Monday, November 30, 2009

Dommett SJHL player of the month

Andrew Dommett, Kindersley Klippers

1990 F Andrew Dommett (Saskatoon SK) has had a breakout season, but he completely exploded during the month of November, scoring 16-goals in just 12-games played and he ended up leading all pointgetters in November with 20. Dommett capped his sensational month with a four-goal effort on November 28th against the Battlefords North Stars during the Showcase. Overall, Dommett has 26-goals and 11-assists in 29-games. He leads the league in goals scored.

SJHL player of the week

Andrew Dommett, Kindersley Klippers

1990 F Andrew Dommett (Major SK) is enjoying a breakout season and he turned some heads at the Showcase in North Battleford by firing a four goal game against the host North Stars on Saturday. He finished the week with 7-goals and 1-assist in 3-games played and now has a league leading 26-goals in 29-games.

Breakout year for Kindersley forward in SJHL

By Darren Zary, The StarPhoenix

How's this for Major improvement?

Last season, Major's Andrew Dommett scored two goals for the Kindersley Klippers as a rookie in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League.

This season, Dommett has emerged as a sniper with 22 goals through 28 games.

"It's a good story," Kindersley head coach/general manager Larry Wintoneak said between games at the SJHL Showcase. The Klippers defeated the Melville Millionaires 5-3 late Thursday.

"He's a kid who last year just didn't have enough confidence in himself. His conditioning was an issue, too. He worked hard in the summer to get where he wanted to be. It all started in the playoffs when he really started to come around. Him, (Johnny) Calkins and (Braeden) Adamyk, we put them together. We really liked that chemistry and it's continuing."

Dommett, 19, is the only AAA midget Saskatoon Contact in a dressing room filled with former Saskatoon Blazers.

"There's still a little bit of heat between us," Dommett said with a chuckle. "They definitely (accepted me), but there still is some beaking and chirping going on."

Added Klippers captain Jordan Braid: "We actually ended up fighting a while ago when he was a Contact and I was a Blazer. We don't talk about that fight because I didn't really win."

As for Dommett's breakthrough season . . .

"Definitely, I'm surprised," said Dommett, a 5-foot-10, 185-pound forward. "I knew that I'd be playing a different role and getting more shots on net, so I prepared for that, but I'm definitely surprised."

Dommett played minor hockey in Luseland, about 20 minutes north of Major. He played pee wee and bantam in Rosetown. "(Notre Dame's A-Jay Moore was actually my linemate in Rosetown.") He played one year of midget AA in Kindersley before going on to the Contacts.

Dommett has drawn interest from Ferris State in Michigan and Norwich in Vermont.

- - -

Drew Famuluk, an associate head coach with the Ferris State Bulldogs, has never missed a SJHL Showcase.

"It's good that it's back," said Famuluk, a native of Melville and former coach of the SJHL's Yorkton Terriers. "For us, it's very important. It's one of our main recruiting rounds, not only to get players but cultivate relationships and get to see the coaches 1-on-1 and get the nitty-gritty on players."

Ferris State has five former SJHLers on its 25-player roster.

"They're just good honest players," Famuluk said. "We like to call them low-maintenance kind of players. They play hard. They show up every day. The one thing that coaches in this league do is strive for kids to be very consistent, day in and day out. It just helps when they come into the fold, a little more older, a little more mature, not only as a player, but also as a person."

- - -

SJHL Showcase officials are under the watchful eye of Ken Wheeler, manager of officials for the NHL.

"Any time they can get looked at, it's a good thing," said Tracy Cook, the SJHL's director of officials. "The biggest thing they're after is the opportunity to be seen."

- - -

In SJHL Showcase action Friday, the Notre Dame Hounds edged the La Ronge Ice Wolves 2-1 in an overtime shootout, the Flin Flon Bombers downed the Nipawin Hawks 7-2 and the Yorkton Terriers defeated the Melville Millionaires 4-3.

In the late games, the Weyburn Red Wings played the Estevan Bruins and the host Battlefords North Stars tangled with the Humboldt Broncos.

Friday, November 27, 2009


I wish that whoever commented on the Friday news and notes would have left a name as opposed to anonymous.

Either way they did a good job of informing me that indeed Troy Schwab does hold the Klippers all time scoring title. My information was taken from hockeydb which was missing some games or possibly a whole season.

The SJHL use to have a history link with the league record book but it is not on the site anymore. Luckily enough I had printed it out a few years back and found it in the closet.

In 172 games, Leedahl picked up 217 points (85g 132a). Hockeydb has Schwab playing 166 games and having 216 points (79g 137a).

The SJHL record book shows Schwab played 232 games and scoring 285 points (108g 177a).

Schwab = 1.11 ppg
Leedahl = 1.26 ppg

Very impressive numbers from two of the Klippers best of all time.

This may spring a debate. Let's see if we can get some action in the comments section. Who do you think is the best player to ever wear a Klipper jersey?

Friday news and notes

This week has just flown by hasn't it? There is a few things to discuss so let's dive in.


