After a quick rip down the TransCanada back to Swift it was nice to get back and get home after an adventurous weekend in Regina.
Forget the drama on the ice, there was plenty off it as well.
Friday night Ryan and I went for a quick walk for a bite to eat after the game. We didn't get far from out hotel until we heard a man yelling and a woman screaming a block ahead on Victoria. This guy was getting all physical and tough with her in an awful looking domestic dispute. He pushed her hard to the cement sidewalk. Ouch.
She saw us and asked for help and Ryan and I stepped in. The thoughts of "Canada's Most Dangerous City" crossed my mind... I don't want to get stabbed over this. We had some words for the guy and calmed down the girl. We let the authorities take it from there. We weren't the only ones who saw this disturbing display.
On a lighter note, I was visiting my best friend and his wife along with their twin boys a couple hours before game one. One of the little guys was sitting on my knee when he reached up with his hand and put a vice grip on my glasses snapping them into two pieces....
A little crazy glue and some attention got them through the weekend.... close call.
On the ice, the Broncos got a big third period effort to come from behind and pull even with the Pats in the best-of-seven series with a 5-3 win.
The concern around the team is on Jesse Dudas and Michael Wilson after being injured in the first two games.
In our pre-game show, Broncos Head Coach and G.M. Dean Chynoweth commented on the Leffler hit on Wilson from game one which resulted in an indefinite suspension to the Pats power forward.
" It was vicious and an intent to injure. After reviewing it today (Saturday) and talking with the league office back and forth I thought it was an awful hit. Losing your number one defenseman 10 seconds was a real big blow not only 5-on-5 but on the powerplay."
Compound that with Eberle's hit on Dudas last night and the emotions multiply. The Broncos have seen two of their top four defenseman go down on suspension worthy hits.
These guys play for our enjoyment and create so much emotion and passion for fans on both sides. It's how thousands of fans spent their weekend. This is their entertainment.... including mine. To see two guys go down with serious injuries for the sake of entertainment and a little city and team pride makes me ill. Let's put things in perspective for a second.
This is a development league first and foremost, these types of hits can't be tolerated. These guys playing for a 100 bucks a week chasing a dream. It's a tough and dangerous road. These players deserve our respect. If was the parent of one of these players I don't know if I could watch. How do you do it?
It's been a hard hitting series on both accounts. No one said this was going to be easy.
It's in the league's hands now.
The series shifts to Swift Current's Credit Union I-plex for games three and four. Home ice advantage? On paper yes, in reality not really. The Pats won all three playoff games in Swift Current last year including the game six series clincher in overtime. All three were dynamite games that could have went either way.
There isn't too many teams in the Conference that could survive two top defenseman going down with injury but both of the Pats and Broncos have great depth at that position.
Spencer McAvoy went back to defense last night while Erik Felde has proven he can do it too. He played 10-12 games on the back-end this year and played well. Joel Rogers is still waiting in the wings to get into this series as a healthy scratch although putting the young kid into this series might be like throwing him to the wolves. He hasn't played in a couple weeks and the intensity has picked up since he last suited up.
Bottom line, the Broncos will be ok, not great, but ok.
How good has the kid line been for the Broncos? Justin Dowling will more than likely get credit for the first Broncos goal giving him the playoff hat-trick. Cody Eakin has been more than you could ever ask for and Geordie Wudrick is playing great with the two rookies.
Pats colorman Al Dumba had a good line on their broadcast... "maybe these kids don't even know they're playing in a big game and are just going out and playing hockey."
Anything out of the kids is a bonus. Levi Nelson, Zack Smith, Dale Wiese, Keegan Dansereau, David Stieler, Erik Felde and Matt Tassone will all factor in before this series is done if they haven't already.
A few Regina Pats fans were trying to yell up to our broadcast location after the game. These "grown men" actually looked like they wanted to take a run at Ryan and I. Calling us on from the concourse. Are you kidding me? All this over a hockey game. Three guys in their late 30's or 40's all decked out in Pats gear all making tough faces while throwing their arms in the air as to gesture "come on down here". At least now I have a face to go with their internet handles. Honestly Darcy....
Ryan headed down during the coaches show for a friendly chat, he wanted to have a beer with these guys... I told him be careful, we've seen enough violence for a one weekend. By the time he got down there, they were gone. Probably for the best.
Perhaps we shouldn't have responded or acknowledged them... it's like feeding a stray cat. They will just keep on comin' back looking for more. Meow.
Just one game today, the Warriors take on the Hitmen today at the Saddledome. Hitmen radio on the Fan 960 called me yesterday. They want to talk to me in their intermission about our crazy series and the rest of the WHL playoffs.
As for today, I'm gonna relax and watch two other teams beat on each other for a change.