May Sports Year In Review

Nathan Reiter/Daily Herald. The 31st induction class of the Prince Albert Sports Hall of Fame. Back row (pictured L to R): Rick Shultz, Pete Friesen, Jim Nicholson and Erica Gavel. Front row (pictured L to R) Rod Dallman, Tom Lavallee, Jessica Vance and Bill Yeaman.

May was a busy month for the Prince Albert Raiders. The 2023 WHL Prospects Draft saw the Raiders make five selections in the top 50 overall selections, including three in the first round.

The Raiders selected Daxon Rudolph first overall, centreman Riley Boychuk second overall and winger Ty Meunier seventh overall.

“I’m really excited.” Raider general manager Curtis Hunt said about the team’s draft class. “I think the guys did a tremendous job this year of getting to know the player beyond what you may see on the ice. We dug in probably a little deeper than we ever had. We also have some options at times to maybe move picks or move around. But in the end, I’m just thrilled with our first round.”

Also in the month of May, Ryder Ritchie received the Jim Piggot Memorial Trophy for being the top rookie in the WHL during the 2022-2023 campaign. Ritchie posted 55 points in 61 games, including 20 goals. He finished third among Raider skaters in scoring, behind only Landon Kosior and Sloan Stanick.

“There’s no doubt because of his skill and his competitiveness that we knew he was a good player, a special player,” Raider head coach Jeff Truitt said about Ritchie at the time of the announcement. “As the year went on, his game got better and better and his confidence grew, and he had some success with some points and things like that. His responsibilities grew as well. He’s not shy of the spotlight; he wants to be one of the elite players and he certainly showed (that) in his first year.”

The Prince Albert Sports Hall of Fame welcomed eight new inductees as part of the 31st induction class.

Erica Gavel, Jessica Vance, Rod Dallman, Rick Schultz, Pete Friesen, Jim Nicholson, Bill Yeaman and the 1973/1975 Old Dutch Twins were enshrined at a banquet at the Ches Leach Lounge.

“I would like to congratulate all our inductees on being honored here tonight for their accomplishments in the sporting world.” PA Sports Hall of Fame president Ellen Grewcock said during the banquet. “Once again, we have a very diverse group covering many areas of sport. The teams and individuals being inducted here in this evening have been fortunate to be a part of sport at an elite level demonstrated not only by their successes, but by their commitment to making sport part of their lives and showcasing our community talent.”

It was also announced in May that a pair of female players for the Prince Albert U15 AA TLS Royals had made Team Saskatchewan.

Brooklyn Leibel and Criseyde Borthwick were both named to the U14 Team Sask. Girls team at the Western Canadian Championships in Richmond, B.C. that took place from Aug. 17-20.

“It’s really exciting and really fun because also not just representing (Sask), but also meeting people across the country and seeing all different skills in baseball.” Borthwick said about making Team Saskatchewan.  “It’s just so cool seeing how different girls can play baseball as well.”