The Kindersley Klippers are 1-0-1 this week after Wednesday's 3-2 shootout loss to Yorkton and last night's 5-3 win over Melville in the Showcase. The team is now 5-1-2 in their last 8 games and just 5 points back of Weyburn for first in the Sherwood Conference.

The Jr. K's have the day off as they get set to take on the Battlefords North Stars tomorrow at the Showcase.


As you may have seen in today's Star Phoenix article (posted below), Klippers' goaltender Josh Thorimbert is garnering some attention from scouts this weekend at the Showcase.

It's well deserved too! The 17 year old netminder is 13-5-1 on the season with a 2.83 GAA and a save % of 0.912. He has also posted one shutout.

I received this in an e-mail from the father of former Klipper goaltender Ryan Nieszner. Rider fever is everywhere!

Saskatoon city transit buses all have GO RIDERS flash across the digital banner. It's been going on for a few weeks now. Nobody needs evidence but it's everywhere that the Riders are Canada's team.


Speaking of, where will you be on Sunday?

The last time the Riders were in the Grey Cup I was working. Golden West Radio was picking up the radio broadcast from the FAN in Calgary and I was stuck oping the game. I brought a TV but was only able to pick up a fuzzy picture. That's back when CBC carried the broadcast.

Needless to say I'm not going to be working or anywhere except watching the game on Sunday.


If you're looking for a great background pic for your BlackBerry device try this link out:


The pre-new year's resolution thing is not going so great. Laziness is a hard habit to break! Any tips?


Every year about the first week of December I like to do some Christmas shopping... for myself. I don't buy anything though, I just look around and get an idea of things that I would like. I always get the e-mail from family asking for my "wish list" so I've started making a photo wish list and posting it right here on the blog.


Trivia question: Who is the Klippers all-time leading scorer?

A: Brett Leedahl. Leedahl's 217 points are one more than Troy Schwab's 216 on the all-time list.


The voice of the Battlefords North Stars Dan O'Connor had this to say about the Klippers on his blog this morning after watching last night's Klipper victory over Melville:

I've seen a lot of Kindersley teams over the years, and I've got to be honest: This Kindersley team looks good. Really good. Sanfred King seems to making a real impact on a line with Jordan Braid and Taylor Duzan, and Andrew Dommett (19 years old) has totally transformed his game from last season.

If my memory serves correctly, it took Andrew Dommett until the 4th of January last year to even score a goal in the SJHL, and now he's got 22 of them!

Watch out Weyburn, I'm calling right now - Kindersley will make a real run at the Sherwood Conference Title. Having seen Weyburn, Melville, Notre Dame and Kindersley all play yesterday, the Klippers in my opinion have the best team in that conference.

I couldn't agree more!


I'm off to Camrose this weekend to watch some minor hockey and do a little visiting. It'll be nice to get away and have nothing worry about for a couple days. Don't worry, I'll be back in plenty of time to watch the Grey Cup.


Updated Sherwood Conference standings:

Sherwood Conference
Weyburn Red Wings2817605398576
Kindersley Klippers281610023410191
Notre Dame Hounds2313712296766
Yorkton Terriers28131230296782
Melville Millionaires27121320269294
Estevan Bruins2891522227995


Ok, I'm off to the gym. All this back pain, knee pain and tiredness has me feeling like an old man. I really need to shake this bad habit.

Enjoy your Friday!


Nipawin Hawks' Thiessen searching for scholarship

(from today's Star Phoenix)

Taylor Thiessen has played in as many Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League Showcase tournaments as anybody else, but he is still looking for something to show for it.

The veteran Nipawin Hawks defenceman wants an NCAA scholarship.

"It's obviously everybody's main goal here," Thiessen said Thursday following a 5-2 loss to the Melfort Mustangs. "They're here to showcase their talent. To get four points in the two games we're playing is the main team goal, but, personally-wise, yes, that's obviously the key here.

"I talked to quite a few (NCAA schools) here and there. They've shown some interest. The offers are still wide open. I'm still keeping the door open for now."

Thiessen, an undersized D-man at 5-foot-9 and 165 pounds, has extra-large leadership qualities to go along with 12 goals and 13 assists for 25 points in 27 games.

"He's maybe one of the best captains I've seen in my life and I've been around the game for a long time," said Hawks head coach Colin O'Hara. "He's never above the team. He's a very good go-between for the players and us. He's a fantastic individual.

"He's an ice-time eater out there. He plays in all situations and responds real well to it.

"The one knock we keep hearing on him is he's an average skater, but what he makes up for in lack of skating is his smarts and the fact that he's a coachable kid. His smarts are second to none in this league as a D-man. He's a kid who is very coachable and, if you believe in him, he's going to believe in your program. That makes him a prototypical college player.

"We're hoping to get him something."

Thiessen, 20, from Prince Albert, wants more consistency in his game.

"To keep consistent defensively is a big thing at the college level," he said.

- - -

The SJHL Showcase, back after a one-year hiatus, attracted about 30 scouts Thursday. More are expected to trickle in today and Saturday for the 12-team, 12-game tournament at North Battleford's Civic Centre.

