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Vernon goalie dives into Manitoba Hockey League honour with Swan Valley

Kobe Grant, 20, of the Swan Valley Stampeders is the league’s Ed Belfour Award winner as top goalie
Vernon’s Kobe Grant has been named the Manitoba Junior A Hockey League’s Ed Belfour Award winner as the league’s top goalie. Grant, 20, plays for the Swan Valley Stampeders. (Swan Valley Stampeders photo)

Vernon’s Kobe Grant is having a season to remember in Manitoba.

Grant, who turns 21 on Friday, March 10, is a goalie with the Manitoba Junior A Hockey League’s Swan Valley Stampeders, and he’s been named the league’s top goalie of the season, capturing the Ed Belfour Award.

Grant has suited up in 43 games this season and sports a 23-14-0 record with a 2.74 goals against average, 0.931 save percentage and three shutouts.

His latest goose egg (shutout) came Saturday, March 4, when the Stampeders blanked the Selkirk Steelers 4-0. Grant made 28 saves. He was also named the team’s First Star of the Week after Swan River went 3-0.

On the team’s website: “Grant has been a wagon all season, and these past three games just prove what we have been talking about all season long. The 20-year-old Vernon, B.C. product put on an absolute clinic in his three starts.

“Grant picked up his 21st win of the season against the Dauphin Kings, stopping 39/42 shots he faced. He followed that up with a great performance against the Winnipeg Freeze, stopping 32/33, and closed out the weekend with a dominating performance against the Selkirk Steelers, stopping all 28 shots he faced to pick up his third shutout of the season…”

Grant and the Stampeders lead the MGEU West Division of the 13-team league with a record of 31-16-5-1. They are three points ahead of both the Virden Oil Capitals and OCN Blizzard.

The Portage Terriers (81 points), Steinbach Pistons (78 points) and Winkler Flyers (71 points) are the top three teams in the MGEU East Division.

The Stamps, coached by former B.C. Hockey League championship coach Barry Wolff, will finish the season with four games out of six at home, at the Swan River Centennial Arena. The season ends March 16 and 17 with a home-and-home series against Virden.

Wolff guided the Coquitlam Express to the 2014 Fred Page Cup championship, sweeping the Vernon Vipers in the best-of-seven final. He’s been with Swan Valley since Dec. 11, 2020.

The Stampeders play in Swan River, a town of slightly more than 4,000 people located close to the Saskatchewan boundary in west-central Manitoba.

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Roger Knox

About the Author: Roger Knox

I am a journalist with more than 30 years of experience in the industry. I started my career in radio and have spent the last 21 years working with Black Press Media.
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