WEEK 1 - If the opening weekend of the SVHL Season tells us anything, it might be that the competition may be tight this year. One team jumped out to a 2-0 record this weekend, thanks in large part to the performance of their goalie. Delisle held of Elrose on opening night, winning 2-1. Jared Dubkowski got the win in net, making 20 saves to hold off the Elrose attack. That gives him
the nod for the performer of the week.
WEEK 2/3 - It has been an odd fall - first time I've heard of a hockey game in November being postponed due to harvest. Because there was only 1 game last weekend, we have combined the 2 weeks for player of the week. The nod goes to a player whose team played 2 very tight games to start their season. They finished the weekend 1-1 after competing in 2 1 goal games. Jonathan Redlick lead the Beechy Bombers with 1 goal in losing cause as they fell to a strong Delisle team 3-2. He came back Saturday with a 5 point night, leading the Bombers to an 8-7 overtime victory. Redlick scored 4 times, including the OT winner while short-handed, and added an assist for a 6 point weekend. That gives Jonthan Redilick the nod for SVHL Player of the Week.
WEEK 4 - There have been some truly great performances so far this year, and it appears as though the entire league is more competitive. This week's Player of the Week goes to a player who contributed on over half of his teams goals over their weekend split. Mike Sagen had 5 goals and 2 assists against Beechy in a tough 10-9 overtime loss. Kenaston bounced back on Saturday with a dominating 9-0 win over Elrose, and Sagen again led the way with 1 goal and 3 helpers. An 11 point weekend gives Mike Sagan the nod for the week 4 Player of the Week!
WEEK 5 - In a rare 3 game weekend, the Eston Ramblers managed to come away with all 6 points to Leap frog their way into first place overall in the SVHL. Justin Williams started the weekend with at a hat trick and a couple of helpers at home in a win over Elrose. He continued Saturday with a goal and 4 assists in win in Loreburn. His weekend was capped off with a 3 point afternoon (2G, 1A), in a spirited win over Outlook. One weekend, 5 goals and 8 assists gives Justin Williams the nod for SVHL Player of the week.
WEEK 6 - Sometimes the best road to success is a balanced scoring. Sometimes, someone just steps up and takes over. Saturday night in Delisle, Jase Smalcel stepped up with 4 goals in a 7-4 victory over Central Butte. This followed him pitching in with a goal Friday to help Delisle gain a single point in a hard fought overtime draw with Kenaston. Accounting for 1 half of his teams' goals in a weekend that the Bruins earned 3 out of a possible 4 points gives Jace Smalcel my nod for player of the week.
WEEK 7 - Just past the half way point of the season, and it is safe to say this league is wide open. I'm sure after Christmas the teams will start to scoreboard watch as they battle for playoff spots and positioning, it should be fun to watch! This past weekend featured a couple of showcase contests, with 2 players stepping up big for their squads. Unfortunately there can only be one player of the week, and this week it goes to a player who led his team to 2 wins this weekend, including handing Eston their first loss of the season. Brayden Atkinson was huge Saturday night in Eston, scoring the 3rd, 4rth, 5th (OT winner) goals, and adding a helper for Beechy in a 5-4 win. This followed an impressive 3 point night Friday where he scored 2, had 1 assist in a victory over Central Butte. 5 goals, 2 assists led to 2 wins, which gives Brayden Atkinson the SVHL Player of the Week.
The next Player of the Week will be named following the holidays. From everyone in the Sask Valley Hockey League, we wish you all a Merry Christmas, and a happy and safe holiday season!
WEEK 8 - With the extended "Week" due to the holidays, a total of 12 games have been played to pick from for this week's honour. The playoff race appears to be tightening up, and will take key performances to maintain or improve a team's seeding for the playoffs. The Eston Ramblers had one player step up over the past 3 games that saw them go 2-1 against the other top 3 seeded teams. Mitch Neumeier tallied 3 goals and 7 assists over the 3 game stretch against Delisle, Beechy and Kyle. In wins over Beechy and Kyle, he scored twice and added 6 assists, and in their only regulation loss so far, he scored once and added a helper as they fell 7-2 to league leading Delisle. 10 points in 3 games against the 3 top teams gives Neumeier my nod for player of the week.
WEEK 9 - Everyone got back to the full swing of things this past weekend, and every point in the standings count. This week's top performer helped his team solidify his teams's stake for a high seed in the playoffs. In 2 games, he tallied 8 points, but the first 4 were all goals facing an 0-3 deficit against another solid team. Down 3-0, Steve DaSilva scored 4 straight goals en route to a 5-4 overtime win over Kenaston. He followed that up with a 2 goal / 2 assist performance the next night securing a 4 point weekend for the Beechy Bombers. That gives the Bomber's Steve DaSilva this weeks' nod for player of the week. With only 2 weeks left in the season, and valuable points on the line, who else will step up?
