Selects vs Thrashers January 18, 2019
The Selects were on the road visiting the Thrashers Friday and after losing three straight to the Wild, Yellowhead and Brandon, it was time to get back in the win column. Obviously, a quick start and jumping ahead early was the plan as Runke scored just 38 seconds into the contest. Beauchemin and Thiessen picked up the assists. The Thrashers however got on the scoreboard just past the midway point of the first period and both teams went into the first intermission tied at one apiece. Shots after one were 15 to 10 in favor of the Thrashers. The Selects came out much stronger in the second period but the Thrashers scored first on the power play to take a 2 to 1 lead. Just under three minutes later though Runke got his second of the game, this time from LaBossiere and Boonstra to even the score at 2 to 2. Shots after the second were 30 to 24 in favor of the Selects. The Thrashers came out much more determined in the third and outshot the Selects 12 to 6 in the frame. The Selects had to kill off a double minor but Belluk once again was able to stop every shot he faced. With just under four minutes to go, Beauchemin made a beautiful play in the Thrashers offensive zone to get Thiessen the puck all alone in the slot. Thiessen converted by out waitingthe Thrashers goalie to score a beauty on the backhand, the game winner and give the Selects a 3 to 2 win on the road.
By Darrell Janz
Goaltender of the Month
The Manitoba AAA Midget Hockey League is proud to announce that Danton Belluk of the Eastman Selects is the Chicken Chef Goaltender of the Month for December.
Belluk went a perfect 5-0 in December, notching wins against the league-leading Winnipeg Wild, 3rd seeded Brandon Wheat Kings, and both the Yellowhead Chiefs and Southwest Cougars – two teams directly below the Selects in the standings. Belluk stopped 198 of 208 shots he faced, posting a Save Percentage of .952 and Goals Against Average of 1.97. His efforts helped the Selects to a 6-0-1 record in December.
Belluk is in his third season with the Selects and currently holds an 11-5 record with a GAA of 2.36 and SV% of .931. He is a prospect of the Everett Silvertips of the Western Hockey League and of the Steinbach Pistons of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League.
The Selects must have been feeling very confident coming into the game versus Kenora after a big win against the Wild the day before and with the Christmas break coming up, the expectation was to make this five wins in a row. The first period was fairly even in terms of play but Kenora scored first on a Selects turnover in their zone with just over a minute left in the frame and Kenora took a 1 to 0 lead into the first intermission. The Selects were then stunned as Kenora made it 2 to 0 at the 7:34 mark of the second even though the home team seemed to have the slight edge in play. Beauchemin finally got his team on the board just past the midway point of the second but Kenora responded just two minutes later to restore their two goal lead heading into the second intermission. The Selects came out strong in the third and Solypa scored on the power play from Beauchemin and Boonstra to narrow the margin to 4 to 3. Just over two minutes later, Kurbatoff scored from Janz and McGowan to even the score at 3 apiece. Kenora seemed to wake up at that point and began creating their own chances by simply outworking the Selects and were rewarded by getting the go ahead goal just over 4 minutes later. Their work ethic continued and just 6 minutes later scored again to restore their two goal lead. The last six minutes of the game though was all Selects as they pressed Kenora in the offensive zone but just could not score to make the final 5 to 3 Kenora. Final shots on goal were 34 to 24 in favor of the Selects.
By Darrell Janz
The Selects were hoping to make it three straight wins against the visiting Wild, the top team in the league and this would be no easy task. The Wild struck first on the power play just under 7 minutes into the game but Boonstra responded just a minute later to even the score, then added his second of the game three minutes later and the Selects went into the intermission with a slim 2 to 1 lead. The Wild had the edge in shots in the first period 14 to 11. Early in the second frame, Chamberlin made it 3 to 1 Selects and Powers was making several key saves to keep the Wild from gaining any momentum. With just under three minutes left in the period and the Selects shorthanded, Chamberlin pounced on a loose puck at the Selects blue line and scored a short handed marker on a determined solo effort to make it 4 to 1 Selects after two periods. The Wild pressed hard in the third period and Powers was outstanding, especially given the fact the Selects had to kill off five minor penalties including a 5 on 3. The Wild managed to score only once in the final second of the game and the Selects hung on for the 4 to 2 win. Final shots on goal were 38 to 31 in favor of the Wild.
