Monday, May 31, 2010

Humboldt to host 2012 RBC Cup


SASKATOON — The 2012 RBC Cup national junior A hockey championship will be held in Humboldt, Sask.

Humboldt was one of four finalists for the event along with Port Alberni Valley, B.C., Kingston, Ont., and Fort McMurray, Alta.

Canwest News Service has learned the Humboldt bid committee has been notified of Hockey Canada’s decision. Hockey Canada has yet to officially release details until papers are signed, likely Monday.

The Humboldt Broncos of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League captured the RBC Cup national championship in 2003 and 2008. They will get an automatic berth into the 2012 tournament.

Broncos head coach and general manager Dean Brockman confirmed Humboldt has been awarded the RBC Cup event.

“Word is out,” Brockman said. “I knew it wasn’t going to be a secret for long.

“We’re nervously excited. Obviously, there’s a lot of work to be done yet, but certainly we are pretty excited that we got the bid. We haven’t been together (as host committee or anything) yet, but that’s where the excitement will start.

“It’s pretty big news.”

Humboldt played host to what was then known as the Centennial Cup national championship in 1987. It will be 25 years in 2012 when Humboldt gets to play host again.

Next year’s tournament will be held in Camrose, Alta.

Saskatoon StarPhoenix

Thursday, May 27, 2010

"Emotional response" sparked design firm to donate services: principal


The Clarion

If the aftermath of January’s fire at Exhibition Stadium has proven anything, it’s that a blow to hockey at the grassroots level can resonate all the way up to the top.

The latest example has an internationally renowned architectural firm, with projects like the Air Canada Centre and GM Place in its portfolio, offering to do its first-ever pro bono job in designing Kindersley’s new rink.

Toronto-based Brisbin Brook Beynon (BBB) Architects, led by principal architect Chris O’Reilly, will charge the town only for its expenses and perform the actual design work free of charge.

O’Reilly, who made his second visit to Kindersley last Wednesday to meet with the building committee and speak at a chamber luncheon, explained that the firm would normally charge about 4.2 per cent for a project like this one.

For instance, if the construction costs were $10 million, BBB would charge $420,000 in fees, which includes expenses. He estimated the firm’s own costs, which will be covered by the town, at about $200,000.

O’Reilly, the brother of former Boston Bruin Terry O’Reilly, brought three presentation boards to Wednesday’s luncheon featuring very preliminary designs for the arena. He stressed that they were put together simply as a starting point and will likely change significantly as the total of insurance funds becomes known and the community identifies priorities.

“My objective was just to get something down on the drawing board that people could relate to,” O’Reilly explained. “A lot of people were focused on the budget number (at the luncheon), but I think the point is we don’t know what the exact budget number is and you need to have a starting point. You can’t wait (to design something) until the 11th hour, until you know everything.

“This is like taking a big block of granite and chipping away at the outside and we’ll get more details as we get closer to the centre.”

Chief administrative officer Sherry Magnuson confirmed Monday that she expects to find out what funds will be available from insurance within a week to 10 days, which would clear a major hurdle to progress for both the West Central Events Centre and the new arena.

Walker Projects president Milt Walker told the audience at the luncheon that completing the new arena by fall 2011 is “a reasonable target” that would require “an aggressive schedule.”

O’Reilly called that target “doable,” suggesting that the construction itself could be completed in 12 months or less.

“A simple arena with a mezzanine should be pretty straightforward,” he said.

He added that BBB wants to establish what is known as a design-build contract, which would allow an overlap between the design and construction phases and give more flexibility.

“That speeds things up a little bit because I can do less drawing now and then get a contractor on board, send out a (request for proposal), get contractors to bid on it, and then work with them to do all the final construction,” he said.

How does a large Toronto-based firm wind up doing a small-town Saskatchewan project for free? Former NHL coach and current NHL Network analyst Gary Green, who is a senior director of BBB Architects, got the ball rolling.

“Aside from being in the sports architecture business, I‘m a broadcaster and like everyone else, I saw it on the national news,” Green said Monday just before flying to Germany for the IIHF World Championship.

“I thought about it and thought, ‘What a travesty that is for the people in that community,’” he added, recalling his days growing up in Tillsonburg, Ont., where “the arena was everything to us.”