The tournament has attracted plenty of NHL interest.

"The NHL is very supportive of these type of events," said SJHL president Laury Ryan. "Through the CJHL, they are now financially supporting the event. They were probably the most disappointed that it didn't go last year."

In attendance Thursday were NHL Central Scouting Bureau scouts, as well as representatives from the Atlanta Thrashers, Calgary Flames, Colorado Avalanche, Los Angeles Kings, Minnesota Wild, New Jersey Devils and Ottawa Senators, just to name a few.

"We've got the five, six guys (on Central Scouting's watch list) and they've come to see them, to see if they belong there or not, and catch a few diamonds in a rough, guys who have gone unnoticed," said Ryan.

"For them, it's a great opportunity. It's one-stop shopping."

On the NHL Central Scouting watch list are Yorkton Terriers forward Clarke Breitkreuz, Melfort Mustangs D-man Lee Christensen, Flin Flon Bombers forward Andrew Johnston and Estevan Bruins forward Dylan Smith.

Notre Dame Hounds forward Trevor Cameron and Kindersley Klippers goalie Josh Thorimbert have also garnered interest.

- - -

Melfort Mustangs D-man Carter Berg heads to Prince Albert tonight to suit up for the WHL's Calgary Hitmen against the P.A. Raiders.

Berg's WHL rights were traded to Calgary a couple of weeks ago.

"I'll give that a chance next year and see how that goes.," said Berg, 17.

In other Showcase action Thursday, the Notre Dame Hounds doubled up on the Weyburn Red Wings 4-2 and the Humboldt Broncos edged the Flin Flon Bombers 2-1. In the late game, the Kindersley Klippers played the Melville Millionaires.

Today's schedule features five games: Notre Dame vs. La Ronge, Flin Flon vs. Nipawin, Yorkton vs. Melville, Estevan vs. Weyburn and Battlefords vs. Humboldt.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Klippers 2 Terriers 3 S.O.

Klippers drop the contest in a shootout. You can find the game sheet here:


sjhlnews Melfort sends Tanner Exner to Kindersley, La Ronge deals Lance Tabin to the Klippers; Travis Eggum is going to La Ronge.

The 1991 born Exner comes to the Klippers after putting up 9 points (5g 4a) in 22 games this season in Melfort. The 5'11" 170lb forward from Regina added 16 penalty minutes.

The BCHL website is reporting that Tabin was sent to the Wolves in October of '09 in a deal with the Nanaimo Clippers of the BCHL

Hockey db says the 1990 born defenceman played in 55 games last year for La Ronge picking up 4 points (1g 3a) and 89 penalty minutes.

Klipper game notes

What a perfect afternoon to talk hockey!

Tonight the Kindersley Klippers (15-10-1) host the Yorkton Terriers (12-12-3) in a pivotal Sherwood Conference game at the WCEC.

The Terriers trail the Klippers by 4 points for 2nd place in the Conference but Kindersley has a game in hand.

Terriers road trip:

This is game number two of the Terriers current road trip which will see them play 4 games in 5 days. The trip started with a 5-0 loss to the Battlefords. From here they are back to the Battlefords for the Showcase playing games on Friday and Saturday.


Yorkton has just 2 wins in their last 11 games and have picked up just 7 points. Offensively Clark Breitkreuz has just 2 points in his last 6 games.


Kindersley is 4-1-1 in their last 6 games and have moved into sole possession of 2nd place in the Sherwood. Their strong play has them just 8 points back of first place Weyburn with a game in hand.

Andrew Dommett must love playing at the WCEC as he has 14 goals in 13 home games this season.

The trio of Dommett, Jordan Braid and Taylor Duzan have combined for 45 points in the last 10 games.

Home Cooking

The Klippers are 10-3 on home ice this season and play their second straight game at the WCEC tonight. It is also the start of 3 games in 4 days as they travel to North Battleford for the Showcase tomorrow playing Melville and then the North Stars on Saturday.

Game time tonight from the WCEC is 7:00pm.

Dec. 1st watch


After December 1st, Canadian Junior Hockey League teams are only allowed to have 25 player cards; which means many clubs will reduce to 22 or 23 players so that they can allow themselves 2-3 additions between December 1st and January 10th; which is the other deadline clubs have for making transactions.

Media members that follow the SJHL are speculating as to what may happen between now and December 1st and the activity figures to be rampant as all twelve teams’ coaches will congregate as part of the Showcase this weekend in Battlefords.

Here is a look at the Sherwood Conference

“I think the Wings will go past December 1st with their two 20-year-old goalies,” surmised one radio announcer from a rival team. “I don’t think they will go beyond January 10th, but I don’t sense they are close to getting anything done.” Another opinion is that the Wings don’t have many needs and since they are in first place, they can afford to sit back and wait for the right offer on either AJ Whiffen or Tanner Erickson.

