The Warren Mercs are Senior A Provincial Champions.
The Mercs took down the Boissevain Border Kings to claim the crown, who hadn’t lost a game all year to that point. Warren forward Kyle Luschinski says it was a long road to get to this point.
“It means everything, this is what we wanted to do all year. After COVID, I don’t know if we wanted to come back. A lot of guys were hesitant, and it took some convincing to get this core group back together," says Luschinski. "Once everybody was in, this was our goal, to win the Senior A Championship.”
The South Eastern Manitoba Hockey League Champions beat the Tiger Hills Hockey League Champions 7-6 in the one-game final. This makes them the third SEMHL champion to go on to win the provincial title as well.
“It was a great game, and they’re a great team. We showed up to play and our guys took it to a level I hadn’t even seen this year in the SEMHL playoffs,” Luschinski explains. “We pulled together through some adversity as we were battling penalties. I saw things from that group of guys that I haven’t seen all year. It makes you proud.”
Warren went into the third period of the final up 7-3 and was able to hold on, despite three unanswered goals in the third from the Border Kings. Luschinski talks about their mindset throughout the last ten minutes of the game.
“You look up at the clock a lot, and it seems to get slower and slower,” says Luschinski. “With a team that has that much scoring power, if you take your foot off the gas for a minute, they’re going to bury one. So, our goal was just to get the puck deep, play down in their end, and when the clock runs out, the clock runs out.”
Luschinski says they knew Boissevain hadn’t lost a game going into this one but notes that didn’t phase them. Warren knew if they played to their own strengths, they would come away with the win, which is exactly what they did.