When the Swan Valley Stampeders entered their Christmas break, they sat just 3 points behind the Portage Terriers for first place overall in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL) Standings.
The team has bounced around a bit on the Canadian Junior Hockey League’s top 20 power rankings list this year but one thing is for certain, they are the real deal.
The word exciting comes to mind when you look at their roster, which is filled with talent from both Canada and the United States.
Josh Tripp (Swan River, MB), Bradly Goethals (Ile de Chenes, MB), Matt Osadick (Grand Pointe, MB) and Quintin Sudom (Fort McMurray, AB) all sit in the top 10 in league scoring.
The 20-year-old Tripp is having a career year thus far. In 37 games played, the diminutive forward has scored 27 goals, adding 31 assists and sits in top spot in MJHL scoring with 58 points.
Bradly Goethals has found his scoring touch as of late as well. The 20-year-old, hard shooting winger has clawed his way to second in league scoring with 21 goals, 25 assists for 46 points in only 28 games played; averaging 1.64 points per game.
Another 20-year-old, Quintin Sudom is one of the leagues best defenceman who has dominated in the first half of the season scoring 13 goals while adding 31 assists for 44 points in 37 games played and sits tops amongst defencemen and fourth overall in league leaders.
Matt Osadick, just 18 years of age, has slipped down the list to fifth spot with 18 goals, 24 assists for 42 points in just 27 games played. His reason for slipping down the list is a good one however. Osadick was away from the team for two weeks while participating in the World Junior A Challenge in Bonnyville, AB – where he and his Team Canada West teammates won a bronze medal.
Make no mistake, head coach and general manager Barry Wolff has helped instill an exciting, hardworking, never quit attitude into this roster; one that has driven this team to be one of the best in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League this season.
The Stampeders have put together the best start in franchise history with a record of 24-7-3-2 for 53 points.
The team will be back in town early in the New Year as they prepare for a strong finish. Their next game action comes January 5 and 6 when they host the red hot Selkirk Steelers for a pair of games that could prove to be an indication of how the unofficial second half could go.
Game tickets are always available at Atkinson Sports Excellence or at the door prior to each game. Ten-game flex packs are your best value at this point to witness some exciting junior hockey at the Swan River Centennial Arena. Contact any Stampeders board member if interested in taking advantage of this deal.
The Stampeders want to extend best wishes this holiday season to all our fans, sponsors and volunteers.