Sports Update – Tuesday, December 20th –

Sports Update – Tuesday, December 20th –

The top three teams from the Manitoba Junior Hockey League’s East Division are in the Canadian Junior Hockey League’s top 20 rankings as the 2022 leg of the season concludes. The Steinbach Pistons remain sixth. The Portage Terriers stayed in 10th place while the Winkler Flyers moved up from 19th to 14th. The Battlefords North Stars of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League are number one in the national rankings for the ninth straight week.

Shane Wright scored twice and added an assist in his first game before the tournament in Moncton on Monday in Moncton to help Canada beat Switzerland 6-0. Joshua Roy, Nathan Gaucher, Brennan Othmann and Olen Zellweger rounded out the standings for Team Canada. Connor Bedard contributed three assists. Thomas Milic converted to a 19 save shutout. Canada’s next group stage match is against Slovakia on Wednesday. The 2023 World Junior Hockey Championship begins on Boxing Day in Moncton and Halifax.

The Canada women’s national ice hockey team won the second leg of the Rivalry Series after beating the United States 3-2 in overtime on Monday night in Los Angeles. Danielle Serdachny sunk the winning goal 2:16 into overtime. Sarah Fillier and Laura Stacey scored for the Canadians in the second period. Team Canada captain Marie-Philip Poulin provided an assist for Fillier’s goal, the 199th point of her international career. Emerance Maschmeyer stopped 32 of the 34 shots she was exposed to. The Rivalry Series returns for the final two games north of the border in February. The USA lead the series 3-2.

The Winnipeg Jets play their final home game before the Christmas break tonight against the Ottawa Senators at Canada Life Centre. Winnipeg will then play away games against the Boston Bruins on Thursday and the Washington Capitals on Friday. The Jets have Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day off before hosting the Minnesota Wild on December 27th.

The 12-team field is destined for the 2023 Provincial Scotties Tournament of Hearts, which will be held Jan. 24-29 in East St. Paul. Four former Scotties champions skip teams they hope can bring them back to the national Scotties where they will challenge the best in Canada including Team Canada skipped by Gimlis Kerri Einarson. Jennifer Jones (St Vital), skipping defending champion Mackenzie Zacharias’ team; Jones’ former third Kaitlyn Lawes (Fort Rouge), skipping part of former champion team Tracy Fleury; Chelsea Carey (East St. Paul) with Liz Fyfe from this Fleury team; and Darcy Robertson (AMCC), with a young but capable supporting cast, all know the pressures and joys of playing and winning the Manitoba Finals. The group of four former champions will be tested this year by a group of eight challenger teams, including three teams in the CTRS Top 30 (as of December 18); two teams seeking a Manitoba junior title this season and three other very competitive teams. Abby Ackland (East St. Paul), an MCT Rankings qualifier; Beth Peterson (AMCC), the Bonspiel winner from Minnedosa who was so impressive in a 2021 National Scotties wildcard appearance; and 2022 Manitoba Scotties finalist Kristy Watling (East St. Paul) currently sit 8th, 21st and 29th in the Canadian team ranking system. Katy Lukowich (Granite) and Grace Beaudry (St. Vital), who are CTRS Nos. 85 and 97 respectively, both have ambitions to win the Manitoba Junior title at Portage in mid-January. Both will hope to play the East St. Paul Scotties as a tune-up for the national juniors. The final three entries for this year’s Provincial Scotties are Lisa McLeod (Portage), Alyssa Vandepoele (Carberry) and Emma Jensen (Heather).

The state championships in curling U18 will take place from December 27th to 31st in the Altona Curling Club. Keith Stoesz, Co-Chair of the Hosting Committee, will join Clayton Dreger on This Week in Curling, which airs Tuesdays at 5:15 p.m. on AM 1250 radio.

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