Mike Sawatzky, Winnipeg Free Press

Mike Sawatzky

Winnipeg Free Press

Winnipeg, MB, Canada

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Recent articles by Mike:

Ice keep cool, punish Oil Kings

On a night of mayhem it was a tenacious group of Winnipeg Ice who kept their cool and emerged victorious at Wayne Fleming Arena. Owen Pederson and Mikey Milne scored power-play goals to break a 1-1 tie in the third period as the Ice outlasted the Edmonton Oil Kings 5-1 in WHL Eastern Conference final action before an announced crowd of 2,000 Saturday night. → Read More

Ice comeback comes up short

Outplayed and outworked for two periods Friday night, the Winnipeg Ice dialed up some third-period magic to rally from a three-goal deficit to force overtime in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference final at Wayne Fleming Arena.It was almost enough. → Read More

Ice face Oil Kings in inevitable WHL East final

It’s a matchup so probable even a casual observer of the WHL could have predicted it months ago. Since October, the Edmonton Oil Kings and Winnipeg Ice have jockeyed for position as favourites to win the league’s first championship in three seasons. → Read More

Strapping scorer could surpise in draft

One of the wild-cards in Thursday’s WHL Prospects Draft is Winnipegger Hayden Paupanekis.The rangy centre has already developed a diverse skill set but his physical gifts hint at something bigger. → Read More

Ice look to put Warriors on ice

Winnipeg Ice head coach James Patrick would prefer to put the wraps on his club’s WHL Eastern Conference semifinal against the Moose Jaw Warriors with a decisive win in Game 5 at Wayne Fleming Arena Friday night.His counterpart, Mark O’Leary, wants the pesky Warriors to extend the series to Game 6 back at Moose Jaw’s Mosaic Place and beyond. → Read More

Female coaching staff set to lead Manitoba U-18 hockey team

Manitoba’s U18 female hockey team at the 2023 Canada Winter Games will have a unique — but long overdue — look behind the bench.It will mark the first all-female coaching staff in the history of Hockey Manitoba’s program of excellence. → Read More

Park family has the fight stuff

Canada’s first family of taekwondo, which includes siblings Skylar, Tae-Ku and Braven Park of Winnipeg, made a big splash in the Dominican Republic last week.Skylar Park, the world No. 3 in the 57-kilogram women’s division, earned her third title at the Pan American Championships in Punta Cana, beating Brazil’s Sandy Macedo in Wednesday’s final. → Read More

Wesmen hoops star has keen interest in selection of new coach

The search to find a successor for departed University of Winnipeg women’s basketball coach Tanya McKay is nearing a conclusion and star point guard Kyanna Giles will be among those watching with keen interest. → Read More

Ice swamp Warriors with quick goals to dominate Game 1

Sometimes the best of intentions don’t amount to much.You could say that about the fourth-seeded Moose Jaw Warriors, who came out Friday night eager to steal a game on the road in their WHL Eastern Conference semifinal series with the top-ranked Winnipeg Ice. → Read More

Speed vs. speed

The Winnipeg Ice has crafted a hard-earned reputation as the fastest team in the WHL. Coincidentally, the Moose Jaw Warriors — Winnipeg’s next playoff opponent — are one of the few teams capable of emulating their style of play, and maybe, that success on the ice. → Read More

Motivated Ice finish off Raiders in blowout

The Winnipeg Ice snuffed out the Prince Albert Raiders’ playoff hopes Friday night and were in no mood to show mercy.Winnipeg outshot the visitors 35-13 and ignited an early blitz with four first-period goals en route to an 8-2 victory over the Raiders before 1,606 fans at Wayne Fleming Arena. → Read More

Retired NHLer tries to balance business, sport

When Brad Chartrand retired from the NHL after the 2003-04 season, he envisioned a life away from the game. The funny thing is, he’s never quite escaped the sport of his childhood — the one he played as a kid growing up in St. James before going on to earn a scholarship to an Ivy League school, a spot on Canada’s national team and finally on to a five-year career in the big leagues. → Read More

Raiders force Game 5 with win over Ice

Winnipeg’s sprint to the second round of the WHL playoffs hit a major speed bump Wednesday night. The visiting Ice, entering the game with a 3-0 lead in a best-of-seven Eastern Conference quarterfinal, dropped a 3-1 decision to the Prince Albert Raiders before 2,568 fans at the Art Hauser Centre. → Read More

Hildebrandt the future of Bisons hoops

Head coach Kirby Schepp has seen the future of his program its name is Simon Hildebrandt. The 19-year-old Winnipegger returned to his hometown earlier this month, committing to Schepp’s University of Manitoba Bisons basketball team after prep-school stops in Toronto and Woodstock, Conn. → Read More

Dominant Ice make quick work of overmatched Raiders

The WHL’s top regular-season power play continued its reign of terror during Game 3 of Winnipeg’s Eastern Conference quarter-final against the Prince Albert Raiders Tuesday night.The visiting Ice got a pair of power-play markers from Zach Benson and a single from Mikey Milne en route to a 10-1 thrashing of the Raiders and a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven series. → Read More

Vets lead Pistons into MJHL final vs. Kings

Paul Dyck has been there and done that but never tires of another trip to the Turnbull Cup final.This week, the longtime Steinbach general manager and head coach will lead his Pistons into their fifth league championship series in the last seven full MJHL seasons. → Read More

Winnipeg breaks ice with hard-fought victory in post-season opener

The Prince Albert Raiders gave the Winnipeg Ice a heap of trouble during the 2021-22 regular season and nothing seemed to change as the WHL playoffs got underway Friday night.The No. 1-seeded hosts, who had a 50-point cushion on the Raiders in the Eastern Conference standings, hammered out a hotly contested 3-1 victory over the No. 8 seeds at Wayne Fleming Arena. → Read More

Dudley’s long road back to Winnipeg

Becks Dudley is coming home again. And it isn’t just a courtesy visit. → Read More

WHL playoffs return after 39 years

It’s been 39 long years but a hometown team is finally bringing the WHL playoffs back to Winnipeg. While the Ice is a powerhouse squad set to host the Prince Albert Raiders on Friday night in Game 1 of a best-of-seven Eastern Conference quarter-final series, the Winnipeg Warriors of 1982-83 hold a less distinguished position in hockey history. → Read More

Ice enter playoffs with few post-season games on resumes

Post-season experience is a much-hyped difference-maker at this time of the year. Yet, for the Winnipeg Ice and Prince Albert Raiders, who will engage in a quarter-final match-up of the Nos. → Read More