Monday, November 30, 2009

Win Tickets to the WJ's

Swift Current, SK---Swift Current Broncos’ fans will have a special opportunity to get free 2010 IIHF World Junior Championship Tickets, including a chance to win medal round tickets in Saskatoon.

Swift Current is hosting Russia and Latvia in a World Junior pre-competition game on Monday December 21st. Every person that purchases a ticket to that game by December 11th will receive a free ticket to a 2010 IIHF World Junior Championship round-robin game in Regina. In addition, every fan that is at the World Junior pre-competition game will be entered to win a medal round ticket package in Saskatoon, including the gold medal game on January 5th! This medal round ticket package has a value of $500.

For more information or to purchase your Russia-Latvia World Junior pre-competition game tickets stop by The Stable Souvenir Store, www.scbroncos.com or call the Broncos office at 773-1509.



Sunday, November 29, 2009

Sour Monday


Wow. That's a tough way to lose.

The Grey Cup game was too good to be true for Rider fans through three quarters. Even in the 4th up 27-11, the dream ending to the season was upon Rider Nation.

Until the comeback, and the ensuing too many men on the field call that gave Montreal a 2nd chance on a field goal to win it, but this time 10 yards closer.

This one will be tough to get over. Other blogs can analyze the game, I'll leave my comments right there.

I had a chance to go but passed on the tickets that came available from some friends in Calgary.. It would have been too tough of a turnaround to get the most out of Grey Cup. The logistics didn't really work out. I made the call late Saturday that I wasn't going after debating for awhile.

"I'd be disappointed to read on your blog you passed up the opportunity to go," Brandon Wheat Kings Assistant Coach Dwayne Gylywoychuk said a couple hours before Saturday's game at the Credit Union i-plex.

The way the game turned out, that would have been a long drive back from Cowtown.


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




Ok, enough moping, how 'bout some good news!

Pictured above is Broncos F Matt Tassone who's long awaited return to the Broncos line-up is imminent - in fact in could be tomorrow night in Moose Jaw against the Warriors.

Number 16 is ready to go and will see action this week if not tomorrow night in Moose Jaw. This great news for the Broncos as last year's team MVP is ready to go.

Last season Matt scored 36 goals and added 19 assists for 55 points in just 52 regular season games. He hasn't played in a game since February 14th last season. The night before Matt scored a career high four goals in Prince Albert.

He's missed the first 28 games of the season.

His return along with the potential return of F Mike Brown gives the Broncos some great depth up front.

This should be an exciting week ahead for the Broncos.

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It took four regular season games, but the Broncos finally beat the Brandon Wheat Kings. Saturday night Justin Dowling recorded his first career regular season hat-trick to lift the Broncos past the Wheaties.

Brandon never rolled over and fought to the end. F Jay Fehr scored with 1:25 remaining to cut the lead down to a goal.

For Dowling, his three goals gives him 18 on the season. He had 22 all of last year.

Cody Eakin squeaked a weak backhand through Andrew Hayes for his league leading 25th.

D Travis Bobbee made his home ice debut for the Broncos. He played a solid, stay at home game. He assisted on Eakin's goal for his first point as a Bronco.

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I'll blog more thoughts later, there's a few things I need to look after here today.......







Friday, November 27, 2009

Game Day in the Bio-dome / Bobbee Debut

Back in my hotel room after the Broncos morning skate.......

The Canad Inn/Keystone Center/Westman Communications Place/ is in essence your one-stop shop. Linked under one roof, there's never a need to leave the place unless you want to venture to the mall, or across the street to one of the best little coffee houses on the circuit.

In the dead of winter, this place is a god-send. From your hotel room to breakfast in the hotel restaurant to walking down the hallway to the rink.... never a need to leave the comforts of climate control.

Even in the evening, there's a piano bar, a sports lounge and a night club all within a few steps of the hotel lobby. It's a great set-up for visiting teams. Maybe road teams are too comfortable here from the Wheat Kings perspective. Teams are 5-7-1 coming in here to play the Wheat Kings. Still a losing record but not bad considering the circumstances.

This is the 2nd of three trips the Broncos will make to Brandon this season. Trips I used to hate before the bio-dome.

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Newly acquired defenseman Travis Bobbee arrived after a flight into Winnipeg last night. He came to Brandon with Cody Eakin and Justin Dowling who also flew into Winnipeg after playing Wednesday night in the Subway Super Series.

Bobbee will wear #4 with the Broncos and GM/Head Coach Mark Lamb tells me he will play in all situations tonight.

He's a player that makes the game look easy. He has a relaxed vibe to his game. Bronco fans will get their first look at his game tomorrow night back on home ice.

-----------

There's some debate as to whether Brayden Schenn will be in the line-up for Brandon tonight. Last night he played for the L.A. Kings in an emergency call-up basis. The game was in Vancouver and he was to fly out today to re-join his junior club in time for tonight's game. But there's word he may stick around the Kings for the weekend. We will see what plays out today.

What a few days it's been for Schenn who learned after the Subway Super Series game on Wednesday the Kings needed him to fill a spot up-front. If he does play tonight and tomorrow back in Swift Current then that'll be four games in four nights for the NHL first rounder.

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Have you had a chance to think about the Broncos forward group once Matt Tassone is ready to play? It takes a lot to impress me when talking about the Broncos but how can you not get excited about the scoring depth up-front? Eakin, Dowling, Novotny, Hoban, Stickland and Tassone is a formidable top six forward group.

Some teams intimidate with size and toughness but this is pretty damn intimidating too. There's no doubt opposition teams will be more than a little concerned with the Broncos fire-power.

Often we don't give our team enough credit, me included. Around the league you would be hard-pressed to find a better top six. On pure skill, Brandon and perhaps Medicine Hat are the only teams in the conference who could rival the Broncos top two lines.

The Broncos also sport some good depth up front through the rest of the lines. It's a pretty talented group of forwards.

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

From the "that's funny" category........

Broncos Head Coach / GM Mark Lamb has been an assistant coach in in the NHL for years, played in the league for several more and is now the front man for the Broncos.

You would guess that would be enough to qaulify him to coach his nine year-old son's hockey team. Guess again.

Mark isn't qualified to coach because he lacks the proper SHA certification. He will have to attend a coaches clinic first.

Alright, I'm out....

jon






Thursday, November 26, 2009

Doyle Talks Trade

If you follow this blog, then you know from the last couple years I'm a big Eric Doyle fan.

I remember my campaign last year to try and get him a spot on Team WHL as Swift Current hosted one of the two games against the Russians.

He didn't play in Swift Current, but was an injury replacement the next night in Prince Albert.

He's a good player, and has always been good to me. He talked about the trade with me earlier today at the Credit Union i-plex.


On being traded knowing the Broncos had to move a 20 year-old.

