Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Interest Growing


I was told this morning the Fan 960 AM in Calgary will be carrying our feed for tonight's broadcast of game seven between the Broncos/Tigers.

If you're from the Calgary area it's another alternative to listening online.


Jon



A Game Seven Years in the Making

Here's what they're saying....


"It's gonna be great. It's going to be sold-out, it's going to be loud, it's going to be entertaining...that's a game seven for ya." - G Travis Yonkman


"What it comes down to is just playing. At this time of the year it's not about systems it just comes down to working and your heart." - D Derek Claffey


"We need to step up and do it with the guys in the room so we can move on to the next series and get those guys back in the line-up. They don't want to be out, and we don't want them out. We just have to play as a team and work for each other." - D Derek Claffey


"You want to play as hard as you can. You don't want to leave anything in the dressing room. In these situations you want to be able to hold your head high. I've told our group if we go out there and leave it all out on the ice, they'll like the end result." - Head Coach / GM Dean Chynoweth.

Monday, March 30, 2009

More Tickets Available at 1:30pm Tuesday

Get in line...

That's about the only way you are going to get tickets to game seven tomorrow night.

Unclaimed season tickets will go on sale tomorrow at 1:30pm at the Broncos office.  Season ticket holders have until 1pm to claim their tickets.

A line-up outside the i-plex tomorrow afternoon is expected.

Jon

Monday Update

For the first time in seven years the Swift Current Broncos will play in a game seven showdown.

Ryan Holfeld made 22 saves in a 3-0 Medicine Hat Tigers win in last night's game six.

The last time the Broncos were in a game seven was the 2002 playoffs when the defeated Calgary in the opening round.

Is anyone really surprised this series is going the distance?

More in the next day to come....

-------------------------------

Congratulations to former Broncos Dustin Friesen and Bretton Stamler for capturing the University Cup National Hockey Championship with the University of New Brunswick Varsity Blues.

Friesen, a four year Bronco from 2000-04, captained UNB to the National title in his fifth and final year of CIS hockey.

Bretton Stamler, a Bronco just last year is an assistant captain in his first year with the Varsity Blues.

Bretton was our pre-game show guest before Friday night's game six.

--------------------

Dale Weise Picks up Wolfpack Award

The Wolf Pack are proud to announce that right wing Dale Weise has been named the team’s winner of the American Specialty/AHL Man of the Year award for his outstanding contributions to the Hartford community during the 2008-09 season.

Since coming to the Wolf Pack this fall, Weise has enthusiastically participated in all of the Wolf Pack community relations initiatives and fundraising events, from the Special Olympics Connecticut Bowl-a-thon to the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center Monster Mini Golf Tournament. His friendly interaction with fans of all ages, and eagerness to accommodate autograph and picture-seekers, has stood out among this year’s Wolf Pack players.

Weise has consistently volunteered to go to appearances whenever there was an opportunity, and “pinch-hit” multiple times when teammates were prevented from fulfilling commitments. He even went above and beyond expectations during a visit to Gaylord Hospital, staying about an hour longer than planned to play Wii with some of the patients.

The Wolf Pack are proud to announce that right wing Dale Weise has been named the team’s winner of the American Specialty/AHL Man of the Year award for his outstanding contributions to the Hartford community during the 2008-09 season.

Since coming to the Wolf Pack this fall, Weise has enthusiastically participated in all of the Wolf Pack community relations initiatives and fundraising events, from the Special Olympics Connecticut Bowl-a-thon to the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center Monster Mini Golf Tournament. His friendly interaction with fans of all ages, and eagerness to accommodate autograph and picture-seekers, has stood out among this year’s Wolf Pack players.

Weise has consistently volunteered to go to appearances whenever there was an opportunity, and “pinch-hit” multiple times when teammates were prevented from fulfilling commitments. He even went above and beyond expectations during a visit to Gaylord Hospital, staying about an hour longer than planned to play Wii with some of the patients.



-------------------

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Injury Update

Broncos Head Coach/GM Dean Chynoweth informs us on-air tonight that both D Eric Doyle, and F Keegan Dansereau will miss the rest of the first round due to injury.

Dansereau, Doyle and Tassone... this team will have to dig deep to beat the Tigers in this series.

Game six is on the air now at the Eagle 94.1 FM and online at www.scbroncos.com



Jon

Four Hours to Face-off / Doyle and Dansereau

The Broncos are quietly anticipating tonight's game four from the Medicine Hat Arena. It's the first chance to win the series and advance on to the 2nd round.

If not, then it's seventh heaven Tuesday night at the Credit Union i-plex. Tickets for that potential game will go on sale tomorrow morning at 9am at the Broncos office.

Broncos Head Coach / GM Dean Chynoweth gave an injury update on D Eric Doyle and F Keegan Dansereau on tonight's pre-game interview. If you want to know, you'll have to listen. I'll post the information afterwards.

Doyle suffered a blow to the head on a check by Matt McCue early in game four and hasn't played since. Keegan Dansereau was labouring in game five before shutting it down in the 3rd period.

The Broncos know they have a game to play with being up 3-2 but I don't think it's something the coaching staff or the players are thinking about.

Bronco fans are making their way to the 'Hat in droves again tonight. Should be another fun atmosphere.

We're on the air at 5:30pm with the pre-game show, play-by-play at 6pm on the Eagle 94.1 FM.


Jon

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Broncos Win Game Five

Maybe the term "stole" game five would fit better here.

Although the Broncos picked up the 5-3 win and outshot the Tigers 46-37, it was my opinion the Tigers had the better chances and missed some big opportunities over the course of 60 minutes.  Colton Grant's fanning of the puck into an empty-net on a 2nd period 3-on-1 was evidence of that.  The Tigers can take some positives out of this loss but the Broncos showed a lot of heart and determination in this one without a doubt.

That was playoff hockey.  What a game.  What a series.  

A few fans said without a doubt it was the most entertaining game of the season... and maybe a couple years.

