Weekend sports wrap: Natives eliminated from playoff contention



The following is a recap of what transpired in local sports over the weekend . . .

Natives eliminated from playoff contention

The Neepawa Natives have been officially eliminated from playoff contention in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League.

The Natives dropped both of their games over the weekend and now sit eight points back of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Sher-Wood Division with only two regular season game remaining.

The Natives went into the weekend four points back of Waywayseecappo for the final playoff spot, looking to climb back into contention and also needing help. However the Wolverines wound up winning two of their three contests, thus ending Neepawa's chances for playoff hockey this season.

Game recaps

On Friday night, despite a valiant effort by Neepawa, who outshot their opponent, the Natives fell short, losing 4-2 to the OCN Blizzard at the Yellowhead Centre.

Riley Hillis and Brady Bouchard scored for the Natives, who directed 40 shots at Blizzard netminder Brian Archibald.

Darien Cardinal, David MacGregor, Tyler Grove and Anthony Agner-Bouchard scored for the Blizzard.

Matthieu Verreault made 34 saves in net for Neepawa.

On Sunday night, the host Dauphin Kings edged the Natives 4-3 at Credit Union Place.

With the game tied at three in the third period, Aubrey Chapman wound up scoring the game winner for the Kings at the 13:20 mark.

Brady Bouchard scored his second goal in as many games for Neepawa, while Drake Lindsay netted a power play marker and Riley Hillis found the back of the net for the Natives in a losing cause.

Dylan Butler, Tanner Butler and former Native Brayden Cuthbert scored the other goals for Dauphin.

Michael Stiliadis made 18 saves in net for the Kings, while Matthieu Verreault turned aside 37 shots between the pipes for Neepawa.

The win for Dauphin meant they clinched first place in the Sher-Wood Division.

The Natives (13-40-5) last home game of the season will be Friday night when they host the Dauphin Kings. The Natives will close out the season on Sunday, when they travel to OCN to battle the Blizzard.

For the rest of the scores from around the league, click here.


Robertson in the hunt for provincial title

Neepawa's Kelly Robertson remains in the hunt for a senior men's provincial curling title at the Brandon Curling Club.

Robertson finished the Red Group standings with a 6-1 record and will be taking on Bob Sigurdson in the 1-versus-1 page playoff game on Monday morning.

The championship final is slated to take place later today.

Meanwhile, Brandon's Lois Fowler won the provincial women's senior curling title, defeating Hamiota's Sandra Cowling 6-4 in the final on Sunday.

Fowler and her team of Maureen Bonar, Cathy Gauthier and Allyson Stewart will head to Yellowknife next month where they will represent Manitoba at the Canadian senior curling championship.

Stay up-to-date on the event by going to the Curl Manitoba website.


Krzyzaniak, UND women's hockey team set to take on Bemidji State in playoffs

Neepawa's Halli Krzyzaniak and the University of North Dakota women's hockey team is headed to the playoffs.

The team secured the third seed in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association standings recently and will take on sixth seeded Bemidji State in a best-of-three quarter-final series, beginning Friday.

UND wrapped up their regular season with back-to-back losses on Friday and Saturday against the Ohio State Buckeyes, finishing the regular season with a 14-10-4-2 WCHA regular season record.

In 32 games this season, Krzyzaniak currently has one goal and eight assists while patrolling the blueline for UND in what is her first season with the club.

Farmers down 2-0 to Plainsmen

The Neepawa Farmers are down 2-0 in their Tier Hills Hockey League Eastern Division best-of-five semifinal series against the Carberry Plainsmen.

Down by a score of 6-1 in the third period, the Farmers made a valiant comeback but fell short, losing 8-6 to the Plainsmen on Saturday night at the Yellowhead Centre.

"We came out flat to start the third and it killed us," said Farmers blueliner Rodney White. "It was nice to see the guys never give up, but we need better starts to our periods to be successful."

Travis Tilley scored twice for Neepawa, while Cam Tibbett, Clarke Rempel, Eric Jury and Lance Nugent netted the other tallies for the Farmers in the loss.

Zeanan Zimmer scored twice and added three helpers for the Plainsmen, while Kris Jon Bjarnason picked up the win between the pipes.

