Saturday, March 31, 2007

See ya Sunday!

There is nothing more exciting than extending your season.

Last night, with their backs against the wall, the Broncos came out with a huge effort to send the series back home for game six Sunday with a 3-2 win.

For the Bronco fans in attendance, they relished this victory, big time. What a showing by our fans in Regina everybody. I'm proud. This is what small market junior hockey is all about! This is what seperates from the pack.

Loud throughout the game, the Bronco fan base took their efforts into the parking lot postgame. It was like a scene from the movie "Slapshot". All the players were greeted with cheers, high fives and hugs as they packed-up the bus following a gritty effort which saw them hold off the Pats the entire 3rd period. The fans were loving it. And I can tell you this, so was the team.

"How awesome is this!?" said one of the Broncos as he made his way onto the bus through the maze of fans. "This is unreal!" said another as he passed by with a grin that made me think to myself "this is why you play the game". Our fans were great, plain and simple. GREAT.

I was impressed. But remember, nobody has won anything yet and and the Pats still hold a 3-2 series edge coming back to Swift Current for game six Sunday night @ 7pm. It's the first step on the long road back in this best-of-seven set. There's a twinkle in this team's eye though. They're loose, the pressures off and they're playing their guts out.

Get your tickets folks. You have no idea what a sold out Civic Center would mean for this team Sunday night.

I won't get into a big recap but no doubt, Levi Nelson played his best game as a Bronco with two pretty goals and some physical dominance at times. Jeremy Schenderling opened the scoring shorthanded for his team leading 5th goal of the playoffs. He's tied for the playoff lead with Prince George's Devin Setoguchi.

Kyle Moir had his best game of the playoffs. He calmly made 33 saves including a big one on Michael McAngus with just over two minutes to play. He looked good.

Haha, the Broncos are also 2-0 whenever the Leader-Post's Rob Vanstone writes about Myles Rumsey - good or bad. Thanks Rob. Myles was great in his usual shut-down role. Hey Robby, can you PLEASE mention something in Saturday's paper?

As far as the whole "Vaseline Gate" .... have at'er Bronco fans... have at'er. Please, let's keep it within the law Sunday night. I can't condone Rod's comments towards our rink and our fans, I've had enough too. I've been proud to call the Civic Center my WHL home for seven seasons. I've been to every barn in the 'dub and there's no place like home. Whatever you do, do it loud and do it with class. Thanks for inspiring the humanoids Roddy. Now, what's the advice I always try to give you?. I know it's tough sometimes. Like I said, our fans are harmless, unless provoked. Bottom line this series is about two teams getting after it, not about a press box, a jar of vaseline, and some harsh words from both sides on a website.

Game six should be.... interesting, not to mention great.

Good night. See everyone Sunday,

Jon

Friday, March 30, 2007

Game Day From Regina

Regina- Ok, breath in, take a deep breath... ahhhh. Doesn't that feel better?

The Swift Current Broncos prepare for battle in game five at Regina's Brandt Center pretty relaxed and loose actually. The mood I get is a "nothing to lose" attitude with a chance to make something special happen. Although a tough hill to climb, the Broncos know they've been pretty much written off now in this series... except by themselves.

So can they send it back to Swift Sunday night? Stay tuned.
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Just a couple of observations...

Cracked open the Leader-Post this morning. Thanks for the plug Rob Vanstone. He had a story on Myles Rumsey as the "Leader Post Motivational Pin-up" from game two continues to get more ink.

Here's his article:

Rumsey ready to rumble, I'm not
Rob Vanstone, The Leader-PostPublished: Friday, March 30, 2007

The Swift Current Broncos were written off faster than Kevin Federline's career.Their efforts were disparaged in this space after a 4-0 loss to the Regina Pats in the opener of a WHL Eastern Conference quarterfinal one week ago.

Swift Current's players were so moved that they affixed the front page of Saturday's Leader-Post sports section to a wall in the Broncos' dressing room before Game 2 at the Brandt Centre.

The Broncos responded by winning 4-3 in overtime. In the aftermath of victory, defenceman Myles Rumsey had a question for play-by-play man Jon Keen: "Where's Rob Vanstone?''The record shows that I was in the vicinity. However, I never crossed paths with Rumsey. This, I concluded, was fortunate.

Did he intend to inflict any damage? If so, I was doomed -- being that my history of combat includes a TKO loss in Grade 9 to a glowering intimidator by the name of, er, June.With this in mind, I courageously left a telephone message for Rumsey. We chatted on Thursday. Nice guy.

"I was just wondering because there was a little blurb about me (in Saturday's column),'' Rumsey said from Swift Current. "I was just interested to see, because you always hear some random stories about media guys and some of them are real big homers and (have) some bones to pick with guys.

"I was just interested to see what the whole background check was. If you can't handle the media, you're in the wrong business.''Was he planning to (gulp) manhandle the media?"Oh, no,'' the Broncos' captain said with a laugh. "I've had worse things said about me before. The guys on the ice can say some pretty crazy things, so I wasn't too worried about that.

"You kind of build off that for motivation and try to prove people wrong.''The Broncos did precisely that on Saturday. Regina responded by winning back-to-back games in Swift Current to assume a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series. Game 5 is today, 7 p.m., at the Brandt Centre. Once again, the Broncos are looking to rebut the dismissive skeptics.

"We know the team that we have, even though we haven't really shown it yet for a full 60 minutes,'' Rumsey said. "Just to have that feeling that people view us as washovers, it's not a very good feeling. We like to come out and prove them wrong and on that Saturday we did. Unfortunately, we kind of fell asleep here for a period or two and it came back to bite us.''

The Broncos must bare their teeth tonight if they are to extend the series -- and if the 20-year-old Rumsey is to prolong his major-junior career."We have to come out with the will and desire to win the game right off the bat,'' he said. "We have to come out physical, shooting the puck."We have to play a good, greasy road game. We have no one to impress here. If we play New Jersey Devils-style hockey like that, it's going to take the crowd out. It'll hopefully be a boring game for them.''

Pats fans are salivating at the notion of Regina winning a playoff series for the first time since 1998. Rumsey would like to snap a protracted drought of his own.Rumsey has not scored a goal since Dec. 10, 2004, when he tallied against the host Spokane Chiefs. He had two goals that season, but has since gone 182 games (playoffs included) without scoring.Surely, Rumsey's two WHL goals were reminiscent of Wayne Gretzky and Teemu Selanne ... right?

"Oh, absolutely,'' the fourth-year Bronco said with a chuckle. "Looking at the player that I am, those are dandies. The first one actually went off my shin pad when Tyler Redenbach went end-to-end. That one was all finesse. The other one was a lucky shot from the point, right along the ice. It was a howitzer.''

Rumsey is renowned for his ability to prevent goals. In Game 2, for example, his shot-blocking prowess was a major reason why the Broncos prevailed. Now, can they do it again ... and again ... and again?

"A lot of people picked us from the start not to win the series,'' Rumsey said. "We are underdogs and Regina was the better team throughout the season, but by no means at all are we out. That's why it's a seven-game series. You're allowed to lose three games."We just have a mountain to climb now.''
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Ok, Rob now how 'bout some inspiration? Sadly I didn't see any LP writers at the two games in Swift. They may have been there, but not in the media circles.
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Did anyone see Dean Chynoweth's comments following Game four? It was on CTV, maybe Global too. "I'm sure they're (the players) are pissed off... I hope they would be, we were horse-s#!t. Oh I guess I can't say that, you'll have to edit that out."

