Swan River, MB – The Swan Valley Stampeders are set to take on the Dauphin Kings in the first round of the 2022-2023 MJHL playoffs.
This series is a rematch of last season’s quarter-final between these two Highway 10 rivals and it couldn’t have come a better time for the Stampeders. Swan Valley will head into the playoffs red hot, winners of nine straight, and 13 out of their last 15 to close out the regular season.
Game one is set for Friday, March 24 at the Centennial Arena, proudly presented by Kal Tire, while game two is scheduled for Saturday, Mar. 25 in Dauphin. The best-of-seven series will shift back to Swan Valley Tuesday, Mar. 28 for game three – which is presented by Cook & Cooke Insurance Financial, and game four will be in Dauphin Friday, Mar. 31. Games five, six and seven will rotate back-and-forth between the two communities if necessary. Those dates are Saturday, Apr. 1 in Swan, Tuesday, Apr. 4 in Dauphin and Wednesday, Apr. 5 in Swan.
The Stampeders have had a hell of a time closing games out against the Dauphin Kings this season, going 2-4 against their Highway 10 rival. Two of those losses came back-to-back in overtime in mid-December. Since then, the Stampeders took down the Kings, 4-3 on Wednesday, Mar. 1 during their impressive stretch run to claim first overall in the MGEU West Division.
Both teams have scored 19 goals against during all six meetings this season. But, all that being said, both teams have fought hard to make this year’s playoffs and everything starts back at zeroes Friday night in Swan River.
September 23 – 3-0 Stampeders win
September 24 – 3-2 Kings win
December 11 – 5-4 Kings win (OT)
December 16 – 4-3 Kings win (OT)
January 11 – 4-3 Kings win
Mar 1 – 4-3 Stampeders win
Head Coach: Barry Wolff
Assistant Coach: Dakota Mason
Associate Coach: Darren Webster
Overall PP – 19.8% PK – 78.8%
Jakob Jones – 72 points in 58 games
Justin Keck – 63 points in 53 games
Trey Sauder – 60 points in 58 games
Kobe Grant – Record -26-14-3 (.933 SV%, 2.69 GAA)
Head Coach: Doug Hedley
Assistant Coach: Chad Facey
Assistant Coach: Brad Dupasquier
Overall PP – 16.7% PK – 80.4%
Mathew Gough – 56 points in 55 games
Mason Smith – 43 points in 54 games
Alex Senf –39 points in 55 games
Cole Sheffield – Record -15-9-2 (.921 SV%, 2.61 GAA)
Safe to say this year’s playoff series is going to be one for the ages as both teams have a lot to give and a lot to once again prove. It is safe to say that all the pressure will be on Dauphin as game one will be in enemy territory for the Kings, a place the Stampeders have had great success this season.
The Stampeders will bring with them an arsenal of experience from Head Coach Barry Wolff, all the way down to the goaltending in Kobe Grant. Barry Wolff will make his 58th playoff game appearance as a Head Coach at the Junior A level. Assistant Coach Dakota Mason will make his playoff debut behind the bench but brings with him the experience and knowledge of winning two AJHL championships and two national championships with the Brooks Bandits. Kobe Grant, the MJHL Ed Belfour goaltender of the year returns for one more run and has redemption on his mind after a tough, 4-2 series loss last season against the Kings last spring.
Playoffs are what every player dreams of and it all starts tonight at the Centennial Arena. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m..
Tickets are available online at stampedershockey.com, through the official app of the Swan Valley Stampeders or at the door.