Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Eberle captures WHL award

Congratulations to Regina Pats forward Jordan Eberle, who was named the WHL's Scholastic Player of the Year today, beating out Jared Cowen of the Spokane Chiefs. A complete list of award winners is below:

Calgary, AB - The Western Hockey League announced the 2007-08 winners of the annual WHL Awards presented Wednesday, April 30th at the WHL Awards Luncheon in Calgary.

WHL Player of the Year - Four Broncos Memorial Trophy
Karl Alzner (Burnaby, BC), Calgary Hitmen

Colton Yellow Horn (Brocket, AB), Tri-City Americans

WHL Rookie of the Year - Jim Piggott Memorial Trophy
Brayden Schenn (Saskatoon, SK), Brandon Wheat Kings

Evander Kane (Vancouver, BC), Vancouver Giants

WHL Goaltender of the Year - Del Wilson Trophy
Chet Pickard (Winnipeg, MB), Tri-City Americans

Linden Rowat (Cochrane, AB), Regina Pats

WHL Defenceman of the Year - Bill Hunter Memorial Trophy
Karl Alzner (Burnaby, BC), Calgary Hitmen

T.J. Fast (Calgary, AB), Tri-City Americans

WHL Scholastic Player Award - Daryl K. (Doc) Seaman Trophy
Jordan Eberle (Regina, SK), Regina Pats

Jared Cowen (Allan, SK), Spokane Chiefs

WHL Most Sportsmanlike Award - Brad Hornung Trophy
Tyler Ennis (Edmonton, AB), Medicine Hat Tigers

Colin Long (Santa Ana, CA), Kelowna Rockets

WHL Humanitarian of the Year - Doug Wickenheiser Memorial Trophy
Ashton Hewson (Cutknife, SK), Prince Albert Raiders

Mitch Czibere (Fort Saskatchewan, AB), Vancouver Giants

WHL Coach of the Year - Dunc McCallum Memorial Trophy
Don Nachbaur (Kitimat, BC), Tri-City Americans

Michael Dyck (Lethbridge, AB), Lethbridge Hurricanes

WHL Executive of the Year - Lloyd Saunders Memorial Trophy
Bob Tory (Edmonton, AB), Tri-City Americans

Kelly Kisio (Red Deer, AB), Calgary Hitmen

WHL Marketing & Communications Award
Kip Reghenas, Calgary Hitmen Marketing

Brian Sandy, Tri-City Americans Marketing

Riders take Orban

The Saskatchewan Roughriders have selected University of Regina quarterback Teale Orban with their 6th round pick (41st overall) in today's CFL draft. Congrats Teale!

The Riders selected Central Florida defensive lineman Keith Shologan, a product of Spruce Grove, Alberta with their first pick - fourth overall. Shologan could be a long-term project, as he has signed a free agent contract with the NFL's San Diego Chargers. So, it's doubtful he'll be in training camp with the Riders. At least not this year.

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats did the expected, and selected U of S safety Dylan Barker - from Moose Jaw - with the first overall pick. U of R Ram offensive lineman Brendon LaBatte was selected sixth overall by Winnipeg. Regina product Paul Woldu - a defensive back with the U of S - was picked by Montreal in the 5th round.

Other Rider picks:

2nd round: Jonathan St. Pierre (OL) Illinois State
2nd round: Michael Stadnyk (DL) Montana - Stadnyk is a Regina native; played his high school ball at Miller
4th round: Jean-Francoise Morin-Roberge (OL) Montreal
5th round: Jeff Zelinski (DB) St. Mary's

SportZone lineup for April 30

Here's the lineup for this week's busy little show, airing tonight at 6 p.m., Thursday at 3 p.m. and Saturday at 1 p.m. on Access channel 7:

SportZone Guests for April 29/08
Community Co-Host: Carlo Palazzo

1. The O’Neill Titans capture the city high school badminton team championship. Guests: Allie Chad, Stefanie Silzer, Jared Walsh & Joe Parenteau (Players).

