points 27 Bradley Schoonbaert (Steinbach)
Goals 12 Bradley Schoonbaert (Steinbach)Braden Purtill (Steinbach)
Assists 18 Jeremy Leipsic (POR)
2017/18 Blues Leaders……… Points 19 Dexter Kuczek
Goals 9 Dexter Kuczek, Levi Cudmore
Assists 10 Dexter Kuczek
Blues Notes #4 OCN Blizzard at Winnipeg Blues October 21st 2017 Game 13/60
The Week That Was…………. HOME-AND-HOME SERIES VS STEINBACH PISTONS…………… The Blues began a home-and-home series last Friday night at the T.G. Smith Centre in Steinbach. Winnipeg would take a 2-0 lead into the third period with Levi Cudmore and Kelton Sutherland finding the back of the net. In the third the Pistons lit the lamp three times en route to a 3-2 win. The next night the teams did it all over again, this time at Bell MTS Iceplex. Winnipeg got off to a great start, leading 2-0 after the opening period thanks to goals from Dexter Kuczek and Luke Seremet. Less than a minute into the second period Levi Cudmore gave the Blues a 3-0 lead but Steinbach would answer with a pair to pull within one. Dawson Anderson made it 4-2 for Winnipeg late in the period, but in the third the Pistons would rattle off four unanswered goals, three of which were on the powerplay, lifting the Pistons to a second straight come-from-behind 6-4 win. VS NEEPAWA NATIVES……….. Neepawa made their first visit to Winnipeg last Sunday night in what was another back-and-forth affair. Neepawa led 2-0 after the first period and struck early in the 2nd period to give them a 3-0 lead. Winnipeg got on the board with Jayson Szun scoring his first of two on the night in his first MJHL contest. Neepawa took a 4-1 lead, but before the period would run out Brendan Bartlett notched his first of the season and Jayson Szun scored his 2nd of the game to get the Blues within one heading to the third. Neepawa made it 5-3, but Winnipeg answered with two goals including the tying goal from Dexter Kuczek with just 30 seconds left on the clock sending it to overtime. In the extra frame Natives captain Griffin Chwaliboga ended it at 2:34, giving Neepawa the 6-5 win.
The Week Ahead…………… VS OCN BLIZZARD………… Winnipeg welcomes OCN to Bell MTS Iceplex tonight for the first time this season. It’s the third meeting of the season between the two clubs. OCN won both games at home two weekends ago by scores of 8-4 and 4-3 respectively. Head-to-Head…..Cam Olstad (1g, 1a), Levi Cudmore (1g, 1a), and Joel MacGillivray (0g, 2a) each have two points in the season series. OCN’s Anthony Keeper has six points (3g, 3a) while Dustin Mozden and Tavis Roch each have two goals in the previous two meetings. Blues powerplay is 1-for-12 while the Blizzard are 3-for-14 with the man advantage. After tonights game the Blues don’t play until next Friday night at home against the Neepawa Natives.
Close but no cigar…………… The Blues record after 12 games is 2-8-2. Out of the 10 losses, seven have been by two or less goals. Winnipeg was winning or tied after two periods in five of the 10 losses this season.
Third Period Woes………. In the first twelve games, Winnipeg has been outscored 51-33. The Blues have outscored their opponents 10-9 in the first period. Winnipeg has been outscored 20-17 in second periods, and outscored 22-6 in third periods this season.
Around the MJHL…………… A hot scoring streak has earned Selkirk Steelers’ forward Connor Barley the Recycle Everywhere MJHL Player of the Week award. Barley, 19, tallied six points (3-3) in three games for the Steelers last week. The native of St. Andrews currently sits second in the MJHL scoring race with 21 points (9-12) in 11 games. The runners up are 18 year old forward Ryan Heino of the Neepawa Natives and 19 year old goaltender Brennan Kitchen of the Dauphin Kings.
2017/18 League Leaders……… Points 21 Bradley Schoonbaert (Steinbach)
Goals 10 Bradley Schoonbaert (Steinbach)
Assists 15 Jeremy Leipsic (POR)
2017/18 Blues Leaders……… Points 15 Dexter Kuczek
Goals 7 Dexter Kuczek
Assists 8 Dexter Kuczek
Blues Notes #3 Steinbach Pistons @ Winnipeg Blues October 14th 2017 Game 11/60
The Week That Was…………. @ OCN BLIZZARD……. The Blues headed up north to begin a five-game road trip in OCN. Winnipeg took a 4-3 lead into the third period, but the Blizzard fired home four-straight goals en route to an 8-4 win. Joel MacGillivray had a pair of assists in the contest. @ SWAN VALLEY STAMPEDERS…….. After a scoreless first period the gates opened in the second with six goals being scored. The Stampeders would take a 3-1 lead midway through the second, but Winnipeg tied things up before the end of the period. The clubs exchanged goals in the third setting up overtime where Levi Cudmore notched the game winner 1:24 into the extra frame, giving the Blues a 5-4 win. @ OCN BLIZZARD……… The Blues headed back to OCN to wrap up their northern road trip last Sunday. Again this game would go to overtime but the Blizzard Tavis Roch ended it with just :31 seconds left to give OCN the 4-3 win. @ SELKIRK STEELERS……… It was the first meeting of the season between the Steelers and the Blues this past Tuesday, with Selkirk doubling up the Blues 4-2. Dawson Anderson scored his first goal of the season while Joel MacGillivray picked up his third of the campaign.
