Friday, November 30, 2007

Broncos Stumble Early, Ice Win 7-5

In what was easily the worst start of the season for the Broncos in their 29 outings, the Kootenay Ice scored four first period goals on their way to a 7-5 win.

The Ice led 5-0 into the final minute of the 2nd period before Erik Felde's 14th of the season on a nice solo effort. The Broncos mounted a late comeback in "garbage time" to make it close. Dale Wiese scored twice in the third period while Jan Dalecky and David Steiler added singles to make the score respectable.

Between the pipes, you all seen it. Travis Yonkman was pulled after Kootenay's 2nd goal of the night and Ian Curtis took over. Again, the first shot he had to face changed directions in front of him on the powerplay and the rout was on from there.

I'm not going to recap the action but I will post some general thoughts.

- Where's the atmosphere in our building? Sure the fans have to create something but shouldn't the Broncos as an organization do something to promote fan excitement or involvement? I've been to all 22 WHL rinks so I feel like I can speak with some authority on this matter. Have we given up? Other teams have big promotions or have certain "nights" that bring in large crowds. What about the Grey Cup making an appearance? I see Moose Jaw, Saskatoon and Regina all have a Grey Cup appearance in the works.

There is no excitement build-up prior to puck drop unless the public address announcer is throwing a shout out to the Hazlet fans who have come out to cheer Andrew Bailey of the Kootenay Ice. Are we too accommodating? The I-plex has been a pretty inviting place for other teams to come in this year. Where's our edge? For pete sakes, Bailey's mom even sang the national anthem! Great job Terry-Lou. It was probably that or the junior B orchestra that has been busted out a couple of times this season. (taped instremental version of Oh Canada) No offense Cypress Cyclones, just a figure of speech.

Making the I-plex an imposing place to play starts with creating a tough atmosphere for the visitors to cope with and ends with a dominant in your face hockey team.

The Riders have the "13th man" and it makes a difference.

- Injuries are starting to mount. Ryan Molle and Matt Tassone both left the game with undisclosed injuries which isn't good considering the Broncos only dressed 19 players last night. They may have to dip into the system tonight to ice a complete line-up.

- Eric Felde provided a spark as a defenseman last night. It's a position he played to start his junior hockey career with and is comfortable doing it. He also scored his first goal in since an empty netter vs the Saskatoon Blades November 18th. Expect him to play on the back-end tonight as well.

- Spencer McAvoy was behind the bench for the Broncos last night in the absence of Assistant Coach Tim Kehler. Macker bared a striking resemblance to Ice Assistant Coach Kris Knoblauch in the coaching role.

- I notice a lot of fans talking about what we need. Toughness, a stay at home defenseman, etc. Presently I'm not sure this team has showed the willingness to grind out a game and win the little battles. This brand of "Sportscentre Hockey" isn't conducive to a playoff run. As Dean Chynoweth pointed out in our postgame show, " as the season winds down and approaches the playoffs, time and space will continue to be less and less". River hockey simply won't cut it when the going gets tough. Expectations are high and with the Broncos only three points out of 1st place in the East division, maybe all this talk is pre-mature.

- The Brandon Wheat Kings come in tonight. They've been sitting and waiting since last Friday's 7-6 win over the Broncos. The Wheaties haven't played since while the Broncos have played a pair of games in the last week. Keep an eye on super rookie Brayden Schenn tonight. The Wheat King first rounder already looks like a 19 year-old in his rookie season. He's the best 16 year-old player in Western Canada hands down right now. No contest.

- Teddy Bear toss night tonight. Bring your bears!


Thursday, November 29, 2007

I'm Not Gonna Lie....

I have really cared less about this on-going Canada/Russia series as it tours through the Canadian Hockey League. Tonight it's a different story though.

I'm interested in how our Bronco connection will do in this the finale of the series. Broncos forward Levi Nelson will get his shot to impress while Dean Chynoweth will handle the role of Assistant Coach for Team WHL.

The game will lack the "Hockey Canada" feel just because of the timeline of the event. Dean and Levi will drive in for the game and meet around 4pm for an orientation. It's game-time already at 7:30pm from the Medicine Hat Arena.

The biggest concern for Dean may be just trying to look good for the HDTV broadcast from coast-to-coast.

Last night the Russians surprised the WHL'ers with a 5-1 win. Good to see Swift Current's Andrew Bailey get involved physically in the third. The Kootenay Ice forward ran into the Russian goaltender at a pretty good clip and then ended up in a fight (if you would call it that) moments later. Bailey isn't known for that type of play but it did add a spark to the game in the final period.

It will interesting to see what kind of a reception Levi gets from fans in the 'Hat. He usually enemy #1 when the Broncos are in town.

The Broncos are hoping to get healthy this week as they prepare for the weekend. A quick stop at practice yesterday had three players in yellow "don't hit me" practice sweaters including Derek Claffey, Spencer McAvoy, and Mike Brown. Cody Eakin didn't practice due to a concussion but he's set to resume skating this week.

The Kootenay Ice come in as one of the hottest teams in the WHL. They haven't lost in regulation in the month of November going 8-0-1. Steve DaSilva is starting to score again and both Ice goaltenders have been solid over the last while.

It's the first of four meetings between the two teams. They play again a week from Friday back in Cranbrook when the Broncos begin their six-game U.S. road swing.

I think it's funny Kootenay only plays Kelowna once this year but has the Broncos on four separate occasions. Wacky scheduling to say the least.


I got through it... my birthday was yesterday and I'm now 29. I don't go seeking attention on birthdays and I like to keep them pretty low key...meaning no mentions on the Eagle morning show or things along that line. The boys on the team all seemed to know yesterday when I showed up for practice to get some interviews. I think they got the info from Facebook.

I also heard it was in the Leader-Post's sports figure birthdays. I shared the same space as famed New York Yankees pitcher Dave Righetti.... I guess it pays to know Leader-Post Sports Editor Rob Vanstone, haha. Rob is doing a great job with all the Rider coverage lately following the big Grey Cup win.

I just don't care to be the guy who has to advertise his birthday to the world. When I was driving to Notre Dame on Tuesday I caught some Regina radio and the afternoon announcer on Z99 made it a point to announce it was his birthday everytime he cracked open the mic.... in one instance he sang happy birthday to himself! I was embarrassed for him. That's great radio Josh.

Speaking of Regina radio, my old college buddy Chad Hansen - who hosts the afternoon show on 104.9 the Wolf gave me a call to talk on-air about how bad Winnipeg Blue Bombers Head Coach Doug Berry was in the Grey Cup game. Some of his challenge attempts were way out to lunch. And what was up with that half-time interview he gave to that CBC sideline reporter? Weird.


I'm making a visit down to the office of Broncos team Doctor Rizqi Ibrahim this afternoon. Doc is going to hook me up with the appropriate shots in order to head south over the Christmas holidays to the Dominican or Cuba.

