Shamrocks perfect in league play


The first place Killarney Shamrocks completed the 2016/17 Tiger Hills Hockey League season in fine style on the weekend.

Travelling to Pilot Mound on Friday, the Shamrocks downed the Pilots 7-5. Back home at the Shamrock Centre on Saturday, the Shamrocks turned back the Neepawa Farmers 5-1.

With the two victories, the Shamrocks ran the table – a perfect slate in regular season play – 17 games – 17 victories! A 5-4 over-time win in Hartney was the closest thing the Shamrocks had to a loss this season.

As well as winning the league pennant, Shamrocks forward Isaac Friesen had a six-point weekend, and by so doing won the Tiger Hills Hockey League scoring title with 48 points in 17 league games.

Opening up a 4-0 lead in Pilot Mound on Friday, the Shamrocks held on after a Pilot Mound third period surge to post the victory. Bryce Lamb and Andrew Lochhead each had a goal and three-point nights, while Isaac Friesen had two goals to also have a three-point game.

Other Shamrock scorers on the night were Jesse Bernard (2) and Spencer Haney, while Darris Hardern got the “w” in the Shamrock cage. Brett Pinkerton had a pair of goals for the Pilots.

Bryce Lamb and Isaac Friesen led the Shamrock offensive surge with four and three points respectively in their final game of the season as the Rocks downed the Neepawa Farmers 5-1. The Shamrocks broke open a close game with three, second period goals scored late in the frame.

Five different Shamrocks tallied in the win – Lamb, Reid Gow, Aubrey Chapman, Jesse Bernard and Brayden Cuthbert. Goalie Brian Archibald got the “w.”

Complete Shamrock scoring summary vs the Farmers:

Aubrey Chapman (C. Magwood, Bernard)

Brayden Cuthbert (Lamb, Friesen)

Jesse Bernard (Lamb, Friesen)

Bryce Lamb (Cuthbert, Friesen)

Reid Gow (Lamb)

Final standings of the THHL West Division:

Team           W    L   OTL   Pts

Killarney      17     0     0       34

Boissevain   13     4     0       26

Hartney        8      6      3       19

Souris          8      7      2       18

Deloraine     5     11      1       11

Melita          3     13      2       8

From the Blue-Line: Other than the Shamrocks undefeated regular season, the biggest news coming out of Shamrock city was the fact that Isaac Friesen captured the league scoring title. This is no easy feat, as there are a lot of very good hockey players in this league, several of whom could no doubt be playing at the pro level should they have chosen to. (Jonathan Filewich of Souris played in the NHL)…So not only is it a real honor to win the scoring title, but this is Isaac’s second title. Congrats on a great season Isaac! It is also a real testimony to Isaac’s teammates. You don’t win a scoring title without talented teammates…Actually five Shamrocks finished in the “Top Ten” in scoring. Taking a look, former WHL’er Bryce Lamb – third place – was there any player hotter in the league coming down the stretch than Bryce? He knows where the net is and always has; Brayden Cuthbert, seventh place – 39 points in only 11 games, perhaps most points-per-game of any top scorer in league; Jesse Bernard, eighth place – kind of flies under the radar, but ask any opposing fan about the Shamrocks, and they always mention “Bernard;” Reid Gow – tied for ninth place – Reid has forever had the offensive flare, the former WHL’er “drives the bus”…As well, Andrew Lochhead finished in the “Top Twenty” in scoring with 25 points. Andrew is better known on the baseball field, but he’s proven to be a real steady player for the Rocks as well…Besides the scorers, Brian Archibald had the lowest GAA average in the league (of any goalie with 10 games played) with a 2.28 GAA. Archie may also lead the goalies in scoring with five assists. Meanwhile, Darris Hardern of the Shamrocks was second in GAA with a 2.75 GAA…The Neepawa Farmers won the Eastern Division of the THHL with 26 points, edging the Minnedosa Bombers and Carberry Plainsmen…Jordan Geddes of Gladstone finished as runner-up in league scoring, one point behind Friesen. Geddes played with the Selkirk Steelers of the MJHL in 2010…Reid Gow and Isaac Friesen will be playing with Ile des Chenes in the Allan Cup when the Shamrocks season is over…Playoffs have started with the first series being a best-of-five…With the Shamrocks having a first round bye, they are expected to open their playoffs around February 17 (date has yet to be finalized). If Hartney and Souris both win their playoff rounds, then the Shamrocks would play the Souris Elks, who they had a problem with last season. But neither Hartney nor Souris have won yet…The Shamrocks playoff rounds will be best-of-sevens…So it’s on to the playoffs – and it’s a new season…Throw out the regular season records, every team can beat the other on a good night…However, going in, the Rocks management team of coaches Shane Skeoch and Logan Towns, GM Patrick Monkman and president David Jones, as well as the players, of course, have to feel good…If they don’t rest on their laurels, the Shamrocks have a great shot at repeating their THHL championship of 2015/16…Catch the action!

SCORING CHAMP – Issac Friesen of the Killarney Shamrocks put two in the back of the net and added an assist for a three point night against the Pilot Mound Pilots on Friday, January 27. On Saturday he finished with another three points against the Neepawa Farmers, to put him at the top of the heap in the THHL scoring race with 48 points in 17 games.