Friday, February 27, 2009

One more thing....*Update*

The Home Hardware "AAA" midget Legionnaires are hoping to pack the 'plex tomorrow afternoon in a one-game showdown to get into SMAAAHL playoffs.

Thanks to some help from the Beardy's Blackhawks who beat the Saskatoon Blazers last night, the Legionnaires need a win over the Notre Dame Hounds tomorrow to grab the 8th and final playoff spot.

The Legionnaires would love your support. Swift Current Minor Hockey is also working on a promotion at this point. They've contacted me to get the word out. More details on that later.

***The Legionnaires and SCMA are looking to hit the 1000 mark at the game tomorrow.  All Swift Current Minor Hockey players can attend the game for free.***

Also, $2 for every adult ticket sold will go towards breast cancer research.

Legionnaires vs Hounds - tomorrow 2:15pm @ Credit Union i-plex. Come check out the biggest game for the Legionnaires in the last four years.


Blog Hiatus

I'm taking the weekend off from blogging barring anything spectacular happening...

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

Visiting teams will have to get their Broncos info elsewhere....

I will say I'm a bit confused by the Dudas release but nothing surprises me anymore. That 4th round pick to the Pats for Jesse at the deadline looks pretty good right now.

If the Pats weren't getting the mileage out of him they expected then that's their choice. The last thing you want to do is corrupt the younger players learning their way in the league. Older players are very influential on the rookies.

I got nothing bad to say about the guy. He's been good to me. I wish him the best.

On another note, congratulations to my friend and fellow broadcaster Regan Bartel who will call his 1000th game of his WHL career when his Kelowna Rockets play in Red Deer Saturday.

1000 games is quite the accomplishment. He spent six years with the Broncos before moving to Kelowna to handle the duties for the Rockets for 2000-01 season.

Send him a note over at


Thursday, February 26, 2009

Dudas Released

This is from Rod Pedersen's blog today....

Pats Release Dudas

CALGARY -- The Regina Pats have released 20-year old defenceman Jesse Dudas.

Dudas was acquired at the WHL trade deadline from the Swift Current Broncos for a 4th round pick in the 2009 WHL Bantam Draft,

The release of Dudas leaves the Pats with two 20-year olds: Victor Bartley and Matt Robertson.

The Pats visit the Kootenay Ice tomorrow night at 8:00pm on 620 CKRM (7:35pm Press Box Sports Bar Pats Pregame Show).

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Moose Jaw Says Yes!

Great news for the Warriors future in Moose Jaw tonight.

Citizens have voted 60% in favour of the proposed Multiplex.  They've said yes to the City's share of $34.5 million dollars of the over $60 million dollar project.

12,725 people came out to vote with 7,626 voting in favour. 

Put the shovel in the ground....


Broncos 5 Pats 2

The Broncos scored three goals on the powerplay to defeat the Regina Pats 5-2 at the Credit Union i-plex. It's the fifth time in a row the Broncos have downed the Pats this season.

Some of the highlights included Geordie Wudrick's PP goal in the 2nd period. Wudrick now has goals in seven straight games tying him with Brandon F Jay Fehr for the longest streak this season in the WHL.

Travis Yonkman was solid in goal making 26 saves including a penalty shot save on Jordan Eberle midway thru the third period.

Here's some quotables from last night's game:

"Dean (Chynoweth) harps on getting pucks to the net, when I got the chance I had Dean's head in my mind saying Shoot the puck!, Shoot the puck!. That's what I did and luckily it made it's way through some legs and found it's way to the net." - D Spencer McAvoy on his 2nd period PP goal.

"I don't ever want to get in a slump like that again. It was a rough start coming back from L.A.'s camp but right now things are going well and taking it one game at a time. I'm more worried about the four possible points our team can get with two wins this weekend." - F Geordie Wudrick after scoring in his 7th straight game and reaching the 30 goal plateau on the season. Wudrick got off to a slow start and didn't score until the 12th game of the season.

"I love beating this team they are our biggest rival no doubt about that. I think Teubert might have been about -20 tonight with three minor penalties and I came up with a big one so I think I got him tonight as well." - Wudrick talking about the friendly rivalry between himself and Pats D Colten Teubert. Both are L.A. Kings draft picks, both went 1-2 in the 2005 WHL bantam draft.

"I want to know this Keener, in your honest opinion if I dye my hair orange will I a) get more three star selections and b) be a fan favorite?" - Wudrick in our post-game show after being left out of the three star selection at the end of the night. Cody Eakin (redhead) was awarded third star in the building.

"No. 1, they skate better than we do. They really skate and push the pace. If we’re not on top of our game and being physical with them, we have a tough time. That was what happened. We stayed with them when we stuck to our game but as soon as we give up some power plays, their skill shows through.” - Pats Head Coach Dale Derkatch told LP reporter Greg Harder postgame when asked why the Broncos have the Pats number this season.

The Pats are crying foul on the Broncos third goal which also turned out to be the game winner. Apparently D Matt Delahey got caught up with the linesman on his was back to retrieve a puck which provided Dillon Wagner to go in uncontested. I honestly didn't see it. All I know is that Wagner had a breakaway out of nowhere so something significant happened.

The Pats left after the game for Calgary as they meet the Hitmen tonight. The game is on Rogers Sportsnet.


