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Weekend Wins

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Parker Johnson sure started off the delayed start to the 2020-21 MJHL season with a bang. The 19-year-old forward, who had just 16 points last season, exploded out of the gate with a three-point performance
in Swan Valley’s season opening win in OCN against the Blizzard. 
The pride of Elkhorn hopes to make this a regular occurrence this season. “If feels good to have a
strong start and chip in for a great first win,” says Johnson. “I obviously want to keep contributing on the
stat sheet now that I’m a returning player.” He’s certainly more than capable of being a product offensive player. In his final year of under-18 AAA with the Yellowhead Chiefs, he put up 27 goals and 31 assists
in 48 games. The previous year he split his time between the Chiefs and the Stampeders.
But, now that he’s a 19-year-old, a true veteran on the Stampeders, he knows it’s time to make his mark.
Head Coach Barry Wolff says the hot start is hopefully a sign of things to come from Johnson. “It was great to see him have success, because he deserves it,” said Wolff. “He was patient last year with
his ice time, and he has continued to improve and develope. We definitely hope he has a big year offensively for us.”
As for playing under these current COVID-19 restrictions, Johnson says that when he’s on the ice, it’s a chance to put some of that out of his mind temporarily. “This winter with COVID, hockey on the ice feels the same,” he said. “Obviously the league and officials want the game to be as safe and sanitary as
possible. “With this being a contact sport there’s a lot to look into to make sure we can play without taking out the contact.” Some of those include shorter scrums and faster puck drops, says Johnson. 
Last week  the Stamps started the season 2-0, capping off the weekend with a convincing 6-2 victory on home ice Saturday night. “It’s great to start 2-0, and it’s a big confidence builder, as we have a lot of
new kids,” says Wolff. “The games could have gone either way – OCN played well both nights. We were just able to capitalize on some chances, and they didn’t.”
Six different players dented the twine on this night, including four who had a goal and an assist -
Regina’s Jayce Nikbakht, Calgary’s Alex Danis and fellow Calgary native Jackson Zloty, as well as Souris’
Callum Fortin. Also scoring was Quinn Mulder and Noah Fladager.
Mikael Foucher put together a 41 save performance  for the win. OCN’s Danick Rodrigue stopped 25 shots while taking the loss. The Stampeders opened the season on Friday night in OCN with a convincing 6-3 victory over the Blizzard.
Swan Valley scored three times 6:05 apart to break the game open and secure the first victory of the season. Johnson had a pair of goals and one helper to lead the attack for the visitors. Terrace, B.C.
native Mulder had a goal and two helpers, while Lane Kirk, Danis and Cody Barnes added singles.
Jamie Valentino and Josh Beauchemin both chipped in a pair of helpers in the win as well.
In goal, Foucher earned first star honours with a 42-save performance, giving him 83 saves for the weekend. The Stamps’ netminder was definitely tested on the opening weekend. “OCN had a lot of
power-play chances, more than we did. And they generated a lot of shots off that,” said Wolff. “They had a lot of chances, but Foucher was definitely our best penalty killer.” The Blizzard look to offer the Stamps less chances this coming week. “I thought the mistakes we made were selfinflicted, so those are areas that are in our control,” said OCN Head Coach Billy Keane.
This week The battle between the Blizzard and Stampeders rages on this week with two more games between the divisional rivals. Friday night’s contest will once again be in OCN, with Saturday’s tilt again
slated for the Centennial Arena. Game time for both is 7 p.m. This will actually be the fifth and sixth
straight meetings between the two teams, dating back to the preseason. “I think OCN has some good skill, and they play their system really well, considering how early it is,” said Wolff. “I think they’re
going to be better, so we’ll need to be better to match their intensity, and make sure we improve
our systems as well.” “We expect them to want to make a push to sweep us this weekend,” added Johnson. “We can’t underestimate them. We expect them to bring more every time we face off.”
Stamps stuff Your leading scorer for the Stampeders after two games is Quinn Mulder (two goals, two assists). Three players have three points – Parker Johnson, Alex Danis, and Jamie Valentino ….
Can’t make it to the arena but you want to help the team out and purchase a 50-50 ticket? It’s easier than ever. Just head over to www.stampedershockey. com and click on the 50/50 link.