Winkler player wins Continental Clash

Winkler's Carson Hiebert was part of the Team Manitoba '08s winning the Continental Clash. (SUPPLIED PHOTO)

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A Winkler hockey player made history as part of the Team Manitoba 08’s, as they won The Continental Clash for the first time ever.
Carson Hiebert, was a member of that team, made up of 10 and 11-year-old boys (all born in 2008) and coached by Dr. Ryan Thompson.
The annual event took place in Minnesota, featuring 18 teams representing regions in Canada and the U.S. Playing nine round robin games over five days, every Canadian team plays every American team once.
Following that the top two Canadian teams play off as do the top two American teams. The two finalists play for the Continental Championship.
Hiebert had six points with three goals and three assists, including a power play goal and one game winning goal.
Thompson said their game relies on team play with every player needed to play with speed, grit and a lot of puck movement.
“Carson Hiebert is a very solid center, who has a superior hockey intelligence and vision on ice,” Thompson said. “He is a play maker, and can be quite creative with the puck. “
He added that Hiebert has great edge control, can find pucks in the defensive zone and move pucks quickly through the neutral zone.
“He has quick hands and is able to put in pucks down around the net, and is great setting up players when he is below the offensive goal line,” Thompson said.
The Manitoba team played their rival Alberta for the Canadian Championship. Going into the tournament they had lost twice to the neighbour to the west. Winnipeg’s Brayden Thompson opened the scoring and Manitoba went on to win 3-1. This was the first time Manitoba had won the championship.
An even tougher task awaited the squad as they prepared to play the United States Team West, representing California, Texas and Ohio. This team had beat them in overtime earlier in the tournament.
Brandon’s Jaxon Jacobson opened the scoring and midway through the second period, Manitoba was up 4-1. At that point, coaches say they relied on their defense and goalie Jake Windbiel.
“Team Manitoba was faced with several penalties totalling 14 minutes and one penalty kill of five on three,” a press release said. “Team West started to make ground scoring late in the second period, and again early in the third.”
However Team Manitoba held on to win 4-3, their first ever Continental Championship.
Thompson said they had a plan going in.
“To win this tournament we knew we had to be the fastest skating transition team, the grittiest team on ice, the best puck moving team, and smartest team on ice,” he said. “All year we trained our skills and edge work, we did a number of drills with lots of body contact and physicality so we wouldn’t be pushed around.”
Team Manitoba’s Jaxon Jacobson was the tournament points leader with 36 while Brayden Thompson was the top defensive player with 12 points.
It’s no ordinary hockey career for many of the players. In fact Thompson has been training them since the age of six.
Two years ago they placed second in the Coast to Coast Tournament and then went on to win the Kings of Vegas Tournament at age 8.
The ‘08 Manitoba Brick team made it to the quarter finals, being one of three teams in Manitoba history to make it that far.
Dr. Ryan Thompson teachers much more than hockey skills.
He teaches them physics and goes through equations on ice to make them faster and smarter.
“There is a large emphasis on understanding the game, hockey intelligence, athletic development and mental toughness,” the press release said. “In addition, he trains them in nutrition, hydration, including public speaking. With all their hard work and mastery of skills they have demonstrated what it takes to be the top team in North America.”

A Winkler hockey player made history as part of the Team Manitoba 08Õs, as they won The Continental Clash for the first time. (SUPPLIED PHOTO)