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A group of Manitoba boys win gold at World Jr. Ball Hockey Championship in Prague

The Manitoba contingent at the James Richardson airport as they were leaving for Prague.
The Manitoba contingent at the James Richardson airport as they were leaving for Prague.

Team Canada West, with seven Manitobans on the roster and coached by Paul Kastes of Winnipeg, have won the Boys U16 Gold medal final of the World Jr. Ball Hockey Championship in Prague, Czech Republic.

“They were huge. These kids are winners,” said Kastes about the team’s Manitoban component. “They just get it. They get how to come through in big moments, and they definitely led by example and set a big precedent for the rest of the team.”

Canada had two teams at the Junior World Ball Hockey Championship. Canada West and Canada East played in a very back-and-forth final, ending in an 8-6 win for the west.

“They never panicked, they never got too high, never got too low,” said Kastes. “We always tried to stay even keel. Once they scored a goal there, we always just answered. We had real quick answers all night.”

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Team Canada West went undefeated in the tournament scoring 30 goals and only conceding 10.

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Five players on the team were from Winnipeg, they include Dawson Pasternak, Rory Neill, Owen Weihs, Conner Roulette, and Tyler Teasdale, as well as Cole Plowman of East Selkirk and Nathan Goodbrandson of St. Andrews.

Pasternak won the tournament MVP and Scoring Title, Roulette won top forward, and Neill was top defenceman.

Plowman had the best goals against average in the tournament. The Manitoba representatives are all Western Hockey League draft picks.

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