Monday, January 31, 2011

SJHL RBC January players of the month

PLAYER OF THE MONTH – Braeden Adamyk (Kindersley)

The Klippers have made a race of it in the Sherwood Conference thanks to great play from several players including Adamyk. The 20 year old from Neepawa, Manitoba had 13 goals and 12 assists in 14 games this month as Kindersley made a statement as to where they want to be at the end of the season.

HONORABLE MENTION: Johnny Calkins (Kindersley), Travis Eggum (La Ronge), Jesse Mireau (Melfort)

DEFENCEMAN OF THE MONTH – Josh Roach (Humboldt)

The 1992 born defenceman from Saskatoon saw a lot of former teammates go this year as the Broncos start building a team for the 2012 RBC. One player that didn’t have to worry about going anywhere because he is a keystone to the Humboldt future is Roach. His play has drawn the attention of many scouts and he didn’t disappoint those scouts during January by showcasing his complete skills.

HONORABLE MENTION: Kurt Leedahl (Kindersley), Cody Folstad (Battlefords), James Howden ( Notre Dame)

GOALTENDER OF THE MONTH – Russell Abbott (Notre Dame)

The 1991 born goaltender from Mill Bay, B-C is keeping the Hounds in the playoff chase. Abbott had a spectacular month of January in which he went 6-3-1 while posting a goals against average of 2.14 and a save percentage of .933 with a shutout. His play is one reason why Notre Dame is chasing Melville right to the end for the last playoff spot in the Sherwood Conference.

HONORABLE MENTION: Charles Corsi (Melfort), Sean Cahill (Kindersley)

ROOKIE OF THE MONTH – Eli Lichtenwald (Nipawin)

It hasn’t been a great year for the Hawks, but head coach Doug Johnson has a talented group of rookies including the 1992 born forward from Saskatoon. Lichtenwald has seen increased ice time in January with the trades of players like Matthew Spafford and Jonathan Ceci. He answered the bell by providing quality minutes and registering nine points in 11 games.

Monday morning water cooler

Good morning and welcome to the final day of January. How was the first month of 2011 for you? The the month started off great ringing in the new year and here's hoping that it ends well today.

The weekend was fantastic and this should be a pretty fast paced week with tons going on so let's get to this morning's column.


The Huskie men's hockey team may be the best team in Canada West.

With the Alberta Golden Bears having a so-so start to 2011 there were questions going around that maybe they weren't the top dogs in the CWUAA. Some were saying that the title of best in the west belonged to either Calgary or Saskatchewan. Last week you could have said that Calgary had the inside track after their sweep of Alberta but I don't think too many people are humming that tune this morning.

The Huskies dominated the scoreboard at Rutherford this weekend beating the Dinos 6-3 on Friday night at 3-0 on Saturday to move into a tie for second place and just two points back of the Bears.

A couple of notes for the Huskies:

- five on five they were dominate and didn't allow a single goal against. All three Calgary goals came on the power play while the Huskies added a pair of shorthanded goals on Friday night.

- Huskies goaltender Ryan Holfeld posted his first CW shutout on Saturday night and in 5 games has a 4-1 record with a 1.59 GAA and a sparkling .944 sv %.

- Kyle Bortis was held of the score sheet Saturday night bringing his league leading 6 game point streak to a halt. Bortis put up 13 points (9g 4a) during the streak and now is averaging a point a game on the season.


The Huskies are tied with the Manitoba Bisons for second place in Canada West. The Bisons picked up just 2 points against the Regina Cougars and failed to take advantage of the opportunity to pull even with Alberta.

Calgary is now just two points up on both Lethbridge and UBC for the fourth and final playoff spot after the Pronghorns swept the UBC Thunderbirds.


The defenses were hung out to dry on Sunday in both the NHL All-Star game and the Pro Bowl.

Team Lidstrom and Team Stall put on an offensive show scoring 21 goals between them in a 11-10 win for team Lidstrom while over in Hawaii MVP DeAngelo Hall and the NFC earned a 55-41 win over the AFC.

Patrick Sharp was named NHL All-Star MVP.


Here's some old school fun Global's Kevin Jesus pointed out to us on Twitter:

@GlobalJesus: Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego? Apparently Facebook.... and joining her? OREGON TRAIL!!!!


My Tennessee Titans have decided to say goodbye to longtime coach Jeff Fisher. The Titans and Fisher decided to go their separate ways this past week and it has me starting to think of possible replacements. I'm a Jon Gruden fan and I'm not sure what his contract status is but I'd support him in Tennessee.

The Titans have also said that they plan to trade QB Vince Young. They'll have a small window once a new CBA is signed to trade him before a big bonus kicks in. I like Young and part of me still hopes he's in Tennessee next year but I can't see it.


Speaking of the NFL, who do you like in the Super Bowl this Sunday? I like what the Packers have done with their opportunity but my money is on the Steelers.


In a CBC-NHLPA poll of 318 players, Ron Wilson was the overwhelming choice a coach you would least like to play for. To be fair, not many people liked playing for Scotty Bowman but look at what he accomplished.


Here's a question from sports humor columnist Cam Hutchinson:

If forced, which one would you give up: 1 smartphone; 2 family; 3 laptop; 4 television; 5 vehicle?

It makes you think. A person could likely go without TV because you can get everything on the computer now anyway. If you give up the laptop can you still have an i pad?


Here's a shot of the TSN crew doing a little tail-gating before the NHL All-Star game in North Carolina.

The shot was posted by Ryan Rishaug (pictured from L to R with Brent Wallace and Darren Dreger).

The best part about social media like Twitter is getting to see TV personalities when the camera isn't rolling.


Fans trying to watch the NHL All-Star game took to social media sites and message boards when the game was delayed due to an extra end in curling.

CBC missed the player introductions as well as the anthems while it stayed for the finish of the curling game.

This brings up a couple interesting observations and thoughts that I have on the subject:

- First, there is apparently going to be a bidding war happening in the near future for NHL rights in Canada including Hockey Night in Canada and I can't imagine that the NHL is too impressed with the CBC missing the beginning of the All-Star game.

