Thursday, May 19, 2016

Memorial Cup


Junior hockey is in the spotlight for the next 10 days with Memorial Cup tournament in Red Deer.
This is a unique format that is totally different from the regular league playoffs.
This is a round robin format with very little room for error.
In a best of 7 series you can have a couple of off nights and know there are many more games to make up ground. Your goalie can have an off night and have a chance to rebound. Your team can have a game or two of being undisciplined and take too many penalties. You have up to 7 games to feel out your opposition and take advantage of their weaknesses that you have discovered.
In a 3 game round robin it is very important to get your first win as soon as possible. When you win a game you are guaranteed to at least get to the tiebreaker game. Win 2 games and you will at least get into the semi-final game or may even get a bye all the way to the Final. In a short tournament you can’t plan to hope to get better later in the week because you could find yourself going home really quick. Every game is a game 7. The longer you go without a win the more pressure you will feel later in the week.
Another factor is that you are playing in a neutral site. The Rebels are the home team and every time they play the building will have a playoff atmosphere. But for the other games the majority of the fans will not be routing for either team. There is no loud encouragement when you are playing well. There is no booing like when you are playing in a rivals’ building. It has the feel of being at a minor hockey tournament.
London appear to the best team and should be playing at WHL team in the Final.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Uniforms

CFL teams unveiled their new jerseys today and there will be lots of praise and lots of negative reaction.
When it comes to uniforms there are 2 ways you can go. Pay tribute to the colors of the franchise or go totally different from what your team tradionally has done in the past.
It’s evident that every CFL uniform revealed today honors each team’s history.
There are also 2 types of uniforms. One that looks good when you are 10 feet away from the person wearing the jersey and one that looks good when out on the field.
For example the jersey’s that are a dark color and then use dark numbers may look impressive up close but when watching them in a game you have no chance at identifying the numbers.
Early impressions are that the uniforms are user friendly, unique to each franchise and hey I can see the numbers when watching for the stands or on TV.


Monday, May 2, 2016

Leicester City



I don’t watch soccer except when it’s the World Cup and even then I just get involved in a prediction pool and wait to see the results.
But there has been a lot of attention this year for the Premier League as Leicester City has won the Championship.
At the beginning of the season the odds were 5,000-to-1 that they would win.
Actor Tom Hanks has said he has money on this happening.
Not sure how much he may or may not have bet but a $100 wager is worth $500,000.
How big is it to be a 5,000-to-1 underdog?
Team USA beating Russia in the 1980 Olympics was probably at 10-to-1.
William Hill is a bookmaker in England and are famous for taking bets on more than just sports.
The odds on Simon Cowell becoming Prime Minister is 500-to-1.
Loch Ness Monster to be discovered is 500-to-1.
Kim Kardashian for US President in 2020 is 2,000-to-1.
Elvis is found alive is 2,000-to-1.
Leicester City at 5,000-to-1 is the longest of longshot odds.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

WHL Final



It’s the WHL Final as the Eastern Conference Champion Brandon Wheat Kings meet the West Conference Champion Seattle Thunderbirds.

Both teams are on a roll as the Thunderbirds have a record of 12-1 in this years’ playoffs while Brandon is 12-2 since losing the first 2 games of their 1st round series.
The clubs’ met once during the regular season and that was over 6 months ago. On October 27th in Seattle the Thunderbirds won 7-2.
This will be the first ever playoffs meeting between the organizations.

Seattle has only made it to the WHL one previous time when in 1997 Patrick Marleau and the Thunderbirds lost in 4 straight to Chris Phillips and the Lethbridge Hurricanes.
This is the 7th time that Brandon is in the League Final. The Wheat Kings won in 1979 against Portland and 1996 versus Spokane. Last year the Wheat Kings lost in the WHL Final to Kelowna.

