Going into the weekend, four Sask Valley Hockey League teams were still alive looking at Hockey Saskatchewan senior provincials. Unfortunately the Dinsmore Dynamos lost to the un-beaten Wilkie Outlaws over the weekend to drop that number to three, but it's still an overall impressive picture looking at senior hockey in west-central Saskatchewan.

SVHL Vice-President Murray Friend has been impressed to see the region's provincial runs. We talked prior to the Dinsmore/Wilkie series, one Friend knew was going to be a dandy.

It's no secret that the Sask Valley has provided some solid competition over the years. The Dynamos are a younger team that finished first this year, and that youth movement is a big reason for their success.

"They got that youth coming into their program," began Friend. "I've talked to the Kyle guys, and they were a little concerned because there isn't a U18 program around to feed the senior team.

It's a yearly cycle for many senior teams. Friend used the recent provincial champion Outlook Ice Hawks as an example.

"They had their winning ways here the last year or two. Now they are starting from scratch again." said Friend, including a few other younger teams in the mix of rising competition in the SVHL. "Our league is looking good, and then you add Craik and Davidson into it, it splits the east and west."

The addition of those teams made for a closer travel schedule for local teams, and Friend says that is allowing for more people to witness the game in-person, at-home or on-the-road.

"Getting more fans out to senior games," mentioned Friend, as it's not hard to get dragged out to a senior matchup with teams featuring so much talent these days. "Senior leagues now, this "A" hockey that is being played in provincials, you only have to go down the road 20 minutes to find a team in "A", and your basically watching a bunch of ex WHL guys, SJHL guys. It's great hockey."

Add livestreamed games into the mix that anyone can watch, and Friend says it's almost like watching the pros.

"Just like watching it on TV almost."

Shifting focus back to league, the SVHL is officially into it's final round. The Dinsmore Dynamos are still alive after losing out in provincials, and will look to give it their best against the Kenaston Blizzards. Proving the SVHL's mite, the Blizzards also advanced to the North Final of Senior "A" Provincials as they will be taking on Watrous. 

Game 1 of the SVHL Finals is currently scheduled for Wednesday, March 13 at 8:00 PM.