Interesting. That clip will have some shelf life for awhile. Look for it in a Year in Review type piece in the near future.
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This whole Vaseline thing on the side of the broadcast booth is getting out of hand. Fans have been banging on the side of the box for years... in fact I don't even hear it anymore. It's just become part of it. They don't slap the side to "diss" the opposing broadcaster. They do it to make noise. I don't even think they know what box they're pounding on. For all they know it could be the WHL stats people up there. I think Roddy thinks they do it because of "him". Not so. Sorry to say Roddy, it isn't about you, and I've told you that. I do see how it could be annoying though. Can you even hear it over the airwaves? . With the horn and the siren and everything else going on I think it's doubtful. If anything it can rattle the nerves I guess. Our fans are harmless... unless provoked. If it does go back to Swifty for game six. Nothing will happen. Although I do suggest Roddy check his chair, doorknob, side of the walls, etc. haha.
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Watch for the Prairie Post today. George Bowditch will have an article on his Regina experience. We'll see what he has to say.
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I feel like I've lost my life! I misplaced my cell phone and I can't find it anywhere. It just becomes an extension of your hand after awhile. I remember receiving a text at about 11:30pm after game four and then.... who knows. I've called it a hundred times to no avail. I think the battery is dead. It's not the phone or the inconvenience of going without, it's the 300 contact names and numbers of friends, family, WHL contacts, former Broncos, NHL contacts and other media. I'll give it to Saturday to show up. Maybe I was due for an upgrade anyways.
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Game five tonight... we're on the air with the Big Show at 6:30pm, play-by-play at 7pm. Enjoy the weekend. Remember game six Sunday!

Jon

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Quick Update

Nothing fancy today, just like last night's game I suppose.

I'll update from the road when we get settled in Regina.

The Broncos playoff home-ice woes continued last night, they've now lost five straight playoff games at the Civic Center dating back to 2004 in their first round series with Medicine Hat. I'm sure this is tough for the old Bronco faithful to swallow.

"We were outworked, plain and simple." Dave Hunchak in our PDQ Autobody Post game show. "They wanted it more, no excuses," said Brady Leavold in our chat after a Regina 5-2 victory.

I won't get into a lengthy recap, today's a busy day after a short turnaround for game five tomorrow night from the Brandt Center. The Broncos season will be on the line as they try to force a game six Sunday night back at the Civic Center.

The Broncos must win three straight to take the series now and you can bet a run of cliches will be used in the next 48 hours to set-up game five from the Broncos standpoint. Just pick one. Do or die, must win, win or go home, one game at a time, one shift at a time.

There's lots of great series going on around the WHL. One is over already. Prince George sweeping the Kamloops Blazers, wow. The Blazers had such a great season going until February then they started to slide. Last night's loss I'm assuming was very bitter. The Blazers led 3-0 before the Cougars tied it in the third then won it just 2:30 into overtime on Devin Setoguchi's winner. The Cougars had never swept a series in their franchise history.

Both #1 seeds in the Conferences are down to a best-of-three. Medicine Hat and Red Deer are all even 2-2, as are Everett and Spokane.

I'll set up game five from a Broncos perspective when I have more time...

The sun rose in Swift Current this morning.... despite the doom and gloom.

What are the chances of coming back? Your thoughts would be appreciated.

Jon

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Former Bronco "C's" Send Their Best

With the Broncos down in this series with Regina 2-1, a couple former Bronco captains are trying to show their support.






Benny Ondrus (left), emailed the team earlier in the week to say good luck and to get after them. Benny was a heart and soul guy with this team. He was a great leader and one of the most determined players to come through. Benny had some nice words along with some help from Jeremy Williams and Ian White. All three are in Toronto either with the Leafs or the Marilies.






I spoke with Dustin Friesen (left) earlier this morning out in New Brunswick. He's fresh off a National University Championship with UNB and even through the celebrations, he's keeping a close tab on his former club. Friesen was a Bronco from 2000-2004 and captained the team in his final season. Here's a little bit of our chat:

JK: Are you following your former team, and if so any well wishes for the Broncos Friesey?

DF: Of course, every guy that goes through the Western League wants to keep up and see how their team is doing, especially guys in Swifty. You want to make sure guys are keeping up the tradition and keep on winning. Down 2-1, that's no big deal, you have to win four so I'm sure they can do it.

JK: Myles Rumsey would be only one of two players currently on the Broncos you used to play with. He now wears the "C", I'm sure you wish him the best.

DF: Myles is a really good kid. I'm sure Myles is doing everything possible to get a series win and I think the boys should have confidence knowing that he's the captain and doing everything possible so I think the guys should rally around him.


Friesen will be our guest tonight on the Five Minute Major to kick-off the Big Show. Game four tonight. The Broncos hoping to draw even in the series will need a good performance.

Nearly 2000 loud Bronco fans came out to support the club to really add that playoff atmosphere. It was definitely alive in the building.

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The blog hits on this site from the Queen City keep coming. I can't believe how many are checking the blog out daily. Some are leaving comments, although some just want to stir it up.

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Regina media has had a field day with the "Leaderpost pin-up motivation". It was the focus of several different reports or stories. Rod wanted to talk about on Sportsline, he also took a closer look on his blog. I saw Rob Vanstone having to answer about it on Global Sports and it sure has some of the fans talking.

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I hope out of town listeners enjoy our webcast out of Swifty, Ryan and I had a fun time last night despite the outcome. We are also on Sasktel Max at channel 834. Ryan informs me his blog status will be MIA for awhile as he upgrades his computer.

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Hey Pat from Regina! I used to think you were a good guy this summer.... what happened? All you do is take shots now. C'mon! I hear you're looking for a new partner for men's night? Golfing partner, I should clarify...

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Hopefully the Broncos get some saves and the powerplay gets it done. Game four tonight, face-off at 7:30pm, action on the Eagle 7pm.

See you at the rink,

Jon

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Schenderling's Hat-trick Not Enough

First of all... that was an entertaining game three.

Unfortunately, the Broncos let it get away allowing the Pats a 2-1 series advantage with game four tomorrow night. I won't get into too much of a recap tonight with the 4:30am alarm clock ready to go but for the Broncos it's a coulda, woulda, shoulda kind of outcome.

Despite a rocking Civic Center and a quick two goal lead in the 1st period, the Broncos watched the Pats come back with four unanswered goals to take a 4-2 advantage and then a 5-3 lead after 40 minutes.

The Broncos pressed hard in the third period firing 15 shots for a total of 42 - even getting within one on Jeremy Schenderling's hat-trick goal, but the Pats would hold on despite a couple mad scrambles in the dying seconds.

The Broncos powerplay was awful at times tonight. 1 for 12 is what I had it for. They had trouble most of the night gaining the zone or retrieving loose pucks on the dump-in. It was tough sledding on the man advantage. Boy, would the Broncos love those opportunities back.

A couple squeakers found there way past Kyle Moir tonight. One was a short-side goal from Kyle Ross in the 1st period that tied the game 2-2. Another was the Garrett Festerling shelf-job from a sharp angle as he skated out of the corner. Even the Logan Pyett point shot late in the 2nd period trickled through after Kyle got a piece of it. To his defense he made some great saves in the third period to allow the Broncos to press for the tying goal late.

