Saturday, October 31, 2009
The Broncos came flying out of the gates generating opportunities and scoring chances but midway through the period they found themselves down 2-0. How did that happen?
Cody Eakin concluded an unbelievable month of October by scoring his league leading 16th and 17th goals of the season to even the game through the first period.
Eakin scored off the 3-on-2 rush off a rebound and then scored a nice one-time goal on the powerplay after a nice feed from Justin Dowling off the rush on the powerplay.
The Broncos actually took the lead 3-2 eight minutes into the 2nd period when Mike Brown sprung Justin Dowling with a breakaway pass.
The Warriors would come storming back scoring the game's last five goals as Broncos netminder Alex Sirard seemingly fought the puck most of the night. Several outside shots got by him and even routine dump ins would prove adventurous.
The Broncos had really no choice but to leave Sirard in. Morgan Clark dressed as the back-up after being away from the team all week with the flu. He wasn't coming in unless he absolutely had to.
I felt bad for Alex, had it been a regular situation, he may have been pulled after the 2nd Warriors goal. He stayed in, and it only got worse. He had some pucks change directions on him right on the doorstep off a stick or off a skate. Sometimes it's not your night.
The Warriors at one point had seven goals on 22 shots. The shots ended up even at the end of the night 27-27.
The Broncos fall to 9-7-0-1 and will host the Saskatoon Blades Sunday night.
- F Michael Stickland and F Michael Hay did not dress due to the flu. D Jordan Evans and D Eric Doyle missed the game due to concussions. The Broncos dressed one under the limit. No word on who might be available Sunday. D Nathan Zimbaluk was again called up from "AAA" Tisdale.
- F Matt Tassone is set to re-join the team this weekend and may even practice Saturday. He'll now have to work himself into game shape. Great news though for the Broncos who are close to welcoming back last year's Team MVP.
- F Geordie Wudrick is pointless in all seven road games this season. All of his 13 points this season have come on Credit Union i-plex ice.
- F Cody Eakin was in on seven straight Bronco goals - scoring five in a row in the process before Justin Dowling's goal assisted by Mike Brown in the 2nd period ended the streak.
- Warriors Head Coach Dave Hunchak along with several Warrior players had their heads shaved in the name of Breast Cancer Awareness night. Even Dave's young boy sat at center ice and had his head shaved too.
Friday, October 30, 2009
Swift Current, SK---The Swift Current Broncos have parted ways with 17 year old forward Dane Muench.
The decision is a mutual one between the organization and Muench, citing personal reasons. At this point it is undetermined where or if Muench will continue to play hockey.
"I'm excited for it, I'm excited to go with Justin Dowling. I think we will have a lot of fun there and hopefully we will do well."
He'll play under the watchful eye of Head Coach Will Desjardins who will also coach Canada's selection at the World Junior Hockey Championships in less than two months.
"I'm going to play hard for him and hopefully he likes what he sees, and maybe it will help out for World Junior camp in December."
Broncos Head Coach and General Manager Mark Lamb says it's good to see the two players rewarded.
"They both have played so well for us this year. Eakin is on a total roll scoring goals but he's even improved defensively, he's doing everything for our team right now. Dowling has come back from pro camp and has just kept it going. I use both players in all situations and they're very deserving of the honour"
As for tonight's game in Moose Jaw, the Broncos will have to piece together a line-up due to injuries and a bit of the flu bug going around this week.
Mark Lamb hopes they can battle hard despite some obstacles.
"It's been a very tough week. The flu bug is going around. We have a few guys injured and right now it's tough to tell the difference whether they're injured or flu'd. We've got a few guys back but we're going to put a team together and go after Moose Jaw. They have been playing very well at home ice as we have. We need to get a win on the road."- Lamb
I'm suspecting the flu is going around several WHL rooms at this stage. It's tough to avoid in junior hockey circles with the close proximity of other teammates and physical strain that goes with the game.
It's one of those things that is really tough to avoid.
The Broncos have had Moose Jaw's number seemingly... the best example of this was in their last meeting where the Warriors led 5-1 and 6-3 only to see the Broncos come back and win 7-6 in regulation.
The Broncos have also won the last seven games inside the Moose Jaw Civic Center thanks to some wild endings and overtime/shootouts.
The Warriors are 7-1 on home ice this season and are just coming off a six-game winning streak.
We're on the air tonight at 6:30pm with the pre-game show, 7pm play-by-play on the Eagle 94.1 FM.
Talk to you then........
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Both Cody Eakin and Justin Dowling will play in the opening game in Victoria, November 25th.
Here's a complete look at the rosters.
