Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Raiders 4 Broncos 2

Last night's game was a highly entertaining tilt between a Broncos hockey club who is playing well right now, and a Raiders team making a push to get into a playoff position.

The Raiders impressed me. They didn't make any huge mistakes and should be proud of their effort. In the post-game coaches show, both myself and Dean Chynoweth agreed it was the best effort we've seen from the Raiders in the four games head-to-head.

The Broncos played hard too and for most of the night couldn't solve goaltender Steven Stanford. It was Matt Tassone's pp goal 6:07 into the third period that got the Broncos on the board to cut the lead in half 2-1.

Justin Dowling tied it midway through and it looked like the teams were headed to overtime. That was until the Raiders Ryan Macdonald capitilized on a Broncos turnover and scored his third of the night with 4:01 to play.

Macdonald added an empty-netter to puncuate a career night with a four goal outing. The Broncos held a slight shot advantage 34-31.

The Broncos can't really hang their heads in this one. They played hard and played well enough to win. I'll credit the Raiders for being a team realizing they need to string together some wins in order to battle for a final playoff spot.

If they continue to play the way they did last night, I would be willing to bet they will get in. They have a huge game tomorrow afternoon in Regina against a struggling, short-staffed Pats team.


I was doing some game prep last night and put together some numbers. The Broncos record for the calendar year of 2008 would be 46-25-1-2 in 74 regular season games.

The club also advanced past the first round of playoffs since 2002.

2008 was good to the Broncos and 2009 has the potential to be even better.

Have a Happy New Year everyone!


Fan Bus Headed to Regina

The Swift Current Broncos announce that the Pizza Hut Fan Bus will be heading to Regina Friday January 9th as the Broncos take on the Pats.

The cost of the Pizza Hut Fan Bus will be $45 which includes transportation, a personal pan pizza and ticket to the game.

The bus will depart from Swift Current at 4:00pm on Friday afternoon from the Credit Union i-plex and return immediately following the game. The bus is estimated to arrive back in Swift Current at 12:30am

Full payment is due at the time of sign-up. To secure your spot, please contact the Broncos office today at 773-1509 or email us at


Tuesday, December 30, 2008


The Broncos board the bus early this afternoon and head north to Prince Albert. The team has won six of their last seven games heading in but is bound to face a desperate Raiders club. They sit eight points out of a playoff spot and have made it clear that missing the playoffs this season would be unacceptable.

We're on the air tonight at 7pm with the pre-game show, 7:30 play-by-play.

Speaking of the pre-game show, Broncos Assistant General Manager Elden Moberg will be our guest. He's on a scouting mission out at the World U-17's in Port Alberni, BC.

Elden dropped a bombshell this week announcing his resignation from his current role as Assistant General Manager / Director of Operations with the team.

I spoke with him last night and he talked about moving on.

" This is my hometown team and I've worked with them most of my working life and having the opportunity to do that and try to make sure the team not just survives but have some success is something I'm proud I had the opportunity to be part of." - Moberg

Broncos Head Coach and General Manager Dean Chynoweth weighed in on Monday's announcement.

"It's a big loss. Obviously I would say I'm happy for Elden but disappointed for the organization. This guy has bled the blue and green to the blue and black that it is now. He's done everything that an organization needs to have success. The great thing about Elden is that he's a great person and he's worked in all facets of the organization. We wish him all the best and thank him for all his time."

One thing Dean also pointed out was the way Elden was viewed outside the city and organization by the rest of the league.

"I think at times, and I have no problem saying this... that he doesn't get near the credit he deserves in Swift Current. I know how well he is respected in the league with the other General Managers, other Governors and partners in the league."

I have to admit Elden was pretty good at keeping a lid on this news. I roomed with him for our 10 day B.C. road trip and not even a hint in that direction was given.

From a radio station standpoint, he was our liason with the team and worked in developing our annual contract. As a former radio employee, he understood it from our perspective and has helped create what is a good partnership between the two parties.


I had a few people come up to me and say "did you hear what Lee Jones said about you on the CTV Regina sports the other night?"

Apparently Lee was going into the Broncos/Pats highlight package the other night and was doing his best to build up the rivalry.

"the teams have battled in the playoffs the last two years and even their radio broadcasters have jousted verbally, so you knew tonight's game would be feisty"

I laughed out loud at that one. Jousting verbally is maybe the words I wouldn't use exactly. Maybe a few blog battles here and there but nothing I've gotten too worked up about it.