CKRM's Rod Pedersen made it onto our broadcast tonight. After the 11th powerplay was served up to the Broncos, Pedersen leaned over to our side, took off his headset and fired "how many powerplay is that!? 11, 12 . . . how many?" We chuckled as Ryan and I answered him right on-air. It was a strange moment for sure. The Pats bench was fired-up over the two man crew of Reagan Vetter and Pat Smith. At the end of the night, the Pats had a pp goal, so did the Broncos.

Bottom line, it was a start the Broncos had hoped for, but some careless turnovers resulted in Regina goals which resulted in a game three win.

More tomorrow morning,

Jon

Monday, March 26, 2007

WHL Playoffs At a Glance

We'll get to the Broncos/Pats series in a sec, first the WHL Head Office handed down the following fines and suspensions following game two of the Everett/Spokane series:

Everett $2,500.00 fine for post-game incident vs Spokane
Brandon Campos Everett Two game for post-game fight vs Spokane
Kyle Beach Everett One game for post-game actions vs Spokane
Spokane $2,500.00 fine for post-game incident at Everett
Judd Blackwater Spokane Three games for post-game actions
Mitch Wahl Spokane Two games for post-game fight at Everett on March 24.


I watched the webcast archive and it appears the Everett Silvertips were a bit over exuberant in their celebration after Zach Hamill's overtime winner. Some contact definitely happened between the two teams as the Silvertip players came off the bench leading to a long melee with a couple of scraps. The situation could have been much worse. It could have gotten ugly, really ugly. The one thing I will comment on is all the Everett fans giving the finger to the Chiefs as they skate off the ice. All the fans in front of the camera are standing up, I counted three giving the ol' Pierre Trudeau to the Chief players. Honestly, what's that all about? These guys are kids for the most part and these adults are doing this. I find it a despicable act. Some of these "adults" are their with their kids. Nice message they're sending.

Also, Red Deer's Martin Hanzal will sit out game three of their series against Medicine Hat tomorrow night after a one game suspension for a checking from behind major penalty in game two Saturday night.

Alright to the Broncos and Pats. Game three tomorrow night could be a pivotal game. Some people think it could be a series turning point. While I won't go as far to say "whoever wins game three will win the series", I will say it's a crucial game. The Broncos may have the momentum but a Pats win would shift it back drastically in their favor. That would mean the Broncos would have to win in Regina again. Remember it took them nine cracks to get their first win in at the Brandt Center going back to March of 2005. Playoffs are weird though and you can really throw those kind of stats out the window.

Another thing that concerns me is the 1300 tickets sold as of this afternoon. I know we are a last minute kind of market and the game is mid-week, but I thought we would be pushing the 1800 mark by now. Tickets can be pricey, especially for a family at $19 a pop for adults.

Hopefully our fans respond. This is a chance to get some playoff pride going in our town. I can sense the buzz in the city but it's NOWHERE near where it could be. I think back to the Conference Finals vs Red Deer back in 2001. That was awesome. Fans, businesses, everyone rallied around the team in their quest for a WHL Championship.

The Broncos are a great team to cover in the playoffs. They make themselves available, they want to do interviews and they know what to say. I've already told most of the guys not to say anything to give the other side some fire in the playoffs. They look at me like "duh, you don't think I know that?" I think they've been great with Regina media too. The coaching staff is a smart bunch that knows what this time of year is all about. And, thank god about this.... they're not PARANOID. Some teams get so unbelievably worked up in the playoffs. I've seen teams go to great lengths to cover-up injuries or downplay issues. I've seen teams refuse to do their post-game media duties and thick curtains pulled around all parts of the team's dressing room area. Not the Broncos, they roll with the punches and don't really sweat the small stuff. I know we are only a couple games in but the routine and mindsets don't really change with this team. They have a job to do and they try their best to do it. The Pats are pretty good too.

I was on 620 CKRM's Sportsline tonight with Rod Pedersen. I was on for a few quick questions about things in Broncoland. Nothing too serious. Just a scene setter if you will for games three and four.

We're on the air at 7pm with the Big Show, play-by-play with myself and Ryan Switzer at 7:30pm.

Time to step to the plate Bronco fans!

Jon

A Treat To Talk With

I'll take a quick break from the first round playoff battle between the Broncos and the Pats. I'll have a series update later today.

I thought I would take time to recognize some WHL Head Coaches who have been a treat to talk to over the years. For the most part, WHL bench bosses are great with media, especially the radio broadcast crews that travel with the team. I thought I would point out a few noteworthy men who make my job easier over the course of a season.

Pete Anholt - Prince Albert Raiders
He is terrific. No interview is the same. He always puts a lot of thought into his answers and you can tell he knows the game. He's done thousands of the pre-game chit-chats and he has it down to a science. Even in the midst of a losing skid, he always has a smile and time for you. Pete is approaching 1000 career games coached in the 'dub. He turned me to assistant coach Kris Knoblauch once this season in an attempt to change something up. The Broncos had won all six previous meetings and he was being a bit superstitious that day. He did it with a smile and a laugh. It didn't work. The Broncos went on to the 7-3 win.



Kevin Constantine - Everett Silvertips.
Say what you want about his antics behind the bench, but behind the mic
he's golden. I always leave the interview a bit smarter. He left me with one quote this season I remember. I asked him if he thinks he has the team can win it all this season. To which he replied "You know it's funny. (Basketball Coach) Bobby Knight said one time you always see the other team's greatness, yet see your own team's limitations." I think he hit the nail on the head there. Constantine also did some work for TSN between coaching jobs and understands the role the media plays. Our first meeting didn't go so well back in 2003. It was the first time the 'Tips played the Broncos in their history. They featured five former Broncos and I was looking for a pre-game interview with Mitch Love and Jeff Harvey. He abruptly refused. Saying they wouldn't be available. He eventually recanted.


Jeff Truitt - Kelowna Rockets
A good guy from Rosetown Sask. Always has a positive outlook. We only see the Rockets once in awhile but he is always a pleasure to talk to. Truitt is a student of the game and is always sporting a smile. After talking to him, you can't help but hope good things for him. Regan Bartel in Kelowna (play-by-play broadcaster) must be happy to have this guy around all season long.


Dean Chynoweth - Swift Current Broncos
Ok, he's one of ours but he deserves some credit. Deano is media savvy. He gets it. He also doesn't allow anything he sees, reads, or hears to rattle him. He doesn't allow outside distractions to waste his time. Sure he likes to answer the odd question with a question right back at you, and yes he gives me a hard time for making statements rather than asking questions but he usually has the local or out of town media at his command most days.




Don Hay - Vancouver Giants
I'm big time impressed with Don Hay. He genuinely is interested in what you have to say and soaks up everything. It seems he values your opinion and is one of those coaches you learn from too. He just commands your attention when he speaks. It's easy to see why he's had success over the years and has coached at the NHL level.


