Saturday, October 18, 2008

Saturday Randoms in Brandon

- The Broncos scored three times on the powerplay to pick up a 5-2 win in Moose Jaw last night as they improved to 3-0 against the Warriors and 9-3 on the season. Eric Doyle, Matt Tassone, Jordan Peddle, Keegan Danereau and Jan Dalecky all scored in the win. Dalecky was initially credited with the 2nd goal of the game but it will be changed in the coming days to Tassone's 6th of the season.

-The Broncos have now won six in a row inside the Moose Jaw Civic Center dating back to last year and are 10-1 vs the Warriors in the last two seasons. Conversely the Warriors are 1-6-2-2 against the Broncos.

- Injuries are becoming a bit of a concern for me. Ryan Molle left last night's game after taking a check in his own zone while Matt Tassone only played about 9 minutes of the first before not seeing another shift. Tassone remained on the bench the rest of the game and his nagging shoulder will be re-evaluated today.

- Good job by the Broncos young d-men. Jordan Evans and Joel Rogers saw more ice-time with Molle going down and did a good job. The Broncos have eight capable defenseman, nine when Jesse Dudas returns. The back-end is in good hands but will have a numbers issue shortly.

- The Broncos haven't had much success in Brandon. They haven't won here since early in the 06/07 season. They were 0-3-0-1 in Brandon last year.

- Contenders? Nah. Not yet anyways. A 9-3 start is nice but in my eyes it's a little misleading. This team isn't going to wow anybody averaging just over three goals a game. They are going to get solid goaltending and not give up a ton of chances and that will give them at least a chance to win most nights. But contenders? I'm not buying in just yet.

- Warriors Head Coach Dave Hunchak caught me by surprise last night during our coaches show pre-game interview. I asked Dave about the opening weekend home and home series which saw the Broncos win 6-1, and 3-2.

" To be perfectly honest with you, with us having a young team and up against a team like the Broncos expected to do a lot of big things this year, we did get better as the opening weekend progressed and it carried into the next weekend against Brandon."

I responded "Big things out of the Broncos this season? First I've heard that one."

Fact is the Broncos are a young team after losing Erik Felde, David Steiler, Mike Wilson, Bretton Stamler, Zack Smith, Dale Wiese, and Levi Nelson to either 20 year-old graduation or pro-contracts. How can a team losing so many key ingredients including four of their top five scorers from last season be considered a contender? But, I understand what Dave is doing and that's fine.

Honestly, the Broncos new core is a group of 17 year-olds (Joel Rogers, James Martin, Brad Hoban, Cody Eakin, Taylor Vause, Dillon Wagner, Jordan Peddle, and Oliver Jokel).

I think it's a nice compliment when others around the league view the Broncos as "contenders" but I'm going to reserve that title for Lethbridge, and Brandon. There are four or five teams in the next grouping of "good" in the Eastern Conference and I would put the Broncos somewhere in the middle of that.

- The Warriors have some work to do in their own zone but have a good group of forwards especially when Ian Duval makes his Warriors debut next week. As I heard an NHL scout say last night, "a young defense and inexperienced goaltending is one of the worst combinations a team can have."

- Euro power? Last night there were four European forwards on the ice between the two clubs - Jan Dalecky, Oliver Jokel, Tomas Karpov, and Martin Filo. Heading into the game the four had combined for 36 games played this season and 0 goals. Jan Dalecky's third period goal put the Euros on the board.

- I chatted with Mark Guggenberger when the team was loading up the bus. I asked if he was screened on both Warriors goals to which he replied in a light tone "of course I was... if I see it (the puck) I'll stop it."

I can't disagree with him. He's proven that in his first 10 starts of the season. Guggenberger was also happy to be back on "Minnesota time" as he calls it with the Broncos in Brandon today and a one-hour time shift.

- Note to self, add "Guggenberger" into my cpu's spell checker. His name is coming up a lot lately.

- There's a great coffee shop in Brandon. I'm sure most of the league knows about it but in case you haven't yet... it's called Forbidden Flavours - rights across from the Canad Inn. Getting a coffee from there is on my "to do list" today.

- Is a name change in order for Goal Judges in hockey? How about "Goal Light Operators"? They are becoming more and more irrelevant with the extra official on the ice and the NHL's instant replay. When was the last time in an HL game they consulted with the goal judge? Last night in Moose Jaw referee Pat Smith never even brought the goal judge into the equation on a puck the Warriors thought snuck across the line. It was under Guggenberger the whole time, and that's what the officials on the ice thought too.

- We're on the air tonight at 6pm Sask. time with the pre-game show, 6:30pm play-by-play on the Eagle 94.1 FM.

Have a good one,


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