By Darrell Janz
CONGRATULATIONS TO FORWARD CABREL LABOSSIERE
CABREL WILL PLAY FOR TEAM MANITOBA AT THE CANADA WINTER GAMES
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The Eastman Selects came into the December 15/16 weekend in a familiar situation, playing two teams they had not beaten this season. Two weeks ago they were able to defeat the Winnipeg Wild and Yellowhead Chiefs back-to-back. This weekend they were facing the Brandon Wheat Kings and Southwest Cougars. After defeating the Wheat Kings on Saturday night they had a chance to go two-for-two on Sunday afternoon versus Southwest in Beausejour. Winning the majority of their games is crucial if they hope to keep pace with the top tier teams in the league.
In the first period it was evident early on that Southwest was going to bring physical intensity and Eastman would have to match that. In the early going it seemed that Eastman might not be up to the task and the Cougars parlayed their grinding game into good offensive zone time. Eastman's goaltender, Danton Belluk, was able to turn away all of the shots he faced as most were fired in from the perimeter. The period ended in a scoreless tie.
The Selects seemed to find their legs in the second period and were able to create some momentum with some quick, efficient break outs from their own zone. Midway through the second period Eastman was awarded a short two-man advantage that led to the first goal of the game. Conrad Solypa was able to walk in from the point and wired a shot off the post through a two man screen in front. His defense partner, Blair McGowan, was able to find the rebound and fired it past the Southwest net minder. Solypa was awarded the only assist on the play. Several minutes later Solypa corralled a high shoot-around at the point and got a strong shot on net. Andrew Blocker was going to the net and showed off some nice eye-hand coordination with a high deflection that found it's way into the Southwest net for Eastman's second of the period. Again, Eastman's captain was credited with the lone assist on the goal. The second intermission came with a 2-0 Eastman lead.
Southwest started the third period with a determined push to get back into the game and created a number of scoring chances with a strong fore check. Midway through the period they were able to capitalize on a power play to narrow the gap to one. A southwest defense man wired a point shot through a double screen that was able to beat Belluk. Just when it looked as though Southwest was about to mount a final push they ran into their own penalty troubles, most notably a slew foot major with 8:51 left to play. During the ensuing power play Cabrel Labossiere was able to pick a rebound out of mid-air and slap it past the surprised net minder. Hunter Sexton and Ethan McColm picked up the assists. Southwest wasn't done even though down 3-1 and short handed. They were able to spring players for a number of 2-on-1 breaks and finally capitalized on a short handed chance when one of their forwards outworked two Eastman players in the corner and fired a sharp angle shot off of Belluk's arm and into the net. The Cougars pressed all-out in the final few minutes and Belluk was forced to make several spectacular saves to preserve the 3-2 win and bring a successful conclusion to the weekend.
The Selects had a three game win streak heading into action Sunday against Pembina Valley and the same effort they had Friday was clearly evident once the puck was dropped. But Pembina opened the scoring early in the first and added a power play goal late to take a 2 to 0 lead after the first. Cue the comeback, midway through the second, Beauchemin picked up a loose puck and scored shorthanded which seemed to give the Selects the momentum they needed. Late in the second, Sexton fired a shot from the point to even the score and both teams went to the dressing room tied 2 to 2. The third was scoreless and the Selects had the edge in play for the most part and also managed to kill off a five minute Pembina power play. Overtime solved nothing so this was one would be decided in the shootout. Beauchemin was the only player to score on a nifty deke and the Selects were victorious to make it four in a row. Go Selects!