"I wouldn't say I was shocked. I came into the season with an open mind knowing there's a chance it could be me. I think it's a good deal for both teams. The Broncos get a good defenseman who will be here next year as well. I'm going to a younger d-core so I think I can bring a veteran presence and help them on the powerplay."


On going back to the U.S. division and going to Portland........

"(smiling) well I remember playing them (with Everett) and they weren't too good. But obviously they've turned that around. They have some top notch coaching with Mike Johnston and Travis Green. I'm looking forward to going there and getting into a game."


On leaving Swift Current.......

"It's going to be tough. I made a lot of good friends here. It's always hard getting traded especially after three years. I grew close to my billets. It's part of the game, it's the business side of it that no one really likes."


On the guys he'll miss on the team......

"Well Dowls (Justin Dowling). He's one of my best friends and my roommate the last two years. Derek Claffey is a good friend of mine. When I was first traded here we didn't get along... we hated each other (laughs) but now we're pretty good friends. Guys like Eaks, Browner, Taz. Then the young guys too new to the team. It's going to be hard leaving these guys, but it's all part of it."


On playing his former team in about three weeks in Portland........

"I've thought about that actually. It's going to be weird playing these guys. Like I said it's part of the game and you have to go out like it's just another game."




Doyle / Bobbee News Release

Swift Current Broncos General Manager Mark Lamb has announced the club has acquired 19 year old defenseman Travis Bobbee from the Portland Winterhawks in exchange for 20 year old defenseman Eric Doyle.


Bobbee, from Arborg Manitoba, is in his 4th WHL season. He has 2 goals and 6 assists for 8 points in 28 games with the Winterhawks this season. Last year he had 2 goals and 22 points in 66 games and over his career has 16 goals and 38 assists for 54 points in 200 games. Bobbee is a mobile defenseman listed at 5’11” and 194 pounds.


“We are pleased to acquire a player of Travis’ quality. He has an excellent first pass and sees the ice very well” comments Broncos General Manager and Head Coach Mark Lamb, “in order to get a player of Travis’ caliber, you have to give up a good player. Eric has been a contributor in the WHL for a long time and we wish him continued success in Portland.”


Doyle leaves the Broncos as the player with the most WHL experience in playing 268 WHL games. He was originally acquired by the Broncos from Everett in 2007.


Both Bobbee and Doyle were 1st round WHL bantam picks each going 15th over-all. Bobbee was selected by Lethbridge in 2005 and Doyle by Everett in 2004.


Bobbee is scheduled to join the Broncos for their game in Brandon Friday night.


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I spoke with Eric and Mark Lamb today.... I will try to post their thoughts before we leave this afternoon.



Doyle Dealt

Broncos will confirm the news in the next one to two hours based on the report out of Portland/Kamloops and Gregg Drinnan.

I hope to have some sort of comment on here later today but we leave for Brandon this afternoon so no guarantee.

The Broncos get an actual body for a 20 year-old player which is sometimes tough to do. The going rate for a productive 20 year-old is a 4th/5th round bantam pick.

More later...........

Best wishes to Eric Doyle who is one of my personal favorites on the team. Portland gets a savvy offensive defenseman.

Jon


Trade?

This is being reported by Gregg Drinnan but not released by the Broncos yet.... here's what was posted overnight:


"Portland and Swift Current made a deal late Wednesday that will have D Travis Bobbee, 19, move from the Winterhawks to the Broncos for D Eric Doyle, 20.

A source familiar with the situation said there may also be draft picks involved, but indicated those two players are the main pieces in the exchange.

Bobbee, from Arborg, Man., was selected by the Lethbridge Hurricanes with the 15th overall pick in the 2005 bantam draft. This season, he has eight points in 28 games.

Portland acquired Bobbee two years ago, along with D Ryan Kerr, F Jacob Dietrich and F Nick Dietrich -- yes, they are brothers -- for F Colton Sceviour, F Nick Hotson and D Lucas Alexiuk.

Doyle, from Calgary, was picked by the Everett Silvertips with the 15th selection of the 2004 bantam draft. He has 16 points in 21 games this season.

Everett dealt Doyle to Swift Current in January 2007, getting back F Jordan Mistelbacher, D Dane Crowley and a conditional 2008 third-round draft pick.

Portland had room for a 20-year-old after trading G Kurtis Mucha to the Kamloops Blazers on Monday for a 2010 fourth-round draft pick.

Doyle joins F Chris Francis and F Stefan Schneider as Portland’s 1989-born players.

The Broncos had to make a move as the return of F Matt Tassone from offseason shoulder surgery left them with four 20-year-olds, the other two being F Michael Stickland and D Derek Claffey."

-------

I'll have the info once the Broncos confirm and green light this.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Team WHL Pic

Justin Dowling (l), Cody Eakin (c) and Calvin Pickard hang out after a Team WHL Practice in Victoria (photo from whl.ca)


Eakin and Dowling Battle the Russians Tonight

Bronco forwards Justin Dowling and Cody Eakin will put on the WHL logo tonight to battle the Russians in Victoria.

At a team WHL practice yesterday, Dowling was centering a line of two Medicine Hat Tigers. He was between Linden Vey and Wacey Hamilton.

As for Eakin, he was centering a line that included Byron Froese of the Everett Silvertips and Lance Bouma of the Vancouver Giants.

The game can be watched live on Sportsnet Pacific. I believe it will be tape-delayed on the main Sportsnet network.

From the game in Victoria, the two Broncos will fly into Winnipeg and then meet up with their Bronco teammates in Brandon in time for Friday's game against the Wheat Kings.

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The Kootenay Ice have been fined $500 for their actions in a mini-line brawl against the Broncos Saturday night in Cranbrook.

It was Kootenay's 2nd multiple fight situation of the season which draws an automatic fine. It was the Broncos first, so they avoid discipline.

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An old college buddy will be rolling through in Swift Current in style tomorrow. Heath Morin who is now a teacher in Pelle, SK, who reads this blog from time-to-time, won a trip for two to the Grey Cup in Calgary complete with limousine transportation to and from the game.

Heath is taking his dad. They are making a scheduled stop in Swift Current for lunch at the Living Sky Casino. Good deal!


Jon


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Tuesday

It's tough to talk Broncos right now with no games until Friday and the Riders dominating talk in the city and around the province.

Personally I won't be making the game in Calgary. The Broncos have a home-and-home set with Brandon and if I was to go to Calgary I'd like to make a weekend out of it, not just the Sunday Grey Cup game. I know a lot of Swift Current folks are making the trip. Have fun!

By the way.... the Riders are nine point underdogs as of today according to Vegas odds makers.


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

As for the Broncos, Cody Eakin and Justin Dowling are off to Victoria for the Subway Super Series. They face-off against the Russians tomorrow night. They will meet up with their Bronco teammates in Brandon for Friday's game.