Team WHL Roster – Victoria, BC – November 25, 2009
Forwards (12): Year: Club: Hometown:
Glennie, Scott (91) Brandon Winnipeg, MB
Schenn, Brayden (91) Brandon Saskatoon, SK
Raedeke, Brent * (90) Edmonton Regina, SK
Froese, Byron (91) Everett Winkler, MB
Hamilton, Wacey* (90) Medicine Hat Cochrane, AB
Vey, Linden* (91) Medicine Hat Wakaw, SK
Eberle, Jordan (90) Regina Regina, SK
Koper, Levko (90) Spokane Edmonton, AB
Dowling, Justin (90) Swift Current Cochrane, AB
Eakin, Cody (91) Swift Current Winnipeg, MB
Shinnimin, Brendan (91) Tri-City Winnipeg, MB
Bouma, Lance (90) Vancouver Provost, AB
Defence (6): Club: Hometown:
Robak, Colby (90) Brandon Gilbert Plains, MB
Pysyk, Mark* (92) Edmonton Sherwood Park, AB
Barrie, Tyson* (91) Kelowna Victoria, BC
Ponich, Brent (91) Portland Beaumont, AB
Teubert, Colten (90) Regina White Rock, BC
Cowen, Jared (91) Spokane Allan, SK
Goaltenders (2): Club: Hometown:
Jones, Martin* (90) Calgary Vancouver, BC
Pickard, Calvin* (92) Seattle Winnipeg, MB
Team WHL Roster – Kelowna, BC – November 26, 2009
Forwards (12): Year: Club: Hometown:
Kozun, Brandon (90) Calgary Calgary, AB
Raedeke, Brent * (90) Edmonton Regina, SK
Shattock, Tyler (90) Kamloops Salmon Arm, BC
McMillan, Brandon (90) Kelowna Delta, BC
Ashton, Carter (91) Lethbridge Saskatoon, SK
Hamilton, Wacey* (90) Medicine Hat Cochrane, AB
Vey, Linden* (91) Medicine Hat Wakaw, SK
Howden, Quinton (92) Moose Jaw Oakbank, MB
Connolly, Brett (92) Prince George Prince George, BC
Coetzee, Willie (90) Red Deer Maple Ridge, BC
Hamilton, Curtis (91) Saskatoon Kelowna, BC
Cunningham, Craig (90) Vancouver Trail, BC
Defence (6): Club: Hometown:
Stone, Michael (90) Calgary Winnipeg, MB
Pysyk, Mark* (92) Edmonton Sherwood Park, AB
Barrie, Tyson* (91) Kelowna Victoria, BC
McNabb, Brayden (91) Kootenay Davidson, SK
Hamonic, Travis (90) Moose Jaw St. Malo, MB
Elliott, Stefan (91) Saskatoon Vancouver, BC
Goaltenders (2): Club: Hometown:
Jones, Martin* (90) Calgary Vancouver, BC
Pickard, Calvin* (92) Seattle Winnipeg, MB
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
City Councillors include Gord Budd (re-elected), Ryan Plewis (new), Denis Pearrault (new), George Bowditch (new), Dan Martens (new), Tim Bugera (re-elected)
This year's games against the Russians is being dubbed the Subway Super Series with games in Victoria and Kelowna November 25th and 26th.
The roster is expected to be about 33-35 players with some players playing in both games.
Cody Eakin and Justin Dowling of the Broncos could see their name on the list. But it was only last year when D Eric Doyle was iniatially left off the roster only to be added to the game in Prince Albert after an injury.
Election coverage tonight on our group of three radio stations...I'm off to go put on my news hat for the evening.
Yesterday on the Eagle 94.1 FM Morning Show, Out-going Mayor Sandy Larson was our guest. She was "everything goes" for the most part.
"There is only one choice for mayor... that is Jerrod Schafer," commented Mayor Larson. She's been endorsing Jerrod ever since he announced his intentions.
Another comment she made also showed her frustration with the process.
"I don't know why our city has to be dragged through the mud every civic election in the name of politics"
This has to do with the rat issue that has seemingly dissipated over the last month or two.
Should be a fun night of election coverage here at our group of three radio stations.
We could see some ol' fashion politics today. Apparently at the candidates forum Saturday at the Swift Current Mall, Henry "Hank" Banman wanted to "step outside" with current councillor Gord Budd. Thanks for helping the electoral process Henry.
To hockey now.......
The Swift Current Broncos are back in action Friday when they play in Moose Jaw. There's not much on the Bronco front right now. The status for D Eric Doyle and D Jordan Evans remains questionable for Friday's game.
I would venture a guess that we won't see them this weekend.
I'm going down there this afternoon for some Shaw TV interviews and some Bronco website features. I may post more of an update... if there is one at all.
Next Broncos home game is Sunday when the Broncos host the Saskatoon Blades. Sunday night is also the first Broncos / Minor Hockey Promotion.
Anderson and Company is sponsoring the game and every kid wearing their minor hockey jersey gets into the game free.
Hopefully our young hockey players and their family take full advantage of the night.
Monday, October 26, 2009
Swift Current Broncos players will be raising money for the month of November in support of prostate and all other male cancers. The Broncos will begin the initiative on November 1st when they take on the Saskatoon Blades on “Movember Kick-off Night”.
The players will be growing moustaches for “Movember” to help support the cause. The players’ moustaches will be updated with pictures on the Broncos website for fans to follow along with their progress. Fans can pledge the Bronco players during the month of November either at The Stable Souvenir Store or online at scbroncos.com.
All proceeds from the event will go directly to the Canadian Cancer Foundation who will have a booth set up at the Broncos home game November 1st. A special cheque presentation will be made by the Broncos to the Canadian Cancer Foundation at the November 28th game against Brandon. The Broncos will also be hosting their annual “Beat Breast Cancer Night” later in the season on February 19th.
The Broncos would like to encourage Swift Current and the Southwest community to support the Canadian Cancer Foundation through this initiative and would like to give thanks to everyone for their tremendous support of the team’s initiatives in the past.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Playing their third game in as many nights, fourth in five nights and sixth in nine, it was going to be an uphill fight.
Rod Pedersen broadcast the game 10 feet to my left. He has the recap here.
The Broncos got both their goals from Cody Eakin - both on the powerplay as the team snapped an 0/18 powerplay drought on the road and 0/22 overall.
The Broncos played with five defenseman after Nathan Zimbaluk re-joined the "AAA" Tisdale Trojans. F Michael Hay was inserted as a defenseman but never saw a shift on the back-end.
Eakin's two goals caps a great week for him individually, a week that should garner him some heavy consideration for WHL Player of the Week. He scored six goals to take over the league lead while adding two assists with a +6 rating in four games. The Broncos also won three of the four contests.
We'll see on Monday if he picks up the award, and obviously I'm pulling for him.
