It’s time for another Three Stars of the Week, which is brought to you by Paull Funeral Home and Crematorium. Every Monday we will be awarding three players who had a big week and giving them stars. We will be doing this week-to-week with points accumulating throughout the season. The top three will players will be recognized and presented an award during our final home game of the season.
The Swan Valley Stampeders opened up the 2022 portion of their schedule with one overtime loss and one win, taking three points from the second-place team (Winnipeg Blues) in the East Division. You couldn’t have asked for a better start to the second half from the Stampeders who have had some tough stretches early on this season.
These past two games have been a complete team effort on behalf of the Stampeder players, and it showed Friday and Saturday night at the Centennial Arena.
The Stampeders skated right alongside the Winnipeg Blue all night Friday and their never-give-up attitude allowed them to push it to overtime and a shootout against one of the league’s more dominant teams. Brad Fortin got things going offensively for the Stampeders, scoring with two minutes left in the first period to cut Winnipeg’s lead in half. The Captain, Carter Cockburn, took over from their scoring back-to-back goals and forcing overtime.
Dylan Black made his return to the Stampeder net after being out with an injury-plagued first half of the season. After helping his team reach overtime Friday night, his skate blade popped out of his skate and couldn’t get it replaced in time to continue. Kobe Grant came on in relief with just over a minute left in the overtime period and took the loss in the shootout.
Saturday was a bit of a different story. Despite giving up 42 shots on Grant, the Stampeders found a way to fight off everything the Blues sent their way and defeated Winnipeg 5-1. Adam Ward used a power play to grab the game’s first goal just over five minutes into the contest. Jacob Paler-Chow added to the Stamps’ lead thirteen minutes later. Winnipeg responded in the second period with a power play marker of their own but it wasn’t enough as Fortin, Cody Barnes and Cockburn (EN) all scored in the third period while Grant stopped 41/42 shots he face for the win.
Swan Valley has now moved one point back of Neepawa for fourth in the West Division and just three points behind Virden for Third.
Swan Valley will need to shore up the shots against come this weekend when they travel south for a two-game series against the Steinbach Pistons.
The “Three Stars of the Week” is brought to you by Paull Funeral Home & Crematorium, and will be awarded week-to-week with points being collected throughout the season. The top three will players will be recognized at the end of the season.
Three stars point system is as follows:
1st Star = 3 points
2nd Star = 2 points
3rd Star = 1 point
Check back every Monday for the Paull Funeral Home & Crematorium, Three Stars of the week.
THREE STARS (Jan 2. – Jan. 9)
Kobe Grant continues to turn heads every time he suits up for the Swan Valley Stampeders. The 19-year-old put on a clinic Saturday night at the Centennial Arena, stopping 41/42 shots he faced posting a 1.00 GAA and a .976 SV% in a 5-1 win. The Vernon, BC product sits with a record of 8-10 posting a 3.34 GAA and a .905 SV%.
Collin Jennings makes his way into the three stars of the week for the first time. The 19-year-old has been a great addition to the Stampeder blue-line, bringing his physicality, and now offence, to the team. The North Vancouver, BC product picked up four assists in two games helping his team collect three massive points in the standings. Prior to these past two games, Jennings had one assist in 18 games.
Carter Cockburn has been on fire as of late and that continued this past weekend against the Winnipeg Blues. Cockburn scored two goals and added an assist in Friday night’s 4-3 shootout loss to the Blues. He followed that up with an assist and an empty-net goal to help lead his team to a 5-1 victory Saturday night. The 20-year-old Swan River product leads his team in scoring with 29 points (10 goals, 19 assists) in 32 games.
Honourable mentions this week go to Brad Fortin (2G) Adam Ward (1G), Jacob Paler-Chow (1G), and Cody Barnes (1G, 1A) Lare Pahtayken (2A) and Quinn Mulder (2A).
The MJHL Trade Deadline is also fast approaching as all teams must be set as of tonight. Prior to this story being written, the Stampeders announced a trade involving a Swan River local. Head Coach and General Manager Barry Wolff announced that 20-year-old defenceman Jackson Betcher was traded to the Steinbach Pistons for future considerations. Jackson’s statement on the trade that was released yesterday can be found below.
“I’d like to thank my coaches and the Stampeder organization for giving me the opportunity to play for my hometown team the past four years,” said Betcher. “It was an unforgettable experience that I will cherish forever. I was lucky to be able to meet great teammates and make friends for life. I would also like to thank the amazing and dedicated fans for supporting the team and me all these years. It is a special community that I am glad to be a part of. To the coaches, my teammates and the fans – thank you.”
We would like to wish Jackson all the best moving forward with the Steinbach Pistons.
Stay tuned for any further trade news and make sure to follow us on all social media platforms for any breaking news leading up to the trade deadline tonight.
The Stampeders’ next action will be Friday, Jan. 14 and Saturday, Jan. 15 in Steinbach to face the Pistons. Both games can be viewed on hockeytv.com as only season ticket holders are allowed into the arena with the current provincial health orders in place.
STANDINGS (Point Leaders)
10 – Cody Barnes
10 – Carter Cockburn
8 – Kobe Grant
8 – Quinn Mulder
5 – Adam Rajsigl
4 – Callum Fortin
3 – Tyler Park
3 – Jacob Paler-Chow
3 – Justin Keck
2 – Dylan Black
1 – Trey Sauder
1 – Myles Mason
1 – Darius Makse