Pee Wee Stampeders Earn Shoal Lake Banner in Thriller

Pictured above: Back Row: Coaches Craig Zamzow, Rick Betcher, Dave Kirk; Middle Row: Crystal Zamzow, Tucker Thompson, Noah Weir, Tyrell Leaske, Eli Betcher, Samantha Jo Moshenko, Kai Gorchynski; Front Row: Jackson Badowski, Tavyn Boychuk, Maddix Eisner, Andrew Pidskalny, Brady Burghart, Grace Kirk; Horizontal: Owen Martyniuk

Submitted by: Craig Zamzow |

The Swan Valley Pee Wee Stampeders travelled to Shoal Lake/Birtle for a 5-team tourney as their last tune-up prior to hosting provincials in Swan River March 1-3, 2019

They opened Saturday February 16, 2019 in Birtle against the Virden Jr Oil Capitals. It was 2-2 after one period (Brady Burghart & Sammy Jo Moshenko with goals) and 5-3 Virden after two periods (Tyrell Leaske tipping in a 9-iron from Maddix Eisner). In the third period with under two minutes remaining Leaske went bar down to draw the club within one. Goalie Owen Martyniuk was pulled for the extra attacker late but the club couldn’t find the equalizer and lost 5-4. Virden was led by a hat trick from Bryce Bryant (son of Swan Valley-raised Roanne Ash).

With one game off, the club hopped back on the ice to face the Dauphin Kings. Martyniuk made a big save early and then Burghart scored the only goal in the first. The second period saw the Stampeder powerplay convert twice, first Eli Betcher on a cross-crease feed he hammered home and Moshenko from her home at the top of the blue paint to provide a 3-0 lead after two periods. The third saw the Stamps play solid defensive hockey with shutout goaltending from Owen Martyniuk to earn the 3-0 win.

On Sunday the tourney shifted locales to Shoal Lake. At 10AM the club faced the host Shoal Lake Eagles. Midway through period one Tucker Thompson grabbed a loose puck just inside the blue line hit Maddix Eisner in stride, and “Mad Dog” went bar down blocker side to open the scoring. Early in period two the Eagles converted a three-way passing play that ended in a cross-crease tap-in to tie the score. Late in period two Andrew Pidskalny made a rush up his strong-side, cut to the net and beat the Eagle netminder high on the short-side for a 2-1 lead. The third period would feature tight defensive play and some big saves by “Marty” but the Stampeders held on for a 2-1 win despite two highly-skilled Eagle dmen who relentlessly rushed the puck.

The (2-1) Stampeders again had one game off before playing a fresh (1-1-1)The Pas Huskies team with a spot in the “A” final on the line at 1PM.

This game featured the Stampeders Martyniuk and The Pas Huskies Mariko Bercier both making solid and highlight reel saves, with some tight checking from both sides. Late in period three the Huskies pulled their goalie but the Stamps held tough for a 0-0 final and a spot in the “A” final vs the (4-0) Virden Jr Oil Capitals.

An Oil Cap forward burst down his off-wing two-minutes in, made a power move to drive in and picked the top corner to provide the Oil Caps with a 1-0 lead. Early in period two a loose puck in the high slot was hammered home on a slap shot (by son of former SV Stampeder Darby Cochrane) to extend the lead.

With 5 minutes left in period two the Stampeders caught the Oil Caps on a bad line change for a 3 on 1 break. Burghart made a cross-ice pass to Jackson Badowski who beat the netminder high on the short-side to cut the lead in half.

A couple minutes later the Oil Caps scored a powerplay goal to carry a 3-1 lead into the second intermission.

A tired squad was being outplayed but thankfully Martyniuk was solid between the pipes. Head Coach Rick Betcher dug deep into his bag of tricks for his second-intermission, Herb Brooks inspired speech, in a last ditch effort to coax one more big period from his club.

With 11 minutes remaining Leaske had a strong shift on the forecheck before scoring a big goal to cut the lead to one. With 7 minutes remaining the Oil Caps dented the twine again for a 4-2 lead that may have appeared to seal the result for some.

With less than 5 minutes left Leaske took a feed from Kai Gorchynski and beat the Oil Caps netminder again to cut the lead to 4-3. A minute later Burghart created a neutral zone turnover and earned himself a partial breakaway. He was dragged down at the hashmarks and with a delayed penalty-shot or penalty being called, he somehow one-handed a trickler behind the netminder to tie the score at four!

The balance of regulation solved nothing, and the two teams headed to 5 minutes of 3 on 3 sudden victory overtime. On the third shift of OT Badowski controlled the puck and did a lap around the offensive zone, before a drop pass to Burghart. A fearless Pidskalny broke from his defence position for the far post as Burghart wound up for a Sedin-like slap pass that Pidskalny deflected bar down for the tournament winner.

The Pee Wee A Stampeders wind up their season by hosting provincials in Swan River from March 1-3. Participating teams include Brandon Wheat Kings, Carman Cougars, Dauphin Kings, Minnedosa Bombers, Mitchell Mohawks, Souris Elks, Stony Mountain, and The Pasw Huskies, and the host Swan Valley Stampeders.