Travis Yonkman was stellar making 34 saves while Cody Eakin made his presence known in this series with the hat-trick for his first goals of this opening round best-of-seven.

For the 5th time this series, it was the road team opening the scoring... in fact the Tigers led 2-0 just five minutes into the game before Cody Eakin evened the series with back-to-back goals later in the first frame.

Dillon Wagner's goal at 6:14 into the third period would hold up as the winner as the Tigers pushed hard for the equalizer to no avail.  

Eakin's empty-netter in the dying seconds salted the game away giving the Broncos a hard-fought 5-3 win and the upper hand in the series.

2710 was the announced attendance - the largest crowd of the the three home games.  You could sense the tension in the building.  Fans of both respective teams were into it.

The officiating in the game drew the ire of Bronco fans, but at the end of the night, the powerplays were even at five apiece and the officiating wasn't a factor in the game.

As colorman Tim Tisdale said during the broadcast "it's not necessarily the referees who haven't been consistent in this series it's been the linesmen.... missed offsides and blown icing calls have been an issue." 

Both teams were missing a key defenseman.  Eric Doyle missed the game with an apparent head injury after taking a hit to the head from the Tigers Matt McCue.  McCue served game one of a league imposed two game suspension for the hit.

There is some concern for Keegan Dansereau who left the game late in the 2nd period and didn't return until six minutes into the 3rd. He played one shift before shutting it down for the night with a suspected lower-body injury.

His status along with D Eric Doyle is unknown for game six.  The Broncos face the possibility of playing without their regular season MVP (Matt Tassone), their leading scorer (Keegan Dansereau) and their top defenseman in Eric Doyle.  Talk about adversity.  

To the Broncos credit, others have stepped up.

On a lighter note, the Broncos win inched them closer to winning the series and closer to CHAT TV's Rhonda Carlson wearing a nice looking Broncos jersey on the 6 o'clock Medicine Hat news.  
Longtime voice of the Tigers Bob Ridley gave the bet a thumbs up as we chatted on-air during the intermission.  Rids called it harmless fun and a good way to promote the series.

Game six is tomorrow night in Medicine Hat. We're on the air at 5:30pm with the pre-game show, play-by-play at 6pm.


Enjoy the weekend,


Jon

Friday, March 27, 2009

McCue Gets to Two

Tigers D Matt McCue has been suspended two games for his hit on Eric Doyle in the early stages of game four.




Jon


Rhonda Carlson Chats With the Breakfast Boys

Chance and I had a special guest on the Eagle 94.1 FM morning show today....

Listen









Jon



Rhonda Loves the Broncos!

She took the bet! What a good sport.

Just got off the phone with Medicine Hat's CHAT Radio 94.5 FM. Rhonda Carlson has accepted the challenge.

If the Broncos win the series Rhonda will wear a Broncos jersey for her 6pm supper hour newscast of CHAT TV. If the Tigers win, I'll put on a Tigers jersey for the a radio morning show along with blog pictures. I'll even wear it for the first Broncos/Tigers game next season.

Here's a preview:



Lookin' good!




Have a Listen

Ok, so they got Dean Chynoweth before the series started but Kim & Grant over at MY 96 FM in Medicine Hat better up their game if they want to get me....

Kim and I used to host Eagle 94.1 FM mornings in Swift Current a few years back...

I've received a copy of our conversation from yesterday morning. Here's the link
:

Listen

In retrospect, when I realized who it was I should have played along and then stuck it to them as the call continued.


----------

Game five tonight.... the Broncos have to find a way to stop Tyler Ennis as this series continues on. He has seven goals in the first four games of the best-of-seven.

The team continues to be a light mood. You can sense a confidence in the room. The guys are having fun with the series and that's always a good sign.

Bronco rookie forward Taylor Vause has a goal in each of the first four games of this series. I asked him about it yesterday:

"I haven't had too many experiences like this, this is my first real experience in the WHL playoffs. For me it makes it just that much more exciting and I think I've stepped up and put some pucks in the net. It's not only good for me, it's good for the team as well."

In fact the Brown/Vause/Wagner line scored all three Bronco goals in game four in the 5-3 loss. They will need more of a complete team effort offensively tonight.

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

Talk at you then......


Jon







Thursday, March 26, 2009

Prank Attempt Foiled

Nice try MY 96 FM Medicine Hat... but that was weak.

Grant Buchanan tried calling me today in the newsroom for a Broncos/Tigers prank.

I was all over it.... nice try though. You can't b.s. a b.s.'er

Hope the bit worked out.....



Jon

Game Six Fan Bus

Press Release:

The Swift Current Broncos announced that the Pizza Hut Fan Bus will be heading to Medicine Hat for game 6 on Sunday March 29th. The bus leaves Swift Current at 3:00PM from the Credit Union i-plex. The cost is $50 which includes transportation to and from the game, a ticket and a personal pan pizza from Pizza Hut.

Season ticket holders are reminded that they have until 1:00PM today to pick up their tickets to game 5 on Friday before they go on sale to the general public.


To book your seat on the bus or to get your tickets, visit The Stable Souvenir Store or call 773-1509 Ext. 1


Playoffs 09…More Cowbell!


jon

Ennis on Fire / Media Gloves Come Off!


Tyler Ennis can be unstoppable at times... last night seemed to be one of those times.

Ennis scored three goals to give him seven in the series a 5-3 win. The Tigers victory evens the best-of-seven series 2-2 with game five tomorrow night here in Swift Current.

Every time Ennis was on the ice something happened. Maybe not a goal, but a chance, a post... something. In fact he should have had four goals as he tapped a loose puck home in the third period only to have the play blown down on a quick whistle.

The bright spot in this series continues to be the Taylor Vause line featuring Mike Brown and Dillon Wagner. All three scored goals on the powerplay accounting for the Broncos offense.

The Broncos PP clicked at 3/5 and is now a playoff best 36.4% through four games in this series.

So here we are all tied 2-2 after four games. It's pretty much where most thought this series would be. Game five tomorrow night at the Credit Union i-plex.

