Friday, August 29, 2008

My last post... as a Klipper

"We hope, you enjoyed your stay
It's good to have you with us, even if it's just for the day
We hope, you enjoyed your stay
Outside the sun in shining, seems like heaven ain't far away
It's good t have you with us, even if it's just for the day"
-from the Killers-exitlude.

Well it has been the best two seasons that I have EVER spent at the rink.

Forget pee wee league championship games. Forget bantam provincials. Forget the first time playing for the local sr hockey team.

The past two seasons spent in the Klippers press box have been the best two seasons that I have spent at the rink - BAR NONE.

Nothing will replace the memories and the experience gained since I first came to town on September 5th, 2006. I remember taking a drive that day to meet the Klippers new head coach Larry Wintoneak. You don't know intimidation until you have been put in my shoes at that very moment. Trust me.

The first few games were rough... you remember. But I'd like to think that I've grown a lot over my time with the team.

There was the last game of the 2006-2007 season when the Klippers lost a single goal to the Battlefords. I listen back to that game and you can just see how our hearts sank in the broadcast booth by listening to the post game show.

That's what the Klippers were to me. They were more than a hockey team, more than a job.

I remember one road trip during my first season. We were in LaRonge staying at the hotel and we had played the night before. That day we were headed to the rink to grab the gear and go for some grub. Following the meal we were off to Flin Flon. With Larry, if the itinerary says depart at 12:00 the bus is pulling out at 12:05 regardless of who is on the bus. Well let's just say a few of us may have missed the bus. (myself, Davin Pedersen, Casey Rempel, Luke Boyer, Matt Sawa) We had to grab a taxi in LaRonge which consisted of an astro van. (not one of my finer moments). Later that night after the Flin Flon game, the five of us had to load the entire bus (I don't even play!).

So many memories that I will not forget.

Let's talk about last year's playoffs and the run to game seven of the Credential Cup final. Matt Sawa (very classy guy I wish him all the best in Regina) scoring the game winning goal in overtime against the Weyburn Red Wings in game one.

That was just the beginning!

There was double overtime to end the series when Jonathan Redlick finished off the Wings.

How about the Melville series? Leedahl scoring with no time on the clock in game 2 was just phenomenal. Let's also mention Ryan Nieszner's big save on Daniel Hope just minutes before to save the game.

Back in Kindersley the overtime contest to clinch the series. My heart was pounding and racing the entire game!

These are things I won't ever forget.

Then there was Humboldt. Down in game one only to come back and Kirk Pearce won the game in overtime. Then the triple ot game back at the WCEC when Leedahl worked some more magic.

When the Klippers lost game seven I think I may have shed a tear. When you travel with the team and are with them so much during the season you really become a part of it. That's what happened. I became a part of the group. I really embraced the Klippers and believed in what they were all about. I loved my job.

In the past two seasons I learned many lessons as well.

Larry was up in my kitchen on more than one occasion. And each time I came away from it a better person and a better broadcaster. Larry taught me things about the game and about the business that you can't learn in school. You can't learn those types of lessons at the radio station and I probably wouldn't have learned them from anyone else. He was like a mentor on the road always tossing out a tip here or there on etiquette or how to do it like the pros. He helped me hone my interviewing skills and has made me the broadcaster I am today. I owe a lot to that man and will forever be in debt.

Nancy: I'll miss you too. You do a ton of work around there and so much for me. You always had anything and everything that I could possibly need. Plus I could always look for a great reaction from you and Keith after a big Klipper goal.

To the people I met along the way:

To all the fellow broadcasters you guys helped out in ways you don't even know. When I first came into the league I was constantly listening to other guys call games. I needed to know what the experienced guys said on the air and how they called the games. Rob Hart was one of the best. In Flin Flon Rob always had something positive to say to me. He always had a tip that could help out the broadcasts. To all of the other broadcasters in the league thanks for all your help (colour commentary, interviews, etc) it was greatly appreciated.

To all the parents and fans that I met at the rink: The feedback I received was amazing and greatly appreciated. Getting a chance to talk to parents after the games and during the home games really gave me an extra perspective to think about. Seeing how pumped they got and how excited they sounded was just great. Always a great word to say about the broadcasts and that really gave me the confidence to become a better broadcaster.