By Darrell Janz
The Selects were back at home Friday and once again were facing the Central Plains team they had played just 5 days earlier. The Selects came out determined to take control of this game and establish an aggressive forecheck. Just 6 minutes into the game, Thiessen scored from Runke and Beauchemin and Chamberlin added another from Boonstra and Blocker to put the home team up 2 to 0 after the first. Early in the second frame, Beauchemin and Boonstra connected to make it 4 to 0 Selects and the boys in white had complete control of this game. Central Plains finally got on the board on the power play midway through the second, but the Selects answered quickly with Sexton and Svenson adding singles to make it 6 to 1 after two periods of play. Just 5 minutes into the third, Thiessen connected twice to complete the hat trick and the rout was on. Central Plains got their second power play goal of the game at the 12 minute mark but the Selects completely dominated this game from start to finish with the final score 8 to 2 for the home team.
By Darrell Janz
The game started with Eastman carrying the play and spending large amounts of time in the Thistles end. The strong fore checking and cycling by the Select forwards resulted in a few good chances before Ethan McColm found the back of the net off of a nice cross-ice feed by Hunter Sexton. Matthew Egan picked up the secondary helper.
Kenora was able to create their own momentum by taking advantage of a few Select defensive zone turnovers and then their special teams took over. The Thistles scored a power play goal and a short-handed marker in the last ten minutes of the first period and went into the intermission as confident 2-1 leaders.
The second period started off as the first period had ended, with Kenora pressing and creating chances off their fore-checking. The momentum shifted again thanks to a hard-working shift by the line of Boonstra, Chamberlin and Blocker. The shift ended with a goal mouth tap-in by Andrew Blocker with both of his line mates picking up assists. The same combination came through again minutes later when Blocker scored his second after a slick move on a beautiful two on one feed from Hudson Chamberlin. Boonstra also picked up his second assist of the game. This display of hard work and crisp passing seemed to inspire the rest of the Selects as other lines began creating their own chances. The result was two goals in a five minute span by Kieran Thiessen, both on point blank shots from the slot, one on a feed from Josh Beauchemin and the other on a similar play from Kaden Runke. Beauchemin and defenceman Blair McGowan picked up secondary assists. The offensive onslaught ended with a defensive miscue leading to a Thistle two on zero break away. Still, a strong second ended with Eastman holding a 5-3 lead.
The game settled down in the third with neither team scoring until the final minute. In the last two minutes of the third, an Eastman penalty encouraged Kenora to pull their goalie in the hopes of mounting a six on four comeback. That was not to be as Runke finished the scoring with a short handed empty netter after forcing a Kenora turn over with a strong fore check.
The final score was a well deserved 6-3 victory for the Selects.
The Selects were back in action Sunday against Central Plains and this game was a seesaw battle right to the end. Beauchemin opened the scoring midway through the first from Runke and Solypa and the score after one was Selects 1 to 0. Central Plains scored two quick goals early in the second frame to take the lead but it was short lived as Thiessen connected nine seconds later from Runke and Beauchemin to tie it at two. The Selects went ahead 3 to 2 with Beauchemin notching his second from Runke but Central Plains evened the affair with three minutes to go in the second. Midway through the third Beauchemin notched his third of the afternoon from Solypa and Thiessen to make the final 4 to 3 Selects. But clearly the star of this game was Powers as he turned aside 47 of the 50 shots he faced, many that were Grade A chances and was outstanding between the pipes.
By Darrell Janz
After a close but disappointing 4 to 2 loss to Southwest October 14, the Selects next opponent was Yellowhead, the top team in the league. The game was played at the Showcase in Portage October 20 and it would require the Selects to bring their A game versus a tough opponent. Beauchemin opened the scoring early in the first from Runke and Thiessen and the Selects held the edge in play the entire period until Yellowhead scored with 1:21 left to go in the first to tie it up. The puck was dropped at center ice and within six seconds Yellowhead scored again and sending the team to the dressing room down 2 to 1. The teams traded chances in the second and just past the midway point of the period, Yellowhead struck again on a shot that seemed to handcuff Powers. It seemed like a bad dream as the puck was dropped at center ice and this time Yellowhead scored just seven seconds later to take a 4 to 1 lead. The Selects were down 4 to 1 after two periods but were not giving up and came out hard in the third. Unfortunately, Yellowhead got their fifth goal of the game early in the third which seemed to kill any momentum the Selects were trying to build. Beauchemin notched his second of the game with just under three minutes to play, but two lapses for the Selects proved to be very costly in the end. Final score was 5 to 2 Yellowhead with shots favoring the Selects 37 to 31.