The Klippers may have an issue with depth; but the acquisition of Sanfred King earlier this month should help that problem up front. “I have heard a few people say that it is really hard to win in this league with a 17-year-old goalie; but I haven’t seen this team much. They might have a good enough insurance policy (Josh Baker) already.” Larry Wintoneak’s history indicates he leans heavily on his top end players so unless he figures he can upgrade those areas; the Klippers may be a quiet team on December 1st.

“I can’t see them going beyond next week with three goalies,” surmised one observer. The Terriers need scoring and they need it bad, scoring just 16 total goals in their last 9 games. “They may have missed the boat on getting what they really want in a trade,” says another individual. “If they find a way to score, they are going to be a tough team to play.”

Nobody is talking about the Hounds, but you can’t deny they are a player near the top half of the conference. “I like their youth, but the thing with Notre Dame is always how good are they going to be at the end of the season. Most years they regress when other teams progress and they get left behind.” There is some speculation Notre Dame would be a good fit for one of the Yorkton goalies as the Hounds have two rookies, but head coach Darren Evjen has expressed confidence in his youngsters and media members aren’t hearing a peep about Notre Dame looking for a puckstopper.

“I like this team up front, but they may have to go out of province to get help if they decide it is in goal,” says a southern area scribe. “I don’t see Yorkton trading them a goaltender.” One has to wonder why this team would even be searching for a netminder when you factor in Brady Wilyman’s November (4-1, 2.18, .928). Rookie Zach Rakochy has struggled, but the team is averaging less than two goals a game in front of him. “I would like to see them play with more of a mean streak,” said one announcer.

One opposition team’s radio announcer likes this club, despite the sub .500 record. “I think the new goaltender has helped (Neamonitis); but their defense is thin after Colton MacPherson.” Another media member says the standings are much to close for them to consider unloading 20-year-olds. “They are in the mix and right there with everyone else when they have a full roster.”

Here’s a look at the Bauer Conference:

The Bombers continue to get better and may have made their moves already and could be a pretty quiet organization on December 1st. “Mike Reagan always seems to make a splash on December 1st and January 10th. I’m anxious to see what he does,” says one media member. However, it should be noted the Mike Rey trade and the securing of hometown native Ryan Fox has gone a long way to boosting the team’s chances already.

”Ken Pearson has done a real good job of making moves, but not upsetting team chemistry. He had to do a lot to the player personnel when he came in and now he’s continuing to tweak what looks to be a real good group,” says one media observer. The Stars appear to have excellent goaltending, still they give up a few too many scoring opportunities to the opposition.

”La Ronge is a team that is starting to give up too many goals to continue winning, so I think they may look to make a move to either shore up goaltending, or get a veteran stay at home defenseman,” said one radio announcer. Bob Beatty, generally, likes physical teams so it wouldn’t be a shock to see the Ice Wolves go for a physical winger either.

The Mustangs have added goalie Chris Ward already and Darrell Mann is one Coach/General Manager who always seems to be on the phone right until the final minute of the deadline. Mann has made no secret he would like to have more energy in the dressing room as well as on the ice. He also doesn’t appear to be shy about making just about any player available provided the situation suits the team’s needs.

Could the Broncos admit defeat and go young? Dane Lindskog, Shawn Hunter, and Cameron Gibson would bring the team a mint should they opt to go that direction as players who are born winners don’t grow on trees. Dean Brockman has been coy about his December 1st intentions, but one observers says, “I think Humboldt has a better team than what their record shows. I think if they keep their veterans and add another player or two, they could be a pretty dominant club in the second half and who would want to play them come playoff time?”

The Hawks needed to change the culture of their dressing room, so head coach Colin O’Hara moved out a couple of prominent faces in exchange for a proven goalie, some youth, and a promise of opportunity for a couple of players already on the roster who were in support roles. The team has responded, so dealing 20-year-olds doesn’t look like an option. “They might be the hardest working team in the league,” commented one media member.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Showcase Returns


After a one-year hiatus, the SJHL’s Showcase returns in 2009 with a couple of new wrinkles, but with essentially the same message that was intended when the first ever Showcase took place in 2003.

For the first time, the SJHL Showcase will be held in an SJHL center, with the Battlefords North Stars stepping up to play host over the three day event. It’s also being held later in the season than it has in years past, this time being played over November 26, 27, and 28.

In addition, Strike Energy has stepped up to become a host title sponsor while the National Hockey League is a league partner in presenting the three day event. “The decision to take last year off as far as the Showcase is concerned was something that was done with a lot of thought and we knew there would be some negatives associated with it. We knew the players would not be pleased and rightfully so; however,

we under-estimated the value the NHL placed on the Showcase. We were pleasantly surprised to hear the disappointment on their end, it is simply the best way for the SJHL to promote our players to the highest levels of hockey,” said SJHL President Laury Ryan.

The Showcase has truly evolved from the inaugural weekend, which was held in Saskatoon during the preseason of the 2003-04 campaign. Rosters were not finalized and, therefore, although scouts were getting an opportunity to see all twelve teams under one roof, they were not getting a true feel for the SJHL. Instead, they were getting a look at prospects one and two years in advance as clubs were icing rosters with some regulars, but also with midget aged players with futures

down the road as far as SJHL careers were concerned.

