AUGUST 20, 2017
The Manitoba Blizzard and Seneca War Chiefs squared off for the bronze medal on Sunday afternoon at the Founders Cup in Saskatoon. The teams waged a close contest for two periods before the New York state side broke the game open in the final frame to claim bronze with a 15-8 win over Manitoba.
Seneca scored first as Jonah Mohawk struck first at the 4:20 mark. Manitoba struck for two shorthanded markers as Kelson Borisenko and Jared Courchene scored 48 seconds apart to give Manitoba the lead. Weylon Adams tied the score eight minutes later on the powerplay but Blaze Bezecki quickly put the Blizzard in front again with a powerplay goal of his own with 3:01 left in the period before Joe Laforme tied the game again with 1:37 to go. It was 3-3 after a period.
Manitoba took back the lead on a Kelson Borisenko powerplay goal nearly eight minutes into the second period, but the game turned the way of the War Chiefs as they rattled off four in a row as Kyle Barna recorded a hat trick and Darcy Redeye scored one of his one to give Seneca a 7-4 lead. Courchene scored his second on a powerplay to make it 7-5 War Chiefs after two periods.
Seneca would seal the deal in the third with goals from Connor Gates, Tonatiuh Salinas and Barna with his fourth made it 10-5 with 10 minutes left. A pair of Blizzard goals from Troy Gutowski and Andy Szun pulled the Blizzard to within three at 10-7, but three more War Chief goals from Evan Printup, Clay Scanlan and Mohawk would extinguish any Blizzard hopes. Loel Asham got one back for the Blizzard with 1:42 left but goals from Heron Snow and Clay Zeller in the last two minutes would wrap up the scoring.
Seneca War Chiefs - Jonah Mohawk (Joe Laforme) 4:20
Manitoba Blizzard - Kelson Borisenko (short handed) (Andy Szun) 5:45
Manitoba Blizzard - Jared Courchene (short handed) (unassisted) 6:33
Seneca War Chiefs - Weylon Abrams (power play) (Jonah Mohawk, Clay Scanlan) 14:09
Manitoba Blizzard - Blaze Bezecki (power play) (Colin Poitras) 16:59
Seneca War Chiefs - Joe Laforme (Mason Jones) 18:23
Manitoba Blizzard - Kelson Borisenko (power play) (Andy Szun) 7:58
Seneca War Chiefs - Kyle Barna (Connor Gates, Clay Scanlan) 10:28
Seneca War Chiefs - Darcy Redeye (Jonah Mohawk) 13:10
Seneca War Chiefs - Kyle Barna (Jonah Mohawk) 13:44
Seneca War Chiefs - Kyle Barna (Jonah Mohawk, Darcy Redeye) 15:38
Manitoba Blizzard - Jared Courchene (power play) (Colin Poitras) 16:27
Seneca War Chiefs - Connor Gates (Kyle Barna, Clay Scanlan) 1:45
Seneca War Chiefs - Tonatiuh Salinas (unassisted) 5:16
Seneca War Chiefs - Kyle Barna (Jonah Mohawk, Kahiio Cree) 8:43
Manitoba Blizzard - Troy Gutowski (power play) (Andy Szun, Blaze Bezecki) 11:24
Manitoba Blizzard - Andy Szun (Loel Asham, Blaze Bezecki) 11:53
Seneca War Chiefs - Evan Printup (Clay Scanlan) 12:25
Seneca War Chiefs - Clay Scanlan (Kyle Barna) 13:42
Seneca War Chiefs - Jonah Mohawk (Drew Ray) 16:39
Manitoba Blizzard - Loel Asham (power play) (Blaze Bezecki) 18:18
Seneca War Chiefs - Heron Snow (Clay Scanlan) 18:51
Seneca War Chiefs - Cole Zeller (unassisted) 19:15
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JULY 23, 2017
The Manitoba Blizzard and Saskatchewan SWAT squared off in Game 2 of the Rocky Mountain Lacrosse League’s East Regional Playoff on Sunday afternoon. And for the second straight game, the home side would struggle in the opening period, but rally back in a big way to take a 2-0 series lead in the best-of-five series with an 18-8 victory.
