Game On Magazine September 2015 - Page 61

I think we’ll have a very good team and it will be an exciting year for us coach Ryan Frykas) won’t like me saying this, but it’s going be a very difficult and interesting year for our young guys.” To be fair, besides the goaltender who will enter his third year in the league, the Riels return some good young hockey players – Mark Sharman, Miguel Gauthier, Royce Nixdorf, Will Harrison, Jens Giebrecht and Tango Yestrau just to name a few. However, the Riels opponents should be very good this season. The Charleswood Hawks and St. Vital Victorias are expected to be threats. Both the Pembina Valley Twisters and the Stonewall Jets are expected to be good. And we always know that River East and Transcona will send out very good teams. However, according to Frykas, the pre-season favorite is likely to be the team the Riels beat in four straight games in last year’s final, the Raiders Jr. Hockey Club. The Raiders, the 2013-14 champions, have a brand new rink and brand new club facilities at the $18 million Seven Oaks Arena at Garden City Community Club and they’ll be a threat throughout the 2015-16 season. Meanwhile, out in Morris, Glen Munford, owner and president of the Pembina Valley Twisters will have a lot to celebrate this season. “It’s our 10th anniversary this year and we will have a special promotion at every home game,” said Munford. “We’re even going to play games in St. Adolphe and Morden this season. “I think we’ll have a very good team and it will be an exciting year for us.” In the meantime. Frykas admits he probably fears the Raiders more than any other club. “I really believe it will be the Raiders again,” said Frykas. “That’s the team to beat. I also think Charleswood, Pembina Val- ley and St. Vital are going to have very good teams with a lot of top notch players back in their lineups. Pembina Valley draws from such a huge area that they could probably make up two teams and they’d both be competitive. “This is such a good league. We took a real thumping when I bought the Riels but we were able to battle back and win another championship. We’re proud of what we accomplished last year with a great coaching staff and some outstanding young men on the ice. “But it’s a new season. The key for us is our work ethic. If we play hard, play both ends of the rink, we’ll be OK. I’m excited to be the defending champions and I’m excited to see what happens this season.” n SEPTEMBER 2015 GAME ON 61