Kelly Mcrimmon - Brandon Wheat Kings
I always have a good time with Kelly Mcrimmon in the Coaches Show. He is an intense individual but has some quick wit to him which he brings out now and then. I sometimes throw him a curveball just to see his reaction. He routinely smacks it out of the park. A day before the WHL trade deadline our interview was delayed about a half hour because he was on the phone. I asked "Kelly, you were sure working the phone before our chat. Are you working on that big blockbuster deal?" To which he replied "no Jon, I was on the phone with my wife, she wants me to pick up some milk, bread and some eggs on the way home." He says it with a straight face and pulls it off well. He also said hi to my mom one night saying "I hope she's not your only listener out there". Kelly is great.


That's just a handful of some of the great individuals out there. Steve Young in Moose Jaw was always very courteous and great to interview. He's a favorite out there amongst the media throngs purely on how nice he is.

Broncos and Pats . . . more to come.

Jon


Sunday, March 25, 2007

Series Tied, Broncos Steal Home Ice Advantage


An overtime goal from Kyle Bortis not only lifted the Broncos into a 1-1 series tie with Regina, it's lifted the spirits of the Bronco faithful and the playoff monkey off Kyle Moir's back.

The Bortis goal just 1:07 into overtime thanks to a giveaway from Pats 'tender Linden Rowat sent the Broncos pouring off the bench to celebrate a series split with games three and four coming back to home ice Tuesday and Wednesday.

After seven attempts, Kyle Moir now has a playoff win and I expect the rest of his playoff performances to take-off. The win was big for the Broncos, huge for Kyle Moir.

The Broncos play was a complete 180 compared to Friday night's game one. They came out hard, threw some hits and got their legs going. Jeremy Schenderling tied the game at one in the dying seconds of the 1st period with a slapper near the top of the circle. For the first time, I felt the Broncos had finally arrived in the post-season.

The Broncos took the lead early in the 2nd period on a 5-on-3 goal from Geordie Wudrick as they crashed the goal off the rush to bang home a rebound. The Pats responded minutes later with a 4-on-4 goal from Troy Ofukany.

Tied 2-2 into the third period, Ryan Molle stepped into one from the top-circle after a scramble around the Pats goal. Molle's slapper gave the Broncos a 3-2 lead with 13 minutes to play. Molle, an unlikely source only had one goal in the regular season. For me, he has has a ton of potential. The 17 year-old has been great lately.

The Pats were granted a 5-on-3 powerplay for a full 1:32 but couldn't force the puck home. Some great shot blocking and hard work kept the Broncos lead alive. The Pats had three different 5-on-3 man advantages and failed to capitalize. The Broncos penalty kill was excellent dousing all nine Pat man advantages. As Broncos assistant coach Dave Hunchak pointed out in the post-game show, special teams was the difference maker.

The Pats would find the tying goal with 4:02 to play when Mike McAngus found a loose puck in thr crease and scored an easy one. The Brandt Center erupted. That's the loudest I've heard that barn all season. The Pats had momentum as the Broncos held on to force overtime.

Cue Kyle Bortis.

Pats goaltender Linden Rowat attempted to play the puck up the ice trying to kickstart the rush. The only problem was Pat's d-man Nick Ross was coming back to retrieve the puck and got mixed up with his goaltender who appeared to be thinking offense by advancing the puck. He threw the disc right off the backside of Nick Ross which then deflected to Kyle Bortis from a sharp angle. Bortis led a quick shot go before Rowat could get set. Game over, series tied.

A straight faced Dave Hunchak joined us for the post-game show. Hunch knows it's only one win of a long battle ahead. Remember, he's taken a team all the way to the final of the Royal Bank Cup. The biggest prize in Junior "A" hockey. This is just one step, and he knew it. It was my first playoff win in the booth after a four year drought. I was excited. That may have come across the airwaves just a little...ok a lot.

I couldn't help but notice the extra motivation the Broncos had pinned-up and highlighted in the dressing room - the front page of Saturday's Leaderpost Sports. On it, three separate articles with some biting words on their play Friday night, and enough Regina Pats praise to last an entire Memorial Cup run. It seems the LP had already thrown the victory parade. The Kyle Bortis goal in OT may have been unassisted but I know the LP contributed in their own little way. Myles Rumsey even asked me after the game "Where's Rob Vanstone?" It seems the media is doing their part to add some fuel to this series, as expected.

For the Bronco fans who showed up at the Brandt Center I'm sure the celebration after overtime was satisfying. Most of the faithful stuck around and cheered as Pat fans filed out of the building. The loud crew didn't need any more motivation, but a quick thumbs-up or fist-pump from myself or Ryan Switzer from the booth sent them into a frenzy down below. We heard you. So did most of Regina.

This is going to get better... I can't wait for game three.

Jon

Bortis Gets Overtime Gift

Wow. What a game. What a finish.

The series is all tied up heading back to Swift Current for game three Tuesday thanks to Kyle Bortis jumping on a misplayed puck from Pats goaltender Linden Rowat. The goal 1:07 into OT ties the best-of-seven 1-1 with a clear momentum shift now headed in the Broncos favor.

I won't get into the details tonight, I'll save that for the morning. It's been an interesting 24 hours in the Queen City following the Pats 4-0 win in game one to open the series.

We're in one now.

I'll fill you in tomorrow. For now, some rest . . .

Jon

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Broncos Miss Playoff Wake-up Call

What happened to elevating their game?

It was a phrase thrown around a lot leading up to game one of the playoffs against the Regina Pats but sadly it was nowhere to be found.

The Pats came out and scored 5 minutes in on a back-hand for Kaspars Saulities and rolled from there. Three Regina goals in just over five minutes to begin the 2nd period didn't help the case either.

The Broncos just didn't have it, and I am surprised.

Assistant Coach Dave Hunchak joined us for our post-game.

JK: It looked like Regina pretty much dominated in almost all areas of the game. Would you agree?

DH: No, Jon I wouldn't say almost all areas of the game I would say every part of the game. I think tonight we saw Regina at their very best while we still have more to give, a lot more.

Again, a common theme that's being talked about is that the Broncos best players, have to be their best players.

Broncos Head Coach and G.M. Dean Chynoweth is not planning any line-up changes for tonight's game. The Broncos have now lost 9 in a row in Regina dating back to March of '05.

As far as off the ice fun, I must say the Regina media has been pretty good. Lee Jones of CTV invited me on for live-hit during his evening sportscast to talk about the series. Chris Hodges also of CTV came up to the booth to say hi. He's playing in the Sask Mid-Amateur golf championships in Swift Current this summer. I invited him up for some practice rounds if he wants to get an early look at the course layout. The Leaderpost has some pretty one-sided articles in it today but no doubt it reflects exactly how the game was played. One sided.

Pats Head Coach Curtis Hunt was excellent in the pre-game interview. I thank him for that. He could have been upset over previous issues. He wasn't. It was our best chat this season. He was very accomodating. Hehould have plenty to be happy about after his team's performance in game one.

Game two tonight. The Broncos need a better effort and need to get their hands dirty a little. They can't be bystanders. They have to jump right in with both feet.

For now, it's just kind of a relaxing gameday. Switzer is in town and we'll be making our rounds today. We were already down to the rink and catch the pre-game skate. We both have some friends in this city we'll be checking in on before he head down for the game.

Join us for coverage on the Eagle 94.1 FM beginning at 6:30pm, play-by-play at 7pm.

The Broncos NEED this one.

