Tuesday, February 27, 2007

SportZone lineup for Feb 26th

Gotta hate those no-shows! Thanks to two disappearing acts, here's the (abbreviated) lineup for this week's show, airing Wednesday at 6 p.m. and Thursday at 3 p.m. on Access channel 7:

SportZone Guests for February 26, 2007
Community Co-Host: Tim Hubic

1. An update on the Regina Red Sox baseball club, busily getting ready for the 2006 season. Guest: Bernie Eiswirth (Red Sox General Manager).

2. An update on the Regina Pats, who are into the final few games of the WHL regular season. Guest: Justin Scott (Pats forward).

3. A recap of the 2007 Western Canadian Swimming Championships, hosted by the Regina Optimist Dolphins. Guests: Jasen Pratt (RODS Head Coach) & Taylor Moore (RODS swimmer).

4. A post-mortem on the 2006/07 season for the University of Regina men’s basketball team. Guest: James Hillis (Head Coach).

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Collapse at the Keystone

The Regina Pats blew a 5-2 lead, and lost 6-5 in overtime in Brandon Saturday night. Pats coach Curtis Hunt was livid on the post-game show, blaming a lack of effort from the 3rd and 4th lines, and sub-par performances from a couple of defencemen and goalie Tommy Tartaglione. So, the question is - what have we learned from this exercise? Because, the coach's comments sound a lot like things he was saying 20-30 games ago. Does this group of players just not get it?

Friday, February 23, 2007

Fight night tonight?

Everyone's expecting sparks, and punches, to fly when the Regina Pats and Kootenay Ice get together tonight at the Brandt Centre. Bad blood still remains from the last time these teams met in Regina, with the Ice stealing a 4-3 overtime decision. That game got ugly after Pats blueliner Nick Ross crushed Kootenay's John Negrin with a huge (and legal) open-ice hit.

Of course, you know what happens when everyone expects fireworks and fisticuffs - the game rarely lives up the advance billing. However, the Pats still have plenty of motivation, as they're looking to snap a three game losing skid tonight. That losing streak has effectively eliminated them from the "race" for top spot in the WHL's East Division. Should be a beauty tonight - see you there!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

SportZone lineup for Feb 20th

Here's the lineup for this week's show. I can guarantee it'll be on Thursday at 3 p.m. As for Wednesday night - I think we've been bumped by a repeat of the Humane Society Telethon. Imagine!

SportZone Guests for February 20, 2007
Community Co-Host: Flying solo this week

1. An update on the Regina Squids water polo squad, finalists for SaskSport Team of the Year. Guest: Mike Mortin (Head Coach).

2. A profile of the Campbell Collegiate senior boys basketball team. Guests: Doug Bolander (Head Coach), Nick Barnes & Nolan Jansen (Players).

3. A profile of the LeBoldus senior girls basketball team. Guests: Jim Gallagher (Head Coach) & Erin Hubenig (Player).

4. A preview of the city high school wrestling championships, profile of the Miller wrestling team. Guests: Mark Fitzpatrick (Miller Head Coach), Maygen Kirton & Daphne-Anne Hodgson (Wrestlers).

5. A post-mortem on the 2006/07 season for the University of Regina women’s basketball team. Guest: Dave Taylor (Head Coach).

Monday, February 19, 2007


The Regina Pats were humbled 3-0 by the Moose Jaw Warriors on home ice Sunday night. Losing to a last place team is bad enough. But getting shut out? On home ice? Ugh. The Pats should look into signing up Cialis as a sponsor if the offence continues to suffer from impotency.

I lost count of how many times Pats shooters missed the net completely last night, including 3-4 times with a wide-open cage. When I asked about that on the CKRM post-game show, Assistant Coach Terry Perkins correctly attributed it to a lack of focus. The question is - why can't this group focus on the task at hand at this point in the season?

Once again, the players came out flat. This time they didn't show signs of life until the third period. Great game to watch if you're suffering from a sleep disorder. So, now the Pats are riding a three game losing skid, and the very tough Kootenay Ice come to town Friday night. Needless to say, a significantly better effort will be required to keep that game from getting out of hand. Speaking of Central Division opponents, the Pats sport a glistening record of 4-14 this season against teams from that division. Ugh again.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Wake-up call

The Regina Pats dropped two games in Alberta this weekend, losing 5-3 in Red Deer Friday and 3-1 in Medicine Hat Saturday night. The losses effectively killed any hopes the Pats had of catching Brandon for first place in the WHL's East Division. Also, the losses gave the Pats an indication of what it takes to compete with the Central Division teams - where the real power lies in the Eastern Conference. And to date, they haven't been up to the task. I'll do a little research to find out what Regina's record against Central Division clubs is this year. Pretty sure it won't be pretty.