Doc is a great guy and is a very valuable piece to the Broncos organization. He's great with the players and has been the team doctor for several of Canada's junior teams who have traveled abroad. He has the medals to prove it.

I've never been to a warm resort destination so I'm getting geared up to go. Should be a fun time if we can all avoid Montezuma's Revenge.


Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Few and Far Between

That about sums up the frequency of my recent posts....

The Broncos are off 'till Friday night when they host the Kootenay Ice, the Riders and their fans are still celebrating a Grey Cup victory. The parade route ran from Mosiac Stadium on the Legislature Building where I'm told our premier Brad Wall represented our city well. It was good to see him on the field for the coin toss prior to kick-off. I haven't spoken with him but I heard it was a pretty good time in T.O. for all involved.

Grey Cup Sunday was awesome. Fans all over the country that make up Rider Nation celebrated the victory together. Text messages and phone calls from coast to coast were coming in through the game and late into the night. By the sounds of it, Albert Street Regina was the place to be but kudos to our fans who made Swift Current's Central Avenue a party zone after the Riders win.

Ryan and I were part of the action and I took a mini disc recorder into the crowd of rowdies for some morning show audio. Grain trucks with Rider flags were roaring down Central complimented with horns honking and fans in the back grain hopper... crazy.

I caught a bit of the post-game show on CKRM 620. I have to compliment voice of the Riders Rod Pedersen and how composed he was. I don't know if I could pull it all together in that kind of a moment. Impressive.


Kurt’s KFC Teddy Bear Toss Night Set for December 1st (press release)

The Swift Current Broncos are set to host the Kurt’s KFC Teddy Bear Toss at Saturday night’s (December 1st) home game against the Brandon Wheat Kings. As in past years, all fans attending the game are encouraged to bring a new stuffed animal to the game. To keep the toys clean all teddy bears should be placed in a plastic bag. When the Broncos score their 1st goal, fans can throw their teddy bears onto the ice! All stuffed animals will be donated to the Salvation Army for those who are less fortunate.

The Salvation Army will also be selling toonie tennis balls at the doors in conjunction with the KFC Teddy Bear Toss; that can be filled with change to support the Salvation Army’s programs.

For ticket information, please contact the Broncos Office at 773-1509.


Started some Christmas shopping this week but it's still too early. I operate best under pressure and November 27th shopping is anything but a pressure cooker. I find myself shopping for myself more than anything. Oops.

I made the snowy trip to Notre Dame last night for a "AAA" midget Legionnaires broadcast. Now and then I still do the odd "AAA" broadcast on the Eagle 94.1 FM. Often times we set up in small rinks that are anything but broadcast friendly. Phone lines are tough to find, the rink is usually cold and the calibre of hockey is inconsistent at best. Last night it was the " Scalpers Nightmare" between the last place Notre Dame Argos and the Legionnaires who are 2nd from the basement. The trip, set-up, and broadcast serves as a good reminder as to how good the Western Hockey League is. Sometimes I think we can take that for granted as broadcasters. We have it pretty damn good. No whining please.

Alright, I have to throw some motivation over to Switzer at

C'mon man! Novemeber 15th is your last update! (Is that the kick you needed?)

Have a good day,


Sunday, November 25, 2007


No long post today. It's gameday.

Yes, the Broncos won in the shootout last night to end their shootout slump of five straight losses. It was a well played game with both goaltenders Joey Perricone and Travis Yonkman stealing the show at times.

The referees let the teams play and the game sure had it's moments. Good stuff.

Broncos host Kootenay Friday night in the Chynoweth Bowl.

To Rider Nation everywhere.... enjoy the game.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Brandon Recap / Elkhorn Afternoon

Well, what can I say about last night’s game in Brandon? Great start, great finish, but in the end the Wheat Kings outpaced the Broncos 7-6 in a wild affair filled with numerous scoring chances at both ends.

The Broncos got out to their best start of the season with a pair of goals just 4:29 in from Dale Wiese and Zack Smith. At the radio time-out midway through the 1st period the Broncos had yet to surrender a shot on goal and were in control.

That is until Del Cowan’s top circle blast down the left wing zinged over the ear of Ian Curtis and dented the twine top corner on Brandon’s very first shot on goal. Brayden Schenn scored moments later on Brandon’s 2nd shot and we were back to square one.

A Brandon crossbar and then a Tyler Dittmer goal in the slot off the rush gave Brandon the lead 3-2. It also spelled the end of the night for Ian Curtis in the Broncos goal who was replaced with 2:35 to play in the period by Travis Yonkman.

Looking back, the turning point came on a Matt Tassone major penalty for boarding on Sanfred King late in the 2nd period. The hit in front of the Wheat Kings bench appeared not to be major penalty status to me. A penalty yes, a major not a chance. I could read the lips of Brandon’s assistant coach Dwayne Gylywoychuk “stay down, stay down, stay down”. King was ok. He remained on the bench and did return.

Tassone’s hit was being reviewed by the WHL office today. No word on a suspension but the going rate for the type of infraction is one game.

Brandon scored two more on the five minute powerplay and led 7-4 after two periods. Eric Doyle blasted home a one-timer on a 5-on-3 advantage to make in only the three goal gap before the period closed.

The first half of the third was slow and chances on both ends were few. – a real change of pace from the opening two periods. The Broncos pulled within two goals with four and a half minutes to play when Dale Wiese tipped home his 2nd of the game on the point shot from Eric Doyle.

After Wiese drew a penalty in the late stages of the game, the Broncos pulled the goaltender for the six on four advantage and promptly narrowed the gap on a goal by Zack Smith in the slot with 1:28 to play.

A mad scramble and a goal post from Dale Wiese in the dying seconds was as close as the Broncos would come to force overtime. A great try, but it still goes down as another key divisional loss in the end.

The Broncos outchanced Brandon in the end in the run and gun type affair but Brandon finished off most of their opportunities showing great skill. Brandon’s Brayden Schenn is the best 16 year-old to come into the league since…..? I’m having trouble answering that one but it’s been awhile. He finished the night with two goals and two assists. He will be an NHL first rounder next year and is the cream of the crop in his very talented age group across the WHL. Brandon got him 9th overall in the 2006 bantam draft.

The team stayed the night and departed for Moose Jaw at noon.

The Elkhorn Experience.

Quite a treat for the guys on the way to Moose Jaw today. We stopped at Elkhorn, MB, a tiny bordertown along the Trans Canada highway for the pre-game meal. It’s a stop several teams are doing and now I see why.

No restaurant on this stop; we sat down in the middle of the lobby of the town’s rink and were treated to a great meal and small town hospitality at it’s finest. To make the experience even better, an Atom hockey tournament was going on and young autograph seekers were everywhere.

