Thursday, October 02, 2008


- The Swift Current Broncos are off to their best start in 10 years after a 3-2 win last night over the Red Deer Rebels. It was a well played game with the Rebels being the quickest team the Broncos have faced so far. Justin Dowling broke a 2-2 tie with just over three minutes to play in the third period. From my perspective, it appeared the Rebels were laying back a bit playing for overtime while the Broncos wanted to try and end it in regulation.

- Broncos Head Coach/GM Dean Chynoweth has downplayed the team's quick start. It's one of those " never get too high and never get too low" cliches over the course of the season. It's in far contrast to Assistant Coach Tim Kehler who delivered this in our post-game coaches show last night:

" I think it's a big deal, I love the way we're playing and I think we're full value for being where we are and the rankings that are coming out. It's silly to overplay it but we're unbeaten this year and have beaten the teams put in front of us. I take exception to the people who say it's too early and you don't deserve to be there.. I think we're full value so far."

- Going back to January 22nd of last season, the Broncos are 23-4-1-1 in the regular season. Impressive.

- Dallas Stars Scout Shane Churla was in attendance last night. He was our guest in the 1st intermission. He had lots of good things to say about Matt Tassone who the Stars selected in the 6th round in this past summer's NHL entry draft.

People who know me well also know I grew up loving the Minnesota North Stars/Dallas Stars. For me, Shane Churla is a big deal. The former Stars enforcer never backed down from anyone. His running mate Basil Mcrae was more of a middleweight but they made the North Stars a tough team to play against in what used to be a nasty Norris division in the NHL. Teams like St. Louis, Detroit, and Chicago earned it the nickname "Chuck" Norris division for some of the battles between the two teams.

- Note to fellow broadcasters: Red Deer Rebels 17 year-old top prospect Landon Ferraro is one of the best interviews in the WHL already. He's a treat to talk to and is well spoken. I was amazed following our chat.

"Told ya"

That's what Rebels broadcaster Cam Moon said after I spent three minutes with the potential NHL 1st rounder pre-game.

I guess being the son of Ray Ferraro helps. Ray is the new NHL game analyst for TSN this year. He has worked with Sportsnet and has done some work for NBC Sports as well.

- I'll be putting together WHL This Week for the league and it's radio partners today. This week's show includes a look at the Vancouver Giants and Red Deer Rebels. We will catch up with reigning Boston Pizza Player of the Week Joel Broda in Moose Jaw and have an all Central division version of WHL Rewind. Now, the problem is fitting that all into an eight minute segment. Special thanks to fellow play-by-play broadcasters Dave Sheldon in Vancouver and James Gallo in Moose Jaw for their help.

- Did you hear about the specs on the Kelowna Rockets new bus? It's sounds unbelievable. Check out my buddy Regan Bartel's blog here to get the lowdown on the Rockets new ride. Am I jealous, of course I am! The Rockets put on a lot more miles than the Broncos do and may need with extra luxury to cope. This is a bus you could live on.

- The Broncos hit the road tomorrow afternoon after practice for Cranbrook B.C. They play the Ice Saturday night and hit Lethbridge on the way home to battle the Hurricanes Sunday. For years the Broncos couldn't win in Cranbrook but have done pretty well there lately winning the last two of three meetings.

- The Broncos have listed goaltender Travis Yonkman as out for 2-4 weeks with a shoulder injury. Last night, local Lukas Mcdonald backed up Mark Guggenberger. This weekend the Broncos will have 15 year-old '08 bantam draft goaltender Austin Smith on the bench. Smith impressed at training camp and will get some good experience of life in the WHL this weekend.

I'll blog again before we hit the road....



Ken A. said...

Hey Jon: interesting that your guest was Shane Churla. It's ironic because after last night's game the comment I want to leave is how the Broncos need a physical presence. Never was that more obvious than when Tassone got run and 17 year old Wagner, who's not a big guy had to jump in and fight a big 20 year old d-man, Wray. I hope Dean sees this and addresses this need because right now we have no one and many fans told me the same thing after last night's game. Club looks great, 5&0, hard to argue with but I think we need some muscle. Does Brandon Tidball have a younger brother playing somewhere?

Jon Keen said...

Not many teams this year are going with an "enforcer" type.

Sure it would be nice to have one as an insurance policy but I don't see them going after a player like that.

Moose Jaw has Grantham, Brandon has McCue/Erb, after that it gets pretty slim in our division.