Ryan Dreger. Shane Luke. Bryce Lamb. The trio of Dauphin Kings is arguably the best line ever assembled in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League – entering action on February 1, they had combined for 100 goals and 244 points.
For much of the 2009-10 season, the three have held down the top spots in the MJHL scoring race – only recently has Selkirk Steelers forward Taylor Dickin nudged himself into a tie with Luke for second spot.
Currently it is Ryan Dreger that leads the scoring parade, although it’s the notches in the win column that are more important to him than goals and assists.
“It’s good to be leading the race, but winning games is what I want first,” says Dreger. “We have a good line going…we’ve had a few lucky bounces, too.”
Lucky bounces and a ton of talent.
The threesome possesses excellent speed and seem to find each other on the ice with radar-like precision. The trio is clearly a scoring threat to cause opponents migraines.
So with a scoring title on the line, it begs the question – would Dreger pass the puck if he’s staring at an open net?
“If I have a shot, I’ll take the shot,” he says with a grin. “It’s been a fun year, but we also know that we have a lot of work to do, since we’re hosting the RBC Cup, we know we’ll be playing in the tournament.”
It will be only the second time since 1992 has Manitoba hosted the National Junior A Championship, and not since 1974, when Selkirk prevailed, has a Manitoba team won the national championship.
Dreger would love nothing better to win a national championship in his hometown of Dauphin.
“It would be really special,” he says.
Meanwhile, Luke admits the trio has adopted the philosophy of ‘all for one, one for all.’
“We really don’t talk that much about the scoring race,” says Luke. “Winning games is the number one priority for us. Yeah, there’s a bit of pressure on us, knowing we’re going to play in the RBC. But we try not to think about it too much.
“We’re having a good season and we want to keep it going,” says the product of Ste. Rose du Lac, a half-hour drive from downtown Dauphin.
Lamb, 20, is in his first season with the Kings after spending the last three seasons with Prince Albert Raiders of the Western Hockey League.
He admits he came to Dauphin with one goal in mind: “To play in the RBC Cup and win it.”
As for who will eventually win the scoring title, Lamb says he doesn’t really give it too much thought.
“It’s nice to play on a line which can score,” he says. “I had a bit of a different role when I played in Prince Albert. It’s fun to score and see my linemates have success.”