Homemade soup, corn, mashed potatoes, turkey and stuffing were on the menu this day which is the Elkhorn specialty. It reminded me of hockey in my hometown and got me thinking many years back to that time.

Even a young voice over the p.a. system was announcing the goals and assists… that very well could have been me 15 years ago. Broncos athletic therapist Paul Ayotte laughed out loud when I referred to the announcer as a “a young Jon Keen”.

A poster sized picture of former Bronco Sheldon Kennedy dawns the wood panel wall of the lobby. “To my friends in Elkhorn, all the best, Sheldon Kennedy” was the writing in the corner of the framed picture.

It was a setting I don’t think too many Broncos have experienced before. Zack Smith would be the only player from a small town that would have grown up in a rink like that. It was hockey at the grassroots level and put things really into perspective. The guys sat around and watched the atom game that was underway. Dale Wiese and Spencer McAvoy were glued to the action and had some laughs. Spence was comparing his turnover that led to a breakaway Wednesday in Prince Albert to one that just happened on the Elkhorn ice. The goalie flopped to his knees and made a big save on the wobbly wrister from 8 feet.

The local senior team, the Elkhorn Canadiens would have a game later that night. I wish I could have stayed for that one.

It was great.

Broncos and Moose Jaw tonight, pre-game show at 6:30, play-by-play at 7pm.


Thursday, November 22, 2007

Brandon Bound...

A few things to blog about on the seven hour journey southeast to Brandon for tomorrow night’s game.

A quick stop in some of the small towns along the journey just goes to show the strength of Rider Pride. A stop in Wadena proved to be interesting. How about some Rider Pride doughnuts in the bakery? One lady asked “is your bus heading to the Grey Cup game?”

Several small towns along the way had “Go Riders” signs flanking the road. That seemed to stop as we hit the Manitoba border.

I’ll take a closer look at the Grey Cup game from the Broncos perspective in tomorrow night’s pre-game show. With a handful of Winnipeggers and Saskies on the team, there will be something on the line Sunday besides the Grey Cup.

The team also made a quick stop in Yorkton for lunch, This trek is rarely made by the Broncos. In fact I can recall only once before doing the Prince Albert / Brandon trip. Five seasons ago we played in Brandon first and after the game bussed as far as Yorkton. We pulled in around 2am to ur hotel and there was this huge wedding dance taking place that rocked on till four in the morning. Safe to say no one was well rested after that night. We were sharing the same hotel as the Kindersley Klippers of the SJHL, at the time coached by Dave Hunchak. We bussed on to Prince Albert the next day.

Last night was streak breaking night around the league – except for the Broncos who dropped their fourth in a row to Prince Albert. More on that game later. Moose Jaw snapped a seven game slide by beating Saskatoon 3-1. The Warriors will probably win seven straight now… such a streaky hockey club.

Lethbridge failed to pick up a point for the first time in 14 games (13-0-0-1) in that stretch. They lost in Edmonton 6-3.

Tri City stopped Kelowna’s streak of points in consecutive games with a 6-1 win. The Americans lit up the scoreboard six times in the 2nd period. Game over.

The Broncos continue to struggle against Prince Albert. The Broncos didn’t have a lot of first period energy and didn’t really start skating until late in the 2nd period. Two Raider goals 1:09 apart in the 2nd period by Matt Robertson and Jordan Trach was the turning point.

Ryan Depape scored his 5th of the season to open the scoring midway through the first period. Three of his five season markers have come against the Broncos.

The icing on the cake came early in the third period. It was the first time I have ever seen this play happen in person. The Broncos scored an “own goal” with their goalie pulled. for the extra attacker on a delayed penalty. Brad Hoban tried to get the puck back to the point inside the Raiders zone to Ryan Molle when the puck hopped over Molle’s stick and had enough juice to roll all the way down the ice and into the Broncos empty net. “You gotta be kidding me” was my on-air reaction. The fans went nuts.


Is the WHL listening? When it comes to my on-going concern with goal judges maybe they are. Two cases on Sunday night rendered goal judges as just glorified light switch operators in which the referee chose not to consult them after a couple of pucks rang the crossbar.

One was in the Broncos/ Saskatoon game when David Steiler rang the bar late in the 1st period and the red light went on. The referee waved if off and play continued. After the play was blown down, the goal judge was trying his best to get the attention of the referee to add his two cents. The referee never consulted him.

The same held true Sunday night in Moose Jaw in overtime when Riley Holzapfel hit the cross bar in a 2-2 game against Lethbridge. Again the red light went on but the referee made no signal it was a goal. He never consulted the goal judge either for his thoughts. Maybe a memo has been sent out recently regarding the homers with the best seat in the house. If so, that’s great to hear.

My thoughts on the subject is that most of the goal judges around the league are usually on the booster club of the home team and when it comes to being an unbias official of the game…. good luck.

The title “goal judge” should be changed to “goal light operator”. Or, do what the NHL did and do away with them all together. Make no mistake, video replay is coming to the WHL on a full time basis during the regular season – maybe as soon as next year. For now, it will remain only in Conference Finals and the WHL Championship series.


Finally I will close off with my favorite line of the week and it comes courtesy of Andy Kemper, voice of the Portland Winterhawks.

As the Hawks held on to beat Regina 4-3 earlier this week, Andy proudly proclaimed “The Hawks are now 2-0 on home ice on Tuesday nights against east division teams.” Nice work Andy. Something to build on.


Wednesday, November 21, 2007


A quick pic from summertime to begin the post.
(left to right: me, Kerry Joseph, Switzer) We snapped this pic at Kerry's Regina condo the day before the big Labour Day clash with the Bombers.

The gift of wine must have worked, hopefully KJ has some magic left for Sunday after a phenomenal season to date.


I'll have a little more time to update the blog this afternoon on the way North to Prince Albert.

A couple of things have caught my attention lately, not the least of which is the Broncos 2/27 record for shooters in the shootout this season in five losses.

Tonight's pre-game show begins at 7pm on the Eagle 94.1 FM. Former Bronco captain Luke Hunter will be my guest. Some pretty interesting stuff going on with Luke these days. You can catch that interview tonight prior to face-off in P.A.

Tonight's game with Prince Albert may be getting a little personal for the Broncos after three regulation losses to the Raiders this season. Plus, the game is on Shaw tonight. My buddy Cam Moon has the play-by-play. I hope you still catch our radio feed for the action....

I will have more of an update later....


Sunday, November 18, 2007

Gameday! Broncos and Blades

The Swift Current Broncos have a chance to grab a share of the lead in the east division when they host the Saskatoon Blades tonight. Here some points to ponder before tonight's face-off.

- The Blades will play their third game in three nights after back-to-back home ice losses to Lethbridge and Calgary. How much is left in the tank?

- The Broncos have to start playing to win rather than a team playing like they are afraid to lose against teams lower in the standings. Too often already this season the Broncos have let points slip away.