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

More Pats/Broncos

It's the Broncos and Pats tonight, 7:30pm from the Credit Union i-plex, (7pm pre-game show on the Eagle 94.1 FM)

It's the return of former Broncos defenseman Jesse Dudas who didn't report to the Broncos this season after being cleared to play from a knee injury suffered in Edmonton Oilers training camp at the beginning of the year.

Dudas is on his 4th WHL team and will close off his career with the Pats after being dealt to Regina at the trade deadline.

I've spoken with him since and he realizes this is his final opportunity in the league to accomplish what he wants to do.

Dudas still has several friends on this year's edition of the Broncos but he won't get a warm welcome home for his former teammates I'm thinking.

If all goes as planned, Dudas will be our guest in the pre-game show.


There's heavy snowfall in the southwest this morning which actually forced the Department of Highways to issue a "travel not recommended" warning. We will see how the rest of the day pans out.

Talk at you tonight,



Monday, February 23, 2009

Monday Randoms

- Can the Broncos get Tuesday's game against the Regina Pats changed to Wednesday instead? There's a really odd stat which has developed which has the Broncos 1-8 on Tuesday's this season but 8-1 on Wednesday. You figure it out.

- The Broncos would love nothing more than to "aid" the Pats pursuit in making the playoffs, and by aid I mean hurt. The Pats have won two straight games after sweeping a home and home against the Warriors. The last time the Pats beat a team other than Moose Jaw was January 28th against Lethbridge.

- The Broncos have their own problems to worry about though. A .500 hockey team in the 2nd of the season just hasn't been enough to instill this team as a contender. They will be in a battle in the opening round with whoever it is and if they can survive that, they're probably looking at a Brandon or Calgary match-up. In which case the Broncos are 0-11 against those two teams. Somehow the Broncos have to overcome the stigma of "they're good but...."

- In case you haven't noticed, Calgary has 112 points this season. That's 20 more points than the east division leading Saskatoon Blades. They are having some kind of season.

- There's a battle brewing locally with the "AAA" midget Legionnaires. With two games to play in the regular season the Legionnaires are two points out of a final playoff spot. It's a gap they've closed considerably in the last month. The Legionnaires play in Regina Wednesday and then host the league's top team in Notre Dame on the weekend. The story here is the Legionnaires will host the Telus Cup Regional Tournament in the first week of April. Missing the playoffs would mean nearly five weeks off between games.

- Big vote in Moose Jaw Wednesday. That's referendum day as citizens go to the polls to vote for or against the Multiplex proposal. We will touch on it again tomorrow night before face-off.

- Finally, here's some cute pictures of my best friend's twin boys Jaxon and Kruz supporting their favorite WHL team.

The best part.... they live in REGINA!

Their first WHL game was back in January as the Broncos came back to beat the Pats 5-3 at the Brandt Center.

More tomorrow,


Sunday, February 22, 2009

Brandon 8 Broncos 3

Do you think the Wheat Kings would be up for a game of “posts” in the final meeting of the season next month?

Surely the Broncos would be favoured if it went to a game of post, post, crossbar after ringing the iron six different times in this contest to Brandon’s one.

It wasn’t the difference in the game but it did speak to the bad bounces which no doubt aided in the Broncos 7th loss this season to the Brandon Wheat Kings.

Tack on a couple of own goals off Broncos defensemen and you have an 8-3 game on a night where the shots ended even 34-34.

If it wasn’t for bad bounces the Broncos wouldn’t get any bounces at all on the night.

The first goal off Spencer McAvoy proved to be a killer. With time winding down on a Brandon PP, D Colby Robak centered a pass to no one in particular which found the back of the net behind Morgan Clark. The goal ended a Broncos mini rally after cutting it to 4-2 seemingly with momentum on their side.

D John Negrin had a puck go off his skates in the final minute to cap “one of those nights”.

It’s time to wave a white flag to the hockey gods vs the Wheat Kings. Maybe some sort of a sacrificial ceremony is required perhaps?

Did the Broncos play good enough to win? I wouldn’t say that. But an 8-3 game it wasn’t and a 7-0 season series it most definitely isn’t.

The powerplays ended in Brandon’s favour 8-2. Usually one might complain about a lopsided number like that but on this night the penalties were earned. Brandon played disciplined while the Broncos did not.

The Broncos didn’t have a good game as a whole on the back-end. There were some costly errors. Up front, without Matt Tassone and Michael Stickland in the line-up the Broncos were feeling the effects of playing without their hottest player in Stickland and their leading goal scorer in Tassone.

On the Brandon side it was the usual suspects, Calvert, Schenn and the gang. I inserted D Brodie Melnychuk into my three stars even though he wasn’t recognized in the building as a star. His game has jumped by leaps and bounds in a year’s time. He had two assists, played well defensively and had some big hits. He’s turned into a player.

I have one fan. Brandon Assistant Coach Dwayne Gylywoychuk is apparently an avid reader of Keen’s Korner. He said as much before the game. I told him sometimes this whole blogging thing is more trouble than it’s worth with a laugh.

Blogs have become the “go-to” for WHL info. The landscape has changed dramatically. If I had fallen asleep for two years and suddenly awoke to see how much information is out there I simply don’t think I would believe it.