By Darrell Janz
After a disappointing 3 to 1 loss to Central Plains Friday October 5 at home, the Selects were ready to get back on the ice and redeem themselves against Parkland. Svenson opened the scoring with his first of the season just over a minute into the game and minutes later LaBossiere notched his first and it appeared the flood gates were about to open. Beauchemin added two more goals in the frame and shots on goal were 19 to 7 in favor of the Selects. Just two minutes into the second, Beauchemin got his third straight goal, this time a shorthanded marker to make it 5 to 0 Selects. Sexton, Boonstra and Noble added singles and LaBossiere got his second of the night to make it 9 to 0 after the second. LaBossiere wasn’t finished though as he scored early in the third on the power play to complete the hat trick. Parkland finally got on the board midway through the period but Chamberlin added a single just three minutes later to make the final score 11 to 1 Selects. The Selects will hit the road this weekend to play Parkland again on Saturday in Dauphin and Sunday afternoon in Souris to take on the Cougars.
By Darrell Janz
After opening the schedule with two straight losses, the Selects were looking to bounce back and pick up their first win of the season on home ice against the visiting Interlake Lightning. The first period had no scoring but shots on goal favored the Selects 10 to 1. Kyle Melo opened the scoring early in the second driving wide around the Interlake defender and slipping one past the Interlake goalie. The Selects took five minor penalties and Interlake only one in the second which allowed the visitors to get more shots on Belluk. Shots after two periods were 24 to 12 in favor of the Selects. It seemed the Selects were much more focused on playing tighter defensively and it was apparent from the onset this was the game plan. Kurbatoff got his first of the season early in the third from Noble and Runke. Just past the midway point of the third Interlake finally got on the board on the power play to cut the deficit to a one goal lead by the Selects. But that’s as close as Interlake would get as Blocker scored on the power play unassisted with two and half minutes to play in regulation to seal the win. Final shots on goal were 42 to 18 Selects.
By Darrell Janz
Saturday September 29:
The Eastman Selects made the trip to Morden to play the Pembina Valley Hawks
the day after their home opener looking to bounce back from an opening loss.
The Hawks struck first just 3 minutes into the game but a determined effort
from Beauchemin evened it up just after the midway point of the first. The
Hawks responded just 4 minutes later to take a 2 to 1 lead after the first.
Shots after the first period were 20 to 14 in favor of the Hawks. The second
period was all Hawks as they outscored the Selects with four unanswered
goals. Too many odd man rushes given up by the Selects made it difficult on
goalie Powers to keep his team in this game. Belluk came in in relief at the
end of the second period and Beauchemin was only player to score for the
Selects with his second of the night. After two periods the score was 6 to 2
Hawks. The third period was better for the Selects as they got singles from
Thiessen and Janz to make it 6 to 4 but that’s as close as the Selects got
as the Hawks added and empty netter to make it a 7 to 4 final.
By Darrell Janz
The Eastman Selects opened their 2018 - 2019 season in Beausejour at the
Sun-Gro Friday September 28 against the visiting Winnipeg Thrashers. The
Selects came out skating and generated opportunities to score but at the end
of the first period the Thrashers were up 1 to 0. The Thrashers seemed quite
content to play a simple road game of getting pucks deep and by the end of
the second period the visitors had a 3 to 0 lead, having outshot the Selects
31 to 20. The third period was much better for the Selects as they started
winning more puck battles and finally got on the board at 8:19 mark with
Janz notching his first from Runke and Blocker. The momentum generated was
short lived however as two minutes later the Thrashers scored again to make
it a 4 to 1 final. Final shots on goal favored the visitors 46 to 33 and
Belluk made several outstanding saves to keep this game close.
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