April 28, 2014 7:41 pm

Manitobans seizing the NHL moment

Chicago Blackhawks captain and Winnipegger Jonathan Toews has scored three goals so far these playoffs -- all of them game winners.

Nam Y. Huh / Associated Press

WINNIPEG – Manitobans have been leaving their mark on this year’s NHL playoffs.

Players who call Manitoba home have been responsible for seven game-winning goals so far this postseason. That number ranks second among all provinces, states and European countries to Ontario’s eight; there were 13 Manitobans who entered the chase for Lord Stanley’s mug, far fewer than the 89 Ontarians.

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“We love hockey and when the game counts, they love being the guy finishing off the game,” said Thomas Steen, the dad of Winnipegger and St. Louis Blues forward Alexander Steen. “Ever since he was a kid, he loved when it was a full house and tied game. That’s why you play.”

The outpouring of offence is also inspiring the next crop of Manitoba NHLers.

“I just think it’s great how they’re from here and they’re able to play in the NHL,” said Winnipeg hockey player Kellen Woo.

“To see the guys that have a Winnipeg or Manitoba address playing in the NHL, it gives the kids a little encouragement to say ‘Hey, these guys have made it through so maybe I can as well,’ ” said Monte Miller, executive director of Hockey Winnipeg.

And perhaps one day live the ultimate hockey dream — winning the Stanley Cup. Just like many Manitobans have already done.

© Shaw Media, 2014

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