The Broncos lost Eric Doyle early in the first period after what appeared to be a high hit from Tigers D Matt Mccue. Doyle stayed on the ice for a few minutes before being helped off. He didn't return.

Broncos Assistant Coach Tim Kehler thought the hit was a "forearm shiver" blow to the head. There was no penalty on the play. The Broncos were on the powerplay as Doyle gained access inside the Tigers line up the right-wing.

A look at the video this morning via webcast confirms Tim's thoughts. It was no doubt a forearm leading hit to the head. Exactly the type of hit the league is trying to eliminate. I would assume the league would review the incident, although it would be up to the Broncos to initiate the process. Stay tuned.

Doyle's status for game five is unknown. He was very durable in the regular season playing in 70 of the 72 games.

--------------------

Now to some fun stuff......

After the game, Tim Tisdale and I were leaving the broadcast booth when I heard someone say.

"Jon Keen"

I looked over and it was the very professional and talented Rhonda Carlson of CHAT-TV Medicine Hat. Rhonda anchors the news and is also the News Director at CHAT.


She continued....

"According to your blog, I see you weren't a big fan of my attire on the air today..."

I replied..."not you Rhonda, I was watching the two guys in the late night 11pm cast... the other one anchoring the news.... what's his name."

Rhonda was referring to these comments made early yesterday on this blog:

"Playoff orange is visible in parts of the city. Last night on the CHAT TV local news all the anchors were wearing Tiger jerseys on the air. Although I like the idea of getting behind the team, there's something to be said about a serious news anchor telling you a story on crime and murder while donning an orange and black hockey jersey in the process."

She explained to me they bleed black and orange in Medicine Hat and that they are 100% behind their team. She also said it's the first time someone complained about her attire, adding usually they talk about her hair.

(Your hair looked lovely by the way, Rhonda.)

I didn't see her wearing the Tiger jersey on-air but I can only assume she made it work.

It was an interesting discussion post-game. I'm flattered she reads Keen's Korner.

The moment reminded me of the scene in Anchorman when the big media brawl is about to begin and Ron Burgundy proclaims to the rival media members:

"Before we do this let's go over the ground rules. Rule number one, no touching of the hair or face...and that's it! Now let's do this."

The other sidenote to this and it's a big one. Rhonda is the wife of Medicine Hat Tigers Head Coach/GM Will Desjardins.

In the words of the late Paul Harvey.... now you know the rest of the story.

Also if I'm not mistaken, she grew up around Swift Current as well... I want to say Gull Lake perhaps?

I say let's have some fun with this. Here's what I'm proposing:

If the Broncos win the series, Rhonda wears a Broncos jersey on a future supper hour newscast.

If the Tigers win, I will put on the orange/black combination sweater for a radio morning show and post photos on this blog. To sweeten the pot, I will also wear it in the first head-to-head meeting next season between the two teams.

Fair?

I should of known it was coming when Will asked me pre-game..." I thought all you media types stayed together?"

Game five tomorrow night..... 7:30pm face-off from the Credit Union i-plex.



Jon

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Gameday Randoms

- Snow and chilly in Medicine Hat today. Much different than yesterday's sunny sky and mild temps. Playoff weather in Medicine Hat has yet take up full time residence.

- D Joel Rogers ate an errant high stick last night. He will spend some time in the dentist chair this afternoon. He will be good to go tonight.

- Speaking of teeth, assistant coach Tim Kehler had a run in with a high stick during a practice session 3 on 3 on the weekend. Three teeth were chipped...but he's been tight (fat) lipped about it.

- There are certain fans below the broadcast booth in Medicine Hat who are there game in and game out...over the years we have developed somewhat of a relationship. As good as one you could have from being 50 feet in the air above them I guess. There's the one guy who brings his duffelbag complete with a goalie mask, orange vest, a championship WWE style belt and his ball glove. He looked up and gave a wave prior to game three as to say "I'm still here... you ready for this?".

There's "thumbs up guy" too. After every game he stands below our booth and waits for the signal. We give him a thumbs up and he quickly shoots one in our direction. Last night though he couldn't muster one. My thumb up was greeted with a disgusted head-shake. First time I've seen that in four playoff series.

- I'm a semi-superstitious guy. After a win on the road in the playoffs, I fall into the routine of trying to do the exact same the very next day. Interviews at the rink in the same order, blog/prep time the same, go for a little run/workout in the hotel fitness room just after the 2pm pre-game meal.

When at the rink today I asked Assistant G.M. Sheldon Ferguson if he does stuff like that or thinks that way. Here's a guy who has been through NHL Stanley Cup playoff battles. His ring from Carolina is proof of that.

"I try not to be like that Jon.... it would drive me nuts," replied Sheldon.

He's right. I wish I didn't think that way, but it keeps you into things and focused on the series.

I've been that was for as long as I can remember. As a young kid cheering for the Oilers and Dallas Stars in the playoffs.

I even remember yelling at my mom in the 1989 Grey Cup game to get out of the living room because she was bad luck after the Ti-Cats scored a touchdown. Harsh, but it worked. She likes to tell that story.

- Playoff orange is visible in parts of the city. Last night on the CHAT TV local news all the anchors were wearing Tiger jerseys on the air. Although I like the idea of getting behind the team, there's something to be said about a serious news anchor telling you a story on crime and murder while donning an orange and black hockey jersey in the process

Can you imagine Lloyd Roberston wearing a Leafs jersey through the entire 11pm CTV news? "And that's the kind of day it been... GO LEAFS... goodnight everyone." Hilarious.

It works for the sports anchor, not the newsies. But I get it.

Workers at the hotel casino are all wearing Tiger t-shirts during their shift. Most of the Tigers office staff has some sort of orange apparel on. A tie, a shirt...something.

MH News reporter Darren Steinke was sporting orange sunglasses and orange watch.

- Taylor Vause is one of the nicest kids anywhere. I'm happy to see him playing well. Three goals in three playoff games. He's a gem.