One thing I really won't forget is the series with the Melville Millionaires. Sitting up in the press box when Brett Leedahl scored that overtime goal in game 2 was breathtaking. The support from parents and fans was unforgettable. Mr. Perreaux organizing the white towels was a genius idea. Klipper fans made more noise than the Mills ones and the game was in Melville!

So the point of this post is to let you know that I will be moving on in my career. I have accepted a new job in the business and, thus, must say my goodbyes.

I will leave you in good hands though. Ryan Tunall, who has been the morning show voice for the past two years, will be taking over the play by play. Ryan hails from Eston and has a great knowledge of the game and should provide excellent commentary.

Ryan will also be blogging at for the season.

I want to thank everyone again for everything that you have done for me over the past two years and I hope and encourage everyone to keep in touch with me.

I will continue blogging and it will be linked to Ryan's blog. You can also feel free to send me an e-mail anytime you wish at I'll always have time for a chat.

I do plan to be back through town on my way home for Christmas and other holidays and just might have to stop in at the WCEC for a good 'ol Klipper game.

I'll miss this team and I'll sure miss the community!

*** Ryan and I will be at the WCEC Saturday morning at the inter squad game. A last chance to say goodbye and meet the new pxp voice of the Kindersley Jr Klippers. Hope to see you bright and early (10am is early to me lol) Saturday morning!!!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

"Are you ready?"... Klipper camp opens tomorrow

Great opening line in this week’s Clarion from sports reporter Kevin McBain: “Are you ready?”

This must be one of the worst days for a hockey fan. Training camp is tomorrow and that’s extremely exciting! The reason I say it must be one of the worst days is the fact that training camp it tomorrow, and not today. All this sitting around being excited and waiting for camp to start. I can’t imagine that much work is getting done today.


So with the Klippers set to open up camp tomorrow morning at the WCEC this will be a post about what to expect, and who to expect.


First let’s look at who’s eligible to return to the team.

In goal both Ryan Nieszner (88) and Matt Weninger (89) are eligible to return to the team and would be a great duo to build off.

Only 1987 defenseman Milo Miller graduated from Jr. A hockey. That leaves Matt Olson (89), Steven Turner (89), Tyler Seward (89), Justin Perreaux (89), Scott Linnell (89) and Justin Wilkinson (88) all able to return to the hockey club.

Up front is where the Klippers have lost the most from last season. Ryan Sawka, Jonathan Redlick, Matt Sawa, Casey Rempel and Jayde Dunser all have graduated from Jr. A hockey. Eligible to return is Brett Leedahl, Kirk Pearce, Jerrett Bicknell, Kalib Thunderchief, Travis Eggum, Kendall Holmes, Jeremy Beller, Jordan Braid and Ben Ritchie.


Now, from those eligible returning players there are a few who won’t be back with the hockey club this season.

-Matt Weninger (89 G) has decided to play with Omaha in the USHL this season and won’t be back with the Jr. K’s.
- defenceman Matt Olson has decided to hang up the skates and has applied to the U of S.
- defenceman Scott Linnell doesn’t appear to be returning and will most likely have surgery on his injured leg.
- forward Jeremy Beller is also hanging up the blades and has been accepted to McGill University.


Five goaltenders twelve defensemen and up to 27 forwards could be attending camp this weekend. Now that is subject to change with 16 players competing in WHL camps and may or may not be back for this weekend.


Here are some new faces you may see at camp this weekend:

Evan Durnin – 1989-born forward from Brandon, MB. Durnin was at the K’s conditioning camp earlier this month and may add a bit of energy and be a good depth player.

Taylor Duzan – the 1991-born Duzan had 22G and 20A last season with the Saskatoon Blazers. He stands 5’4” 165 but won’t be afraid to throw his body around and muck it up in the corners. Duzan will bring some offence and a ton of energy to the klippers 3rd or 4th line. He seems like a prototypical Larry Wintoneak type of guy. He’ll go to the wall for you any day of the week.

Andrew Dommett – Signed in the offseason by the Klippers. He made an appearance as a call-up with the club last season and becoming a full time player this year should be a seamless transition.

Tanner Schalin – 1989-born goaltender went 13-4 last season with the Stettler Lightning of the Heritage Jr. hockey League. A big goaltender (6’2” 180lbs) from Pine Lake, AB, had a .906 save percentage and a 3.02 GAA.