The Broncos catch a much needed break and won't play until Friday in Moose Jaw.
Cody Eakin scored the game-winner with 16.7 seconds to play as the Broncos and Pats appeared destined for overtime.
Brad Hoban made a nice play out of the corner to find Eakin who promptly snapped it upstairs on Pats goaltender Damien Ketlo.
Bronco fans are absolutely in love with this Eakin kid. He could run for mayor Wednesday and win by a landslide. He's upped his play since signing with the Capitals this week. If he keeps playing this way, he may find a spot on the World Junior squad after being a longshot to begin the season. Eakin's 13 goals ties him with Jason Bast of the Moose Jaw Warriors for the WHL lead.
The Pats Jordan Eberle somehow had a breakaway with five seconds to play but was denied by the pad of G Morgan Clark who was again on top of his game making 30 saves for his 2nd win in as many night.
The Broncos improve to 9-1 on home ice after back-to-back wins over division rivals.
Both goaltenders were sensational. Damien Ketlo made 37 saves and was the game's 2nd star.
What shouldn't be over-looked is that the Broncos won tonight with four WHL raw rookies on defense. - three of them 16 years old after calling up Nathan Zimbaluk from "AAA" Tisdale.
This really is a statement for this group. I have to say I'm impressed. The big minutes in key situations is going to pay off for years to come for the likes of Reece Scarlett, Graeme Craig, Brody Luhning and to some extent Zimbaluk who found himself on the ice a couple times against the Pats big line.
Assistant Coach Tim Kehler is doing a bang-up job with that group.
Over-age captain Derek Claffey logged a lot of minutes and was out there almost every time Jordan Eberle hopped over the boards.
The Broncos were without Eric Doyle and Jordan Evans who were both out with concussion.
More tomorrow, but I'll leave you with this. A quick look at the Eastern Conference standings and you see the top seven teams have combined for a remarkable 19 straight wins. The bottom five teams have combined for 15 straight losses.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
The Blades had won six in a row before last night's defeat. The Broncos improve to a league best 8-1 on home ice.
The Broncos led 3-0 early in the first after Eakin's shorthanded burst around D Jiri Niemi. Another unassisted marker coming from a shot from the bottom of the right wing circle and then Mike Brown's dangle into the middle finished with a back-hand behind G Adam Morrison. Brown now has goals in four straight games.
Broncos G Morgan Clark was brilliant all night and would finish with 37 saves.
Adam Lowry and Justin Dowling added plumber-like goals in the 2nd period to make it 5-0.
Then Eakin scored another shorthanded beauty cutting against the grain and letting a shot go top corner on G Morrison late in the third to bring the hats onto the ice. It was his 12th marker of the season, one shy of the league lead held by Jason Bast of the Moose Jaw Warriors.
The Blades got goals from Gaelan Patterson and Charles Inglis in the third.
Everyone is talking about the hit from behind D Jordan Evans took from Blades enforcer Randy Mcnaughton. I've already talked about it in a post below. WHL Director of Officiating Kevin Muench was already asking for the tape post-game.
The Blades game plan was as expected, try to use their physical play to an advantage. They are a big strong team and can lay the body. They just made too many mistakes and gave up too many pucks as the Broncos style won out on this night.
Big props to the Broncos defensive group who played without Eric Doyle and then Jordan Evans for half the game. Brody Luhning played the most minutes he's seen this season. Derek Claffey finished +4 and is now a team leading +13 on the season. That's 5th best in the WHL.
I'm going to cut this one short, I need to get tonight's pre-game show together....
Friday, October 23, 2009
The blindside and dangerous hit on Doyle has left Stretch with a four game suspension.
Doyle is out with a concussion and won't play this weekend.
Now another incident.....
The league will be reviewing another tape, this time from tonight's game after a vicious elbow from behind delivered by Blades enforcer Randy Mcnaught on D Jordan Evans. The Blades were down 4-0 at the time and looking for a spark.
Evans also has a reported concussion.
The no-doubt major penalty could have Mcnaughton sitting down for a bit. Director of officiating Kevin Muench was in the building.
A recap will follow.
Toomey was assessed a double minor for checking from behind in the first period of Wednesday’s game for a hit on Pats forward Matt Strueby.
The third-year Blade will miss tonight’s game against the Swift Current Broncos and will be eligible to return in time for tomorrow night’s game against the Kamloops Blazers at home.
The Broncos will play three games in the next three nights as they host the east division leading Saskatoon Blades tonight.
The Blades have won six in a row and by all accounts are the real deal so far this season.
"They are as deep as anyone in the conference, they have a big physical team Physically they will their way to the net. They've got some guys that combine a pretty good skill set with that size and some defenseman that move and shoot the puck very well. It's certainly a complete group," commented Broncos Assistant Coach Tim Kehler.
The Broncos meanwhile have been no slouch posting a 7-1 record on home ice while outshooting their opponents the last four games 156-98 for an average of 39-24.
D Eric Doyle isn't likely to dress for the Broncos tonight after suffering a concussion Wednesday. We will get an update on his status on tonight's broadcast.
This is the first of eight head-to-head meetings. Three of the next six Bronco games will be against the Blades as the teams get familiar with each other in a hurry.
We're on the air at 7pm with the pre-game show on the Eagle 94.1 FM. Face-off at 7:30.
Make the most of your Friday,
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Here's some random thoughts and quotes that caught my attention.....
When speaking to Blazers Head Coach Barry Smith before the game, Smith made no bones about his team's defensive play this season.
"(other) Teams do come after us, we are not a good defensive team. Until we can prove that I think we are going to see teams continually get after us especially on the forecheck." - Barry Smith
Broncos F Mike Brown now has goals in three straight games for the first time in his WHL career. Brown's 4th goal of the season has eclipsed last year's season total of three. So what's been the difference? Yoga Perhaps?