- Travis Yonkman didn't have to be spectacular last night. His performance was definitely a solid bounce back effort after game two.

- One of the Bronco veterans battled through a bit of the flu last night. You would have never noticed though. He was solid and played a great game.

- Colorman Tim Tisdale and I are camped out in our hotel room. Tizzy was given a shopping list from his wife today. He informs me he was partially successful. Having a former WHL coach along for everything is a bonus.

- Bronco fans are coming in droves again tonight. There's still plenty of tickets left for those contemplating the trip west.

- We're on the air tonight at 6:30pm with the pre-game show, play-by-play at 7pm from the Arena. We're on the Eagle 94.1 FM, Sasktel Max channel 834 and online at scbroncos.com

Pre-game meal time....


Jon

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Broncos Take Game Three

It was a pretty good effort by the Broncos tonight... perhaps their best in Medicne Hat in years.

The Broncos got up early and never looked back in a 5-2 win to take game three of the best-of-seven. The now lead the series 2-1.

I'm not going to recap the action tonight but I can tell you Justin Dowling scored the first goal early in the first to take the crowd partially out of it. Dowling finished the night with a pair of goals and an assist.

Michael Stickland had a four point night - a goal and three assists. Taylor Vause scored his third goal in as many games and John Negrin scored late in the 2nd to put the Broncos up 4-1.

By the end of the night, it was Bronco fans singing in the stands and enjoying the final minutes - something I don't think I've seen in the 'Hat in my time as the play-by-play broadcaster.

It was a long time coming.... now let's see what game four brings tomorrow night.

Word is there are tickets available for tomorrow night...plenty. Tonight's game was just shy of a sell out. Come on down the road and have some fun.

Till tomorrow....


Jon

Tickets Left in the 'Hat

There are still tickets in Medicine Hat if Bronco fans are looking to make the trip tonight. There's some left for game three (tonight) and a lot for game four (tomorrow night).

The games may not sell out but you would be advised to call ahead.

403.527.8406.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Medicine Hat Bound

The Broncos depart for Medicine Hat this evening as the series shifts for games three and four of the best-of-seven series.

Saturday's 6-2 loss evened the series as the Tigers came in as the better team. The bounces sure didn't go the way of the Broncos but they're not using it as an excuse.

"We have to play better than we did. I thought our execution was real poor, I thought we didn't generate near enough the quality chances that we have in the past and weren't rewarded. The one thing we've talked about is that you work for your breaks and you earn them. We didn't do that." - Dean Chynoweth

I think most people expected a split in Swift Current with the series heading to Medicine Hat. Now the Broncos have to win a a playoff game in Medicine Hat if they want to win the series.

The Broncos were 1-1 in the 'Hat in the regular season but have yet to prove they can win there in the playoffs in the last three meetings.

Different year, different team, let's hope for a different result.

The Broncos will need G Travis Yonkman to bounce back. After being one of the big differences in the opening game of the series, Travis would probably want at least three of the six allowed back. The team is more than confident he will respond.

The Dalecky/Eakin/Wudrick line has also yet to find the scoresheet but have generated a lot of chances.

Both PP's are operating around 30% in the opening two games which puts an emphasis on staying disciplined the rest of the way. The Tigers have had 14 PPs to the Broncos 10 in the series.

Tickets for game five are now on sale at the Broncos office by calling 773 - 1509. The Broncos are hoping for the support of a sell-out crowd Friday night. With only one home game for our fans to choose from this weekend, the team is hoping the city and surrounding area responds accordingly.

Bronco fans are hitting the road in droves tomorrow night. A fan bus for each night have been sold-out for days now. Bronco fans have also got lucky and have been able to purchase some walk-up tickets for games three and four.

We're on the air tomorrow night from the Arena with the pre-game show at 6:30pm, play-by-play at 7pm. One of our pre-game show guests will be former Bronco D BrettonStamler. The "professor" is headed to the University Cup in Thunder Bay, ON with the UNB Varsity Reds. He still talks with a lot of the guys on this year's Broncos team. We will get his thoughts.



More blogging tomorrow....


jon

Attendance Up Again

Press Release:

The Swift Current Broncos attendance has increased again for the 2008-09 regular season. The Broncos average attendance was 2,287, which was a 9.3% increase over the 2007-08 season when the team averaged 2,092 fans per game. Only Saskatoon had a higher percentage increase than the Broncos did this past season in the WHL.



The Broncos led the WHL in increased attendance last season with a jump of 10.2%. Over the past two seasons the Broncos have seen their attendance number jump a total of 20.4% which leads the WHL, Saskatoon is second with an increase of 12.8%. The Broncos have gone from an average attendance of 1,899 in 2006-07 to 2,287, a jump of 388 fans per game over 2 seasons.



The increase is due in large part to the renovations of the Credit Union i-plex which increased the capacity from 2,453 to 2,879 including 10 additional private suites. The Broncos would like to thank the people of Swift Current and Southwest Saskatchewan for their continued support.



Saturday, March 21, 2009

The Rink Was A Rockin'

Broncos 4 Tigers 2

What an atmosphere inside the Credit Union i-plex for the opening game of the Tigers and Broncos best-of-seven set.

Tiger fans were dispersed around the building which only seemed to elevate the passion of Bronco fans.

Despite not selling out, the building was the loudest and most intense it's been all season long.  The fans were into it as the Broncos came out hitting everything in sight and getting some early chances.

The teams traded good chances throughout the game as both goaltenders Ryan Holfeld and Travis Yonkman engaged in a pretty good battle between the pipes.

The teams combined for 71 shots in a fast-paced affair.

Keegan Dansereau, the leader in playoff experience with 56 games career in the post-season, finished the night with the hat-trick after putting the game away with the empty-netter.

Tyler Ennis, as a dangerous as ever, had both Tiger goals.  

The best part?

We do it all again tonight.


Jon

Friday, March 20, 2009

So I've Heard....

Bronco Fans can still get tickets for games in Medicine Hat next week. Word is there are tickets remaining for those games March 24/25.