Jon

Friday, March 23, 2007

It's Begun

The Broncos Hockey Club continues preparation for the weekend set in Regina to get the 1st round playoffs underway. There's no doubt you can tell it's the post-season. There is a different mood, a vibe if you will. The players, coaches and staff are upbeat and excited about getting at it with the Pats.

I like what I'm seeing so far. The players haven't worked themselves into a frenzy or state of nervousness. Everything is just right. They are confident, yet realize the task at hand.

The morning skate today was quick and up-tempo. The coaching staff kept them on the ice for about a half-hour. Included in the skate were young prospects Cody Eakin and Justin Dowling. It's expected forward Scott McAuley from Winnipeg will join the club sometime later today.

Also, American draft pick Eric Ferber is with his family doing a scouting mission to Notre Dame. He could be another goalie of the future. The Arizona product impressed at training camp and is looking to take his game to Canada in the near future. He's expected to put in an on-ice session with goaltending consultant Kevin Swanson this weekend.

The guys are being well taken care of off the ice. We are at a hotel which features former Eagle 94.1 morning news girl Trina Taylor as the Sales Manager. Everything has been great so far. Trina may also host a night out for us . . . we'll see how the game goes first!

At least I know I have one loyal reader. Guess who tracked me down at the rink during the pre-game skate? Pats Head Coach Curtis Hunt. In his hand he had a copy of my blog comments following our last game in Regina. He was steamed. He said if I had a problem with the way he conducts an interview that I was to take it up with him. I knew full well he would eventually see the blog, I wasn't going to run and hide. I told him I appreciate his concern, but that us media folks don't appreciate getting "big-leagued" by WHL coaches. I said we (radio broadcasters) are all part of the process too, and he agreed. I said I respect him as a coach and his abilities and if he wants to send out Assistant Coach Terry Perkins in the future that's fine by me. He said no, it's fine, but he wanted to clear the air before game-time. I appreciate that. I was expecting that reaction I guess. Like I said before we all have to be accountable for our actions, what we say, or blog. I shook his hand and left it at that. I couldn't help but think back to all that great footage on TSN or ESPN of the coaches or players blowing up on reporters for stupid questions or articles they took offense too.

The little meeting caught the attention of the Bronco players. They overheard it. They think I would make a good agitator. Call me the Sean Avery of broadcasters, haha. Dean C. was chuckling about it. A few guys told me he came into the room and was laughing pretty good. Glad to see it provided some entertainment. We'll see how the pre-game interview goes tonight with Curtis. I hope we're cool.

We're on the air at 6:30pm with the pre-game show, play-by-play with myself and Ryan Switzer at 7pm.

I'll try to have a recap sometime after the game.

Let's get'r done.

Jon

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Portland WinsDraft Lottery

UPDATE:

The Portland Winterhawks will select first in this summers WHL Bantam Draft. They had the best chance based on percentage and will retain the #1 pick. Kelowna will draft 2nd, the expansion Edmonton Oil Kings 3rd, Saskatoon 4th, Moose Jaw 5th and Lethbridge 6th - no real surprises from the lottery process.

The Broncos will have the 9th pick in the opening round.

Breaking Down the Series

First up some pictures from the Awards Banquet Monday night. Thanks to Bobbi-Jo Van Leuken (Artistic Impressions/Colorama) for the photos.

Broncos Head Coach and G.M Dean Chynoweth works the purple shirt/tie combo.






















Broncos Captain Myles Rumsey delivers the Captain's speech.






















Myles Rumsey accepts one of his four awards.
















Goaltender Kyle Moir accepts awards for Humanitarian Player of the Year and the Leadership and Maturity Award.

The Broncos and Pats open up the playoffs tomorrow night from the Brandt Center. Catch all the action on the Eagle 94.1 FM beginning with the Big Show at 6:30pm, the play-by-play with Ryan Switzer and myself at 7pm. Here's some quick series tidbits:

- The Broncos will open up the series at the Brandt Center seeking their first win in Regina since March 5th, 2005 - a span covering eight meetings.

-The two teams last met in the playoffs in the 92-93 season. The Broncos swept the best-of-seven.

- The Pats outscored the Broncos 32-22 in the eight game season series winning 6 the 8 meetings including the last four in a row. On average the Pats outshot the Broncos 33-27.

- The Pats powerplay scored 12 goals in the season series and operated at 22.2%. The Broncos powerplay accounted for 7 goals (5 came in one game) and clicked at a rate of 13%. The Broncos were also 0/22 on the pp against Regina in the last four games of the season series. It's quick to see why special teams will be so important in the playoff match-up.

- Linden Rowat sported a record of 5-2 against the Broncos while Kyle Moir was 1-4. His only win was a 9-0 shutout. The same game that saw the Broncos score five pp goals.

- The Pats scored 234 goals this season (10th best in the WHL), the Broncos scored 199 (17th best).

- The Broncos feature six players who scored 15 or more goals this season (Bortis, Smith, Nelson, Wiese, Rakos, and Schenderling), the Pats had seven players (K. Ross, Festerling, Saulities, Reich, Ofakuny, Eberle, McAngus) In contrast, the Broncos only had one 20-goal man (Schnderling), the Pats had five (K. Ross, Festerling, Ofukany, Eberle, McAngus).

- The Pats had 36 wins this season, 4 less than last year. The Broncos had 33 wins, 9 more than last year.

- The Pats were eliminated in seven games by the Saskatoon Blades last playoffs, the Broncos were swept by Medicine Hat.

- The Pats last made it to the 2nd round in the 97-98 season. They swept Moose Jaw before falling to Brandon in five games in the Conference semi-final. The Broncos last advanced to round two in the 2001-02 series when they beat Calgary in seven games. They then lost to Brandon in five.

More series details tomorrow. Still have lots of work to do before we leave this afternoon. I'll take a look at the other series and throw out some predictions.

Go Broncos.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Businesses Jumping on Bronco Bandwagon

The good folks at Wellington West Capital are trying to rally playoff support for the Broncos.

Here's the press release:

After two of the last 3 Swift Current Broncos home games had sell out crowds, Wellington West Capital in Swift Current is lending a helping hand in an effort to see that type of support for the club replicated in the playoffs.

Wellington West partners, Kevin Patenaude and Jerrod Schafer, are purchasing 10 tickets to Game #3 against Regina next Tuesday and 10 tickets to Game #4 on Wednesday as well. They're issuing a corporate challenge to all businesses to jump on board by treating their customers or staff to a playoff experience in the hopes that they continue to support the team throughout the playoffs.

"As a fan, it was an outstanding experience with a sold out building and a lot of enthusiasm at the two sellouts in March," commented Patenaude. "There's no doubt we'd like to see that again in the playoffs."

"As members of the community, the only thing we can control is our attendance at games and our enthusiasm when we're there. It seemed like the players were able to build off both of those factors against Medicine Hat and Moose Jaw."

The Broncos averaged 1900 fans per game during the regular season, however, capacity crowds of 2453 were in attendance for the March 9th and 16th games.

"Our business community provides us with excellent support throughout the year," commented Broncos Assistant General Manager/Director of Operations Elden Moberg. "We'd like to thank Kevin and Jerrod for stepping up unsolicited in this regard."

"There's no doubt there is a change in atmosphere in the Civic Centre when it's at or near capacity. It becomes a tough place for visiting teams to play because our fans are right on top of them. In my mind, the larger the crowd...the larger the advantage for our players."

