Saturday, April 28, 2007

It's the Tigers and Giants!

Checked out last night's game five between the Tigers and Hitmen. Great game, good pace. For the most part I thought Med Hat really took it to the Hitmen and deserved the o.t. win. Calgary stuck with them and made the most of their limited chances. All three Hitmen goals were on the powerplay.

It was LOUD in there last night - the loudest all year. It rivaled the noise during the Tigers championship run of a couple years back. The place went bananas after the Tyler Ennis game-winning goal. Nuts.

I ran into Voice of the Hitmen Brad Curle pre-game. He was looking for a colorman so I helped out. Brad is one of the best in the league and someone I've always tried to emulate. When I was in college in Lethbridge he was the voice of the Hurricanes. Brad is great at several things - he's surgeon-like in his call of the game. He's also not overly homerish. That's tough to do when you spend 7-8 months solid with a team. I would compare him to how Jim Hughson calls a Canucks game on CBC. Everyone knows he's a Vancouver guy and has been the voice of the Canucks yet he rarely shows it on the airwaves for the national network. Curle is no doubt one of the top two or three professionals in the league.

It was revealed after the game that Calgary top-scorer Ryan White broke his hand in game four while blocking a shot. He tried to play with a cast last night but couldn't do it. Brody Dupont also had a sprained ankle they were freezing before every game. Last night he didn't take the freezing but tried to play through it.

Calgary Hitmen goaltending coach Darcy Wakaluk is one intense guy. He was up in the booth with us and was reacting to every call (or missed call), every chance, every save. That was quite the treat for me to be up next with him. As people know I was/am a big Minnesota/Dallas fan. I used to watch Wakaluk battle through those intense NHL playoff games. I'll always remember how he closed his eyes and focused nearly every whistle.

Ran into Tigers over-age Derek Dorsett at the end of the game. The friend I travelled with (Terry Pavely) used to coach him with "AAA" Legionnaires here in town. He's playing through a separated shoulder. Apparently he wasn't supposed to play last night and begged Will Desjardins to get into the line-up. Will eventually gave him the green light. He was named the series MVP.

The Tigers were presented the MNP Eastern Conference Championship trophy last night. They called Tigers captain Kris Russell over to accept it. He came over for the obligatory picture but wanted no part of the trophy. Didn't touch it, nothing. He knows that parading around the rink with that trophy would have been the kiss of death. It's a long standing tradition. All of this while the Tiger fans chanted "We want the Cup", "We want the Cup".

Enough blogging for today....

Jon

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Will Desjardins is like a coaching god!

ernie said...

He has IT, that's for sure! Whatever IT is, he knows it. He works wonders.

Big Ern