Regardless, it was good to see some highlights out of the I-plex.

Before I forget, Happy Birthday Chris Hodges.


I was a guest yesterday on the Cory Colt afternoon show on Newstalk 980 CJME out of Regina. Mitchell Blair steered Cory in my direction to get some thoughts on the topic of the day which was "Do the World Juniors lack drama and suspense this season?"

My thought on this was that yes they do at this point, but that's the case every year. Until you get into those games where it's win or go home, there really isn't much on the line. Especially when you're playing some of the bottom feeders like Kazakhstan.

No one was complaining about lack of drama two years ago when Jon Toews and Carey Price starred for Canada in that semi-final shootout thriller against the U.S. Or last year when Canada and Sweden played sudden death overtime to decide the gold medal.

Besides, it's always a great boost to the Canadian hockey morale to beat up on a team like Kazakhstan 15-0. Had they won 5-0 would the pundits have asked what's wrong with Canada?

It will get better, and judging by last night's feisty game with Germany it already has.

Talk to you from Prince Albert....


Monday, December 29, 2008

Moberg Moving On

Press Release:

Swift Current Broncos Assistant General Manager/Director of Operations Elden Moberg will be leaving the organization to pursue an opportunity outside of hockey. Moberg will be joining Stark and Marsh Chartered Accountants, in Swift Current, as their Chief Operating Officer. Moberg will continue working full time with the Broncos until February 1st, 2009.

Moberg began his career with the Broncos in 1994 as the club's first full time Marketing/Public Relations Director. He remained in that role until 2000 when he was promoted to Assistant General Manager, a position that he has held until this season. Prior to joining the hockey club, he was the club's play by play voice for 4 seasons beginning in the 1991/92 season.

"I feel very fortunate to have been able to work in the Western Hockey League with the Broncos as long as I have. It's been a huge part of my professional life, and I truly appreciate the opportunity that I was given by the organization. I wish Dean and the rest of the staff all the best moving forward. They are a passionate group of people who are good at what they do and have become good friends. It's hard to move away from that, however, I know that I've been presented with an excellent opportunity and it's the right time in my life to make the change."

The Broncos board members and staff would like to thank Elden for his commitment and dedication to the club. Dean Chynoweth, General Manager and Head Coach says: “Elden has been a key member of our staff, it has been a pleasure working with him over the past four and half years and we would like to wish him all the success in the future.”

The Broncos organization will begin the process of looking for a qualified replacement in the New Year.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Bronco Beatdown

(photo courtesy

The picture above about sums up the night....

The Broncos blasted the Regina Pats 7-1 in their biggest margin of victory this season.  Cody Eakin and Jan Dalecky scored twice while Matt Tassone, Dillon Wagner, and Jordan Peddle added singles.

The Pats were without five regulars including Colten Teubert and Jordan Eberle who helped Canada to a 15-0 win over the Kazaks today at the World Junior Championships in Ottawa.

No lengthy recap in this one but the Broncos have now won six of their last seven game and are only five points back of the division leading Saskatoon Blades. 

More tomorrow....

Broncos 5 Tigers 3

A four-goal 2nd period outburst powered the Broncos past the Medicine Hat Tigers 5-3 in the first game after the Christmas break.

Matt Tassone scored his 19th and 20th goals of the season (a career high) and added an assist to hand the Tigers only their 3rd loss in regulation this season on home ice.

Keegan Dansereau scored a goal and added two assists while Dillon Wagner and Cody Eakin added singles. For Eakin it was his fourth game in a row with a goal since coming back from injury. His goal midway through the third put the Broncos up 5-2. Josh Koper scored on a penalty shot late in the third to round out the scoring.

Mark Guggenberger was solid again; making 34 saves in the win.

A strange occurrence in this one involving the goaltenders… I’ve never seen it before. Guggenberger went to the bench at the radio time-out in the 2nd period but apparently wasn’t allowed to do that. The Broncos had two choices coming out of the minute break: Take a penalty or have Guggenberger replaced. Travis Yonkman sprung into action and played 1:28 in the 2nd period before a stoppage of play allowed Guggenberger to get back in. For his efforts Yonkman made one save. Strange.

