Thursday, September 18, 2008

Season Kicks Off Tonight / Moose Jaw Thoughts

The 43rd Western Hockey League season begins tonight in Cranbrook as the Kootenay Ice host the defending Memorial and Ed Chynoweth Cup champion Spokane Chiefs.

Nice touch by the WHL dedicating the season ahead to Ed Chynoweth. All players and officials will wear the initials E-C on their helmets this season.

There is a special pre-game ceremony before tonight's game from the Cranbrook Rec Plex.

The game will be broadcast on Shaw TV as well... let's get the season started!

Is there a team we have heard less about this pre-season than the Moose Jaw Warriors? I mean they're right down the highway and not a peep out of the "Friendly City" going into the weekend.

I guess the biggest news (literally) is that Ryley Grantham is back in the Warriors fold after a shorter than expected stay at Calgary Flames camp. Grantham has come a long ways in his development ever since leaving Brooks of the AJHL. Definetely the most improved Warrior over the last couple seasons.

Their games will also now be carried on Country 100.7 FM in Moose Jaw rather than the low power FM signal they have been using the last few years.

Other than that though.... all is quiet.

Their roster consists of nine rookies who all come in really under the radar except for 16 year-old first overall bantam pick from 2007 Quinton Howden. He will be tough to miss, especially in his Quebec Major Junior style #92. Not to mention his size and skating which we caught a brief glimpse of in Swift Current last season.

A quick text message to Warriors Head Coach Dave Hunchak never netted a return... is it playoff mode already in MJ?? "Jon Keen meet Kevin Higo. He will be handling your pre-game coaches interview this evening as Dave is busy preparing for tonight's hockey contest."

Yes, it's the Broncos against the Lock Jaw Warriors to begin the new WHL season. I feel like I'm standing over a two foot putt for double bogey... c'mon somebody say something! A simple "pick it up" would suffice.

Something big always happens in the season opener in MJ... I'm not sure what it will be as of yet, but
something will happen. It always does. Like last year when the Broncos tied it on Zack Smith's goal with 1.3 seconds to play to set up Matt Tassone's OT winner in a wild opening night.

Another thought. It will be strange not seeing Joey Perricone between the Warriors' pipes for tomorrow night's contest. Looks like 2nd year 'tender Todd Mathews will draw the starting role.

And happy birthday to Warriors broadcaster James Gallo who will celebrate Saturday night when the Warriors play in Swift Current. Stay the night Jimmy, the good folks in Swifty will take care of you...



Anonymous said...

Any word on if the Broncos will have anyone back from pro camp. I would think that if any come back after today would mean they wouldn't be available for the weekend.
Also what is the news on the injury front. Can we expect either Dowling/Jokel this weekend (I know Hoban is out for a bit). Lastly is Hay still around. I thought he looked good in the last preseason game.

Jon Keen said...

I will have an update later today... there will be a couple back from NHL camps though.