In 2004-05, the SJHL Showcase was moved to the Gemini Arena in Saskatoon and was held during the first week of the regular season. The Showcase included the CIS with the University of Saskatchewan Huskies hosting games and the two Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey Saskatoon based teams also playing in the event. The improvements from year one was very noticeable and crowds for each game were extremely impressive.

The 2005-06 event shifted to the Credit Union Centre, with some games played at twin arena next door. The SJHL, U of S Huskies, Saskatoon Contacts, and Saskatoon Blades, member of the Western Hockey League were pleased to present a Showcase of Hockey to our fans and scouting fraternity. Hockey fans saw all 12 SJHL teams, each playing 3 regular season games; 5 Western Canada CIS teams, each playing 2 exhibition games, 2 Saskatchewan Midget Triple AAA

Hockey League teams playing 1 regular season game against each other. In all, Showcase 2005 involved 25 games, covering every level of elite hockey in the province.

In retrospect, Showcase 2005 was a landmark weekend as a major press conference took place announcing the creation of the Saskatchewan Development Model. It was also the opening weekend of the Western Hockey League season and there was a SJHL night that was hosted by the Saskatoon Blades. It was truly a Saskatchewan Showcase with the

SJHL, WHL, SMAAAHL and the CIS all participating in the event.

The Harold Latrace Arena welcomed the Showcase in 2006 and 2007 and that proved to be most ideal location of all as far as Saskatoon was concerned. There was one main ice surface that allowed for a large sized crowd as well as a private viewing area for scouts to take in the action comfortably. While this paved the way for ‘feature’ games, there was still a secondary rink inside the complex which made it simple for all

teams to congregate under one roof and play the mandated two games over the course of three days.

The SJHL went on its own these years concentrating on their 12 member teams and shortened the event from three games each team played to two.

Saskatoon was chosen as the host city for the Showcase for a number of reasons, not the least of which was the close proximity of an international airport. The airport allowed scouts to easily fly in to a major city, book hotel rooms, and travel a very short distance to see all teams. Having twelve teams in one city for three days also poses accommodation challenges, which Saskatoon was able to handle. The event also drew media attention from the province’s largest city, and that gave even more exposure within Saskatchewan.

Junior ‘A’ hockey is often associated by hockey people as a springboard to the NCAA for players looking to continue playing careers following graduation; but one thing the Showcase has proven is that the National Hockey League is taking notice from a scouting perspective.

With numbers ranging from 75-to-100 on any given year, business cards floating around the scouts’ viewing lounge indicated the NHL, other minor pro ranks, CIS, and WHL organizations were also taking notice in addition to the NCAA. The 2009 event figures to see much the same cross-section of scouts.

Following the 2007-08 season, it was felt a period of reflection was needed to determine what could be done to make the Showcase a more viable entity for the SJHL. Competing leagues were staging similar style weekends on the exact same date. While the SJHL still received a strong showing of support from scouts, it became tougher and tougher for evaluators as they were forced to choose which events they were going to attend.

The SJHL Showcase is back in 2009 and it will be held in the Battlefords and in an SJHL arena. It will be played later in the year when the level of play is higher than what it would be in September and with rosters that are significantly closer to be finalized. The requests of the players and scouts were simply too great to ignore and the Battlefords look forward to creating a new benchmark for the event

Schwartz won't let his size slow him down

By Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer
The first thing you notice about center Jaden Schwartz is his deceptiveness.

But if you think for a second that at 5-foot-10 and180 pounds Schwartz doesn't pack much of a pop, you'd be sadly mistaken.

"I don't think Jaden has changed his style of play since he was 14, 15 years old," said NHL Central Scouting's Jack Barzee. "He's very deceptive and shifty though the neutral zone and strong on the puck. It's very hard to get the puck off his stick."

Schwartz doesn't look anything like a rookie in his initial season with the Tri-City Storm of the United States Hockey League, and NHL scouts and general managers have noticed.

"I don't think size matters at all," Schwartz told "You look at players like (Martin) St. Louis and even (Sidney) Crosby, two of the best players in the world, and they aren't that big yet can get the job done. There's a lot more to it."

"Some people may look at his size and consider it an issue," Barzee said. "But I like to ask those same people, 'How big were Scott Gomez and Joe Sakic in their draft years?' Look how good they turned out."

And Schwartz is proving it. He's No. 2 on the Central Scouting's preliminary rankings of USHL players, and the only forward among the top seven players listed.

"It meant a lot to see my name so high on that list and I'm glad to be getting the recognition," Schwartz said. "I know it's only a ranking, but you can't help but read that list and no matter where you fall on it, you want to work even harder to improve and maybe climb the ladder."

Reports have been glowing ever since he broke scoring records held by Vincent Lecavalier and Brad Richards at Notre Dame Prep of the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League with 39 goals and 111 points in 44 games in 2007-08.

