by Taylor Allen
The race for the MJHL scoring title was a photo finish.
It was a two horse race, as Steinbach Pistons forward Bradley Schoonbaert and Winnipeg Blues forward Dexter Kuczek were way ahead of the pack. The two players were only one point apart heading into their final regular season games.
On March 2, Schoonbaert picked up two assists in a win over Winkler to give him a total of 91 points on the season. The two points put him one point ahead of Kuczek, who had 90 points with one more game left to be played the following night.
“(The scoring title) was definitely on my mind heading into the final game,” admitted Kuczek. “I needed at least two points which put a lot of pressure on me, but I knew the boys would help me achieve the league scoring title.”
There was no hiding from the pressure for Kuczek, as everyone at the Bell MTS Iceplex knew what was at stake on March 3 in the Blues’ season finale against the Selkirk Steelers. It was announced over the PA system that Kuczek needed two points to crown himself the scoring champion.
Kuczek wasted no time in tying Schoonbaert, as he scored in the opening period with assists from Brendan Bartlett and Devon Skoleski. In the second period, Kuczek took it up himself to get it done, as he scored once again, this time unassisted. The two goal performance officially made Kuczek the MJHL’s top regular season scorer for the 2017-18 season.
“I was super excited,” said Kuczek on his scoring-title clinching goal. “It’s definitely a moment I won’t forget for a long time.”
Kuczek led the league in points with 37 goals and 55 assists.