Businesses that would like to follow Wellington West's lead can contact Broncos Ticket Manager Brenda Wall or Director of Public Relations/Game Day Operations Brad Boutilier at 773-1509.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

It's full-out playoff mode in these parts. There's a certain confidence this year compared to last year's monumental task that was the Medicine Hat Tigers. Incidentally, the winner of this series will more than likely face the Tigers in round two. That is of course the Prince Albert Raiders can oust the Brandon Wheat Kings in the opening round. Good luck.


Yesterday was a big day for this blog - a new record amount of daily hits. I can't help but think it was because of the "plug"from Voice of the Pats Rod Pedersen's blog. I know you didn't intend that Roddy, so....thanks.



Check this out . . . I recently got an e-mail from Kim Johnston who now hosts the morning show at Medicine Hat's MY 96. Of course we used to co-host together on the Eagle 94.1 FM. He was recently in Toronto for the CBC show "Test the Nation" that IQ show that aired Sunday night. The radio DJ's finished 5th out of 6th. To be expected! The Swift Current native toured the Hockey Hall of Fame and found the Swift Current Broncos display. What a said state of affairs it is! (below)



One "farmer lid" is all that's there. Kim was thinking maybe someone locally had something they would like to donate. Maybe something from the '89 Memorial Cup??

That is a pretty sweet hat I must say. Maybe we could add something to it?

I'm still waiting on some pics from the Broncos Awards Banquet Monday night. I should have them posted later today.

Have a good one,
Jon

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

All Smiles for Myles

Bronco captain Myles Rumsey was the big award winner last night as the Broncos put a wrap on their regular season with the annual awards banquet. I have pictures, just waiting on Team photographer Bobbi-jo to e-mail them over. I'll post them when I get'em.

Rumsey, the longtime Bronco claimed four awards as the Team MVP, Players Most Popular Player, Top Defenseman and the Desire and Sportsmanship Award.

"The Most Valuable Player is very, very flattering, it's an individual award but it goes without saying it's your teammates that get you to where you are. Big credit goes to them helping me out throughout the year and just playing as well as they did it just makes my job a whole lot easier." - Myles Rumsey.


Myles also gave a humorous yet heartfelt captains speech as he reflected and reminisced on his four plus years as a Bronco.

"I have no regrets whatsoever in coming here and having the best times of my life. It's very thrilling to be out here for four and half years and play with some of the players I have, Tyler Redenbach, Ian White, Aaron Rome, Kyle Moir, Luke Hunter, Benny Ondrus, Dustin Friesen I could go on for hours about them. It was just great to be part of this organization and this night."

Myles took some well placed jabs at some of his teammates and coaches. He even asked when the wedding was for myself and Ryan Switzer. That's ok, I got him back on a few occasions over the night. 261 games played in the 'dub and I remember all of Rumsey's goals believe it or not. All two of them, haha.

Goaltender Kyle Moir took home two awards. The Leadership and Maturity award plus the Humanitarian award for his work in the community.

"I love going out (in the community), especially the elementary schools, those little kids are so much fun and they get so excited you're like their hero. You don't really get that anywhere else so it's a lot of fun." - Kyle Moir

Kyle was also honoured for his two CHL records he broke this season including most games played career as a goaltender at 233 and most minutes played 12776.

Geordie Wudrick won a pair of awards for Scholastic Player of the Year and Top Rookie.

"If you do good in school you carry that work ethic on to the ice and all parts of your life. It's something I take a a lot of pride in. This year we had a lot of good rookies with Derek and Ryan and Phil and Matt and I'm very honoured to win this award." - Geordie Wudrick

Levi Nelson was a multiple award winner. He claimed the Top Scorer, King of the Road Award and the Fans Most Popular.

"That means a lot. The fans are a big part of the game here in Swifty. If it wasn't for them it wouldn't be the same and I just thank all the fans for coming out and watching us here, keep supporting us in the playoffs and we appreciate it." - Levi Nelson

Graduating forward Jeremy Schenderling won the Three Star Award and the Chairman of the Boards recognition. Zack Smith was the well deserved winner for Most Improved Player. Kyle Bortis won the Most Sportsmanlike while R.J. Larochelle picked up the Coaches Award.

Did I miss anyone? It was great to chat with some of the parents, billets, fans and the Board of Directors. Every conversation had a common theme, they love the blog and say they check it out everyday. That's more than enough inspiration to keep it going.

Once again, I'll post some pics from the night later on today, check back if you can.

Also, on the Eagle 94.1 FM "Breakfast Boys" morning show today we had Albert Headrick on to talk about his $100,000 windfall. He was the winner of the Goals For Education Lottery. Albert is the Deputy Fire Chief here in town.

Whenever I hear the name "Albert" it always reminds me of a classic commerical for Canadian Tire. Remember this one? Note the first name on the back of the jersey not the last. I love the coaches on the bench too. Take a look:

Albert! Albert! Albert! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DkyMM3EScjA

Have a great day,

Jon

Monday, March 19, 2007

Broncos Awards Banquet Tonight


(One of my favorite pics from last year's banquet as I present Brandon Tidball with the WHL's Heavyweight belt.)
The annual awards banquet is set for the Legion Hall with cocktails beginning at 6pm. I'm sure you can still get tickets at the door. They're $25 for adults and $12 for students I believe.


A great meal will be highlighted by all the season awards being dolled out plus a special captain's speech from Myles Rumsey. Should be a fun time.

I'll post a complete list of the award winners following ...

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Bring on the Second Season!

We won't delve too much into last night's 6-2 loss in Moose Jaw to the Warriors to conclude the 72 game regular season.

Let's just say when I saw defenseman Myles Rumsey at forward on the powerplay early in the game, it was safe to say the two points weren't exactly a top priority. The game lacked intensity throughout and I have to admit was tough to get into, especially with the Warriors up 5-0 midway through the 2nd period.

It could have been worse. Red Deer was pounded 11-1 on home ice by Lethbridge as the Hurricanes closed off their season. The 'Canes served notice that they will be a handle next season. Zach Boychuk finished the night with 2 goals and 6 assists. Mitch Fadden had a five-goal night. Boychuk will be 18 next season while Fadden will be 19. They will have some pop next year.

As for the Broncos, the only bright spot was Ryan Molle getting his first ever WHL goal. He played the point for a short 5-on-3 powerplay in the third period and blasted home a one-timer off the feed from Derek Claffey. Great for Molls, I know the team and myself have been teasing him a little about that first one. He'll still need to work on the celebration . . . the multiple fist-pump as he skated to the bench was priceless. You can always tell when a player gets his first in the 'dub. What made it sweeter is that it wasn't a "garbage goal", he wired it from the midpoint to ripple the twine. Geordie Wudrick had the other goal on a 2-on-1 conversion from Paul Postma

The Warriors got to send off their three 20 year-olds on a winning note as they said goodbye to Matt Isbister, Steven Gillen and Cody Thoring. We had Cody on during the pre-game show. Can you believe he was told at one point by doctors that he may not ever play hockey again after taking a crushing hit two weeks ago? Two weeks later he's out of hospital and a bit ticked off that a doctor would make that bold of a statement. The Swift Current kid will be just fine.