In the meantime, Huntsie's boys are back on home ice tonight to take on the emminently beatable Moose Jaw Warriors. Young Jacob expects to be entertained this evening. I'm guessing close to 5,000 other attendees will feel the same way.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

SportZone guests for Feb 12th

Here's the lineup for this week's show, airing on Access channel 7 Wednesday at 6 p.m. and Thursday at 3 p.m.

SportZone Guests for February 12, 2007
Community Co-Host: Dale West

1. Baseball Regina is getting set for the 2007 season. Assuming spring ever gets here, of course! Guest: Todd MacDonald (Baseball Regina).

2. A Regina rink will represent Saskatchewan at the national women’s curling championship. Guest: Jan Betker (2007 Team Saskatchewan skip).

3. A profile of the Luther High School senior girls basketball team. Guests: Angela Tillier (Head Coach), Melanie Thomas & Karen Jones (Players).

4. An update on the University of Regina men’s basketball team. Guests: Brad Fekula & Adam Huffman (Players).

5. A profile of Team Saskatchewan, heading off to the 2007 Canada Winter Games in Whitehorse. Guests: Ross Lynd (Chef de Mission) & Tamsyn Lasuita (gymnast).

6. An update on the University of Regina men’s hockey team. Guests: Jason Weitzel & Scott Haggarty (Players).

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Pats inch closer

The Regina Pats knocked off the first place Brandon Wheat Kings 5-1 Sunday night, moving to within eight points of the Wheaties for top spot in the WHL's East Division. The Pats could still make a run for first place, with three games remaining against Brandon.

Brett Leffler, one game after being a healthy scratch, led the Pats with a goal and a couple of helpers. Amazingly, Leffler was not selected as one of the three stars by the learned media member making the selections. Go figure.

Now, the Pats take their show on the road for three games this week before returning to the Brandt Centre next Sunday to take on Moose Jaw. Suffice to say it's a big week in Pat-land. Let's hope the boys are up to the task.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

This and that

Former Saskatchewan Roughrider bench boss Danny Barrett is heading back to the States. DB has landed a job as the quarterbacks coach at the University of Buffalo, under former CFL quarterback Turner Gill. Congratulations to him.

The Regina Pats continue to pile up the wins in the new year. The Pats blanked the Saskatoon Blades 3-0 last night, to move to eight points back of front-running Brandon in the WHL's East Division. Suddenly, the Pats goal of a first-place finish isn't so outlandish - especially with four games remaining against the Wheaties.

And the Moose Jaw Warriors fired Head Coach and all-around good guy Steve Young yesterday. A curious move, to be sure.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

A royal farewell

Rob Vanstone's column today is a very nice tribute to Wilma Downing, the undisputed queen of high school athletics in Regina. Wilma lost her battle with cancer Sunday night at the age of 80. In a teaching career that spanned over 30 years at Sheldon-Williams collegiate, Wilma became a symbol for all that is right with high school athletics. Her tireless efforts in coaching and mentoring young people no doubt helped shape many lives.

I was fortunate enough to interview her two years ago, when she was deservedly inducted into the Regina Sports Hall of Fame. You'd be hard-pressed to find another 78 year old with a sharper mind and keener wit. It was a pleasure to finally meet Regina sporting royalty.

Since December the local sporting community has lost Bob Ryan, Randy Shaw and now Wilma Downing. I suppose these things do happen in threes, but enough is enough. The world needs more people like Bob, Randy and Wilma - not fewer.

SportZone lineup for Feb 5

Here's the lineup for this week's show, airing Wednesday at 6 p.m. and Thursday at 3 p.m. on Access channel 7:

SportZone Guests for February 5, 2007
Community Co-Host: Corey Matthews

1. The Regina Pats enter the home stretch of the WHL season with visions of a division championship dancing in their heads. Guest: Curtis Hunt (Head Coach).

2. A Regina tennis veteran discusses his pending induction into the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame. Guest: Don Axtell (2007 inductee).

3. A profile of the synchronized swimming team that will represent Saskatchewan at the 2007 Canada Winter Games. Guests: Natalie Good (Head Coach), Jennifer Chernishenko & Kelsey Van Dyke (synchro swimmers).

