On May 2nd 2019 the WHL held their annual Bantam draft to select players from all across western Canada and the United States to become apart of their organization. Congratulations to all the players within the AAA Winnipeg organizations who were drafted to WHL teams. Find a complete player list below.
What an amazing year of hockey the 2018-2019 season was! This season saw the Warriors defeat the Monarchs at the Bantam 2 level to win the city championship. The Monarchs won the city championship against the Sharks but be defeated in the provincial finals by the Eastman Selects who had won the rural championship at Bantam 1. Finally the Monarchs narrowly defeated the Sharks to take home the U17 Prep league title. To go along with all of this amazing team success, there were many individual success stories. These individuals were highlighted at the Annual AAA Year end and Awards Banquet at the Canad-Inns Polo Park. See below for a list of all the individual champions:
Defenceman of the Year:
Bantam 2- Blake Jones (Monarchs) and Andrew Hladun (Hawks)
Bantam 1- Sam Court (Monarchs)
U17 Prep- Aiden Forrest (Monarchs)
Provincial U18- Matthew Shatsky (Wild)
Forward of the Year:
Bantam 2- Jayden Perron (Warriors)
Bantam 1- Michael Cicek (Monarchs)
U17 Prep- Adam Ingram (Hawks)
Provincial U18- Kaden Bryant (Wild)
Goalie of the Year:
Bantam 2- Francois Gagnon (Eastman Selects)
Bantam 1- Matthew Kieper (Sharks)
U17 Prep- Ashton Howarth (Sharks)
Provincial U18- Carson Cherepak (Wild)
Hardest Working Player
Bantam 2- Hayden Chaloner (Sharks) and Joshua Degagne (Hawks)
Bantam 1- Mathew Renville (Warriors)
U17 Prep- Ty Earl (Wheat Kings)
Provincial U18- Braden Huminuk (Thrashers)
Most Valuable Player
Bantam 2- Lucas Hansen (Warriors)
Bantam 1- Matthew Kieper (Sharks)
U17 Prep- Rhonan White (Sharks)
Provincial U18- Reese Belton (Wild)
Bruins- Jordan Woods
Thrashers- Andrew Hopko
Wild- Ethan Robson
Impact Player of the Year
Connor Roulette (Thrashers)
Coach of the Year
Paul Kruger (Wild)
Congratulations to all the award recipients and a job well done to all the nominees and players around the leagues.
Other notable new from the awards banquet:
The names of the leagues have been changed:
With the U17 league becoming a prep league for the U18 Provincial league, the zones within the U17 leagues will now follow the U18 Provincial boundaries. This means that there will now only be 3 U17 teams within the city. Each team will have the same name as their corresponding U18 Provincial teams (Wild, Thrashers, Bruins).
This year's Bantam 1 Championship series featured the Sharks and the Monarchs in what turned out to be a series for the ages! Early in the series, the Monarchs took control and made it look like they were going to make light work of the Sharks. The Sharks had other thoughts about how easy they were going to go down. Being down 2-0 in the series, the Sharks had to dig deep to find the drive within to battle back and make a statement. They did just that by winning Game 3 and bringing the series to within 1 game. In Game 4, it was a completely different story with the Monarchs dominating the Sharks in a commanding 9-0 win and putting themselves only 1 win away from taking home the Championship. Just like before, being down 2 games in the series, the Sharks looked deep within and found the drive to step-up to the plate and defeat the Monarchs 2 games in a row by scores of 4-0 and 4-1. These victories by the Sharks set the stage for an eventful game 7 that took place on March 13 at the BellMTS Iceplex.
With the game being a winner takes all situation, both teams came out with guns-a-blazing. Each team played to their strengths with the Monarchs showcasing their impressive offensive abilities and the Sharks bringing their physicality and speed trying to wear down the Monarchs. The Monarchs bombarded the Sharks goalie Matthew Kieper, who stood on his head all series long, with over 40 shots in the game.
Both teams played the first two periods without any goals being scored which laid the groundwork for an exciting third period. With the Monarchs having sustained pressure in the Sharks zone, Zach Nicolas sent the puck up to the top to a waiting Jason Ruff who walked the blueline and unleashed a snap shot through a crowd of players in front of the Shark's goal. Unable to see the shot through the mass traffic in front of him, Ruff’s shot flew untouched into the top corner and past the Sharks goaltender Matthew Kieper. The Monarchs had a 1-0 lead with roughly 13 minutes still left in the third period. The Sharks came out strong the next shift after the goal, creating chances of their own and almost tying the game up. With 2 minutes left in the game, the Sharks elected to pull their goalie for the extra attacker. The Sharks poured on the pressure and held possession in the Monarchs zone for the majority of the odd man situation and created many chances to tie the game up. In the dying seconds of the period, the Monarchs got the puck out of their zone forcing the Sharks to regroup and come back in on the attack. As the Sharks re-entered the zone, time expired and the Monarchs helmets, gloves and sticks rained down on the ice. The Monarchs had fended off an attack from the Sharks and won the Bantam 1 AAA City League.
Congratulations to both the Sharks and Monarchs on an amazing series as well as great seasons!