Thursday, 27 October 2011

Team Manitoba Set for U16 Challenge Cup

Ryley Lindgren
Ryley Lindgren believes Team Manitoba has all the elements to come out on top on the Western Canada Under-16 Challenge Cup, that gets underway Thursday at Mosiac Place in Moose Jaw.

A fifth round pick of the Brandon Wheat Kings in the 2011 WHL Bantam Draft, Lindgren and the rest of Team Manitoba played an exhibition game against the Southwest Cougars of the Manitoba AAA Midget Hockey League on Tuesday night and practiced in Brandon on Wednesday morning before departing for Moose Jaw.

“I think we have a lot of strengths. We have a little of everything, and really everything we need to be successful,” said Lindgren after Wednesday’s practice, “We have speed, strength, shot…really, every component of the game that we need to win some games out there.”

“Going in there, we’re all excited so we’re going to be jumpy for the first 10 minutes,” added defenceman Jordan Thomson, Kamloops’ first round pick, fourth overall pick, in the 2011 WHL Bantam Draft, “We have to play Team Manitoba hockey, and there’s no reason we can’t come out on top at this tournament."
Lindgren has three goals and six points in 10 games with the Winnipeg Thrashers of the Manitoba AAA Midget Hockey League so far this season, and in addition to looking forward to the event overall, he also is looking forward to seeing how his game compares to other players in his age group in Western Canada.
“The experience will be great, and just playing against the top caliber players in all of Western Canada will be such a good great experience and something to remember for the rest of my life,” said Lindgren, “Just go out there, do your thing and hopefully goes well from there and in the future.”

Lindgren was on a line with fellow Wheat Kings’ prospect and Roblin product Jayce Hawryluk (2nd round, 2011) and Clayton Tait of the MMHL’s Interlake Lightning during Tuesday’s game.

Jordan Thomson
Thomson, meanwhile, is a Wawanesa product who has three goals and eight points in nine games with the Southwest Cougars (MMHL) so far this season.

He was named Manitoba’s captain on Tuesday.

“There was a lot of guys on the team that were capable of wearing the ‘C’, and it’s great to be chosen. It’s a huge opportunity and a great honour to be representing our province, and also a huge honor to be wearing the ‘C’,” said Thomson, who has three goals and eight points in nine games with the Southwest Cougars (MMHL) so far this season, “With that comes a lot of responsibility, making sure the guys are focused and ready and doing the right things.”

Brandon’s Brett Kitt, also a fifth round pick of the Wheat Kings, and Portland pick Michael Fortin of Souris are the other players from Western Manitoba on the roster while fourth round pick Dallas Starodub is the other Wheat Kings’ prospect on the team.

Manitoba opens the Western Canada Under-16 Challenge Cup against Jordan Papirny, John Quenneville and Team Alberta on Thursday afternoon.

Papirny, 22nd overall, and Quenneville, third round, are the other two Wheat Kings’ prospects participating in the tournament.

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