The Broncos got a strong effort from the line of Wagner/Toulmin/Brown. They lead the forecheck on a weakened Tigers defense without Matt McCue. Earlier, the 20 year-old defenseman signed an AHL deal with Anaheim and will not be returning for the Tigers. Medicine Hat dressed five defenseman and the Broncos plan going in was to get on them.

The Tigers were missing two big parts up-front with both Tyler Ennis and Zdenek Okal away at World Juniors. Travis Dunstall also sat the game out with a shoulder injury.

The Broncos have now won both meetings this season against Medicine Hat with two more games remaining in the season series January 5th (Swift Current) and January 10th (MH).

A few personal observations….

- Tigers fans sure don’t get excited like they used to a couple years ago. Even the in-stand announcer’s attempt of “Go Tigers Go” was met with shrugs of indifference. Tiger fans have been spoiled with some good teams over the years. It takes a lot for them to get excited. The fans used to be a major factor in the building. Now, they’re merely a side note.

- Tonight was the first time the Broncos have played in the ‘Hat all season. Medicine Hat was almost a 2nd home for the Broncos the last few years when they battled eight times a season and then in back-to-back playoff match-ups as Central division rivals. The rivalry has lost its lustre a little.

- Tigers’ acting Head Coach Shaun Clousten is a good interview. I thought he had some really interesting things to say in our pre-game interview. It may be the first time we’ve spoken but it won’t be the last.

- The Broncos have a couple of 15 year-olds seeing what the WHL is all about. 2nd round pick G Austin Smith and 4th round pick Adam Lowry from this past summer’s bantam draft are spending some time with the team during a break in action with their teams. Lowry is the son of Hitmen Head Coach Dave Lowry.


Saturday, December 27, 2008

Dudas Update / Ius at Home

20 year-old defenseman Jesse Dudas is done with the Broncos and vice-versa. His return for the 2nd half coming off a knee injury was expected but Dudas has chosen not to re-join the team and is home awaiting a trade/release.

Broncos Head Coach / GM Dean Chynoweth commented tonight on the Dudas situation but wasn't saying much.

"He's chosen not to report... at this point he's sitting at home."

With Dudas being a hold-out, injury prone and a 20 year-old, the going rate for his services as they say would be "a bag of pucks". If the Broncos trade Dudas at all before the January 10th deadline don't expect too much value. If he isn't dealt, he becomes a free-agent and will be picked up off the wire by a WHL team. Last place teams have first crack at his services.

This is a disappointing turn of events with Dudas who has the ability to be a top notch defenseman in the WHL if he wants to.

Also, Broncos forward Matt Ius has remained home due to personal/family reasons. His return date to the team isn't known yet, if at all this season. Chynoweth addressed the Ius situation:

"Matt has left the team for some personal reasons and family matters. iIll stay in contact with him and see how it develops."


The Broncos will have a rotating Assistant Coach with Tim Kehler away at the World U-17's in Alberni Valley. The Broncos will rotate on the basis of availability between Kyle McIntyre, Kent Woods and Regan Darby.

McIntyre is a friend of Chynoweth's and has been a part of the Saskatoon Contacts program for many years. He's also coached in the city with some rep teams and is former member of the Swift Current Indians in the SJHL days.

Kent Woods was recently let go by the "AAA" Legionnaires in the annual coaching change around this time of year. Good to see the Broncos offer him a spot on the bench with the abscence of Kehler.

Regan Darby is the new Head Coach of the Legionnaires and is a WHL alumni with the Prince Albert Raiders and has played pro at both the AHL and ECHL levels.


Friday, December 26, 2008

Back in the Mix!

The Broncos are back on the ice tomorrow night so it's back to work after leaving the blog alone for over a week....

After over 2000km on the truck the last week with stops in Meadow Lake, Spruce Grove AB, and points in between, I'm back in Swift Current with thoughts of the 2nd half and the looming trade deadline set for January 10th.

I've been so out of the loop lately. No internet, barely one bar on the cellphone at times... I've completely missed all of the pre-tournament World Junior Games and the Dana Tyrell knee injury. It's good to be informed but it was also nice just to forget about everything for a few days and take a break.

