Westman sports report: Krzyzaniak rolling along; Gylywoychuk helping out with Canadian U-18 women's hockey program


By: Lanny Stewart


It's been a rather smooth transition for Neepawa's Halli Krzyzaniak with the University of North Dakota women's hockey team after spending the past five years with the Pursuit of Excellence program in Kelowna, B.C.

The 18-year-old blueliner currently sits with one goal and eight points on the team and is tied for first on the club in plus/minus with a plus-17 rating. She says she's pleased with her performance to date with the club, which is currently sitting at 15-5-2 (12-4-2-1 record in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association). The team has since moved up to No. 3 in the latest USCHO.com Division 1 women's poll. It is the highest ranking UND has received in its program history.

With only 10 games remaining on the conference schedule, Krzyzaniak says she's happy with how the the season has gone thus far, but is never satisfied.

"There's still a lot of room for growth in my game and I'm really looking forward to finishing off the season and heading into the playoffs," she said.

UND hosts No. 1 ranked Minnesota in a weekend set beginning Jan. 31. After knocking off Minnesota in a game earlier this season – which ended the Golden Gophers 62-game winning streak – Krzyzaniak can't wait to take them on once again.

"Every game you play at this level is extremely competitive, but the big rivalry games are especially intense," she said. "I'm definitely looking forward to the Minnesota games."

Krzyzaniak says she had a week off during the Christmas holidays and was able to spend time at home with family and friends.

Pace all smiles with Miners

Former Neepawa Natives captain Ryley Pace is enjoying his current stint with the Superior International Junior Hockey League's English River Miners.

The team plays its home games approximately an hour away from his hometown of Red Lake, Ont.

"Things are going pretty good so far," he said. "We are 2-0 since I've become a Miner and things are looking up. It's nice to be back home and playing in front of family and friends."

Pace, who was dealt by the Natives prior to the Manitoba Junior Hockey League's trade deadline, currently has one goal and three points with his new team thus far (as of Jan. 21).

Gylywoychuk doing some scouting work for Canadian U-18 women's hockey team

Dwayne Gylywoychuk has been busy recently as the former Brandon Wheat Kings bench boss has been doing some scouting for Team Canada for the upcoming World under-18 women's hockey championship.

"I've been watching their radar list; players who are on the radar for the U-18 national team," Gylywoychuk told Tyler Crayston and myself on Monday Sports Talk on 880 CKLQ. "It's been a real good experience for me."

He says decisions will soon be made on who will make the squad considering the World under-18 women's hockey championship is slated to get underway late March in Hungary.

"The last little while, it's really picked up. I was in Toronto two weekends ago and was in Winnipeg last weekend. The selection of the team is coming up here right away. We've got to make some decisions on it."

He says a more prominent role with the Canadian coaching staff could also be in the cards. The World U-18 event coincides with the 2014 NCAA Frozen Four championship, which just so happens to include several of the coaches currently on the Canadian staff.

"The head coach Laura Schuler is at the University of Minnesota Duluth; the other two assistants Jackie Friesen is at the University of Wisconsin and Cassandra Turner is at Quinnipiac University. They're all in the hunt for the Frozen Four and my role might expand a little bit depending on if one of those ladies teams makes it," he continued.

"If it doesn't, then I'm going to be kind of an eye in the sky [for Team Canada], do some pre-scouting and some more video work along with [being] the video coach."

Former WWE star Chris Masters coming to Neepawa

Anyone remember Chris Masters. . . a.k.a. 'The Masterpiece', formerly a member of the World Wrestling Entertainment family?

If you do, you might want to head down to the Yellowhead Centre next month as the former WWE star will be headlining the Canadian Wrestling Elite event entitled, "The Masterpiece Theatre Tour".

The event is part of a five-show tour across Manitoba, beginning in Neepawa on Feb. 19.

"Masters will make his CWE debut and compete against the elite for what promises to be a memorable collection of matches," states the CWE on its official website. "Recognized as one of the most impressive physical specimens in modern day professional wrestling, the intimidating stature of Masters combined with his polished in-ring abilities has made him one of the top stars in the last decade on the worldwide wrestling scale."

The event will include CWE stars from Alberta, North Dakota and is also expected to have some of the top independent stars from as far as West Virginia and Tennessee as well.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. with action getting underway at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance ($18 at the door) and are available at the Mr. Ribs restaurant in Neepawa.

In photo: Chris Masters

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