Friday, October 24, 2014

U of R Action This Weekend

Home Events (Canada West)
Women’s Volleyball – vs. Winnipeg, Friday (6:00 p.m.) at CKHS
Men’s Volleyball – vs. Winnipeg, Friday (7:30 p.m.) at CKHS
Rams Football – vs. Manitoba, Saturday (2:00 p.m.) at Mosaic Stadium – Access7, 620 CKRM
Women’s Volleyball – vs. Winnipeg, Saturday (5:00 p.m.) at CKHS
Men’s Volleyball – vs. Winnipeg, Saturday (6:30 p.m.) at CKHS

Away Events (Canada West)
Women’s Hockey – at UBC, Friday (7:00 p.m. PDT) in Vancouver, B.C.
Women’s Hockey – at UBC, Saturday (7:00 p.m. PDT) in Vancouver, B.C.

Away Events (non-conference)
Men’s Basketball – vs. York, Friday (2:00 p.m. EDT) in St. Catharines, Ont.
Wrestling – at Dinos Invitational, Saturday in Calgary, Alta.
Cross Country – at Stewart Cup, Saturday in Calgary, Alta.
Men’s Basketball – vs. Windsor, Saturday (2:00 p.m. EDT) in St. Catharines, Ont.
Men’s Basketball – at Brock, Sunday (2:30 p.m. EDT) in St. Catharines, Ont.

Rams Football – The Rams (1-5) suffered a heartbreaking loss at UBC on Saturday, taking a one-point lead on the first play of the fourth but surrendering a pair of rouges – including with two minutes remaining – in the final quarter to lose 33-32. The Rams now need to win both of their remaining games to make the postseason and will also require some help on the out-of-town scoreboard. Fortunately for the Rams, both of their final games are at home – beginning with Saturday’s Week 7 matchup against Manitoba at Mosaic Stadium (2 p.m.).

Women’s Volleyball – The Cougars (0-2) started out their conference season on the road last weekend with a three-set loss to Manitoba on Friday and a four-set loss to the Bisons on Saturday afternoon. The Cougars will now prepare for their Canada West home openers this weekend at the Centre for Kinesiology, Health & Sport, as they’ll host Winnipeg (3-1) on Friday (6:00 p.m.) and Saturday (5:00 p.m.).

Men’s Volleyball – After opening up Canada West play with a pair of road losses to Manitoba, the Cougars (0-2) will play their first home conference matches of the season this Friday (7:30 p.m.) and Saturday (6:30 p.m.) against Winnipeg (3-1). The men’s matches will follow the conclusion of the women’s matches both nights.

Women’s Hockey – The Cougars (1-2-2-1) recorded their third consecutive weekend split on Friday and Saturday, losing 5-3 to No. 10 Calgary in the first game of the two-game set before Emma Waldenberger’s successful attempt in the first round of the shootout stood as the only goal of the game in a 1-0 U of R win on Saturday afternoon. The Cougars are back in action this weekend with a pair of road games at No. 5 UBC (3-1-1-1).

Men’s Basketball – The Cougars won two of their three games on their road swing against NAIA opposition last weekend, starting out with a 69-63 win over Dickinson State on Friday. They were then edged 79-71 by Mayville State before finishing the trip with a strong effort in an 82-63 victory over Jamestown on Sunday. The Cougars are back at it this weekend with a trip to Ontario for a non-conference tournament hosted by Brock that will see them play York, Windsor, and the host Badgers.

Cross Country (Men’s CIS Ranking: No. 9) – Now entering the stretch run of the 2014 schedule, the men’s and women’s cross country teams will travel to Calgary this Saturday to run in the Stewart Cup. It’ll be the final race for both Cougar teams before the 2014 CIS Championships, which will be hosted on Nov. 8 by Memorial University in St. John’s, N.L.

Wrestling – The Cougars have their first meet of the 2014-15 season this weekend, as the men’s and the women’s teams will make the trip west to participate in the Dinos Invitational at the University of Calgary. It’s the first of three consecutive weekends of competition for the women’s team, with the Cougars also to compete in the Clan International on Nov. 1 and the Wesmen Invitational on Nov. 8.

Men’s Hockey – The Cougars (0-8-0) lost twice at Calgary last weekend, falling 5-0 on Saturday before having their comeback fall just short in a 3-2 loss on Saturday that saw them come back from a three-goal deficit with third-period goals by Austin Bourhis and Cody Fowlie. The Cougars will have this weekend off to regroup before returning to action on Oct. 31 and Nov. 1 at home against UBC.