I can sit on the bus and find out what happened in every game from the WHL at the end of the night. Fans, players, coaches and GM’s alike are hitting up the blogs around the league like wildfire.

While I’m on the topic… I love the blogs with a little attitude, a little opinion. Thanks to Rod in Regina, Gregg in Kamloops and Regan in Kelowna to name a few for spicing things up now and then.

Now, if you excuse me, I hear there was a melee in Medicine Hat tonight, time to get on the PDA and find out what happened….

Before I depart, a note to my fellow broadcasters:

I just finished reading the book “Walking With Legends” the story behind Hockey Night in Canada and all the personalities over the years. It’s a fantastic read written by former HNIC Executive Producer Ralph Mellanby. There are some great stories about broadcasting pioneers Foster Hewitt and Danny Gallivan as well some interesting notes on Bob Cole, Howie Meeker, Dave Hodge, Don Cherry, etc. Pick it up. It sure made the six-hour bus trip to Brandon today go much quicker.


Friday, February 20, 2009

Interesting Week

The Broncos kick-off the weekend tonight against the Kootenay Ice after an interesting past two days at the i-plex.

After a 4-2 loss to the Brandon Wheat Kings Tuesday night, the Broncos put on the work boots the next day at practice.

"They don't want to work in the game, they're gonna have to go to work in practice," commented Head Coach/GM Dean Chynoweth following a spirited battle practice.

" I think we can compete and have more to give  against the upper echelon teams in the league but we just haven't shown that on a consistent basis,"  continued Chynoweth.

Yesterday the players took it amongst themselves and hosted a players only meeting following practice.  The message apparently was all about accountability. 

So, now the Broncos move forward (they hope) against the Kootenay Ice tonight.  It's a team they've beaten three times.  Once in regulation, once in overtime and once in a shootout.  

It's also the first meeting at the i-plex since the four player swap at the deadline.  One of those players in the trade John Negrin knows the Kootenay Ice well.

"Don't underestimate them.  They may not have all the skill in the world, but they do work extremely hard,  but I know we will come out and work just as hard or harder tonight as them."

We're on the air with the pre-game show at 7pm, on the Eagle 94.1 FM.

See you tonight,


Thursday, February 19, 2009

AHL Team Bus Crashes, Three Injured

Saw this moments ago at

A bus crash involving the AHL's Albany River Rats has left three people with serious injuries, Massachusetts State Police said on Thursday.

The bus rolled on its side while travelling westbound on Interstate 90 at around 3:35 a.m. on Thursday, Sgt. David Mahan said.

Three people were taken to Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield with what Mahan described as "serious" injuries. No names were released.

There are 17 Canadians currently on the Albany roster from all parts of the country, along with head coach and GM Jeff Daniels, who was born in Oshawa, Ont., and assistant coach Geordie Kinnear, born in Simcoe, Ont.


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Frustrating Start, Frustrating Finish

The Broncos found another way to lose against the Brandon Wheat Kings in the sixth head-to-head loss of the season.

Lazy penalties in the first period and all-around flat performance out of the gate spotted the Wheat Kings a three-goal lead after 20 minutes. Brayden Schenn, Matt Calvert and Jordan Hale all scored in the opening frame.

The Broncos played considerably better the rest of the way, that is until a rally-killing 5-on-3 man advantage for 1:28 late in the 3rd period.

The Broncos were served-up a fantastic opportunity to finally get some points against the Wheat Kings in the season series until the two-man advantage went horribly wrong.

Not a single quality scoring chance was generated as the Broncos looked out of sync, confused and generally disorganized.

Matt Calvert would get out of the penalty box and find a loose puck in neutral ice to put the game away with 2:10 to play.

All the talk post-game was the unacceptable poor start and a the 5-on-3 gone bad late in the third.

"Our starts have been slow and it's unacceptable, especially against teams like Brandon. When you get down two or three goals it's tough to come back in this league. So, it starts in the dressing room and getting mentally prepared before the game," a frustrated John Negrin said in our post-game show.

He addressed the late powerplay problem:

"It's a point of the game with about four minutes left...there's no excuses. That's an opportunity you have to bury on. I don't think we were communicating and not seeing eye-to-eye. It was very disappointing. "

Forward Justin Dowling was on the ice for most on the 5-on-3 and felt similar.

"It was a lack of communication. I think everyone wanted to be the guy to score the goal. On a 5-on-3 you have to moving the puck around fast and today it was a lot of skating with it and not a lot of movement. We have to get pucks to the net and moving it around, opening lanes. When we find that line we have to shoot it or find a man open."

Assistant Coach Tim Kehler brought some good insight in the post-game Coaches Show. A disappointed Kehler shared his thoughts:

"It was disappointing to see the decisions that were made in a critical situation. Obviously it's a high pressure environment for those five guys to go out and are asked to execute. They know it's a key part in the game and our chance to tie things up.

But, you have to take the creativity out of it. Particularly on the 5-on-3, there's a very, very disciplined structure that you need to play with that's going to be effective. It works like Novocaine, it takes a little bit of time but it's going to work...everytime. If you share the puck around, if you have crisp puck movement and you play within the structure that was drawn up you're going to get those golden opportunities."