Brad Nelson took the loss in net for the Farmers, who will look to stay alive in the series on Wednesday night in Carberry. Game time is 8:00 p.m.

Meanwhile, in other THHL playoff action, the Cartwright Clippers and Gladstone are tied 1-1 in the other East semifinal. In the Western Division semfinals, the Deloraine Royals hold a 2-0 lead over the Boissevain Border Kings, while the Hartney Blues lead the Souris Elks 2-0 in their series.

Wheat Kings snap losing streak

The losing streak is over Wheat King fans.

The Brandon Wheat Kings snapped an eight game slide on Saturday night with a 7-4 win over the Moose Jaw Warriors at Westman Communications Group Place.

Tim McGauley netted his first ever Western Hockey League hat-trick in the win for the Wheat Kings, who dropped a 5-4 decision to the Calgary Hitmen on Friday.

After the weekend's action, the Wheat Kings sit with a 29-26-6-2 record and are two points behind the Swift Current Broncos for sixth place in the Eastern Conference.

Lisoway watch: Neepawa's Quintin Lisoway scored a goal on Friday night. The forward now sits with eight goals, 14 assists and 22 points in 60 games this season.

Bobcats lose both games at Final Four; Boutwell named Canada West all-star

The Brandon University Bobcats men's volleyball team wound up losing both of their games at the Canada West Final Four in Langley, B.C.

The Bobcats lost in four sets to the Trinity Western Spartans in a semifinal on Friday night. The loss meant BU will not be heading to the CIS nationals.

BU followed that up with a four set loss to the Thompson Rivers WolfPack in the bronze medal game, finishing fourth in the Canada West.

Sebastien Steigmeier finished with 11 kills on the night for BU, while fifth-year middle Dan Boutwell had 10 kills and six blocks in what was his final game of his career with the Bobcats.

Boutwell was named a Canada West second team all-star on Friday. He finished fifth in the conference in hitting percentage and finished eighth overall in blocks per set.

Provincial high school curling championship takes place in Rivers

The provincial high school curling championship, which took place in Rivers and Minnedosa, wrapped up on Saturday.

Carter Watkins of Swan River won the boys title, defeating Sanford's Brandon Radford 6-4 in the final, while Ashley Groff of College Jeanne Sauve won the women's crown, beating Warren's Sara Oliver 6-4 in the championship game.

There were several Westman teams that participated in the event, including the host Rivers, which had both boys and girls teams taking part.

Second round of AAA midget playoffs to begin on Friday

The second round of the Manitoba AAA Midget Hockey League playoffs will begin later this week.

Coming off of a sweep of the Yellowhead Chiefs in the opening round, the Brandon AAA Wheat Kings will be taking on the Eastman Selects in a second round series. Game 1 is set for Friday night at the Brandon Sportsplex. Game time is 7:30 p.m.

The other series will be an all-Winnipeg matchup as the Winnipeg Wild will take on the Winnipeg Thrashers. Game 1 of that series is also slated to take place on Friday night.

Chiefs open up playoffs in female midget league

The Yellowhead Chiefs female midget AAA hockey team is currently in the playoffs, taking on the Central Plains Capitals.

The fourth-seeded Capitals and fifth-seeded Chiefs have split their first two contests in the best-of-five series with both teams winning their home games.

Mackenzie Bortis scored the game winner in the first overtime in the Chiefs victory.

The series resumes Wednesday, Feb. 26 in Portage.

Meanwhile, the Westman Wildcats, the third seed in the playoffs, swept the sixth-seeded Norman Wild in three games and are moving on to the next round of the playoffs.

Olympics come to a close; men's hockey team wins gold

The 2014 Olympic Winter Games have come to a close in Sochi, Russia.

Millions of Canadians woke up early Sunday morning to witness the Canadian men's hockey team win their second consecutive Olympic gold medal.

Jonathan Toews, Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz scored for Team Canada as they defeated Sweden 3-0 in the championship final.

The closing ceremonies took place later Sunday with Canada finishing with 25 medals in total (10 gold, 10 silver and five bronze).

In photo: game action between the Neepawa Natives and OCN Blizzard from Friday night.

Photo by Lanny Stewart