Kenora Heads To Souris For Away Weekend

The first weekend road trip of the 2023/2024 season is what lies in store for the Kenora Thistles following a pair of losses at home to the Brandon Wheat Kings.

The Thistles, who sit 11th in the Manitoba U18 ‘AAA’ Hockey League with a record of 0-3-0-1, head to Souris to take on the Southwest Cougars October 14th and 15th.

The Cougars are coming off a weekend that saw them beat the Winnipeg Bruins 4-3 in overtime on Saturday, but fall 4-3 to the Interlake Lightning in Tuelon, MB on Sunday. 2006-born forwards Regan Anderson and Sebastian Stone led the team in scoring with three points each over the two games.

Anderson and Stone, who both serve as alternate captains, are numbers one and two respective in team scoring. Anderson has six points (two goals, four assists) in four games, while Stone has five points (one goal, four assists) in four games. This is third season in the league for Anderson, and the second for Stone.

The Cougars have a pair of returning players manning the net, with Mickey Gross and Evan Svoboda splitting the first four games evenly. Svoboda, in his final year of U18 hockey, has a record of 2-0 on the 2023/2024 season with a 2.00 GAA and 0.922 save percentage. Gross, who could come back for a third and final season next year, has a 1-1 record with a 3.00 GAA and a 0.917 save percentage.

When it comes to special teams this year Southwest boasts a third-place powerplay (19%), while their penalty kill is ranked sixth at 85%.

In addition to the goalie tandem, the team features 11 returning skates from the 2022/2023 side.

Last season, the Cougars swept the four-game home and home series with the Thistles four games to none. Nate Robson had five points (three goals, two assists) against Kenora last year, while Stone and Kelby Diehl each had four points. Between the pipes Svoboda finished with a stat line of 0.898% and 2.50, while Gross was slightly better with a. line of 0.945% and 2.00.

On the other side of the puck, three of the four returning Thistles recorded one point against Southwest last season (Carter Peters scored a goal, while Reidar Paquette and Reid Pitura each recorded an assist).

Rookie Cayson Lambert will look to keep the momentum going offensively against the Cougars after recording two points over the weekend against Brandon. The Dryden, ON product currently leads the Thistles in points (four) and assists (three), and sits in a seven-way tie for first in goals (one).

The first game of the two-game weekend series goes Saturday (October 14th) at 7:30pm CST, with the second taking place Sunday (October 15th) at 1:30pm CST.

Both games will be broadcast live on FloHockey.