2. A preview of the 2008 season for the Regina Prairie Fire rugby club, the defending Rugby Canada Super League champs. Guest: Jered Kirkland (Fire Captain).

3. A preview of the 2008 season for the Regina Minor Softball League. Guest: Rod Buckingham (RMSL President).

4. A profile of the Pile of Bones Derby Club, bringing the sport of roller derby back to Saskatchewan. Guests: Bree Cannon & Jamey Parker (Roller derby enthusiasts).

5. May is KidSport month in Saskatchewan, with a full slate of activities coming up, including the annual Corporate Challenge. Guests: Andrew Greene (KidSport Sask/Winnipeg Blue Bomber).

6. A preview of the annual University of Regina Cougar women’s basketball fundraising breakfast. Guest: Dave Taylor (Cougars Head Coach).

7. A preview of the 2008 Ken Goff Memorial Boxing Classic. Guests: Patrick Thibeault & Drake Thauberger (Boxers, Regina Boxing Club).

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

A new standard in sportsmanship

For those of us who spend entirely too much time agonizing over the results of games people play, this article is a terrific reminder of the positive impact sports can have on people's lives. This story is absolutely heart-warming.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Monday musings

A little from column A, a little from column B:
  • The Pittsburgh Penguins won't run the table, but they do look very, very good right now.
  • I hope the Montreal Canadians and Philadelphia Flyers beat the living hell out of each other. Preferably with no survivors.
  • It looks as though Jacob's little league team will struggle in the early going. Not having any pitching or hitting will do that to a club.
  • Here's hoping Regina's Teale Orban (U of R) and Paul Woldu (U of S) both hear their names called during this week's CFL draft. I'm hearing Woldu could go in the top 15.
  • Moose Jaw's Dylan Barker, a safety with the U of S, is the consensus #1 pick.
  • There's no consenus #1 for the WHL bantam draft, but I'm told the majority of prospects are from Alberta this year.
  • Roger Clemens hooked up with country singer Mindy McCready when she was 15 years old. It looks like Clemens misunderstood the meaning behind the Cy YOUNG award.
  • The Riders open the CFL season at home to Edmonton two months from today.
  • My contract with the Ministry of Enterprise and Innovation expires one month from today. Job offers, anyone?
  • Somebody in the U.S. stumbled across this site by Googling the words "cooking rats". I'm gonna go be sick now.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Friday thoughts

Just an assortment of random thoughts on the zany world of sports:

  • Prediction #1: The Regina Pats will trade a goaltender before the WHL bantam draft on May 1.
  • I have no idea which goaltender will get moved.
  • Prediction #2: Unless something unforeseen happens, the Pats will select a defenceman with their first round (17th) pick in the draft.
  • I think I want the Pittsburgh Penguins to win the Stanley Cup. I still can't bring myself to root for Montreal.
  • Do the folks that are organizing the Regina Thunder's annual Sports Dinner realize the 2008 Grey Cup game hasn't been played yet?
  • The Lakeshore Tennis Club holds its annual spring social tonight from 7-10 p.m. Come check it out.
  • Rod Pedersen is looking for the hottest Rider/Pats fan. Coincidentally, so am I!
  • Another birthday party for the Jake-man tomorrow. With me handling the gift buying, every kid in his class is going to have a nerf football by the end of the year!
  • Who the hell sets up interviews for a job and then cancels them the afternoon before the interviews? Answer: Nobody I want to work for!
  • Know anybody looking for a top-notch communicator and/or broadcaster? Resumes available upon request!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

SportZone lineup for April 23

Here's the lineup for the show, airing tonight at 6 p.m., Thursday at 3 p.m. and Saturday at 1 p.m. on Access channel 7:

SportZone Guests for April 22/08
Community Co-Host: Tim Hubic

1. A preview of the 2008 WHL bantam draft, from the perspective of the Regina Pats. Guest: Todd Ripplinger (Pats Director of Scouting).

