The Dauphin Kings will begin their postseason tonight against the Swan Valley Stampeders.
Kings' forward Logan Calder is the only player on their team with Turnbull Cup experience. He won the league championship and took part in the Centennial Cup tournament in his rookie season with the Portage Terriers. On the opposite end of the ice is Carter Cockburn, who also played in the Turnbull Cup final against Calder in that 2018-19 season.
The Portage product is thrilled for another opportunity to win it all.
"It's going to be different. I haven't played in the playoffs since COVID-19 shut us down the first time," says Calder. "So, it has been a while, but I'm excited to get back to playing in more meaningful games."
His last time in the playoffs, Calder was playing against his current team, the Dauphin Kings, as a member of the Portage Terriers and had a 2-1 lead in the series. That season was supposed to be a guaranteed spot in the Centennial Cup for Calder and the Terriers, but the pandemic had other plans.
This time around, the local forward will be cherishing every moment.
"I'm not taking things for granted. When the playoffs got cancelled, we were supposed to host the Centennial Cup tournament, but everything came to an abrupt end," Calder explains. "This time I'll try to soak it in and play every game like it could be my last."
Dauphin finished the season with the best record in their conference and second-best record in the league as a whole, whereas, Swan Valley ended the year with more losses than wins. While the Kings have won seven of the eight matchups they played against the Stampeders this season, Calder says they still can't be taken lightly.
"Playing in their barn (rink) is going to be a lot tougher because it is kind of small," Calder notes. "We'll be trying to play our game the best that we can in that arena."
With Calder turning 21 this past January, this is his last season of eligibility in the MJHL and he says his only goal for the rest of it is to win a championship.
In 22 games with Dauphin during the regular season, Calder scored six goals and dished out 16 assists to put up a point per game. He and the rest of the Kings' roster will be kicking off their postseason tonight on home ice against the Stampeders.