Women’s Basketball – The Cougars went 2-1 at a non-conference tournament hosted by McGill over the weekend, defeating both Toronto and Lakehead but losing to the host Martlets. Alyssia Kajati led the Cougars in scoring all three games, piling up 23 on Friday, 14 on Saturday, and 21 on Sunday. The Cougars finish non-conference play with an 8-3 record against CIS competition and will have a weekend off before travelling to Victoria to begin Canada West play on Oct. 31 and Nov. 1.

Women’s Soccer – The Cougars (5-5-2) were eliminated from postseason contention after 3-0 and 3-1 road losses to Saskatchewan on Saturday and Sunday. The matches are the final of the 2014 season for the Cougars, who finish in fifth place in the Prairie Division with 17 points and will graduate fifth-year players Molly Glass, Melanie King, and Jayde McFee

This And That

The weekly collection of thoughts running through my muddled mind in no particular order

  --So some yahoo thinks he is going to try and intimidate us as Canadians by needlessly killing an innocent Canadian soldier and then running through our main political buildings looking to inflict further damage. Sorry buddy, you can't, won't and never will intimidate Canada. Our patriotism is much too strong for one or two acts of terrorism to bring us down.

  --The events of Wednesday once again showcased how much sports can be a tremendous remedy for battling the evil that can envelop us. On a day where the events in Ottawa dominated our lives, it was great to go home and be able to watch the World Series and a hockey game, It allows us to escape for a while.

 --I don't know how the Riders win in Calgary tonight and I don't see them winning tonight, but this is one of those games where Saskatchewan can pull one out of their hat. Then again, I would rather win in Calgary in November than late October if you know what I mean.  I was surprised to hear Rod Pedersen talk about how much the Rider organization and its personnel are hated in Cowtown. AWWWWWW!!!! That's alright, there are many people who here who can't stand the Stampeders either.

 --Its hard to look at Kerry Joseph and go he's 41. He's 41 going on 31 if you know what I mean. There are many 41 year olds out there that wish they looked like Joseph.

 --Who will the Riders MOP candidate be this year?  John Chick had a lock on it, but his play has tailed off somewhat in the second half of the season. Ricky Foley's play has just gotten better while Tearrius George has been consistent from Game 1 on. It won't be an easy choice. We have learned though there is no doubt who the MIP---Most Important Player is and that is the guy who wears number 4,  Barring a Grey Cup victory, I and many other Rider fans will wonder how 2014 would have finished had it not been for Bryant Turner smacking Darian Durant in Winnipeg causing the torn elbow tendon.

 --I am hoping to see a good performance out of Keith Toston tonight. I don't know why this kid hasn't been given a chance after looking great in the pre-season, but the truth is he wasn't until tonight and I wonder if it hadn't of been for back spasms from Anthony Allen and what seemed to be the attitude of Will Ford leading to his release if he would have. I credit Toston for staying here all season long when he could have walked away. I hope he shows this team what he has and that he shows that he should be in the plans for 2015.

--After an outstanding run to get there, the first two games of the World Series were disappointing and not very riveting. I am hoping that changes as the series moves to San Francisco tonight,

--Could we actually go into November this year before seeing snow? I'd be OK with that and I think a lot of you would be too.

--Have the Oilers put that bad start behind them or have they just showed us they are better than teams in the Southeast Division. If its the latter, who do I speak to to get the Oilers moved to the Southeast?

 --Sportsnet's hockey panel proclaimed Rick Nash as the MVP of the first two weeks of the season the other night. Really? We are talking MVP after two weeks? SIGHHHHH!!!

 --Am I the only one frustrated over not knowing what channel the various hockey games are on. Sportsnet does a nice job in promoting Hockey Night in Canada and what games will be on what channel Saturday, but they are doing a poor job on the other 6 nights as far as I'm concerned.

 --Dick White's days as Director of Athletics at the University of Regina is coming to an end. I have no idea who will replace Dick, but the shoes he will have to fill will be immense. The job Dick has done not only locally, but nationally has been tremendous. He must be so happy knowing he has watched the Cougar program go from one of that tiny little school on the Prairies to one that is the envy of many others across Canada because of the athletes, coaches and facilities we have.

--I've had a lot of people tell me through one means or another that Saturday's Rams game at UBC that I had to call by cellphone because of phone line problems wasn't as bad as I think it was and that they were quite impressed with the way everything was handled. I do appreciate the comments, but it doesn't change my feelings on the matter any. Part of me wants to go back and listen to a part of it just to see how bad it sounded and another part of me is just saying walk as far away as that disaster as I can. U of S play-by-play guy Brendan Crowe e-mailed me to ask what happened as the Huskies have to play in Vancouver. I let him know and said my fingers would be crossed. He says they have had problems there before. Oyyyyyy!!!

