Six Melfort Mustangs took part in the inaugural SJHL/MJHL Showcase in Regina this week. For the two leagues the goal of the Showcase was simple, to host an event for scouts from across North America exposing the talent level among Junior Hockey in the two prairie provinces. Along with the SJHL and MJHL Showcases held at the beginning of October the new “All Star” format if you will, allows the scout to watch necessarily the top prospects eligible to NCAA hockey in both Saskatchewan and Manitoba at the same time.
For the Melfort Mustangs that meant 6 players, Reed Gunville, Kalem Zary, Kayle Tosh, Carson Albrecht, Justin Ball and Evan Plotnik took part in the two day showcase, each playing 2 games against prospects from the Manitoba Junior Hockey League. All 6 players played great as they were split between Team Mitchell and Team Kunitz. Between the 4 games that involved Mustangs the SJHL went 4-0 against the MJHL.
Monday Jan 15th 2018
Team Mitchell(SJHL) vs Team Zajac(MJHL)
- Evan Plotnik got the start between the pipes and was solid for 60 minutes. Plotnik made 23 saves on 25 shots in a 4-2 win.
- Reed Gunville picked up an assist in his first game.
- Kalem Zary also added an assist in the game
- Kayle Tosh played great on the back end leading the breakout multiple times and jumping up into the rush.
Team Kunitz(SJHL) vs Team Belfour(MJHL)
- Justin Ball and Carson Albrecht were held off the scoresheet in this one but both played great. The two Mustang line mates played together all Showcase and showed why they work so well together. With constant offensive pressure and their ability to cycle the puck they showed why they have such success together in the SJHL.
Tuesday Jan 16th 2018
Team Mitchell(SJHL) vs Team Belfour(MJHL)
- Reed Gunville picked up another assist in this game as he saved it for the most opportune time. In the second shift of OT Gunville outworked an MJHL Dman down low, dug the puck free and fed fellow Mustang Kalem Zary in the slot for a one-time top chedder winner. Mitchell beat Belfour 4-3 in OT thanks to Gunville, Zary and Tosh.
- Kalem Zary had 1 goal in the contest. As explained it was the winner as he got a great pass from Reed Gunville. Zary made no mistake going top corner on Virden Oil Capital goalie Riley McVeigh.
- Kayle Tosh played outstanding again in his 2nd game of the showcase. Jumping up in the play and moving the puck well. He wasn’t on the ice for Zary’s OT winner, nor did he pick up an assist. But he did start the OT as the only Dman and held a part in getting the puck down low into the MJHL zone eventually setting up the Gunville to Zary winner.
- Evan Plotnik- After playing the entire game on Monday, Plotnik backed up Flin Flon goalie Brenden Newton in this game.
Team Kunitz(SJHL) vs Team Zajac(MJHL)
- Justin Ball picked up a goal in this game. He was able to get the puck on the left side of the ice, bust down the wing and rip one past OCN Blizzard goalie Dorian Laganiere.
- -Carson Albrecht was held off the scoresheet in this game but it wasn’t from a lack of hard work or skill. Ball and Albrecht played outstanding in the final game of the showcase. The two Mustangs were all over the ice as the line mates continued to dominate inside the MJHL zone. Both putting up numerous shots on goal in the contest.
Overall it was a great showcase for both the SJHL and MJHL. In my opinion after spending the two days in Regina both leagues accomplished what they set out to do as scouts flocked in for the event from all over North America. According to the SJHL website, SJHL President Bill Chow has confirmed the plan for next year is to hold the showcase in Regina once again.