Experience could be the difference in this series. The Wheat Kings have 16 players who played in the League Final last year and they have 10 players who are 19 or 20 years’ old.
The Thunderbirds have 10 players who are 18-years-old who should make them one of the teams to beat next year.
But this year is the year for the Wheat Kings.
In September I picked Brandon to beat Seattle in the WHL Final and I will stay with that pick. So far in playoffs I am 13-1.
Prediction – Wheat Kings in 5.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Career Update

After taking a leap of faith and moving to Calgary 10 months ago there is finally a light at the end of a tunnel.
This week I signed with News Talk 770 in a part-time role.
In a limited role I’ll have the opportunity to do some Sports Anchor work and also make appearances on the popular 6p-8p Sports Talk Show.
I’m very excited to be joining a very professional and talented staff and look forward to learning and working with the best.
It’s been a long stretch of trying to make contacts in this city and a majority of the time I was not even getting people to return my messages let alone giving me a chance.
Then a few months ago I turned my attention to talking with different people in the industry for advice.
The first person was Jock Wilson, who immediately said yes to get together for a chat and he quickly got me going in the right direction.
Next I contacted Mark Stephen who got the wheels in motion to get me the opportunity to be a part of the team.
Can’t say enough about how great Mark and Jock are in going out of their way to make me feel welcome in their work space. It’s an honor to be in studio during their Sports Talk Show.
Not sure where this road will lead but feel confident it’s heading in the right direction.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Islander Over Panthers

The time is now for the Islanders and the time is coming for the Panthers.
Florida reminds me of the Islanders from a few years ago.
After not making the playoffs for many years and getting some high draft picks the Islanders made the 2013 playoffs.
They met the Penguins in a series that went 6 games but New York just didn’t have enough experience, didn’t have the star quality to match Sidney Crosby and didn’t have what it took to make a big play at the right time. Even though the Islanders seem to outplay Pittsburgh it was only a matter of time until the Penguins would win the series.
The Islanders missed the 2014 post season when Tavares got injured in the Olympics and then last year lost in the 1st round to Washington. The series went 7 games and the Islanders failed to score a powerplay goal in the entire series.
In 2016 the Islanders looked better prepared, Tavares has the star power and they won a playoff series for the first time since 1993.
The Panthers showed they will soon be a team that can not only make the post season but will find a way to get past the 1st round.

Friday, April 22, 2016

WHL Playoffs Round 3



It’s the WHL’s final 4 as the East Conference Final has Brandon and against Red Deer and the West Conference Final is Kelowna versus Seattle.

During the regular season the Wheat Kings and Rebels split their 4 head-to-head meetings.
November 11 in Brandon – Rebels 4-0
January 2nd in Red Deer – Rebels 10-0
January 15th in Red Deer – Wheat Kings 4-0
January 30th in Brandon – Wheat Kings 2-1
This will be the 5th time they will meet in the playoffs and the 3rd time they face-off in the East Final.
2003 – East Final Rebels win 4-1
2002 – East Final Rebels win 4-3
1999 – 1st round Rebels won 4-1
1996 – 2nd round Wheat Kings won 4-0

During the regular season the Rockets and Thunderbirds split their 4 head-to-head meetings.
November 25th in Kelowna – Rockets 5-2
January 31st in Seattle – Thunderbirds 2-0
February 8th in Kelowna – Rockets 7-4
February 9th in Seattle – Thunderbirds 6-0
This will be the 7th time they will meet in the playoffs and the 2nd time they will battle in the West Final.
2014 – 2nd round Rockets win 4-0
2013 - 1st round Rockets win 4-3 (Thunderbirds led the series 3-0)
2008 – 1st round Thunderbirds win 4-3
2005 – 2nd round Rockets win 4-3
2003 – West Final Rockets win 4-1
2001 – 1st round Thunderbirds win 4-2

Back in September I picked a Brandon-Seattle WHL Final so I have to stick with those teams. So far in the playoffs I’m 11-1.
Predictions – Wheat Kings in 5, Thunderbirds in 6