- Secondly, I do understand what the CBC was doing. Would they cut away from the finish to an overtime game between, lets say, Calgary and Edmonton for other programming?


Do you think Phil Mickelson is a good guy? I did but apparently his peers on the PGA tour call him FIGJAM... F--- I'm Good Just Ask Me.


More Cam Hutchinson via Twitter:

Parking for the Super Bowl will cost up to $900 ... how can Jerry Jones charge that and keep a straight face?

the dirtiest things we touch in a day: 1. desk; 2. kitchen sponge; 3. cell phone; 4. makeup; 5. handbag ... 6. lady gaga ...


Congrats to Amber Holland and her rink for winning the Saskatchewan Scotties yesterday in Outlook. Holland becomes the first team from SK to win back to back provincial titles since Sherry Anderson in '94-'95.


That's all for this morning. Have a great week!


Friday, January 28, 2011

Huskies game night: vs Calgary

SASKATOON -- The Saskatchewan Huskies hit the ice tonight after a 13 day layoff which saw them fall from 2nd in Canada West into a tie for 4th with UBC.

The Huskies will welcome the surging Calgary Dinos into Rutherford tonight who are coming off a weekend sweep of the league leading Alberta Golden Bears.

I'll be taking in this one from Rutherford tonight and will provide updates via Twitter for you so you can follow along with the game at

Here's tonight's game story courtesy of this morning's Star Phoenix:


Walker Wintoneak and Derek Hulak won't be feeding each other the puck this weekend as they were accustomed to doing with the Saskatoon Blades.

Trash talk is likely another story. Been there, done that.

Just for old time's sake, Chris Durand, Ryan Funk and Michael Kaye -other former Blades on the University of Saskatchewan Huskies hockey team -will add their tuition's worth when Wintoneak comes to town tonight as the newest member of the Calgary Dinos.

"It'll be interesting," said Wintoneak. "It'll be an ex-Blades alumni game pretty much. It'll be fun.

"I've been talking to Hulak throughout most of the year. We talk back and forth. No (trash) yet, but there definitely will be -both ways."

Saskatchewan (11-7-0) plays host to Calgary (11-6-2) in a Canada West conference series. Game time is 7 p.m. tonight and Saturday at Rutherford Rink.

Despite playing just five games since joining the Dinos after Christmas, Wintoneak has four goals and five assists for nine points.

"I'm doing OK," he said of his instant success in Canadian Interuniversity Sport. "I just had help from playing down south in the Central League. I was on the ice for pretty much all of December. The (CIS) guys were off since the end of November. The extra three weeks helped."

Hulak has one goal and two assists for three points in four games since joining the Dogs at Christmas.

"It's going to be a little different," Hulak said when asked about playing against his former Blades linemate. "We did it a little bit in the Central League, but it's always weird when you play against somebody you used to play with. You think about it after the game or a little bit during the day, but come game time, you're playing another team and you've got no friends on the ice.

"He's definitely a guy we've got to key on. He's a tremendous player. He's always been underrated. I had the privilege of not only playing with him, but also on the same line as him. I've got nothing but great things to say about the guy. He's a great guy, one of my best friends, and he's a heck of a hockey player."

Both players were toiling in minor pro this season, but neither had an American Hockey League contract and the financial security that goes with it. So they elected to make use of the generous Western Hockey League scholarship program at the CIS level.

Wintoneak, a native of Thunder Bay, Ont., chose Calgary over both his former hometown and his more recent town, Saskatoon.

"Lakehead (University in Thunder Bay) was interested because, obviously, I'm from there; I was thinking about Saskatoon since I had been playing junior there," said Wintoneak. "But I've got a lot of friends out (in Calgary). I like the program. They've got Cory Cross and Brad Isbister as assistant coaches and with their help and (head coach) Mark (Howell) just wanted to let

me know that this wasn't the end of my career, that you can always move on. I thought they'd maybe be the best for me to move on to the next level after my (CIS) career is done."

Howell says Wintoneak's addition has been huge, as has Aaron Richards, a former Dinos captain who has been cleared to play the second half.

"It's added a lot of depth," Howell said. "We had the (Reid) Jorgensen line with (Brock) Nixon and (Torrie) Wheat to start the year. I think teams could really key on those guys. This gives us two (scoring lines), but our third line has more opportunities to generate offence, too."

While a two-game sweep of league leading Alberta Golden Bears was big for Calgary last weekend, this weekend "could be just as big or even more because if we don't keep it up, last weekend becomes a waste pretty fast," said Wintoneak.

"UBC is right on everybody's tails, trying to get in. Same with Lethbridge. This weekend will be pretty big for both teams."

Funk, a rookie defenceman with the U of S, relishes the chance to play against an old teammate.

"I haven't talked to (Wintoneak) and I'm not sure if Derek has, but I wouldn't be surprised if he has," said Funk. "It'll be interesting. It'll be fun.

"That's the great thing about hockey. You can be great friends off the ice, but on the ice you have that respect for each other, but you still battle hard against each other."

Said Hulak: "It's a huge weekend. We all realize that. We just want to accept whatever roles we have and do whatever we can to help the team win."

For Wintoneak, this won't be his first time at Rutherford.

"I went last year actually to watch a game," he said.

Probably with Hulak.


Canada opened with a 2-1 shootout victory over Finland on Thursday at the Winter Universiade women's hockey competition in Erzurum, Turkey.

Finland scored first and held the lead until Marieve Provost of the University of Moncton scored with one minute and 29 seconds to play in the third period. In the shootout, University of Western Ontario's Ellie Seedhouse scored on Canada's fifth attempt.

Breanne George of the University of Saskatchewan Huskies is playing with Canada.

Canada plays Slovakia today.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Blackhawks/Oilers to invade Bridge City

The Credit Union Centre and Saskatoon Blades in association with The Chicago Blackhawks are pleased to announce that Chicago will host one of their pre-season home games in Saskatoon on September 20, 2011 at 7:00 pm. The exhibition game will be against the Edmonton Oilers

This year’s game will feature the 2010 Stanley Cup Champions, Chicago Blackhawks, against the young, exciting Edmonton Oilers. Chicago’s visit will mark the first appearance of a regular six team to Saskatoon.

