The St. James Canucks headed into the final stretch of the regular season battling atop the Manitoba Major Junior Hockey League standings. After back-to-back wins over the Raiders Junior Hockey Club and Stonewall Jets, the Canucks looked to keep that momentum going when they took on the Railer Express in Transcona on Friday, Feb. 8.
Despite trailing 2-0 midway through the third period, the Canucks would battle back for a 3-2 shootout win. Dylan Burton and John McCammon scored the regulation goals for the Canucks with Chris Sass and Tyler Meixner recording assists. McCammon and Wyatt Kemball scored in the shootout while Tyler Wiess was solid in net, stopping 34 of the 36 shots directed his way.
Two days later the Canucks took on the St. Boniface Riels at Bell MTS IcePlex. It was a high scoring affair that the Canucks would go on to win 5-4 in overtime on the strength of multi-point games from Tyler Meixner, John McCammon, Jeremy Idzikowski, Dylan Burton and Dylan Reinheimer. In goal, Tyler Wiess picked up his second straight win.
The two victories brought the Canucks record up to 27-9-3.
The Canucks then opened up a tough two game road swing against the second place Raiders Junior Hockey Club on Feb. 10 and Pembina Valley Twisters on Feb. 15.
In the first of those two games, a shorthanded Canucks roster struggled to get the offence going in a 5-2 loss to the Raiders. Tyler Meixner and John McCammon scored the only goals for the Canucks, and Jeremy Idzikowski getting an assist.
Nathan Cvar took the loss in net.
On the 15th the Canucks and Twisters cemented their status as top teams in the league in a very close game, that unfortunately didn’t swing the way of the Canucks, who lost 2-1.
Adam Thurlbeck scored the only goal for the Canucks on the power play, with Wyatt Kemball and Tristan Ezako recording the assists. Nathan Cvar was stellar in net, stopping 29 of 31 shots, but took the tough luck loss.
The two losses dropped the Canucks record to 27-11-3.
Next up was a Sunday afternoon home game against the Charleswood Hawks on Feb. 17. The Canucks would go on to win a tightly contested game 4-2 thanks to two third period goals by captain Wyatt Kemball. John McCammon and Chris Sass also scored in the win.
Tyler Wiess picked up the win in net, stopping 41 shots.
After that the Canucks continued a string of home games with a tough 6-0 loss at the hands of the St. Vital Victorias. The loss dropped the Canucks record to 27-12-3.
After that the Canucks continued to struggle, losing 5-3 to the Ft. Garry/Ft. Rouge Twins on Sunday Feb. 24.
Mack Whitely, Cam Danylchuk and Cole Chicoine scored in the game and Nathan Cvar took the loss in net.
The Canucks would wrap up their regular season with a pair of games to begin the month of March. The first game was a 5-3 victory of the St. Boniface Riels on Friday, March 1.
The line of Dylan Burton, Tristan Ezako and Cole Chicoine led the way offensively, combining for six points. Tyler Wiess won his 14th game of the season, stopping 22 shots.
The Canucks would then wrap up their regular season at home against the River East Royal Knights on Sunday, March 3.
The season would end on a high note for the Canucks, who used a solid defensive effort to beat the Royal Knights 3-1, giving up only 19 shots in the game.
McCammon, Burton and Ezako scored for the Canucks, who finished the season with a 29-13-3 record.
Chalk Talk Three Stars:
3 – Dylan Reinheimer – The 21-year-old had three goals and three assists during the last stretch of the season.
2 – Jeremy Idzikowski – Idzikowski had seven assists during this nine game segment and finishes the season with five goals and 32 assists in 45 games.
1 – John McCammon – McCammon led the Canucks offensively down the stretch, recording five goals and four assists in the final nine games. He finishes the season tied for the team lead in scoring with 45 points. After the Holiday break, McCammon recorded 10 goals and 10 assists in 19 games.
The Canucks still have to wait a bit before they find out who their playoff opponent will be. Stay tuned to our Twitter, Instagram and Facebook pages to see the playoff schedule when it comes up later this week.