A preview of the Blazers/Chilliwack Bruins game is below... first some random thoughts to start the day.
- There was two games on the WHL schedule last night. On Shaw TV, the Swift Current Broncos edged the Calgary Hitmen 3-2. It was great to see my former colorman Tim Tisdale do an intermission interview with Shaw's Joey Kenward. Tizzy's son play's on the "AA" bantam team in Swift Current and they may be headed to Kamloops for the big annual tournament in April. I texted Tiz and told him to bring his clubs. He's a solid player. Maybe I can use some home course advantage. He might only have to give me 15 strokes...
- A good kid that deserves a plug? Adam Lowry. He had all three Bronco goals in the win. Adam comes from a good family. The Lowry's are first-class.
- In the other game, the Moose Jaw Warriors completed their BC swing with a 4-1 record following a 4-2 win in Kelowna. Credit where it's due, Dave Hunchak has the Warriors playing hard every night. I was impressed, not so much with the Warriors skill level but by their work ethic and solid structure. The Hunch Bunch is getting it done. And so much for conceding the division to Saskatoon. Hunchak told me in our pre-game interview they plan on using their head-to-head games to reel in the Blades.
- Question thrown my way yesterday...."Jon have you ever been banned from talking to coaches and players?" The answer is yes... to both. However, never from the home team. Once in Saskatoon, Head Coach/GM Lorne Molleken refused a pre-game interview based on the comments I made on a prior broadcast. The division rivalry was heating up and I may have went a bit overboard in my assessment of the Blades. The thing about Mooner is, the next time he saw me, it was over. He gave me a big slap on the back and said "hey there young feller" like he always does. He made me accountable for my words. I understood, and that was that. I wasn't about to waive the WHL media policy book at him. He made his point.
As for players? The expansion season of the Everett Silvertips saw them play their first ever game at the Civic Center with four former Broncos. It was a highly anticipated game. A broadcasters dream, more angles than a protractor. My plan was to get a couple of them on the pre-game show. Head Coach Kevin Constantine had other ideas. He told me that his players would not be available for comment, citing he didn't want them to have any distractions.
The ban lasted about 45 minutes. Mitch Love and Jeff Harvey eventually did make it onto the pre-game show that night. I'm still not sure why KC had the change of heart.
- Last night was media wing night. Yes, it's true, members from Radio NL, Kamloops This Week and the Daily News hang out on occasion. Guess what we talked about??
Alright, now the Blazers and Bruins who meet for the first time since the War in the 'Whack" October 2nd. It was a wild game that saw the Blazers initiate a line brawl in the third period after several liberties were taken on Blazer players. Bruins F Blair Wentworth ran Blazer rookie Chase Souto from behind. Souto suffered a concussion and missed 2-3 weeks, Wentworth was handed a two-game suspension.
Blazer F Jordan DePape was also hurt in the game after being checked awkwardly into the boards. The Bruins scored five powerplay goals in a 6-1 win. It made for a spirited post-game show with Assistant Coach Geoff Smith.
Do I expect some carry over? Yes. With that said, the two teams play five times in the next four weeks. There will be many new battles waged in that time.
The Blazers go in to the game without captain Chase Schaber. It's expected he'll miss the weekend with a leg injury. He confirmed today at practice he's day-to-day.
Also at practice, Dalibor Bortnak and Bernhard Keil were back with the team after the World Juniors. I'd expect them both to play tonight. D Brady Gaudet and F Logan McVeigh will also be inserted after playing for Team West at the U-17's
JC Lipon is a question mark as well after missing Tuesday's game with injury.
More from the rink.....