Schwartz followed that with 34 goals and 76 points in 46 games as a rookie in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League in 2008-09 before joining Tri-City and coach Drew Schoneck this season. That leads us to the second positive observation seen in Schwartz -- fearlessness.

"Jaden was obviously a highly-touted player coming out of the junior hockey league, but the thing that sets him apart from other skilled players is his fearlessness and the fact he'll go down to block shots or take a hit if it means making a play," Schoneck said. "He's a special kid in my eyes because he'll do the dirty work in addition to finishing around the net when given the chance."

"I've heard (Schoneck) say that (fearless) a few times about me, but when you watch the best players in the game, they're fearless too," Schwartz said. "I want to be that guy going into the corners and dropping to block shots when needed. Doing the dirty work helps your team win and that's what I'm set on doing."

Schwartz is Tri-City's top center this season and, at times, is flanked by Max Tardy (2009 seventh-round pick, St. Louis) and Radoslav Illo (2009 fifth-round, Anaheim).

"He makes all kinds of things happen around him," Barzee said of Schwartz. "He's playing on a team that isn't as gifted as he is, so there are nights people might ask why he was held scoreless, but he does so many other great little things. He gets the puck toward the goal and is able to get himself loose from defenders. He can strip people of the puck at both ends of the ice."

In today's ever-changing NHL, Schwartz could be a change-of-pace player general managers crave. In 16 games with Tri-City this season, he's posted a team-leading 13 assists and 21 points while logging over 28 minutes a game. He's even notched six multi-point games.

"The USHL is a very skilled league and the guys are very fast so there's not a lot of time and space out there," Schwartz said. "I know about the number of players moving on to successful college careers and being drafted out of the USHL and I'm just working hard to be a part of that as well."

Schwartz has committed to Colorado College for next season, but Schoneck has little doubt Schwartz one day will be playing in the NHL.

"He's our top pivot up front and will be one of guys we'll count on to carry the offense but it's been an adjustment," Schoneck said. "The USHL is faster and better, but he is solid on his skates and is a strong kid, so we know he'll figure it out quickly."

The one knock on Schwartz, according to some scouts, is his ability to break away from defenders in open ice. But there's little doubt playing with faster and more-skilled players in the USHL will only help improve that aspect of his game.

"I don't think Jaden has changed his style of play since he was 14, 15 years old. He's very deceptive and shifty though the neutral zone and strong on the puck. It's very hard to get the puck off his stick." -- Jack Barzee, NHL Central Scouting

"I'd like to improve my play on the defensive side of the puck, as well as my strength and foot speed," Schwartz said.

He has this season to do it before he joins his brother, Rylan, at Colorado. As a freshman for nationally-ranked Colorado, Rylan, who topped the SJHL with 39 goals and 88 points last season, has 4 goals and 13 points in 12 games.

"I learned a lot from my brother just by watching the way he worked in the weight room and the dedication he put into it," Schwartz said. "He's a pretty humble guy like myself and doesn't get too overwhelmed or caught up in the moment -- things I think I've taken and have helped me. It's really great to see the start he's had at Colorado."

Contact Mike Morreale at

Afternoon hockey fix

As the Riders touch down in Calgary this afternoon let's take this opportunity to talk some hockey.


The SJHL handed down a suspension yesterday to Melville's Craig Karius. He'll get three games as a result of a match penalty in Saturday night's game against Yorkton.

The big thing here is the timing. Karius will now be forced to sit out and miss the entire Showcase in North Battleford beginning on Thursday.


There are four games on the SJHL schedule today.

La Ronge @ Weyburn
Nipawin @ Flin Flon
Notre Dame @ Humboldt
Yorkton @ Battlefords

A win by Yorkton could put the Terries in a tie for second with Kindersley having a game in hand.


This was pulled from the Associated Press

Blue Jackets F Dorsett on IR after Neal boarding

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Columbus Blue Jackets have placed forward Derek Dorsett on injured reserve retroactive to Thursday.

General manager Scott Howson made the announcement Monday.

Dorsett was injured Thursday in a 4-1 win over the Dallas Stars when he was hit from behind by Stars forward James Neal.

Dorsett was dazed after striking his head on the boards, and Neal was assessed a major penalty for boarding and a game misconduct. The NHL suspended him for two games and he must forfeit $8,515 in salary, with the money going to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund.

Neal said he didn't intend to injure Dorsett.

Dorsett has one goal and three assists in 18 games this season.


I'm putting together a list of former Klippers still playing hockey to give you an update of where they are now. I'll hopefully have that ready sometime next week.


That's all for now. Enjoy the afternoon.


Monday, November 23, 2009

Wintoneak a real student of the game

From the Nov. 20th Star Phoenix.

Saskatoon Blades forward Walker Wintoneak sees the ice better than most -- and his new contact lenses are only partially responsible.

Using his superb hockey sense, Wintoneak has become one of the most well-rounded players in the WHL.

"His ability to read the game is one of the best that I've seen," raves Blades coach-GM Lorne Molleken. "He anticipates well, both offensively and defensively, and that's one of his biggest strengths."