403-526-2666

Jon


Fear the Mullet

The Broncos are resurrecting a blast from the past in order to capture some playoff magic.

When it comes to playoff hairstyles we've seen the bleach blond look, the jet black or the shaved-off look... but the Broncos have taken it a step further for this year's post-season.

The Mullet is back.

"I don't know who started it, I think it was (Broncos Captain Derek Claffey) Claff, and then everyone followed. We have a picture of the '89 Broncos Memorial Cup team and we noticed a lot of them had mullets so hopefully it works out," said Eric Doyle who's mullet was at the beginners stage.

For Broncos Head Coach and General Manager Dean Chynoweth, the hairstyle hits a little close to home.


"I think it's quite funny... but I played in that era, and maybe still have that hair a little bit," said Chynoweth with a laugh.


"The guys are having fun with it and it's good way to stay loose"


Personally, I think young Taylor Vause has the early lead in the mullet department. His look is very Adam Sandler in the Wedding Singer.


But no one can beat their coach circa 1988.


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Wednesday

Gregg Drinnan has posted what's becoming his annual "WHL Power Brokers" poll of the most influential people in the WHL.

Interesting to see Broncos Head Coach / GM Dean Chynoweth jump seven spots from 21s
t to 14th.

Only o
ne media representative on the list which is Vancouver's Dan Russell - a long time promoter/broadcaster of the league. Gregg left himself off the list again but everyone knows who he is and what he's saying on a daily basis. You can read about it here.

--------
---

I had a chance yesterday to swing by practice and get some thoughts on the Broncos/Tigers playoff series. Here's a skim of what's being talked about.

"Goaltending and special teams. If you look at the impact that powerplays and penalty kills have had on hockey games throughout the season it's a very important part of the game. We saw last year with a hot goalie how it can change the momentum in a game. Those are two of the areas that will be real critical in this series." - Dean Chynoweth on two keys of the series

"We match-up real well against them. We both like to move our feet, chip pucks in... they are a fast team and I think we are too. If we match the work ethic I think we will get a series win here."- F Cody Eakin

For the
2nd straight year D John Negrin will play a shutdown role against the Tigers top line. Last year the Kootenay Ice defeated the Tigers in the opening round of playoffs. Negrin says they have to play a certain way against the Tigers top unit.

"They are three very talented players (Ennis, Vey, Bosch), very shifty and quick. Obviously Ennis is one of the top scorers in the league. Last year I was paired against them with Ian Barteaux and one thing that worked is that we were pretty physical with them and p
layed well defensively. We didn't take too many chances, played a real strong, structured defensive game. If we can do that I think it well help a lot."

---------
-------------

I caught the CTV sports out of Regina last night. Lee Jones had a good take on the Bronco
s and their playoff chances. It was a good story and featured interviews with Dean, Cody Eakin, and Geordie Wudrick (and his playoff beard).

Hopefully we will see a lot of CTV Regina in our building the next few weeks as the Broncos are the only southern Saskatchewan team in the post-season.

There h
as been five camera spot requests for the opening round series against the Tigers.

-------------------

Speaking of media, Geordie Wudrick made an appearance this morning on all three of our radio stations.

Geordie was in to talk about the playoff series ahead and some of the events surrounding the series like the fan bus and playoff BBQ.

We then had some fun... Geordie did one of the Eagle sportscasts and did a great job. I'll look to try and post the audio.

Breakfast Boys co-host Chance Duperreault was ready to sign Wuddy to a long
-term radio station deal. We were willing to offer Geordie a very lucrative four-figure contract. He's going to get back to us.

Thanks for Geordie for sitting in this morning.

---------------

Locally tonight, the Swift Current "AAA" Diamond Energy Wildcats host Prince Albert in the final round of the SFMAAAHL playoffs. Local publicity hound Terry Pavely wants you to know that face-off is at 7:45pm at Fairview West.

--------------

There's a story below I posted last night on Saskatchewan's WHL playoff slump. What do you think?


Jon

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Saskie Slump?

Only two of the five Saskatchewan based WHL teams will head to the playoffs this season.

The Prince Albert Raiders 2-1 loss in overtime to Edmonton tonight sealed their fate as a team out of the playoff mix.

Only Saskatoon and Swift Current are post-season bound. The last Saskatchewan team to win a WHL Championship was the '93 Broncos.

Only one Saskatchewan team made it to the 2nd round of playoffs last season (Swift Current) and the year before only Regina made it to the final eight.

Moose Jaw was the last team from this province to make some noise when they went all the way to the Championship series in 2006 before bowing out to Vancouver in four straight.

Is this province in a WHL slump or are Saskatchewan based teams failing to attract the best talent available? Is the cyclical nature of the league seeing these teams in a down cycle?

What do you think?



Jon

Shaw To Broadcast Hurricanes/Blades Series

Press Release:

CALGARY, AB - Ron Robison, Commissioner of the Western Hockey League, announced today that the entire first round series of the 2009 WHL Playoffs between the 2009 WHL East Division Champion Saskatoon Blades (2) and the 2008 WHL Eastern Conference Champion Lethbridge Hurricanes (7) will be televised LIVE on SHAW TV and Star Choice throughout Western Canada. This is the fifth consecutive year that SHAW has provided LIVE television coverage of the WHL Playoffs.

SHAW TV will provide extensive coverage of the 2009 WHL Playoffs by broadcasting a LIVE full series in round two of the 2009 WHL Playoffs, a WHL Conference Championship Series and the entire WHL Championship Series. Following the conclusion of each round of the 2009 WHL Playoffs, the WHL and SHAW TV will announce the next series that will be broadcast.

The first two games of the Saskatoon Blades – Lethbridge Hurricanes series can be seen LIVE on SHAW TV from the Credit Union Centre in Saskatoon starting at 7:00 pm MT on Friday, March 20th and Saturday, March 21st.