Kurt Leedahl – 1990-born forward and brother of Brett Leedahl is another Leedahl speedster. Kurt spent some time on the blue line during the conditioning camp and we may see him play a bit of that this season.
Stephen Mussell – 1989-born forward from Westbank, BC. The 5’10” 168lb Mussell played in 45 games with the Summerland Sting (KIJHL – Jr. B in BC) notching 23 goals and 22 assists with 103 pim.

Andrew Kuechler – 1988-born centre from Lomira,Wisconsin. The 5’9” 170lb Kuechler might be the player to watch in camp. With 2/3rds of the Klippers top line graduated, coach Wintoneak may have found a suitable replacement in the veteran centre man. In 15 games with the Bozeman Ice Dogs (NOR PAC (northern pacific hockey league)(United States based Jr hockey league)) Kuechler had 14 goals and 9 assists for 23 points and added 18 penalty minutes.

Myles Jeffers – 1988-born defenseman from Saskatoon. Listed as 5’8” 180lbs hockey db shows he played 5 games with the Notre Dame Hounds (SJHL) last season with zero’s across the stats board. Kevin McBain has in the Clarion this week that Jeffers was on a lacrosse scholarship at New England College. I’ll have to have a chat with him to get his story.


The first inter-squad game will be Friday morning at 11am at the WCEC. Games will be two 25 minute straight time periods with the last 2 minutes stop with a flood between.


I’m really looking forward to camp. Also a reminder to check back tomorrow on the blog for some big news from this blogger.


Friday, August 22, 2008

Big day ahead on the water and on the diamond...and the playoff beard in August

It's going to be a big day on the water for Canada when the Olympics resume in a few hours.

Canadian kayaker Adam van Koeverden is looking to defend his gold medal in the 500 metres. Van Koeverden will be trying to rebound from a shocking eighth-place finish in yesterday's one-thousand metre race.


Also in just a short time the North Sask River Baseball League champion will be crowned.

The Wilkie Brewers are hosting the Lloyd Twins in the deciding game of the series. Here are a few points about this series and these two teams:

- Wilkie has won championship last three seasons.
- Lloyd won the championship the three seasons prior.
- The Breweres and Twins have met in the final the last six seasons.
- No other team in the league has won the league title since 1999.

Should be a great game tonight!


Three Western Hockey League teams have submitted proposals tohost the 2010 Memorial Cup.

The Brandon Wheat Kings, KelownaRockets and Everett Silvertips are each are vying for thetournament. Bid presentations will be held in October during theW-H-L Board of Governors meeting in Calgary.

(the canadian press)



Maybe it had something to do with the new playoff beard. MikeWeir made a big move at The Barclays with a second-round 67 thatleft him seven shots back of Steve Stricker. This week's tournamentmarks the start of the P-G-A Tour playoffs and the Canadian says hegrew a beard to follow in the tradition of N-H-L players.

(the canadian press)


More coming including an important announcement next week...


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Milo to Michigan

Well it has been a bit of time since my last post. Since then Canada has stormed the podium at Beijing. The country now has 12 medals and sits in 17th place overall in the medal standings. Pretty impressive.


The North Sask River Baseball League Finals start tonight in Wilkie. The Brewers will host the Lloyd Twins. Both teams finished equally atop the league standings with 12-2 records. Wilkie has home field advantage in this series having won the only regular season meeting 6-4.


Milo Miller will be playing south this coming season. Miller will play in Michigan and I will have more on that in the next few days.


That's all for this quick post. Stay tuned and have a great day!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Hawks trade...

(photo courtesy

From Nipawin Hawks website:
The Nipawin Hawks announce today that they have traded D Todd Panchyson to the Estevan Bruins for the SJHL list rights to F Eric Peterson (1991).Peterson, who's hometown is Saskatoon played with the Prince Albert Mintos of the SMAAAHL.
Panchyson played in 28 games for the Hawks in 2007/2008. During this time the 1988 born defenceman scored a goal and an assist. The 6'1", 190lb White Fox, SK native also racked up 39 pim's.
The 5'10", 165lb Peterson plays for the P.A. Mintos and could still be a year away from joining the Hawks.

This and that on a Wednesday afternoon...

We’ll start today with a look into some local hockey players who are making names for themselves.

