Action underway for Yellowhead Chiefs


By Eoin Devereux

Neepawa Banner & Press

All four versions of the Yellowhead Chiefs are back in action this hockey season. The AAA  Midget Chiefs kicked off their year with a pair of road games, the first in Winnipeg on Friday, Sept. 29, against the reigning league champions, the Wild.

The defending champs would start the season exactly the same way they left off last year, with a 4-1 win over Yellowhead. Tanner Dutcawich earned the only goal of the night for the Chiefs in the losing effort. Winnipeg dominated on the game, outshooting Yellowhead 42-13. If not for the remarkable effort between the pipes by goaltender Jeremy Dutcawich, the margin of victory could have been much more.

The following night, Yellowhead would meet the Pembina Valley Hawks, falling 3-1. Brian Mentuck was the only player in the blue and yellow to score, getting a power-play marker early in the third. 

The next game for the club will be on Friday, Oct. 6, as they host the Southwest Cougars at the Shoal Lake Communiplex. Start time is set for 7:30 p.m. 

AAA Female Chiefs win home opener

The Yellowhead Female Midget Chiefs faced the challenge of a young and skilled Interlake Lightning on Saturday, Sept. 30. But, before the game started, the Chiefs organization paid tribute to its long time and dedicated fans, Harvey and Verna Brown.  The Browns have been fans and strong supporters for many years. Grandparents of alumni Kirsten Brown with some connection to the coaching staff, the Browns have, in many ways, contributed to the betterment of the Chief’s organization and the players experience. 

Shifting into the game itself, the Chiefs started strong and controlled the first minutes of the game. Just into the fourth minute of play, Jocelyn Zimmer found the net from a pass from winger Juliana Davis. This was quickly followed by another, scored from a nice shot from Megan Quesnel at the top of slot. 

Some chaotic play in their own end caused the Chiefs to surrender their first, but Yellowhead recovered the two goal lead when Jena Barscello took a shot from the middle slot, bouncing out to a waiting Juliana Davis who made no mistake scoring her first.   

No scoring in the second, although special teams were busy, with each team awarded two minor penalties and one coincidental roughing. 

The Lightning owned the first minutes of the third period and their dominant play was rewarded with a goal. The Lightning were very much in this 3-2 game, until Zimmer scored from a well placed shot at an improbable angle, that glanced off of the goaltenders mask and into the net.  Assists from Sydney Murray and Monet Mazawasicuna.  In the final 40 seconds of play, Interlake pull their goaltender and pressed the Chiefs in their own zone. In the closing seconds, Quesnel picked up puck along the boards from Bonchuk, and charged through neutral zone. With a soft chip off the boards, she beat the defender to score on the empty net for a 5-2 final. 

 The Chiefs are off to Pembina Valley next weekend for the Hawks’ Thanksgiving Showcase.

Busy weekend for Bantam Females

The Yellowhead Female Bantam Chiefs’ regular season is well underway, as the team played three games over the span of four nights. Opening night was on Sept. 28. at the Waywayseecappo Community Complex, when the Chiefs faced the Parkland Rangers. In that game, Yellowhead was able to double up the Rangers, by the score of 4-2. 

Two nights later on Saturday, Sept. 30, the Chiefs hosted their home opener at the Shoal Lake Communiplex against the Westman Wildcats. Westman would end up ruining the festivities for the home side, though, beating Yellowhead 6-3. The next night, the Central Plains Capitals were the visitors to Shoal Lake and were able to leave the community with a 4-1 win. 

The Yellowhead Chiefs (1-2-0) return to the ice on Friday, Oct. 6 at the Seven Oaks Arena in Winnipeg for the Hockey Manitoba AAA Bantam Showcase.

Bantam Males split weekend

The first game on the regular season schedule was in Portage la Praire, versus the Central Plains Capitals. The Bantam Chiefs would end up spoiling the Caps’ home opener with a 2-1 win. Colby Wotton, of Foxwarren and Rapid City’s Sloan Stanick each scored in the game. 

The next night, Yellowhead travelled to Virden to take on the Southwest Cougars. Southwest would close out the night with a hard fought 5-4 victory. 

Brandt Young, of Neepawa, Briley Wood, of Rivers, and Hamiota’s Rory McNabb all had a goal and an assist in the game for the Chiefs, while Curtis Muir of Rossburn added the other goal in the loss.

The Chiefs will next play in the Manitoba Bantam AAA Showcase in Winnipeg, Oct. 7-9.