Thursday, April 21, 2016

CFL Drug Testing


The CFL and Players’ Association have agreed on expanding testing for performance enhancing drugs.
They should be applauded for increasing the number of testing from 35% of the players to 100%.
It includes recognizing sanctions from CIS, NCAA, NFL and other Wada tested sports. If you cheated before it will be held against you.
The problem is that a 1st time violation is a 2-game suspension, 2nd time is 9 games, 3rd time is a 1 year penalty and a 4th time violation is a lifetime ban.
If you really want to stop players from using illegal performance enhancing drugs shouldn’t the penalty be lifetime for the first time?
Why give players a chance to try and beat the system with a minor suspension?
What are they saying when you can break the rules 4 times before the CFL says that’s enough?
I’m sure it’s something the players’ association bargained for but who are they trying to protect and why do they want to give them 4 strikes before they are out?
These rules hurt only one type of player and that’s the athletes who don’t cheat.

Prince


2016 has been a horrible year for music will the loss of David Bowie, Glenn Frey and now Prince.
I was never a super big fan of Prince but when I was a Music Director at a radio station all of his songs were an instant add to the rotation.
His music was unique and his songs have stood the test of time.
My favorite story of how big of an icon he was came from earlier this year after the SNL 40th Anniversary show. At the after party with the likes of Paul McCartney, Beyonce and Taylor Swift in attendance it was Prince that got everyone’s attention. The whole room of celebrities stopped to look and listen. It was everyone’s favorite part of the night. In says a lot that famous celebrities were in awe in his presence.
https://youtu.be/CMNKnC9K8Uo

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Offside


It’s been a rough first round of the playoffs for the NHL.
Along with the officiating being the center of attention we have seen everything from dangerous hits, fans throwing things on the ice, inappropriate slurs, players being suspended and replay reviews on almost every goal.
Most fans are frustrated on goals being taking away after a coach’s review that a play was offside.
The main focus of the NHL is to have the right call to be made.
To me it doesn’t matter if it takes 30 seconds or 3 minutes to make the decision.
Get it right.
It doesn’t matter if the play is 1 inch offside.
Get it right.
It doesn’t matter if the flow of the game is slowed down.
Get it right.
If you disagree with any of these thoughts then just imagine if your favorite team lost a game where the winning goal shouldn’t have counted because the replay showed it was offside.
Now do you care how long the review would take, how close the play was or if the game is delayed?
I’m not sure if like offsides being reviewed but since the rule in being used by the NHL, do what it takes to get it right.
The one change that has to be made is have all replays reviewed by the Head Office who have access to watching on 50 inch monitors and not by the on-ice officials looking at a mobile device.
By the time the officials ask for a review, the head honchos in Toronto would already have the final decision.
Get it right by doing it right.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

NHL Draft Lottery


If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
The NHL Entry Draft was created decades ago to help the weaker NHL teams get better quicker.
It worked.
Then in 1995 the lottery was introduced in which the lottery winner could move a maximum of 4 spots.
A few years ago the rule where changed again to where any of the lottery picks could win the 1st overall pick.
On April 30th the NHL will do the lottery for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd overall selections.
Why the changes? To prevent tanking.
The feeling is that if you aren’t guaranteed the 1st overall pick it will prevent teams from losing on purpose. This idea was good in theory but history show teams would rather have a 20% chance of being 1st overall than a 3% chance. It’s simple math. The only way to prevent tanking is to give every non-playoff team an equal chance at every pick.
Fans and hockey people were also tired of the Oilers always getting the 1st overall pick. They were in that spot in 2010, 2011 and 2012. Last year, without the lottery, Edmonton would have picked 3rd. The lottery changes actually helped the Oilers.
The only time I would like the lottery system is for the years where there is a once in a decade type player like Connor McDavid, Sydney Crosby and Mario Lemieux. Most years the best player could come from anywhere in the draft.
Having a higher pick doesn’t guarantee getting the best player.
Having a higher pick doesn’t guarantee your scouting staff will make the right decision.
Having a higher pick doesn’t guarantee your team will develop the player into being a star.
The only good thing about the lottery draft is that it’s must see TV.
The old method worked and there was no reason to change it.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Farewell

Big decisions in life don't come easy and after much reflection I have decided to take a leap of faith in my career and this will be my last posting as the Voice of the ICE as I will not be returning next season.