Just like Saturday night, the SWAT got off to a fast start as goals by Ethan Kennedy and Jordan Boyenko put them in front 2-0 just 89 seconds into the game. The Blizzard got themselves on the board a little past the 6-minute mark on Blaze Bezecki’s marker. Saskatchewan regained their two-goal margin just over the halfway point of the period as Shawn Jones scored. Manitoba replied only 34 seconds after that as TJ Johnson got a shot by Graydon Harley. However, Cody Schwan’s goal 67 seconds after the Johnson goal gave the SWAT back their two-goal edge. However, Poitras & Kelson Borisenko evened things at 4-apiece after a period.
Manitoba’s momentum marched into the middle frame as the Blizzard would take advantage of a slashing major to the SWAT’s Matt Cromie as they scored three times. Borisenko and Bezecki added a pair of his own to give the home side a 7-4 lead. Jared Courchene added a goal from the slot to give the Blizz Boys a commanding four-goal edge. Wyatt Haux scored only 18 seconds after the Courchene goal to pull the visitors to within three. Borisenko tacked on his fourth of the day. Matt Murphy got the visitors back to within three with 5:41 remaining before Borisenko struck for his fourth to give the Blizzard a 10-6 lead after two periods.
The Blizzard would put the game on ice in the final twenty minutes as they scored eight times. Borisenko added two more for a total of six on the afternoon. Jared Courchene notched his second of the day, Andy Szun supplied two goals of his own, while Poitras and Troy Gutowski and Isaac Babulic added singles. Jayden Fraser and Arliss McCloy scored for the beleaguered Saskatchewan side.
Game 3 of the East Regional goes Saturday July 29th at 1PM CDT in Saskatoon as the Blizzard look to finish off the SWAT and advance to the RMLL’s Final Four for a third straight season.
Borisenko 6, Bezecki 3, Courchene 2, Poitras 2 Szun, Babulic, TJ Johnson, Gutowski, Szun
Kennedy, Boyenko, Jones, Haux, Murphy, Fraser, Schwan, McCloy
JULY 16, 2017
The Manitoba Blizzard claimed the Rocky Mountain Lacrosse League’s North Division title with a 13-6 win over the Rockyview Silvertips at “The Icebox” on Sunday afternoon.
For the second straight day, the home side opened the scoring as Colin Poitras ripped a shot by Silvertips goalie Ethan Reynolds only 2:11 into the contest. Rockyview tied it a little over a minute later as Colby Gulutzan’s shot eluded Blizzard ‘keeper Riley Maydanuk. The Blizzard racked up the next five goals from the sticks of Kelson Borisenko, a pair from Blaze Bezecki and a pair from Andy Szun to put the Blizzard up 6-1 nearly 12 minutes into the frame. The Tips got one back as Gulutzan scored his second of the frame, but Borisenko added his second of the period to give Manitoba a 7-2 edge through one period.
The Blizzard made it 8-2 as newcomer Isaac Babulic (pronounced Bab-ul-luck) potted a powerplay goal 2:39 into the period. The Silvertips replied with a powerplay marker of their own a little over two minutes later as Michael Halliday scored. But the Blizzard capped off the frame with goals from Szun and Borisenko to up the lead to 10-3 after two periods.
The Blizzard added two more in the opening two minutes of the third period as Borisenko & Bezecki each put the finishing touches on hat tricks. Rockyview fired back with a pair of goals from Matthew Dyck and Gulutzan, who got his third on the powerplay as the Blizzard ran headlong into penalty trouble. Jared Courchene picked up Manitoba’s final goal of the day before Gulutzan rounded out the scoring with his fourth marker of the afternoon with 8:53 to play.
Manitoba finishes the regular season with a franchise best 18-2 record.
The Blizzard will begin first round action in the RMLL playoffs on Saturday night at “The Icebox”. Game time and opponent is yet to be determined.
Borisenko 4, Szun 3, Bezecki 3, Poitras, Babulic, Courchene
Gulutzan 4, Halliday, Dyck
JULY 30, 2017
The Manitoba Blizzard and Saskatchewan SWAT met in Game 3 of the Rocky Mountain Lacrosse League East Regional Playoff on Saturday afternoon and the Blizzard got the series sweep with a 13-11 victory and in the process, advanced to their third straight RMLL Final Four next weekend.