The powerplay follies took away somewhat of another lacklustre start to a game. Brandon came out and jumped on some lazy penalties to take a 2-0 lead on goals from Brayden Schenn and Matt Calvert just 7:53 into the period.

Before the end of the opening frame Jordan Hale scored his 3rd on the season to give Brandon a 3-0 lead after one.

The Broncos fought back on a Michael Stickland 2nd period tally and Geordie Wudrick's 27th of the year just 1:17 into the third.

A solid Tuesday crowd of 2554 took in the contest. They watched as the Broncos fell to a dismal 1-8 on Tuesday night's this season.

Kootenay is here Friday night.


Sunday, February 15, 2009

Skills Challenge Results

Here's the results from the Broncos Skills Challenge today...

Fastest skater:  Jan Dalecky 13.76/lap  Cody Eakin 13.85/lap
Hardest shot: (standing slapshot) John Negrin 90 mph, Eric Doyle 89mph
Shooting accuracy:  Justin Dowling 9/9 - 10.76 seconds

Team Jon 34 Team Chance 30


The guys then entertained the fans with some creative breakaways.  Geordie Wudrick impressed the fans with his puck control with several lacrosse style breakaways.   Joel Rogers implemented his glove on the ice for a nice goal.  Liam Darragh used his skate blade standing on the puck and deking.  

It was an enteraining afternoon at the Credit Union i-plex.

Skills Challenge Today / Broncos & Blades Thoughts

Make sure to come down to the i-plex today for the Broncos Skills Challenge.  It begins at 3:30pm hosted by myself and Chance "The Breakfast Boys" on the Eagle 94.1 FM.

Team Chance battles Team Jon as we host the event from ice level.    Hardest Shot, Shooting Accuracy, Breakaway Relay and Fastest Skater.

Admission is only $5 for adults and free for kids when accompanied by an adult

Now... where did I put my skates?


Last night was a recipe for disaster for the Broncos heading in.  The Broncos were coming off their most lopsided win of the season while the Blades where coming off their biggest loss on the year.

It showed.

Just 67 seconds in it was already 2-0 Blades.  You could say the game was decided at that point.

Walker Wintoneak added his 2nd of the period at 17:29 to make it 3-0 Blades after one.

The Blades appeared to be the more sharper team.  More aware of the play and the first to locate pucks and win battles.  It didn't look good for the Broncos.

The Broncos would fight back with a 5-on-3 goal in the 2nd from Geordie Wudrick to make it 3-1. 

Blades Goaltender Brayden Holtby was outstanding making some big saves and was focused in on the puck.    A rebound performance after getting pulled in Medicine Hat the night before.  

One thing I notice about Holtby is a bit of a "show" factor which has crept into his game the last couple years.  He's a good goaltender and doesn't have to do the extra things to make a routine save look difficult or showy.

Elite goaltenders just make saves look easy. They don't flash the glove and turn the leather over on a long, unscreened wrist shot from behind the circle.   I thought Holtby made a meal out of a long Vause wristshot in the third.   

I used to act that way too.  But it was midget "A" hockey... and the score was probably 7-6... in the 2nd period.  

My thought is that he was challenged to be better by Coach/GM Lorne Molleken ( a former goaltender) who said as much in our pre-game show last night.

Holtby has an NHL contract already and will be moving on next season.  We will see if it's a trait that sticks or eventually gets away from with maturity.

Is he the Blades MVP?  Yes.

The Broncos fought back to make it 3-2 just six minutes into the 3rd period on Derek Claffey's shot from the left point.   A few minutes later Milan Kytnar added an insurance marker scoring off the rush just after the radio time-out.

Kytnar is turning out to be a steal from the Rockets in the off-season.  Who wouldn't want a hard-working, defensive specialist who is one of the best in the face-off circle?  Any championship calibre team needs a player like Kytnar. 

The Broncos would pull the goaltender in the final minute and heavy pressure would result in a 3rd Broncos goal from Jordan Peddle with 1.2 seconds to play.  

4-3 Blades the final.  The season series chopped in half - four wins apiece.

On the injury front, Matt Tassone never returned after re-aggravating a shoulder injury in the 2nd period.   The Broncos leading goal scorer could be out of the line-up for another stretch. We will wait and see.

Brayden Holtby apparently required some medical attention following the game.  He appeared to be hurt on the final Broncos goal with a second to play.  

The Broncos host the Brandon Wheat Kings Tuesday in the 6th meeting of the season.


Saturday, February 14, 2009

Broncos Post Biggest Road Win Since Returning

The 9-1 outcome in Prince Albert turns out to be the largest margin of victory on the road in the regular season since the team came back to Swift Current for the 86/87 season.

The Broncos won in the playoffs 9-0 in Medicine Hat back in April of 1993, but last night's 9-1 win is the biggest in the regular season.

Matt Tassone had a career night with four goals and an assist.  At this point it's a two-person horse race for Boston Pizza Player of the Week between Tassone and Keegan Dansereau.  The two have lit up the scoresheet in the last two games.  Dansereau has collected three goals and four assists in his last two games while Tasssone has four goals and three assists in that span.

We will see what happens tonight as the Broncos host the Saskatoon Blades.

More on last night, the score really didn't reflect the game.  Then again, it's often hard to justify an eight-goal gap.