- The Blades sport the league's worst road record at 1-10-1. Yes, even Portland has been better on the road this season.

- The Broncos will hope to have Keegan Dansereau back in the line-up after he was sick on Friday night. He was at the rink the past couple days and that's a good sign. If history tells us anything, the Broncos will wait till he's 100% before getting him back in the line-up. The Broncos never rush injuries or health in order to get a player back in. Also, don't expect Derek Claffey tonight. His shoulder injury should keep him out until sometimes next week.

- The Blades may still be without overage defenseman John Flatters who sat out last night's game vs Calgary due to suspension. His hit on Lethbridge's Nick Hotson on Friday night drew a boarding major and game miscounduct. The league has said his suspension is "To Be Determined" according to


It's the Riders and Lions in the CFL's Western Final a little later on this afternoon. The Broncos elected to keep the starting time as is (7pm) even though Prince Albert bumped their start time back a half hour to 7:30. I would have liked the Broncos to move their start time back but it didn't happen. Looks like another late arriving crowd... if they arrive at all tonight at the I-plex. Fans would like to see both. Not sure why they didn't try to accomodate.

I got a kick out of the exchange between Lions Head Coach Wally Buono and Riders radio color commenter Carm Carteri. If anyone missed it you can catch the highlights over at Don't tell me coaches don't pay attention to whats going on out there in the media. Most are glued to what's being said on the radio, in the paper and on the internet, though they will never admit it.

It reminded me of when Pats Head Coach Curtis Hunt had some words for me during last year's playoff series for a blog entry I had posted. All of that is water under the bridge. Curtis has been fantastic this year and hasn't held a grudge.

The Buono/Carteri incident is just another example of how the media plays a role in the game within a game.


My best wishes to WHL linseman Chad Marshall. The veteran liney recently had a tumour-like growth removed from his kidney in hospital at Regina. He's one of the nicest guys out there. All the best Duecey.


Saturday, November 17, 2007

Broncos Down Wheaties 4-1

No update today... it's the Broncos and my only Saturday off 'till late February.

Not much to report... Kelly Macrimmon was well behaved in the pre-game interview - no fireworks. Linseman Kelly Balaberda dropped the puck on a routine basis... no problems. Life is good.

Have a good Saturday,


Friday, November 16, 2007

Reich for the Stars

Another Vancouver trade today...

It appears former Bronco Micheal Hengen may soon have company for most career WHL teams in the last five years following another trade involving Mike Reich today....

Here's the news release:

The Vancouver Giants have dealt 19 year-old forward Mike Reich to the Saskatoon Blades. In exchange, the Giants will receive a 7th round pick in the 2009 WHL Bantam Draft.

Reich, who was acquired earlier this season from the Regina Pats, is into his 4th season in the WHL. The 5’11”, 192lbs forward from Craik, Saskatchewan appeared in 13 games with the Giants, scoring three goals and adding one assist.

Here is the scoresheet:

Hengen: Swift Current, Saskatoon, Chilliwack, Calgary, Moose Jaw, Edmonton

Reich: Spokane, Calgary, Regina, Vancouver, Saskatoon....

He still has another year to play in the WHL...maybe he can join the super six club too.

Personally I like his game. The cousin of former Bronco Jeremy Reich plays with an edge. Im sure we will see that edge Sunday when he attempts to prove his worth to his new team.

Special Award Presentation


WHL's Top 25 According to NHL Central Scouting

A couple days late but worth posting.

1 C Kyle Beach, Everett
2 D Tyler Myers, Kelowna
3. D Colten Teubert, Regina
4. D Luke Schenn, Kelowna
5. D Tyler Ennis, Medicine Hat
6. C Zach Boychuk, Lethbridge
7. D Jyri Niemi, Saskatoon
8. C Jordan Eberle, Regina
9. D Luca Sbisa, Lethbridge
10. LW Geordie Wudrick, Swift Curren
t11. D Colby Robak, Brandon
12. C James Wright, Vancouver
13. D Travis Hamonic, Moose Jaw
14. C Brandon McMillan, Kelowna
15. LW Matt Calvert, Brandon
16. D Matt Delahey, Regina
17. C Mitch Wahl, Spokane
18. D Michael Stone, Calgary
19. C Kruise Reddick, Tri-City
20. D Teigan Zahn, Sasktoon
21. C Lance Bouma, Vancouver
22. D Eric Mestery, Tri-City
23. C Joel Broda, Moose Jaw
24. D Jordan Rowley, Kamloops
25. C Matt Tassone, Swift Current

1. Chet Pickard, Tri-City
2. Braden Holtby, Saskatoon
3. Jacob DeSerres, Seattle
4. Martin Jones, Calgary
5. Dustin Tokarski, Spokane
6. Morgan Clark, Red Deer
7. Kyle Birch, Tri-City

Interesting list. Good to see Geordie and Matt on it. This is a pretty solid group out of the WHL and both Bronco players will no eagerly anticpate the Central Scouting Mid-Term Rankings due out sometime in January.

Central Scouting has lost a little bit of it's pull over the years due to NHL teams liking certain players and going with their scouts rather than the NHL's panel.

Hopefully Broncos goaltender Ian Curtis can get some extra looks in the coming weeks and at least get his name on the board somewhere. At 6'5 I'm surprised the scouts left him off the list. They salivate over size... can't teach size right?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Stuff You Hear...

The one thing I like about this league is that I learn something new almost every day or every game. The amount of hockey or league knowledge knows no ceiling. The more I just sit and listen, the more things I learn. It's neverending really. I've been fortunate to have learned from some of the best and most knowledgeable over the years. From coaching techniques to handling different personalities to just understanding the game on another level, this year has been as educational as ever.

- Broncos rookie forward Mike Brown is set to rejoin the team after a whirlwind trip to Toronto. His Grandpa is Bill Hay is the Chairman for the Hockey Hall of Fame. Mike was on hand for the big induction ceremony which included Mark Messier, Scott Stevens, Ron Francis, Al MacInnis and Builder Jim Gregory entering the Hall.

- How 'bout some goals? The Broncos haven't scored more than three goals in their last five games. The high octane offense sometimes needs to run a little diesel instead and get a little greasy.

- Wind speeds of 100 km/h plus blew threw Swifty the last 24 hours. There wasn't a lot of sleep for a few people in town last night including me. Surprising there was little to no damage around the city. I silenced my cell this afternoon to catch-up and apparently missed a call from by buddy Regan Bartel in Kelowna. He left a random message about goaltending which got me thinking about all the past or present goaltenders in the WHL broadcast booth.

Cam Moon in Red Deer would be the only one who played at any sort of a high level. The former WHL 'tender would be at the head of the class. Regan is Kelowna plays/played quite a bit growing up while Ron St.Clair tries to convince me every time I'm in Prince George that he's still in the prime of his career.