“The Edmonton Oilers look forward to returning to Saskatoon for a match-up against Chicago,” said Steve Tambellini, the General Manager of the Edmonton Oilers. “ We know we have a lot of Oiler fans in Saskatchewan and are excited to play Chicago in Saskatoon.” Both teams expressed how excited they are to bring the game to Saskatoon, a city so passionate about hockey.

Hockey operations staff from both teams spoke at the press conference this afternoon via conference call. Including, Steve Tambellini, Edmonton Oilers General Manager, and Kevin Cheveldayoff, Assistant General Manager of the Chicago Blackhawks. Cheveldayoff explained that he has already been approached by players with roots in the Western Hockey League that stated they are definitely playing in this exhibition game.

Tickets will go on sale this week, with the first pre-sale going to Saskatoon Blades season ticket holders tomorrow, January 27th. After which, tickets will be opened up to all other pre-sale outlets, including the Blades E-blast. To sign up and get your pre-sale information go to Pre-sale tickets include a ticket to the Blades home-opener in September.

The general public can purchase tickets on February 4, 2011 at 10:00 a.m. Ticket prices are $37.50 to $97.50 (plus service charges) and are available through all Ticketmaster outlets, online at and by calling (306) 938-7800 or 1-800-970-7328.

Huskies fall one spot in bye week

(regular season record) / votes (first-place votes) / (previous rankings)

1. UNB (17-4-0) / 178 pts (16) / (1)
2. McGill (21-0-2) / 156 (2) / (2)
3. Western Ontario (17-1-4) / 130 / (4)
4. Alberta (13-5-2) / 126 / (3)
5. Saint Mary’s (13-7-1) / 104 / (5)
6. UPEI (12-6-3) / 82 / (7)
7. Saskatchewan (11-7-0) / 60 / (6) *
8. Manitoba (10-4-4) / 60 / (8) *
9. Calgary (11-6-2) / 34 / (NR)
10. Lakehead (14-7-1) / 21 / (10)

* Saskatchewan was awarded the higher ranking over Manitoba based on number of higher-placed votes. Other teams receiving votes: Acadia (13), StFX (12), UQTR (10), Nipissing (3), Carleton (1).

Blades #3 in CHL

MO CHL MasterCard Top 10 Rankings – Week 18


Team (Record)

Last Week Rank

Number of Weeks Ranked


Saint John Sea Dogs (38-5-1-2)




Mississauga St. Michael's Majors (34-8-0-2)




Saskatoon Blades (35-10-0-2)




Montreal Juniors (33-7-4-3)




Quebec Remparts (34-10-1-2)




Red Deer Rebels (32-12-1-4)




Saginaw Spirit (31-11-3-1)




Niagara IceDogs (29-11-2-3)




Drummondville Voltigeurs (31-12-5-1)




Portland Winterhawks (32-14-0-3)



Honourable Mention:

Ottawa 67's (29-15-1-1)



Spokane Chiefs (29-12-4-2)



Gatineau Olympiques (30-13-2-3)



Monday, January 24, 2011

Monday morning water cooler

The engins are up running here at the MMWC but I gotta admit it was pretty nice to shut it down for the weekend.

My BlackBerry went dead sometime early Saturday and I never bothered to charge it. Leaving the phone off for a couple days is one of the most relaxing things you can do. It's on now though and there is a bit of a weekend recap to come.


Great to see that 7,646 took in Brayden Schenn's debut with the Saskatoon Blades on Saturday night. The Bridge City Bunch knocked off the Calgary Hitmen 5-1 with Schenn picking up a single assist.

That attendance figure topped the WHL for the weekend and I hope it continues. The Blades are a top notch product on the ice and it's time the city realized it.


The Saskatchewan Huskies men's hockey team was idol over the weekend and as a result dropped from 2nd into a tie for 4th in Canada West.

The Alberta Golden Bears were swept in a weekend series for the first time since 2008. The Dinos beat the Bears 3-2 and 1-0 in a home and home and now sit in a tie for 2nd place in Canada West and are just 4 points back of Alberta.

The team the Dinos are tied with is the Manitoba Bisons who swept the Lethbridge Pronghorns over the weekend. UBC also completed a weekend sweep over Regina keeping their slim playoff hopes alive.

So here's how the Canada West standings break down as of Monday morning.

Team - Points - (games remaining)
Alberta 28 (8)
Calgary 24 (9)
Manitoba 24 (10)
Saskatchewan 22 (10)
UBC 22 (8)
Lethbridge 18 (9)
Regina 13 (8)

Here's the remaining teams the Huskies face in order: Calgary, UBC, Alberta, Lethbridge, Manitoba.

It'll be a big weekend at Rutherford this weekend when the Dinos are in town. Games go at 7:00pm both nights. Plan your weekend accordingly.


There's a battle raging between TSN and Sportsnet or CTV Globe Media and Rogers.

Earlier last week Rogers outbid TSN for the services of Damien Cox who joins the team at Sportsnet and The Fan 590. Cox leaves his post at TSN's The Reporters and word is that Sportsnet is working on launching a similar program on their network of stations.

Following the Cox announcment it was said that Mike Richards was leaving his post as morning man at Calgary's The Fan 960. He was snatched up by TSN to run the morning airwaves in Toronto on TSN's new sports radio station that is set to launch in the near future.

It's been in my head for sometime now and I've said it on more than one occasion that Saskatchewan needs sports talk radio and you would have to think that it's only a matter of time now.

I mean the hype around the Riders is big ticket stuff and would attract most of the attention but imagine the expanded coverage of local sports including university athletics.

Dare to dream.


I admire the way the Jets came out and made a game of it in the second half last night in Pittsburg. They never should have been down by so much at the half but they stormed back. Some questionable play calling in the fourth quarter may have cost them their chance but I'm happy to say I was a Jets fan for the past month.

As far as the Super Bowl goes it's hard to bet against the Packers the way Aaron Rodgers is playing but I think I'll be in the Steelers corner in two weeks but I am not 100% decided yet.


If you follow tennis at all you will likely have been tuned into the Australian Open and been captivated by an unseeded Canadian making his mark.