Travis Yonkman made 25 saves and made his best stops in the third period when the game got a bit defensively challenged.  

The goals poured in during a third period the Raiders had checked out of. The Broncos weren't trying to run things up, and I know Dean Chynoweth respects Bruno Campese enough not to do that.

It was just one of those nights.  

The nine-goal outburst puts the Broncos into 7th in the league in goals scored with 208.  No one thought this team would be scoring the way they are this season after the loss of Dale Weise, Zack Smith Erik Felde, Levi Nelson, and David Steiler up-front. 

The Broncos now feature five different 20 goal scorers with Eakin's 20th of the season to get the scoring started last night.  Justin Dowling is just two shy of reaching the mark.  

Should be fun tonight.  The Blades were routed in Medicine Hat last night 7-1.  They come an angry bunch.  This is the 8th game of the season series. The Broncos are 4-3 vs the Blades.

We're on the air at 7pm with the pre-game show, 7:30 play-by-play on the Eagle 94.1 FM.  I'm flying solo tonight.  My colorman Tim Tisdale is in the Cayman Islands, while my two back-ups are tied up tonight.


Thursday, February 12, 2009

Broncos 6 Pats 3

The Broncos won their 3rd straight game and in the process handed the rival Regina Pats their 5th straight loss last night at the Brandt Center.

A lot of talk about how "fragile" the Pats have been as of late. It's words even Head Coach Dale Derkatch used in our pre-game show to describe his club. From my perspective they didn't appear that way for the most part. I thought they stuck to a game plan which was to play physical and finish every check and did a good job of it.

They had just too many defensive breakdowns... so if you want to call that fragile so be it.

The one Colton Teubert gaffe where he served up the puck to Geordie Wudrick for the Broncos third goal in was as devastating a turnover I've seen all year long.

Keegan Dansereau's three goals led the way while Michael Stickland, Geordie Wudrick and Cody Eakin all scored very timely goals.

Jesse Dudas was a -3 in his first game against his former mates. We chatted briefly before the game. He says his experience in Regina has been good. He's happy with his ice-time in which he referred to as being on the ice for "the entire two minute powerplay" at times.

On the ice, it appeared he was going out of his way to play physical against his old club.

Afterwards he was spotted chatting it up with several of his former teammates under the stands at the Brandt Center. He shared a hug with Broncos F Keegan Dansereau before returning back into the Pats dressing room.

The Broncos were all smiles after this one.

"I think our line (Dansereau, Dowling, Tassone) was clicking tonight. We haven't been together for a few games and we wanted to show Deano (Broncos Head Coach / GM Dean Chynoweth) that we want to stay together." - Dansereau

"We have a great belief in our dressing room right now. We know we are going to go out and win games." - Wudrick

As for the turnover served up from World Junior defenseman Colton Teubert which lead to the Broncos 3rd goal, Wudrick couldn't believe his luck.

"I was pressuring him hard down the ice... it was almost like he passed it to me for the breakaway. I got lucky there and got lucky to score on Rowat."

After the game the two were seen having a good chat. They are both L.A. Kings draft picks and went 1-2 in the WHL bantam draft back in 2005.

The Broncos will now try and do the Pats a favour tomorrow night by winning in Prince Albert against the Raiders. The Raiders rallied back to defeat Medicine Hat 6-5 in OT to move two points ahead of Edmonton and four points ahead of Regina for the final playoff spot.


Interesting former Broncos note. Dale Weise is now calling Sean Avery a teammate in Hartford with the AHL's Hartford Wolf Pack.

Avery was assigned there by the Dallas Stars. It's where Weise is spending his first season of pro-hockey.

In a short chat today Weise informs me that Avery has been "awesome" and a "great guy" so far. In fact, Avery took a few members of the Wolf Pack out for supper last night.

Talk at you tomorrow....


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Telus Regionals Approaching / Broncos vs Pats

At a news conference yesterday at the Elmwood Golf Club, it was announced the host committee for the upcoming Telus Cup Western Regional Tournament has landed a title sponsor for the event.

It will be known as the Living Sky Casino Western Regional Telus Cup Championship. The tournament will feature the "AAA" midget league champions from Northern Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and the host Legionnaires.

Jeff Chambers is on the host committee and says locking up a title sponsor was one of their main objectives.

"It means everything to an event. When you can find a title sponsor to help you's not cheap to host these type of events. When you can find a title sponsor to take the pressure off it's great. We can go forward in lining up the rest of our sponsorship so we can put on that great event we all really want."

Now the goal for the Legionnaires has to be to make the playoffs and make sure they don't have five weeks off before the tournament begins.

The the club is two points out of the final spot with seven games to go in the regular season.

Marc Habscheid is behind the bench most nights helping out head coach Regan Darby. Darby took over for Kent Woods for the 2nd half of the season.


Broncos and the Pats tonight from the Brandt Center.

Another storyline to the rivalry is former Broncos defenseman Jesse Dudas playing against his former club.

The disgruntled Dudas was supposed to report to the Broncos after the Christmas break after recovering from a knee injury. He chose not to report and was later traded to the Pats for a 4th round bantam pick,

For Dudas, it's his 4th team in the WHL.

The Broncos have won the last three meetings against the Pats including a 5-3 decision at the Brandt Center in the last contest in January.