I play a least I used to. I know there's a couple more in the ranks that I just can't think of right now. Drew in P.A perhaps?


- The Broncos had their lights knocked out today... literally. A power outage believed to be caused by the high winds cancelled practice. The Broncos host Brandon Friday and Saskatoon Sunday to complete the weekend. A rare Saturday night off for the Hockey Club.

Short and sweet... that's it for tonight.


Sunday, November 11, 2007

Riders Win...Broncos Lose / What's With This Guy?

I admit to being a little distracted during the first period of tonight's hockey game...apparently so were the Broncos.

With the game streaming on my laptop in the broadcast booth, I attempted to call the game in between plays in the 4th quarter of the West Semi Final. Ryan saw how distracted I was coming and took over between whistles. We were trying to keep Bronco fans in the building and on the radio kept up to date. The ending of the Riders game was a relief on a couple levels. Relief for the Riders win and relief that I could focus on the Broncos game.

About that game... The Broncos came out flat in the first period and went down a couple goals after the Raiders crashed the net and banged home a couple. Goals the Broncos have been famous for the last couple years.

Dale Wiese's shorthanded marker (Broncos first shorty of the year) with just over a minute to go in the 1st gave them some life going into the 2nd.

After killing off a double minor assessed to Levi Nelson, (two for tripping, two for some words for referee Devin Klein) the Broncos got a boost as Nelson was set up in front on a great effort from Dale Wiese to center the pass in front. We were tied at two.

The Raiders would take the lead late in the 2nd on a powerplay rebound goal. Another undisciplined penalty led to the go-ahead goal. Devin Klein called a good game tonight. He was fair, called what he saw and put the whistle away in the final minutes to let the teams decide it.

The third period featured a Raiders team bottling things up and chipping pucks out of their zone to hold on for the win. Dustin Butler made 13 third period saves and 31 in the hockey game. The Broncos are waiting for him to have an off-night. It hasn't happened in the first three meetings.

Like last year, the trend of teams beating the Broncos that are lower in the standings is continuing. It seems certain teams just give the Broncos problems. This year it looks like the Raiders.

The Broncos have most of the week off before hosting Kelly Macrimmon and the Brandon Wheat Kings. The Wheaties edged the Pats 2-1 in regulation earlier in the day.


Ok, this has been a long time coming and I think I speak on behalf of most of the teams and coaches in this league.

What's the deal with linseman Kelly Balaberda? This veteran WHL linseman seems to always try to be the star of the show.

The non-stop power tripping to both team benches and kicking out centerman after centerman in the face-off circle.... I'm getting overly annoyed with it. He holds a lecture to each center in the draw before dropping the

It had me openly saying "just drop the puck already Kelly " several times on tonight's broadcast. He's causing more problems than he's solving. Players start jawing at each other from sheer restlessness.

The league wants the games to be quicker and quicker yet this human rain delay is just focused on getting some facetime from those in attendance.

I'm friends with a few of the linies around the league. They're great guys and do a great job. They know their role out there and do nothing more, nothing less than what's asked from the league. To Ian Schafer, Chad Marshall, Brad Davie, Nathan Weiler...keep up the great work. The teams also appreciate your effort.

The league must think he's doing a fantastic job. He's been sent to all sorts of IIHF tournaments around the world. I think he's shared a few overseas flights with referee Chris Savage. Take that for what it's worth.

Just drop the puck. It's simple.

Monday Night Best Western Meet the Broncos as me along with Dean Chynoweth and Zack Smith at Kabos. We will be there from 5-7pm. Stop on by if you'd like.


Saturday, November 10, 2007

Bus Blogging

The hockey club hit the road for S’toon at nearly 3pm today… about a half hour behind schedule due to a broken hose clamp, which was replaced just outside the rink….

Not a bad Saturday drive ahead… mostly cloudy with a nice temperature is delaying the inevitable winter.

Tonight’s game against the Blades should be a good one. Despite the Blades last place East division record; they are playing decent on home ice with a record of 5-2. It’s the dismal 1-10-1 road record that has hurt them to this point.

A pretty formidable top line faces the Broncos tonight in Gillies/Durand/Fiala. In fact the Blades have decent depth at forward and their lack of scoring is a bit puzzling.

Their depth and experience on the blueline and some shoddy goaltending at times has hurt them.

The Blades gave the Broncos big problems last season and I’m sure that has stuck with some of the players and coaching staff.

The Blades are going to take their time dropping the puck tonight. They’ve planned a lengthy pre-game ceremony, which will push a 7:05pm face-off to around 7:20 if it goes as planned.

With that in mind expect some longer coaches interviews and a couple players to fill up some time in the pre-game show. After talking to Dean 20 times already this season in the pre-game show it can be tough to squeeze 5 or 6 minutes out of it.


I was reading the blog of Everett Silvertips’ broadcaster Jon Rosen. He’s doing a daily commentary on his travels through their Central division road trip. Apparently some of the fans in Lethbridge were getting in his face below his broadcast location. Taunting, cheering and clapping in front of him when the Hurricanes would score. It was a good read and I can sure relate to some of that stuff.

It’s par for the course in the WHL. It’s no big deal. Most of us broadcasters could care less while others take it personally. I tend to lean on the personally side a little bit. Those who know me know me as a pretty competitive guy. When someone is giving it to me below the booth I tend to try and give it right back.

The worst case came in Vancouver a couple years ago. The broadcast booth and media area is situated between a couple of sections on the lower bowl near center-ice. This donkey fan was all over me in a Giants third period comeback. I shut my headset mic of a few times and had some words for him… he was drunk, I don’t think it mattered what I said. He was in his own world. He tried to hop over the concrete wall and get at me… I was hoping he was going to make it over…I was fired up after a Chris Savage refereeing sideshow that night and like a player was looking to take out some frustrations on someone. He would have worked nicely. Security pulled him down and dragged him to the bottom of the steps where he proceeded to do a little victory jig for me.

Prince George is a common place for fan on broadcaster dialogue. Luckily we’ve handled the Cougars quite well in their rink the past few years and the Cougar faithful haven’t had much to cheer about with the Broncos in town.

It was different last month in PG. Most of the fan taunting was directed towards the booth beside me in a Broncos 6-1 win. Cougar’s G.M. Dallas Thompson was sitting next door and hearing it from fans. Now there’s one guy I wouldn’t want to tick-off.

Moose Jaw’s Civic Center has its moments too. However most of the talk back and forth is good-natured. No harm intended.

My colorman Ryan Switzer has a little something going with the Medicine Hat fans. Especially the motley crew that sit behind the Tigers bench. They are harmless though, and we are at least 50 feet above them.