Milos Raonic finally ran out of magic and upsets down under. The Canadian saw his run come to an end early Monday after he lost out in the fourth round to No. 7 seed David Ferrer.

I believe at some point during the Open John McEnroe said that Raonic is the next big thing in tennis. If it's true then it's great news for this country.


Former Saskatoon Blades goaltender Braden Holtby is enjoying some success in the NHL. The 21 year old Holtby was in net when his Washington Capitals knocked off the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-1 on Saturday night.

Another former Blades goaltender, Anton Khudobin, is enjoying success in Minnesota's system. Khudobin has played in four games with the NHL's Wild going 2-1 with a 1.59 GAA and a .940 sv % including one shutout. He's 13-9-1 in the American league with a 2.51 GAA and a .913 %.


That's all for this morning. Enjoy the week!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Richards to leave Calgary

We regrettably announce that Mike Richards has resigned from Sportsnet Radio – FAN 960.

Richards is returning to Toronto effective immediately to continue his career and be with his wife and son.

Sportsnet Radio – FAN 960 would like to thank Mike Richards for his over six years of great humor, creativity and radio within Calgary and its surrounding areas. We sincerely wish him well in his future endeavors.

Here's the news release:

Big weekend in Canada West hockey

While the University of Saskatchewan Huskies enjoy their final weekend off of the season they will take great interest in what is happening on the ice around Canada West.

One province West the Calgary Dinos and Alberta Golden Bears hook up for a home and home series that will be the highlight of the weekend. Two of the elite teams in Canada West hook up tonight in Edmonton and Saturday night in Calgary. If I'm not mistaken, Dustin Nielsen of The Team 1260 in Edmonton will have the webcast of tonight's game online.

The Dinos trail the Huskies by 2 points for 2nd place in Canada West but have one game in hand. I would think a split would be the order of business setting up a critical weekend series at the end of the month in Saskatoon.

On the flip side, the Huskies are still in a position to catch the Bears for first place trailing by just 6 points. After this weekend the Huskies will have a pair of games in hand on Alberta.

Here's Gateway sports writer Evan Daum's take on the Bears from his South Campus Sports blog:

It's hard to say that a season is defined by a weekend series in January, but for me that's what this weekend against Calgary is for the Alberta Golden Bears. Splitting their last four series hasn't been good enough, and while the rest of the conference has improved, the Bears have not.

I think the weekend series that may be the most important for the teams involved is the series in Winnipeg.

The Lethbridge Pronghorns will be in Manitoba to take on the Bisons for a pair of games beginning Friday. Manitoba has a slip 2 point lead for the final playoff spot over the Horns and hold a game in hand so this 2 game set should be a big one.

Lethbridge just took 3 of a possible 4 points last weekend against Alberta and this this team is in a position to enter the playoff picture. Let's also note that the Bisons trail Saskatchewan by just 2 points with two games in hand. Those games in hand get used up this weekend and they need to make them count.

UBC will take on Regina in the other weekend set and with UBC 4 points back of the Huskies and just 2 points back of a playoff spot they could enter the picture although both Manitoba and Calgary have games in hand and after the weekend so will the Huskies.

It'll be interesting to see what takes place and what the scenario is come next weekend when the Huskies get back on the ice.

I'll be following the CW picture here on the blog and also over on twitter at

Thursday, January 20, 2011

UBC goalie get's the call

VANCOUVER - Like every hockey player growing up in Canada, UBC netminder Jordan White always dreamed of playing in the NHL. Tonight, as an emergency back-up for the San Jose Sharks, he is going to realize that dream.

White, of Surrey, B.C., is in his second year with the T-Birds and is the the squad's no. 1 goalie. He's started every conference game for UBC in 2010-11 and has a record of 7-7-4 with a 3.51 GAA and .876 save percentage.

He got the news on Thursday as he was preparing for practice around noon, getting called into UBC head coach Milan Dragicevic's office before the team was about to hit the ice for their final tune-up leading into their weekend series against the Regina Cougars.

"Coach called me into his office and told me the situation. At first, I was just trying to put it into perspective. You've heard about these stories on TV or in the papers and I'm looking forward to the experience and taking it for what it is," said White.

Due to league rules, White had to sign all the paperwork before 2:00 p.m. In order to meet these deadlines, he actually had to step off the ice during practice to get everything in order before returning to finish practice.

UBC, who are in the midst of a jam packed playoff race in the Canada West, will be relying on White for a big weekend against the Cougars.

"Tonight can only help and is a great learning experience. I'm going to see how the best professionals in the world work their trade. Hopefully I can take a couple of pointers so I can be prepared for our games this weekend," said White, who is set to start for the T-Birds on Friday.

White is the second UBC goalie to earn a call up to the NHL, with Chris Levesque earning the honour with the Vancouver Canucks back on December 9, 2003.

Unlike Levesque, tonight White will be sitting across from his hometown and favourite team but he's ready for that challenge.

"I can be a Canucks fan every other night but tonight's I'm going to rooting for the guys on the bench with me," added White.

Shenn to play Saturday

Blades recently acquired player, Brayden Schenn, set to play on Saturday

The Blades acquired 2011 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship MVP and Top Forward, Brayden Schenn, from the Brandon Wheat Kings on the trade deadline: January 10, 2011.

Schenn has missed four games since joining the Blades due to a shoulder injury he sustained at the WJHC. He is now cleared to play and is expected in Saturday’s line-up when the Blades take on the Calgary Hitmen at 7:05 in the Credit Union Centre.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

CHL Top Prospects skills competition results

Team Orr opened the 2011 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects festivities with a thrilling 12-11 win in the Skills Competition Tuesday night at Air Canada Centre in Toronto.

Doug Gilmour's crew fought back from a 5-3 deficit following the first four skills events of the evening to rally to an 11-11 tie in the three-on-three challenge before winning the contest 12-11 in a shootout. Sven Bartschi of the Portland Winterhawks scored the shootout winner.

Team Cherry's Tomas Jurco of the Saint John Sea Dogs and Team Orr's Ryan Nugent-Hopkins of the Red Deer Rebels dazzled fans with their amazing shootout skills in the Showdown Breakaway Challenge. Nugent-Hopkins led after the opening round with a score of 37 out of a possible 40 points on two attempts before Jurco posted an impressive 39 points in the event's final round to clinch the individual win in the evening's marquee event.