"I actually started doing Yoga in the off-season. It really loosens up the legs and lengthens the skating stride and makes you more flexible." - Mike Brown
Broncos F Brad Hoban has now equalled his point totals from last season. His goal last night gives him five on the season to go along with seven assists - the same totals he posted all of last year in an injury shortened season of 53 games.
The emergence of Brad Hoban as an offensive player is helping the increased depth up-front.
I can't remember the Broncos having a 16 year-old defenseman playing as much as Reece Scarlett and Graeme Craig have in the last number of years. Craig logged over 17 minutes of ice-time, exceeding his previous most minutes played in a game by five or six according to Assistant Coach Tim Kehler.
Scarlett meanwhile continues to play a key role in all situations. These two have already shown a significant jump in their level of play in the first 13 games of the season.
NHL scouts should start taking note for next year's draft. The Broncos have a couple of gems back there.
Some concern for Broncos D Eric Doyle who left the game with a suspected concussion last night after taking a blind-side hit on the offensive blueline. Doyle never returned to action and his status for the weekend would be doubtful at best.
It was a hit Tim Kehler said was "dangerous" with a player in a "defenseless position". The tape will be sent to the league as they are keeping track of hits that lead to concussions this season.
Fans got a better sense of what F Dane Muench is about last night. Muench was buzzing around most of the night in a 3rd line role with Taylor Vause and Adam Lowry. Muench missed on a couple of great chances and distributed the puck well to his linemates. His night ended with one assist. I said it at the start of the season and I'll say it again... he has a lot of Keegan Dansereau-type characteristics in his game. Most notably his skating stride and quick release.
Granted Dansereau led the Broncos in scoring last season with 37 goals and 81 points, the comparison is admittedly a bit lofty.
A tough game tomorrow night as the red-hot Saskatoon Blades pay a visit. The Blades have won six in a row and lead the east division with 18 points. More on the match-up later....
I'll get the opportunity next month to work alongside former NHL enforcer Jeff Odgers for an upcoming broadcast. They don't come much tougher than Odgers in the NHL (and he fought them all). Willing to trade with anyone, Odgers racked up over 2300 PIMS in his NHL days. The native of Spy Hill, Saskatchewan shows another side in this segment that should have made him a youtube sensation.
Great stuff here from the Atlanta Thrashers production team!
Geordie Wudrick, Adam Lowry, Mike Brown, Brad Hoban and Micheal Stickland into the empty-net were the goal-scorers.
More of a recap in the morning.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
(Cody Eakin at the NHL Draft in Montreal this summer)
JK: You're now signed NHL property, how does that feel?
Cody: It feels pretty surreal right now. I really don't want to change anything, I want to keep my focus on the Broncos. I'll enjoy it for the moment but then it's back to work.
JK: Some people view an NHL contract in the WHL as a finish line. What's going to keep you going now?
Cody: When I play against signed players in the WHL, I always want to prove to myself I'm better than them. Now it's going to be tougher, other players are going to want to use me as a measuring stick. We will see how that goes... but right now I'm just excited.
JK: How did it come together for you so quick? I don't remember a Broncos at this stage being early in their 18 year-old season being signed.
Cody: I did the best I could (at Capitals training camp) in the short amount of time I was there. I guess they took a liking to me and rewarded me with a deal and now we'll go from there.
JK: You made the comment to me after you were drafted that it's not so much where you go in the draft it's just important you go to a team that really wants you. I guess that statement turns out to be really big in your case.
Cody: Yeah, I heard someone say to me "don't worry about where you were drafted, it's just a pageant." I got the feeling though (the Capitals) really wanted me and likewise I'm happy to be with them.
When I was at the draft it felt like the end of the world (dropping to round three) but today it feels a whole lot better.
JK: To be a young guy and have a bunch of money in your pocket sometimes can be disastrous. What's going to keep you focuses and keep you grounded?
Cody: Swift Current will keep me grounded. You always hear those stories about those guys being cocky and stuff but I don't want this to change me and in a way I think this town will help me.
JK: Explain to me what you expect moving into next season. Do you have the mindset this is your last year in junior and that you will make the Capitals?
Cody: I don't expect to play (in Washington) when I'm 19 next year...maybe down the road. I expect to play here next season. The last two and half years have been the best time of my life and I'm not looking to get out of here anytime soon."
Meanwhile, Cody plus teammates Derek Claffey and Eric Doyle were down at "Cowtown Western Wear" yesterday to get geared up for the Broncos annual poster promotion.
There was some good laughs and some good get-up. We had our Shaw TV crew down there to tape a segment of the "Inside Edge". Watch for that in the coming days on the local Shaw TV channel.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
The province of Saskatchewan is hosting the prestigious 2010 IIHF World Junior Tournament as 6 cities across the province will host pre-competition games and the cities of Regina and Saskatoon will host the preliminary and championship rounds.
“The Broncos are extremely excited for the opportunity to work in partnership with the 2010 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship and to bring our fans another top-level international hockey event,” comments Director of Business Operations Jordan Wall. “We anticipate this will truly be a memorable event that the fans of Southwestern Saskatchewan will want to see and be a part of.”
Russia is the number 1 ranked hockey nation, slightly ahead of Canada, in the latest IIHF men’s rankings which combine performances at the Olympics, World Hockey Championships and the World Junior Championships. The team will feature up to 10 returnees from the 2009 squad which won bronze in Ottawa. The Russians team has plenty of fire power as a few future Alexander Ovechkin’s and Evgeni Malkin’s are poised to return to this year’s team including: Columbus Blue Jackets’ first rounder Nikita Filatov, Florida Panthers’ first rounder Dmitri Kulikov and potential top pick in the 2010 draft, Kirill Kabanov. These players headline a Russian team that came so close to the gold medal game last year after they lost in a shootout to Canada after Jordan Eberle’s last second heroics tied the game for Canada. Russia is coached by former NHLer Sergei Nemchinov and will be playing their only 2010 pre-competition game in Swift Current.
