Smarts had nothing to do with it, I just needed a witty way to get Smart into the title.
KYLE Smart scored a hat trick, hitting the 20-goal plateau on the season, leading his Swan Valley Stampeders past the Wayway Wolverines 5-1 Saturday night in Swan River.
T.J. Fairall added his 29th of the season, and Jagger Thomas also scored for Swan, while Tyler Posch replied for Wayway.
Shots were 32-31 Wolverines, but Jayson Argue made 31 saves in the win. More on him in a second.
Not only does the victory put the Stampeders 4 points up on the Wolverines in the race for the MJHL's final playoff spot, but it also clinches them the season series with Wayway (5 wins to 3 with one remaining), which is the tie-breaker if they end up even in points.
That makes Monday's rematch a must-win for the Wolverines. A Swan Valley win in regulation, and the Stamps would clinch, as they'd have a 6 point lead, with the tie-breaker, and Wayway would have 3 games left by then. However a Wayway win in regulation, and they're still very much in it. They'd be 2 back with a game in hand. An OT win, or OT loss for Wayway would still leave them mathematically alive.
Catch the action on GX94 Monday night, with the Pre Game Show starting at 7:20.
ARGUE CLAIMS MJHL MVP & TOP GOALIE
Commissioner Kim Davis and the MJHL did a good job keeping a secret on Saturday (at least from me!)
The league released on its website early Saturday that Stampeders' goaltender Jayson Argue was named Top Goalie in the MJHL, and Kim Davis was in Swan to present that to Jayson before the game, as well as a plaque for being on the First All-Star Team, and to Justin Valentino for being named to the All-Rookie Team.
But after Argue accepted the award for Top Goalie, and I was doing my Pre Game Show, and all of a sudden the public address announcer started talking about the MVP Trophy, and the nominees... and sure enough, Davis also presented Jayson with the MJHL MVP Award.
I thought he'd have a great shot at winning Top Goalie, but figured Dauphin's Jesse Sinatynski might take MVP for having numbers through the roof. But, Dauphin would still be a great team, quite possibly still in top spot, if Sinatynski wasn't in their lineup. Surprisingly, they don't have another player with even 20 goals, but they're so deep. Take Jayson Argue off Swan's team, and we're not talking about a late season playoff race, plain and simple.
Therefore, I agree that he's the 'most important player to his team.' Plus, the coaches are the ones who vote, which is both fair, and shows the respect that Argue has among his opposing coaches. I'm sure it was a close vote though.
His 31 saves on Saturday boosted his record to 21-16, and made his GAA 2.66 and save percentage .922%.
The Yorkton Terriers became the first team in the SJHL to hit the regular season finish line, and they did it with a 4-1 win in Notre Dame on Saturday.
Jeremy Johnson scored his team-leading 23rd of the season, while Ryon Sookro notched his 20th. Defensemen Chase Norrish and Devon McMullen also scored, while Kale Thomson made 26/27 saves.
That also puts a stop to Notre Dame's 5 game winning streak.
Yorkton finished the regular season going 9-1-0-1 in their last 11 games, and are playing as well as any team heading into the playoffs.
I'll post some kind of Terrier regular season recap in the coming days.
The Terriers will take on the Melville Millionaires in the Sherwood Conference Semi, starting the first weekend in March.
The Millionaires have one more game to play, and that's Tuesday when they welcome Notre Dame.