Oh! I almost forgot. How about Albert Headrick winning the grand prize in the Goals For Education Lottery! $100,000 to the local Deputy Fire Chief. Good things happen to good people. Albert has been a guest on our Eagle 94.1 morning show. He's always a lot of fun. Also, Clay and Linda Thompson, long time Bronco billets and supporters won the runner-up prize of $10,000. Tracey Martin of Swifty won $3,000. I also saw a "Toulmin" and a "Claffey" on the winners list. Looks like a few bucks for some of the Bronco relatives. A complete list is available at http://www.scbroncos.com/ .

BRONCOS VS PATS

OK. let's get the playoffs fired up! I know our fans are big time excited about locking up with the Pats. Unlike the past couple playoff dates with the Medicine Hat Tigers, the fans truly believe they can win this one. For that matter so does this Broncos hockey club.

Our fans came out last night to Moose Jaw to show their support. We'll call it a tune-up for the playoffs. Two separate fan buses will be headed to Regina for Friday and Saturday's games. Call the Broncos office at 773 - 1509. You may be already too late. It's worth a shot.

The Broncos should play this series with nothing to lose. The Pats are the team that made all the changes near and at the trade deadline to make a run. From what I'm hearing from other people around the league, the Pats are expected to win in five, maybe six. I think the Broncos can take the underdog role and run with it. I will have a complete series breakdown later in the week.

Tomorrow night, I'll be emceeing the Broncos Awards Banquet from the Legion Hall. These events are always fun. It's also a chance to honour our three graduating 20 year-olds in Kyle Moir, Jeremy Schenderling and Myles Rumsey. I have a list of the award winners and there are no shockers. Those who will take home the hardware will do so deservedly. Dave Hunchak might even give me the "King of the Road" award but I doubt it! Last year he took a veiled shot at me during the ceremony. A great inside joke I must say.

See you all tomorrow. Have a great Sunday,

Jon

Saturday, March 17, 2007

On Fire

What makes you excited?

Is it that the Broncos have won four straight for the 1st time since January 17th of 2004? Maybe it's the fact the Broncos ended the Moose Jaw Warriors playoff hopes? Or, how about the first Bronco hat trick from a defenseman since . . . actually that's a great question.

Regardless, the Broncos 7-2 win over the Moose Jaw Warriors last night in front of a sold-out Civic Center crowd generated a lot of reasons to be happy for this club right now.

With nothing to play for, the Broncos came out and used the powerplay for six goals in the lopsided win. That's the best the powerplay has looked all year connecting on 6 of 8 opportunities. The hapless Warrior PK sunk to a season low 77.4%, as the Broncos scored every way possible on the man-advantage. Off the rush, from the point, off the rebound, off the great pass on the doorstep. . . merciless.

Are you kidding me . . . Paul Postma. The Broncos 17 year-old defenseman has a career night with the four point game including his first ever WHL hat trick. Entering the game he had two goals on the season, now he has five. His three blasts from the point on the man advantage were text-book. Get some traffic in front and get the shot on goal. Bing, Bang, Boom. It was great to see him so excited, and it was great to see his teammates feeding him the puck on the last powerplay recognizing he was a goal away from bringing the hats onto the ice. I'm sure the yell from the Postma household in Red Deer was heard all they way out in Sylvan Lake.

The Warriors by no means threw in the towel, they just didn't get the goaltending or the breaks you need to win on the road. Goaltender Joey Perricone's night ended after the Broncos fourth goal on 13 shots. The Warriors had the first couple scoring chances of the game but couldn't convert on Kyle Moir who was again stellar. An early goal post by the Warriors seem to fore-shadow how their night would turn out.

The game was officially sold-out midway through the first period. The 2nd sell-out in the last three home games. Can you say Bronco fever?

I didn't see the disgruntled "Offsider" in the penalty box last night. Apparently he's been relieved of his duties . . . permanently. I was told later he was hanging out along the rail on the visitors side. He hasn't had much to say lately. Once the "anonymous" handle is removed it's tough to play ball with the big boys especially if you're all about criticism and name-calling. I assure you his claims of a $200,000 Bronco loss this season are unfounded. I'll stick to my guns about the potential six-figure profit this season. It helps when the Broncos see revenue streams from expansion dues, Memorial Cup and World Juniors.

We're on the air to wrap up the regular season tonight in Moose Jaw. Switzer will be celebrating his wife's birthday and will not be making the trip. Instead I'll dive into the color-commentary bullpen and snag Terry Pavely for some help. Pre-game show at 6:30pm, play-by-play at 7pm. Be listening for the winners of the Goals for Education Lottery. We will have a list of all the winners including the lucky devil who snags the $100,000 grand-prize!

I should get a coffee and get to work on tonight's pre-game show and game prep.

HAPPY ST. PATTY'S DAY!

Jon

Friday, March 16, 2007

Who's Our MVP?

With the Broncos awards banquet set for Monday night, this question is a topical one. It's certainly created some interest with Bronco fans. So just who is our MVP from the regular season?

It doesn't appear to be a clear-cut favorite this year. Sure the last two seasons, Kyle Moir has been the overwhelming choice but this season a case could be made for a hand-full of players.

Without further adieu, here are your nominees.


Levi Nelson



Levi leads the team in scoring heading into the final weekend of the regular season. Nelson has collected 18 goals and 34 assists for 52 points. He's been the best offensive forward and should garner some consideration. The Broncos have "scored by committee" this season and that might hurt his chances. The Broncos have had to make due with every forward out of the line-up at some point this season. When missing, not one player significantly impacted the team's play. It was a group effort up-front this season.



Myles Rumsey


The Bronco 20 year-old defenseman has quite frankly been the anchor this season. His leadership cannot be overlooked. With the departure of Dane Crowley at the trade deadline, Rumsey was looked upon even more in his defensive shutdown role. There were times in the 2nd half where he never came off the ice on the penalty-kill - out for the full two minutes-plus. The shot blocking king didn't score a goal this year but the calming influence he brings to the team, especially for the young defensive core has been huge.



Kyle Moir


Can Kyle three-peat as team MVP? It's very possible despite Travis Yonkman showing that he can be the #1 guy too. Moir's numbers this season are down slightly: games played - 54, GAA - 3.21, save % - .903. His play down the stretch has been good but did go through a tough stretch right after the trade deadline. He's picked it up lately which has been they key to the Broncos winning their last six of eight games. He also set new CHL marks for career games played and career minutes played.


So just who is the MVP? Many fans seem to think it could be either three. We will find out Monday night at the Legion Hall. BTW, tickets are still available by calling the Broncos office at 773 - 1509.



It's the Broncos and Warriors tonight to begin the final weekend of the regular season. The Warriors come in playing desperate hockey. They know a loss tonight might end their playoff hopes. The Warriors have a 5-1 edge in the season series and no doubt have a lot to play for.



The Broncos have a chance for their 4th straight win. They've yet to win four in a row this year. Their line-up will be mix 'n' match with some help from the "farm". Kris Foucault has made his way in from Calgary. The 16 year-old forward will play in his 3rd WHL game this season. They've also recalled 15 year-old defenseman David Greyeyes. He's seen action twice this season already. He played "AAA" midget with the Beardy's Blackhawks.