The Week Ahead…………… VS STEINBACH PISTONS……… Winnipeg welcomes Steinbach to Bell MTS Iceplex for the first time this season in the second game of a home-and-home series against the Pistons. Steinbach had the Blues number last season, going 5-1-0 and outscoring Winnipeg 30-13. Winnipeg was 1-2-0 at Bell MTS Place against Steinbach. VS NEEPAWA NATIVES……… Neepawa heads to Winnipeg for the first time this season on Sunday night. Neepawa comes into Sunday’s game on a two-game winning streak, outscoring their opponents 14-3 during the two games. Neepawa is 5-2-1 after eight games this season. Winnipeg was 5-1-0 against the Natives last season, including 3-0-0 at home.
Home Cooking………… After beginning the season playing just two of their first 10 games at Bell MTS Iceplex, the Blues will end the month with five of their next seven games on home ice beginning Saturday night against the Pistons. The Blues finished 16-11-3 at Bell MTS Iceplex last season.
Kuczek picks up where he left off……….. Blues forward Dexter Kuczek hasn’t missed a beat coming off last season. The 20 year old from Winnipeg led the Blues in scoring last season collecting 67 points (30g, 37a) in 59 games. After 9 games this season, Kuczek has 10 points (5g, 5a) to lead the Blues in points and currently sits 15th in league scoring. Kuczek has been in on 10 of the 23 Winnipeg goals.
Around the MJHL…………… Steinbach Pistons’ captain Braden Purtill put on a goal-scoring exhibition last week, earning him the Recycle Everywhere MJHL Player of the Week award. Purtill, 20, scored four goals in a win against OCN on Sunday, upping his total to six in three games for the Pistons, who are 4-1 after five games. The 6-foot, 190-pound Winnipegger has a season total of nine goals after eight games.
The runners up are 19 year old forward Nathan Halvorsen of the Selkirk Steelers and 19 year old forward Chase Brakel of the Portage Terriers.
2017/18 League Leaders……… Points 17 Bradley Schoonbaert (Steinbach)
Goals 9 Bradley Schoonbaert (Steinbach) Braden Purtill (Steinbach)
Assists 12 Jeremy Leipsic (POR)
2017/18 Blues Leaders……… Points 10 Dexter Kuczek
Goals 5 Dexter Kuczek
Assists 5 Dexter Kuczek
Blues Notes #2 : October 2nd 2017 Winkler Flyers at Winnipeg Blues Game #4
The Week That Was…………. VS PORTAGE TERRIERS…..Winnipeg opened up their regular season just over a week ago with a 4-0 loss at home to Portage. Blues netminder Jacob Gnidziejko stopped 29-of-33 shots in a losing effort. @ PORTAGE TERRIERS…… The Blues and Terriers played their second game of the home-and-home series to start the season in Portage and once again the Terriers came out on top, this time by a score of 6-2. Brandon Marques opened the scoring with his first of a pair of goals on the night for Winnipeg midway through the opening period, but Portage would score six straight goals en route to the win. Ethan Unrau had a pair of assists on the night while Cody Behun and Cam Olstad each picked up an assist. @ WINKLER FLYERS……. Winnipeg travelled to Winkler this past Wednesday to take on the Flyers. After giving up a goal in the first period the Blues tied the game early in the second when Dexter Kuczek notching his first of the season. Winkler again took the lead but before the period would run out Joel Macgillivray tied the game at two with his first of the campaign. Winkler would add a pair of goals in the third period and beat the Blues 4-2. @ VIRDEN OIL CAPITALS…… The Blues picked up their first win of the season, topping the Oil Caps 5-2 on Thursday night. Dexter Kuczek put on a show, registering five points (2g, 3a) on the night. Levi Cudmore chipped in with three points (1g, 2a) of his own, while Joel Macgillivray and Matt Leblanc rounded out the scoring. Jeremy Link was solid in the pipes stopping 32-of-34 shots fired his way in his first start of the season.
The Week Ahead…………… VS WINKLER FLYERS……. Winnipeg welcomes the Flyers to Bell MTS Iceplex for the first time this season tonight. Winnipeg was 1-4-1 in six games against Winkler last season. @ OCN BLIZZARD…….. After tonight’s game the Blues hit the road to OCN for the first of five-straight games away from Bell MTS Iceplex. It’s the first meeting between the two clubs since the playoffs last season when OCN defeated Winnipeg in five games. @ SWAN VALLEY STAMPEDERS…….. Winnipeg visits the Gordon Lathlin Memorial Centre for the first time this season next Saturday when they visit the Stampeders. Winnipeg scored four or more goals in four of the six games against Swan Valley last season, outscoring them 26-17. @ OCN BLIZZARD………. Winnipeg wraps up their week with a return visit to OCN on Sunday. The Blues don’t return to OCN until January 20th.
