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2019 was a good year for many local athletes


The past 12 months have been busy and, in many ways, successful when it comes to sports in Dauphin and the Parkland.
The success of the junior curling program in Dauphin was evident at the junior provincials at the Heather Curling Club, where almost one-quarter of the athletes competing had connections to the Parkland.
And that will be the case again this week when Dauphin plays host to the U21 junior provincials, starting, Jan. 1.
In front of a crowd of more than 1,800 fans at Credit Union Place, New York Islanders head coach Barry Trotz was the special guest at the Dauphin Kings’ annual Ukrainian Night against the Portage Terriers.
Scott McCallum signed a new five-year contract to stay on as the general manager at the Gilbert Plains Country Club.
With 10 years already under his belt, McCallum said it was an easy decision to stay with the GPCC.
Karlee Ushkowski, Madison Slyziuk and Mackenzie Maxwell were selected to play for Team Manitoba U16 7s rugby team after attending tryouts.
The team competed at the Vancouver Rugby Festival in March.
Zach Zurba, meanwhile, played for Manitoba’s boys provincial team, which competed at the Vancouver Sevens Invitational in March.
The Parkland Rangers finished the Manitoba AAA Midget Hockey League season in last place, with a 7-37-3-1 record for 18 points. They have already passed last year’s win total, entering the Christmas break with a 12-17-0-0 record and sit one point out of a playoff spot.
In Doug Hedley’s first season back behind the bench of the Dauphin Kings, the local Manitoba Junior Hockey League squad finished the 2018-19 regular season in seventh place with a 29-25-3-3 record, returning to the playoffs after missing the two previous seasons.
The Kings were swept in four straight by the Swan Valley Stampeders in the quarterfinals.
Sophia Heschuk and Kiara Wilson of the Parkland Gators Swim Team won gold medals at the Manitoba Junior Provincials in Brandon. They were just two of several local swimmers to win medals at the provincial competition.
The Dauphin Clippers JV boys basketball team entered provincials as the third-ranked team in the province and left as champions.
J.J. Love had 19 points and Zerek Menard added 18 as the Clippers beat the Louis Riel Voyageurs, 68-53 in the championship game.
Love was named MVP of the tournament and Menard was selected to the all-star team.
The Dauphin Dean Cooley GM Kings won the gold medal at the pee wee A1 provincials in Altona.
Cash McCallum scored four goals to lead Dauphin to a 7-5 win over Thompson in the gold medal game.
McCallum led all players with 12 goals and 14 points and Jesse Hockridge led the tournament with nine assists.
The Dauphin Home Hardware Kings brought home a silver medal from provincials, after falling to Souris in the final.
Building on their championship experience from the previous year, the foursome of Emma Jensen of Ochre River, Jaycee Terrick and Kaitlyn Szewczyk of McCreary and Gracey Gulak of Gilbert Plains repeated as provincial champions at the Asham U18 Women’s Provincial Championships in Swan River in March.
The team earned a berth at nationals in Sherwood Park, Alta., where they went 4-2 in round-robin play, eventually losing to New Brunswick in the second knockout round.
The Dauphin Aspen Insurance bantam A Kings won gold at provincials, going a perfect 4-0 in the process.
Madden Murray had three goals and three assists and Matthew Zurba had two goals and two assists to lead Dauphin to a 6-1 win over Stonewall in the championship game.
Murray and Zurba tied for the tournament lead in scoring with seven goals and 11 points each. Logan Chapman was tied with two others with six assists to lead the tournament and he finished third in scoring with nine points.
The Grand Plains Ice Dogs put home ice to good use when they hosted Hockey Manitoba’s Female Pee Wee Rural B Provincials.
The Ice Dogs won the bronze medal, beating Westman, 3-2.
The female midget Ice Dogs also won the bronze medal at provincials, beating Manitou, 4-3. It was the first season for the female midget program.
Dauphin’s Breken Brezden competed at the 2019 Canada Winter Games, in Red Deer, Alta., finishing ninth in the women’s pre-novice division’s short program and eighth in the free program.
Brezden placed ninth overall.
The Parkland Pirates beat the Yellowhead Warriors, 4-3 in the championship game of the 2008 Division of the 2019 Parkland Source for Sports Prospects Cup.
Southwest won the B-side with a 4-2 win over Pembina Valley, while Central Plains won the C-side after beating Brandon, 6-2.
In the 2010 Division, Southwest beat Virden 8-2 to win the A-side. Pembina Valley beat Central Plains, 5-2, to capture the B-side, while Prairie View won the C-side with a 6-5 win over Parkland.
For the second straight year, Dauphin’s Renee Desroches was selected to the Manitoba Colleges Athletic Conference All-Conference Team.
Desroches helped the Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) Blazers to a first-place finish with a 12-4 match record, winning 39 sets and losing 19.
CMU eventually lost in the league final to the Red River Rebels.
Goaltender Marley Quesnel of Dauphin and forward Jasmin Denby of Winnipegosis helped the Assiniboine Community College Cougars women’s hockey team make history, last season.
After posting a regular season record of 18-6-1, the Cougars qualified for the Division 2 national championship tournament in Frisco, Tex., where they went a perfect 5-0, allowing just three goals against in capturing the national title.
ACC beat Minot State, 1-0 in the championship game, with Quesnel stopping all 18 shots she faced to record her second shutout of the tournament.
