The Saskatchewan, and Manitoba Junior Hockey League’s have converged on Winnipeg for what is sure to be a fun couple days of hockey.
Teams practiced on Monday as they get set to play a pair of games on Tuesday and Wednesday at the Seven Oaks Complex in Winnipeg.
For the Melfort Mustangs, 10 players are set to represent the club for the SJHL at the annual Showcase.
Team Gold will feature players born in 2003 and 2002, and will see seven Mustangs on the team, including Captain Ben Tkachuk, who is at his second SJHL/MJHL Showcase, after representing the league in 2019/2020.
Tkachuk said he likes his team that features a number of his teammates, and seven player from first place Battlefords.
“We’ve got some pretty good players,” he said. “So hopefully we can snap out a couple of wins against the MJHL.”
Tkachuk will be joined be Ryan Duguay, Dawson Leroux, Leith Olafson, Kevin Minnoch, Hayden Tuba, and Leyton Holoien on Team Gold that will also include their Head Coach Trevor Blevins who will serve as an assistant.
As for some of the younger kids that wear the blue and green, three Mustangs will dawn the jerseys of Team Blue that features players born in 2004 and later. 2006-born Riley Ashe will be one of those players.
He said that coming to an event like this, with lots of eyes on you, it’s a matter of playing your game and doing what you do best, while also having fun at an event with some of the best players in the league.
“I think the balance is just playing your game,” Ashe said. “You can’t get distracted on what you’re good at. What you’ve got to do, you’ve got to fore check, back check, but you’ve also got to go out there and be creative and have fun.”
Team Gold kicks off the event at Noon on Tuesday morning against Team Red of the MJHL. Team Blue will meet the other U18 team of the MJHL at 5 p.m.