4. A preview of the 2007 Special Olympics Saskatchewan Winter Games. Guest: Howard Schweitzer (SOS Executive Director).

5. A preview of the 2007 Luther Invitational high school basketball tournament. Guests: Meaghan Kimme & Kaylyn McManus (LIT Organizing Committee).

Monday, February 05, 2007

The "better than average" Bowl

I don't know if I'd call last night's game super, but it was certainly better than the usual Super Sunday fare. Peyton Manning snagged the MVP honours in leading the Colts past hapless Rex Grossman and the Bears 29-17. Grossman might very well be the worst excuse for a starting quarterback in Super Bowl history. Look for the Bears to bring in someone - anyone!- to compete for the starting job next season.

The game, played in a torrential south Florida downpour, featured eight turnovers - five by Chicago. In the end, the precision passing of Manning, coupled with the strong running of Dominic Rhodes (my choice for MVP) and Joseph Addai overcame the defence and running game of the Bears.

Aside from the game, the half-time show (featuring Prince) was quite good. I'm not normally a big fan of the creepy little purple dude, but he put on a fine show. And the American commercials (a bargain at only $2.6 million each) were generally quite good, with the exception of the godaddy.com ad, which was..............really, really good.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Pats reclaim second place

The Regina Pats edged the Swift Current Broncos 1-0 last night at the Brandt Centre. Michael MacAngus scored the lone goal of the game, cashing in a rebound of a terrific individual effort by Pats rookie Jordan Eberle with just over two minutes remaining in the game. Both goalies - Kyle Moir of the Broncos and Lynden Rowat of the Pats - were excellent. For a low-scoring game, the 5000+ fans in attendance were reasonably well entertained. With the win the Pats move two points up on Swift Current and Prince Albert for second place in the WHL's East Division.

There was a little extra excitement in the broadcast booth last night, as young Jacob tossed the proverbial cookies between the first and second periods! Damn that Smarties ice cream! Note to Pats/Brandt Centre staff: having some paper towels on hand in the pressbox might not be a such bad idea. Those media guys are slobs!

Tonight its the Super-Duper-Stupendous Bowl. I hope the Colts win, but I have a hard time disregarding the Bears defence and special teams. Hopefully it'll be an entertaining game. And hopefully nobody barfs.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Doing the happy dance

Well, this officially gets the weekend off to a dandy start:

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) - Brett Favre will return for his 17th NFL season, undeterred by his injuries and hoping to lead the Green Bay Packers back to the playoffs.

"I am so excited about coming back," the 37-year-old quarterback said Friday on website of the Sun Herald in Biloxi, Miss. "We have a good nucleus of young players. We were 8-8 last year, and that's encouraging. "My offensive line looks good, the defence played good down the stretch. I'm excited about playing for a talented young football team." The team had no immediate comment on the report.

As he has done in the past several off-seasons, Favre returned to his home in Mississippi after the season to deliberate about his future. Last year, Favre waited until late April to tell the team he was returning.

The league's only three-time MVP, Favre, left the field in an emotional scene in Chicago after leading the Packers to a victory over the Bears to finish the season 8-8.

Favre has started 257 consecutive games including the playoffs, an NFL record for quarterbacks. He broke Dan Marino's record for career completions (4,967) in 2006 and is closing in on Marino's marks for career touchdown passes (420) and yards passing (61,361).

Favre complained about nagging injuries and the drudgery of practice toward the end of last season, then choked back tears as he talked about missing the game and missing his teammates in a television interview immediately after the regular-season finale in Chicago - leading many to believe he intended to retire.

Apparently, he couldn't resist one more chance to try to lead the Packers back to the playoffs after the Packers won their final four games and was in playoff contention until the final weekend of the regular season.

Favre has led the Packers to 10 post-season appearances, six division titles, three NFC Championship games, two Super Bowls and one championship following the 1996 season. Favre, traded to Green Bay after one season as a backup in Atlanta in 1991, has had just one losing season in his career.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Winds of change

Those gale-force winds whipping through southern Saskatchewan are blowing right through Mosaic Stadium this week! For those keeping score at home, here are the moves made by the Saskatchewan Roughriders in the last two days:

DJ Flick (rec)
Wayne Smith (OL)
Paul LaPolice, Mike Gibson (Assistant coaches)

Ron Estay, Alex Smith (Assistant coaches)

Rocky Butler (qb)
Andrew Greene (OL)
Nate Davis (DL)

And CFL free agency doesn't even start for another two weeks! Here's hoping Drew and Big Nate are able to continue their playing careers. They're both quality individuals, but (sadly) that's life in the new-look (SMS) CFL.