The Manitoba Junior Hockey League's trade deadline took place on Monday, and the Portage Terriers brought in two forwards before finalizing their roster.
Brock MacDonald and Mike Stubbs will be playing in their third game as a Terrier tonight in Winnipeg. Stubbs played a full season in the OHL last year but was very happy to hear he was going to land in Portage.
"Around Canada, everybody knows the junior leagues and who hosts the national championship," Stubbs explains. "The first day I got here, I could see the excitement and energy on everybody's faces. You can see that this is a team that wants to win. It's hard not to be excited."
Stubbs already has two goals in just two games since his arrival.
As for MacDonald, he's also very happy to be in Portage, noting he asked for a trade, and the Terriers were his preferred destination.
"I was super excited. I know quite a few guys on the team, and they had only said good things about it. So, I was happy to come here," MacDonald continues. "I was in Johnstown and left there. I asked for a trade in the Manitoba league, and this is where I wanted to play. I ended up here, so I'm happy to be here."
MacDonald played seven games in the North American Hockey League with the Johnstown Tomahawks this season and picked up one assist. The 19-year-old joins Noah Wagner and Gavin Klaassen as fellow Tomahawks alumni.
In his one season in the MJHL, MacDonald scored 36 points in 43 games for the OCN Blizzard.
Stubbs ended his OHL career with 13 total points over two seasons. He says as soon as the trade took place, his focus shifted to winning the Centennial Cup.
"It puts a chip on your shoulder. You have to come in here and prove yourself to everyone else in the room, not just the coaching staff," Stubbs notes. "There are 22 guys in here that have been here throughout the year and know what it takes to win. You see the standings in the MJHL, you know these guys know how to win hockey games. So, it's about following those older guys in there."
Stubbs and MacDonald will be looking to help the Terriers win their sixth game in a row tonight in Winnipeg against the Freeze.
"We'll have to come ready to play, like always," says MacDonald. "We're going to have some bus legs but it's not too long of a trip, so we'll be ready to play."
The Terriers and Freeze will face off tonight in Winnipeg, with puck drop set for 6:00.