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I was told the Broncos/Tigers first round series garnered a lot of attention from Shaw as well. Lethbridge/Saskatoon was the first choice if the schedule worked out.

The Broncos practice this afternoon... I hope to transcript some audio later........


Jon

Award Winners


Another Broncos Awards Banquet has come and gone.

It was a night to reflect on the regular season, look forward to the playoffs and honour three graduating players in Keegan Dansereau, Spencer McAvoy, and Travis Yonkman.

Here' a list of the award winners courtesy sc.broncos.com

Team MVP went to F Matt Tassone. Matt recently had season ending shoulder surgery after appearing in 52 games and collecting 36 goals.

I'll be taking a closer look at the Broncos/Tigers first round playoff series later.


Jon

Monday, March 16, 2009

Fan Bus Set For Medicine Hat

Press Release:


The Swift Current Broncos announced that the Pizza Hut Fan Bus will be heading to Medicine Hat for playoff games 3 and 4.



The games are Tuesday March 24th and Wednesday March 25th. The bus will depart Swift Current at the Credit Union i-plex on both days at 4:00PM and return around 11:30PM. The cost is $50 for each game and includes a personal pizza from Pizza Hut, a ticket to the game and transportation.



This is the best way to ensure tickets to games in Medicine Hat as the Tigers have a limited amount of seats available. The bus will fill up quickly so book your seat on the Broncos’ fan bus by calling 773-1509 or visit The Stable Souvenir Store.



Playoffs 09…More Cowbell!



Broncos Awards Banquet Tonight

The Swift Current Broncos reflect on the 72 game regular season and hand out the hardware tonight for the annual Awards Banquet.

Doors open at 6pm from the Credit Union i-plex. I'll try to have a list of the award winners later tonight or tomorrow morning.

The Broncos will get set for the playoffs this week as they host games one and two Friday and Saturday night.

I'll have more tonight or tomorrow....


Jon

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Broncos Beat Pats, Face the Tigers in Round One

The Swift Current Broncos doubled the Regina Pats 4-2 at the Brandt Center in a game that lacked emotion Saturday night.

Justin Dowling, Cody Eakin, Mike Brown and Michael Stickland all scored goals for the Broncos in the win.  The Broncos outshot the Pats 34-12 in the contest.  Morgan Clark played goal for two periods before giving way to rookie call-up Alex Sirard for the third.  Sirard was only tested four times as the Pats didn't have a quality chance in the third period.  He was the goalie of record and picked up the win as the Broncos broke a 2-2 tie with two third period tallies.

Also on the night, the Kootenay Ice defeated the Lethbridge Hurricanes 4-1 meaning the Broncos and the Medicine Hat Tigers will play in the 4 vs 5 playoff bracket.  The series will open up at the Credit Union i-plex with game one next Friday night.

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Before I go any further I have to say a big THANK YOU to fellow broadcasters James Gallo in Moose Jaw and Rod in Regina.  I drove with my colorman in the station vehicle and left the broadcast equipment in my truck!

We were just outside of Moose Jaw when I realized the crucial error.  A quick call to James (who was just pulling into Brandon with the Warriors) and he set me up with the Warriors back-up gear.  I pulled into our Moose Jaw affiliate station and packed up the gear.

Rod lent us another head-set and a chord which allowed me to transmit my pre-game interviews on the air.

Thanks guys.  If there's ever anything you need.....  

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The Broncos have gone through another season without being shutout in a single game.  They have the longest active streak in the WHL going a 151 games without being blanked.  The streak stretches back to the last part of the 06/07 season.   

Geordie Wudrick ended off the season on a 14 game point streak when he assisted on Cody Eakin's marker late in the 2nd period.  Wudrick wasn't credited with an assist initially but definitely played a big role in the set-up.

The win was the 7th in a row over Regina during the regular season.  The Broncos end up going a combined 13-1 against their east division rivals from Regina and Moose Jaw this season.

The Broncos will host their awards banquet Monday night at the i-plex auditorium.

Have a great Sunday,

Jon


Saturday, March 14, 2009

Broncos 6 Pats 3

The Swift Current Broncos wrapped up their home schedule with a 6-3 win over the Regina Pats in front of a sell-out crowd at the Credit Union i-plex.

The Broncos got out to a 3-0 lead on singles from Derek Claffey, Justin Dowling, and Keegan Dansereau who scored in the opening minute of the 3rd period on the PP.

Give Regina credit, they fought back and tied it 3-3 thanks to back-to-back powerplay goals. It was a night of firsts for the Pats as Andrew Rieder and Dominic Favreau scored their first ever WHL goals.

The Pats fought back only to have Brad Hoban score just 16 seconds later to give the Broncos a 4-3 lead... then the inevitable happened.  The Pats lost their cool and subsequently paid for it.

With the Pats playing shorthanded almost the rest of the way, the Broncos added two more on the powerplay from Michael Stickland and Geordie Wudrick. Wudrick's 35th of the season extended his point scoring streak to 13 games.

It was a lumberjack fest from that point on.  Lots of whacks, cross checks and slashes laid out.  The Broncos put the bumpers up and had their head on a swivel for the last 4 or 5 minutes to get through it unscathed.

G Morgan Clark was solid in goal make 31 saves for the win.  Morgan was on his game and did an admirable job.  Travis Yonkman wasn't even dressed for this one as rookie 17 year-old call-up Alex Sirard dressed as the back-up.  Sirard played "AAA" midget for the UFA Bisons this season.  

The two teams do it all again tomorrow night in Regina to wrap up the regular season.  That one could get interesting.

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Extras:

- Pats Head Coach Dale Derkatch sounded like a defeated man in our pre-game coaches show interview.  He came across as someone who was let-down.  He didn't mince words when it came to his veteran players saying "I'm not sure what we're going to get from our older guys tonight, I really don't know."  Derkatch even said they are a team not deserving of a playoff spot.

Over the year he's always been really positive in his approach.   But on this night it was clear that with no post-season in the cards and sitting on game 71 of a long season, it was tough to take the high road.  I appreciated his honesty.