On the injury front, Brady Leavold, Levi Nelson, Spencer McAvoy and Jeremy Schenderling will all be ?'s tonight. Matt Tassone remains out with a knee injury. The Warriors could catch a break this weekend.



Face-off at 7:30pm, the Eagle 94.1 FM begins coverage with the pre-game show at 7pm. Included on the pre-game show will be a Cody Thoring update. The Swift Current native was hospitalized with a pelvis injury two weeks ago. He's doing much better and is out of hospital. The Warriors defenseman was actually in Swift Current most of this week doing some physiotherapy. Also on the pre-game show, Kelowna Rockets General Manager Bruce Hamilton talks about the Rockets missing the playoffs and what went wrong.


See you at the game,
Jon

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Beware the 'Wack!

Ok, well I'm sure the Vancouver Giants aren't exactly shaking in their skates but lets give props to the Chilliwack Bruins for making the playoffs in their expansion season.

Last night's four-goal third period gave the Bruins a 5-3 comeback win over the Spokane Chiefs to make it official. The Bruins are five points up on the Kelowna Rockets with two games to play in the regular season. That means for the first time in franchise history, the Rockets will not be going to the post-season.


The Bruins have received all and then some from former Bronco Josh Aspenlind (pictured left). Aspenlind has been on the team's top line with Mark Santorelli and Oscar Moller for most of the season. They have produced, helping the team to their 24th win of the season. The 'Wack will meet the Giants in round one in just over a weeks time. You can bet the Bruins will be everyones 2nd favorite team.

Who wants it?

Last night wasn't exactly a banner night in the race for the final playoff spot in the east division. Moose Jaw lost to Saskatoon while Prince Albert gave up a late goal to Regina to lose 2-1 to the Pats. The Saskatoon win combined with the Raiders loss tightens things even further in the race for the playoffs. Prince Albert leads Moose Jaw by a point, with Saskatoon now only two points back for the final playoff spot.

Sounds like the Broncos will not have some of their top players in the line-up this weekend. We'll wait and see who's in and who's out. I'll post a game preview of the Broncos/Warriors match-up later.

Also in an upcoming post, I will pose this question to you: Who is the Broncos MVP this season? It's a great question and there is likely 5 or 6 candidates to choose from.

Have a good day,

Jon












Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Lightning, Dragons, and Broncos

Tuesday night the Broncos hosted the Swift Current Initiation Lightning and the Dragons - they were the winners of a recent promotional contest to see who could sell the most Bronco tickets.

Here's a look at the event in pictures.
(group photo)





Members of the Lightning gather for a bench shot

More Lightning fun. These kids were great!




Goaltender Travis Yonkman gets the yank.



Left to right: Geordie Wudrick, Levi Nelson, Dale Wiese. Below: Spencer McAvoy





Lightning hustle hard on the back-check.















Left to right: Kyle Bortis, Mike Wilson and Myles Rumsey







Charlie Horse entertains











Face-off!







Do the Broncos need some motivation to knock-off the Warriors this weekend? Probably considering they've clinched 3rd while the Warriors remain in a heated playoff battle.
Here's some motivation. From Warriors Head Coach Rene Lemaire "It's no secret we're not playing the top teams in our own division (to close off the season), so I don't want to say it's going to be a little easier but mentally for the guys it will be hard to compare the Broncos and the Blades to Regina and Brandon. They are top teams in this league and Saskatoon and Swift Current are probably more our level as you compare horses to horses."
Interesting.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Broncos Sparkle In Fun Game

The boys really put on a great show for the Initiation Dragons and Lightning tonight at the Fairview Arena. What a fun time!

To see the look on these kids faces, it was priceless. I'll post a bunch of pictures from the event tomorrow morning. Eagle Sports will have some clips from the kids and the Broncos from the event. Be sure to tune in tomorrow morning.

Jon

Monday, March 12, 2007

Gathering Momentum

Prince Albert must really dislike the Broncos.



If the Raiders give up the last playoff spot in the final week they can blame the Broncos for their misfortunes. For the 8th time this season the Broncos beat the Raiders - last night a 2-1 victory at the Art Hauser Center.



Jeremy Schenderling's pp goal midway through the 3rd period at the very end of a 5-on-3 man advantage turned out the be the winner. Dale Wiese had the other goal late in the first period. For Wiese, it's goals in consecutive games after not scoring in 11 straight.



Kyle Moir was steady and made it look easy in goal making 30 saves for the win. His puck and rebound control didn't allow the Raiders 2nd and 3rd opportunities. For Moir, he just keeps getting better as the playoffs approach.



What a recent stretch! Three for three this weekend, and winners of 6 of their last 8 outings. The three weekend wins also clinched 3rd place in the east division and a playoff clash with the Regina Pats in the 1st round.



The Broncos won last night without Levi Nelson, Brady Leavold and Spencer McAvoy in the line-up who all sat out after taking some bumps this weekend. How 'bout Leavold's physic-like prediction in the 2nd intermission? I asked him who would score the winner with the score tied 1-1 through 40 minutes, "my buddy Jeremy Schenderling will score his 23rd," is what Brady boldly predicted.



The boys are feeling good about themselves and why not. They could have mailed that one in last night with their depleted line-up, playing the third game in as many nights, and just clinching a playoff spot the night before . . . they didn't. Good on 'em for that. They must have really wanted that movie on the way home! Borat!



It's been a busy weekend, and myself along with the entire team quite frankly is looking forward to a bit of a break. It'll be nice to recharge for the next dew days and start planning a playoff strategy from a broadcast standpoint.



Other WHL news, the Lethbridge Hurricanes are out, the Red Deer Rebels are in. The Rebs beat the 'Canes 6-4 last night to clinch the final playoff spot in the Central division. A "Hurricane warning" has been issued for next season... they could be dangerous.



It looks like the Rockets will not be headed to the playoffs. Last night's loss to Tri-City combined with a Chilliwack shootout loss give the 'Wack a 3 point edge for the final playoff spot in the B.C. division. If the Rockets miss out, it will be the first time in franchise history they've missed the post-season.



Some other local sports news. . . big props to the Swift Current Remax Tier II Wild who won a provincial title this weekend in Prince Albert. Word is they only had 13 skaters and one goalie but got it done with four straight wins. The team is coached by Greg Hurrell.



Accountability. It's something most don't have to deal with in this new internet age. Anyone can have an opinion without having to claim it as their own or put their name to it if they so wish. It's only when you're held accountable for your words when the filter from brain to keyboard takes effect. George Bowditch of the Prairie Post actually wrote a good editorial on this recently.

Sure, I open myself up to criticism or praise daily with this blog because every opinion that's posted I'm held accountable for because my name is on it. I may not like it but it's part of the job I guess, I deal with it. Every comment I make about a player, the team, another team, the beer vendor, whatever - I have face up to it, and I think I have. I will continue to allow "anonymous posts" but please put yourself in my shoes before you blow your top. As my friend Ryan Switzer has recently informed me "nothing is off the record on the internet". With that said, the blog may be coming to an end sooner rather than later.



Bronco parents hopefully have been kept in the loop as much as possible and I think the coaching staff and the organization appreciates the blog too. But, I work for a radio station first and foremost and do not want it potentially to affect my job in the future. The blog's main objective is to keep fans informed both at home and on the road and share the odd opinion now and then which is open for debate.



Let's hear from you,

Jon