The Dauphin Kings are set to take a 2-0 series lead into the Centennial Arena in Winkler for game three of their MJHL semifinal on Wednesday night.
Following back-to-back wins on home ice this past weekend, the best-of-seven switches venues as Winkler will host games three and four. Dauphin has been firing on all cylinders against Winkler, finding a way to score seven goals while giving up minimal good opportunities coming off the sticks of Flyers. And when Winkler does get a solid chance, Carson Cherepak has been brilliant.
For Jeriah Shantz, he’s now played seven playoff games with the team and made his second-round debut on Sunday in Dauphin’s 3-1 win. He has one goal and one assist so far and he says the dressing room is motivated to keep it going.
“Everyone is doing their job and playing as hard as possible,” said Shantz. “We have to keep it up and play the same way. It’s been a great start but we’re not done yet.”
Winkler advanced to the second round when they downed the Winnipeg Blues in six games. They have the MJHL’s regular-season scoring champion in Justin Svenson; however, they could be without the services of their next leading scorer in Jayden McCarthy. A prominent threat, Jayden left Sunday’s game with an apparent knee injury and he was seen on crutches shortly after. The Flyers were held to just 18 shots on Sunday.
Led on the back end by Trent Sambrook who has eight assists in the playoffs, the Flyers will look to change their fate on home ice where they have been excellent this season. Winkler was 20-5-1-1 in the regular season on home ice and they earned the third-most home points in the league.
“We know they’re going to come out with a lot of energy,” offered Shantz. “We have to match their energy from the first shift, forecheck hard and stay sound in our defensive zone.”
All in all, this is Jeriah’s first playoff run with the Kings and since day one, he’s been enjoying every second.
“It’s been an awesome experience, I didn’t really know what to expect coming in,” said Shantz. “I’m just trying to do whatever I can to help this team win games, we have such a great group of guys.”