One of the gifts Santa brought me this year was XM Satellite Radio. Although I swore I would never get it myself, I'm happy I received it as a gift. I always thought of it as a competitor but have recently realized we offer completely different products to the listener. We are local based radio. The NHL package is nice and it's good to hear other broadcasters from across the NHL and their show. I've also come to appreciate a little more of the product we have for Bronco broadcasts. Our little radio station puts together a pretty good show in comparison to the NHL big dogs. Our info is good, production elements stand up with any of the NHL broadcasts and we do a good job of delivering the product and giving it a local feel for our sponsors and clients.

XM kept me company yesterday on my 900km trek home. While there were no NHL games to be found, the likes of Lithium, Octane and 20 on 20 did the job.


The Broncos practice later tonight - a day ahead of a road game in Medicine Hat. I haven't been down to the rink or talked to anyone but it's expected Jesse Dudas will be back with the team and could play this weekend. The 20 year old has been out all season with a knee injury but was cleared to resume practice just as the team was departing for their B.C. swing.

The Broncos will then have two weeks to make a decision on their 20 year olds. The two week time frame also coincides with the trade deadline.

New Broncos Chairman of the Board of Directors Al Stewart will be our guest on tomorrow night's pre-game show. Stewart recently took over for departed Chairman Joe Arling.

Al is a personable guy and we will get his thoughts moving forward in the 2nd half from a business and a hockey side. For every die-hard Bronco fan out there, I would suggest they have a listen. I may also post some of the interview transcript here as well if I have time.

Tim Tisdale is expected to join me in Medicine Hat as we shake off the rust for the first game back. We are on the air tomorrow night at 8pm with the pre-game show, 8:30pm play-by-play.

Happy Holidays,


Friday, December 19, 2008

Legionnaires Fire Another Coach

The "AAA" midget Legionnaires soap opera is now into season five.

This time Kent Woods is the victim of the coaching gas chamber. The announcement came down yesterday.

That's another coach in the growing list. I'll leave me personal thoughts on the problems out of this one... draw your own conclusions.

I'm heading back into work this morning to get the 411 from Donovan Fehr who has been filling in my absense at the radio station. If I wrangle up some info I'll post something.


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Final Pics / Story Follows.....

Here's a few shots of last night's ending in Chilliwack and the trip home:

Broncos celebrate the 3-0 win over the Bruins.

Keegan Dansereau waits to teammates to head off the ice.

All night drive leaves us in Golden, BC an hour before sunrise.

Husky House bus driver change-over
Player drop-off in Calgary. Final stop before Swift Current.

Job Well Done

The Broncos arrived back in Swift Current in the late afternoon following the trek overnight from Chilliwack with a brief stop in Golden, B.C. for a bus driver change.

Mark Guggenberger shut the door last night in Chilliwack to lead the Broncos to a 3-0 win over the Bruins and to post a solid 4-2 record on the six-game swing into the Christmas break.

“That’s sweet”

That was Guggenberger’s reaction when I told him afterwards the Bruins have never scored against the Broncos in their three-season history. Guggenberger has been responsible for two of the three Bronco shutouts.

The Bruins came out of the gates hard knowing the Broncos were playing the last game of long swing. ‘Berger weathered the storm. It was the 2nd storm the Broncos faced on the day, the other being on the way from Vancouver to the ‘Wack. What’s usually a little over an hour’s drive turned into three with road conditions and bumper-to-bumper traffic.

Cody Eakin added his third goal in as many games to open the scoring, tipping home an Andrew Hewett wrister from well out. It was Hewett’s first ever WHL point.

D.D.T. went to work in the 2nd getting goals from Keegan Dansereau on the PP and then Matt Tassone on a nice looking three-way passing play between the line. Justin Dowling finished the night with two assists.

‘Berger made a few more saves in the third to preserve the shutout. It was the 2nd shutout the Broncos have posted on the season and 7th time the Bruins have been blanked on the season.

Broncos Assistant Coach Tim Kehler really thought the story of the game was the back-end and goaltending. Without Spencer McAvoy and Eric Doyle because of injury, a younger crew played well with James Martin, Andrew Hewett and Jordan Evans logging more minutes than usual.

That ends the Broncos longest swing of the season. In total, 48 hours on the bus, nasty roads, a freezer full of ice bags, a busload of Christmas presents and a 4th place spot in the 12 team Eastern Conference after the first half of the season. Not bad.