--As much as I love the NFL, they do some dumb things. Why are the Lions and Falcons playing a game at 730 Sunday morning from London, England. Will there be a huge audience for that tilt? I think CTV will have the game on as part of its Sunday package. Unless you're a Lions or Falcons fan, would you get up to watch this. Then again, I know a Lions fan in this town and I know a Falcons fan in this town too. Seeing the way their teams have played, I might just wanna sleep in on Sunday.

--It sucks when your fantasy football team gets 36 points in a week, but its great when you find out you didn't have the lowest score of the week!!!

--Week 8 NFL Lock Of The Week ----Patriots over Bears
   Week 8 NFL Upset Of The Week---Jags over Dolphins and yes I considered Panthers over Seahawks

--What would it take for Regina to get an NBA Exhibition game here? I think there would be a great appetite for a Raptors game at the Brandt Centre. If tickets weren't excessively expensive (50 to 75), I think it would sell out---especially now that there is a scoreboard above center ice.

--I'll be very interested to see how far this lawsuit against the Canadian Hockey League goes. If it succeeds, I think you will see a very different way junior hockey operates and it won't be good.

That's all I got. Have a good weekend! GO RIDERS!!!!  GO SEAHAWKS!!!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Week 8 NFL Capsules

The first game of Week 8 of the NFL season should be a good one as the Chargers and Broncos meet in Denver.  For a look at the complete week, click here

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Riders Release Three

The Riders have released the following three players

  • RB Will Ford 
  • WR Eron Riley
  • QB Denarius McGhee 

Game 1 World Series Preview

Kansas City, with its couple hundred fountains and seemingly equal number of BBQ joints, is about to take its place as the epicenter of the baseball world tonight when -- after a wait of 28 years, 11 months and 25 days -- the World Series returns to Kauffman Stadium.

Six days after celebrating an American League pennant in front of their own fans by dispatching the Orioles, the Royals will host the Giants in the first World Series matchup between the clubs. First pitch in Game 1 of the best-of-seven series is scheduled for 8:07 p.m. ET. Pregame coverage on FOX begins at 7:30 p.m.

It is a Fall Classic matchup bubbling with intrigue, one that will feature newbies to this postseason stage against the every-other-year World Series regulars of late. The Giants, who defeated the Cardinals in a five-game National League Championship Series, returned to Missouri having won each of their last eight postseason series. In between, they've raised two World Series banners (2010, '12).

The Royals are riding their own streak, undefeated in their first eight postseason games, something never before accomplished. Their 11-game postseason winning streak (dating back to 1985) ranks as the second longest in Major League history.

"I think this city has been waiting for this for a long time, and the fact that we're doing it in the fashion that we are is tremendous," said James Shields, Kansas City's Game 1 starter. "This is our goal in Spring Training, and we had one mindset, and that was to go to the World Series and win it. And to be able to be here on this big stage is exactly what we've been working really hard for all season long."

Defying the assertion that the Wild Card Game, added in 2012, would prove to be an unclearable hurdle for a Wild Card team to advance to the World Series, both the Giants and Royals emerged from the winner-take-all Wild Card Games and then twice overcame the home-field advantage of their opponents. This World Series gets it start in Kansas City thanks to the AL's victory in the All-Star Game.

Since MLB started using the All-Star Game outcome to determine home-field advantage, the team that has held it has been crowned World Series champions eight times out of 11. That included the Giants in both 2010 and '12. With a series win over the Royals, the Giants would join the Yankees as the only clubs over the last 40 years to boast three championships during a five-year span.

"I was amazed at the Yankees on what they accomplished. It's not that easy," said Giants manager Bruce Bochy, who will send Madison Bumgarner to the mound in Game 1. "I mean, first of all, you've got to get there. Then the road to get there now is a lot more difficult than it used to be. It used to be two pennant winners going at it, and now you have to go through some playoffs, and this year we had the extra one with the [Wild Card] playoff game."

While the two clubs have no October history, they aren't entirely unfamiliar with one another. In August, Interleague Play sent the Giants to Kauffman Stadium, where the Royals completed a sweep during a stretch in which they won 14 of 16 games. San Francisco was outscored, 16-6, with Bumgarner taking one of those losses in a complete-game effort.

Now, the Giants are back, with the lights brighter, the stakes higher and just the second World Series Wild Card matchup on tap. The first all-Wild Card World Series also involved the Giants, who lost a thrilling seven-game series to the Angels in 2002. An unexpected October clash, for sure. But one certain to add to the drama of a postseason in which there have already been 14 games determined by one run.