I’m sure the other broadcasters around the league could reference similar stories…


Good effort last night by both the Broncos and Tigers in a 3-0 Broncos victory. The game appeared to be on fast-forward most of the night. Two good skating clubs back and forth resembled two European club teams battling it out. The Broncos scored on their chances while the Tigers didn’t have much luck in front of Travis Yonkman. He made all 22 saves and was brilliant at times.

Derek Claffey was skating well and moving the puck last night – his best game of the year. Claffey deserved a star – if not #1. The defense-first defenseman shined in both ends of the rink.

Erik Felde was flying too. He seemed to be winning every foot race which created several scoring opportunities. He was clearly hooked on a breakaway in the third period but no call was made. I couldn’t believe it. When a player is hooked around the arm and pulled off the puck from behind that’s a penalty shot. Referee Pat Smith was well behind the play created off a neutral ice turnover and I don’t think got a good look at it. Overall Smith called a pretty good game I thought.

Zack Smith had nearly 50 fans in attendance from his hometown of Maple Creek. A fan bus made its way down to the I-plex to check out their native son. Smith didn’t disappoint with a goal and a helper to tie him with Eric Felde for a team leading 24 points.

I’ll try and post a recap of tonight’s action from Saskatoon.


Friday, November 09, 2007

Broncos Trade Foucault to Ice

Here's the release from the Ice.

Jeff Chynoweth, General Manager of the Kootenay ICE Hockey Club, today announced the Club has acquired 17-year-old Forward Kris Foucault (Foo-cou) from the Swift Current Broncos in exchange for a sixth round pick in the 2008 WHL Bantam Draft.

“With just 11 forwards on our roster we knew we had to increase that number as soon as possible.

Kris brings size and offensive potential to our Club and gives us more depth in the 1990 age group,” added Chynoweth.

Kris Foucault will practice with the team tomorrow and is expected to be in the line up on Sunday against the Seattle Thunderbirds. He is also a cousin of Kootenay ICE Forward Tylan Stephens.

Kris Foucault
December 12, 1990 *
Hometown: Calgary, AB
Forward * Shoots: Left *
6’1”, 190 lbs.
2007 – 2008 Calgary Buffaloes 10 5 6 11 42


The trade gives Foucault a chance to play in the Western League as the Broncos clearly didn't have room for him on their roster as an 18 year-old forward.

Make no mistake he's a good player and would have filled in nicely on a call-up basis. This gives him a chance to play full-time. He has some skill and could provide Kootenay some help with their ailing line-up.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Trading Day

Yes, I nap in the afternoon. I have no choice really with the schedule and work hours of 5am till... whenever I'm done. Apparently though, I was asleep at the switch today.

I awoke to a pair of major deals in the WHL both involving the Portland Winterhawks and their full out team fire sale. Five players out and seven when the dust settled. Congratulations Ken Hodge you have made a statement.

A seven player swap with Lethbridge started the day. It went like this: F Nick Hotson, 20, F Colton Sceviour, 18, and D Lucas Alexiuk, 18, to the Lethbridge Hurricanes for F Jacob Dietrich, 20, F Nick Dietrich, 18, D Ryan Kerr, 18, D Travis Bobbee, 17, and a fifth-round pick in the 2008 bantam draft.

Not sure about this deal and what prompted the Hurricanes to jump in. I think they get three good players. Hotson led the Hawks in scoring last season while Colton Sceviour has good offensive upside. Not sure on Alexiuk I won't lie. The Canes give 20 year-old Jacob Dietrich who had a measly three points in 20 games. I can hear fans saying already "yeah but he's a great kid". That's not enough to justify a 20 year-old spot. You have to add something besides being a "good team guy". A WHL coach once told me "You can fill Giants Stadium with good kids..."

Didn't see a lot of Nick Dietrich to form an opinion but I thought Kerr and Bobee were good depth defenseman to this point. They never stood out in the head to head meetings against the Broncos be it negative of positive.

Now to the other big deal of the day and I have to wonder out loud. Does Warriors General Manager Chad Lang think the year is 1987? He acquires even more toughness in muscle as if he's gearing up for all out war against the East division. Remember that arms race thing I was talking about? Makes you wonder what Regina's next move will be?

Here's the trade: The Winterhawks send a 5th round bantam pick, 20 year-old forward Frazier Mclaren and 17 year-old defenseman Ty Ariss. The Hawks get some talent in return in 20 year-old forward Keith Voytechek, 17 year-old forward Jason Grecica and 18 year-old d-man Travis Erhardt.

Poor Dave Hunchak. The coach of the Warriors is going to need the players to write their name and tape it on their helmet. Hi, my name is Keaton.

That's three big trades for the Warriors in a month. I'm losing track.

So getting back to the whole 1987 comment... let's take a look at some of the beef up front for the Warriors now.

Frazier Mclaren - 6'5 230 - tough as nails with some offensive touch
Ryley Grantham - 6'4 203 - one dimensional. Just try and disagree with me.
Terrance Dellorande - 6'1 205 - doesn't shy away from the rough stuff.

I'm not saying "1987" in a negative way. Whether it works at this day in age we'll see. If I owned a WHL team Chad Lang could apply for the G.M. job any day. So could you Kelly Mac, I don't want you feeling left out. I would however require you to be nice to all working members of the media. Not interested?

The move will more than likely pay off for the Warriors. Lang wouldn't have made the move if he didn't think so.


Interesting side note to the Ellerby/Calla trade. Heard this today on the street... Both Ellerby and new Blazer co-owner Shane Doan share the same agent - J.P. Barry. He's a heavy hitter in the agent world make no mistake. Ellerby was a healthy scratch last Blazers game vs Red Deer Tuesday night. Was that the last straw in Blazerville?

Ellerby has a ton of potential but didn't see eye-to-eye with Clark. Can he begin to live up to his potential in Moose Jaw? After all he is a 10th overall NHL pick and with that carries huge expectations. Expect him to get every opportunity to excel. Now it's basically up to him.


News Continues Out of the 'Loops....

A whirlwind 12 hours in Kamloops with the Blazers. Dean Clark has been fired as Head Coach and General Manager, Greg Hawgood is the new head coach and Keaton Ellerby has been traded to Moose Jaw for Brady Calla.

For all the info go to Gregg Drinnan's blog at


Big night in Swift Current as our very own Brad Wall has been named Premier-elect of the province of Saskatchewan after a Saskatchewan Party majority government. I'll have more thoughts on last night later once everyone catches their breath around here... It was a late night and early morning for our coverage.

Here's my favorite quote from Brad's speech:

" For all those ex-patriots who have left for a short time and are tuning in across the nation I say, come home. You can come home to opportunity, come home to a great quality of life, come home to winning football in the province of Saskatchewan!"


Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Election Day / Quiet Week

Big day across the province for our provincial election. It should be a very exciting evening as Swift Current's Brad Wall looks to become the next premier of the province.