First, Dinsmore’s Katelyn Ptolemy is currently at York University in Toronto attending selection camp for the national women’s under-22 squad. Dinsmore is part of team Canada White during the camp and they will play team Canada Red tonight. Camp started on August 10th and will wrap up on the 17th.
Now back in July, the 2008 Sask First under-17 camp took place in Wilcox. It featured the top 40 players born in each of 1992 and 1993.

OF the players who attended camp 29 have been placed on the Team West short list and will be evaluated until November 14th when 11 players will be selected to represent team Canada West at the World Under-17 Challenge in Port Alberni, BC.

Rosetown’s Kendall McFaull (defenseman) is on the “watch” list as is Klipper prospect and Saskatoon native Josh Thorimbert (goaltender).

Also with local hockey players:

Six local female hockey players have been invited to the female Under-18 fall camp in September.

The players who will be at the fall camp include: (hometown in brackets)

Kirstie Redlick (Biggar)
Brienna Gillanders (Kyle)
Baylee Gillanders (Kyle)
Brittany Erlandson (Outlook)
Courtney Rea (Landis)
Michala Jeffries (Fiske)
Moving on to the Olympics and there is a couple of things to update you on.

Did you see the opening ceremonies at the Beijing Olympics?

A few words come to mind: Fantastic. Breathtaking. Fake!

Yep, I said fake. It turns out that the adorable little girl singing ‘Ode to the Motherland’ during the opening ceremony of the games was actually not singing at all. A ceremony official said that the singer, a seven-year-old Chinese girl, was not good looking enough for the Olympics opening ceremony, so another girl lip-synched.

Straight teeth with get you everywhere in China.

Tisk, Tisk, Tisk. Have you seen what Spain’s Olympic basketball team has done?

Players on the team were shown in a photo ad showing themselves using their finger to apparently make their eyes look more Chinese.

"It was something like supposed to be funny or something but never offensive in any way," said Spain centre Pau Gasol, who also plays for the Los Angeles Lakers. "I'm sorry if anybody thought or took it the wrong way and thought that it was offensive."


I will hopefully have some Jr K news for you tomorrow. Training camp is now only 16 days away!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Kindersley Sledge Hockey Club

This was found on the Saskatchewan hockey association's website


The following is a letter from Catherine Close, coordinator of the Kindersley Sledge Hockey Club.

Our sledge hockey program is going into its 6th season. Our son, Braden, was born with spina bifida. In 2002, we saw sledge hockey on TV at the Salt Lake City Paralympics and Braden said he wanted to play that sport someday. A short while later, we were sitting at a medical appointment when a young man walked by carrying a sledge. We tracked him down and it turned out he was from Bruno, Saskatchewan where they had been playing sledge for a few years, having started it there for a boy with spina bifida. They invited us to come and try it and then lent us a couple of sleds to bring home and show people. We took them to the two elementary schools in Kindersley, along with a video to show kids the sport. Then we commenced the fundraising to purchase equipment that would be held as the property of the Kindersley Sledge Hockey Club.

At the time a sledge and a pair of sticks cost about $500 and we figured that we would try to raise $12,000 to purchase 26 sledges as that was the number of kids we thought we could handle on the ice at one time. The fundraising turned out to be pretty easy. We received a grant of $6,000 from the NHLPA, $2,000 from Saskatchewan Lotteries and the rest we raised by asking local services clubs and businesses to sponsor a sledge at a cost of $500. All sponsorship was recognized by a decal placed on the back of the sleds. I have just recently been told that there is funding of $5,000 available for the equipment from the Canadian Paralympic Committee.

We pitched the sport through a letter sent home to kids and their parents, selling the sport as an inexpensive, less time consuming, less competitive alternative to hockey, great for kids who couldn't skate. The first year, we had 18 kids register. We meet once a week, practicing skills for the first half hour and scrimmaging for the second half hour. Over the years, our registration has varied from 10 to 24 kids and my son has been the only disabled player with everyone else being able bodied. To promote the sport, we have taught sledge hockey as part of the Grade 3 Phys Ed program at Braden's school. We have skated at intermissions of Junior Klipper games. We have had free come and try it skates and an invite-a-friend tournament for our players.

Each year, a highlight for our team is going to the Western Canadian Sledge Hockey Championships in either Edmonton or Calgary where there have been 2 - 4 teams in the Junior Division. In the 2007-08 season, we hosted our first Saskatchewan Sledge Hockey tournament for the Junior Division with teams coming from Edmonton and Calgary. It will become an annual tradition.

