PLAYMAKING OCN Blizzard forward Damien Kulynych, 20, is off to a huge start in Manitoba Junior Hockey League action, rattling off 22 points in 11 games in October en route to being named the MJHL's RBC player of the month. Selkirk Steelers forward Parker Thomas and Portage Terriers forward Zack Waldvogel were runners-up.
On the blue-line, Terriers defender Clay Van Diest was named the Sher-Wood Hockey defenceman of the month. Van Diest, an American from Helena, Mont., scored three goals and added six helpers in October. Steeler Joel Messner and Steinbach Piston Garret Schmitz were runners-up for that honour.
The MJHL also named Steelers netminder Braeden Ostepchuk the MGEU goaltender of the month, after the Lethbridge, Alta., native backstopped his team to seven wins and three losses, with a shutout and a gleaming save percentage of .930. The Pistons' Nicholas Deery and Winnipeg Blues' Scott Parsons were runners-up.
Finally, the MJHL tipped its hat to 18-year-old Neepawa Natives forward Riley Hillis, who put away seven goals and two assists in October to earn the IBAM rookie of the month honour.
Meantime, Virden Oil Capitals goalie Kyler Becket kicked November off right, as he was named the MJHL's Recycle Everywhere player of the week.
Becket won both games he started during the week and performed brilliantly, turning in a GAA of 0.5 with a shutout and a save percentage of 0.986. His team now sits first in the Sher-Wood Division in this early part of the MJHL season.
Bisons receiver earns Canada West recognition
AFTER his heroic play in the University of Manitoba Bisons football team's thrilling playoff victory, slotback Nic Demski landed in a divisional spotlight.
The third-year Bison was named the Canada West offensive athlete of the week, after he teamed up caught three touchdown strikes from pivot Jordan Yantz in the fourth quarter of last Friday's Canada West semifinal against the University of Saskatchewan Huskies. Demski's third touchdown, a 32-yard catch with just 1:23 left to play, put the Bisons up 37-36 to win the game.
Demski finished with seven grabs for 115 yards, and added another 38 yards on punt returns to lead all players in all-purpose yardage.
The Bisons will now head to the Canada West final in Calgary on Saturday, where they'll challenge the undeafeated Dinos for the Hardy Cup. The winner of that game will move on to the national playoffs. Kickoff for that game is slated for 3 p.m. This is the first time the Bisons have made it to the conference final since 2007.
Wesmen athletes saluted for performances
WESMEN basketball guard Megan Noonan and soccer forward Kenny Sacramento were honoured Monday for their monster October campaigns.
Noonan, in her second year with the University of Winnipeg squad, was named the female Lea Marc Printing Wesmen athlete of the month after she racked up 157 points in 11 exhibition games, and added 50 assists, 43 rebounds and 16 steals in that time. Noonan turned out especially big at the BOB FM Shootout, where she was named tournament MVP after scoring 27 points in the opening game against Lakehead University.
On the men's athletics side, Sacramento scored three goals and added five assists through the month to help carry his team to three wins and a tie in seven games. He carried this energy right through to the end of the season, where he scored a goal and added two assists in a 4-1 victory over the University of Saskatchewan Huskies to close out the year.
Also, Wesmen wrestler Mitchell Berenz is basking in a little golden spotlight after being named the U of W squad's Garbonzo's male athlete of the week. Berenz, who is in just his first season with the Wesmen wrestling program, grappled his way to a 65-kilogram division gold medal at the Clansmen Men's Open at Simon Fraser University.
The female athlete of the week honour was awarded to volleyball outside hitter Ozana Nikolic, who had 31 kills, 21 digs, three assists, three aces and two blocks in the Wesmen's weekend sweep of the Regina Cougars.