Identifying one player per team who is integral to his club's success on the Road To The Canalta Cup.
BRETT BOEHM, YORKTON TERRIERS
The Terriers were a snake bitten group before Boehm arrived on the scene in mid-December. Safe to say if you can stop Boehm, you can take away a big chunk of their offense. Easy to say, almost impossible to do through the twenty-seven games he has played as a Terrier.
MICHAEL GUDMANDSON, BATTLEFORDS NORTH STARS
You may find a lot of goaltenders on this list, but such is playoff life in hockey. Gudmandson is a well traveled veteran, but he doesn’t have much postseason pedigree. Here’s to hoping the cinderella run continues for a young man who is Exhibit A for what perseverance can get you.
TRAVIS MAYAN, MELFORT MUSTANGS
The Mustangs have two solid goaltenders and they play an overall sound two-way game. What they have lacked in recent years is that knockout punch from that single player that can just take over. Mayan has that capability, but it’s a lot to ask from a rookie.
TYRELL KING, KINDERSLEY KLIPPERS
Here’s another goalie. King can change games and he will need to be on top of his game to help the Klippers gain some confidence. There is a lot of talent around him, but you get the sense that he will have to be better than the opposing goalie at the other end of the ice for them to win.
COLIN MOSPANCHUK, MELVILLE MILLIONAIRES
It’s no coincidence that as the Mils went quietly down the stretch, so too did the play of their captain. Mospanchuk can be the league’s best power forward when he’s on and he’s had some memorable playoff performances over his career. The Mils are hoping he has more left.
CODY PONGRACZ, HUMBOLDT BRONCOS
Pongracz is a veteran who was a big part of the offense during last year’s run to the Canalta Cup finals. He didn’t continue with those prolific numbers this season and the Broncos had difficulty putting pucks in the net as a group pretty much all year. To go deep, they will have to score and an inexperienced roster will look to Pongracz.
MATT GIBNEY, ESTEVAN BRUINS
We know Austin Daae and Tanner Froese will score. Can Gibney keep more pucks out in his end than what Daae and Froese will put in at the other end? That’s the burning question for a team that doesn’t have a ton of depth so if Froese and Daae do get neutralized, it will be Gibney who will be looked at to hold the fort until they get break one.
TAD KOZUN, NIPAWIN HAWKS
When Kozun played well, the Hawks usually won games. When he didn’t play well or if he was shut down, they usually lost. It’s a lot to put a guy’s shoulders, but Kozun has to be the best player on the ice for three of the next five games.
DION ANTISIN, NOTRE DAME HOUNDS
You don’t usually think of the Notre Dame Hounds when you are scouring rosters for power forwards, but Antisin is a dandy and he can make some room with his physical play and also change the tide with a big goal. He’s getting back into shape from injury layoff, so hopefully he’s all the way back.
SIMON HOFLEY, FLIN FLON BOMBERS
It would be a surprise if the Bombers hold the edge in shots on goal in any of their games. They, simply, don’t have the firepower. They need to hang in there, capitalize on powerplays, and get big time goaltending from their rookie. That’s something Hofley delivered down the stretch (.931 SPCT in his last seven games).