Game On Magazine September 2015 - Page 60

MMJHL 2015-16: Can the Riels By Johnston Hall Photos by Jeff Miller and James Carey Lauder Repeat? Last spring the St. Boniface Riels beat the defending champion Raiders Jr. Hockey Club in four straight games in the Manitoba Major Junior Hockey League final. Can the Riels do it again or is 2015-16 the year when a new powerhouse emerges? S t. Boniface Riels president Larry Frykas has been around hockey for nearly 40 years. He’s not delusional. After putting together a championship team in St. Boniface last season – the first championship for the Riels since 1985-86 -- Frykas is well aware that repeating will be a challenge. OK, making the playoffs this season will be a challenge. After all, when you lose at least 10 of the players who won you that championship last year, rebuilding is more important than reloading. “We’re going to be young this season,” said Frykas with a laugh. “We aren’t likely to score a million goals, either. We have a lot of forwards to replace. But we’ll be pretty solid on the back end. We have four or five real good defensemen returning and our goalie, Shaun Gerbinski, is back so we should be able to stop other teams from scoring. “Ultimately, I hope we’re .500 and make the playoffs, but this is a very tough league and the parity is better now than it’s ever been. I know Ryan (head been 56 GAME ON SEPTEMBER 2015