2. A Regina athlete captures the University of Regina’s prestigious President’s Award for 2008. Guest: Bryden Wright (President’s Award winner/Cougar Basketball alumnus).

3. A preview of the 2008 golf season in the Regina area. Guests: Gus Vogelsang (Head pro, Murray Golf Course) & Josh Oberik (Assistant Pro)

4. A former Regina Pats star looks back on his first (and last?) season playing professional hockey in Russia, and previews his charity golf tournament. Guest: Jamie Heward (Pats alumnus).

5. A chat with the Saskatchewan Rowing Association’s new provincial head coach. Guest: John Wetzstein (SRA Provincial Coach).

6. The Regina rugby, and sporting, community rallies behind a seriously ill local athlete. Guests: Karl Fix & Ryan Michell (Organizers, Mike Staffen Day fundraiser).

7. The Pilot Butte Storm return from the Keystone Cup, the Western Canada junior B hockey championship tournament. Guests: Dale Lewgood (Storm General Manager) & Chris Lewgood (Storm Head Coach).

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

WHL Chairman loses battle with cancer

Calgary, AB. - It is with great sadness the Western Hockey League today announced that Ed Chynoweth, WHL Chairman of the Board and President of the Kootenay Ice Hockey Club, passed away this morning in Calgary.

Born in Dodsland, Saskatchewan, Chynoweth, 66, was the driving force behind the growth and development of Major Junior Hockey throughout Canada over the past four decades. Chynoweth’s career in both the WHL and the Canadian Hockey League spanned 37 years. He was appointed President of the WHL in 1972 and held that position for 23 years before becoming the majority owner of a WHL expansion franchise in Edmonton in 1996. The franchise relocated to Cranbrook, British Columbia in 1998.

Chynoweth also played a major role in the game at the national level, serving as President of the CHL for 20 years from 1975 – 1995. During his tenure as CHL President, Chynoweth was instrumental in forming the partnership between CHL and Hockey Canada in 1981 to oversee Canada’s National Junior Hockey Team. The Hockey Canada and CHL partnership led to the formation of Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence and Canada’s dominance in International Hockey at the junior level.

Chynoweth, the WHL Chairman of the Board until his passing, has served in this capacity on two separate occasions since 1996 and also has served as a member of the CHL Board of Directors.

“The WHL and the entire Canadian hockey community have lost a great leader today in Ed Chynoweth”, commented WHL Commissioner, Ron Robison. “The success the WHL and our Member Clubs are experiencing today is a direct result of the vision and leadership Ed Chynoweth provided to this League over the past 37 years.”

As President of the Kootenay Ice, Chynoweth together with his son Jeff, who is Vice-President and General Manager, have operated one of the most successful franchises in the WHL, having recorded the top winning percentage in the WHL over the past 10 years. The Kootenay Ice captured the WHL Championship twice in 2000 and 2002, and went on to win the Memorial Cup National Championship in Guelph in 2002.

Ed’s son Dean was a defenseman with the Medicine Hat Tigers when they won back to back Memorial Cup Championships in 1987 and 1988. In his capacity as CHL President in 1988, Ed had the privilege of presenting his son Dean, as Captain of the Tigers, the Memorial Cup. Dean is enjoying a successful WHL career currently serving as General Manager and Head Coach of the Swift Current Broncos.

Ed is also survived by his wife Linda of 45 years. Ed and Linda have resided in Calgary since 1976. Prior to moving to Calgary with the transfer of the WHL headquarters, Ed and Linda resided in Saskatoon.