Hopefully they both get a legitimate shot and play some key minutes in the game. Eakin le
ads the WHL in goals with 24 while Dowling is T-12th in league scoring with 34 points.


One thing I've noticed this past month is the attention Eakin is getting from other teams. Other coaches make a point of mentioning him in our pre-game interviews. Other broadcasters
around the WHL ask about him and are requesting interviews. When we were in Calgary, both papers wanted to do talk to him.

So far he's handled it all in stride. I just hope the attention he's getting turns some heads with Hockey Canada and he gets a good look at the World Junior Selection Camp in less than a month. You have to think that 18 of the 22 spots are probably already accounted for.

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Whenever there's a trade usually we have to edit some of our radio station and broadcast elements. Such is the case in the Geordie Wudrick / Stepan Novotny deal. Geordie is featured in our broadcast opener with some goal clips and talking about what it means to be a Bronco. Looks like we will have to replace that audio with something or someone else.

Geordie and the Rockets are here in two weeks time to take on the Broncos at the Credit Union i-plex.

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Lots of shuffling in Kamloops yesterday not only with new Head Coach Guy Charron taking over but a handful of moves to shake things up as well.

The Bronc
os still need to make a move regarding their 20 year-olds and everyone around the league seemingly has their eye on the situation.

One of the team's 20's came up to me on the weekend asking what I think is going to happen. I told him don't know what's going to shake down. If 10 years being around it has taught me anything I would say expect the unexpected. Never get too comfortable. A move could happen tomorrow, or it could happen just before the WHL Christmas trade-freeze.

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Never have I been more happy to see the return of the road "shoe check". The event takes place on the road after a win during the team's post-game meal. I've been a victim a few times over the years...and will be again I'm sure.

The first attempt failed miserably Saturday when Mike Brown spotted a not-so-sneaky Adam Lowry under the table and greeted him with a cup of water over the head before Adam could deliver his payload of ranch dressing on Brownie's shoes.



Time to get down to some work, more later....


Jon

Sunday, November 22, 2009


Sunday

(Tessa Lowry, Adam's little sister made the trip to support her big bro in Cranbrook)

A few thoughts on the weekend....

- Cody Eakin added to his league leading goal total now at 24 as he scored two more in the 6-2 win over the Kootenay Ice. He equals his goal total from last season just 26 games into the season.

Eakin's 1st goal is POW worthy. Michael Stickland tossed a saucer pass that Eakin knocked down and controlled with his glove at waist level. He settled it down to his stick all in full flight before snapping it by G Todd Mathews.

- D Reece Scarlett joined the team post-game after visiting the hospital after a fight. He had his nose broken but was in good spirits and was fine. Reece won't forget his first WHL fight. He later joked that his gloves would be strapped on for awhile.

- Stepan Novotny scored his first goal as a Bronco. It would turn out to be the game-winner. He finished off a scramble in front of the Ice goal late in the first period.

- The bus ride home was a bit a longer one. There was some snow through the mountains which slowed the pace down somewhat. The team arrived around 7:30am Saskatchewan time.


- The Ice have great fans. Always in a good mood. A few though left early when the Broncos made it 5-2 in the third.

- The usher who stands right beside the visiting broadcast booth (and who was the subject of a WHL broadcasters email for getting involved verbally with visiting broadcasters) had a warning for me pre-game "Call a good game... there's two teams out there". Later, he was tapping me on the shoulder to inform me the Ice goaltender switch in the 1st period.

- Bert from Kurt's KFC will be handing out gift cards for the guys following the road win. By my count it's $167 KFC bucks! That's a lot of chicken. Whatever works.

- The Broncos won't play until Friday night in Brandon. Good Luck to Justin Dowling and Cody Eakin who will represent Team WHL this week at the Subway Super Series.


Jon


Road Win

I'll post some of my own thoughts later but if you're looking for a game recap, Jeff Bromley from Cranbrook has an accurate description on his blog here.

I should have something up this afternoon.

Enjoy your Sunday and GO RIDERS!


Jon

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Game Day in Cranbrook

Just getting back into the hotel after a morning skate/practice and a quick jaunt around town. Here's some pics from last night/today.




Arrived last night to catch the third period/ot between the Ice and the Regina Pats. Matt Strueby scored the shootout winner. The fans were into this one. Former Broncos Ryan Molle and James Martin played a lot down the stretch.

Smilin' Stepan. New Bronco Stepan Novotny is happy practice is over. He'll play tonight with Eakin and Stickland. You would be hard pressed to find a faster three man unit in the WHL.


Matt Tassone (left), Cody Eakin (right) run into the staff at Starbucks. Tassone is on the trip but won't play until early next month.
The Broncos need the road win tonight against a Kootenay Ice team that's playing better hockey. Got a message passed to me from a Bronco fan / sponsor. He wants to see the guys get the first road win.
Bert from Kurt's KFC is offering up some gift cards for the guys if they can pull this one off. This applies only for a win though.....
A $10 gift card for every + on the scoresheet (+3 at the end of the night would be $30 gift card), The winning goalie will get $1 a save. There you go.
We're on the air tonight at 7:30pm with the pre-game show. Play-by-play at 8pm on the Eagle 94.1 FM.
Have a good weekend,
Jon

Friday, November 20, 2009

On the Road....

The team is off to Cranbrook this afternoon for one of those schedule head-scratchers....

The team will play a single road game against the Kootenay Ice Saturday night and then return home for their only game this weekend.

Usually, this game would be part of a weekend set like Lethbridge/Kootenay or Calgary/Kootenay. Or sometimes it's the kick-off game to a U.S. or B.C. road swing.

Not this time. There and back.

We're on the air tomorrow night at 7:30pm with the pre-game show, play-by-play at 8pm.

More from Cranbrook............

Jon


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Broncos Can't Solve Brandon

It was one of those nights...

The Broncos fell short in a 5-4 loss to Brandon in a game where over 2300 jeered the officiating most of the night.

The Broncos had to kill off two lengthy 5-on-3's and eight penalties much to the ire of the local fans. Still, when you sum it up, the Broncos didn't help their cause all that much.

Giving up a shorthanded goal to Scott Glennie to open the scoring didn't help. Neither did the loose pucks and 2nd and 3rd opportunities in the Bronco crease.

Everytime the Broncos built some momentum with a goal, Brandon answered right back. Justin Dowling cut Brandon's lead to 2-1 in the 1st. 59 seconds later, Brendan Walker restored the two-goal lead.

Dowling scored his 2nd goal of the night to tie the game 4-4 in the second. 43 seconds later Mark Schneider banked one home to give Brandon the lead right back.

The Broncos will never really able to carry momentum in the game.

Newcomer Stepan Novotny made his Bronco debut playing with Cody Eakin and Michael Stickland. The line generated a couple of chances but misfired on a couple of opportunities. It may take some time playing together to see what they're capable of.

