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Pembina Valley Twisters History

The Pembina Valley Twisters first skated into existence in September 2001. Prior to that date, the Twisters were a dream of Glenn Cordy and Kerry Lines. Glenn and Kerry coached the Sanford Sabers High School Hockey Team during the 2000-2001 season. At the conclusion of an emotional season, it was realized that the graduating players did not have a place to continue playing outside the Winkler Flyers and a Junior B team in St Malo. If having limited options was true for the Sanford players it was true for all the graduating High School, Midget, and Triple-A players as well.


After consulting friends and league officials associated with the MMJHL (Manitoba Major Junior Hockey League) it was decided that Glenn and Kerry would apply for an expansion franchise in the MMJHL. As it turned out timing was everything as the Stonewall Jets were also putting in an application. The MMJHL created an expansion committee and over the course of several meetings, the Pembina Valley Twisters and Stonewall Jets were granted expansion teams in June 2001.


How did we get our name?

One night at home Kerry asked his daughter Leslie what would be a good name to call our proposed team? Kerry wanted to capture the geographic region of Pembina Valley, not just Oakbluff to ensure that all graduating players would feel welcome. Without hesitation Leslie said Twisters. Our Team was born.


Our first four years were spent in Oakbluff where the Twisters were treated warmly by the local fans. Our first coach was Danny McDonald. Danny gave his heart and soul to our expansion franchise through the first two seasons.


Our third and fourth years were led by Rick Smith and his coaching staff with optimism. During both seasons the Twisters competed and made the playoffs. As was evident in our first two seasons, the Twisters were very young, and better days would be ahead. Concluding the fourth season, as was the case with Danny McDonald, Rick Smith stepped down as head coach. Rick's efforts did not go unnoticed as the Twisters were now on the verge of taking the next step, competing for a league championship.


After our fourth season, Glen Munford contacted Kerry Lines inquiring about an expansion franchise for Morris. That was not possible, as sharing the existing geographic area would not work. The other possibility was proposed, moving the Twisters to the Town of Morris. After several discussions and after partaking in the Stampede Parade, it was unanimously decided to move the franchise to Morris. The existing ownership group of Glenn, Kerry, Don Boyd, and Doug Ushakas now joined Glen Munford and Dale Remple to make up our new ownership group.


We entered our fifth year with Doug Ushakas behind the bench as head coach. The previous two seasons were as an assistant to Rick Smith. After an off-season recruiting program, the Twisters were ready to take the next step and win it all. After finishing tied for third, injuries that were absent all season did the Twisters in during the first round of play-offs.


In September we will be entering our sixth year of existence and are confident in our organization attracting quality players to join the existing group that finished the 2005-2006 season with franchise records for points, goals for, and goals against.


Please join us in making further history and our upcoming season the most memorable by winning a championship.


MMJHL Standings League 2023-2024
team gp pts %
St. James Jr. Canucks  X 41 67 .817
Pembina Valley Twisters  X 39 55 .705
St. Vital Jr. Victorias   40 47 .588
St. Boniface Riels   41 46 .561
Charleswood Hawks   41 45 .549
Transcona Railer Express   41 43 .524
Raiders Jr. Hockey Club   41 42 .512
Ft.Garry/Ft.Rouge Twins   40 41 .513
Stonewall Jets   39 37 .474
River East Royal Knights  E 41 19 .232
Y - Regular Season Champions (Art Moug)
X - Clinched Playoff Spot
E - Eliminated

Leading Scorers League 2023-2024
P # player gp g a pts
F 14 Wiebe, Derek 39 18 45 63
F 19 Degraeve, Merek 40 26 34 60
F 13 Goertzen, Riley 39 21 26 47
F 21 VanDeynze, Alex * 40 14 17 31
F 25 Sotheran, Slade 38 8 18 26
D 3 Heppner, Mike 40 9 17 26
D 26 VanDeynze, Kyle 37 6 19 25
D 22 Russell, Caelan 39 8 15 23
F 9 Bergman, Brett 39 9 11 20
F 10 Orchard, Ryan * 34 10 8 18

Leading Goaltenders League 2023-2024
P # goaltender mp gaa sv%
G 35 LaRocque, Owen 483 2.11 .928
G 30 Enns, Logan 1625 2.88 .916
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