The Portage Terriers are sending nine players to the MJHL/SJHL Showcase in Winnipeg at the end of the month.
The event will see the best prospects from the two leagues be split into teams to put their best skate forward in front of scouts from leagues like the WHL, NCAA, USPORTS, and even the NHL.
There will be two U18 squads, one with MJHL players and the other with SJHL players, and four U20 teams, two teams from each league.
The Terriers are being represented by Austin Peters, Parker Scherr and Jordan Murray on the U18 team. Hayden Lacquette, Brandon McCartney, Kian Calder, Daniel Siso, Ryan Botterill and Matt Wisener will also be in action but for the U20 squads.
Defenceman Jordan Murray has 11 points in a Terrier uniform this season. He says he's really looking forward to the exhibition.
"I was excited to see my name there. It's a great opportunity to play with the top U18 guys from the MJHL and play against the SJHL guys," Murray explains. "It's going to be fun to compete out there and see the talent from another province. It gives us an advantage if we ever meet a team from out there that has some of the guys from the showcase."
The MJHL Prospect Showcase was a similar event that came to Portage la Prairie in November. Murray says, having that experience under his belt, he knows how he wants to play when the important eyes are watching.
"I want to go in there with an open mind and use all of my tools to the best of my ability," Murray continues. "If I compete as hard as I can, the rest will make its own way."
The 16-year-old is the youngest player on the Terriers. Murray describes the most important thing he's picked up from his first half of a season in the MJHL.
"I've learned that it's a lot faster of a league than my last year of hockey, and there are a lot bigger guys. So, I have to be ready to take a hit, and those are going to be heavier than last year," says Murray. "I also learned that I don't always have to be the guy to beat someone and go up the ice all alone. I have guys around me that I can use to my advantage. I can move it to them and jump to a different area for another pass. I don't have to beat a guy 1-on-1 every time. We can go up the ice as a whole team."
While Murray is excited about the showcase on January 31, his focus is currently on the Winkler Flyers, who the Terriers will take on tonight.
"It's a smaller ice surface, so coming in there and playing physical is really good. We have to try and take away all the ice we can, forcing them to fight for puck possession the whole game. We want to play our hardest and play as physical as possible."
The Dogs will travel to Winkler tonight to try and extend their win streak to seven games at 7 p.m.
Tale of the Tape
Portage: Hayden Lacquette (12G, 26A, 38Pts)
Winkler: Mike Svenson (21G, 15A, 36Pts), Trent Sambrook (7G, 29A, 36Pts)
Portage: Bailey Monteith (2.73GAA, 0.899SV%)
Winkler: Malachi Klassen (2.43GAA, 0.919SV%)