Novotny showed his speed a couple times and I think did a good job of playing through a physical Brandon team.

The Broncos depart Friday afternoon for Cranbrook for their game Saturday night against the Kootenay Ice.

Jon


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Lowry and Scarlett Crack Team Pacific U-17 Roster

Swift Current, SK – Hockey Alberta and BC Hockey have announced their 22 man roster for the upcoming World Under 17 Challenge and it includes Broncos’ Adam Lowry and Reece Scarlett.

Lowry, from Calgary and Scarlett, from Sherwood Park are among the top 16 year olds representing Alberta and BC for Team Pacific. The Under 17 Challenge will take place in Timmins, Ontario from December 28th until January 4th. The Tournament features 4 teams from Canada (Pacific, West, Ontario and Atlantic) and the national teams from: Finland, USA, Sweden, Czech and Russia.

Scarlett was a first round bantam pick of the Broncos, selected 13th over-all while Lowry was a 4th round pick going 78th in 2008.

Broncos’ athletic trainer Jamie LeBlanc will also take part in the event as the equipment manager for Team West which is represented by players from Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

Broncos’ assistant coach Tim Kehler coached Team Pacific to silver last year in Port Alberni, BC


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That's quite the honour for these two. Well deserved Adam and Reece. Congratulations.

I'll fire a recap of tonight's 5-4 loss to Brandon in the morning. The debut of Stepan Novotny featured a couple of shots on goal and some chances. I think he showcased some of his skating tonight. Hopefully he clicks a little better with his linemates in the coming games.

Lowry and Scarlett Crack Team Pacific U-17 Roster

Swift Current, SK – Hockey Alberta and BC Hockey have announced their 22 man roster for the upcoming World Under 17 Challenge and it includes Broncos’ Adam Lowry and Reece Scarlett.

Lowry, from Calgary and Scarlett, from Sherwood Park are among the top 16 year olds representing Alberta and BC for Team Pacific. The Under 17 Challenge will take place in Timmins, Ontario from December 28th until January 4th. The Tournament features 4 teams from Canada (Pacific, West, Ontario and Atlantic) and the national teams from: Finland, USA, Sweden, Czech and Russia.

Scarlett was a first round bantam pick of the Broncos, selected 13th over-all while Lowry was a 4th round pick going 78th in 2008.

Broncos’ athletic trainer Jamie LeBlanc will also take part in the event as the equipment manager for Team West which is represented by players from Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

Broncos’ assistant coach Tim Kehler coached Team Pacific to silver last year in Port Alberni, BC

Novotny Set for Broncos Debut / Broncos Host Brandon

It was expected that newly acquired forward Stepan Novotny will make his Broncos debut tonight as they host the Brandon Wheat Kings. Novotny was to arrive last night in city around 7pm. He will wear #44 for the Broncos.

Bronco fans won't have much of a chance to see Novotny in action. He will play in only a handful of home games before likely playing for the Czech Republic in the upcoming World Junior Hockey Championships in Saskatoon and Regina.

The Broncos and the Wheat Kings will get to know each other pretty well over the next 10 days as they meet three times. Three of the Broncos next four are against Brandon - a team that has given them trouble over the last couple seasons. Brandon was 7-1 against the Broncos in the season series last year.

"I think we need to lose a little bit of that respect factor that I think is automatic or just too common with our group when we play a high-end team (like Brandon). We have to be a little bit reckless, we need to be a bit cocky and arrogant and play the game with that kind of approach." - Assistant Coach Tim Kehler

Brandon is in a stretch of playing five games in seven night. Last night they lost in Medicine Hat 4-3.

Tongiht on the pre-game show we will break-down the trade made earlier this week in detail. Geordie Wudrick practiced with the Kelowna Rockets yesterday after arriving there in the early afternoon. Regan Bartel has a picture and a quick video of Wudrick in Rockets' garb. Check out his blog link "Regan's Rant" over on the right.


Jon

Monday, November 16, 2009

Wudrick on Trade

I spoke to Geordie a couple hours after hearing the news he was headed to the Kelowna Rockets.

Your reaction to the trade...

It was mixed emotions. Obviously I'm pretty excited but a little upset and a little nervous at the same time. There's some players on the Broncos that will be friends for life. I'm really going to miss those guys.


On going to Kelowna....

Absolutely, I'm really excited to go there. It's an organization I've followed since I was a kid. The main thing is I'm going to an organization that really wants me there.


On your time in Swift Current.....

I spent parts of five different seasons here, it's been a long time. I enjoyed my time playing here and have met a lot of good guys and friends. It's a great place to play. I'm a little upset to leave but at the same time I'm excited.


On being under the microscope here.....

Being a high draft pick there's going to be pressure and expectations and hype you have to live up to. Being in a small market there's a lot of pressure. The fans are intense here...that won't change. I thought I handled it well for the most part but there was ups and downs in my time with the Broncos. I'm happy to get a fresh start....


A comment on your play being hot and cold and streaky at times....

(no comment). (Didn't want to discuss in detail)


Final words....

I enjoyed my time here, my family has made it home and there's a lot of guys I'm going to miss.




Lamb on Trade

On acquiring Stepan Novotny....

We've been watching him for awhile, we've done a lot of research on him. He's a dynamic player that scores goals. He must be out of favor in the coaches eyes over there for different reasons. He can skate and he can shoot. He could be a really good player for us.


On Geordie Wudrick.....

He played a lot of good hockey for the Swift Current Broncos at times. I talked to Wuddy earlier and he was looking for a change and I was looking for the right team and opportunity to help him out there. Things weren't really bad here but (his play) wasn't the direction I wanted to go and he understood that. He's going to a good spot, and I wish him the best. It's about getting better and hopefully he can get better there.


On the high expectations put on Wudrick because of his draft spot and some inconsistent play:

That's what happens to those (high picks). The expectations are so high and any little thing they do or don't do the people in Swift Current see it, we see it as a coaching staff. It's easy for us to sit back and say you should be tougher, you should get the puck out along the boards more. I never saw him not trying. When you're a player like that you're under the microscope. Wuddy was struggling here, he's a streaky player. It's been going on for awhile now. We thought the move was necessary.


On trading him to Kelowna...

There was no way I was going to trade Woody unless I got good value back and there's other teams that phoned and had interest. I think it's going to be a good deal for both teams.


On his parting words.....

Some players think it's the situation that will make them a good player. It's not the situation, it's them. That's the advice I gave him. He has to turn himself into a really good player.


On his first chat with Stepan Novotny.....

When I talked to him on the phone he was really excited. He speaks great English and he was really happy. Once players get here they love it. I always compare Swift Current to Edmonton in the NHL. From the outside sometimes players don't want to go there... but when they get there they never want to leave.

