Canstar Community News - ONLINE EDITION

Hawks, Raiders ready for action

  • Print

The Charleswood Hawks and the Raiders Junior Hockey Club had a lengthy wait to find out their opponents in the MMJHL semifinals, but neither team was complaining.

The top two finishers in the regular season standings — the Hawks were 37-4-4 while the Raiders were 33-9-3 — swept their way through the first round of the playoffs, and were waiting for the results of Tuesday night’s Game 7 between the River East Royal Knights and the Fort Garry/Fort Rouge Twins to figure out what the second round had in store for them.

Raiders captain Cam Hildebrand said there were benefits to having a wait, including having the time to get in some much-needed rest.

"I think winning 4-0 gives you an advantage," said the West Kildonan resident, whose club took care of business against the St. Boniface Riels. "You get a little bit of rest and a couple practices in before the next round. It’s definitely a positive."

Stephen George, the head coach of the four-time defending champion Hawks, agreed.
"It’s probably better to get (the first-round series) over with quicker," George said. "If you have bumps and bruises they can have a chance to heal, you can have some practices to work on some things to improve on, and you can get out and maybe scout your opponents."

If the Twins complete their comeback from a 3-1 deficit, they’ll face the Raiders in one semifinal series, while the Hawks will take on the Pembina Valley Twisters, who needed five games to finish off the St. James Canucks.

If the Royal Knights score the upset, they’ll face the Hawks, while the Twisters will be matched up against the Raiders.

Hildebrand and his teammates have been waiting all year for a chance to avenge last year’s semifinal series, which the Twins won in overtime of the seventh game.

"We’re ready to take on whoever it may be," Hildebrand said. "After last year, taking on the Twins again was something we were anticipating we’d get to do, but we’re going to take whatever comes to us and play the same way."

The only way to win a championship is to eventually beat the Hawks, a task much easier said than done. George’s job is to convince his players that they are beatable; that they’ll need to bring their best effort to the rink to keep advancing.

The coach believes the quality of play in the MMJHL, from top to bottom, is at its highest level in many years.

"The parity in our league this year is a lot better than in years past," he said. "First and foremost, that’s a credit to the players. There’s a lot of talent in the league that maybe we don’t get credit for."

George said many fans would be surprised to see the speed and skill level on display in the league, as more and more quality players choose to play in the MMJHL while going to school or working full time.

Complete semifinal schedules are available at www.mmjhl.ca.

avi.saper@canstarnews.com

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

Readers' Choice Awards

Best Of Winnipeg Readers Survey

See the results of the 2014 Canstar Community News Best of Winnipeg Readers' Survey.

View Results

This Just In Twitter bird

Poll

Are you concerned about West Nile Virus?

View Results