There's South Eastern Manitoba Hockey League Playoff action tonight in Portage la Prairie. The Portage Islanders host the Winkler Royals in game one of their best-of-five series at Stride Place.
The Islanders won the season series 2-1 over the Royals, with Winkler's only victory coming during Portage's seven-game losing streak in January. Islanders' forward Zack Waldvogel says they can't give Winkler any room in the series.
"They play hard every night, and they've got some big boys on their club. With Matt Krahn in net, they're never really out of a game. So we need to make sure we come prepared to play, and play a full 60-minute game."
Waldvogel was recently named the SEMHL's Rookie of the Year. He finished the season with 34 points, 15 goals and 19 assists, and tied for second place in scoring on the team with Captain Anders Strome.
"It feels pretty good to get the award," says Waldvogel. The award could've gone to some other guys too, even a couple on our team, but it's always nice to get acknowledged with an award like that so I'm happy about it."
"I thought my first season went pretty well," adds Waldvogel. "As a team, we hit a rough patch in the middle of the year but we seem to be back on track now, and individually I think I could've maybe done a bit more for the team but I think it was a good year all around."
Portage finished the season on a five-game win streak and the team's feeling pretty confident heading into the playoffs. "It's nice to finish the season on a heater," says Waldvogel. "The boys are feeling good and we're looking forward to playoffs."
Game one is tonight at Stride place, the puck drops at 7:30.
Other series dates include:
Game two - Friday, Feb. 17, in Winkler. 8 p.m.
Game three - Sunday, Feb. 19, in Portage, 6:30 p.m.
Game four - Thursday, Feb. 23, in Portage. 7:30 p.m. (If necessary)