His thoughts soon turned to pitching in, and he approached BBB partner Murray Beynon.

“I said, ‘Is there anything you think we could do to help them out?’ He didn’t even flinch. He said yeah, let’s help them out,” recalled Green, who was the youngest head coach in NHL history with the
Washington Capitals.

Green brought Hockey Canada president Bob Nicholson on board in early February, utilizing the governing body’s vast resources to help co-ordinate the effort.

O’Reilly, who was also consulted on the decision to work pro bono, called it “an emotional response to your disaster.”

Magnuson received a phone call from Green less than a week after the fire, with the director offering BBB’s services.

“I picked it up and I was still in that ‘not enough sleep’ mode after the fire, and I thought, did I hear that right?” recalled the administrator. “He said, ‘Yes, that’s the case and I’ll send you a letter confirming that.’ We were really shocked and amazed and touched by that generosity.”

The development was not made public until now because BBB didn’t want it to seem like a publicity stunt. Further to that, getting the process started on the new arena was on the back burner for Magnuson while arrangements were being made to get the WCEC back on the road to operation.

“We backed away from any publicity on it because that’s not our reason for helping,” said Green. “We were very nervous about it.”

On the other hand, Magnuson felt it was “(BBB’s) story to tell” and suggested that the offer might spark other firms to pitch in, in various ways.

“From that point onward, there’s a lot smarter people than me that take the ball and run with it,” Green joked, calling O’Reilly “the guy that can make it happen.”

Wednesday’s meeting of the building committee, or the user advisory committee, as Walker has termed it, ran over two hours as O’Reilly presented two conceptual designs for feedback.

“It was pretty intense,” Magnuson said.

O’Reilly has recommended that the committee piece together an executive to trim the number of direct players from 26 to something more manageable.

“They can be the intermediary to the larger group,” he said. “That’s another good reason for having stakeholder meetings to keep everybody apprised of what’s going on, so nobody gets upset that they’re not part of the process.”

Magnuson said the large committee was formed based on the model followed in Estevan, where a new arena is slated to open early next year, along with research into the design processes in Melville, Melfort and Lloydminster.

The committee will meet with Walker on Thursday and discussion about an executive is planned.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

SasKota roster announced

The team that will represent Saskatchewan in the upcoming SasKota Bowl is set and ready to put Saskatchewan back in the win column.

There is a total of 14 school represented on the roster. Players from 19 different school registered for the selection camp while a total of 60 players registered for the selection camp.

The 33 man roster will be led on offense by Delisle Rebel's quarterback Levi Aitken. Aitken had a strong selection camp and really showed off his accuracy and arm strength. Kale Lajeunesse of Meadow Lake beat out some very tough competition to win the back-up job.

The team of running backs on team Saskatchewan is one of the deepest that we have seen in the history of the SasKota Bowl. The team will be led out of the backfield by a very quick tandem in Foam Lake's Kiefer Hawerluik and Swan Valley's Josh Hart. Hart really showed his explosive game breaking speed in the provincial final while Hawerluik was a major target of opposing defences throughout the season and into provincials.

The speed is complemented by the size and power of a couple Wynyard Bear running backs. Devon Lamb and Kyle Davis round out the running back group that some are calling the deepest that Saskatchewan has ever sent to the SasKota Bowl.

The 9-man provincial champion Lumsden Devils lead the way with 6 players making the final squad. Meadow Lake will be represented by four while Humboldt and Swan Valley will each have 3 players on the team.

Below is the entire 33 man roster that will represent Saskatchewan in the SasKota Bowl this July in Lumsden.

Levi Aitken - Delisle
Kale Lajeunesse - Meadow Lake

Aaron Oscevzski - Martinsville
Adam Buekert - Delisle
Adam Gibson - Lumsden
Gaelen Clancy - Meadow Lake
Josh Taylor - Lumsden
Kayne Aubichon - Meadow Lake

Devon Lamb - Wynyard
Josh Hart - Swan Valley
Kiefer Hawerluik - Foam Lake
Kyle Davis - Wynyard

Brendon Schultz - Melville
Dalton Lerminiaux - Lumsden
Kyle Rusnak - Yorkton
Riley Armstrong - Gull Lake

