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Sports Update – Friday April 19th – SteinbachOnline.com

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The defending Manitoba Junior Hockey League champion Steinbach Pistons face the Winkler Flyers in the first game of the best-of-seven Turnbull Cup final tonight (7 p.m.) in Niverville. The Pistons defeated the Flyers in the opening round of the playoffs last year in a series that went the distance. Steinbach defeated the Niverville Nighthawks in four straight first-round playoffs, then needed a 2-0 win over OCN in Game 7 to eliminate the Blizzard in the semifinals on Wednesday night at the HyLife Center in La Broquerie. The Pistons won the MJHL championship in 2013, 2018 and 2023. This is the Flyers' first trip to the Finals in 22 years. Winkler won the championship title in 1991, 1992 and 1998.

The Winnipeg Jets enter the Stanley Cup Playoffs with a season-high eight-game winning streak. Nikita Chibrikov scored the lead in his NHL debut 5:18 into the third period as Winnipeg defeated the Vancouver Canucks 4-2 at Canada Life Center on Thursday night. Cole Perfetti scored two goals for the Jets, including an empty-netter with 2:05 left in regulation. Gabriel Vilardi scored his 22nd goal of the season at 11:26 of the opening period. Winnipeg hosts the Colorado Avalanche in the first game of their best-of-seven Western Conference quarterfinals on Sunday (6 p.m.).

Kristin O'Neill scored two goals, including the game-winner, with 46 seconds left as Montreal beat Minnesota 4-3. Marie-Philip Poulin and Laura Stacey each had a goal and two assists, while Erin Ambrose contributed four assists as Montreal moved within a point of Minnesota and secured second place in the PWHL. Emily Brown scored her first career goal as Boston defeated Toronto 2-1. Boston sits in fifth place with 25 points, two behind Ottawa for the fourth and final playoff spot. Renata Fast scored for first-place Toronto, who entered the league as the league's best away team with six wins and 16 points in nine games. Toronto only needs a point to secure a playoff spot.

For the first time, the Winnipeg Football Club has released a Community Impact Report, showcasing the remarkable work and positive impact the team has made within the community over the past year. In 2023, the Club actively participated in or hosted over 200 community events, demonstrating its commitment to community engagement. Through the charitable ticket program, the club worked with more than 40 organizations and donated over 600 tickets to people who might not otherwise have had the opportunity to attend a Blue Bombers game. The report addresses the club's commitment to supporting and growing amateur soccer in Manitoba, while recognizing the sport's power to inspire, educate and unite people of all ages. It highlights the club's commitment to various community initiatives not only in Winnipeg but also surrounding areas to make soccer accessible to as many youth as possible.

Sport Manitoba's annual Night of Champions took place Thursday at the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame in downtown Winnipeg. Greg Dzioba (Winnipeg) of table tennis was named Official of the Year. Resby Coutts (Winnipeg) of Curling was named Volunteer of the Year. Canadian junior figure skating champion David Howes (Winnipeg) is the Athlete of the Year. Canadian curling champions and world bronze medalists Kerri Einarson, Val Sweeting, Shannon Birchard and Briane Harris are the Team of the Year. The coach of the year is Gabrielle Wishart (Portage la Prairie) from volleyball.

Hockey_2023Ashton Bell won her third World Championship gold medal with Team Canada last Sunday in Utica (Photo courtesy of Ashton Bell).

Canada won gold for the 13th time last Sunday at the 2024 Women's World Ice Hockey Championships in Utica, New York. Team Canada defenseman Ashton Bell will join Clayton Dreger on Sportsbeat, airing Fridays at 5:15 p.m. on AM 1250 Radio.