The last two winters Colby Joseph, son of Dawn and Gord Joseph, had successful seasons with the Minot (N.D.) Minotauros of the North American Hockey League. Now Joseph is back in the Magic City as a member of the Minot State University men’s hockey team.
“Minot is awesome in every aspect,” the 2002-born Joseph said. “Especially being here already for two years I knew what the city was like and have lots of connections. I also knew a lot of the players on MSU so that was a huge factor and also what they have done here and the winning culture.”
The Beavers, with Oak Lake’s Riley Wallace playing a role, won the American Collegiate Hockey Association Division I national championship last season. Joseph plans to study marketing with the desire to be part of agriculture in the future.
“I am really excited to experience playing hockey at a college level,” he said. “I’m excited to play against older players that have played junior and spent time in college. I’m also excited to challenge myself off the ice while trying to juggle school, working out and playing hockey.”
In an interview last November for KMOT, a Minot television station, Minotauros head coach Cody Campbell said, “Whatever school he goes to, he’s going to improve their culture the minute he steps on campus with how genuine and caring of a person he is.”
A strong two-way player, Joseph helped the Minotauros in several ways. The 5-foot-11, 182-pounder scored 10 goals and recorded 18 assists for 28 points in 58 games last season. In late October of 2022, he was the NAHL’s Central Division Star of the Week as he extended his point streak to five games and scored a key goal in two victories. In his two seasons with the Minotauros, Joseph established himself as a fan favourite.
“Just a blue-collar kid. He’s a farmer, he’s just very relatable,” Campbell told KMOT. “I think he just embodies a lot of the qualities that Minot as a whole embodies.”
Former Virden Oil Capitals junior player Braden Fischer of Winnipeg was teammates with Joseph last season. The 2022 Manitoba Junior Hockey League MVP praised Joseph as a friend and player.
“He’s one of the best teammates I ever played with,” Fischer said. “He made me feel so welcomed when I first got there, and we clicked right away. If you ask anybody in Minot or even Virden about Colby Joseph, their face will light up and I can guarantee they’ll have a great story about him. He is also a really great player. He gave everything he had and more for the Tauros in his time there and I am so excited for him as he continues on in his second home in Minot at Minot State University.”
Joseph said he enjoyed lots of things about playing for the Minotauros, “But the thing that stuck out to me was … the way we were treated. Everywhere we went we were treated like celebrities and pros. At the rink or just out in the community.”
After developing in Elkhorn and in the Yellowhead system, Joseph started his junior career with the Victoria Grizzlies of the B.C. Hockey League in a COVID-19 altered 2020-2021 season. Whether he was close to home, out west or down south, the young man knew he had the support of his family.
“My family has been nothing but awesome,” Joseph said. “They made it clear whether or not I went to school they would support me and when I was deciding where I wanted to go, they would support me and my goals. Couldn’t ask for a better support system.”
Fischer heads to UMD
After developing his game at the junior level, including with the Virden Oil Capitals, Braden Fischer is looking forward to college hockey.
The Winnipeg product is headed to the University of Minnesota – Duluth. The Bulldogs compete at the NCAA Division I level, the highest in U.S. university hockey. They have won three national championships.
“I’m so excited about the opportunity to play with and against some of the best players in college hockey,” said Fischer, who plans to study finance. “I’m looking forward to being with 24 other guys that know what it takes and do what it takes day in and day out to get better and all have the same goal at the end of the day - to win.”
The 2002-born forward started his junior career in 2019-2020 with his hometown Winnipeg Blues of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League. After spending a season shortened by COVID-19 with the B.C. Hockey League’s Salmon Arm Silverbacks, Fischer was brought back to the MJHL by the Oil Capitals. In 2021-2022, he was the league’s Most Valuable Player after scoring 35 goals and recording 74 points in 52 games. Last season Fischer played for the Minot Minotauros of the North American Hockey League. Limited by a knee injury, the 6-foot-1, 185-pound forward had six goals and 13 assists in 24 games.
“I was fortunate enough to play in two really special spots in my last two years of junior hockey,” Fischer said. “Minot being the most recent, while unfortunately shortened, I met so many great people and got to play in front of all of the awesome fans for the second half of the season.
“I loved every bit about my time in Virden. I remember everything and everyone - from the coaches to my teammates that I still keep in touch with. (My billet family) Kala, James, Mason and Grady (Hay) who I try to catch whenever they’re in the city. All of the volunteers and staff at the rink and around the team. Virden is a special spot and one of the best places in the nation to play junior hockey.”