There’s no question the Waywayseecappo Wolverines turned many heads at the start of the 2018-19 MJHL regular season.
Just one year after finishing 8-48-3-1, the Wolverines kicked off 2018 in style, rattling off five straight wins which started off by taking down the defending league champion Steinbach Pistons on the road, 3-2.
After the clubs 5-0-0 start, Waywayseecappo received national recognition in the CJHL Top 20 Rankings with back to back weeks in the top ten at 7th and 3rd. By the 15th game of the season, the Wolverines matched their win total from last year.
Following a hot start, the teams’ success leveled out by their final game of 2018, finishing the first half of the season with a record of 15-17-2-2.
BY THE NUMBERS
36GP – 15W – 17L – 2OTL – 2SOL
Home Record 6-8-1-2 (11th in MJHL)
Away Record 9-9-1-2 (4th in MJHL)
Of the teams 17 losses, 12 were one-goal games which the Wolverines either held a lead in or were tied at one point in the game. With one more win, the Wolverines will double their win total from last season.
96 Goals Scored
Ranking third last in goals scored, the Wolverines have struggled to score at times which has held back the teams potential on the ice. With a 13.4% conversion rate on the powerplay so far, the Wolverines will look to move the needle closer to 20% in 2019.
107 Goals Against
Much of the Wolverines success this season has been due to strong defensive play, giving up the third least goals against in the league. Strong play from goaltending duo Isaac LaBelle and Nathan Reay has given the team a chance to win just about every night they’re in the crease. The Wolverines take a lot of pride in their Penalty Kill, as it sits at 4th in the league, having killed off 84% of chances against.
1036 Penalty Minutes
There’s no secret the Wolverines have taken the most penalty minutes in the league. At times, it has certainly stopped the club from collecting points. Preston Seymour leads the league in penalty minutes with 194, while Riley Vautour, Michael Heitkamp, Morgan Poirier, and Nick Doyle find themselves in the top 20.
FWD – Riley Vautour (32GP – 8G – 13A – 21P)
After coming from the Neepawa Natives early last season, Vautour entered his first full season with the Wolverines in 2018-19. Riley was named an Assistant Captain and continues to help lead the team on and off the ice. The 20-year-old is physical and is relied on a nightly basis to help the team produce on the score sheet.
FWD – Jaymes Knee (33GP – 6G – 15A -21P)
Playing the first ten games with the Dauphin Kings, Jaymes Knee was acquired by the Wolverines in October and quickly found his place in the teams top six. Since coming to Waywayseecappo, the 18-year-old has scored 4 goals and 12 assists in 23 games to sit tied in team scoring with Vautour.
D – Morgan Poirier (36GP – 11G – 9A – 20P)
Playing the first 17 games of last season in the SIJHL with Dryden, Morgan Poirier finished off the year as a Wolverine. The 20-year-old from Jasper has been a leader both on and off the ice as he continues to set an example for his teammates. His 11 goals this season lead the team while chipping in 9 assists has Poirier second on the team in scoring.
G – Isaac LaBelle (29GP – 12W – 13L – 2OTL – .913 SV% – 2.62 GAA)
The 20-year-old Goaltender from Saskatoon has undoubtedly been the teams MVP in 2018. LaBelle has been tremendous for the team since coming to Waywayseecappo in a trade with Dryden last season that also saw Morgan Poirier and Brandon Lawson become Wolverines. Isaac sits 8th in the league in wins, 8th in Save Percentage and 6th in Goals Against Average.
A Look Ahead to 2019
The Wolverines have 24 games remaining on their schedule with 13 home games and 11 on the road.
In 2019, the Wolverines will start off the season with a road trip to Virden to take on the Oil Capitals on Thursday, January 3rd.
From January 13-18, the team will have a break between games because of the MJHL-SJHL Showcase that takes place in Regina.
Just like the start of the new year, the Wolverines will end off the regular season against the Oil Capitals on home ice in Waywayseecappo on Sunday, March 3rd at 7:30.
Team by Team Schedule
4 vs Steinbach – 3 vs Virden – 3 vs OCN – 3 vs Portage – 3 vs Winnipeg – 2 vs Swan Valley – 2 vs Winkler – 2 vs Selkirk – 1 vs Neepawa – 1 vs Dauphin