Not a lot going on with the Broncos. The team is in the middle of six days between games as they prepare for a three in three this weekend beginning with the Medicine Hat Tigers Friday night at the I-plex.

Stopped by practice yesterday and it appears forward Mike Brown continues to to get better. He's recovering from a shoulder injury and has resumed skating.

Apparently a bunch of Zack Smith fans - a whole bus load, will be making their way into to Swift Current Friday night for the Broncos/Tigers game. That should make things exciting for the Broncos captain.

A reminder for Friday's game, a donation of used sporting equipment or a cash donation towards Swift Current Kidsport will get your name entered for a pair of Rider tickets to Sunday's west-semi final against Calgary. We will be making the draw during the game.

Kidsport, and radio station volunteers will be set-up outside the entrances collecting donations. Thanks for helping out....


Monday, November 05, 2007

Random Takes

Im enjoying a nice Monday off... no early morning sports, morning show, and no Monday Night Meet the Broncos and BP's. Chancey boy will host Keegan Dansereau and Levi Nelson tonight at Boston Pizza... go down and say hi between 5-7pm.

It's a pretty busy time of the year right now with all the sports coverage in our family of four radio stations based in Swift Current and Shaunavon. Between Broncos games, "AAA" Legionnaires and Wildcats broadcasts, and provincial high school 9-man semi-finals, it's been quite the challenge to our staff. A lot of people have stepped up to do these games and make them successful. I think we rival CKRM on the amount of sports we broadcast annually. Someone counted 120 sports broadcasts annually between Broncos, Indians, "AAA" hockey and whatever else is in season. We have great sponsors and that allows us to pull these things off and I thank all of them.

My love for all things newsy gets revisited this Wednesday night. I'm being posted at Brad Wall's Sask Party's election night headquarters for our in-depth Goldenwest Radio Election coverage. I've been thinking about how the night is going to go over at the Stockade building. It'll either be outright jubilation following a Sask Party election victory and new government where Brad becomes the premier of Saskatchewan or the complete opposite. It won't be pretty in there if the Sask Party is defeated again. Either way, it will be my job to convey those feelings and present them in a professional manner. Politics is like sports and this is the Super Bowl, World Series, Stanley Cup final of the provincial political world all wrapped into one night. I can't wait.


Shootouts in the WHL.... lets get rid of 'em! I'm done with them, honestly. There isn't a worse feeling than losing in a shootout in hockey. It gives you a bad feeling in your stomach that is hard to shake. Sure they are exciting for fans but has the novelty worn off already? Maybe it's just me.


It looks like Rod Pedersen in Regina is taking some heat recently for comments made on the job. Except for a few anonymous jackasses on Rod's site in the comments section after he posted the transcript of my chat with Kelly Mac, I've stayed pretty clear of that stuff lately. The anonymous cheapshots through the internet is a pet peeve on mine. Some guy in Medicine Hat feels just because he has a cpu and a made-up name, it gives him the green light to take runs at me constantly. Funny, no one has ever said anything to me in person. I'm always open to chatting.

Do I cheer for the Broncos? Absolutely. Do I want them to win every night? You bet. No apologies there. It's impossible not to want the best for the team you cover. You go and spend six hours in a quiet, dark bus ride home from Brandon after a loss and get back to me. More importantly I like this group of kids and the coaching staff and I want them to succeed.

Here his latest remark which I didn't bother to post: "your incredible Broncos lost again Keener. I'm shocked, you guys should be playing in at least the AHL, maybe NHL. As far as my username goes "Bobby Orr" it's out of respect for one of the greatest hockey players that ever lived. I'm sure you will say RJ Larochelle is though by ur blogs. See you in the Hat, Jon".

I'll never see this guy... he will be like a ghost. If he thinks a comment like that is going to change my approach to this team... good luck. It will only solidify my thoughts about this team and community. Keep 'em coming.

There was a time on the Eagle 94.1 FM morning show when Kim Johnston and I would get a e-mail complaint almost weekly from a listener offended in some way. That doesn't happen very much anymore... and that's good and bad. Ryan and I get pretty quirky some nights in the post game show yet no one seems to mind. I think there's an attitude of "Oh well, that's just Jon being Jon and Ryan being Ryan." I thank our listeners who chalk it up to that.

The thing with some of us radio guys is that we are live on the radio sometimes six hours a day... four or five times a week. A lot can happen in that time. Something can come out wrong, your choice of words may be ill-timed, whatever. There's always that risk no matter who you are. Multiply that risk with the amount of live broadcasts and that's what you get.

I've had a lot of things I wish I didn't say over the years yet only have one career expletive on the air in 9 years partly thanks to a solid opp back at the radio station watching my back.

At the NHL draft in Vancouver I was sending draft reports back to our station and affiliates when I messed up halfway through a report and threw out a "sh*!". I quickly picked up from there with a quick in 3-2 and 1... and started again. The opp at the station missed the edit and sent the report across the network as is. Oops. The streak was over.

My point is, it's bound to happen and people will be offended. Just try not be offensive most of the time and know your audience. It's a start.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Wheat Kings Plan Parade Route, Order the Jackets...

Well, not yet anyways, as I attempt to turn the tables based on Wheat Kings General Manager Kelly Macrimmon's pre-game interview earlier today. (see post below).

Feel free to whistle the Harlem Globetrotters theme music to yourself as you read this post....

The Wheat Kings dumped the Broncos 5-3 Friday night at Westman Place in the first meeting of the season between division rivals.

The Broncos led 3-2 at one point in the 2nd period thanks to goals from Levi Nelson, and Matt Tassone who struck for a pair. That is where the fun stopped as Brandon capitalized on a few mistakes and outworked the Broncos most of the night for the win.

Brandon's top line can play. The Lowry/Clark/Dittmer line caused problems most of the night and were spelled off by an impressive young line of Calvert/Schenn/Glennie.

It appears at times the Broncos would rather just play "Sportscentre"hockey. That's my term for a team that wants to play all flash and dash but not do the other things like grind it out on the wall and win puck battles. Those workmanlike plays tend to never make the highlights do they?

Brandon played well give them credit, but the Broncos coaching staff was less than enthused on their effort.

And, quickly getting back to the Kelly Macrimmon interview. I don't want anyone to take it the wrong way. It wasn't exactly delivered in a fiery tone. Merely, tongue in cheek if you will. All our interviews over the past few years have had a similar feel. I just thought I would post some of the highlights considering the "blog plug" he threw in.

Broncos and Oil Kings...tonight from the i-plex. Don't look now but the Oil Kings have won three straight after wins over Calgary, Lethbridge and Everett. Pardon another basketball reference, this game by no means will be a "lay-up" for the Broncos.


Friday, November 02, 2007

Kelly Mac Was Just Waiting For Me....