Kieran Mulvaney opened the scoring 2:46 into the game, but Saskatchewan struck twice to take the lead on goals from Matt Murphy and Ethan Kennedy. Blaze Bezecki evened the score at 2 almost six minutes into the period. Then the home side struck for two more goals, as Matthew Wist and Arliss McCloy made it a 4-2 Saskatchewan lead at the 10:23 mark. Just 32 seconds after the McCloy goal, Andy Szun pulled the Blizzard to within a goal. Szun would tie the score at 16:39 with Colin Poitras picking up the assist. It was 4-4 after one period.
Kelson Borisenko notched a pair of goals in a two-minute span to give Manitoba a 6-4 lead, but the SWAT struck back as Jayden Fraser and Chris Lukash squared the game at 6-all at the 7:16 mark of the period. Troy Gutowski put Manitoba back in front, but 48 seconds after that, Lukash tied the game again at 7. Jared Courchene and Matt Cromie traded goals, with Cromie’s coming with just seven seconds remaining to send the teams to the locker room tied at 8-all after 40 minutes.
The back and forth continued into the third period as Borisenko & Kennedy scored for their respective sides to make it 9-9. But the Blizzard would pull away thanks to two more Andy Szun goals a little over two minutes apart to put the Blizzard in front 11-9. Matt Murphy drew the SWAT to within a goal with 8:26 remaining. Goals from Szun and Mulvaney gave Manitoba a 3-goal lead with 69 seconds remaining. McCloy would get Saskatchewan’s 11th goal with only 40 seconds left.
The RMLL Final Four begins Friday in Edmonton.
Szun 5, Borisenko 3, Mulvaney 2, Bezecki, Gutowski, Courchene
Lukash 2, McCloy 2, Kennedy 2, Murphy 2, Wist, Fraser, Cromie
JULY 20, 2017
The Manitoba Blizzard start their quest for a second straight Rocky Mountain Lacrosse League championship this weekend as they square off against the Saskatchewan SWAT in games 1 and 2 of the East Regional Playoff at “The Icebox”, aka Notre Dame Arena at 271 Cathedral Avenue. Game 1 goes Saturday night at 7PM (30 minutes earlier than the usual Saturday night start time). Game 2 of the series will go Sunday afternoon at noon.
This will be the third consecutive year that the sides have squared off in the second season. In 2016, Manitoba swept Saskatchewan in their best-of-five East Regional series, winning 14-8 and 13-3 at home, then closing out the SWAT 7-5 in Saskatoon. In 2015, the teams met in a historic league championship game with Saskatchewan winning the title 13-8. The 2015 game was the first title tilt that didn’t have an Alberta team playing for the big prize.
Blizzard Head Coach Trevor Anyon had this comment on the series. “(The) SWAT added a few players late (in the season). There will be no free points in this series. We’ll have to earn them.”
WE MET BEFORE THIS WEEKEND, DIDN’T WE?
The teams squared off four times over the course of the regular season with the Blizzard sweeping the season set. Manitoba won 15-10 and 15-5 at The Icebox on June 10th and 11th and picked up 11-5 and 8-6 wins in Saskatoon on July 8th and 9th.
BY THE NUMBERS (EXTENDED PLAY VERSION):
40- As in number of wins on home floor (Regular Season and Playoffs) in their four-year history.
18- A new club record for wins in a season, surpassing the previous mark of 15 in 2015.
14- As in consecutive wins. Their winning ways began on May 14th with a 9-5 victory in Red Deer. The night before, the Rampage eked out an 11-9 win.
9- Number of road wins in 2017, a club all-time best for a single season. In 2015, the Blizzard won 7 away from “The Cool Confines”.
5- Five members of the Blizzard took up the first 6 spots in the North Division Top 10 scorers list.
Captain Colin Poitras led the North with 35 goals and 66 assists for 101 points. That was only 4 points back of South Division scoring champion Colby Fraser of the Calgary Shamrocks, who recorded 52 goals and 53 assists for 105 points for the overall title.
Blaze Bezecki placed third in the division with 42 goals and 30 helpers for 72 points.
Andy Szun ended up in fourth with 26 goals and 42 assists in just 13 games after returning from Carthage College (NCAA).