A few closing thoughts:

- Last night’s game could have been dubbed the Band-Aid Bowl, or the Trainers Table Tournament of Champions. No two teams in the league have missed more players due to injury this season. Bruins Head Coach Jim Hillier agreed in the pre-game coaches show that no one outside the two teams really care. They’re your problem, not anyone elses.

- Cody Eakin has been named to the CHL Top Prospects Game. The Broncos forward will play in the annual game featuring some of the brightest prospects for the NHL Draft this summer. The game will go in Oshawa. More on that in the coming days.

- Denied access. I was a bit puzzled last night in Chilliwack when I was denied onto an elevator because of my choice of coffee. Yes, coffee discrimination. Being an hour later than normal to arrive, I was scrambling around getting interviews done. I found the media area, grabbed a Tim Horton’s coffee, some game notes and headed for the broadcast area. The elevator operator told me I couldn’t go up with that in my hand. At first I thought it was a joke, I laughed. Then he repeated, “Sir, I can’t let you up there with that in your hand, would you kindly dispose of it.”

Turns out Van Houtte coffee is sold in the upper concourse and is the only coffee supplier to the building under contract. Ok, whatever. That’s fine.

One of the nice game staff took me around the corner, gave me an unmarked cup to pour my coffee in so I could proceed without incident. Weird. But I appreciate the help from the woman who referred to me as “dear”.

- In all the excitement of the road trip finale, I forgot to wish Tim Kehler good luck in the post-game coaches show. He won’t be back immediately after the break as he guides Team Pacific at the World U-17 Championships in Port Alberni. He’s got a great team put together. They will have two offensive dynamos up-front in Jordan Weal (Regina Pats) and Brett Connolly (Prince George). Good luck Tim.

- Also good luck to Christian Magnus. He will represent Team West at the tournament.

- Special thanks to my colleagues who helped me out on the road. A.J. Jakubec, have fun in Texas. Ronny in PG, tell your bus driver to pull over, you need some extra hours off this summer. Regan in Kelowna thanks for the ten minute Starbucks break, Kirk in Kamloops – great arm at the end of the game to launch that teddy bear. Thanks for you’re interest in WHL This Week. Dave in Vancouver, enjoy a “pretty” good hockey club in the 2nd half. I mean handsome… haha. Randy in Chilliwack, thanks for the highways update. Great tan by the way and congrats to you and Mikayla.

I’m off work now until the Broncos get back on the ice December 27th in Medicine Hat. Have a Merry Christmas everyone!


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Broncos / Bruins Delayed Due to Weather

Face-off tonight from Chilliwack has been pushed back 20 minutes to 7:20pm PT because of bad weather and bad roads.

The Broncos arrived just before 6pm and the decision was made to push the start time back by 20.

Some pics from the last two days....

Bronco scratches tonight Eric Doyle (foot), Matt Ius (back), Mike Brown (healthy) hang out in the media box beside me.

View from the Chilliwack visitors broadcast booth.

Snowy, slushy departure from Vancouver. Heavy snow all the way from the coast East to Chilliwack and beyond.

View from the front windshield of the bus.

Last night from the Vancouver broadcast area.


Giants 8 Broncos 1

One of those nights...

And you can't afford to have them against a real good team or else this is the result.

I don't think it was an 8-1 game but then again the Giants deserved this one and the Broncos surely didn't.

I won't get into a recap because it would take too long. The G-men scored nine seconds a part 12:30 into the first period and the flood gates opened.

The Broncos were just too willing to react rather than initiate tonight and that was just the start of it. That, and the fact every time the Giants put the puck on net it found a way to get by either Travis Yonkman and Mark Guggenberger (Who came in after it was 5-0 in the 2nd)

Even Brent Regner fanned shot from the blueline somehow found it's way through bodies along the ice. I could have taken a commercial break during the wind-up and been back in time for the goal call.

Good teams get breaks, and the Giants worked for theirs. The Broncos didn't. Cody Eakin's shorthanded goal late in the 2nd period was the lone goal on 19 shots.

The Bronco defense has had better nights too.

The Broncos are now 3-2 on their swing and have a chance tomorrow night in Chilliwack to be 4-2 and head home fairly happy with the six game trip.

It won't be easy. The 'Wack is playing some of their best hockey of the year right now but not necessarily getting the results.

I'll have a few pics but right now is giving me some attitude so they will have to wait.

Have a good night,


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A Day in Vancouver

First up a few pics from Monday:

Before, practice at the PNE.

