The West Regionals, on the road to the Telus Cup, were played in Virden, Manitoba over the past few days. The tournament saw four teams from across the west participating – the Southwest Cougars, the Thunder Bay Kings, the Winnipeg Wild and the Notre Dame Hounds. The winner of the tournament would have a berth in the Telus Cup U18 AAA National Championships.
The Notre Dame Hounds, who finished first in the SMAAAHL regular season, and then won the league championships with just two losses in the playoffs, were looking to qualify for the tournament for the first time since 2018, which was also the last time they won the national championship. The Hounds would come through the regionals on top, with the Hounds beating the host Cougars in the finals by a score of 4-3, thanks to a goal from Andrew Altwasser.
That name may seem familiar to those in Weyburn. Now in his third season at Notre Dame, Altwasser, who hails from Yellow Grass, played with the U15 AA Wyburn Wings in 2017-18. He isn’t the only connection to Weyburn on the Hounds team.
Van Eger, who hails from Willow Bunch, played with the U15 AA Weyburn Wings in the 2018-19 season, where he racked up 38 points in 31 games. Kaden MacLean was a member of the U15 AA Wings in the 2019-20 season, before making the move to Notre Dame where he played a season of U15 hockey before making the jump to U18. Sam Borschowa was a teammate of Eger and MacLean, playing two seasons with the U15 AA Wings before moving on to the U16 prep team at Prairie Hockey Academy, and then to the Hounds this season.
With the strong ties to Weyburn, the Hounds will be looking for their second national title in five years when they take to the ice at the Telus Cup in Okotoks, Alberta. The tournament starts on May 16th and wraps up on May 22nd.