Here we go. Re-load and do it all again for a Monday morning.
Last night the Broncos hosted the first shootout of the season at the Credit Union i-plex as the Broncos and Edmonton Oil Kings were tied 4-4 through 65 minutes.
Justin Dowling scored the only goal in the three round event while Morgan Clark stood tall in the crease denying Brett Breitkreuz, Tomas Vincour and Robin Soudek.
It was the only game of the weekend, and it was good for the Broncos to pick up points. In case you didn't notice, every Eastern Conference team picked up points that played last night. Brandon beat Regina 8-7 in OT in what must have been a wild one. Kootenay knocked off Lethbridge 3-2 in OT.
Cody Eakin added his league leading 22nd goal and chipped in with three assists. Eaks is also 7th overall in league scoring.
The Broncos PP went 3/4 but Edmonton refused to go away. Every time the Broncos scored to take the lead, the Oil Kings answered right back. They should be pleased with their weekend after getting 3 out of 4 points.
I know people don't really come here for the game recaps here...for the most part they come for opinions and Bronco news - especially the out-of-town folk.
The Broncos staff has been out and about lately, something is brewing and the hammer may drop at some point this week.
Every team is always looking to get better. The Broncos are no different. Will GM/Head Coach Mark Lamb pull the trigger on something big? Time will tell.
For the most part the team is playing hard and getting results - especially on home ice.
The thing is, as a staff you're always quick to see your own weaknesses and faults yet not realize the talent in front of you. The case can be made across the league. You always see your faults yet see the other team's strengths.
Something to ponder.....
I really enjoy the coaches from other teams when I get a chance to talk hockey. Steve Pleau and Rocky Thompson are two of my favorites when it comes to this. They are a pleasure to deal with. In fact, most are. Sure I've had some run-ins but this is a competitive league and everyone is in it to win.
Hats off to Steve and Rock.
While I'm on the subject let's do a little tour around the league.....
Lorne Molleken Saskatoon - The godfather. Has always been accommodating. Calls me "young fella" all the time. At 30 I'll take what I can get!
Kelly McCrimmon - Brandon - this has taken awhile to develop but now I'm real comfortable with Kelly Mac. I know he reads the blog from time-to-time and busts me on it the odd time. We've had some good pre-game interviews over the years. He's sharp. Bring your "A" game to the table.
Curtis Hunt - Regina - "Hey let's have a good year Jon, I know you're gonna piss me off and I'm gonna piss you off but that's part of it right?" Thats the first thing Curtis said to me before the first Broncos/Pats meeting this season. I laughed about it. I'll no-doubt remember that one.
Dave Hunchak - Moose Jaw - Former Bronco Assistant Coach. It's still strange to see Hunch on the Warriors side After three years of being on the road together, going through the lows of a loss and the highs of a win you develop a bond and a level of comort. Maybe it's been too comfortable at times and I've viewed him as "Hunch"rather than the "Head Coach of the Moose Jaw Warriors" I've probably said some things I regret in some of those heated games. I wish him well, I want to see him do well. He's a good man.
Bruno Campese - Prince Albert - Nice guy. Very respectful of the media's role and a pleasure to deal with. The newest Coach/GM in the division (not counting Curtis Hunt who came back).
That's just a sample from around the division... there's a lot of good folks around the league. I've learned a lot over the years.... maybe enough to coach a pee wee hockey team one of these years.
I'll leave you with a story of one of my "run-ins" from my early days in the WHL. We're headed back to 2001 or so here.....this is usually a story I'll share after a couple beers but today I'll blog it.
Overheard in the media/scouts room before the game:
Prince Albert Raiders G.M. Donn Clark talking to a scout: "Hey, did you see this... (former Bronco defenseman) Ian White fought (insert player) last night here. What the $%*$ was HE thinking?"
Scout: (laughing, could be the funniest thing he's heard in awhile)
Clark: "He's out there, 5 foot &*$# all and he's going after that guy? That's unbelievable."
Young Jon Keen: (overhearing the conversation). "Well, if you would have been here and not just read the game summary in the paper you would have seen his d-partner get crushed in the corner from behind... he was just getting in there for a teammate."
Clark: (disgusted look on his face). "Hey...kid. How many WHL fights have YOU been in?? He got a good laugh from a couple of scouts... Harold Snepts being one of them leading the charge."
I had no response.... I never played at this level. Maybe my answer was deserved.
Later, I came back between periods. An unnamed scout says "hey kid, don't worry about Donny. You may have never been in a fight, but the two of you still won the same amount."