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Winnipeg Wild snag league championship

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It was a dominant performance on Wednesday night by the Winnipeg Wild to win the Manitoba AAA Midget Hockey League championship.

Led with a three-point night by scoring leader Geordie Maguire, the Wild defeated the Southwest Cougars 5-2 at the MTS Iceplex. With the victory, the Wild swept the best-of-five series 3-0 to win their first league championship and Jack Forsyth Trophy since 2009.

Both the Cougars and the Wild advance to the 2012 Telus Cup West Regional qualifier in Virden on March 29-April 1.

The Wild, who outshot the Cougars 43-25 in the game, outshot the Cougars 101-57 in the series and outscored their opponents 15-4.

"The guys felt they had a lot to prove after losing two regular-season games to Southwest, we felt we really wanted to be focused in this final and really make a statement and that’s what we did," said Wild head coach Paul Krueger, whose team was first overall during the regular season a record of 41-2-1 record. "I liked our tenacity and our ability to be hard on the puck and get pucks past this goaltender. (Brian) Archibald is a very good goaltender."

"It means a lot to us to win this, we worked so hard the whole year and it’s great to see that we got rewarded but we still want to go on and win the regionals," said Wild captain Sean Higgins.

The Wild got on the board first after a relentless forecheck from Maguire saw him find the net at 16:53.

In the second period, it took the Wild only four minutes to score again making the Cougars pay for a tripping penalty as Remi Laurencelle chipped in the first of three Wild power-play markers on the night.

Corey Haverstick, Higgins and Kevin Pochuk also scored for the winners.

Lucas Oliver had both goals for the Cougars, including one with three minutes left in the game.

ashley.prest@freepress.mb.ca

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