- Speaking of the Pats, we had Jordan Eberle on our pre-game show.  He's quite the kid.  Was it his last game at the i-plex?  We will see what next year brings for the 18 year-old sniper who is as much of a treat off the ice than on.

- D Joel Rogers took a major penalty for checking from behind and a game misconduct for his hit of Matt Strueby in the 3rd period.  Strueby was down for a couple minutes but saw action on the Pats 2nd powerplay unit later in the powerplay.  It isn't expected that Joel will see any sort of suspension for the hit although stranger things have happened.

- The Broncos know they can play either Medicine Hat or Lethbridge in the opening round of playoffs.  Playing Kootenay in the first round is no longer an option after their loss to Lethbridge on the night.  The Broncos will play Medicine Hat unless Lethbridge wins their last two remaining games over Kootenay and Calgary....and Medicine Hat loses it's last game against Calgary.  Got it?

- Tim Tisdale will be making the trip to Regina for our final regular season broadcast on the year.  We will be on the air at 6:30pm with the pre-game show and the play-by-play just after 7pm


Jon

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Playoff Dates Set

Press Release:

The Swift Current Broncos have clinched home ice advantage for the first round of the WHL playoffs. The Broncos will host Game 1 Friday, March 20th at 7:30PM and Game 2 will be on Saturday March 21st at 7:30PM.

Season ticket holders have until Wednesday March 18th at 5:00PM to pick up their tickets for both games.

Individual game tickets are $19 for adults, $11 for students and $9 for children. Fans can also purchase a playoff 10 pack for a savings of $1 on each ticket.

The Broncos will be hosting a playoff BBQ prior to game 1 on Friday night starting at 5:00PM in the Canadian Room Auditorium at the Credit Union i-plex. There will be food specials, face painting and many great prizes to be won including a Nintendo Wii. The first 250 fans to the BBQ will receive a free Bronco cowbell.

The Broncos opponent is still to be determined. It is the first season since 2003 that the Broncos have home ice advantage in the 1st round.

To get your tickets visit The Stable Souvenir Store or call 773-1509 Ext. 1

2009 Broncos Playoff Hockey…More Cowbell.



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Big Win

They did it….

The Swift Current Broncos secured home ice advantage in the opening round of playoffs with a 4-2 win over the Brandon Wheat Kings and in the process recorded the benchmark 40th win of the season.

The other angle to the win? It was their first victory over Brandon in the eight-game season series and first in Brandon since December 9th, 2006. The win snapped a nine game losing skid in the Manitoba city. Finally.

As Wheat Kings Head Coach / GM Kelly McCrimmon said in our pre-game show, “it feels like we are fighting the law of averages”. Eventually something had to give. On a night with a full moon over the city of Brandon, the Broncos got it done.

In a rare and perhaps unprecedented move, the Broncos broke out their Saturday sweaters – the grey jerseys with the SC/Horseshoe logo. The jersey switch-a-roo was initiated by the Broncos training staff prior to leaving for the Wheat City. They needed to change something up after a run of bad bounces and luck from a team (Brandon) that is talented without any help from the hockey gods.

The Broncos built a 3-0 lead after two periods thanks to solid goaltending from Travis Yonkman and singles from Keegan Dansereau (36), Geordie Wudrick (35) and Michael Stickland (25). Stickland’s goal with just 22 seconds left in the 2nd period came on a break-a-way after he danced around Matt Lowry and put it home. The Wheat Kings had the forward Lowry at the point – a 4th forward on the ice for the face-off inside Broncos territory for the final shift of the period. Brandon was looking to generate something offensively but the move back-fired.

The Wheat Kings scored on their first shot on goal in the third 2:25 in on a laser from Cale Jeffries. Taylor Vause restored the three-goal cushion at 12:34 finishing off a break-a-way. Matt Calvert added a PP goal in the dying seconds as the Broncos closed it off with a 4-2 win.

Yonkman was left out of the three-stars which raised a few eyebrows. Not sure who picks the stars in Brandon but they better wake their dog up. Yonks finished the night with 35 saves including some big ones in the first while the Broncos found their legs. Assistant Coach Tim Kehler called it one of his best games this season in our post-game show.

The back-end was solid on the night led by a determined Derek Claffey. The Broncos captain guided the experienced unit and provided some great support for his goaltender.

Spencer McAvoy provided some help at forward – a spot he played for three seasons before his conversion to defense full-time this year. He played well up front and helped out an ailing forward group.

“It’s nice for the guys… (Home ice advantage) is a goal along with 40 wins that we set out at the beginning of the season. To do that tonight in a building where we haven’t had a lot of success in… it was long overdue.” Commented Broncos Head Coach / GM Dean Chynoweth post-game.

“When you look at it, there will be eight teams that will have 40 plus wins and only six have put together back-to-back 40 win seasons so we’re proud of that.”

It turned out to be the perfect night for Bronco fans as the Regina Pats were officially eliminated from post-season contention with Edmonton’s win over Kootenay and the Pats loss in Prince Albert.

The Broncos wrap up the 72 game season with a home-and-home with the aforementioned Pats. I’m worried the weekend could be a gong show. The Pats will have no love lost for the Broncos after five straight losses to their rivals and the fact they’re now out of the playoff mix.

We will see what develops.


Extras:

- Solid intermission work from the McCrimmon’s beautiful family dog “Digit”. Apparently every year the golden retriever (?) is part of a promotion in which the fans all buy tennis balls and throw them on the ice in the 2nd intermission. “Digit” is then released onto the ice for his pick. He selects the tennis ball and if he chooses yours you win the prize. Digit has a flair for the dramatic. He took nearly two minutes before he selected the lucky ball much to the fans delight.

How could you tell it was Kelly’s dog? Digit barked at the referees upon their arrival for the third period! Just kidding.

- How close is the WHL coaching fraternity? The Broncos coaching staff received a handful of text messages from colleagues congratulating them on their feat of securing home ice advantage and getting to the 40 win mark. Classy.

