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Exciting and busy weekend ahead for local residents

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The weekend local hockey fans have been waiting for is finally here.
Rogers Hometown Hockey will be in Dauphin, Saturday and Sunday, highlighting our community and some of our local hockey heroes.
There will be lots to see and do for local fans. And Credit Union Place will be jam packed with action, as well.
The Parkland Rangers have three games this week, all at Credit Union Place.
They host the Brandon Wheat Kings, Wednesday, the Southwest Cougars on Friday and the Winnipeg Bruins on Saturday, which is also the Rangers’ Ukrainian Night, courtesy of Ruff’s Furniture. All three games begin at 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday’s game is big, as the Wheat Kings are only one point ahead of Parkland in the standings.
And let’s not forget the Dauphin Clippers hockey team hosts the Major Pratt Trojans, Sunday afternoon at 2:30 p.m.
There is also a pee wee hockey tournament on this weekend at both Credit Union Place and the Rotary Arena.
It promises to be a busy and exciting weekend. Be sure to take in as much of it as you can.
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The Dauphin Kings were dealt a blow this weekend when they lost Baron Thompson to the Western Hockey League’s Spokane Chiefs.
Thompson was a big part of the Kings, playing on the top line with Nakodan Greyeyes and Grady Hobbs. He led the league in points-per-game at 1.87, recording 13 goals and 28 points in 15 games.
His departure means someone will get the opportunity to take Thompson’s spot on the top line. Whoever it is, fans should not expect the same kind of production that Thompson provided. His experience and leadership made him an invaluable asset to the Kings.
You have to feel for Kings netminder Zach Grouette. The Dauphin product is still looking for his first win in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League, but in his three starts, the Kings have only scored four goals in front of him.
The MJHL has enjoyed a lot of parity in recent years, but this season may be as close as ever.
Entering this week, only 10 points separates the first-place Portage Terriers and the eighth-place Kings. And there is just a four point spread between Portage and the sixth-place Waywayseecappo Wolverines.
The need for a full 60-minute effort has never been more necessary than it is now. Teams cannot take a night off for fear of being on the wrong end of the scoreboard. Too many nights like that could prove costly in the standings.
• • •
The New York Islanders are off to a great start in the National Hockey League at 12-3-1.
With 25 points, the Isles are in second place in the Metropolitan Division, four back of the Washington Capitals, though they do have two games in hand.
The NHL Public Relations department noted on Twitter that Dauphin’s Barry Trotz became the first Islanders head coach to record 60 wins prior to his 100th game with the franchise.
Trotz is 60-30-8 as Islanders head coach entering the week.

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Doug Zywina
REPORTER