A shot from the old Vancouver media area. Now, they pack you into a spot on the lower level about 15 rows up from the penalty box.

Ice level. Cody Eakin in blue, Geordie Wudrick in grey.

Mike Brown (blue) waits to turn it up ice

A.C. Tim Kehler after some sort of a wise crack I'm betting. "Hey Keen, is there a hotdog stand up there... why were you running the stairs?"

The team waits in the hotel lobby before leaving for the tour of the Molson Canadian Brewery in Kitsilano.

The guys pull up a spot at the beginning of the tour at the Molson Brewery. No beers for the boys though but they can at least play the role.

This machine can churn out 1600 cans a minute. Impressive. Think you can keep up?

30 packs of Coors Light roll off the production line.

End of the tour. The guys get pizza and pop. Taylor Vause and Eric Doyle show off their cans of 7-up. Take it easy guys.... know your limit. I enjoyed a 0 degrees Coors light fresh from the tap. Thanks to Renee and Alf for the tour.


I think it's great out here. The team is having a good trip, there's lots to see and do. It's probably the 5th or 6th time I've been here but there's always something going on. Great place to visit but could I live out here?

It isn't Lanigan, SK... or for that matter Swift Current. It's different, but it's a good different I suppose.

Sushi for lunch, a trip down Robson St. after supper, it's a nice set-up.

If you can shrug off the consecutive rainy days, sometimes weeks at a time, then you got a shot. The people that live out here swear by it.

"You are from where?"

That's a common response from the folks out here. They look at you as if you're from another planet. I've given up the battle.

The folks are friendly though. Laid back, despite the fast pace all around.

The one week I spent up here a couple summers ago was spectacular. Sunshine, warm weather, Stanley Park, the Sea Wall... the place has it all... a 10 out of 10 for sheer beauty.

After our Molson tour today, I met a friend for drinks downtown. He used to live in Swift. Worked for a farm chemical company as a sales rep and has moved up the ranks. He has one of the condos in those glass high-rise palaces downtown now.

Going rate? About :$750k for a two bedroom 1000sq ft. set up downtown overlooking the ocean harbour. Nice.

He's lived everywhere - Winnipeg, Brandon, Calgary, Swift, Toronto and now Vancouver. Of all the places it's Vancouver that's been his favorite. But economics and the chance to own a home will send him back to his hometown of Winnipeg in March.

So many things going's just a fun place to be a part of. But live down here? Nah, not for me.

A few things I've learned today:
a) I don't get along with chopsticks
b) I think if I worked at a brewery I wouldn't enjoy beer very much
c) I better save my beer bottles if I want to own property out here.


The Broncos and their "I Love BC" bumper sticker, face their biggest challenge of the season Tuesday night. The Giants are hot and will throw a lot at the Broncos on home ice. At 3-0 so far through the B.C. division, the guys are confident yet know there's still a couple games left before breaking for Christmas.

No Jon Blum (U.S. World Juniors) on the back-end for the G-men probably won't matter much. The Broncos will have to break their forecheck and match their work ethic. Get pucks in deep and pressue the Giants in their zone if they want to be successful.

The guys are excited, and will play Vancouver with a full line-up for the first time in awhile. So many times over the years the Broncos have limped into the final few games of the swing overwhelmed with injuries and fatigue. Not the case right now though, and there's no excuses on the fatigue front either.

More on Tuesday....


Monday, December 15, 2008

Day off in Vancouver

The boys had a practice this morning and then had some time on their own afterwards. The group is about to go on a couple of tours downtown.

I'll have pics of the day later.

The sunshine is out but it's crisp. It's -1 which apparently is nothing to complain about considering the deep freeze back home.

More later,


Sunday, December 14, 2008

Game Day Pics From Kel/Kam

Here's a few pics from the day that was....

Rookie forward Christian Magnus hanging out in the hotel lobby before departing for Kamloops

John the Broncos bus driver. Legend has it this trip is only a warm-up for what's to come. In only 10 days he will make his annual trip delivering presents to all the young girls and boys.

l to r: Mike Brown, Dillon Wagner, Burger, Cody Eakin

Matt Tassone - presently listed as day-to-day with the common cellphone-attached-to-ear syndrome. Word is he can play, although they will need to find a special helmet.