The Skills Competition got underway with the Fastest Skater event that saw Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds' forward Daniel Catenacci of Team Orr win with an individual best lap time of 14.017 seconds.

The Hardest Shot contest followed and it was Team Cherry's Myles Bell of the Regina Pats that stole the show with a 98.4 mile per hour blast for the win.

In the Shooting Accuracy event, four of the eight participants managed to hit all four targets but it was Team Cherry's Matthew Puempel of the Peterborough Petes that did it the fastest using just five shots to break all four targets.

Team Cherry will look to rebound in Wednesday's game that gets underway at 7:00 pm Eastern on Rogers Sportsnet and RDS.

Tickets are still available for the 2011 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game Wednesday night beginning at $40 and can be purchased or by calling 416-872-5000.

The 2011 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game is supported by associate sponsors Bank of Montreal, Subway, and CCM.

Complete Skills Competition results:

Skill 1 – Fastest Skater

Team Orr:

Dougie Hamilton, Niagara IceDogs (20.231)

Shane McColgan, Kelowna Rockets (15.729)

Nathan Beaulieu, Saint John Sea Dogs (14.695)

Daniel Catenacci, Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (14.017) - One goal

Team Orr Average: 16.168 seconds

Team Cherry:

Ryan Murphy, Kitchener Rangers (14.197)

Mark McNeill, Prince Albert Raiders (14.132)

Tobias Rieder, Kitchener Rangers (14.068)

Rickard Rakell, Plymouth Whalers (14.767)

Team Cherry Average: 14.291 seconds - One goal

Skill 2 – Hardest Shot

Team Orr:

David Musil, Vancouver Giants (94.2)

Stuart Percy, Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors (89.7)

Vincent Trocheck, Saginaw Spirit (92.4)

Reece Scarlett, Swift Current Broncos (86.9)

Team Orr Average: 90.8 mph

Team Cherry:

Myles Bell, Regina Pats (98.4) - One goal

Scott Harrington, London Knights (90.9)

Duncan Siemens, Saskatoon Blades (92.4)

Tyler Wotherspoon, Portland Winterhawks (89.5)

Team Cherry Average: 92.8 mph - One goal

Skill 3 – Shooting Accuracy

Team Orr:

Lucas Lessio, Oshawa Generals (1-8)

Zack Phillips, Saint John Sea Dogs (4-6)

Boone Jenner, Oshawa Generals (3-8)

Colin Jacobs, Seattle Thunderbirds (4-7)

Team Orr Total Targets: (12-29) - One goal

Team Cherry:

Sean Couturier, Drummondville Voltigeurs (0-8)

Matthew Puempel, Peterborough Petes (4-5) - One goal

Shane Prince, Ottawa 67’s (4-7)

Phillip Danault, Victoriaville Tigres (2-8)

Team Cherry Total Targets: (10-28)

Skill 4 – Show-Down Breakaway Contest

Team Orr:

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Red Deer Rebels (37)

Brandon Saad, Saginaw Spirit (31)

Sven Bartschi, Portland Winterhawks (35)

Vladislav Namestnikov, London Knights (26)

Jonathan Huberdeau, Saint John Sea Dogs (33)

Xavier Ouellet, Montreal Juniors (28)

Team Orr Average Score: (31.67) - One goal

Team Cherry:

Ty Rattie, Portland Winterhawks (26)

Tomas Jurco, Saint John Sea Dogs (35) - 39 in the final round - One goal

Nicklas Jensen, Oshawa Generals (32)

Ryan Strome, Niagara IceDogs (28)

Mark Scheifele, Barrie Colts (28)

Joe Morrow, Portland Winterhawks (27)

Team Cherry Average Score: (29.33)

For more information about the event please

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Sask Sport announces award finalists

Sask Sport Inc. today announced the finalists and recipients for the Saskatchewan Sport Awards, which include the 2010 Athlete of the Year Awards, Saskatchewan Coaching Awards, and Saskatchewan Volunteer Recognition Awards. New to this year’s awards ceremony is the Officials’ Awards.

The Saskatchewan Sport Awards are held annually by Sask Sport Inc. to celebrate the outstanding achievements of Saskatchewan amateur athletes and those individuals who provide their support so these athletes can achieve their goals. This year, the committee received 88 nominations for the various award categories.

“Our province is home to many talented athletes who excel at the regional, national and international levels, and this is our opportunity to recognize them for their accomplishments. Our athletes are supported by a vast network of coaches, officials and volunteers and we want thank them for their contributions to our amateur sport system,” said Audra Young, Sask Sport Inc. President.

The finalists for the Athlete of the Year Awards are:

• Russell Hart, Regina, Saskatchewan Rowing Association
• Mike Vincent, Regina, Canoe Kayak Saskatchewan
• Hylke van der Wal, Dalmeny, Saskatchewan Athletics

Youth - Male:
• Jarret Kenke, Saskatoon, Canoe Kayak Saskatchewan
• Michael Qing, Regina, Swim Saskatchewan Inc., and Special Olympics
• Sam Valentine, Saskatoon, Dive Sask

Youth - Female:

• Emily Schann, Saskatoon, Judo Saskatchewan
• Renae Barks, Regina, Saskatchewan Rowing Association
• Jessica Campbell, Melville, Saskatchewan Hockey Association

• Ben Hebert, Regina, Regina Sport District Inc.
• Lucas Makowsky, Regina, Saskatchewan Amateur Speed Skating Association
• Jordan Eberle, Regina, Saskatchewan Hockey Association

• Colette Bourgonje, Prince Albert, Saskatchewan Wheelchair Sports Association
• Colleen Sostorics, Kennedy, Southeast Connection Sport, Culture and Recreation
Kaylyn Kyle, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan Soccer Association


University of Saskatchewan Huskie Men’s Basketball Team Huskie Athletics
• Team Saskatchewan Male – National Aboriginal Hockey Championships Saskatchewan Hockey Association
• Saskatoon Hilltops, Football Saskatchewan