Of the 15 games remaining for both teams, four will be head-to-head meetings including a home-and-home series to close off the regular season.

We're on the air at 6:30pm with the pre-game show, play-by-play at 7pm.


Tuesday Blogging

Sometimes I wonder if this whole blog thing is worth it.... People can take what you say or mean completely wrong sometimes which can cause some grief and explaining you didn't plan on.

But I think a little grief now and then is out-weighed by the mostly positive feedback and information you can provide fans with. Let's not forget the biggest part of having a blog may just be self-promotion. I think this blog has done a pretty good job of that.

Anyways, more to the topic of the day...

- Just got off the phone with the mayor of Moose Jaw Dale McBain. The folks down the road in "The Friendly City" are about to go to the polls for a referendum on the newly proposed Multi-plex.

This is not only a big story for the city of Moose Jaw, it's one that the rest of the league will be watching with maximum interest.

You see, the Warriors future directly impacts that of the Broncos, Pats, Blades, Wheat Kings, and Raiders directly. For that matter, the other 21 WHL teams all have a stake in this.

A "no" vote to the Multiplex would pretty much spell the end of the Warriors in Moose Jaw. That would take away both the Broncos and Pats closest rival. It would be a major blow to those in the east division.

Mayor McBain will be on our pre-game show tomorrow night when the Broncos play in Regina.

If you know any hockey fans in Moose Jaw, give them a call and encourage them to vote in favour on Wednesday, the 25th.


Speaking of political leaders....

The Premier of Saskatchewan Brad Wall called into our Eagle 94.1 FM morning show today " The Breakfast Boys " after we mentioned we hadn't heard from him in awhile.

Listening to us on his way to Regina, he gave us a call to check in.

Even though we all know Brad pretty well in these parts, I still think that's pretty cool.

Safe to say I'm a big supporter.


Speaking of the "Breakfast Boys", Chance and I are set to coach/manage the two teams for the Broncos Skills Challenge Sunday at the Credit Union I-plex @ 3:30pm.

I've seen the rosters and I think Team Jon is lacking a bit of skill at this point. It'll take all my arm-chair expertise to get the most out of these guys. It's a challenge I'm up for! Admission is only $5 for adults and free for kids when accompanied by an adult.

Chance and I will host the event from ice level and talk to several of the players along the way. It should be fun.

for more info check out


The Broncos head into Regina tomorrow night to the play the Pats. These teams will see a lot of each other over the next 15 games with four meetings planned. They will also close off the regular season in a home-and-home set.

There's no doubt a group of guys on the team that would like nothing more than to "help" in the Pats attempt of making the playoffs. After playing them in back-to-back playoff series, there is no love lost between the rivals.

The Pats, who sit 10th in the Conference with 15 games to play, need to start rattling off some wins. If the scenario comes down to the final weekend being do-or-die for Regina, you can bet the Broncos would be motivated to be the team to eliminate them.

The potential of that scenario arising should bring a buzz into Broncoland and our fans. Time will tell.

We're on the air with the pre-game show at 6:30pm, play-by-play tomorrow night at 7pm from the Brandt Center.

Speaking of Regina, there's another sports blog coming out of the Queen City. Check out Blair Mitchell's blog the Blair Necessities here.

More tomorrow,


Monday, February 09, 2009

Two Points in Toontown

A lot of good things happened in Saskatoon tonight.

The Broncos put forth a solid 60 minute game and finally found a way to beat one of the league’s top teams.

Matt Tassone and Taylor Vause scored back-to-back goals in the third period to down the east division leading Saskatoon Blades 2-1 on a night where the Broncos showed no ill-effects of playing their third game in as many nights.

G Travis Yonkman was good when he had to be. He recorded 23 saves and took a step in returning to the form we’ve been accustomed to. He was especially good in the opening five minutes as the Blades looked to take advantage early with lots of energy.

The Broncos trailed 1-0 after 40 minutes thanks in large part to a stellar Brayden Holtby in the Blades goal who had made some great saves to keep the Broncos off the board.

The game changed in the Broncos favour early in the third when D Ryan Molle was checked hard from behind while going back to retrieve a puck. A major penalty/game misconduct was assessed to the Blades Gaelan Patterson in what then set off a strange sequence of events.

Molle, who was down on the ice in pain for 15 seconds, got up to his feet and slowly made his way to the Broncos bench. En route, it appeared Adam Chorneyko said something to Molle which then prompted him to go after Chorneyko,

The two had a bit of a scrap and Molle was assessed an instigator penalty. The Broncos scored in the 4-on-4 with Matt Tassone’s team leading 32nd. They then added a PP goal once the Molle minor was over to go up 2-1,

Taylor Vause deflected home the PP game winner – just like he did the night before against the Red Deer Rebels back at the I-plex.

The Broncos played a smart final 16 minutes and only allowed four shots in the third period for the 2-1 win.

It was a solid effort on the road and a big two points to move into a tied for 4th with the idle Medicine Hat Tigers.

In the last seven games, the Broncos have collected 11 out of a possible 14 points.

More importantly, for the first time since the Christmas break, they beat a team higher in the standings.

They are now 4-3 against the division leading Blades on the season and will host them one more time next weekend to wrap up the eight game set.