Over the past 11 years, the Russians have won 3 World Junior Championships including 2 in Canada. (Halifax in 2003 and Winnipeg in 1999)
Latvia is strengthening its hockey reputation and is participating in the 2010 event after finishing 8th last year in Ottawa. The Russians are Latvia’s main rival and can return up to 11 players from last year’s team. Some familiar Latvians who made the NHL are: Arturs Irbe, Karlis Skrastins and Sandis Ozolinsh.
Broncos’ season ticket holders have the World Junior pre-competition game included in their season ticket package at a cost of $20. If you have or want to purchase a Broncos 12 game mini-pack or a Broncos Pro-Rated Season Ticket you can get your International Under-20 Pre-Competition Game ticket for just $20.
The regular ticket price for the game is $25 for all seats. Call the Broncos office at 773-1509 to get your ticket to this one-time opportunity to see several future NHLers on the ice in an International event.
Tickets for the tournament, which starts on Boxing Day in Regina and Saskatoon, are available now through Ticketmaster, either at www.ticketmaster.ca, 1-800-970-SEAT, or any Ticketmaster outlet.
For more information on the entire tournament visit the World Juniors booth at the Broncos’ game versus the Saskatoon Blades on Friday, October 23rd
Eakin, from Winnipeg, was drafted by the Caps in the 3rd round 85th over-all at this past June’s NHL Entry Draft. This season Eakin is leading the Broncos in goals with 9 and has 12 points in as many games.
"We are very happy for Cody", comments Broncos head coach and general manager Mark Lamb," it is special for a player to not only get drafted, but sign an NHL deal. It is good to see a player of his caliber get rewarded with a contract from a great organization such as Washington."
15 year-old Mason Logan was the compensation heading to the Medicine Hat Tigers as the Regina Pats acquired 18 year-old D Cody Carlson.
The Broncos and Hockey Canada will announce this afternoon what two teams will face-off in Swift Current in a pre-tournament World Junior game.
It's said to be an all Eastern European rivalry.
Exhibition games will be held throughout the province including Prince Albert, Unity, Moose Jaw, Weyburn and more.
More details this afternoon.
The Broncos are putting together their idea for a team poster this season. From what I've heard it should be an entertaining photo shoot.
You will have to stay tuned for that.
There's nothing official yet, but we could hear news later this week about an NHL signing regarding one of the Broncos. I told the family I'd hold off until something was in place. Hopefully there's more later this week.
A major reason the Broncos are winless on the road? Look no further than their PP away from home ice. The clubs is a combined 0/18 on the powerplay on the road this season.
At home? The PP is 10/42 or 23.8 %
The Broncos bus limped into Swift Current last night after coming down with some electrical troubles in Swift Current Sunday night in Medicine Hat.
The next time the Broncos need it will be Sunday when they head to Regina... I think I'll grab the radio station vehicle on Sunday instead.
You heard it here first, Medicine Hat Tigers F Emerson Etem will be the WHL's Eastern Conference Rookie of the Year. Honorable mentions to Red Deer's Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Brandon's Toni Rajala.
I should have more later today....
Monday, October 19, 2009
I'll have the details some time after 2pm today.
The Broncos outshot the rival Tigers 35-22, including 17-6 in the third period but Tyler Bunz made some timely saves in the third period to protect the lead.
Broncos Assistant Coach Tim Kehler joined us post-game and talked about the weekend.
“I think its two games were we deserved a better fate than what we ultimately got. To come away with only a point is disappointing based on our work rate, and the commitment right throughout our line-up. I really liked the offense we generated (in Medicine Hat) getting 35 shots in a tough place to play with 17 in the third period.
Against a team known for being fleet of foot, I thought we skated them into the ground in the final period. We got the chances we needed, they got some timely goals on some seeing-eye shots and things just weren’t going our way. It just seemed it wasn’t meant to be.”
The Broncos had several good chances late including Micheal Stickland being robbed right in front with 50 seconds to play as Bunz slid across to make the save.
“The only concern from the coaching staff is when the kids put out like they have through two games, when you only come away with one point, you don’t want the guys to be discouraged and think maybe there is another way to be successful because what we’re doing will make us a successful and effective team.”
The Broncos got their goals from Adam Lowry, Mike Brown and Cody Eakin. Eakin also dropped the gloves with Mathew Konan after an awkward hit delivered to Michael Stickland in the 2nd period.
Eakin took an instigator penalty that had him miss most of the 2nd period due to 17 minutes in penalties with the misconduct.
The Broncos fall to 0-4-0-1 on the road and will now host Kamloops Wednesday in their next game.
To make good on a lost bet, I did wear the Tigers jersey up in the booth for the 1st period. I have pics to prove it. Orange is a not a good look for me.
Perhaps what was more frustrating is what happened after the game as the Broncos encountered bus problems for the 2nd time this trip.
An hour and a half later and with now working headlights or signal lights, the Trax bus outfit sent a bus over to help us out. An assist to the Tigers Bob Ridley who helped set it up. Thanks Rids.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
The Broncos played pretty well in Edmonton but ran into a hot goaltender in Cam Lanigan who made 42 saves for a 3-2 shootout win.
The team was very sound for the most part defensively and rolled all four lines up-front.
It's the first point the Broncos have picked up this season on the road, tonight they are hoping for their first win away from the Credit Union i-plex.