The recipients of the Volunteer Recognition Award, Coaching Awards, and Officials’ Awards are:

Volunteer Recognition Awards:
• Thomas Victor (TV) Taylor, Warman, Judo Saskatchewan
• Jennifer Ellarma, Kindersley, Special Olympics Saskatchewan

Coach of the Year Award:

• Dean McGarry, Lloydminster, Judo Saskatchewan

Coach Dedication Awards – Male and Female:
• Frank McCrystal, Regina, University of Regina Athletics
• Brenda Bennett, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan Baton Twirling Association

Officials’ Awards – Male and Female:
• Blake Lyons, Outlook, Saskatchewan Athletics Association
• Arleen Day, Silton, Saskatchewan Curling Association

Guest speaker will be philanthropist, motivator and former NHL coach, Ted Nolan. The success Nolan has had coaching is substantial, and his accomplishments outside of hockey are equally impressive

The Saskatchewan Sport Awards will be held Thursday, April 7th at TCU Place in Saskatoon. Tickets for the evening are available for $75 each, or $600 for a table of eight. To purchase tickets, phone 975-0800 in Saskatoon or 780-9300 in Regina, or online at

Event sponsors include Global TV, McMaster Photographers, Canadian Sport Centre Saskatchewan, the Coaches Association of Saskatchewan and Saskatchewan Lotteries. Proceeds from the event will support the Sport Legacy Fund’s Future Best Program, which assists the next generation of Saskatchewan’s national team athletes.

Huskies move up in CIS top 10

previous ranking ( )

1. UNB (1)
2. McGill (3)
3. Alberta (2)
4. Western Ontario (5)
5. Saint Mary’s (4)
6. Saskatchewan (7)
7. UPEI (6)
8. Manitoba (9)
9. StFX (NR)
10. Lakehead (8)


In other CIS Top 10's released Tuesday, the Huskie men's basketball team holds steady at #3 in the country and the women remain the top team in the nation at #1.

The women's hockey team remains outside the top 10 this week.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Monday morning water cooler

*EDIT: Apparently the MMWC didn't post correctly this morning so here it is now.

Good morning and welcome back to the MMWC. Hope you have a great week!


I just got back inside from shoveling snow this morning. It's now the third time I shoveled snow this weekend! I don't mind though. I kinda like shoveling snow on a real nice sunny winter morning.


The University of Saskatchewan Huskies men's hockey team earned a split in their weekend series with the Manitoba Bisons. Lucky for the Huskies, so too did Alberta and Calgary.

Saskatchewan remains six points back of first place Alberta and just two points up on both Calgary and Manitoba. The team now enters an off week before hosting the Dinos at the end of the month.


Former Saskatoon Blade Walker Wintoneak has been impressive thus far for the Dinos in his rookie season. This past weekend Wintoneak netted 4 goals and 2 assists in their two games with UBC.


With Alberta struggling with inconsistent play out of the gate in 2011 I think the title of top team in Canada West goes to either Saskatchewan or Calgary although neither team was able to outright earn that title this past weekend. It should be some series at the end of the month when Calgary comes to town.


Sticking with the Huskies, the men's basketball team exploded for 121 points in their win over Manitoba on Saturday.

The 121 points is the most scored by one team in one game in Canadian Interuniversity Sport history.


I am a huge fan of Rex Ryan and the New York Jets.

I'm a Titans fan by trade and make no mistake they are my team in the NFL but I'm 100% on the Jets bandwagon right now. I credit HBO's Hard Knocks for placing me in the Jets corner. If you haven't seen the series I suggest looking for it.

The personalities in that organization are a breathe of fresh air. Yes, Rex Ryan is a complete buffoon but I think that's what draws people in. It's must see tv and I've watched it a few times now.


The shut-out streak of Whiecourt Wolverines goaltender Jordan Panasiuk has garnered some national media attention.

Panasiuk plays for the Wolverines in the North West Junior Hockey League, a Junor B hockey league in north west Alberta and north east BC.

He has turned in 8 straight doughnuts and was looking for number 9 this past weekend but due to transportation issues the game against Fort St. John was postponed.

We'll keep an eye on it here at the MMWC.


I had a bit of a delemma on Saturday night. I had tickets to the Saskatoon Blades game against Swift Current but also had plans on attending the Huskies game against Manitoba.

I opted for the Blades game and what do you know? They lose in regulation at home for only the 2nd time all year.

I was pleased to hear the announced attendance of 8,487 for Minor Hockey Night. There is no reason for the Blades not to average 6,000 fans a night at the CUC. They're the best product in the WHL and it's about time that the city realizes that it's quality entertainment for the whole family.

I hope the acquisition of Brayden Schenn will spark some interest. We'll find out when the Blades play their next home game on Saturday night.


My prediction for Saturday's Leafs/Flames game was almost perfect. I was growling when discussing the Leafs and Flames over some Sportscentre highlights a few weeks ago when both teams were struggling offensively. I joked that when they play it would likely be 0-0 into a shootout and take 15 shooters a side to score a goal.

There was no scoring until late in the third and it went 1-1 into a shootout before the Flames won.


The Rider Pride Hockey Challenge kicked off in Unity on Saturday afternoon. Some of the Riders playing included Jason Clermont, Chris Getzlaf and Shomari Williams.

I was on my way out to Unity to call the game for Access 7 but was forced to turn back due to bad road conditions. The Clarion's Josh Lewis got 20 minutes down the road before turning back as well. At this point I'm still not sure if Access made it out to tape the game or not. Either way check your local listings to see if it will be on an Access station near you.

The tour continues this weekend in Nipawin and then in Weyburn in mid-February.


I'll leave you with this link Tweeted by C95's Rambling Dave. How to eat a watermellon:

Have a great week!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Huskies 5 Bisons 2 recap plus thoughts

Didn't attend tonight's game as I had tickets to take in the Saskatoon Blades and Swift Current Broncos at CUC but I'm wishing I would have. Here's the game story courtesy the Huskies website:

An Andrew Bailey hat trick led the University of Saskatchewan Huskies to a 5-2 victory over the visiting University of Manitoba Bisons Saturday night in Saskatoon’s Rutherford Rink.
The second-year forward notched goals at 7:00 in the first period, 6:10 in the second and 18:48 in the third period for the hat trick.

