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Wheatie rides big weekend to share of scoring lead

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A big four-point weekend boosted AAA Midget Brandon Wheat Kings co-captain Duncan Campbell to the Chicken Chef player of the week honours in the Manitoba AAA Midget Hockey League. Those tallies also pushed the 17-year-old forward into a tie for the league scoring race, with seven goals and 10 assists.

Meanwhile, Vita's Brandyn Smook fired the game-winning goal in the Eastman Selects' 2-1 victory against the Pembina Valley Hawks on Saturday and picked up two assists in the shootout loss the next day, en route to being named the DEKALB rookie of the week. Smook is now on a four-game scoring streak.


Manitoba coach earns top honours

ONE of Manitoba's top softball coaches has received a national nod: Team Manitoba dugout boss Haylee O'Neill has been named the 2013 Home Run Sports coach of the year.

O'Neill, who hails from Oakville, was instrumental in carrying the Manitoba squad to a best-ever silver showing at the 2013 Canada Games, earning raves from the athletes and parents around the program for her efforts in keeping the team focused and prepared. She also helps train Manitoba softball facilitators and clinicians, and has worked in inner-city softball development programs.

Through her success in those programs, O'Neill was named this year to Softball Canada's women's national team coaches pool, where she offered her expertise over the summer. She will be formally awarded the 2013 Home Run Sports coach of the year honour at Softball Canada's Hall of Fame gala in Yellowknife, N.W.T., Nov. 16.


OCN playmaker player of the week

IN Manitoba Junior Hockey League action, OCN Blizzard forward Damien Kulynych blazed his way to eight points (all assists) in three games last week, enough to earn himself a nod as the Recycle Everywhere MJHL player of the week. Virden Oil Capitals forward Artsiom Kalashnikov, 20, and Dauphin Kings forward Mitch Van Teeling are runners-up for the honour.


Norman forward dominates

NORMAN Wild forward Alyssa Bertholet dominated in Manitoba Female Midget Hockey League play last weekend, scoring four goals -- including a hat trick -- and adding two assists in just two games against the Westman Wildcats. That performance earned Bertholet, who hails from The Pas, kudos as the MFMHL player of the week.

Bertholet, in her second midget year, finished the weekend sitting third in MFMHL scoring, with 17 points in the first three weeks of play.


Bisons athletes earn recognition

A big showing against the crosstown rival Wesmen earned University of Manitoba Bisons volleyball athlete Taylor Pischke regional CIS recognition.

Pischke, a third-year Bison, was named the Canada West female second star of the week after racking up 28 kills, 14 digs, two service aces and 31.5 points during six sets against the Wesmen last week, en route to a home-and-home sweep in favour of the Bisons.

The first of those games counted to win the multi-sport Duckworth Challenge for the Bisons, and Pischke was named Manitoba's player of the game. The 6-1 science student was also lauded as the Bisons' female player of the week.

Pischke is the first Manitoba Bisons female student-athlete to earn this conference weekly honour during the 2013-14 season. She will now lead her team to British Columbia, where the Bisons will take on the six-time defending CIS champion UBC Thunderbirds this weekend.

Meanwhile, running back Anthony Coombs was honoured as the Bisons male athlete of the week -- no surprise there, after the third-year player broke a Canada West record for longest run with a 107-yard touchdown dash against the University of Alberta Golden Bears on Saturday. It was also the third-longest rush in CIS history.

Before coach Brian Dobie took him out halfway through the third quarter, Coombs rushed for 175 yards on just 13 carries and caught five balls for another 122 yards. The running back finished first in Canada West all-purpose yards with 1,696, a staggering 212-yard average across the Bisons' eight regular-season games.

Coombs will now help lead the Bisons into their first home playoff game at Investors Group Field on Friday, against the visiting University of Saskatchewan Huskies.


-- Melissa Martin

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 30, 2013 C8

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