The Carillon - ONLINE EDITION
By: Terry Frey
Posted: 02/14/2019 10:40 AM
It’s a win-win situation for everyone.
For the St. Malo Junior Warriors this young player provides some instant scoring punch, and for Justin Svenson, it’s a good opportunity for conditioning and gaining playing time in a local junior hockey league.
Warriors’ longtime head coach Ralph Collette was downright giddy when he confirmed that the 17-year-old Svenson would spend the rest of the season with the Warriors, who are now playing in the fledgling Capital Region Junior Hockey League.
Collette is very familiar with Svenson, who hails from Ile des Chenes, and put up some pretty big numbers playing for the Eastman Bantam AAA Selects, the Rink Hockey Academy and the ‘AAA’ Midget Selects, before cracking the line-up last year of the Red Deer Rebels of the Western Hockey League.
He played 18 games for the Rebels last year and also spent time with the MJHL’s Swan Valley Stampeders this season, but has opted to return home for the balance of the hockey season where he will finish his grade 12.
That’s where the St. Malo Warriors come in. Svenson’s WHL playing rights were subsequently traded to the Kootenay Ice, the same team that will be re-locating to Winnipeg next season and expectations are he will play for the Ice next season.
Going into last weekend’s games, the Warriors had hit a bit of a rough patch, losing four straight.
Svenson suited up for his first game in a Warriors’ uniform last Friday at St. Malo as the Warriors snapped the skid with a 3-1 victory over the North Winnipeg Satelites. Evan Wuerch, Evan Anstett and Logan Bueckert were the St. Malo goal scorers in the game.
Matthew Vandenberghe made 33 saves in net for the Warriors.
Svenson did not score in his Warriors’ debut, but he literally exploded out of the gates in his second game with the club as he scored three goals leading the Warriors to a 5-1 victory over the Arborg Ice Dawgs Sunday at Arborg.
Robert Guimond and Evan Anstett had the other St. Malo markers. Vandenberghe made another 33 saves in net for the Warriors.
Svenson had 11 points, including six goals in 15 games for the Stampeders this year before opting to return home. In three earlier seasons, Svenson had massive numbers, first with the Eastman Bantam AAA Selects in the 2015-16 campaign where he had 82 points in 31 games, including 36 goals.
He then went on to the Rink Hockey Academy, producing 17 goals and 17 assists in 30 games before the joining the ‘AAA’ Midget Selects last year totalling 10 goals and 20 points in 20 games, before spending the rest of the season with the Red Deer Rebels, where he saw action in 18 games as a 16-year-old.
During their skid, the Warriors had plummeted all the way to the bottom of the standings in the five-team loop. But with those two wins, the Warriors, now 13-15-1 are back into second place in the tight race. The Selkirk Fishermen runaway leaders in first place.
Svenson and company will be back on the ice Friday at home as they again host the North Winnipeg Satelites at 8:00 p.m. at the St. Malo Arena.
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