With the win the Huskies move to 11-7 on the season, while the Bisons drop to 8-4-4. The Huskies are two points up on the Bisons in the Canada West standings after the series split – Manitoba won 5-3 Friday night. The Bisons have two games in hand on the Huskies.

Bailey’s first goal opened the scoring in the game. Kyle Bortis, who has scored six goals in his last four games, made the Huskies’ lead 2-0 at 18:29 in the first. Bailey added a his team’s third goal on the power play, before Manitoba’s Blair Macaulay scored at 11:52. Before the period was out, Riley Dudar brought the Bisons within one goal when he beat Huskie goaltender David Reekie at 18:46 in the second period.

Not wanting to give the lead away – the Huskies were up 3-0 before losing 5-3 on Friday – Cody Hobbs gave his team an insurance goal at 10:19 in the third period. Bailey scored his team’s final goal at 18:48 in the empty net.

Reekie made 25 saves for the Huskies, while Steve Christie stopped 26 for the Bisons. Saskatchewan went 1-6 on the power play, while Manitoba failed to capitalize on their three chances with the man advantage.

The Huskies will take a week of rest with a bye, while Manitoba returns home to host the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns next weekend.


It was a PERFECT night for the U of S Huskies hockey team. Alberta lost 4-2 to Lethbridge while Calgary was dropped 5-3 by UBC. So here's the Canada West standings following tonight's play:

Alberta 13-3-228L1
Saskatchewan 11-7-022W1
Calgary 9-6-220L1
Manitoba 8-4-420L1
Lethbridge 7-6-418W1
UBC 7-7-418W1
Regina 6-12-012L2
So with the win Saskatchewan is just 6 points back of the conference leading Alberta Golden Bears while both Calgary (1 game in hand) and Manitoba (2 games in hand) are two back of Saskatchewan for 2nd.

Here are a couple quick observations as I watch Hockey Night in Canada on my PVR tonight:

-Imagine if the Huskies had hung on to their 3 goal lead on Friday night? They'd be just 4 points back of first with a big weekend coming up between Alberta and Saskatchewan in February.

-The Golden Bears are moving in the wrong direction. Right now they are NOT the best team in Canada West. In my opinion that title goes to one of Saskatchewan and Calgary.

-We can possibly decide that title in a couple weeks as the Dinos visit Rutherford at the end of the month. That will be the next time the Huskies hit the ice as they now begin their final off week of the season.

-Kyle Bortis now has 6 goals in his last four games to lead the Huskies offensively. Imagine how good this team can be if some of their other offensive weapons get hot?

-Some time ago watching Sportscentre I mentioned that both the Leafs (my team if you didn't know) and Flames were so bad at that moment that when the two teams meet it'll be 0-0 and take roughly 15 shooters a piece in the shootout to finish the game. Don't look know but it's 0-0 through 40 minutes as I watch on my pvr.

I'm going to finish this game and head to bed. I'll chat with you at the water cooler Monday morning. Have a great Sunday. GO JETS!

Broncos 3 Blades 2


In front of the Blades second largest crowd of 8,487 on Hockey Day in Saskatchewan/Minor Hockey Night, the Blades and Broncos finished up the back end of a home-and-home series. Last night Blades kept the lead all night and came away with a 5-2 win in Swift. Tonight the Broncos had the upper-hand and won 3-2.

The Broncos took their turn tonight with the first period lead after Assistant, Brad Hoban, scored the lone goal of the first frame on an unsuspecting Adam Morrison. He slipped the puck in the left corner of the net only 5 minutes in.

In the second frame, WHL Player of the Week, Stefan Elliott, scored to tie the game at 1-1. 20-year-old Marek Viedensky notched an assist on the goal; his 30th of the season. The Broncos took the lead back after right-winger Dillon Wagner scored. Taylor Vause put the Broncos ahead by two with a sharp-angled powerplay goal in the last 4.1 seconds of play. The Broncos entered the dressing room after 40 minutes of play with a 3-1 lead.

Steven Stanford took over in the Blades net for the third period of play. The goaltending change tonight was the third time the team has switched goaltenders mid-game this week. Darian Dziurzynski scored to draw the Blades back within one, but it was not enough. Goaltender, Steven Stanford, was pulled in the final minute of play but even with the extra attacker the Blades could not find their way past the Broncos goaltender, Mark Friesen. Tonight the Blades were dealt their second regulation loss at Credit Union Centre and also saw their 11-game home winning streak snapped.

Blades Banter

***Levi Bews, Ryan Olsen, Curtis Hamilton and Brayden Schenn were all recognized with plaques tonight for their contributions to World Juniors. Stefan Elliott was also named Heinrich’s Jewellers Player of the Month.

***Dziurzynski now leads the team with 22 goals.

***The Jersey raffle has yet to be claimed,

I'm goin to Unity

I'm headed to Unity this afternoon to take in game one of the Rider Pride Hockey Challenge. I'll have the call on Access 7 Sports which you will be able to see on Access 7 in the coming weeks. Staff

Despite the cold, several members of the Saskatchewan Roughriders have been hitting the outdoor rinks this week in preparation for game one of the Rider Pride Hockey Challenge presented by SaskCanola.

The tour kicks off Saturday, January 15 in Unity, SK where Rider players and staff will take on the Unity All-star Selects in a charity hockey game set for 2:45 pm at the Unity Arena. An autograph session will take place from 1-2 pm inside the facility as well.

Adult tickets are $10 and children are $5. Tickets are available at the door. All proceeds to benefit Unity Minor Hockey.

Rider fans in the province's northwest can expect to see players such as slotbacks Chris Getzlaf and Jason Clermont, as well as fullback Neal Hughes and defensive lineman Shomari Williams, among others, toss aside their cleats for skates on Saturday afternoon.

"The entire town is just so excited for the team's arrival," said co-organizer Michael Soloski. "It means a ton to the community for the team to come up here. This will help our fundraising efforts immensely."

