The Portage Terriers will have to wait one more day for their season to start but for 10 other teams in the MJHL, action begins tonight.
At the start of any season, all teams are hopeful they will be raising the Turnbull Cup next April and the Terriers are no exception. Of the last seventeen championships handed out, Portage has been the winner an amazing nine times. Their quest for another title will begin in Neepawa tomorrow night while their home opener is Sunday, 6:30 p.m. at Stride Place against Virden. You can listen to the season opener along with 24 other regular season games and all of the Terrier playoff matches here.
One highlight for Terrier fans this year will be Blake Spiller becoming the all-time leader in wins as a head coach in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League. Spiller has 647 wins under his belt while former Terrier coach Don MacGillvray has 669 and leader Doug Stokes has 670. Should the Terriers win 24 games this season and Spiller be with the teams for those games, he will become the all-time leader. Spiller played with the team in the 80's and came back as an Assistant Coach to MacGillvray in 2001. The pair won a league title in 2004. Spiller then took over head coaching duties in 2006-2007 and added 8 more championships to his resume.
The early take this season is that there may be a lot of parody in the league. Perennial contenders like Portage and Steinbach have seen plenty of turnover from last year's teams and some are saying the Virden Oil Caps may be primed for their first league title after making it to the final last year. The Oil Caps beat the Terriers in the East Division Final last season after winning game seven in Portage in overtime.
Several teams will be playing out of different arenas this year. The Steinbach Pistons will call La Broquerie home for the season while the new arena in that community is under construction. OCN will now play on the other side of the river in The Pas at the Roy H. Johnston Arena. Both Winnipeg clubs, the Blues and the Freeze, will now be playing out of the Hockey For All Centre in Headingly.
Wpg Blues at Winkler, 7 p.m.
Steinbach at Virden, 7:30 p.m.
Selkirk at Niverville, 7 p.m.
Swan Valley at Dauphin, 7:30 p.m.
Neepawa at Waywayseecappo, 7:30 p.m.
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