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)

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SCOREBOARD

Friday March 24th

MJHL
Steinbach 5 Portage 4
(1st game in best of 7 semifinal)

MMJHL
Stonewall 6 Pembina Valley 3
(1st game in best of 7 semifinal)

THHL
Killarney 2 Carberry 0

Allan Cup Playdowns
Manitoba/Saskatchewan Series
SE Prairie Thunder 4 Rosetown 3
(1st game in best of 5 series)

WHL
Eastern Conference
Medicine Hat 7 Brandon 2
(1st game in best of 7 quarterfinal)

AHL
Milwaukee 3 Manitoba 1

NHL
Anaheim 3 Winnipeg 1
N.Y. Islanders 4 Pittsburgh 3 (SO)
Tampa Bay 2 Detroit 1 (OT)
Dallas 6 San Jose 1

NBA
Denver 125 Indiana 117
Cleveland 112 Charlotte 105
Washington 129 Brooklyn 108
Orlando 115 Detroit 87
Boston 130 Phoenix 120
Houston 117 New Orleans 107
Milwaukee 100 Altanta 97
Philadelphia 117 Chicago 107
L.A. Lakers 130 Minnesota 119 (OT)
Golden State 114 Sacramento 100

Saturday, March 25th

SEMHL
Portage at Notre Dame, 8 p.m.
(best of 7 final tied 2-2)

MJHL
OCN at Winkler, 7:30 p.m.
(1st game in best of 7 semifinal)

KJHL
Juniors vs. Warriors 7:30 p.m.

WHL
Eastern Conference
Brandon at Medicine Hat, 8:30 p.m.
(Tigers lead best of 7 quarterfinal 1-0)

NHL
Vancouver at Minnesota, 1 p.m.
Toronto at Buffalo, 6 p.m.
Calgary at St. Louis, 6 p.m.
Ottawa at Montreal, 6 p.m.
Colorado at Edmonton, 9 p.m.
Philadelphia at Columbus, 1 p.m.
Arizona at Washington, 6 p.m.
Boston at N.Y. Islanders, 6 p.m.
Chicago at Florida, 6 p.m.
Carolina at New Jersey, 6 p.m.
San Jose at Nashville, 7 p.m.
N.Y. Rangers at Los Angeles, 9:30 p.m.

NBA
Toronto at Dallas, 7:30 p.m.
Utah at Detroit, 2:30 p.m.
Washington at Cleveland, 6:30 p.m.
New York at San Antonio, 7:30 p.m.
Minnesota at Portland, 9 p.m.

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