Following the hockey game, a banquet will take place upstairs at the arena, where various silent auction items and a live auction will occur.

"We have some great items and it's all for a good cause, so we're encouraging fans to come on out and support the community," said Soloski.

The Rider Pride Hockey Challenge presented by SaskCanola continues next weekend in Nipawin and then in Weyburn in mid-February. Visit often for updates, photos and videos from the tour.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Bisons 5 Huskies 3

Darren Dupont
January 14th, 2011

The toughest lead to hold onto in hockey has quickly become the three goal lead.

The University of Manitoba Bisons scored five unanswered goals to earn a come from behind 5-3 win at Rutherford Rink Friday night. The Manitoba win creates a three way tie for second place in Canada West.

Jordan Cyr, Kyle Howarth, Blair Macaulay and Jared Walker (2) each found the back of the net for Manitoba in the second and third periods to erase the lead that the Huskies built just over twenty-three minutes into the hockey game.

Kyle Bortis continued his red hot play opening the scoring for the Huskies at the 9:55 mark of the opening period - Bortis had a pair of goals in each of the Huskies wins over Regina last weekend - and the Huskies lead 1-0 after the first.

Early in the second, just 34 seconds in fact, Steven DaSilva made it 2-0 and at the 3:22 mark Brennan Bosch would score on the power play to give the Huskies the 3-0 lead.

That would be all the offense the Huskies would be able to muster.

Cyr got the Bisons on the board at the 6:11 mark of the middle frame. Howarth cut the lead to just a single goal at 2:12 in the third and Macaulay tied the contest just past the midway point at 10:26. The Bisons weren't done there as Walker scored the go-ahead goal and eventual game winner less then two mintues later at the 12:14 mark with the extra man and then added an empty net goal with less then a minute left to play.

In the loss, Huskies goaltender David Reekie made 35 saves, while Steve Christie stopped 30 shots for the Bisons. Manitoba was 1-5 on the power play, while the Huskies were 1-3.

The Huskies and Bisons are back on the ice Saturday night at Rutherford Rink with puck-drop set for 7:00pm.


Around Canada West Friday night the Alberta Golden Bears came from behind to beat the Lethbridge Pronghorns 9-8 in overtime while Calgary knocked off UBC 7-2.

Saskatchewan's loss combined with Manitoba and Calgary wins creates a three way tie for second place in Canada West. Manitoba has two games in hand on the Huskies while the Dinos have a single game in hand on the U of S.

The tight race for home ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs continues on Saturday in an all important match-up at Rutherford Rink.

Blades 5 Broncos 2


The Saskatoon Blades rebounded from Wednesday's shootout loss in Regina by scoring three first period goals on the way to a 5-2 triumph Friday in Swift Current.

The game wasn't as lop-sided as the score might indicate as the Broncos surprised the Bridge City Bunch by ramping up their physical game in the latter stages of the first period and the beginning of the second. That allowed Swifty to score twice and close the score to 3-2...chasing starting Blades' goaltender Steven Stanford from the game. But, Adam Morrison came in and shut the door on the Broncos over the final 37 minutes while Saskatoon scored twice more to up their overall record to 33-9-2.

Darian Dziurzynski with two and singles from Josh Nicholls, Marek Viedensky and Chris Collins accounted for the Blades' scoring. Swift Current out-shot Saskatoon 35-34.

The same meet Saturday in the back-end of a home-and-home series at Credit Union Centre. It's Minor Hockey Night as part of Hockey Day in Saskatchewan with game time at 7:05 p.m. The broadcast on 92-9 THE BULL begins at 6:30.

Huskies game night: Manitoba


Manitoba vs. Saskatchewan

7 p.m., tonight, Saturday

Rutherford Rink

- - -

Given their apparent edge in size and their physical play, the University of Manitoba Bisons may be better suited for the smaller confines of the Rutherford Rink than the hometown Saskatchewan Huskies.

"I'm sure they're well-suited for their rink, but speaking about our team, one thing I like is that we're able to combine our speed and skill with the willingness to play a physical, gritty aggressive game," Bisons head coach Mike Sirant was saying Thursday as his men's hockey team hunkered down on the bus for the always gruelling trip from Winnipeg to Saskatoon.

"We're capable of adjusting to different rinks, whether it's the smaller ice surface of Rutherford or the larger ice surface of Max Bell (at the U of M)."

The Huskies have more skill than ever, a little more finesse than grit and more polish than spit. And it's working. The Huskies (10-6-0) have won four of their last five games and seven of their last nine. They are in second place, six points behind Alberta and two ahead of both Manitoba and Calgary.

While Manitoba (7-3-4) sports a 2-1-3 record away from home this season in the Canada West conference, the Bisons have won four of their last five games against the Huskies. Three of those wins came at Rutherford. Two of the victories propelled the Bisons over the Huskies in last year's league semifinal, sending Manitoba to the University Cup national tournament in Thunder Bay, Ont..

"It's a team that has come in here and they've had some success," said second-year U of S forward Kyle Bortis. "We've got to put an end to that. We've got to put a doubt in their mind that they can't come into our rink and win. Respect our opponent, but make sure we work hard and know what's at stake.

"We're in an OK position, but we can't be satisfied. We've got to keep pushing and pushing."

Push comes to shove is part of the growing rivalry between the Huskies and Bisons.

"It's always a special weekend when we play the Huskies," said Sirant.

"We're both trying to go for second place in our conference while still staying a close distance to Alberta. We have a real good balance on our team with our speed and our skill. We play a very up-tempo, high-pressure game both offensively and defensively. Also, our guys are willing to play solid defensively and be involved physically and sacrifice themselves, whether it's blocking shots or finishing checks."

Sirant has a relatively healthy lineup except for forward Ian Duval.

"We had quite a few longer-term injuries in the first half and most nights we played full games with only three lines," noted Sirant. "We now have the luxury of filling the whole 20-man roster and four lines."

One of the new faces in the Huskies' lineup is Derek Hulak, who gets his first taste of Bison meat this weekend.

"When you only play 14 games in the second half, every game is like a playoff game," said Hulak. "Every night is going to be a battle. We're real excited that we were able to pick up four points (last) weekend, but these points are just as important."