A 3-2 overtime finish in Macklin last night helped crown a new Sask West Hockey League champion.
After the Wilkie Outlaws took a stranglehold in the Sask West Hockey League's final series, the Macklin Mohawks needed a pair of wins this past weekend to keep their season alive.
Macklin goaltender Kyle Dumba did his best helping out with a 2-0 shutout win in Game 3 back on March 17th. Dumba stopped all 53 shots he faced in front of a packed SaskCan Community Centre hoping to see their hometown Outlaws lift the league trophy.
The impressive netminder went for a repeat performance in Game 4, but fell just short as the Outlaws' 50th shot on goal of the night beat Dumba to close out the 2022/2023 SWHL campaign.
2022/2023 SWHL Champs pic.twitter.com/xOcxoapNf8— Wilkie Outlaws Hockey Club (@WilkieOutlaws) March 20, 2023
West Central Online caught up with SWHL President Joe Cey after the final game last night. He was quick to point out that with it being a finals rematch, and the trophy being awarded to the team on the road, this year's series mirrored what the league saw last year to a degree.
"Such a fine line between those two hockey teams right now."
Cey complimented the play of Macklin's goaltender Dumba, as if there was ever a series to give the MVP to the losing side, this would have been it.
"Both Friday and Sunday, (Dumba) was the story," said Cey about the goalie who established himself locally as the year went on. The four game series was a good one, but Dumba's goaltending performance was 'a treat itself' according to Cey.
Cey described the Outlaw's OT winner off the stick of Derek Keller as a rocket that not even a hot goaltender like Dumba was going to stop.
The veteran forward was one of five Wilkie skaters over a point per game in the playoffs. Cey is a big believer that you can never count the veteran teams out, and it couldn't have been proven more true with the now decade long member of the Outlaws scoring the team's championship winning goal in 2023.
We also chatted with Cey as the SWHL went down to its final series. He feels the league is in a good spot headed into next year competition wise, even though this year's finals did result in a rematch.
Still, pinning Wilkie and Macklin against each other was never a bad thing. Each team knows how to bring it in the playoffs, and has the winning pedigree from previous postseason runs.
"That's what makes the Macklin/Wilkie rivalry so good right now. It's a flip of a coin who's coming out on top," said Cey as the Outlaws saw the right side of that coinflip this year.
These two teams have a short offseason ahead. Cey mentioned the league meetings are set for April as another great year of Sask West Hockey League action is planned for 2023/2024.
In between the return to the ice, expect to see a few familiar Sask West Hockey League faces lacing up their cleats for senior baseball season around West Central.