Dauphin tops NACI for Christmas Cup


Clippers winBy Eoin Devereux

The Neepawa Press/Neepawa Banner

The Dauphin Clippers are heading into the holiday hiatus with bragging rights over the Neepawa Tigers, after a 4-2 win in the Christmas Cup.

In the final game before Christmas break, NACI hit the ice against the top team in the Westman High School Hockey League (WHSHL), as Dauphin entered the contest with a 9-2 regular season record. The Tigers were not intimidated though, as they were backed by a boisterous home crowd, made up of around 600 students, parents and local supporters

The Clippers would open up the scoring with 6:16 remaining in the first period on a power-play. Jared Lagoski scored for Dauphin. Neepawa was not discouraged by Dauphin jumping out to the early advantage and answered back with one of their own, with a goal from Will Birnie just over two minutes later. Braden Gillies assisted on NACI’s opening marker. The Clippers reclaimed the lead 18 seconds after that, as Lagoski scored his second of the period.

There was no scoring in the second, but in the third, the offence opened up once again. Dauphin started with their third goal of the afternoon, 4:53 into the final period. The Tigers added a power-play goal with 8:29 left in regulation. Cole Krutkewich scored, with Gillies registering his second assist of the game for the home side. NACI continued to put the pressure on Dauphin for the equalizer, but was unable to find the back of the net. Eventually, the Clippers ensured the victory, with their fourth goal, an unassisted effort by Brendan Kruck with 1:03 left the game.

The win improved Dauphin’s WHSHL record to 10-2 on the year, while the Tigers fell to 1-7 on the regular season. NACI now has a two week break, before they play their next league game, a matchup against the Glenboro/Carberry Wildcats on Wednesday, Jan. 6.