Neepawa Tigers ready for WHSHL season to begin



By Eoin Devereux

The Neepawa Banner

The Neepawa Tigers are heading into the start of the Westman High School Hockey League season with a bit of confidence.

Last weekend, the defending league champions hosted the Slasher Showdown, an annual tournament that serves as a final tune-up for teams before the start of the WHSHL regular season schedule. NACI closed out the weekend with a relatively strong showing, finishing with a 2-1 record and ending the eight-team event in third place.

The Showdown opened for the Neepawa Tigers on Thursday, Oct 30 against the Minnedosa Chancellors. The Tigers were able to defeat Minnedosa 2-1, which moved NACI onto the championship bracket.

The second game for Neepawa turned into a dramatic finish against W.C. Miller, based out of Altona. The Tigers lead the Aces 1-0 late into the third period and appeared to have things under control. W.C. Miller however would not give up, and with 3:02 remaining in the third, the Aces scored to tie things up at 1-1. Just 93 seconds later, Altona took the lead and held on to advance to the finals. 

There was very little time for Neepawa to dwell on what happened, as they shifted their attention to Vincent Massey (Brandon). The Tigers were able to bounce back and end the weekend with a 3-1 win over the Vikings.

As for the final, the W.C. Miller Aces  dominated the Major Pratt Trojan 10-1.

Overall, Tigers coach Mike Adams said there were several positives that came out of the weekend that they should be able to build off of early in the new season.

“The older players look like they are going to have a good start to the year, and the new guys are really getting up to speed as well,” said Adams. “Our defensive core could be quite strong and I think we are going to be a hard team to score on. I think once our forwards get used to their new line-mates and generate some chemistry the goals will come.”

The first regular season game for Neepawa is Friday, Nov. 7 in Minnedosa. The Tigers will play a second road game in Glenboro on Saturday, Nov 8, before hosting the Vincent Massey  on Wednesday, Nov. 12.