Brendon Bomberak - Esterhazy
Brett Schulz - Swan Valley
Cody Dale - Humboldt
Jeremy Vogel - Kindersley
Jonathon Adams - Esterhazy (Langenberg)
Thomas Skulski - Humboldt
Walker Dopko - Meadow Lake

Kelsey Peterson - Lumsden
Kraig Cober - Swan Valley
Matthew Halyk -Foam Lake
Michael Copeland - Melfort
Nathan Hrynchyshyn - Canora
Oneyx Dickson - Canora

Adam McEwen - Lumsden
Cody Schlosser - Humboldt
Bryce Wilson - Sacred Heart
Nic Windrum - Lumsden

A rink plan for Kindersley

Reported By Sheri Ebert
News Talk 650 CKOM

The burning rink was a sight many Kindersley residents won't forget. But putting a new building up in its place may help. And now, an Ontario design firm says they're getting involved in the province that has grown near and dear to their heart.

Toronto-based Stadium Consultants International is designing a new rink in Kindersley free of charge. The gesture comes five months after the old one burnt to the ground.

Seeing the T-V footage of flames shooting through the roof triggered an emotional response from Chris O'Reilly. O'Reilly says the SCI contacted the town of Kinderlsey and things went from there.

"Just kind of hit home. So we thought, you know, we should do something. They were pretty eager to take advantage of the offer. So we kind of jumped into it fairly quickly."

S-C-I just finished a six month feasibility study for a new multi-purpose facility in Regina to replace Mosaic Stadium. O-Reilly says stepping up to the plate for Kindersley is a way of giving back.

"Bit of a payback, or a nod, to the province for inviting us out there to do some work with them."

The goal is to have a new arena in Kindersley by the end of the year.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

SasKota selection camp wrap

I was able to attend a little bit of Sunday's SasKota bowl selection camp in Saskatoon and came away very impressed. The camp took place at the Saskatoon Hilltops facility and was made up of two on field sessions.

There are some tough decisions that need to be made following the camp and that's a good thing. There was some tough competition for spots which is a good problem for a coach to have. I feel that the running backs are a very strong group and may be the strongest group that Saskatchewan has ever sent to the game.

A roster announcemet is expected in the coming days so you can stay tuned to for that release. As well pictures from the selection camp will be posted shortly to the SaskGridiron Facebook fan page.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

SasKota bowl try-outs today

Try-outs for the 2010 SasKota bowl go today in the bridge city.

Players from across the province will take part in the one day camp to determine who will represent Saskatchewan in the 2010 SasKota bowl this July.

The day will go something like this:

Registration : 9 - 9:30
Session 1 : 10:00 - 12:00
Lunch : 12:00 - 1:30
Session 2 : 1:30 - 3:45

I will be there for session one providing updates via Twitter. Check out and for all the info and updates from the camp.

Friday, May 7, 2010


Just received an e-mail from Lyle McKellar of the SHSAA and he confirmed that Rosetown, Gull Lake and Canora will play 6-man football this fall.

Kamsack will be playing 9-man football and Conference 2 will have just three teams in it.

9-man football conferences???

The SHSAA has posted the projected 2010/2011 football conferences on it's website and my jaw is on the floor.

We have known for a while that Gull Lake was likely going to be moving down to 6-man ball and that is the case. I am also not surprised to see that Canora will play 6-man football either. What has me scratching my head is that I see they have Rosetown listed in 6-man football. WTH???

Is this correct?????

Conference 1 stays the same with Foam Lake, Wynyard, Humboldt, Melfort, Nipawin and Tisdale.

Conference 2 also has me shaking my head as they show just three teams in Assiniboia, Maple Creek and Shaunavon. Conference 3 will be the largest with Esterhazy, Melville, Swan River, Sacred Heart, Lumsden and Fort Qu'Appelle being joined by Kamsack. And Conference 4 will have Unity, Delisle, Martensville, Warman, Meadow Lake and Kindersley.

Something has to be wrong here, right?

Surely Rosetown would not be dropping to 6-man football, would they? And if this is the case that the teams listed will be the teams participating in 9-man football this season I would certainly hope that the conferences are adjusted so that conference 2 has more than 3 teams in it.

What are your thoughts?

I'll attempt to gather some answers this weekend at the SasKota bowl try-outs. Until then, have a great Friday!