We have faced some challenges along the way. It is a worry every year whether we will have enough kids. It was tough to run a program the year we had only 10 kids so we stepped up the advertising. An on-ice challenge is coaching the kids as a group when some have played for several years and some are first year players. It is difficult to meet the needs and advance the skills of the more experienced players. The kids love to play games and we have set some up with the Junior Klippers and with minor hockey teams. We would love to have other sledge hockey teams to play close by.

If you have any questions or if there is something I could help you with to get started, please don't hesitate to contact me, Catherine Close, at 306-463-6371 or at email

Monday, August 11, 2008

Monday morning musings...

Monday morning and suprisingly it was easier to get up than I thought.

I had a chance to take in day one of the conditioning camp at the WCEC on Friday hosted by the Klippers. Walker Wintoneak (son of Klippers' head coach Larry Wintoneak) was in attendance getting a workout in prep for Blades camp. Shayne Neigum was also on the ice getting in shape for Edmonton Oil Kings camp.

Sometime this week I will take a look at possible Klippers this season.


I didn't get to take in Saturday or Sunday at the conditioning camp as there was a family gathering in Saskatoon. This didn't stop me from taking a little bit of time to check out the Saskatoon Ex.

Bad idea!

I have never been much for the rides but over the years I have been more and more tolerant and been on more and more of the thrill machines.

But this year was the limit. One word: Zipper. Yep Megan dragged me on the Zipper. Normally, she isn't that big for rides but since I was panicing it made her more comftorable taking me on the death ride.

In case you don't remember, the Zipper is the one where two of you are standing in this cage that spins freely forwards and backwards while it goes up and down and around.

We must have flipped all the way around eight or nine times. You would have heard my screams all the way back in Kindersley.

Thank god for solid ground!


The Beijing olympics are now a few days old and to be honest with you, I haven't really had a chance to watch a whole bunch yet.

Canada is still shutout on the medal front but their best hopes remains on the water in rowing. They are through to the final of the men's eight on Sunday.

American Michael Phelps is hoping to go 8 for 8 at these olympics. He is already 2 for 2 with a pair of broken records. Might be tuning in a bit to see if he can keep this pace going.

Canada's first water polo game in 24 years wasn't a good one. They lost 16-6.

With the Klippers' training camp still a couple weeks away and the Riders off for a little while there will be more attention paid to the Beijing games.


The CFL season has been a very entertaining one so far. Just look at the Rider games and you will see that most of them had wonderfull finishes that left you breathless untill the final seconds.

Through this I have really been reading and hearing a lot of comments about how bad some of the broadcasts have been on TSN. Rod Black and Dwaine Ford in perticular. They are an alright team but they don't even come close to Chris Cuthbert and Glen Sutor or the Rider crew on CKRM.

I did read something really cool on, however. You can download a program that will delay the audio of the radio to match up to your TV. This way if Black/Ford are doing the game on TSN you can watch and have Rod do your play-by-play.

Pretty cool.


Have a great Monday!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Klippers host summer conditioning camp

The Klippers opened up their summer conditioning camp earlier today and day one wrapped up with the black/white inter squad game.

This was a close one. Jordan Braid tied the game with five and a half minutes to play and scored the go ahead goal a minute and half later. Team black won the game 5 to 4.

The level of play looked good. There were some big saves, some big hits, goal posts and a good chunk of parents, scouts and coaches in the stands.

Camp resumes tomorrow morning bright and early with fitness testing starting at 9am. The second inter squad game will go at 4pm.

Tomorrow we’ll look at some of the players who are attending camp.

Hockey’s back! Enjoy the weekend!

Blogger back

It has been a while since my last post but since I was gone not much has been going on.

The Klippers open rookie camp this morning at the WCEC. Registration starts at 10am with the first on ice session at 11am for team Perkins (White). Team Shea (Black) hits the ice at 12:30. Fitness testing is this afternoon and the black/white intersquad game goes at 7pm tonight.

I will be at camp for the intersquad game tonight and will post following the game. I will have the remainder of the weekend's schedule and a look at some players to watch.


1-1 so far in my week 7 CFL picks. I need a strong finish in the last 2 games.

It's Friday! Enjoy your day!