- It’s looking more and more like the Tigers for the opening round of the playoffs. The last time the Broncos had home ice advantage in the 2002/03 it was also the Tigers in the opening round. It was a four game Tigers sweep. It turned out to be their coming out party for years of success ahead.

- The Broncos improved to 10-1 on Wednesday nights this season. Wednesday has been their night.

- Going into the season who would have picked the Broncos for 4th in the Conference heading into the playoffs? Who would have picked them over Lethbridge and Regina and a Tigers team that looked good on paper entering the season? Some may have. Truth is, I had them pegged for 5th in the Conference in the pre-season broadcasters poll behind Brandon, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat and Regina.


- F Jan Dalecky didn’t play in this one and as Dean Chynoweth said in our pre-game show he’ll probably miss the weekend too.



Jon

Monday, March 09, 2009

Broncos to Host Playoff BBQ

News Release:

The Swift Current Broncos have announced that prior to the Club’s 1st home playoff game this season, they will be hosting a Playoff BBQ at the Credit Union i-plex Canadian Room beginning at 5:00PM. The first 250 fans to the BBQ will receive a free cowbell.

The date is still to be determined as playoff seeding has not been finalized.

Thanks to presenting sponsor Diamond Energy Services and subsidiary sponsors: R.B. Trucking, DTD Oilfield Services, Extreme Pita, Paterson Grain, Sure-Fit Denture Clinic and Johnnie’s Lunchbox, fans will be able to purchase beef on a bun, salad and a Coke for $5.00 prior to the game. All fans who purchase a ticket to the Game 1 are invited to attend the event.

Not only will fans in attendance at the BBQ get great food deals, they will have a chance to play and win a Ninetendo Wii game system, have their hair dyed Bronco blue and have a chance to win other great Bronco prizes. All you have to do is be at the BBQ to have a chance to win.


Fans are encouraged to bring their cowbells and wear their Bronco blue! 2009 Broncos Playoffs…More Cowbell!

Sunday, March 08, 2009

One is the Magic Number

It was quite the finish to the Broncos weekend road trip into Alberta which included an extra night's stay... more on that in a second.

Thanks in part to a three-game Medicine Hat Tigers losing streak, the Broncos only need to win one of their final three games or have Kootenay/Medicine Hat lose once to clinch home ice advantage.

Kootenay's sweep of the Medicine Hat Tigers in a weekend home-and-home set actually makes the Ice more of a threat to the Broncos gaining home ice advantage in the opening round.

It's much easier if you can actually see what I'm talking about:

Broncos - 80pts - three games remaining (Brandon, Regina, Regina)
Medicine Hat - 77pts - two games remaining (Red Deer, Calgary)
Kootenay - 76 points - three games remaining (Edmonton, Lethbridge, Lethbridge)

If The Broncos end up tied in points with either Medicine Hat or Kootenay, the Broncos would have the tie-breaker because of the fact they have more wins.

That means the Broncos only need one point to keep Medicine Hat behind them and two points to keep Kootenay behind them.

There has been a lot of talk about a Broncos/Medicine Hat opening round but now it only appears to be about a 50/50 chance of happening.  The Ice has won three in a row while the Tigers' three game skid has made the Broncos and Ice in the opening round a legitimate possibility.

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Cody Eakin ended up with the winning goal in a 4-3 Broncos loss in Red Deer Saturday night.  Yes, for the 2nd time in two years, the Broncos scored an "own" goal with the goalie pulled.

Down 3-2 with a powerplay and the goalie pulled for a 6-on-4 advantage, the Broncos had 1:04 on the clock to press for the tying goal.   After gaining the puck and moving it around, a Cody Eakin pass to John Negrin at the right point hopped over Negrin's stick and rolled all the way down the ice and into the Broncos net.  

To add another dagger to that goal, the Broncos scored with 37 seconds left on the PP to make the own goal the game winner.  

It was a tough loss but the Broncos knew going in it would be tough with only nine forwards dressed due to injury or sickness.  To be fair, the Rebels were missing some key players up front too. 

The Broncos didn't give up much in the final period allowing only 10 shots on goal through the final 40 minutes.

The Broncos drove the last 50 kms through a blizzard on the way into Red Deer and knew road conditions wouldn't be favourable after the game.

After making some phone calls and checking online, the Broncos decided to stay the night in Red Deer rather than drive home after the game.  It marks the first time the Broncos have been storm-stayed in a city in the last seven years if I can recall.

It was the right call.  The ditches down Highway #2 south were lined with vehicles and semis when we got on the road this morning.

The team arrived home mid-afternoon after taking it slow on the way back.

Matt Tassone returned back to Swift Current with the team but will head back home to Edmonton area for his Tuesday shoulder surgery.  

The Broncos play in Brandon Wednesday before finishing up the weekend with a home-and-home set with the Regina Pats on the weekend.  I hope to have Matt on the pre-game show Wednesday to talk about his surgery and what lies ahead for the Broncos power-forward.

More tomorrow.....


Jon

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Tassone Out For Remainder of Season

Broncos leading goal scorer Matt Tassone is set to undergo season ending shoulder surgery on Tuesday.

The 19 year-old has been battling problems in both his left and right shoulders forcing him to miss a set of games at four different times over the year.

The Sherwood Park, AB native spoke with a specialist on Friday in Edmonton in which the news came down.

Tassone was having a break out season that included 36 goals in 52 games.


"It is unfortunate to lose Matt at this point in the season. We had hoped he would be able to return but after consultation with the doctors at the Glen Sather clinic in Edmonton, they have decided to do the surgery immediately. Injuries are an unfortunate part of the game and all teams have to deal with this throughout the season and we are no different," commented Broncos Head Coach/GM Dean Chynoweth.


Although a blow to the team, the Broncos have had success without Tassone in the line-up including the current five-game winning streak.

Tassone will have surgery Tuesday on one shoulder and then surgery on the other in April. After a rehab process he’s expected to be ready for the beginning of the 2009-10 season.