The Broncos rolled in pretty late last night, hopefully they had enough rest to keep up with what's sure to be a pretty offensive team the Tigers are sporting this season.
And.... the Tigers jersey is waiting here in the booth for me to put it on...guess it's time to make good on that bet...
Saturday, October 17, 2009
I know the coaching staff will be stressing "the reason why we're here" both today and leading up to face-off.
Broncos Head Coach / GM Mark Lamb is a pretty good host here in his the city where he played for parts of five seasons and coached for another. He's hockey royalty here in the city. And why not, after winning a Stanley Cup and scoring some big goals over the years it's almost rockstar status. No kidding around.
He took the team to one of his four restaurants he has ownership in. Last night it was the The Lux Steakhouse downtown. In a word, wow.
The team got a five star meal complete with steak and chicken and some cheesecake to close. The staff was tripping over themselves to make sure Mark was happy and content with the food and service.
I shudder to think what the bill would have been. Mark took care of it and we headed out to the game.
He's also part of one of Edmonton's hottest downtown locations called 100. About half the Oilers headed down there after a 5-2 win against the Wild.
Everyone is always happy to see and chat with Mark in Edmonton, that was evident at the game last night too. Kevin Lowe, Pat Laforge, Ethan Moreau, Kelly Buchberger, Tom Renney, etc.
Safe to say he's a pretty likable guy.
Heard around the dinner table last night...
Broncos A.C. Tim Kehler: Hey Graeme (Craig) , are you sure you want to have that 2nd piece of cheesecake? We're playing on the fastest ice surface in Western Canada tomorrow.
Graeme: Hey, I've PLAYED on this ice before...no big deal.
Tim: Yeah... was it between the first and 2nd period or between the 2nd and the 3rd? ; )
Haha, T.K. is always good for some chuckles on the road.
The team will leave directly after tonight's game and head to Medicine Hat. The Broncos play the Tigers tomorrow night at 6pm.
We dropped off the gear at Rexall Place and the Oilers were gracious enough to give us a tour of their dressing room area. Let's keep in mind it's gameday for the Oil and we are three hours away from face-off against the Minnesota Wild.
Good thing Broncos Head Coach / GM is hockey royalty in this city. His longtime friend and former teammate Kelly Buchberger led us through the tour. Not many teams would do this...let alone hours before a game.
I snapped a few pics:
I have to run but more blogging later today....
Thursday, October 15, 2009
I'll try to sneak around and get some things I can use on our two broadcasts this weekend. I don't know how much of the game I'll get to see.
The last Oilers game attended, I was a year into my Broncos play-play job and I managed to get into the Hockey Night in Canada booth and watch a period with Chris Cuthbert and Greg Millen.
I'll never forget the look on Kelly Hrudey's face... I was up poking around the media area when he stopped me and asked If he could help. I introduced myself and he proceeded to treat me like a long-time friend even though I'd just met him. He quickly escorted me into the HNIC booth for the 2nd period.
The one thing that has amazed me over the years is how willing some of the National guys are to let you into their world. No "big leaguing" going on. They want you to soak it all in and if they can be of any help the better.
The Broncos were in Vancouver a couple years ago. I called ahead to get media accreditation to the Canucks/Flames game at GM Place.
I wasn't in the media lounge more than 10 minutes and I was sharing stories with Jim Hughson, play-by-play host for the Canucks on Sportsnet at the time.
An hour later I'm watching the game from the media gondola with the Canucks broadcast team Jim Hughson and John Garrett. An hour after that, Roger Millions let me observe the Flames Sportsnet broadcast next door. Quite a night.
Maybe I am a bit of a "nerd" when it comes to this sort of stuff. Any chance you have to learn from the best, I guess you should jump at the opportunity.
If any sports broadcaster is reading this let me suggest a good book to read. Pick up "Walking With Legends" by Ralph Mellanby.
Mellanby was the long time producer of Hockey Night in Canada on CBC. If you ever wanted a behind the scenes look of what goes on and what the personalities are like I suggest you have a look.
---------As for the Broncos, Edmonton is a good set-up for road teams. Teams usually stay in a nice hotel downtown close to the action. There is also the NHL rink factor of playing at Rexall Place. For many players, tomorrow night will be the first time they've played in an NHL building.The team is still in search of their first road win of the season after an 0-3 start away from the friendly confines of the Credit Union i-plex.
Edmonton will be another tough test. They lost their 2nd game in a row on home ice last night as the visiting Portland Winterhawks came in and picked up a 5-2 win.
It's safe to say they will be a little owly. The Oil Kings are still short some key players due to injury. Not sure what their line-up will look like tomorrow night.
The Broncos could have F Dane Muench in the line-up. Dane has only played a game and a 1/3 of another after going down with an injury in Prince Albert in the 2nd game of the season.
I'm expecting a visit from Broncos over-age forward Matt Tassone as well. Maybe we will throw him on the broadcast for a period to get the update on his pending return.
Also, thanks to Warriors broadcaster James Gallo in Moose Jaw who produced a feature on Theoran Fleury's recent allegations he was abused by Graham James. His book "Playing With Fire" is getting some attention. I'll air James' feature tomorrow night before face-off.
We're on the air at 6:30pm with the pre-game, 7pm play-by-play on the Eagle 94.1 FM.
My last stop before catching the bus is a round of coffees for the staff...one of the lesser known duties of the radio broadcaster.
Then it's seven hours of relaxation, a couple movies, some conversation, a little game prep and a few Z's. Contrary to popular belief, time on the bus is mostly enjoyable.
Talk to you from Edmonton......
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
In case you haven't noticed, the number of goals scored this year in the WHL is up from last year's overall pace.
Through 105 WHL games this season, we are seeing an average of 7.23 goals per game. Last year's average was 6.51 goals per game. So, goals are up %9.9 so far this season.
