April has been a very good month for Wabowden's Kajon McKay.
The 19-year-old forward, now in his fourth season with the Portage Terriers of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League, was named the league's playoff MVP after scoring seven points in the five-game Turnbull Cup league championship series in which his team prevailed over the Winnipeg Saints four games to one to capture their third title in the last four years.
McKay, who spent one season as a member of the midget AAA Norman Northstars in Thompson, was named the league's playoff MVP after scoring seven points in the final series, more than doubling his playoff output after scoring six points through the first two playoff rounds.
McKay was named the MJHL's player of the week on April 9, one day before his Terriers defeated the Saints 2-1 on a pair of goals from Portage's Brendan Harms, after scoring one goal and three assists in his previous three games, which included a 3-1 Saints victory on April 7, in which McKay had the only goal for the Terriers, a 6-1 Portage win on April 5 and a 4-3 overtime victory April 3. McKay had two assists in the 6-1 win and set up the overtime winner on April 3 after scoring one goal and adding two assists in the 5-3 Terriers win that opened the series on April 1.
The championship is the Terriers fourth in the past five years and second in a row. The only time they haven't won it since the 2007-08 season was in 2010, when the Dauphin Kings, whose roster included Thompson's Mathew Backhouse, who played with McKay on the Northstars, swept the Saints in the final.
The former teammates may meet again in the RBC Cup, the national junior A championship tournament in Humboldt, Sask. May 5-13. The Terriers can qualify for the national championship by beating the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League champions in the last ever ANAVETS Cup between the two provincial champions before the qualifying process of the national championships changes in 2013. If the host Humboldt Broncos, who acquired Backhouse in a trade from the Kings following the 2011-12 season and currently lead the SJHL championship series with the Weyburn Red Wings three games to two, win the SJHL championship, the Terriers will automatically qualify.
McKay blossomed offensively in his fourth season as a Terrier, finishing third in team scoring and 19th in the league overall, with 21 goals and 40 assists in 58 games, all career highs. He scored as many goals this season as in the three previous seasons combined and had 12 more assists that his previous best of 28 in 2009-10. He missed only four games this season, making it just the second time in his junior career he has played more than 50 games. He played 55 in 2008-09, then missed 21 the following season and 14 last year.
McKay finished the playoffs ninth in the league and fourth on his team in scoring with four goals and nine assists in 15 games.