It’s into Regina Wednesday. The Broncos would like nothing more to contribute to the Pats recent slide into 10th in the Conference. Word is D John Negrin should be ready to play in that contest if he keeps progressing well.

More on the Broncos/Pats match-up in the coming days. There’s plenty of storylines shaping up in that one.


Friday, February 06, 2009

Hitmen 6 Broncos 3 - The Greasy Details

Did I mention something earlier today about the Calgary Hitmen powerplay? Thought so.

The Hitmen scored three goals on the powerplay and another on a 3rd period penalty shot from Brandon Kozun for a 6-3 win over a hard-working and determined Broncos team.

The talk going into this one was to be disciplined and not allow the league's best PP to be the difference. It was. The Hitmen went 3/8 on the PP (really 3/6 as Coach Lowry threw out his 4th liners for a couple of late chances).

Just for fun (or punishment) I looked back on the Hitmen's PP vs the Broncos this season: 9/21 in the four game series and 9/17 in the last three meetings. Yikes.

Speaking of powerplays, the Broncos' has gone ice cold. They are 0/18 in the last four games.

Special teams was the difference. Brett Sonne's 5 on 3 PP goal at the 1:00 mark of the third period was the turning point... or as we call it in the post-game show the Best Western Inn and Suites game-shifter.

Former Bronco Kyle Bortis scored once and added three assists to be named the game's first star. When skating out, the former Bronco put his arms up to the fans as to say "where's the love?". I joked with his parents after the game that had I known Kyle was going to showboat a little, we wouldn't have picked him.

Regardless, you can't ignore a four point game.

On the Broncos side, Micheal Stickland scored twice, including a beauty in the 2nd on a nice passing play with Justin Dowling. Eric Doyle scored his 11th of the season in garbage time when his slapper beat G Michael Snider from the blueline with 40 seconds to play.

Little consolation.

Huge concern in this one when D John Negrin crashed hard into the end boards when trying to chase down Brandon Kozun on a breakaway in the 3rd period. Negrin threw his glove off immediately and I thought broken wrist.

When he got to his feet he looked to be favouring his leg. In the post-game show Broncos Assistant Coach Tim Kehler confirmed he twisted his back awkwardly when he went into the boards but seemed to be doing fine aside from being sore. His status for tomorrow night in unknown.

Just to hear it's nothing serious was a huge sigh of relief for this team.

The Broncos weren't thrilled with some of the treatment they got on the ice when we went down to ice-level for player interviews.

Matt Tassone was livid on the ice in the third after what he said was a punch to the head he received from Michael Stone behind the play. How he didn't get dimed with a misconduct was beyond me.

Michael Stickland took it one step further when we asked him about it afterwards.

"Yeah (Carson) MacMillan will give you an extra shot, even Postma tonight was playing pretty dirty I thought."

Regardless of what was going on, I thought the Broncos played pretty physical and dished out more than they took.

I would have liked to see a better response though when Kozun went poking after a covered puck in the Broncos crease and appeared to stick G Morgan Clark. Clark came into the game after the Hitmen's 5th goal in the third on 21 shots.

To sum this one up, the Broncos did some really good things. They had Calgary pinned deep in their own zone and confused at times. They out chanced them and outplayed them 5-0n-5 for two periods. In the end, special teams just wasn't so special for the home team

Small victories perhaps. Calgary sweeps the season series 4-0.

I would like to know what team in the Eastern Conference will beat the Hitmen in a best-of-seven series? Anyone?

Time will tell.



Broncos Host Hitmen

The Broncos begin a busy weekend by hosting quite possibly the best team in the Nation tonight.

The Calgary Hitmen continue their steamroll with a record of 45-7-3-1 to lead the Eastern Conference.

While prepping this morning, it's tough not to get impressed with the "numbers" around the Calgary Hitmen.

45 wins, 27-2-1-0 on home ice this season and a powerplay clicking at over 31%.

Individually there are some eye-catching numbers too. Former Bronco defenseman Paul Postma is leading all WHL d-men in scoring with 18-46-64. Put that with a team leading +43 and you can see what kind of a season he's having.

Up front you have Brandon Kozun's team leading 83 points, Brett Sonne's 34 goals and 74 points and don't forget about Joel Broda's 40 goals.

The Hitmen have six players over 20 goals and may have nine players by the end of the season.

They are an impressive group there's no denying that.

For the Broncos, it's a matter of building on some recent success. They've picked up seven of a possible eight points in their last four games. They are playing better as a team and Travis Yonkman is coming off his best start in goal since the B.C. road swing in mid December.

Matt Tassone is back in the line-up after missing last weekend's two games with injury. He knows the game plan going in.

"We have always started out fine against them until we get into penalty trouble. That's a key, don't take penalties and play them five-on-five and I think we will do just fine." - Tassone

Ottawa Senators Head Coach Cory Clousten headlines tonight's pre-game show which rolls out at 7pm. Play-by-play at 7:30pm

See you tonight....


Wednesday, February 04, 2009


I actually like not having a mid-week game to broadcast.  It really gives you a break...a chance to refresh a bit and mentally get a handle on things.

The Broncos decided to have some fun today.  They took their practice to the Highlands outdoor this afternoon.  I'll get my hands on some pics and post them on the blog.  For now I think there may be some pics on the home page on the Broncos website.

