Without a doubt all of the attention has been focused squarely on the Springfield Xtreme, Red River Mudbugs, Steinbach Huskies, Lorette Comets & St. Adolphe Hawks and the race for first place in the Hanover Tache Junior Hockey League and who gets the bye to the semifinals.

Also at stake is who will have home ice advantage in round one of the playoffs.

There are two teams at the bottom of the standings who aren't concerned about home ice advantage but are quietly going about their business and playing some pretty decent hockey as the regular season schedule winds down.

The sixth place Grunthal Red Wings went to Steinbach on Wednesday and built a 4-0 lead before the Huskies rallied for four unanswered third period goals.

Steinbach's Haden Hiebert completed the comeback as he potted his second goal of the game in overtime.

The seventh place Mitchell Mohawks, who defeated the Huskies 3-2 at the T.G. Smith Centre back on January 22nd, traveled to St. Jean on Thursday.

The Mudbugs got an empty net goal from Adam Zalluski and beat the Mohawks 7-5.

"I saw a hard fought game," said Mitchell coach Steve Larson. "We got down by two goals a few times throughout the game and each time we battled back and made it a one-goal game. It just seemed whenever we did that, we had a little bit of let down. It might not have been letdown - just maybe Red River picked up their tempo of play, outmatched us and made it a two-spot again. Also their power play killed us. They have one of the best in the league and that really sunk us."

The Mohawks won two of their first three games to start the season and then lost 10 of their next 11 to end the 2016 portion of their schedule.

Mitchell has fared much better in 2017.

"The first two-thirds of the season we were playing on average 10-12 skaters," said coach Larson. "We've had 14, 15, 16 the last six games and with that depth we can really get our guys going. We don't have to sit back and hope we have the stamina in the third period. We can actually play our game right through to the full 60."

The Mohawks have three games left and are two points back of the Red Wings.

Mitchell will host Lorette and Steinbach and play their regular season finale in St. Adolphe against the Hawks.

"We want to get a winning attitude going," said the Mohawks bench boss. "At the beginning of the season we would see a close game followed by a 6-0 loss - a lopsided one. The last five or six have all been one or two-goal games. You want to see that battle level because every team makes the playoffs. We're hoping to catch Grunthal obviously. That would be nice for morale and also means we get another win or two the rest of the way. We want to get the work ethic going that can carry over into the playoffs."


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SCOREBOARD

Saturday, September 23rd

MJHL
Steinbach at Selkirk, 7:30 p.m.
Virden at Dauphin, 7:30 p.m.
Swan Valley at OCN, 7 p.m.
Neepawa at Winkler, 7:30 p.m.

Manitoba AAA Midget Hockey League
Exhibition
Eastman at Kenora, 7:30 p.m.

WHL
Brandon at Regina, 8 p.m.

NHL
Exhibition
Winnipeg at Edmonton, 8 p.m.

Manitoba Major Soccer League
3rd Division
Sweatshack 3 Hanover Strikers 1

Manitoba Minor Football Association
Atom
Eastman Raiders vs Charleswood
@ Wpg, 2 p.m.

CFL
Montreal at Toronto, 6 p.m.

Major League Baseball
American League
Houston 6 Los Angeles 2
New York 5 Toronto 1
Cleveland 11 Seattle 4
Minnesota at Detroit, 5:10 p.m.
Tampa Bay at Baltimore, 6:05 p.m.
Kansas City at Chicago, 6:10 p.m.
Texas at Oakland, 8:05 p.m.
National League
Milwaukee 4 Chicago 3 (10 innings)
St. Louis at Pittsburgh, 6:05 p.m.
Philadelphia at Atlanta, 6:10 p.m.
Washington at New York, 6:10 p.m.
Miami at Arizona, 7:10 p.m.
Colorado at San Diego, 7:40 p.m.
San Francisco at Los Angeles, 8 p.m.
Interleague
Boston 5 Cincinnati 0

Sunday, September 24th

Manitoba AAA Midget Hockey League
Exhibition
Eastman vs Kenora
@ Beausejour, 3 p.m.

MJHL
Wpg Blues at Portage, 6:30 p.m.

Manitoba Major Soccer League
Premier Division
Hanover Kickers vs NKMB Saints
@ Wpg, 6 p.m.

Manitoba Minor Football Association
Bantam
Eastman Raiders vs Portage Pitbulls
@ Steinbach, 9 a.m.
Pee Wee
Eastman Raiders vs Westman Wolverines
@ Steinbach, 11:30 a.m.
Crunchers
Eastman Raiders vs St. Vital Mustangs
@ Steinbach, 2 p.m.

Major League Baseball
American League
Minnesota at Detroit, 11:10 p.m.
New York at Toronto, 12:07 p.m.
Tampa Bay at Baltimore, 12:35 p.m.
Kansas City at Chicago, 1:10 p.m.
Texas at Oakland, 3:05 p.m.
Cleveland at Seattle, 3:10 p.m.
Los Angeles at Houston, 7:08 p.m.
National League
Washington at New York, 12:10 p.m.
St. Louis at Pittsburgh, 12:35 p.m.
Philadelphia at Atlanta, 12:35 p.m.
Chicago at Milwaukee, 1:10 p.m.
San Francisco at Los Angeles, 3:10 p.m.
Miami at Arizona, 3:10 p.m.
Colorado at San Diego, 3:40 p.m.
Interleague
Boston at Cincinnati, 12:10 p.m.

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