Farmers finish first in THHL east


Eoin Devereux
Neepawa Banner & Press

Neepawa’s Ward Szucki went off on the Melita Bisons, with a spectacular seven point performance (four goals - three assists), leading the Farmers to a 9-4 win on Saturday, Jan. 27.  With the victory, Neepawa (13-4-0. 26 points) locked down first place in the Tiger Hills Hockey League (THHL) eastern division. In the Melita game, Szucki opened up the scoring in the first, to make it 1-0. Then early in the second, Melita’s Lucas Oliver replied to make it 1-1.

The Farmers reclaimed control by scoring the next three goals, as Riley Kolesar, Cole Krutkewich and Matt Lowry each contributed to the stat line. Melita would add another goal late in the period, making it 4-2 after 40 minutes. For the third period, Szucki put away three more goals, while teammates Lance Nugent and Riley Kolesar also added singles. Melita scored a pair of their own, but it wasn’t enough as the Farmers picked up the 9-4 decision. With the win, the Farmers secured first place the THHL eastern division.

Gladstone finish strong

The Gladstone Lakers are heading into the THHL playoffs on a positive note, after a 6-5 win over Minnedosa on Saturday, Jan. 27. Jesse Hall had five points (3G - 2A), while Dale Evenson, Lyndon Soper and Nick Stire all added individual goals for the Lakers. As for Minnedosa, Shane Jury lead the way in the points category with four on the night (1G - 3A). As well Matt Saler had a pair of goals and Wyatt Rapsky and Brad Lewis also scored.

Gladstone’s win gave the team a record of 12-6-0, good enough for second in the THHL east with 24 points. As for the Bombers, the defeat dropped them to 8-9-1 on the year, tying them with the MacGregor Wild in third place at 17 points. The Wild, however, have one game left on their regular season schedule, as well as holding the tiebreaker advantage over the Bombers.

Playoff breakdown.

The regular season schedule will conclude on Saturday, Feb. 3 with four games.  Neepawa has one game left on their schedule, as they’ll host the Deloraine Royals at the Yellowhead Centre. Other games include Wawanesa at Killarney, Souris at Melita and Cartwright at Hartney. As for the expected matchups for the first round of the playoffs, in the east it will likely be the Neepawa Farmers facing the Minnedosa Bombers, while Gladstone will play MacGregor. For the Tiger Hill’s western division, the top seed Killarney Shamrocks will face the Hartney Blues, while the Boissevain Border Kings will take on the Souris Elks. A start date for the playoffs has not yet been announced.