"This is final, you know?" Royals manager Ned Yost said. "This is the last big series, and there are two teams left standing, which is special. I think it's a great matchup between both clubs. I think that both teams are ready for this."

Giants: Morse set as designated hitter

Content to leave Travis Ishikawa in left field, Bochy intends to make room for Michael Morse in his Game 1 lineup by using him as the Giants' designated hitter. Morse came off the bench to hit a game-tying home run off Pat Neshek in the eighth inning to set up the Giants' walk-off win over the Cardinals in Game 5 of the NLCS. That was just the sixth at-bat Morse had taken since the end of August, as he spent six weeks recovering from a strained oblique muscle before being added to the NLCS roster.

Morse went 2-for-4 pinch-hitting against the Cardinals and has 33 career starts as a DH, including four earlier this season. This will be his first time filling the spot in the postseason.

Royals: A layoff letdown?

Kansas City knocked Baltimore out of the postseason last Wednesday, leaving the Royals with a five-day layoff before they pick up World Series play against the Giants. So will that downtime hurt? History suggests probably not.

Of the 13 teams with five or more days off between the LCS and World Series, seven have gone on to win a championship. Those clubs went 6-7 in Game 1. Short-sightedness may be contributing to the assumption that the Royals will be affected by the layoff, as only one of five teams since 2006 with at five or more days off between the two rounds has gone on to win it all.

Worth noting

• MLB announced that it will dedicate Game 1 to honoring veterans and military families as part of its Welcome Back Veterans program. There will be an on-field, pregame ceremony to highlight this initiative.

• With a Game 1 win, the Royals would tie the Yankees (1927-32, 1998-99) for the most consecutive postseason victories with 12.

• In winning 15 of their last 17 postseason games, the Giants have outscored their opponents, 77-32, while posting a staff ERA of 1.71.

Monday, October 20, 2014

NHL Three Stars Of Week

NEW YORK (Oct. 20, 2014) – Dallas Stars center Tyler Seguin, Anaheim Ducks goaltender Frederik Andersen and Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos have been named the NHL’s “Three Stars” for the week ending Oct. 19.


Seguin led the NHL with eight points (4-4—8) in three games to help the Stars earn five out of a possible six standings points. He opened the week by recording his fifth career hat trick, including the game-winning goal, in a 4-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets Oct. 14. Seguin again tallied the decisive goal, this time with 2.9 seconds left in regulation, in a 3-2 come-from-behind win over the Pittsburgh Penguins Oct. 16. He then capped by the week by posting a career-high four assists in a 6-5 overtime loss to the Philadelphia Flyers Oct. 18. Since joining the Stars for the 2013-14 season, the 22-year-old Brampton, Ont., native leads the League with four hat tricks. The second overall selection by the Boston Bruins in the 2010 NHL Draft, Seguin has 97-116—213 in 288 career regular-season games.


Andersen went 4-0-0 with a 1.22 goals-against average, .955 save percentage and one shutout to help the Ducks extend their winning streak to five games. He made 11 saves in a 5-1 victory over the Buffalo Sabres Oct. 13, 39 saves – plus another three in the shootout – in a 4-3 triumph over the Philadelphia Flyers Oct. 14 and 27 saves in a 2-1 win over the Minnesota Wild Oct. 17. Andersen then closed the week by recording his first NHL shutout, making 28 saves in a 3-0 victory over the St. Louis Blues Oct. 19. With the win, Andersen improved to 25-5-0 in his NHL career (33 GP), joining Boston’s Ross Brooks (25-2-3; Oct. 25, 1972 – Feb. 28, 1974) as the only goaltenders in League history to win 25 (or more) of their first 30 decisions. The 25-year-old Herning, Denmark, native also maintained his perfect record in 2014-15, improving to 5-0-0 with a 1.38 goals-against average and .950 save percentage in five appearances.


Stamkos led the NHL with five goals and tied for second in the League with six points to power the Lightning to two victories in three starts. He began the week by scoring his eighth career hat trick (including the game-winning goal) and firing a career-high 12 shots on goal in a 7-1 triumph over the Montreal Canadiens Oct. 13. After being held off the scoresheet in a 2-1 loss to the New Jersey Devils Oct. 14, Stamkos posted 2-1—3, including the primary assist on Ryan Callahan’s tiebreaking marker, in a 4-2 victory over the Vancouver Canucks Oct. 18. The 24-year-old Markham, Ont., native is tied for second in the League with five goals this season. Since the beginning of the 2009-10 campaign, his second in the NHL, no one has scored more goals than Stamkos’ 215.

