Nuck Dynasty!

Jr Canucks Complete Magical Run Capturing Three-Peat Championship

The St. James Jr Canucks capped off their incredible run on Sunday with a 5-1 victory over the Pembina Valley Twisters closing out their championship series four games to one. It is the teams third consecutive MMJHL championship. Tyrone Willan recorded four points in the game and had 22 points in the playoffs and was named the playoff’s most valuable player. The Canucks Rory Neill, last season’s regular season MVP and former Calgary Hitmen defenseman, led the playoffs with 11 goals. Goaltender Noah Gilbert, last years playoff MVP, went 12-1 with a 2.09 GAA and a .935 Save %.

The Twisters made it tough on the Canucks as the first 4 games were decided by one goal including two overtime games. “They were a tough challenge for us” said team president Justin Steeves. “They are a well coached team and they played a structured game which frustrated us early in the series. Our coaches and players did a great job of adjusting and at the same time playing to our identity.”

Head coach Blair Mooney chimed in on some of the teams challenges this season. “The challenging thing about this season was that there was definitely a sense of everyone banding together to try and knock us off. Our guys were able to use that as motivation when it counted and to stay focussed throughout the season. Our core group of guys that have been together for a few years really stepped up with both their on ice play and strong leadership. Building a tight knit team that really wanted to win for their community was huge for us as well.”

The Jr Canucks have earned a 36-5 playoff record in the three year span. The teams’ combined regular season record over the three years in an impressive 114-15-6. Team captain Kale Price attributes a lot of the success to the core players that have been with the team for many years. “I would say the biggest thing that has set us apart from other teams is the atmosphere and true brotherhood that we have strived hard to create in the room and around the rink. With the core group that we have had over the last few seasons we all knew what we were building towards and trying to accomplish every time we stepped on the ice, and that trickles down to everyone else on the team and keeps us all on the same page striving to reach our ultimate goal”.

The Jr Canucks graduate seven key players this year including their head Coach Blair Mooney who will be stepping down after coaching the team for 9 seasons. Steeves says although many key people are gone, it’s time for others to step up.  “What these guys have done for this organization goes beyond words. We are very grateful but at the same time want to keep the bar that they helped set very high. We will re-tool and we expect our returning players to come back and battle hard to defend our title”.