Being a play-by-play announcer has always been my number one career goal and have enjoyed the past 16 years more than I thought possible.
The combination of the radio station and hockey is the best in WHL and have been extremely fortunate to be in this situation.
From day one The Drive/B-104 (Jim Pattison Broadcast Group) gave me total freedom to create a broadcast from the ground up and always gave me the equipment and tools to have a top quality broadcast.
The ICE have been 100% professional in dealing with me from a media stand point and never ever gave us a muzzle or filter in our coverage of the team.

Obviously I have been extremely fortunate to cover 3 WHL Championship teams and a Memorial Cup winning team. Whenever I am asked for my favorite all-time moment or game I have at least a dozen to choose from and can never narrow it down to just one. It has been an amazing, remarkable and unforgettable time.

I won't waste your time in thanking everyone on social media as I prefer to do that in person.

But to you the fans, thanx for listening.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Team Sask U-16 Summer Camp Roster

Lance Alm Rockhaven Goalie
Jake Davidson Osler Goalie
Riley Kohonick White City Goalie
Dean McNabb Davidson Goalie
Nathan Moore Regina Goalie
Jordan Schmuland White City Goalie

Kaleb Bulych Yorkton Defense
Devan Harrison Dysart Defense
Conner Hayward Naicam Defense
Alex Kannok Regina Defense
Layne Matechuk Colonsay Defense
Reid Perepeluk Yorkton Defense
Tyler Pryhitka Melville Defense
Layne Schroeder Saskatoon Defense
Jevon Schwean Moosomin Defense
Tauran Simonar-Hayes Saskatoon Defense
Matthew Smith Saskatoon Defense
Keanan Sperling Theodore Defense

Matt Allardyce Saskatoon Forward
Jordan Bairos Saskatoon Forward
Rin Beny Melville Forward
Kaden Boser Saskatoon Forward
Carson Denomie Regina Forward
Austen Flaman Emerald Park Forward
Carson Focht Regina Forward
Cole Fonstad Estevan Forward
Brodie Girod Corman Park Forward
Brett Kemp Yorkton Forward
Zack Kosteniuk White City Forward
Tyler Lees Regina Forward
Eli Lieffers Saskatoon Forward ICE 2015 4th round Draft pick
Colum McGauley Wilcox Forward
Carson Miller Yorkton Forward
Connor Mylymok Wilcox Forward
Owen Ozar Prince Albert Forward
Jacob Piller Balgonie Forward
Connor Pyne White City Forward
Randen Schmidt Regina Forward
Lukas Sillinger Regina Forward
Kaeden Taphorn Yorkton Forward
Keenan Taphorn Yorkton Forward ICE 2015 2nd round Bantam pick
Jake Tremblay Pense Forward

Thursday, May 7, 2015

ICE Bantam Draft

http://www.kootenayice.net/article/ice-select-ten-players-at-2015-whl-bantam-draft
Calgary, AB – Garnet Kazuik, Director of Scouting for the Kootenay ICE Hockey Club today announced the Club has selected ten players in the 26th annual Western Hockey League Bantam Draft. The 2015 WHL Bantam Draft was for players born in the year 2000 and playing in the four Western Provinces and selected regions of the United States. Each of the players selected today are at least one year away from playing regularly in the WHL.

"In drafting six forwards and four defensemen, we believe have selected a good variety of players that will complement our existing roster and prospect pool. Our scouting staff looks forward to welcoming them to Training Camp in August and watching them develop within the ICE organization,” commented Kazuik.