Week 10 - One week left, and nothing is set in the SVHL playoff picture. It is possible that the top 5 teams could finish within 5 points of each other with the final 3 teams qualifying for the dance being capable of upsetting anyone. That being said, valuable points were earned this past weekend, and teams sent messages that they deserved to be called contenders. One team rebounded from a tough loss with a huge come from behind win to earn 2 points that could be valuable when the dust settles. The Kenaston Blizzard rebounded from a tough loss against Kyle, and Eric Peterson had a solid performance to help his team stay with the defending champions. He scored once and assisted 3 times on a team in the top 3 goals allowed. He followed that up with a huge performance in Outlook, leading the Blizzard to a third period come from behind 6-5 win. He tallied 4 times, and added a helper to bring his weekend total to 5 goals and 4 assists. That gives Eric Peterson this week's Player of the Week honour. Good luck to all teams in the final weekend and in SHA Playoffs.
Week 11 - This week's POW does not come from a powerhouse team, but put in a powerful performance for his team helping them get hot heading into the playoffs. With their 6th place seeding set, Outllook had a chance to coast and wait for their opponent. One player stepped up big time, helping the Ice Hawks finish their final week with 2 wins, and confidence heeding into the playoffs. In their only loss, Derek Derdall scored in a losing cause. But in their final game of the regular season, and reportedly his final regular season game, Derdall had a hat trick, and added 2 helpers against Rosetown. There were other great performances this week, but I believe this nod deservedly goes to a gritty performer who had a great week. Good luck to all teams in playoffs and Provincials!
Round 1 Series MVP’s
Jared Dubkowski – Delisle.
In a much anticipated matchup of 2 teams that battled for first place overall all year long, Delisle dropped the first game to Beechy, but rallied to win the next 3 and take the series 3-1. In those 3 games, goaltender Jared Dubkowski shut down some of the leagues’ best scorers – sometimes in spectacular fashion. He ended with an outstanding .952 Save percentage, and a miniscule 1.33 GAA in his 3 games played.
Brad Barton – Outlook
In what some may call the biggest upset in recent league history, the 6th seeded Ice Hawks swept the 3rd seeded Blizzard. Outllook played 3 complete games backstopped by veteran goaltender Brad Barton. In those games, he held the powerful Kenaston offence to just 2.67 goals per game, and had a stellar .929 save percentage. He faced 45 shots in the clincher, a 4-3 Outlook victory punching Outlook’s ticket to the league Semi-Finals.
Brett Howe – Eston
It’s a good thing gas prices have dropped, because these 2 teams put on a lot of miles to play this series. By finishing 2nd in league play, Eston drew Central Butte in the first round – a town on the far opposite border of our league. Eston got their offense rolling in game 1, and continued to roll to the first round swwep. Their offense was led by Brett Howe, who had multi point nights in all 3 games with a total of 5 goals and 6 helpers.
Brennan Bosovich – Kyle
The number 1 seed in the SVHL Playoffs drew Highway 4 rival Elrose in the first round. The highest scoring team in the regular season continued their trend by scoring 26 times in the 3 game sweep. Brennan Bosovich got them rolling with a 7 point night (5 goals, 2 assists) in game 1, and then added another goal and 4 more assists in games 2 and 3. Good luck to all teams in the league semi-finals.
Round 2 Series MVP's
Kyle defeated Outlook 3-0 with a solid team effort. One player stood out - working hard every shift, and contributing in both ends of the rink. Thomas Williams played 3 solid games, and contributed 5 goals and 1 assist to the cause.
In the other semi, Eston edged out Delisle in a hard fought 5 game series. Without goaltender Tyrell King, it may have been a totally different story. He faced an average of 42 shots a game, including the 3-2 OT win where he faced 67! Through it all, King held Delisle to 2.2 goals per game, and had an outstanding save percentage of .953.
SVHL Finals - 3 Stars
3rd Star - Cam Oliphant, Eston. Eston did what they did all year - relied on depth and team effort. Oliphant didn't stand out on the scoresheet, but was noticeable on the ice every game. Solid effort, a real go-getter. He did average a point per game with 1 goal and 3 helpers in the series, and was a very difficult player to play against.
2nd Star - Matt Richard, Kyle. Coming into this series, Eston had averaged more than 6 goals per game, yet Matt was able to keep the Elks in every game with a .924 save percentage, and a 3.25 GAA. He was kept busy, averaging close to 40 shots per game. An outstanding performance
1st Star - Tyrell King - Eston. Not unlike his counterpart, King would be facing a talented offensive team in the Finals. The Elks had averaged better than 7 goals a game, and had some serious offensive weapons. King held the Elks to 3 goals per game, had a .948 save percentage, and posted a shutout.
Congrats to both teams on an excellent season. In a year where a number of teams could have won it all, it came down to the top 2 teams in the regular season. Congratulations to the Ramblers on their first SVHL Championship!