Sorry for the delay in posting... I took in the Riders/B.C. game Saturday and did not return back to Swifty until this afternoon. Ryan has a recap of the Broncos/Warriors season opener over at http://www.ryanswitzer.blogspot.com/
I'm not sure I'm going to make it 72 games if all the endings are dramatic as the one Friday night. There may not be a more exciting finish for Bronco fans all season...although we still have 71 games ahead to try and top it.
A tying goal by Zack Smith with 1.2 seconds to play in the third period led to Matt Tassone's overtime winner giving the Broncos a 3-2 win at the Crushed Can. It was the first regular season win in Moose Jaw since the 05/06 season. The Broncos were 0/4 there last year.
It was a great ending to a game where the Broncos took over the last 40 minutes after Moose Jaw came out and played a strong first period putting them up a pair of goals.
I'm not going to get into the fights or point fingers or anything. Both teams are into the game and as a result those things happen. Just two teams going at it and no one worse for wear at the end of it. It's a long season, too long to start nit-picking the smaller details of the game.
I'm not sure on the status of R.J. Larochelle. He sustained a leg injury late in the 2nd period and did not return. He may or may not play this week, we'll see.
The Broncos head to Prince Albert to play the 0-2 Raiders Wednesday night.
It was quite the opening weekend in the WHL. Here's some of highlights and the low lights from what I've seen and heard.
- Kelowna blows a 5-2 lead late in the third period and loses to Tri City 6-5 in overtime.
- Regina opens the season with a 4-2 win in Prince Albert but lose 20 year-old import Kaspars Saulities for up to 2-3 months with a badly separated shoulder.
- Jusso Puustinen scored an unbelievable overtime winner in Kamloops to give the Blazers a 3-2 win over the visiting Seattle Thunderbirds. http://www.gdrinnan.blogspot.com/ . The goal is amazing. I've seen it on the archives and it is spectacular. Hey Seattle, look at the bright side, at least it didn't go to a shootout! Seattle was 0-11 in shootouts last season.
- Everett and Vancouver get into a nasty battle in the final minute of the game with the Giants up 5-2. Plenty of fights and penalties and nasty words exchanged.
- The expansion Edmonton Oil Kings sweep highly rated Kootenay in a home and home set including a 6-3 in Cranbrook Saturday night.
- Lethbridge rallies for a big come from behind win on opening night to beat the defending WHL champs in the Medicine Hat Tigers 4-3 in OT.
- The surprising Brandon Wheat Kings open the season with two dominating wins over the Saskatoon Blades including a 6-1 win Saturday at Saskatoon's Credit Union Center.
I won't even get into details about the Rider game Saturday vs B.C. I was not impressed with the Riders use of the clock when they had the ball and the lead late in the 4th. I counted six or seven occasions when the Riders broke the huddle with 18-20 seconds left on the playclock and then snapping the ball with 7-9 seconds remaining.
When you have the ball and the lead the clock is you're friend. So B.C. scores the winning TD with 35 seconds left. The Riders could have bled at least 1:30 more on the clock if they would have been using it properly. You do the math.
We may be a good football province but I'm surprised at how much we actually don't know the rules of the game. My section at the game (27) the last two Rider games has been filled with fans who don't know the rules. Of course they are always the loudest. Oh well, they had a good time for 59:30 of the game.
It wasn't a good football weekend for the Comp Colts either. The local high school team was bombed 42-0 by MJ Peacock. Looks like it's back to the drawing board.
Kudos to S.C. Minor Football for battling through terrible conditions this afternoon in Swifty. I officiated the 4:30pm bantam game and a driving rain and strong winds. The kids played through it and got a little dirty. That's football.