Trainer Paul Ayotte, Assistant Coach Tim Kehler help make sure everything fits. Radio guy snaps pictures.

The infamous Kamloops Cat. Lives in the rink in the 'Loops. Anyone know his/her name?

The best broadcast location in the Western Hockey League. I'm jealous Kirk Fraser!

Shot to my broadcast right, where both goals happened in the game.

Broncos warm-up

Bronco rookie Taylor Vause ended up scoring the Teddy Bear Toss goal. The goal with 1:11 to play in the 3rd prompted fans to throw their bears despite the pleas from the P.A. announcer.

Even more bears....

And even more..... there was no stopping them now.

Broncos congratulate Yonkman on his first shutout of the season as he blanks the Blazers with 28 saves.

Goaltenders Travis Yonkman and Justin Leclerc shake hands after dueling it out. They were the game's #1 and #2 stars.

Yonks gets after the post-game meal.

Yonkman Plays Scrooge in Kamloops

For the 2nd year in a row, the Broncos spoiled the Teddy Bear party,

Like they did a year ago in Cranbrook to the Kootenay Ice, the Broncos did it again. This time the Kamloops Blazers fans and their bears had to sweat it out.

With the fans waiting for the Blazers to score, and Travis Yonkman denying any and every opportunity of that happening, the bears finally came down,

The Broncos Taylor Vause scored into an empty net with 1:11 to play to seal the fate of the Blazers as a stream of teddy bears flooded the ice despite pleads from the P.A Announcer for the fans to stop.

It didn’t work. Soon ten bears was a hundred then a thousand and so on.

The final buzzer sounding after a 10 minute clean-up and the Broncos posting a 2-0 win – their third straight on this road trip through the B.C. division.

The story? A goaltenders duel between Travis Yonkman and Justin Leclerc.

Cody Eakin’s goal 8:29 into the third period broke the ice in the stalemate. For Eakin it was his first game back into the Broncos line-up after missing three weeks with an ankle injury.

Yonkman continued his brilliance right to the end making 28 saves for his 2nd career teddy bear toss night shutout.

“He’s got the eye of the tiger back,” said D Ryan Molle to me after the game in reference to Yonkman.

The game was a physical, fast-paced action packed tilt. It was perhaps one of the best games from an entertainment standpoint.

The fans may have not left happy, but it was a doozy.

The win was #250 career for Broncos Head Coach / GM Dean Chynoweth behind a WHL bench.

The team now takes a well-deserved two days off before taking on the Giants in Vancouver Tuesday night.

Just a few notes:

- I was impressed with the entire volunteer / gamenight staff at the Interior Savings Center. Friendly, cheerful and helpful the whole night. I heard “Welcome to Kamloops” several times upon the teams arrival. They were in a festive, happy mood. They made a good impression on me.

Had a good chat with Gregg Drinnan of the Kamloops Daily News. He jumped on-air with me to help bridge the gap during the ten-minute teddy bear cleanup. Our talk, among other things included the blog fad and the way they are taking over the #1 source of WHL information. His blog, is commanding 2500 hits a day from around the WHL. The art of waiting until the next day for the paper to come out is a thing of the past. Everything is available almost instantly. The power of the internet, the power of the blog.

The team now has some things planned to make the most of their two days off in Vancouver. I will try and snap some pics along the way.

Have a great Sunday,


Saturday, December 13, 2008

More from the road....

Rockets warm up

The Rockets impressive entrance at Prospera Place

Teams line-up for the singing of our National Anthem

Assistant Coach Tm Kehler joins us for our post-game coaches show. Tim has happy with the effort and the win and shared a lot of praise.

How did the Broncos celebrate a hard fought 3-1 win in Kelowna? How about a giant snowball fight following the post-game meal at the Industry restaurant.

Most of the team got involved while I just kept thinking to myself "don't get hurt, don't get hurt". For some reason, coaches hate silly, non-game-related injuries. Go figure?

The crew made it out of the battle unscathed as they headed back to the hotel along the icy, snow covered streets of downtown Kelowna. It's a mess here right now, no denying that.

The Broncos put forth a strong effort in the contest and got back to the things that have made them successful. Hard work, strong, smart defensive play and good goaltending.

The club also played one of their best periods of the season. It was the 2nd frame where the Broncos took control scoring three times and playing most of the period in the Rockets end.