I spent a little part of the day putting together WHL This Week.   One of the guests on the weekly edition will include newly named head coach of the Ottawa Senators Cory Clouston.  We had a chat this afternoon.  As expected, he hasn't taken the time to step back from the situation and realize the accomplishment.  All business.  He will headline the show which should be available Friday on the WHL website.

Spokane Chiefs forward Drayson Bowman will also be on the show as the Chiefs begin to roll with 11 straight wins.  I asked him about suiting  up against his goaltender Dustin Tokarski at the World Juniors in the Canada/USA New Year's Eve game.  He explained it in one word, "weird".

Lethbridge Hurricanes broadcaster Pat Siedlecki will also have a piece on D Luca Sbisa who was recently returned to the Hurricanes from the Philadelphia Flyers.  He's making his Hurricanes season debut tonight in Portland.

That's all I got tonight....


Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Back to Blogging

I've noticed it's been since Saturday morning since the last update... time to get back at it.

Not much happening on the Broncos front. With no mid-week games the club is getting a good rest to prepare for a three-in-three weekend. They host Calgary Friday, Red Deer Saturday and then shuffle over to Saskatoon for a Sunday night game against the Blades.

Broncos Head Coach / GM Dean Chynoweth left the team following Saturday night's game vs Prince Albert to attend WHL Governor Meetings in Las Vegas. He's expected back tonight or tomorrow. More on the Broncos in a second...

Some interesting WHL news yesterday. Luca Sbisa makes his way back to the Lethbridge Hurricanes from the Philadelphia Flyers after appearing in 39 NHL games, and former Kootenay Ice Head Coach Cory Clousten has been named the Head Coach of the Ottawa Senators.

We will start with the Lethbridge news first. To me, there isn't a reason out there as to why the Lethbridge Hurricanes shouldn't start to take off.

With an NHL calibre d-man being added into the mix and a top six forward group that is as good or better than anyone, the Hurricanes time is now.

Currently tied for 6th in the Eastern Conference standings with the Kootenay Ice, I would expect the 'Canes to make a late season charge. Then again, we've been expecting that all season.


Good for Cory Clousten landing an NHL job.

I've never interviewed a coach in this league with their gameface on more than Cory Clousten.

There was never idle chit-chat, never a "hello how are you?" It was down to business immediately. Before the interview wrapped up he was usually already back in his office before I could say "Dean Chynoweth is our guest next..."

One thing for sure, he got results.

Everyone around the league will be watching to see if Cory can turn things around in Ottawa.


You have to think the Broncos first round opponent is going to be a big challenge. The depth is the top eight in the Eastern Conference is approaching that of last year's.

If you can recall, no first round match-up last year would have been considered an upset. Even the 1 vs 8 bracket didn't spell doom for the 8th seed. Calgary and Moose Jaw went into that series nearly on even ground. Calgary emerged with a six-game series victory. This year the teams couldn't have gone in a more opposite direction.

In my opinion, only this year's 1 vs 8 in the East will have a "favorite". Calgary getting bumped in the opening round would be a massive upset.

Yes, I'm declaring Calgary as the 1st seed in the Conference. I don't expect much of an argument there.

After that, it's open season.

Who's a potential 1st round opponent for the Broncos? First off, there's no guarantee of a playoff spot but then again I wouldn't bet against it either.

Here's four scenarios:

Broncos vs Medicine Hat - I don't mind the match-up. The season series was 2-2. Fans would be entertained immensely in this one. Home ice advantage would be huge.

Broncos vs Brandon - This series would put the Broncos as underdogs based on the season series. Brandon has played very well vs the Broncos this season. Their 5-0 record would back that up.

Broncos vs Saskatoon - This would be an intriguing match-up. The season series is 3-3 but the Blades have won the last three games. The team that gets no respect (Blades) would have to prove their regular season was no fluke.

Broncos vs Lethbridge - A scary match-up just based on the Hurricanes potential to be a top-flight team in the Conference. My feeling is none of the contenders really want to play the Hurricanes in the opening round based on what kind of a playoff they had last year and the chance they can recapture some of that magic.

We will see how the final six weeks of the regular season plays out, but one of these first round match-ups is the most likely case.


I can add "Curling play-by-play" to the resume.

I actually had fun.

Sask-Tel Max broadcast both the semi-final and final of the Provincial Scotties on Sunday from the Credit Union i-plex.

I'm not sure on the job we did as broadcasters (Clayton Wicks handled the color duties) but by the end it was like I didn't want it to be over.

We had some drama in the games, and a real match-up of country vs the city in the final as Stefanie Lawton defeated Rene Miettinen in the final 9-6.

We also had the skips and thirds mic'd up which added to it. When in doubt, just shut-up and let the ladies take-over with some of their dialogue. All except this gem from Amber Holland in the semi-final:

" I don't know if we should play that turn... if we go that way it'll probably just hit those f***ing rocks up top".

It was a good day, and the province is in good hands with the polished Stefanie Lawton rink headed to Victoria to play in the National Scotties Tournament of Hearts.


A good time at the outdoor rink last night... a couple of us from the radio station and some of the Broncos staff took to the A.C.T. rink on 4th Ave NE for some shinny. Plenty of toe drags and turnovers... no pucks to the face to report today though.