In Wednesday’s Yellowknifer, you would have read about Liam Tereposky patrolling the pipes for the Waywayseecappo Wolverines of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL).
You would have also read that there is a second connection to Yellowknife on that team. That connection is Lonan Bulger and, like Tereposky, the 20-year-old defenceman is in year three with the Wolverines.
Bulger has appeared in all six regular season games to date the Wolverines have played and he has one goal and four assists to show for it.
He said he’s happy with how things have started but it’s not as important as what the team does.
“It’s not all about the points — it’s a team game and the big thing is having us all play well every night,” he said. “I’ve been working hard and I’m hoping to have a big year and the start I’ve had is a good baseline. I’m not expecting to score a point a game but it’s all about helping the team.”
Bulger joined the Wolverines at the same time Tereposky did but the paths were different. Bulger spent the majority of his high school days at Shattuck-St. Mary’s in Minnesota and was offered a tryout from there. Season one for the Wolverines ended during round one of the playoffs in March 2020 when the pandemic started to tighten its grip around the world while season two lasted all of 10 games for Bulger before the plug was pulled by the league due to the second wave.
As of now, it’s so far, so good for the MJHL, which has its own vaccine mandate. Anyone who’s around any team in any fashion this season needs to be double-vaccinated and show proof before they’re able to take part.
Bulger said that should help keep things smooth for this season.
“Everyone in the league has to have the vaccine and I don’t think there should be any need to shut things down,” he said. “All the medical experts have said having the vaccine will help so I think we’ll be fine.”
As for extra measures, such as masks, Bulger said that’s not a concern because no one can be around the team unless they can provide proof of vaccination.
The schedule in the MJHL this season differs from seasons past in that teams will be playing only other teams within their division. After Christmas, teams will be making road trips to play the other teams in the league. The game days have also been changed in that there’s no midweek game.
Bulger said that will make travelling a bit easier.
“Normally, we would have a Tuesday or Wednesday game but it’s now Friday/Saturday or Saturday/Sunday or something like that,” he said. “Waywayseecappo is kind of central so our longest road trip is four hours whereas a team from the Winnipeg area could have an eight-hour trip.”
College is next on the ladder for Bulger as he’s looking to get himself a scholarship of some sort as he’ll be aging out of junior hockey following this season.
“The 20-year-old season is showing what you’re made of,” he said. “The rookie season is figuring out how it all works and the 19-year-old season is putting it all together. I haven’t had any calls yet but it’s early. I’m just going to keep playing hard.”