Denby finished with a goal and eight points, while Quesnel had a 0.50 GAA and .964 save percentage, stopping 54 of 56 shots.
For the third straight year, Jessi Rampton and the MacEwan Griffins women’s hockey team won the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference championship.
The Griffins swept NAIT in three straight games to clinch their third consecutive title.
The Griffins men’s team also won its third league title in a row, also sweeping NAIT in the final.
It was announced that the late Larry McDougall would be inducted into Basketball Manitoba’s Hall of Fame.
The longtime coach of the Dauphin Clippers led the varsity boys team to provincial titles in 1975, 1976 and 1980 and guided the varsity girls to a second-place finish at provincials in 1984 and a provincial crown in 1987.
The three boys teams he coached were also inducted into the Hall of Fame.
McCreary’s Logan Conrad was named the winner of Rugby Manitoba’s 2018 Young Male Player of the Year Award.
Conrad received the award while attending a U18 High Performance camp in April.
Mike Dumas and his sons Thomas, 8, and Tristan, 6, all won gold at the Manitoba Arm Wrestling Association’s Provincial Championships in Winnipeg.
Mike, 43, won the gold medal in his class in the left arm category, while Thomas and Tristan both won two gold medals in their class in both the left and right arm categories.
Olivia Sheldon of Ste. Rose became the first female umpire from the Parkland Minor Baseball Association (PMBA) to be certified as a Baseball Canada Level 3 umpire, which allows her to work any level of provincials or western championships.
After an absence of 15 years, men’s rugby returned to Dauphin with the formation of the Dauphin Mavericks 2.0.
The second coming of the Mavericks played a few friendlies over the course of the summer, culminating with a reunion to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the start of rugby in Dauphin.
The reunion included two Rugby Manitoba league games, as well as alumni games.
When Team Manitoba won the gold medal at the 2019 National Aboriginal Hockey Championships in Whitehorse, Yukon, there was a strong Parkland connection with the squad.
Dauphin’s Daniel Chartrand was an assistant coach under former Parkland Ranger and Dauphin King Kevin Monkman, who is currently a scout with the Kings. The team also included Jaeger Lapointe of Ste. Rose, Zach Grouette of Dauphin and Nakodan Greyeyes, a forward with the Kings.
The Dauphin Clippers girls rugby team won a bronze medal at the high school rugby provincials in Winnipeg, beating Winnipeg’s Kelvin Clippers, 67-0.
Former Dauphin King and Dauphin native Myles Fee became a champion when the Charlotte Checkers won the American Hockey League’s Calder Cup.
Fee, who played three seasons with the Kings, served as the Checkers assistant coach/video for the last three seasons. Charlotte won the Calder Cup with a 5-3 win over the Chicago Wolves, June 8.
Several Parkland athletes captured medals at the Track and Field Provincials in Winnipeg.
Ethan Ponask of Winnipegosis won two gold medals, setting a new record in the para-intellectual boys shot put and winning gold in the para-intellectual boys 100-m dash.
Ponask also won a silver medal in the para-intellectual boys 200-m dash.
Dauphin’s Ethan Thacker won gold in the varsity boys outdoor pentathlon. Eric Preston of Ste. Rose won gold in the JV boys javelin throw, Rueben Houle of Dauphin won a silver medal in the varsity boys discus throw, Sergej Blazic of Dauphin won a bronze medal in the varsity boys shot put and Taron Topham of Grandview won a bronze medal in the varsity boys javelin throw.
Dauphin’s Sami Love won the Cheryl Cable Memorial Award as Junior Player of the Year by Volleyball Manitoba after a successful season with the Brandon University Bobcats women’s volleyball team.
Dauphin’s Barry Trotz won his second Jack Adams Award as the NHL’s Coach of the Year after leading the New York Islanders to a 48-27-7 record.
The Dauphin Kings reported a small profit of $7,274 for the 2018-19 season and reduced the club’s overall deficit to just over $62,000.
Doris Fletcher was recognized by the Dauphin Agricultural Society for her 50 years as a volunteer at the annual fair. She has been the announcer for the fair’s light horse show events during that time.
The new mountain bike trail system at Selo Ukraina drew rave reviews at the first-ever race held at the new facility south of Dauphin.
More than 70 racers registered for the event and MCA officials deemed the trails as probably the best competitive trail in the province.
J.J. Love helped Manitoba win a silver medal at the Western Canada Summer Games in men’s volleyball.
Dauphin’s Bob Alm was inducted into Baseball Manitoba’s Honour Society after years as a coach and umpire.
Dauphin’s Phoenix Lautt, a defensive tackle with the Dauphin Clippers football team, was selected to the Nissan 2019 All Canadian TITAN team, consisting of players from all across Canada.
He played in the all-star game, Nov. 24, and took in the Grey Cup game, won by the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
Monique Coffey continued to shine on the rugby pitch, being named the Atlantic University Sport Most Valuable Player after helping the Acadia Axewomen to a successful season.
Rogers Hometown Hockey called Dauphin home for a weekend in November, with lots of activities taking place for fans of all ages.
For the third straight year, the Gilbert Plains Trojans won a provincial volleyball title, capturing the provincial A varsity championship for the second year in a row. Gilbert Plains also won the JV A/AA provincial title in 2017-18.

Doug Zywina