Funeral arrangements are pending and will be announced later this week.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Monday musings

Idle thoughts on a less-than-productive Monday:

  • Kenton Keith is in trouble with the law in Indianapolis. From the "and this should surprise anyone how?" files.
  • Plans are coming together for a huge fundraiser May 18th in support of Mike Staffen, a seriously ill Regina athlete. If you're on Facebook, type "Mike Staffen" into the search engine for details.
  • The Montreal Canadians are on the verge of blowing a 3-1 series lead to the Boston Bruins. That should make Don Cherry pretty much 100% intolerable.
  • The Toronto Maple Leafs haven't lost a hockey game in two weeks.
  • The WHL bantam draft is ten days away. Will the Pats swing a trade prior to the draft? Or two?
  • I had to scrape my windshield for about 15 minutes this morning. On April 21st. Let's hear it for global warming.
  • Gas prices are on the way up today. Let's celebrate by punching an oil company executive in the nards. Repeatedly.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Regina Pats column for the week of April 17

Here's my contribution to this week's edition of the Regina Pats' weekly e-newsletter. I suspect there won't be any more contributions until just before the start of the 2008/09 season.

Future looks promising for the Pats

Undoubtedly, a sense of disappointment still exists over the Regina Pats’ early exit from the WHL playoffs. The Pats, who finished atop the East Division standings in the regular season, were knocked off in six games by Swift Current in the conference quarterfinals. The abrupt ending was certainly disappointing, but shouldn’t negate the many positive steps taken during the 2007/08 campaign.

The Pats, despite having only two 20-goal scorers on the roster, still recorded 44 wins and 94 points in the regular season. Using a scoring-by-committee approach, Regina captured its first division pennant in a decade.

To generate more offense, the Pats will look to returning players like Michael MacAngus and Brett Leffler to increase their point production next season. Rookie Jordan Weal is expected to contribute immediately, after dominating the B.C. major midget league this season. And, it’s likely at least one goaltender will be traded prior to training camp for some scoring help. As it stands, returnees Linden Rowat and Jeff Bosch will be joined in a crowded crease by newcomers Damien Ketlo and Derek Tendler.

Leading the team offensively this season was second year sniper Jordan Eberle, who scored 42 goals and 75 points in 70 games. It wouldn’t be a stretch to suggest Eberle could pot 50 goals in his 18-year old season in 2008/09. For the third consecutive season he’ll work with a new set-up man, as centre Tim Kraus has graduated, along with fellow 20-year olds J.D. Watt and Ryan Bender.

Eberle’s disappointment in being eliminated from the playoffs was diminished somewhat by an invitation to play for Team Canada in the World under-18 championship, currently underway in Russia. When we ended the season that was a bitter disappointment but it's nice to know your hockey isn't done for the year," Eberle told the Regina Leader-Post.

Eberle is joined on the national team roster by Pats defenceman Colten Teubert, who has built a strong bond with his high-scoring teammate over the past two years. "It's always a pleasure to play with that little guy," Teubert said to the Leader-Post. "Like I always say, he'll score the goals and I'll try to keep them out of our net. I think it's the hardest thing in the world to get us apart from each other. I wouldn't be surprised if we got drafted to the same NHL team. We're always together."

Indeed, both players expect to be drafted in the first three rounds of this summer’s NHL entry draft. Some observers expect Teubert will be a first-round selection, while Eberle’s name will be called soon after, perhaps early in the second round.

In the meantime, Pats General Manager Brent Parker – who has already endorsed Head Coach Curtis Hunt for at least another season – is left to make plans for next season’s edition of the Pats. And, despite the graduation of several key performers – a list that will likely include captain Logan Pyett – Parker doesn’t believe his team will slide down the East Division standings.

"Our expectations don't change," Parker insisted to the Leader-Post. "We want to have success every year and we'll start training camp with the same intentions, to try to compete for a division championship and move forward. We'll be a little younger than we were this year. Our team speed will be a little bit better. It certainly isn't a rebuilding year -- I wouldn't look at it that way -- but it's a bit of a transition year. We have a lot of prospects that are ready to play."