The Head Coach and General Manager of the Brandon Wheat Kings had some things to get clear up in our pre-taped "Behind the Bench" segment after today's pre-game skate.

Kelly Macrimmon has always been a favorite of mine to talk to. He has a sly way about him and you never know what he's going to say. He's tough to read and thats what makes it interesting.

Admitedly a reader of "Keen's Korner", Kelly knows the WHL media didn't give the Wheat Kings a lot of credit heading into the season. The WHL's broadcaster rankings to start the season had them 11th out of 12 teams in the conference. That same poll had the Broncos picked to finish 6th. Now, I didn't put the Wheaties that low. I believe I ranked them 8th out of 12. A quick look at the standings shows Brandon presently in 7th. By no means world beaters but better than most thought. Seems like I was the whipping boy for the 22 broadcasters today.

Here's a little taste of what transpired in our five minute pre-game chat....

JK: We see some players emerging in this Wheat Kings line up, Matt Lowry is off to a great start while the rookie line (Glennie/Calvert/Schenn) have also made a solid contribution. How much of this did you expect, and how much of it is a surprise?

Kelly: Well, I think he had more confidence in our group than let's say.... you did Jon, for sure. We have gotten real good mileage out of our returning players after we graduated some great players but I think the guys that have returned have really taken on larger roles and responsibilities.

JK: Is it nice kind of being under the radar a little going into the season and not being one of the teams picked to be a contender? Not that other General Managers around the league picked you to finish out of the playoffs because they know of the success you've had here. Is it nice being a team not thought that highly of by others?

Kelly: Well to be honest, I know as much as it keeps guys like yourself busy Jon, I'm not really that concerned about what other teams think about our team. We haven't had a rebuilding year in Brandon since 1991. I guess there is a part of me that would be a little bit surprised that people were so adament that our team was going to struggle, but with all that said I think our focus is internal and I think it's been a great challenge for our players. They have fed off of that. Our veterans are good players and people and they want our team to do well. I think the returning veterans we have all want to be a part of things and leave their mark.

JK: I compare the Broncos this season to the Wheaties of last. Some good scoring, a mobile defense and steady goaltending. Your team last year had some success that saw you get to the 2nd round of playoffs. How do you win with a team like that? What advice would you give?

Kelly: Well, first of all Dean Chynoweth doesn't need any of my advice, he's done a real good job of putting a good team together. I think just from reading your blog Jon, I don't think there has ever been a team in the Western Hockey League that would compare to this year's Swift Current Broncos. So, we (Wheat Kings) are just hoping to be the Washington Generals here tonight for the Broncos and play our part.

There you go, more classic stuff from Kelly.

Broncos and Generals...I mean Wheat Kings tonight on the Eagle 94.1 FM, pre-game show at 6pm, play-by-play at 6:30pm.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

On the Road Again

This is being put together somewhere between Whitewood and the Manitoba border as the Broncos head over to Brandon to get comfortable before tomorrow night's game.

This is the first meeting of the season.between the two teams after a pretty spirited season series last year. Levi Nelson was seemingly a target for most of the head-to-head meetings after a knee on knee hit delivered to Dustin Kohn which the league handed a suspension out on.
A lot of the characters have changed from last season – especially on Brandon's side. No more Mark Derlago, Codey Burki, Juraj Simek, Ryan Reaves, Dustin Kohn, Rob Klinkhammer and Tyler Plante just to name a few.

Looking at Brandon's team last year got me thinking the Broncos are a pretty similar team this year to the 06/07 Wheat Kings. On paper they have many similarities. Depth on offense with some high end scorers, a mobile blueline that chipped in with offense, some talented young players on the rise and some solid, steady goaltending.

So how far did that team take Brandon? After a first round battle with Moose Jaw in which the Wheaties came out on top, the Calgary Hitmen won a hard fought seven game series to end Brandon's season. So what will the Broncos have to do different to avoid a similar playoff fate? Good question. Maybe I will ask Kelly Macrimmon that tomorrow in the Coaches Show. Will see if he thinks it a legit comparison or not. And, if he could offer some advice to the division rivals.

The game will also mark the end to the first quarter of the season for the Broncos. Tomorrow night's pre-game show will take a look at the team at the ¼ mark. We will take a look at highs and lows, who the MVP has been and talk about some of the nice surprises in the early going. We will also take a look at what areas need work and where the team wants to improve. For the record, most of the guys I talked to think captain Zack Smith is the hands down MVP to date.
We're on the air at 6pm tomorrow with the Big Show, play-by-play at 6:30.


I checked out the Broncos worksheds the team is working on as part of the veterans life skills class they are taking through Cypress Hills College. They look pretty good. The guys are having a good time with it. Levi Nelson and Zack Smith have been the go-to guys apparently. So far, no fingers missing. Broncos 1 Riders 0.

I asked a few on the job questions and got some pretty funny responses. I will try and piece it together for Saturday night's broadcast.

The guys are building these sheds which will then be auctioned off for charity through a raffle just like last year. It's a pretty good deal.


My apologies to Sean Chapman and the Cypress Cyclones Junior “B” team out in Maple Creek. I referred to some of our fans as “Junior B” after some bottles were thrown onto the ice during the Broncos/Pats game Tuesday. In a friendly tone, the Cyclones General Manager re-assured me that nothing like that happens out in the Creek. I guess I will have to choose my words more wisely next time.


Around town I've been hearing fans talking about the Broncos needing to add some muscle, maybe an enforcer type player. It may be good in theory but in the big picture there are not a lot of teams in the league that have that designated guy.

Regina and Moose Jaw have some added toughness just simply because the other one does and the eight head-to-head meetings usually escalate quickly. The two are in a virtual arms race when it comes to that department.

Most teams in the conference are like the Broncos without the enforcer type player. Brandon, Prince Albert, Calgary, Edmonton, Red Deer and to a lesser degree Medicine Hat ( Jordan Bendfeld is needed on the ice this year), all do not have that one dimensional player.

The other side to that is who do you take out of the line-up? Someone would have to sit and it would likely be one of the up and coming rookies. Do we really want to take ice-time away from those guys?

The Broncos can score, and have the ability to blow out some teams this season. Examples include 6-1 over P.G., 10-1 over Edmonton, 7-2 against the Hat, and 5-1 over Regina. Everytime the score is run up, the chances of the game getting ugly increase.

I have a feeling the Broncos will monitor the situation and if push comes to shove (literally) they will add someone after Christmas or at the deadline. For now, I wouldn't expect any movement.


We will soon be pulling into Brandon's version of the Biodome, aka the Canad Inns hotel. It's everything you need including the rink under one roof. The hotel and the Keystone Center plus restaurants and a pub are all attached so there is no need to venture outside. That comes in handy in the dead of winter.


Brandon Bound

I'll blog some thoughts en-route to Brandon this afternoon/evening.... I'll post once we get set up in the hotel....