Food for thought on the Opening Week…….. Winnipeg has been outshot in all three of their losses this season (33-23 (vs Por), 28-25(vs Por), 38-32 (vs Wink). The Blues outshot Virden 46-34 in their only win this season. The Blues are 3-for-21 on the power play after four games. Winnipeg has killed off 14-of-18 penalty kills. With the win on Thursday, the Blues improved to 1-3-0. After the first four games last season the Blues were 1-2-1 and went on to finish 6th in the MJHL standings (27-27-3-3).
Around the MJHL…………… Virden Oil Capitals’ forward Tyler Kirkup is the inaugural winner of the 2017-18 Recycle Everywhere MJHL Player of the Week award. The 6’1, 200 pounder from Virden recorded seven points (2-5) in two games for the Oil Capitals.
The runners up are 20 year old forward Jordan Martin of the Neepawa Natives and 20 year old forward Brad Schoonbaert of the Steinbach Pistons.
2017/18 League Leaders……… Points 7 Tyler Kirkup (VIR) Jeremy Leipsic (POR) Tristan Cross (VIR)
Goals 4 Ben Dalke (VIR), James McIsaac (POR) Reise Gaber (DAU)
Assists 7 Tristan Cross (VIR)
2017/18 Blues Leaders………
Points 6 Dexter Kuczek
Goals 3 Dexter Kuczek
Assists 3 Dexter Kuczek
Blues Notes #1: September 22nd 2017 vs Portage Terriers Game #1
Welcome back…………. The Winnipeg Blues organization would like to welcome everyone back for another exciting season of Winnipeg Blues hockey. This season will see the Blues play just two of their first 10 games at home. The longest home-stand for the Blues is four games (3 times). The longest stretch Winnipeg will be away from Bell MTS Iceplex is five games (Oct. 6-13th). The Blues are off from December 22nd to January 6th). Tickets are just $12.00 – Adult $10.00 – Senior (60 and older), $8.00 – Student (11 and older), Free Admission – Children 10 years of age and younger. All regular season home games will be at the Bell MTS Iceplex.
The Week Ahead…………… The Winnipeg Blues begin the 2017/18 regular season tonight in the first game of a home-and-home series against the defending MJHL champion Portage Terriers. The Blues were 1-4-1 against the Terriers last season. @ Portage Terriers……..After tonight the Blues will hit the road for three straight games beginning Sunday night with a rematch against the Terriers. @ Winkler Flyers…………… Winnipeg heads to Winkler Tuesday night to face the Flyers. The Blues finished 1-4-1 against Winkler last season. @Virden Oil Capitals……….. The Blues wrap up their September schedule with a trip to Virden to face the Oil Caps. The Blues held the edge in the season series last year with a record of 4-2-0. Next home game…………for the Blues is Sunday, October 1st when they welcome the Winkler Flyers to Bell MTS Iceplex for the first time this season. Puck drop is 6:30pm.
2016/17 in a glance………. The Blues finished 2016/17 in sixth place with a record of 27-27-3-3 (60pts). Winnipeg was eliminated in five games in the first round of the playoffs by the OCN Blizzard. Winnipeg scored 193 goals (6th most), allowed 202 goals (7th most). Dexter Kuczek led the Blues in scoring with 67 points (30g, 37a The Blues had six players from last season’s club graduate: Geordie Keane, Rhett Lough, Kristjon Finnson, Nick Prouty, Adam Wowryk, and Michael Forseth.
Changes to Annual Showcase……… The Saskatchewan Jr A Hockey League and the Manitoba Jr A Hockey League announced the 1st MJHL/SJHL Showcase. The Showcase will be held at the Co-operators Center in Regina, January 15th and 16th, 2018. The Showcase will feature the top 60 players from each league. The 3 teams from each league will consist of players from the ages 16 to 20 years of age selected by the coaches from each league. One team will be comprised of players who are 18 and under. The other two teams will be made up of players who are 19 and 20 years of age. Each team in the event will play two games
Around the MJHL…………… The MJHL is launching a new mobile app this season, providing fans with real-time scoring data, game scores, schedules, standings, player and goal statistics. The mobile app is available for Apple and Android smart phones and tablets. Other options available to users will be notifications for their favourite team, as well as two of their favourite players. A number of other junior leagues are currently using the same mobile app, notably the BCHL and Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League.
2016/17 League Leaders……… Points 97 Jeremy Leipsic (Portage)
Goals 36 Justin Metcalf (Neepawa)
Assists 65 Jeremy Leipsic (Portage)
2016/17 Blues Leaders………… Points 67 Dexter Kuczek
Goals 30 Dexter Kuczek
Assists 37 Dexter Kuczek