Something To "Mitch" About

SIGHHHH!!!  That's what the Rider Nation is saying after yet another loss as the green and white saw hopes of a home playoff game this year go "poof" as they were beaten 24-19 by the Edmonton Eskimos Sunday afternoon.

At the half, it looked good. Kerry Joseph was playing well and the defence was playing well, but it came to an end on the first play of the second half as Kendial Lawrence took the kickoff back 96 yards and while the Riders still had a two point lead at the time, it was basically game over. 

For whatever reason, the team acted emotionally as if it was game over after that as the Eskimos controlled the second half to win the game. 

Some thoughts

 --Kerry Joseph can still play the game. His timing wasn't there, but he made some plays and gave the offence some life it hadn't had over this losing skid. Believe it or not, there still is reason to be optimistic. However, Joseph will have to pick up his game as the Stamps and Eskimos now have film on him....fresh film at least.

--Dropped passes did not help Joseph.

--Levy Adcock had one of his better games, Ben Heenan did not

--Covering a kick and punt return has definitely been the Achilles Heel of this football team this year. They've been atrocious as was the attempted short kick at game's end. You have to be better in those areas. Much better

--The Kisscam was uh----um.....uh......interesting and downright funny this week. I'm wondering if a certain fan got slapped after that escapade had come to an end.

--I really wonder what the Durant haters are saying these days

--Don't pin any blame for this loss on Ricky Foley. He was all over the field and maybe took the hardest hit of the day from teammate Tyron Brackenridge at the Riders sideline in the first half.

--I still believe the Eskimos are the best team in the West at this time.

While it was a frustrating afternoon for the Riders on Sunday, it was yet another frustrating afternoon for the University of Regina Rams at Thunderbird Stadium (pictured)  as they were beaten 33-32.  They are now 1-5 on the season, but three of those losses have come by 1,2 and 5 points. The one point that decided this game was a rouge as UBC punter Quinn Van Gylswyk launched his best punt of the afternoon late in the 4th quarter that the Rams could not get out of the endzone. They couldn't muster any offence after that single either as their playoff chances took a serious hit and one that likely prevents Frank McCrystal from going to the playoffs in his final year.

 I've seen Frank walk off the field after a loss many times before, but there was something different about the walk this time and the look. I think the realization its over has hit him. There's a lot of talk about what will happen to the Rams and who will take over. That person has big shoes to fill as Frank was more than a football coach and there are many around this city that will tell you that. Many!

As for our broadcast on 620 CKRM Saturday, all I can say is I'm sorry for the phone line problems. Yes, I heard how bad it was and as I called the game via my cellphone while my colour guy Marco Ricci could just sit there helplessly in a spotters role, I knew how bad it was sounding. The mandate is to get it out there and we did. Once again, I'm sorry you had to endure that for 3 hours, but we did the best we could. If you're wondering, the double ryes consumed after the game did not really make up for the frustration being felt.

Thanks to former U of R Hockey player Greg Hutchings. Hutch texted Marco Ricci on Saturday wanting to know if we wanted his tickets to Saturday's Lightning-Canucks game. We just couldn't find a spot for a ticket drop that was easy so we had to say no to the request.  Just to recap---a terrible football broadcast forced by having to say no to center ice tickets for free for an NHL game. How was your Saturday?

Congrats to Peyton Manning. He doesn't have the championships that the others have, but he has to be considered the greatest of all time after becoming pro football's leading touchdown pass leader on Sunday night. I don't know if you caught the piece ESPN on had on the nine players that have caught just one of Manning's passes for a touchdown, but it was a great feature.

Its tough to repeat in the NFL and the Seahawks are showing that. What the hell happened on that punt return? That was just bizarre. By the way, the officials screwed them at the end, but we'll never know if Seattle may have been able to get a game winning field goal and it shouldn't have come down to that so I'll just let it go---albeit reluctantly.

Looking forward to the World Series. If its like the rest of the baseball playoffs, strap yourself in.

The Toronto Sun's Steve Simmons asks a great question about the Royals when it comes to the Blue Jays. Should the Jays be encouraged or discouraged that another team using their formula is in the World Series. The one big difference between the clubs---look at KC's bullpen and then look at Toronto's---end of story.

I read an article on the weekend suggesting Buster Posey is the new face of baseball now that Derek Jeter has retired. I can't argue with that. I'm a big Posey fan myself.

I'm hearing rumblings from TV people who aren't necessarily liking the new Hockey Night in Canada. What are your thoughts?

As a hockey fan, tell me you were upset to see the refs get in between Dion Phaneuf and Jarome Iginla who were going to square off the other night. That would have been a great fight!

Why doesn't Regina have a Papa John's Pizza? I have never had one and I want to.