Killarney Shamrocks repeat as Provincial Champs


Downing the Norway House North Stars 9-3 on Sunday afternoon, the Killarney Shamrocks captured the Manitoba Senior “A” Provincial Championship. The game was played at the MTS Ice-Plex in Winnipeg.

With the victory, the Shamrocks defended the same title that they won last year. Back-to-back Senior “A” provincial hockey championships for the Rocks – a feat not easily accomplished – and one that came after a maximum amount of blood, sweat, tears and effort!

The Manitoba provincial championship is a match-up between winners of five Senior “A” leagues and a wildcard. This year’s participants, besides the Shamrocks, were the Elkhorn/Miniota C-Hawks, the Notre Dame Hawks, the Norway House North Stars, the Ste Anne Aces, and the Carberry Plainsmen (wildcard).

These teams played a round-robin the previous weekend to determine the final four teams, which were the Shamrocks, North Stars, Hawks and Plainsmen.

Saturday of the championship weekend saw Killarney edge the Carberry Plainsmen 4-0, while the Norway House North Stars squeaked by the Notre Dame Hawks 4-3 in a shootout. This set the stage for the Shamrocks-North Stars final.

Goals by Aubrey Chapman, Ryan Howatt and Jesse Ramsden staked the Shamrocks to a 3-0 first period lead in the final game. Reid Gow (with what proved to be the game winner) and Lane Ganske dented the twine early in the second period, making it 5-0 Shamrocks before the North Stars came alive.

Late second period goals by Cody Einarson and Skylar Tait-Reaume made it a 5-2 ball game as the teams went into the second period break. However, a four-goal outburst early in the third period, with goals by Isaac Friesen, Ryan Howatt with his second, Brayden Cuthbert and Andrew Lochhead, made it 9-2 Shamrocks. This left little doubt as to the final outcome. The North Stars tapped in one more, and the Shamrocks finished with a 9-3 victory.

Manitoba champions once again! Pop the champagne corks! And they did!

Shamrocks scoring summary in their 9-3 final game victory:

  1. Aubrey Chapman (Howatt, C. Magwood)
  2. Ryan Howatt (Chapman, Gow)
  3. Jesse Ramsden (Ganske, Gow)
  4. Reid Gow (Friesen, Cuthbert)
  5. Lane Ganske (L. Magwood, Gow)
  6. Isaac Friesen (Cuthbert, Lamb)
  7. Ryan Howatt (un-assisted)
  8. Brayden Cuthbert (Friesen, Heinrichs0
  9. Andrew Lochhead (Gow)

Ryan Howatt led the offensive production for the Shamrocks on Saturday when they edged the Carberry Plainsmen 4-0 as he had a hat-trick. Reid Gow completed the Shamrock scoring while Aubrey Chapman had three assists, Jesse Bernard two assists and Gow and Spencer Haney one assist each.

This was a hard fought affair between two Tiger Hills Hockey League rivals. Showing they came to play, the Plainsmen gave the Shamrocks all they could handle early and only the heroics of Shamrock net-minder Brian Archibald let the Shamrocks go into the first period break with a 1-0 lead.

After that the Shamrocks seemed to gather their skating legs as they netted two second period goals opening up a 3-0 lead – and eventual victory. On to the provincial championship final for the defending champion Shamrocks.

The rest is history – the Killarney Shamrocks were once again provincial champions – back-to-back championships!

From the blue-Line: The Shamrocks had a huge Killarney following at the final game and I’m sure the team is appreciative of the fan support…Star defenseman, Reid Gow, former Western Hockey League “Scholastic Player of the Year,” had a huge final game with a goal and four assists. Reid left on Monday to join the South East Prairie Fire in New Brunswick for the Allan Cup final, the Canadian Senior “AAA” championship…Former WHL player Brayden Cuthbert and former North American 3 Hockey League player Ryan Howatt each had nine goals in the four games of the provincial championships…No MVP player named but would think that Cuthbert, Howatt, Gow and Shamrock goalie Brian Archibald (a former Dauphin King) would definitely be in the running. “Archie” was sensational in net with one shutout and a GAA of 1.50. Without Archie’s performance on Saturday the Shamrocks might not be standing atop the podium…Word has it that the Shamrocks are a close-knit bunch and good chemistry usually breeds a winner…And what a season record: 29 wins, and one (close) loss in regular season and playoff games. A season that is normally only dreamt about…The ”Hockey Night in Killarney’s” three stars in the final game as picked by Patrick Monkman: #1 Aubrey Chapman; #2 Ryan Howatt; and #3 Brayden Cuthbert…Lots of players played with a few nicks and wounds, none more so than d-man Colton Magwood. A gamer!…To win any championship it takes a total team effort and that’s what the Shamrocks had this season. Archibald and Darris Hardern provided solid goaltending, the defense of Reid Gow, Clayton Heinrichs, Spencer Haney, Lee Magwood and Colton Magwood and Jamie Schultz were like the “Rock of Gibraltar,” and the forwards went both ways. Besides the big name scorers – Jesse Bernard, Aubrey Chapman, Ryan Howatt, Brayden Cuthbert, Bryce Lamb, Andrew Lochhead, Daniel Stagg and Isaac Friesen (THHL scoring champion), let’s not forget the guys in the trenches up front who played their part in this total team victory – Lane Ganske, Jesse Ramsden, Thomas Bell, Tanner Anderson, Miles Jones, Josh Sylvester, Torin Howarth and Tanner Pugh. They all played a part!…One player that catches one’s eye is Daniel Stagg – size, speed and skill…No one goes to a Shamrock game without commenting after on Jesse Bernard. The former SJHL scoring star is smooth as silk and elusive. Bernard and Aubrey Chapman go together like bread and butter…And let’s not forget the masterminds of the team – head coach Shayne Skeoch, assistant coach Logan Towns, GM Patrick Monkman and president David Jones. They’re the ones who put the team together – and kept it together. Not easy when you have a large roster!…So “hats off” to our 2017 Manitoba Senior ‘A” Champion Killarney Shamrocks – winners once again!…Can they three-peat?