By Dave Leaderhouse
ESTEVAN BRUINS, C
The Estevan Bruins had the most explosive offense during the regular season and that trend has continued in the playoffs, but during the Bruins’ run to the Canalta Cup final series they have received some additional scoring from an unlikely source.
Tanner Manz, who turned 19 in January, had just seven goals in 55 regular-season games, but so far, in nine post-season tilts, the 6-foot-0, 171-pound forward has scored five times to be among the team leaders in that category.
The product of Southey, Sask., has also set up a pair of markers during the Bruins’ playoff run giving him almost half as many points as he produced during a full slate of games during the regular campaign. Manz finished his first season with the Bruins with seven goals and eight assists, but he has obviously amped up his play during the post-season as Estevan looks to win its first league title since 1998-99, the last time they reached the league championship series.
Manz came to the Bruins after three solid seasons with the Moose Jaw Generals of the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League. In 127 regular-season games with the Generals, he only missed five games during his entire stint in Moose Jaw, Manz provided depth scoring with 26 tallies and 40 assists. He is following a similar role with the Bruins.
Manz’s ability to produce should not come as a complete surprise as he averaged more than a point-per-game in his final season of bantam hockey collecting 47 points on 15 goals and 32 helpers in just 31 games with the Balgonie Prairie Storm.
The circumstances are obviously a lot different as play resumes in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League, but Manz has helped put the Bruins in a position to claim a championship and with two more years of eligibility remaining he is making a case to take on more responsibilities in the future.
Tag(s): Young Guns