For the first time in two years, the Manitoba Under-18 AAA Hockey Playoffs are set to begin and there are many Waywayseecappo Wolverines prospects around the league that will be competing in the eight team playoffs set to begin on Thursday.
The favourite for the playoffs, and the #1 seed is the Brandon AAA Wheat Kings, who completed a 33-4-3 record.
Jeremiah Jacques, known for throwing his body around with big hits, says the team has been running on all cylinders and he is confident with his team in front of him.
“Since Day 1, our goal has been to make it to the last round and win a championship, and we have done a pretty good job so far this year,” said Jacques.
For himself, he says he can find another gear, and says he has had an up and down season so far.
The Wheat Kings have another Wolverines prospect in Keenan Skrupa, but he has been injured since the start of February, but had 17 points in 25 games for the first half of the season.
The Wheat Kings will be taking on the Southwest Cougars, who has Nicholas Cullen on the team, another Wolverines prospect. The Killarney, product has 38 points (20 goals, 18 assists) in 42 games.
The series first game will be on Thursday at J&G Arena in Brandon at 7:30pm.
Elsewhere in Westman, the Yellowhead Chiefs have three Wolverines prospects, as they get set to go up against the Parkland Rangers.
Ben Roulette leads the way for the Chiefs with 46 points (18 goals, 28 assists) in 40 games.
“It’s been nice to finally get in a full season,” says Roulette. “We just clinched the #4 seed the other day, and I know we think we can surprise a few people and make some noise this playoffs.”
Defencemen Kurt Rookes has also helped out offensively, with 28 points in 43 games this season.
And goaltender, Jase Wareham has stood tall with a .923 save percentage and three shutouts this year with the Chiefs.
There series agains the Rangers also start on Thursday at 7:30pm in Shoal Lake.
On the Eastern side of the province, two Wolverines prospects will be competing against each other.
Miguel Bouvier is playing for the Winnipeg Bruins, and will be taking on Merik Boles and the Eastman Selects.
Bouvier has 28 points in 42 games, and has also played in the Manitoba Major Junior Hcokey League with the St. Boniface Riels for a couple games.
Meanwhile the surprising Selects team made it to third place in the league this year, and among the leaders is Merik Boles who has 20 goals and 25 assists in 39 games this year.
“If we just keep on doing what we’re doing we can have some success in the playoffs,” said Boles. “We’ve been looking forward to the playoffs for a while, and just excited to get it started.”
Eastman hosts the Bruins on Thursday at 7:0pm