Trade Update

I've spoken with both Broncos Head Coach / GM Mark Lamb and Geordie Wudrick this afternoon. I'll blog some of their thoughts later tonight..........

For details on the trade today with the Kelowna Rockets see below:





Jon

Broncos Trade Wudrick

Swift Current, SK---Swift Current Broncos General Manager Mark Lamb has announced the club has acquired forward Stepan Novotny and prospect Tanner Clark from the Kelowna Rockets in exchange for forward Geordie Wudrick.

Novotny, 19 years old, from Prague, Czech Republic is currently leading the Rockets in scoring with 14 goals and 25 points in 23 games. Last season he had 41 points in 65 games in his first WHL season. He is 6’2 and 194 pounds. Prior to last season Novotny played for the Indiana Ice of the USHL.

Clark, hails from Rosetown, SK and is a 5’11" and 160 pounds defenseman. Last season he played with the Moose Jaw Warriors AAA midget team, he has recently joined the Humboldt Broncos of the SJHL. The Rockets selected Clark in the 3rd round of the 2008 bantam draft, 54th over-all.

“We are excited to be able to obtain a player of Novoty’s caliber,” comments Mark Lamb, “he has had a good first quarter of the season in Kelowna and we look for him to continue his strong play here. We are also pleased to add Tanner Clark into our prospect system.”

Wudrick departs Swift Current after 4 seasons with the Broncos, he was the club’s highest ever draft pick, selected # 2 over-all in 2005. He has 14 points in 23 games this season.

Lamb adds: “We would like to thank Geordie for the contributions he has made to the hockey club and wish him the best of luck in Kelowna.”




I'll weigh in with my take later, obviously this deal was a long time coming. Trade talk around Geordie dates back to early last season when Broncos Head Coach/GM Dean Chynoweth was at the helm.

It sounds like two players just needing a change of scenery.

More later.

Jon

Brand New Week....

Here we go. Re-load and do it all again for a Monday morning.

Last night the Broncos hosted the first shootout of the season at the Credit Union i-plex as the Broncos and Edmonton Oil Kings were tied 4-4 through 65 minutes.

Justin Dowling scored the only goal in the three round event while Morgan Clark stood tall in the crease denying Brett Breitkreuz, Tomas Vincour and Robin Soudek.

It was the only game of the weekend, and it was good for the Broncos to pick up points. In case you didn't notice, every Eastern Conference team picked up points that played last night. Brandon beat Regina 8-7 in OT in what must have been a wild one. Kootenay knocked off Lethbridge 3-2 in OT.

Cody Eakin added his league leading 22nd goal and chipped in with three assists. Eaks is also 7th overall in league scoring.

The Broncos PP went 3/4 but Edmonton refused to go away. Every time the Broncos scored to take the lead, the Oil Kings answered right back. They should be pleased with their weekend after getting 3 out of 4 points.

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I know people don't really come here for the game recaps here...for the most part they come for opinions and Bronco news - especially the out-of-town folk.

The Broncos staff has been out and about lately, something is brewing and the hammer may drop at some point this week.

Every team is always looking to get better. The Broncos are no different. Will GM/Head Coach Mark Lamb pull the trigger on something big? Time will tell.

For the most part the team is playing hard and getting results - especially on home ice.

The thing is, as a staff you're always quick to see your own weaknesses and faults yet not realize the talent in front of you. The case can be made across the league. You always see your faults yet see the other team's strengths.

Something to ponder.....

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I really enjoy the coaches from other teams when I get a chance to talk hockey. Steve Pleau and Rocky Thompson are two of my favorites when it comes to this. They are a pleasure to deal with. In fact, most are. Sure I've had some run-ins but this is a competitive league and everyone is in it to win.

Hats off to Steve and Rock.

While I'm on the subject let's do a little tour around the league.....

Lorne Molleken Saskatoon - The godfather. Has always been accommodating. Calls me "young fella" all the time. At 30 I'll take what I can get!

Kelly McCrimmon - Brandon - this has taken awhile to develop but now I'm real comfortable with Kelly Mac. I know he reads the blog from time-to-time and busts me on it the odd time. We've had some good pre-game interviews over the years. He's sharp. Bring your "A" game to the table.

Curtis Hunt - Regina - "Hey let's have a good year Jon, I know you're gonna piss me off and I'm gonna piss you off but that's part of it right?" Thats the first thing Curtis said to me before the first Broncos/Pats meeting this season. I laughed about it. I'll no-doubt remember that one.

Dave Hunchak - Moose Jaw - Former Bronco Assistant Coach. It's still strange to see Hunch on the Warriors side After three years of being on the road together, going through the lows of a loss and the highs of a win you develop a bond and a level of comort. Maybe it's been too comfortable at times and I've viewed him as "Hunch"rather than the "Head Coach of the Moose Jaw Warriors" I've probably said some things I regret in some of those heated games. I wish him well, I want to see him do well. He's a good man.

Bruno Campese - Prince Albert - Nice guy. Very respectful of the media's role and a pleasure to deal with. The newest Coach/GM in the division (not counting Curtis Hunt who came back).

That's just a sample from around the division... there's a lot of good folks around the league. I've learned a lot over the years.... maybe enough to coach a pee wee hockey team one of these years.

I'll leave you with a story of one of my "run-ins" from my early days in the WHL. We're headed back to 2001 or so here.....this is usually a story I'll share after a couple beers but today I'll blog it.

Overheard in the media/scouts room before the game:

Prince Albert Raiders G.M. Donn Clark talking to a scout: "Hey, did you see this... (former Bronco defenseman) Ian White fought (insert player) last night here. What the $%*$ was HE thinking?"

Scout: (laughing, could be the funniest thing he's heard in awhile)

Clark: "He's out there, 5 foot &*$# all and he's going after that guy? That's unbelievable."

Young Jon Keen: (overhearing the conversation). "Well, if you would have been here and not just read the game summary in the paper you would have seen his d-partner get crushed in the corner from behind... he was just getting in there for a teammate."

Clark: (disgusted look on his face). "Hey...kid. How many WHL fights have YOU been in?? He got a good laugh from a couple of scouts... Harold Snepts being one of them leading the charge."

I had no response.... I never played at this level. Maybe my answer was deserved.

Later, I came back between periods. An unnamed scout says "hey kid, don't worry about Donny. You may have never been in a fight, but the two of you still won the same amount."


Jon





Saturday, November 14, 2009

Schedule Follies / Good Hunch Quote

No game last night.... no game tonight, a strange weekend for the Broncos.

Since I've been calling games for the Broncos they have never had a Fri/Sat off except at Christmas.

No update this weekend.

I do know trade talk around the WHL is heating up and several teams continue to inquire about the Broncos 20 year-old situation. A lot of WHL personnel have been in our building the last while and the Bronco staff is putting on some "scouting" miles as well.

