By Carter Brooks
Photo by Laurie Anderson
The University of Manitoba Bisons have added some serious offence for the 2019-20 season, in locking down forwards Tony Apetagon and Brian Harris.
Both 20-year-olds have spent the past three seasons playing junior hockey, with four of those combined years coming in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League. Apetagon, originally from Norway House played 34 games with the OCN Storm of the Keystone Junior Hockey League, before settling into the MJHL with the Blizzard and most recently the Winnipeg Blues.
The 6-foot-1, 175-pound forward had his most productive campaign in 2018-19, as he put up 29 goals and 74 points in 59 games between the Blizzard and Blues - good for third place in league scoring. In 122 total MJHL contests, Apetagon has 51 goals and 116 points.
Harris, a centreman out of Wawanesa, played his AAA hockey with the Southwest Cougars, before transitioning to the MJHL for a season with the Swan Valley Stampeders. Following the 2016-17 season, the 6-foot-1, 195-pound forward joined the Edmonton Oil Kings for a five-game stint in the WHL.
Harris stuck around with Edmonton for the 2017-18 season, dressing in 49 games, but only registering three points in a diminished role. The then 19-year-old re-joined his Stampeders teammates, where he put up a career season as team captain, scoring 16 goals and 52 points in 59 league games, before leading Swan Valley to their very first MJHL final appearance, where the Stamps lost to the league-best Portage Terriers in overtime of game seven.
After finishing the 2018-19 U-Sports season a very disappointing 6-19-3, the University of Manitoba Bisons will hope that a productive offseason will help turn the tables on what has been a tough stretch for the Herd. With the commitment of in-province recruits Apetagon and Harris, the Bisons have taken the first step to push towards a successful 2019-20 U-Sports campaign at the soon-to-be renovated Wayne Fleming Arena.