The place to be this week is Kelowna with the WHL General Manager Meetings going on. I'm sure some important items are being tabled. We should be hearing something out of Kelowna later this week.
For now, if you have a BB or smartphone, the WHL has launched it's new mobile site. I was on it last night and it looks pretty good. The site is a good time passer if you're on the bus heading home from a game and looking to stay updated with scores from around the league.
You can access it on your BB or smartphone by heading to whl.ca. You will be automatically directed to the mobile site.
The WAP site will still be offered at www.wap.whl.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
After living a full life, Doug Berry, the (once)
Winnipeg Blue Bomber coach, died. When he got to heaven, God
was showing him around. They came to a modest little house
with a faded Blue Bomber flag in the window.
"This house is yours for eternity," said God. "This is
very special; not everyone gets a house up here."
Doug felt special, indeed, and walked up to his house.
On his way up the porch, he noticed another house just
around the corner. It was a gorgeous white and green
three-story mansion with a 50-foot tall flagpole with an
enormous Saskatchewan Roughrider flag, and in every window,
he could see Saskatchewan fans.
Doug looked at God and said, "God, I'm not trying to
be ungrateful, but I have a question. I was a good coach,
ran a clean program, took the Bombers to the Grey Cup, and
came close to winning a national championship."
God said, "So what do you want to know, Doug?"
Doug asked: "Well, why does Ken Miller, the
Saskatchewan coach, get a better house than me?"
God chuckled and said, "Doug, that's not Ken's house;
The Broncos defeated the road wearing Kootenay Ice 3-1 allowing only 17 shots in the contest.
The home-team broke open a scoreless game in the 2nd period with goals from Brad Hoban and Derek Claffey while out-shooting the Ice 18-4.
Geordie Wudrick converted on a 2-on-1 with Justin Dowling in the opening minute of the 3rd period. Brayden McNabb broke Morgan Clark's shutout bid at 6:48 of the third period with a shot that deflected off a Bronco defenseman.
Brad Hoban spoke about the win in the Wiens' Agritec post-game show.
"I thought as a team we played a real solid game. We knew they would try and slow it down and make it a dead kind of game. They are a hard-working team but that's definitely the best defensive effort we've had this year."
Local product F Andy Blanke is trying to make the most of his limited ice-time in a 4th line role. Andy played a physical game and dished out a couple of big hits.
"I guess I'll just go out there and take every shift as it comes and do whatever the coaches want me to do. (I'll) try to make an impact every shift and work hard...that's how I've always been taught."
Assitant Coach Tim Kehler shared his thoughts:
"It was just a real business-like effort. The 2nd period was a great set-up period for us where we pushed the tempo offensively and did so without giving up anything defensively. No penalties in the period and no opportunity for a team that wanted to be a counter-punch, rope-a-dope type team with not a lot of energy and some key players missing. We just never game them an opportunity to create anything in transition or easy man-power advantage plays. It was just a real efficient game from our group."
The Broncos won't play until Saturday night in Edmonton against the Oil Kings. The team will get to Edmonton Friday night in time to take in the Oilers/Minnesota Wild game courtesy the Oilers and Mark Lamb.
Apparently Broncos Head Coach/GM Mark Lamb is pulling out his all-access Oilers card from the mid to late 80's that gets you anything you want in the City of Champions. It will be a nice treat for the guys to begin the weekend.
October 18th is a day I've had circled on my calendar - but for all the wrong reasons.
I won't back-out of a bet I made with Medicine Hat CHAT-TV's Rhonda Carlson last year in the playoffs.
Hopefully Dave, Mike or Tim from the Tigers office can supply me with a Tigers jersey to don in the broadcast booth Sunday in Medicine Hat.
If you can remember back to March, Rhonda and I made a "jersey bet". The losing party had to wear the other team's jersey on the air. Being a TV anchor, she had more to lose than I did but accepted anyways. The series went seven games with Medicine Hat taking the decider.
I still think Rhonda looks better in Bronco colors than I ever would in orange and black. (original photo may be slightly altered below)
The bet made for some good chatter around the series with Rhonda appearing on our Eagle 94.1 FM morning show a couple times and vice-versa.
I'll follow through on my commitment. I may even post a picture on the blog. Rhonda if you're at the game Sunday come on up to the broadcast booth for a photo op.
Broncos Head Coach / GM Mark Lamb departed for Kelowna this morning for General Manager meetings. There is some interesting items on the agenda. It will be Mark's first taste of all the General Manager's in one room together.
Don't be surprised if some deals shake-out of the tree over the next couple days around the league especially with the deadline to get down to three 20 year-olds set for Thursday.
Have a great week,
Monday, October 12, 2009
For the Ice, it's the finale of a five-game roadie through the east division. They are 1-3 on their trip after a 4-2 loss in Moose Jaw last night.
It's the return over-age and former Bronco defenseman Ryan Molle who was traded to Kootenay before the season started. Former Broncos F Christian Magnus won't play because of a broken finger.
The Broncos won all four head-to-head meetings against the Ice last season.
We're on the air at 2pm with the pre-game show on the Eagle 94.1 FM. Play-by-play at 2:30pm
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Last night, the game was at best an eye-glazer from a Broncos perspective. The Oil Kings came in and played a workmanlike, defensive style and it was effective for a 5-2 win.
The teams enterered the 3rd period tied 2-2. Thomas Vincour banked home the go-ahead goal at 6:39 when it bounced off a defender in front of the Broncos goal. The Oil Kings score two into the empty-net in the final minute for the 5-2 final.
The game lacked emotion from the Broncos side.
Brad Hoban and Cody Eakin scored for the Broncos while Alex Sirard took the loss in goal.
