After winning the Manitoba Major Junior Hockey League (MMJHL) Championship to cap off the 2021-2022 season, the Jr. Canucks picked up right where they left off to start this year’s campaign.
They made a clean sweep through the rest of the league to begin the season, going 9-0-0. They have a league best goal differential of +32, the league’s leading goaltender in save percentage and wins, and six players who are averaging over a point per game.
The Canucks cruised through October by picking up wins in the following games:
- Oct 2 – 7-4 over the Pembina Valley Twisters
- Oct 7 – 5-3 over the River East Royal Knights
- Oct 11 – 6-5 over the St. Vital Victorias
- Oct 14 – 7-2 over the St. Boniface Riels
- Oct 16 – 6-1 over the Charleswood Hawks
- Oct 21 – 7-0 over the Raiders Junior Hockey Club
- Oct 23 – 4-2 over the Transcona Railer Express
- Oct 28 – 9-6 over the Stonewall Jets
- Oct 30 – 4-0 over the Ft. Gary/Ft. Rouge Twins
As mentioned before, the Jr. Canucks have six players who are averaging over a point per game, and five of those players are in the top-20 for league scoring:
- Second-year forward Tyrone Willan leads the way, with 6 goals and 19 points in 9 games
- Reigning Defenceman of the Year Rory Neill is off to a torrid start, with 12 goals and 18 points in 8 games.
- Captain Kale Price has 4 goals and 12 assists in 9 games
- Sniper Ashton Romaniuk is averaging just under a goal per game, putting the puck in the net 8 times over 9 games. He also has 5 assists.
- Defenceman Brady Whitely continues to pile up the points, with 12 (3G 9A) in 9 games
- Forward Ethan Robson, who previously spent time with Yorkton in the SJHL, has burst onto the scene with 9 points in 7 games.
Many other players have chipped in with key goals and impressive point totals to help the Jr. Canucks lead the league in average goals per game at 6.11.
Stingy Defence and Sound Goaltending
In addition to leading the league in goals per game, the Jr. Canucks also lead the league in goals against per game. A big part of that is the play of their defence.
The Jr. Canucks are allowing an average of just 26 shots per game, and a good amount of those shots are stopped by third-year goalie Noah Gilbert, who leads the league with a .922 save percentage. Liam Johnson has also been solid, posting a 4-0-0 record to go along with Gilbert’s 5-0-0 record.
The Canucks open their next stretch of nine games on Friday, Nov. 4 against the Pembina Valley Twisters. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30 pm at Ab McDonald Arena located inside the St. James Civic Centre.