Exactly how ready those prospects are, and whether the returning players can elevate their games, will determine if the 2008/09 Regina Pats will once again contend for a WHL championship. Certainly, the fans who helped set a franchise attendance record this past season expect nothing less.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

SportZone lineup for April 16

Sorry for the lack of content, but it's been a busy week and I just haven't been all that inspired. But, if you have any suggestions for topics, let me know. In the meantime, here's the lineup for this week's show, airing tonight at 6 p.m. and tomorrow at 3 p.m. on Access channel 7. Apparently it also airs Saturdays at 12:30 p.m. Who knew? Obviously not me!

SportZone Guests for April 15/08
Community Co-Host: Alynn Brischuk

1. A preview of the annual East-West CIS football all-star game. Guests: Brandon Ganne (University of Regina Rams linebacker) & Tamon George (Rams defensive back).

2. A preview of the 2008 summer lacrosse season in Saskatchewan. Guest: Dale Measner (Saskatchewan Lacrosse Association Executive Director).

3. A profile of a Regina athlete who competes in the sport of heavy events (Highland Games). Guest: Jason Johnston (Heavy Events Athlete)

4. A preview of the WCP Mini World Cup soccer tournament in Regina. Guests: Catherine Collins (Player).

5. A profile of the Wascana Freewheelers Bicycle Touring Club. Guests: Cathy Stedwill & Brenda Ziolkowski (Club Members).

6. A long-time volunteer with the Saskatchewan Roughriders will be inducted into the CFL Hall of Fame this fall. Guest: Tom Shepherd (Friends of the Riders Touchdown Lottery President).

Thursday, April 10, 2008

SportZone lineup for April 9

Here's the lineup for this week's show on Access 7:

SportZone Guests for April 8/08
Community Co-Host: Brandon Brooks

1. Regina coaches and athletes are looking forward to the 2008 Saskatchewan Summer Games. Guests: Darlene MacQuarrie (ReginaSport Inc. General Manager) & Dale Reed (Zone 2 Chef de Mission).

2. A preview of the 2008 season at Regina’s Lakeshore Tennis Club. Guests: Linda Sulz (LTC President).

3. Oh Lord! T-shirt and shorts season is coming! Is it too late to get in shape? Guest: Tracy Hagan (Energize Health and Fitness Services).

4. A preview of the 2008 Saskatchewan high school football Senior Bowl, plus other goings-on at Football Saskatchewan. Guest: Mike Thomas (Football Saskatchewan Technical Director)

5. Regina gets set to host the 2008 Canadian Masters Track and Field Championships. Guests: Carol Lafayette-Boyd (2007 Saskatchewan Master Athlete of the Year) & Terry Mountjoy (Excel Athletika General Manager).

6. A preview of the 2008 Regina Thunder football club’s Bill Cronin fundraising dinner. Guest: Jeff Stusek (Team President) & Erwin Klempner (Head Coach).

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Tape scandal at the legislature

I would suggest this could be a little problematic for the new provincial government, and the federal conservative party in Saskatchewan. What the hell were these guys thinking?

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

SportZone lineup for April 2

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

SportZone Guests for April 2/08
Community Co-Host: Carlo Palazzo

1. A preview of the annual Skate Regina ice show on April 12th. Guests: Kim Mack (Organizing Committee), Campbell Mack & Kaitlyn Tremblay (Skaters).

2. Time to dust off the golf clubs and get some practice in before the courses open! May we suggest the First Tee Indoor Golf Centre? Guest: Jim Johnson (Managing Partner).

3. A preview of the 2008 CFL draft with a two-time Hec Crighton award nominee. Guest: Teale Orban (University of Regina Rams quarterback).

4. The Sheldon-Williams Spartans celebrate a provincial 5A girl’s basketball championship. Guests: Geneva Murphy & Julia Hart (Players).

5. A preview of the 2008 Regina Minor Football season. Guest: Kelly Hamilton (RMF President).

6. A post-mortem on the 2007/08 athletics season at the University of Regina. Guest: Dick White (U of R Athletic Director).