The 20-year-old winger has been soaking up hockey strategy since he was knee-high to a net cam. Born in Thunder Bay, Ont., Wintoneak gravitated to the rink where his father, Larry, coached both junior A and senior hockey.

While some kids were watching cartoons, Wintoneak was studying film.

"My dad used to always watch Stanley Cup final videos and break them down," says Wintoneak. "I just kind of sat there and watched them with him. He taped pretty much every playoff game."

The Wintoneaks moved to Flin Flon in the mid-1990s when Larry was hired to coach the SJHL's Bombers. Now both father and son are plying their trades in Saskatchewan -- Larry as the head coach of the Kindersley Klippers and Walker as a fourth-year member of the Blades.

Walker Wintoneak might not dazzle anyone with his skating ability, but he gets where he needs to go.

"He's a guy who finishes his checks and he goes to the tough areas," says Molleken. "He'll pay a price to score and he'll pay a price to prevent the opposition from scoring. He's just an honest player."

Wintoneak led the Blades with 31 goals last season and is on pace for 41 this season, having netted 13 in 22 games so far.

"Last year I kind of surprised myself," says Wintoneak, who scored a total of 19 goals in his first two WHL seasons. "I think me and (linemate Gaelan Patterson) surprised each other. We both picked up our games at the same time and Patty ended up getting drafted (in the seventh round by the Calgary Flames), so I'm happy for him.

"I think we were both pretty worried coming into camp last year that we might get traded or something like that."

Even after that breakout campaign, Wintoneak's future with the Blades wasn't assured this season. He was one of five players competing for three overage spots. Captain Derek Hulak was a lock for one job, so that left Wintoneak, defenceman Sam Klassen, centre Milan Kytnar and winger Chris Langkow to battle for two spots.

Wintoneak might have started the competition as an underdog, but he quickly proved his value.

"When we were debating who to trade, he had like 12 points in three games," says Molleken.

The odd men out ended up being Langkow and Kytnar; Langkow was dealt to the Everett Silvertips and Kytnar to the Vancouver Giants. Wintoneak isn't resting easy, though, and the Blades are the beneficiaries of his continued motivation.

"As soon as the trade deadline passes (in January) I'll be happy," says Wintoneak. "You never know what could happen."

BLADE BITS: The Blades (18-3-0-3) won't have D Dalton Thrower in their lineup tonight when they visit the Moose Jaw Warriors (15-8-1-0). The North Vancouver product has returned home to recover from bronchitis. . . . Three Blades -- Thrower, D Duncan Siemens and C Brent Benson -- have been invited to the under-17 World Hockey Challenge which begins Dec. 29 in Timmins, Ont. Thrower and Siemens are part of Team Pacific, while Benson is on Team West. The Team West roster also includes Blades goaltending prospect Tyler Oswald, who is playing midget AAA in Manitoba with the Pembina Valley Hawks.

Your holiday Rider fix

Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless handheld

Monday morning ramble

Hello again and welcome back. We've got a few things to talk about today so let's get to it.


What a week this is going to be! Everywhere you looked the past seven days it was all about the Riders. Everyone's Facebook status or Twitter update had to do with the Riders and boy did they deliver.

The Riders defeated the Calgary Stampeders 27-17 on Sunday to advance to their 2nd Grey Cup in three years. Where will you be on Sunday?

All I know is this week will be absolute pandemonium and I love it.


The Kindersley Klippers had a successful weekend themselves. The Klippers beat the visiting Estevan Bruins 4-0 on Saturday night. The full recap is posted below.

The win combined with a Weyburn loss to Flin Flon has the Klippers now just seven points out of first place in the Sherwood Conference. They Jr. K's also have a 4 point lead on Yorkton and a five point lead on Melville. All 4 teams have played 26 games.


I was watching TSN on the weekend and saw the commercial I posted below. It's just too good not to share.

I guess it was one of the Super Bowl commercials but I missed it.


Don't you think that this wonderful fall is making up for our craptastic summer? I sure do.

It got as high as +15 last week and it's expected to be +7 on Thursday. It's nearing the end of November and I could book a tee time. The courses are still open! There is a call for some flurries on the weekend though and maybe that will be the start of winter. I doubt it.


Is it still to early to put up your Christmas decorations? I say no to lights and yes to the Christmas tree.

I was walking the dog on the weekend and saw someone with their Christmas tree up already. For me everything starts on December 1st. I think it's a great idea to put up your lights now but don't turn em on till the 1st.

It really doesn't seem like Christmas anyway. Definitely not with no snow on the ground. What do you think?


Former Kindersley Klipper and current Columbus Blue Jacket Derek Dorsett was KO'd last week by James Neal of the Dallas Stars. Check out the hit for yourself.

It was ugly to say the least. You never want to see that happen to anyone. Neal got 2 games for the hit. In my mind it should have been way higher. That kind of thing needs to be eliminated from the game.


The voice of the Riders Rod Pedersen introduced me to the Nobex Radio Companion for my BlackBerry and I have loved it ever since. There are tons of radio stations available through Nobex including 620 CKRM. I caught the start of the Rider game on my BB thanks to the Nobex Radio Companion. I can also listen to Leafs games on AM 640 Toronto.