Edmonton is here tomorrow night for the third meeting of the season between the teams.

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After being outshot in Regina last night, Warriors Head Coach Dave Hunchak made a quick comment to the Leaderpost's Greg Harder post-game:

“I’m not sure who was counting shots tonight but I think he ran out of fingers and toes and just kept pushing the button"

This is a problem in some WHL rinks.

Homer shot clock counters drive me nuts. It drove me to the point in one WHL rink a couple years ago to seek out the guy and ask him what the deal was.

Medicine Hat was a huge offender of this in years past but have been pretty good the last couple years.

Prince Albert, Moose Jaw, Brandon, Lethbridge all do a pretty good job. But there is a couple of blatant offenders out there. Not much you can do... it doesn't affect the outcome of the game but it can significantly skew the game story.

Jon

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Bronco Photo Shoot

The Broncos recently held "Poster Night" at a home game. Each fan attending was given the Broncos team poster for the season ahead.

This year, Cody Eakin, Derek Claffey and Eric Doyle were featured in some traditional cowboy garb. Some great shots here. I think they will be available at www.scbroncos.com soon.

Anyways.... here's a couple that were left on the cutting room floor.



(l to r Eakin, Claffey, Doyle)





I have to say, Doyle looks pretty genuine in these pics. Must be the mustache or the jean jacket with the wool collar.

Good stuff....

Jon

Thursday / Broncos Down Raiders

Back in the morning sports routine here today...

Looking forward to a Friday/Saturday off from action. I don't think in my time the Broncos have ever had both nights off on a weekend. Greek Night is calling. Thanks to Tizzy for arranging a solid table for Saturday night.

Yesterday Andy Blanke's first ever WHL goal broke a 1-1 third period tie as the Broncos held on for a 2-1 win over Prince Albert.


" I was out there trying to keep us in the game and give us some energy. I guess we turned the puck over at the blueline, (Derek) Claffey picked it up and I just went hard to the net. The puck came to me and I saw a little opening and I tucked it in there," said an excited Blanke post-game.

"It was pretty exciting to score that first one."


I left my poppy on my suit jacket the night before and was poppy-less for the Remembrance Day matinee game. I went into the dressing room before the game and borrowed Andy's. I told him that's an automatic third star effort for giving up his poppy. Then he went out and earned it. Good stuff.


Broncos captain Derek Claffey set-up Blanke for the game-winner and had a funny take on the play.


"He (Blanke) had a pretty good shift going, looking pretty good... I just walked in and was thinking of shooting, but clearly I don't have too many goals in my career so I dished it across and he managed to put it in the net."


The Broncos host Edmonton Sunday night.

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Tuesday night in Regina I thought things went alright for our Shaw broadcast. This despite Broncos A.C. Tim Kehler getting a good laugh out of some of the dialogue between Jeff and I.


Working with Odg was a lot of fun. He spent a couple years on the Atlanta Thrashers radio broadcast. He seemed to handle the TV side pretty good.


Put him on the list of guys you would want on your side if things ever went south some night.

---

Back to work, more later....


Jon



Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Tuesday Update

Quick update today...

I'm off to Regina later this afternoon for our Shaw TV broadcast. It's the Pats and Prince George Cougars tonight from the Brandt Center. We're on the air at 7pm Saskatchewan time, 6/Mountain, 5/Pacific.

I'm sure hoping for a good game. If anything it could be a physical battle. Both these teams aren't afraid to mix it up. Good thing I'll have former NHL enforcer Jeff Odgers beside me to break it all down. Here's what I like about Odgie. He gets it.... well he IS it. The former NHL tough guy fought everyone back in the day and knows how it works.

Example, here's a clip of Bronco rookie forward Andrew Sullivan (2nd ever fight) taking on perhaps the toughest guy in the league Randy McNaught. He realizes the situation pretty early and gives credit to an over-matched Sullivan for being a willing combatant. I like the way both Joe and Jeff handled this situation.



Hey not even a mark on Sully the next day! Get'em next time eh kid?


Jon

Monday, November 09, 2009

What day is it?

We're in the midst of one of those stretches that can be a bit challenging but a whole lot a fun at the same time.

I was driving into work today thinking things are getting a bit hectic but at the same time smiling and thinking I wouldn't want it a
ny other way. I'm sure everyone around the WHL knows what I'm talking about.

Friday night hosting Prince George at the i-plex, Saturday bussing to Lethbridge to take on the Hurricanes, Sunday in the 'Dome to take on the Hitmen. A work/prep day today then the Shaw TV broadcast of the Pats/Cougars at the Brandt Center tomorrow night. Then, race back home for a Remem
brance Day Matinee game against the Prince Albert Raiders Wednesday.

I love it. Plain and simple. What a great league. I think we can take it for granted sometimes.

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The Broncos returned home around 2am Saskatchewan time after a 4-2 loss in Calgary. The team running out of gas late in the 2nd period playing their third game in as many nights and fourth in five nights.

Up 2-1 late in the period, the Hitmen would score twice within 16 seconds and never relinquish the momentum. Some lazy penalties and frustration didn't help the comeback bid but quite frankly I'm not sure how much was left in the tank.

Some of Elaine Lowry's pumpkin loaf around Strathmore on the way home took out some of the sour taste from the loss. It drew rave reviews from the front of the bus. Hopefully we will be able to enjoy it with a movie on the way home one of these nights. I have to admit I'm falling way behind on the new releases lately if you know what I mean.

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Had a good chat with Brad Curle before the game. The voice of the Hitmen was the voice of the Hurricanes in Lethbridge when I was going to college in that city. He's always been someone I've looked up to. The Porcupine Plain, SK native is a pro.

Saturday in Lethbridge I huddled around a press box TV with Hurricanes announcer Pat Siedlecki (Foam Lake, SK) as we watched our beloved Riders take on the Stampeders. We would meet back at the TV midway through the first period at the radio time-out to watch a play or two before returning back to the broadcast just as the commercials were winding down.

Shaw TV's Bob Adams wasn't so enthused with the Riders win up in the media box.. Bob is always bitching though! He taught me a lot back in the day. He used to direct our mobile TV broadcasts in college. Back then we would set up at high school football games, high school basketball, minor hockey, and college hockey. It was a great training ground. Sadly they don't do it anymore for LCC broadcast students. This was without a doubt the best teaching tool for me. It's a shame the broadcast students don't have the option anymore.

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Ok, enough from memory lane.... here's a promotion the Broncos are offering for Wednesday's afternoon game against the Prince Albert Raiders:

"The Broncos are offering a special Holiday Family Pack for the Broncos game on Remembrance Day, November 11th.