Round Two – 34th Overall – KEENAN TAPHORN
Birthdate: January 2, 2000
Hometown: Yorkton, SK
Position: Right Wing
Height: 6'
Weight: 157 lbs.
14-15 Team: Yorkton Terriers - SBAAHL

Round Three – 56th Overall – LOEDEN SCHAUFLER
Birthdate: April 26, 2000
Hometown: Dewinton, AB
Position: Defense
Height: 5'11.5"
Weight: 170 lbs.
14-15 Team: Notre Dame Hounds - SSMHL

Round Four – 78th Overall – ELI LIEFFERS
Birthdate: March 25, 2000
Hometown: Saskatoon, SK
Position: Centre
Height: 5'11.5"
Weight: 145 lbs.
14-15 Team: Saskatoon Maniacs - SBAAHL

Round Six – 122nd Overall – BENJAMIN SANDERSON
Birthdate: July 4, 2000
Hometown: Calgary, AB
Position: Left Wing
Height: 5'10"
Weight: 155 lbs.
14-15 Team: Calgary Flames - AMBHL

Round Six – 123rd Overall – BOBBY RUSSELL
Birthdate: March 22, 2000
Hometown: Langley, BC
Position: Defense
Height: 5'10"
Weight: 155 lbs.
14-15 Team: Delta Bantam Prep - CSSHL

Round Seven – 144th Overall – MICHAEL KING
Birthdate: February 16, 2000
Hometown: Winnipeg, MB
Position: Centre
Height: 5'10.5"
Weight: 147 lbs.
14-15 Team: Winnipeg Sharks - WBAAAHL

Round Eight – 166th Overall – LUKE PENNER
Birthdate: April 3, 2000
Hometown: Saskatoon, SK
Position: Defense
Height: 5'7"
Weight: 160 lbs.
14-15 Team: Saskatoon Generals - SBAAHL

Round Nine – 188th Overall – MICHAEL ARAKI-YOUNG
Birthdate: January 23, 2000
Hometown: Richmond, BC
Position: Centre
Height: 5'11"
Weight: 145 lbs.
14-15 Team: Richmond Blues - PCBHL

Round Ten – 210th Overall – LUCAS GAUDET
Birthdate: April 17, 2000
Hometown: Kelowna, BC
Position: Defense
Height: 6'
Weight: 165 lbs.
14-15 Team: Pursuit of Excellence Bantam Prep - CSSHL

Round Eleven – 232nd Overall – AUSTIN WONG
Birthdate: August 25, 2000
Hometown: Cochrane, AB
Position: Forward
Height: 5’7”
Weight: 135 lbs.
14-15 Team: Airdrie Xtreme - AMBHL

Thursday, April 23, 2015

2015 Bantam Draft

ICE do not have their 1st round pick, traded to Kamloops in the Tim Bozon trade. The pick now belongs to Saskatoon.
5th round pick was also traded to Kamloops in the Bozon trade.
12th round pick belongs to Lethbridge in the Lenny Hackman trade,
ICE have the Victoria Royals 5th round pick from the Jayden Sittler trade.

ICE Prospects Update

Declan Hobbs
16-year-old goalie
3rd round pick in 2013 Bantam Draft
Sask AAA Midget Saskatoon 29 GP 16-13-0 3.56 .904% 1 SO
Playoffs 5 GP 2-3 4.30 .901%
Kootenay ICE 2 GP 0-0-1-0 3.98 .875%

Jakob Walter
15-year-old goalie
2nd round pick in 2014 Bantam Draft
BC Midget Valley West 24 GP 7-9-4 3.92
Playoffs 1 GP 0-1 6.00

Dallas Hines
16–year-old defenseman
5th round pick in 2013 Bantam Draft
Alberta AAA Midget Lloydminster

Sam Huston
15-year-old defenseman
9th round pick in 2014 Bantam Draft
Manitoba AAA Midget Brandon 43 GP 4-18-22 14pm
Playoffs 14 GP 3-2-5 4pm

Matt Krawiec
16-year-old defenseman
6th round pick in 2013 Bantam Draft
Alberta AAA Midget Leduc

Griffin Mendel
15-year-old defenseman
1st round pick in 2014 Bantam Draft
BC Midget Okanagan 41 GP 7-24-31 2pm
BCHL Penticton 2 GP 0-0-0 0pm
Canada Winter Games injured did not play