I highly recommend it if you have a BlackBerry. (there are more than just sports channels too)


Speaking of the Leafs, did you happen to see the rally helmets on Saturday night?

The Leafs were 0-6 in overtime/shoot-outs this season going into Saturday night's contest with Washington so they turned to an old baseball tradition.

Now the tradition is that in the 9th inning of a baseball game, the team that is trailing will turn their hats inside out and wear them that way. It's called a rally cap.

The Leafs, who had never won in overtime or a shoot-out, decided to turn their lids around on Saturday night and low and behold it worked! Phil Kessel and Nik Hagman scored in the shoot-out to beat the Caps and give the Leafs there first shoot-out win of the season.

They looked ridiculous but it worked. I don't think it's the last we've seen of the rally helmet. Mark my words.


I might have the key to your New Year's Resolution. Bare with me as I'm still working out some kinks.

Every year I set a New Year's resolution (and I know you do it too) and after a week or two it falls apart and I'm back to square one.

This year will be different ( you've heard or said that before too haven't you?).

I'm going to get back into the gym and work at getting back in shape (ya this is the same thing every year). The key is that I will start NOW. The way I see it is that if I can do it now until the new year without quitting then I know I'll be alright. If it's not working out then I can change my resolution before the 1st of January.

Sound good? We'll soon find out. It all starts today. I'll use this blog as a daily tracker to see how I'm doing.


For my money the Klippers' young goaltender Josh Thorimbert has been the SJHL's best rookie so far this season. There is currently a poll on asking who you think has been the league's best rookie to date. Head there now to cast your vote.

Flin Flon's Andrew Johnston leads the way but Thorimbert is not too far behind. Vote now.


Any Stamps fans looking to get rid of a couple Grey Cup tickets? Drop a line in the comments section.


Check out this story:

One University down in the States is raising some eyebrows over their latest mandate which requires overweight students to complete a fitness test before graduating.

A normal BMI is between 18.5 and 24.9. Students with one that's 30 or above - considered obese - are required to take a class called "Fitness for Life," which meets three hours a week.

I think this is nuts! Is someone going withhold my degree because I spend too much time in the books and not enough time in the gym? Give me a break!


This will be some week let me tell ya.

The Klippers are back on the ice on Wednesday night at the WCEC, the Riders take on Montreal on Sunday in the Grey Cup, and the SJHL showcase takes place in North Battleford.

That's just a little something to munch on this morning.


Ok, it's time to tackle the day.

Have a great week!


Saturday, November 21, 2009

Klippers blank Bruins

Kindersley 4 Estevan 0

Andrew Dommett's natural hat-trick was more than enough as the Kindersley Klippers skated to a 4-0 win over the visiting Estevan Bruins on Saturday night.

Dommett scored his first at the 11:44 mark of the opening period (Johnny Calkins, Johnathan Sonntag) to make it 1-0. Then at the 19:49 mark he netted his second of the game (Calkins, Steven Turner) and the Jr. K's went into the locker room up 2-0.

Midway through the second Calkins capped off the natural hat-trick (Braeden Adamyk, Calkins) and Travis Eggum rounded out the scoring (Jordon Hoffman, Steven Turner) at the 12:50 mark.

Josh Thorimbert made 23 saves for his second shutout of the season while the Klippers fired 36 shots at the Estevan goal that was split between Chris Neamonitis and Derek Tendler, the latter stopping all 15 shots that he faced.

There were also three separate fights on the night. Anthony Collins and Sean Flannigan dropped the mitts early in the third. Hayden Warrack and Riley Down went at it at 13:24 and Erik Wentzel and Jordon Hoffman squared off at 17:12.

Three stars: 1) Thorimbert 2) Calkins 3) Dommett.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Last chance

The first early bird draw for the Kindersley Klippers Truck Lotto 15 is taking place tomorrow night. The prize is a 2009 Harley Davidson V Rod.

Tickets are $100 each or 3 for $250. Details are here:

SJHL Power Rankings







Weyburn (1)





--Red Wings are the class of the league at the moment.


Flin Flon (2)





--Ryan Fox added to the mix.


Battlefords (3)





--Back on track with two wins last week.


Kindersley (4)





--Kindersley wins two of three last week and pick-up Sanfred King to help the offense.


La Ronge (6)





--Ice Wolves erupt with a six goal effort on Sunday.


Notre Dame (5)





--Hounds are 0-3-and-1 in their last four games.


Melfort (7)





--Mustangs have split their last four games.


Yorkton (8)





--Arguably the toughest part of their schedule as November is, traditionally, a month where home games are hard to come by.


Nipawin (9)





--Kerpan gives them a chance every night.


Humboldt (10)





--This is a big week for the three time champs as they set their roster for December 1st.


Melville (11)





--Consistently inconsistent.


Estevan (12)





--The goals against has come down, as soon as the goals for go up, the Bruins will be a force.