For only $50, you get 2 adult tickets, 2 child tickets, 4 personal pizzas, 4 popcorn, 4 soft drinks and a game program. That's over $20 of savings. It's a special holiday game time of 2:30pm as the Broncos host the Prince Albert Raiders. It's a great chance for the entire family to come and see a Bronco game for a great price. "

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Have a great week,

Jon



Sunday, November 08, 2009

Wild Comeback Earns a Point

Trailing 6-2 late in the 2nd period, the Swift Current Broncos started chipping away at the Lethbridge Hurricanes lead.



Back-to-back goals from Justin Dowling and Taylor Vause 16 seconds apart sparked the comeback with just over three minutes to play in the 2nd period.



An Adam Lowry PP goal at 8:13 of third got the Broncos within a goal before Eric Doyle jumped up for a shorthanded 2-on-1 break with Justin Dowling. J-D fed a nice pass over and Doyle shovelled it home as the Bronco bench erupted with 1:38 to play.



The Broncos had some chances to win it before overtime but 'Canes goaltender Brandon Anderson made some late saves.



The Broncos pushed the pace in overtime to no avail and then didn't get a sniff in the shootout as both Mitch Maxwell and Cam Braes scored for the 'Canes for the 7-6 SO win.



The Broncos had some difficulties in the crease as starter Morgan Clark was pulled after the 'Canes 4th goal on 23 shots. Alex Sirard came in but a bad bounce off the glass led to a shorthanded goal by Carter Bancks moments later.



The Broncos goaltending has been great at home yet inconsistent on the road.



The Broncos outshot the 'Canes 37-28 overall and 31-12 in the last two periods.



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- Cody Eakin scored his league leading 21st goal of the season on the powerplay in the first period. Eakin was dangerous all night long.



- One of my favorite moments of the game was Eakin driving wide on D Luca Sbisa in the dying seconds of the game in an attempt to win it in regulation. Both players were tired after an extended shift and Eakin found an extra gear to get by the NHL defenseman who was just returned to the 'Canes last week.



- Justin Dowling finished the night with two goals and two assists while Brad Hoban chipped in with three assists.



- Geordie Wudrick picked up his first road point on the season with an assist on the Adam Lowry PP goal in the third period.



- Michael Stickland left the game after the first period and didn't return due to injury. His status for tonight's game in Calgary is unknown.



- Special thanks to Elaine Lowry! Broncos F Adam Lowry's mom had a special package delivered to the media box pre-game. A bag of goodies for the staff will be enjoyed on the way home tonight including some "It's About Passion Pumpkin Bread" and some "Bronco Brownies". Nice work! It's nice to hear when the parents enjoy the broadcasts. Thanks!



- Had another incident with the same fan who sits below the visiting broadcast booth. He likes to get in your face and make sure he's noticed. A stand-up guy no doubt. I felt bad when I looked at his kids and noticed they were completely embarrassed by their dad's actions. Enough said.



Ok, I wish I could blog more.... but I'll keep it that for now.

More from Calgary tonight,

Jon

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Help Wanted

Our group of three radio stations is looking for a full time news/sports reporter to begin immediately. Would be on air on weekends and fill in for news and sports coverage during the week.

This would be an excellent opportunity for someone locally interested in the field of broadcast journalism. We will provide the training and guidance. It might even lead to some sports play by play for the successful candidate based on their interest.

Please email me at jkeen@goldenwestradio.com for more information.

Memo to Bronco Fans:


Expect Cody Eakin to be out of the Broncos line-up after Christmas and into the New Year.

Yes, it's true.... and we might as well start preparing now.

Why?

The first 20 goal scorer in the WHL continues to make a case to land a spot on Canada's World Junior selection and at this pace how can they leave him off?

Only Eakin and Windsor F Spitfires Taylor Hall have collected 20 goals across the Canadian Hockey League so far this season. For the record, Hall is the odds on favorite to go #1 overall at this summer's NHL entry draft.

Eakin was a late invite to the summer evaluation camp held in Saskatoon after an injury to Stefan Della Rovere. Now the "replacement player" may just be doing enough to earn a spot on that 22 man roster.

20 goals in 20 games for Eakin and he's not even considered a "pure goal scorer". He's more known for his incredible hockey sense, penalty killing and defensive abilities.

The fact is Eakin has done it all this season. His 20 goals leads the WHL. Bretton Cameron (Tigers) and Jason Bast (Warriors) follow close behind with 18 and 17 respectively but both are over-agers and ineligible to even receive a camp invite. American born Emerson Etem is 4th in goals with 16.

I know it's not about the numbers.... leading the way in offensive categories is by no means a ticket to World Junior camp. But, if you want to run down skills and attributes, Cody stacks up pretty well in those categories too.

So, do what you will Hockey Canada, but the Broncos #21 is a player you can't afford not to keep.

Cody, enjoy your Christmas in Saskatoon.

Jon

Friday, November 06, 2009

Broncos Host Cougars


The Broncos play their only home game this weekend as they host the Prince George Cougars - the WHL's last place team with a record of 3-12-0-1.

The Broncos will only have to worry about themselves tonight. They've lost four in a row and need to get out of their recent funk. At 9-2 on home ice, the Credit Union i-plex has been a safe-haven for the Broncos who remain winless on the road at 0-7-0-1.

The Cougars come in after losing in a shootout 5-4 in Kelowna Wednesday night. They continue the swing tomorrow night in Moose Jaw. They will be without their most dynamic player on this trip as F Brett Connolly is out with a hip injury.

The Broncos have apparently mixed up some of the lines for this weekend's three-game set. We will see what the coaching staff lays out. The team will finish off the weekend with road games in Lethbridge Saturday and Calgary Sunday.

The Broncos last played Wednesday in a 2-1 defeat in Saskatoon. Assistant Coach Tim Kehler joined us on the post-game show and re-iterated the fact they need more out of certain players. He stopped short of naming names though.

"Well...we're naming names in the dressing room and those players have been told who they are. I don't think you have to be much more than a casual observer to know what's going on. There's people that need to be better, players that have been in our league for a number of years and we expect them to contribute." - Tim Kehler

We're on the air at 7pm with the pre-game show, 7:30pm play-by-play. It's on the Eagle 94.1 FM. Our internet streaming was down for a time Wednesday. I've been told it's fixed and working again.

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Last night at the Buffalo Brew Pub, the Eagle 94.1 hosted our Kiss: Live Like a Rockstar Finale. We had our final contestants dress-up as members of Kiss. Best get-up gets the prize pack... Eagle listener Eldon proved to be biggest fan.... literally!

Here, he poses with Eagle Sales Manager Donna White:




Yes he won.... we weren't about to deny the big man for fear of repercussions.......

Have a good weekend,


Jon

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Thursday

I'm sure many people saw the game last night.... so you can draw your own conclusion.