The loss is the Broncos first on home ice as they fall to 5-1 at home and 5-4 overall.
This recap, as boring as it is, may be more exciting than last night's game.
Ok, off to have some turkey!
Back tomorrow, Happy Thanksgiving.
Friday, October 09, 2009
In a game the Broncos had no business really being in, the hometown boys fought back from a 5-1 deficit at one point to score four third period goals for a 7-6 stunner over the Warrriors. The game winner courtesy Geordie Wudrick with only 18 seconds to play.
It was like the scene in the baseball movie Fever Pitch when the die hard Red Sox fan and main character Ben missed a Red Sox game for the first time only to learn they had come back from a seven run deficit in the bottom of the 9th to defeat the hated Yankees. He was irate... if you missed tonight's game, that's probably how you might feel.
An ending so dramatic, Warriors Head Coach Dave Hunchak could only smile and shake his head. He's seen this act before.
What a tough way to lose.
Hunchak is 1-15 against his former team since taking over the Warriors bench. This loss perhaps the hardest to take.
With the Warriors going up 5-1 on a short-handed goal, assistant coach Tim Kehler said in the post-game "it was heading in that direction where you hope you can switch to straight time for the 2nd half of the game."
The Broncos somehow managed to end the 2nd period down 6-3 despite being badly outplayed for the most part. It was a game the Warriors couldn't do much wrong...for two periods.
A goaltending change to back-up Alex Sirard and a 3:23 powerplay to start the 3rd period at least gave the Broncos hope.
The Broncos came out guns blazing in the third, first scoring a PP goal on a Brad Hoban set-up to Cody Eakin at 1:02. Later on a 4-on-3, Eakin's one-timer from the right circle cut it to 6-5 at 2:35.
The Broncos continued the pressure pouring 27 shots on goal in the final frame and appeared destined to get another.
The tying goal came at 13:56 as Dillon Wagner banged home a rebound. 6-6.
The Warriors had a powerplay in the final minute for 31 seconds after a Bronco PP moments earlier went awry. Geordie Wudrick stepped out of the penalty box as Justin Dowling went for the touchdown pass. Wudrick couldn't handle the hot pass but tracked it down in the corner, beat a Warrior off the wall and used his big reach to get it around Brandon Glover in the Warriors' crease with just 18 seconds to go.
Pandemonium at the i-plex.
In our post game show I asked Assistant Coach Tim Kehler what was the first thing Head Coach Mark Lamb said to him in the coaches office.
"Where's the beer?" Replied Kehler with a laugh.
In fact, this might have been Lamber getting caught up a bit in the moment, but he said it was one of the wildest games he's ever been a part of - and he's seen a lot of hockey in his time."
Geordie Wudrick's winner was also his hat-trick goal. He said post-game he called the comeback in the face-off to open the 3rd period.
"I told (the Warriors) Travis Hamonic we were coming back in this one... he replied, not tonight. I told him just watch."
You really have to be amazed when looking back at the head-to-head meetings over the last two plus seasons. It's a script the X-Files would be envious of.
The Broncos have now won eight in a row against the Warriors going back to last season. It also moves the Broncos to 5-0 on home ice this season and 5-3 overall for a share of first place in the east division.
Next up, the Broncos continues their five game homestand as they host the Edmonton Oil Kings tomorrow night (Saturday) at the Credit Union i-plex.
One more things, the Broncos dealt 18 year-old G Chad Ketting to the Kelowna Rockets for a conditional 7th round pick in 2011.
His double-toe drag around both Rebel defenseman has been one of handful of nice plays at the Credit Union i-plex this season.
Check out the top five plays at whl.ca
The Broncos shoot for their fifth straight win at home to begin the season as they take on a much improved Moose Jaw team that has one two in a row entering tonight's contest.
"They are pretty aggressive on the forecheck, they come at you physically. They've got some high end kids in Howden and Bast plus Hamonic on the back-end who can hurt you. It's a team to be reckoned with for sure." - Assistant Coach Tim Kehler.
With that said the Broncos won the season opener against Moose Jaw 6-5 after getting out to a 4-0 first period lead and chasing starting goaltender Jeff Bosch.
The Broncos have beaten the Warriors in seven straight meetings going back to last year and an incredible 14 of the last 15 meetings.
To be fair, the Warriors haven't received the strongest of goaltending in those match-ups. I'd venture Warrior goaltending has posted a .820 save percentage and have gone through 10 goaltender yanks in those head-to-head meetings.
Safe to say the Warriors just haven't gotten "the save" against the Broncos. I'm sure Head Coach Dave Hunchak would agree whole-heartily. Something to ask perhaps in our pre-game show.
Will the trend continue?
Personally I think the Warriors are a "Ryan Holfeld" away from being a real force.
The Broncos are feeling good about their game on home ice according to F Mike Brown.
"We have had good starts to games and have worked hard. Maybe we've tailed off as the game moves on. We've played a solid 60 minutes, we will have to go at them (Warriors) hard."
Face-off is set for 7:30pm as the Broncos begin a busy weekend with home games tonight, tomorrow and Monday afternoon.
F Dane Muench could make his return to the line-up after missing the last five games with injury. If not, you may see him at some point this weekend.
In case you missed it, the Broncos were involved in that three-way deal with Chilliwack and Seattle Thursday.
The Broncos picked up 18 year-old D Scott Ramsay from Chilliwack as their recent house-cleaning continues. They then one-touched him to Seattle for 16 year-old prospect F Robbie Newton.
Newton is a good looking prospect at 6'2, 180 pounds. He's off to a good start with the Saskatoon "AAA" Contacts and will further add to the prospects depth the team has added recently.
Have a good long weekend... I'll blog from time-to-time I'm assuming over the course of the next three days.