Kelson Borisenko rejoined the Blizzard from the Manhattan Jaspers (NCAA) and recorded 36 goals and 29 assists for 65 points in only 13 games. That was good for fifth in the division. Kelson picked up the South Division title in 2016 with 56 goals and 50 assists for 106 points.
2- Troy Gutowski placed sixth on 28 goals and 34 assists for 62 points, appearing in all 20 Blizzard contests.2- As in Riley Maydanuk placing 2nd in the North in save percentage with a mark of .838.
AUGUST 3, 2017
For the third straight season, the Manitoba Blizzard have a berth in the Rocky Mountain Lacrosse League Final Four tournament and look to capture their second consecutive title. The tournament begins Friday night in Edmonton at Bill Hunter Arena. Here’s a look at each club.
MANITOBA BLIZZARD- EAST REPRESENTATIVE
2017 RECORD: 18-2, 1st in North Division
HOW THEY GOT HERE: Defeated Saskatchewan 3 games to none in East Regional Playoff.
EDMONTON WARRIORS- HOST
2017 RECORD: 5-14-1, 5th in North Division
HOW THEY GOT HERE: Qualified as host team.
HEAD-TO-HEAD: Blizzard won their lone season meeting 14-9 on May 13th in Edmonton.
RED DEER RAMPAGE- NORTH REPRESENTATIVE
2017 RECORD: 17-3, 2nd in North Division
HOW THEY GOT HERE: Defeated Edmonton Warriors 13-9 and Sherwood Park Titans 13-5
HEAD-TO-HEAD: Split their two regular season meetings. Red Deer won 11-9 on May 13th, but the Blizzard rebounded for a 9-5 win in Red Deer on May 14th.
CALGARY CHILL- SOUTH REPRESENTATIVE
2017 RECORD: 16-4, 1st in South Division
HOW THEY GOT HERE: Defeated Calgary Mountaineers 2 games to none in best-of-3 South Regional Playoff.
HEAD-TO-HEAD: Manitoba won their only regular season clash 10-8 on June 13th in Calgary. Met twice in 2016 Final Four, losing on July 30th 9-6 before getting the biggest win in team history on August 1st by an 8-6 count in the championship game.
BLIZZARD ROUND ROBIN SCHEDULE (ALL TIMES CDT)
FRIDAY AUGUST 4 CALGARY CHILL 10PM
SATURDAY AUGUST 5 RED DEER RAMPAGE 10AM
SATURDAY AUGUST 5 EDMONTON WARRIORS 7PM
AUGUST 7, 2017
The Manitoba Blizzard and Red Deer Rampage met for the Rocky Mountain Lacrosse Championship on Monday afternoon in Edmonton. The Blizzard looked to take home their second straight title and the Rampage looked to bring the title back home to Alberta for the first time in two years. The Blizzard achieved the repeat with a 12-8 win.
The Blizzard would draw first blood as Blaze Bezecki scored on the powerplay, but Manitoba ran into penalty and Red Deer cashed in twice with the man advantage as Jordan Waddell and Conor Shantz lifted Red Deer to a 2-1 edge after a period.
The Rampage upped the lead to 3-1 on a Sheridan Cook goal just shy of the two-minute mark of the middle frame. Manitoba replied with a pair of goals from Colin Poitras and Bezecki. Shortly after the Bezecki goal, Red Deer regained the lead on Waddell’s second goal of the game. However, Manitoba struck for five straight on goals from Andy Szun, Taylor Ritchie, Loel Asham and two from Bezecki to move the Blizzard in front 8-4. A Dustin Bell marker pulled Red Deer to within three, but an Asham goal in the final minute gave the Blizzard eight in the middle stanza and a 9-5 lead going into the third period.
Power-play tallies from Poitras and Kelson Borisenko expanded the lead to 11-5 before a pair of goals from Bell and one from Dawson Reykdal caused an anxious moment or two late in the game before Will Lutz sealed the Blizzard’s second RMLL title in the final minute.
Bezecki 4,Poitras 2, Asham, 2, Ritchie, Szun, Borisenko, Lutz
Bell 3, Waddell 2 Shantz, Reykdal, Cook
© Manitoba Blizzard Lacrosse 2017