The Broncos started well, had a let down in the 2nd period and saw the Blades winning goal go off the referee to keep the play alive along the wall. Charles Inglis picked up the carom and scored the game-winner 4:27 into the third.

Some interesting post-game comments....... If I get caught up with my work today I'll try and post something.

The Broncos welcome the Prince George Cougars tomorrow night at the Credit Union i-plex.

More later perhaps.........

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Broncos Begin Tough Stretch

The Broncos play the first of four games in five nights as they head into Saskatoon tonight looking for their first road win.

They won't get much sympathy from the Blades who will play their fifth game in six nights after a 2-1 victory over Moose Jaw last night.

The Broncos will look to get the "road win" monkey off their back tonight.

"I think we are all getting sick of it. I think there are some games we easily should have won but we didn't. That's hockey sometimes. You have to battle through adversity and you can't let it get in your head."- D Eric Doyle

Meanwhile Head Coach/GM Mark Lamb thinks they need to do more of the little things right to win on the road.

"Just playing well isn't good enough...it's not good enough in any league. You have to do the little things to win, especially on the road. We have to play a strong team game which we have done at times but not consistently enough."

The Broncos return home to host Prince George Friday and then head into Lethbridge Saturday and Calgary Sunday.

The Blades have now won six in a row and 12 of their last 13 to take a solid lead a top the east division. They are doing it all without a decent powerplay. The Blades have the 2nd worst PP in the league at 12.6%. Just imagine where they will be when they get that going.

The Blades are doing it with defense and goaltending. They've surrendered the fewest amount of goals in the Eastern Conference (44).

Tonight's pre-game show will feature Prince George G.M. Dallas Thompson as they begin a lengthy road swing east.

Time to get stuff done! More blogging tonight from Saskatoon.........

jon

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Taz at Practice

Broncos F Matt Tassone at practice today.
Jon

Tuesday Update

The Broncos are on the verge of beginning a stretch of four games in five nights. It begins tomorrow night in Saskatoon against the Blades.

A couple of things to share today:

- The Broncos and Blades game is also on SHAW TV tomorrow night. It's the only time the Broncos play on SHAW all season long.

- The Broncos return home to host the Prince George Cougars Friday night. It looks like last year's WHL rookie of the year Brett Connolly will not be making the eastern swing with the Cougars because of a nagging hip injury.

I spoke with Cougars General Manager Dallas Thompson on the subject yesterday.


"He actually just started skating here again. We've instructed our physio and doctors to make sure he's %100 (before returning). We thought he was there a month ago before this happened again. We are just going to take every precaution we can do to make sure he's 100%. He's probably two weeks away meaning he'll miss the trip out east."
- Dallas Thompson

The Broncos could have D Eric Doyle and D Jordan Evans back in the line-up after rolling out four rookie defenseman on a nightly basis for the better part of two weeks.

Broncos Assistant Coach Tim Kehler says the injuries have been somewhat a blessing in disguise.


"We are going to be the beneficiaries long term because of the minutes that they have to play. I don't think there's any point getting down on those kids, I think more so from a coaching standpoint it's about encouraging them and using it as coaching opportunities from the bench. (the four rookies) are going to be better and so are the Broncos as a result."- Tim Kehler


- With Matt Tassone due back soon from injury, there is apparently heavy interest from around the WHL as teams look to add one of the current Bronco 20 year-olds to their roster. There's teams out there who may be short a 20, or are looking to upgrade from the three they presently have. With the four players all poessesing different abilities and roles, there's almost something to be had for everyone looking to improve their team. It will be interesting to see what shakes down in the coming weeks.

- I won't quite get my hopes up yet, but it sounds like SHAW TV may provide me with a camera to take on our U.S. swing next month. The segments would be for our weekly SIGA Inside Edge show. The idea fell through last time, hopefully this year we can make it happen. It would be a crazy behind the scenes look of what goes into a 10 day, six game swing through the Pacific Northwest.

The Broncos have some neat things going on in the month of November around the hockey team. Check the Broncos website for details


Jon



Monday, November 02, 2009

Monday Update

The WHL's Husky Player of the Month should be announced later this morning. Chalk my vote up for Broncos F Cody Eakin. He was over-looked last week for the Boston Pizza Player of the Week.

Eakin had a huge October which included a league best 13 goals, an invite for Team WHL and an NHL contract in his hands from the Washington Capitals. How can you argue with those accomplishments?


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Broncos F Matt Tassone began practicing with the Broncos over the weekend but it could still be awhile until he returns to game action.

Broncos Head Coach/GM Mark Lamb spoke about the situation in last night's pre-game show.

"It's still up in the air right now. When you look at him in practice you think he can play right away. There's nothing there that shows that he can't. He will probably still be a month away. The doctors have to clear him and we're not going to push him. We would rather have him on the team after Christmas and going down the stretch and into playoffs."

Personally, just having Matt around the team and back with the guys gives them a boost.

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

We could have another update later.... we will see how the day unfolds....


Jon

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Blades 3 Broncos 1

For the first time this season the Broncos are mired in a three-game losing skid after falling 3-1 to what must have been a tired Saskatoon Blades team.

G Steven Stanford provided outstanding goaltending for the Blades who were playing there third game in as many nights.

Both teams were apparently bitten by the flu bug as well as players on both teams played through it. I think every team right now is fighting it somewhat.

Michael Stickland had the lone Broncos goal. It came on the PP off the rush to cut the lead to 2-1 before the Blades Gaelan Patterson added a goal late for the 3-1 win. Stickland put in a solid game considering this was his first time to the rink in days after coming down with the flu. A question mark in warm-up, Stickland put in a solid effort.

More tomorrow, including the thoughts of Head Coach/GM Mark Lamb on when F Matt Tassone will return to the Broncos line-up.

Also it sounds like D Eric Doyle and D Jordan Evans have a chance at returning back to the lineup Wednesday when the Broncos play in Saskatoon.

Jon

Broncos vs Blades

The Broncos play another Sunday nighter at the Credit Union i-plex as they host the division leading Saskatoon Blades.

The Broncos lost Friday night in Moose Jaw 7-3 while the Blades have had a good weekend which started Friday with a 5-2 home ice win over Edmonton. They followed it up last night with a 4-3 win in Moose Jaw against the red-hot Warriors. This is the third game in three nights in Saskatoon.

It's the 2nd meeting of the season. The Broncos won 6-2 last weekend in a feisty, physical game. The teams play again Wednesday back in Saskatoon.

I haven't been around the team since Friday night so I can't tell you the status of the guys and how they're coming along with the flu bug.

Matt Tassone is back practicing with the team but his timeline for a return is uncertain.

We're on the air with the pre-game show at 6:30pm, play-by-play with myself and Ryan Switzer at 7pm. Tim Tisdale is in Dallas, TX checking out some NFL Football at the new Texas Stadium.

More tonight!

Jon