Mark O’Shaughnessy
17-year-old defenseman
KIJHL Kamloops 39 GP 7-32-39 12pm
Playoffs 21 GP 2-10-12 26pm

Reece Soukoroff
16-year-old defenseman
Alberta AAA Midget Calgary

Jordan Steenbergen
18-year-old defenseman
3rd round pick in 2011 Bantam Draft
AJHL Olds 36 GP 2-4-6 98pm
Playoffs 3 GP 0-1-1 31pm
Kootenay ICE 12 GP 0-0-0 25pm

Andy Stevens
16-year-old defenseman
5th round in 2013 Bantam Draft
VIJHL Campbell River 40 GP 2-15-17 4pm
BCHL Powell River 3 GP 0-1-1 0pm
Playoffs 4 GP 0-1-1 0pm

Jason Wenzel
16-year-old defenseman
Alberta AAA Midget Calgary

Austin Wieler
15-year-old forward
7th round pick in 2014 Bantam Draft
Sask AAA Midget Saskatoon 33 GP 0-2-2 6pm
Playoffs 5 GP 0-0-0 0pm

Shane Allan
17-year-old forward
7th round pick in 2012 Bantam Draft
Alberta AAA Midget Calgary

Linden Babcock
15-year-old forward
5th round pick in 2014 Bantam Draft
Alberta Minor Midget Calgary 37 GP 22-47-69 48pm
Playoffs 5 GP3-3-6 0pm

Connor Barley
16-year-old forward
7th round pick in 2013 Bantam Draft
Manitoba AAA Midget Winnipeg 43 GP 19-19-38 42pm
Playoffs 8 GP 1-0-1 4pm

Liam Evenson
15-year-old forward
BC Elite 15s Burnaby 44 GP 21-17-38 49pm

Thomas Goldade
15-year-old forward
11th round pick in 2014 Bantam Draft
CSSHL Pursuit Of Excellence 21 GP 4-5-9 4pm
Playoffs 3 GP 0-0-0 0pm

Robert Johnson
16-year-old forward
5th round pick in 2013 Bantam Draft
BCHL Trail 30 GP 0-11-11 20pm
Committed to Air Force

Jared Legien
16-year-old forward
1st round pick on 2013 Bantam Draft
Sask AAA Midget Moose Jaw 29 GP 10-9-19 18pm
Playoffs 3 GP 2-0-2 2pm
Kootenay ICE 13 GP 0-1-1 4pm

Austin Nault
15-year-old forward
9th round pick in 2014 Bantam Draft
NAPHL Omaha 11 GP 0-1-1 2pm

Eric Olson
15-year-old forward
Alberta Minor Midget Calgary 36 GP 16-17-33 52pm
Playoffs 5 GP 8-1-9 4pm

Max Patterson
15-year-old forward
4th round pick in 2014 Bantam Draft
BC Midget Okanagan 52 GP 16-16-32 26pm
KIJHL Kamloops 4 GP 2-3-5 0pm
Playoffs 7 GP 3-5-8 0pm

Harris Pearce
15-year-old forward
BC Midget Vancouver 39 GP 10-9-19 30pm
Playoffs 6 GP 1-2-3 0pm

Noah Philp
16-year-old forward
AJHL Canmore 31 GP 1-2-3 8pm

Logan Schatz
17-year-old forward
9th round pick in 2012 Bantam Draft
SJHL Humboldt 41 GP 5-14-19 18pm
Playoffs 3 GP 0-0-0 2pm

Evan Thomas
15-year-old forward
10th round pick in 2014 Bantam Draft
Sask AAA Midget Saskatoon 40 GP 4-6-10 10pm

Brett Trentham
15-year-old forward
8th round pick in 2014 Bantam Draft
Alberta Minor Midget AC 36 GP 21-31-52 14pm

Drew Warkentine
16-year-old forward
5th round pick in 2013 Bantam Draft
Sask AAA Midget Tisdale 44 GP 36-30-66 56pm
Playoffs 8 GP 6-5-11 6pm