The D.D.T line combined for five points while both Matt Tassone and Keegan Dansereau were named the games 1st and 2nd stars. Travis Yonkmane completed the visitor star sweep by picking up 3rd star honours.

Kudos to the lack of homerism in Kelowna. It's rare you see the visitors sweep the stars. They could have easily thrown a bone to their fans by naming Kris Lazaruk or Brandon McMillan into the mix.

The Broncos have now won three straight against the Rockets dating back to 2005.

Kelowna is a great place to watch a game or work from the media area. Just one complaint:

I kept getting looks like I was from Mars from the people in the sound booth beside me.

In between playing "Cotton Eyed Joe" and pre-recorded organ music, one of the fellas apparently didn't like my call of the game too much and kept looking over and shaking his head. Laughing out loud when I made a comment like "the Broncos are all over the Rockets here in this 2nd period".

Sure I tend to see things from the Broncos perspective but I've always been one to call the game as it appears. Both ways.

My suggestion. When you're in the media area, at least act like you've been there before.


The Broncos head into Kamloops later today to play the owly Blazers tonight. The Blazers are coming off a 8-3 spanking in their last game in Kootenay and no doubt have had a fire lit under them the last few days from Head Coach Barry Smith.

It looks like Cody Eakin will be back in the line-up tonight after missing three weeks with an ankle injury. Great news for him and the Broncos.

The club will make it's way into Vancouver following the contest and spend a couple days there before playing the Giants Wednesday night.

More later,


Friday, December 12, 2008

Game Day Kelowna

The Broncos went through a vigorous game-day skate earlier today as they prepare for tonight's game against the Rockets.

The Broncos have travelled some 2100 kms on the bus so far on the trip and have only played two games.

It's snowy, cloudy day here in Canada's playground. Snow that was once melting when it hit the ground is now collecting with a layer of white.

The Broncos haven't allowed a goal by the Rockets in nearly three years. In fact, as Regan Bartel in his blog pointed out, the last goal scored by a Rocket against the Broncos was way back in December of 2005 when Clayton Bauer scored an empty-netter in the final minutes.

Since then, both Mark Guggenberger and Travis Yonkman have posted shutouts against the Rockets in back-to-back years. In fact, Yonks and I were laughing about his last start here. 0-0 through regulation and overtime as he went head-to-head with his former midget teammate Kris Westblom.

Hopefully the newly named "DDT" line (old wrestling fans can relate to this one) can continue at the pace set in Prince George Wednesday night. The Dansereau /Dowling/Tassone line combined for 11 points against the Cougars in a wild one.

Not sure on Cody Eakin. He may be a game-time decision. The Rockets will be without Kyle St. Denis (wrist), Tyler Myers (World Juniors) and leading scorer Jaime Benn (World Juniors).

Don't be surprised if these teams take an extra look at each other with the trade deadline about a month away. There's always something that seems to happen between these two teams. Both GM's have a good relationship with each other and there was some early interest from the Rockets regarding goaltender Travis Yonkman. Bruce Hamilton was quite forthcoming in our pre-game interview Wednesday night when he said they still might have to shore up their goaltending situation if Kris Lazaruk can't provide what they're looking for down the stretch. He said "we will have to do something" in regards to their goaltending.

The Rockets will also likely bring in a veteran defenseman which the Broncos have plenty. Especially with Jesse Dudas set to return after the Christmas break.

Food for thought.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Roadie Pics

Pre-game ritual. James Martin, Spencer McAvoy and Mike Brown grab a pre-game coffee.

Snowy evening in Kelowna. It will hit -22 later this weekend.

Pre-game meal at a local winery/restaurant. Left to right Cody Eakin, Eric Doyle, Ryan Molle, Derek Claffey, Spencer McAvoy (they are the "core-four" and that's the hand gesture they're making) Mark Guggenberger

Earlier in the day before the snow started.

Inside Prospera Place. Behind the Broncos bench.

Mural of Swift Current native Ryan Cuthbert inside Prospera Place. He captained the Rockets to a championship and is now as assistant coach with the club.

Mike Brown and Brad Hoban fooling around after arriving in Kelowna Thursday night.

(left to right): Grant Toulmin, Ryan Molle, Cody Eakin and Matt Ius

Jan Dalecky helps unload the bus Thursday night. Grab a bag Janny.

Guys get their bags sorted out outside the rink as they unload.