Friday, February 24, 2017
Welcome to Friday! Here are the usual weekly thoughts running through my muddled mind, and as always they come in no particular order.
--Regina lost a true great this week. Gord Currie was a great football coach, a great educator and a tremendous man. The words of wisdom that he gave to many in this community will not be forgottten by those he spoke to. Many that played with him for the Rams know what type of individual he was as he shaped them to be the person they are today. His departure leaves a big hole in our community.
--We are in the homestretch of the WHL season, and it is safe to say someone has some explaining to do in the scheduling department.
Wednesday night's Pats game in Saskatoon was the end of a 5 game roadie which saw them play 6 games in 9 days in 6 different cities. On the March 3 weekend, they will play three games in three days with that third one being an afternoon game in Brandon. That's insane! I realize the league tries to do things in mind with keeping education at the forefront, but what the Pats are going through right now is just stupid as far as I am concerned. I am sure if I looked at other teams I could find anomalies in their schedule too.
--Since when did NHL goalies become unable to play back-to-back nights? Several times this year I have heard coaches say they didn't want their guy playing on back-to-back nights because of the toll it would take on them. I'm sure the legendary Glenn Hall laughs at that when he played over 800 consecutive games. Goalies do need nights off, but I think its OK if you play them in back-to-back games.
--I have said before I think its ridiculous when a guy gets laid out in open ice with a hard, clean check that he then has to drop the mitts and stand up for himself as someone comes in. The idea was floated out this week on NHL Radio that if a player comes after someone for delivering what is a clean check, he should be given a 10 minute misconduct and a game misconduct. I could not agree more!
--The Seattle Seahawks held a media combine this week for you know whats and giggles. I can truly hope the Saskatchewan Roughriders do not try to do the same thing. Then again, training camp is in Saskatoon and I won't be there so go ahead and do it up there.
--The Arizona Coyotes told their fans to stop doing the wave. 1) God bless the Arizona Coyotes and 2) They have fans??
--Baseball is back!!
--FS1 is getting rid of Jay and Dan. ????? How that network can release those two and keep Skip Bayless and Shannon Sharpe around is beyond explanation. I can't see it being much longer till TSN snaps them back up. Would they go in where Dutchy and Hedger are or would they take over their old slot and bump Kate and Natasha. Can they go head to head against Tim and Sid doing the same type of show and rid of us of those two? For that matter, would they go to Sportsnet? No matter where they go, many Canadians will follow including this guy.
--Thank you Chris Best!
--It may only be one win, but Penny Barker has one at the Scotties. It has been a tough week for the Moose Jaw rink, but at least she can take one positive away from the week. Maybe she can finish things off with another "W" today to finish off round-robin. As for Michelle Englot, she just continues to roll along. There is absolutely nothing wrong with her game as this week has shown. I'm not betting against her in the playoffs.
--That's all I got. Have a great weekend!
Thursday, February 23, 2017
Gord Currie, a legendary coach, teacher and Saskatchewan politician, has died at the age of 93.
Currie is best known for being a football coach.
He was the head coach of the Balfour Redmen high school football team leading them to eight provincial titles including six in a row from 1959-65.
During his time at Balfour, the team won 40 straight games at one point.
After leaving Balfour, Currie became the head coach of the Regina Rams and had as much success with them as he did with Balfour.
During his tenure, the Rams won 109 of their 136 games, one Alberta Junior League Championship, eight Manitoba-Saskatchewan League Championships, seven Western Canadian Junior Championships and six Canadian Championships. The final national crown coming in his last game in 1976.
Currie also spent time in politics as the Conservative MLA for the riding of Regina-Wascana and spent time in cabinet as the province’s minister of Advanced Education and Science and Technology.
He was named a member of the Order of Canada in 1979, and was enshrined in the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame in 1978 and the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 2005.
Currie Field, the home of the Regina Red Sox, was named after him.
The Saskatchewan Roughriders announced today national offensive lineman Chris Best is retiring from the Canadian Football League.
Best is a veteran of 10 CFL seasons and played 114 career regular-season games after making his Rider debut July 8th, 2007. The Calgary native was originally selected by the Green and White in the first round, fourth overall, of the 2005 CFL Draft after spending four seasons at Duke University before transferring to the University of Waterloo to obtain his Masters in 2007.
Best also played in seven career playoff games and three Grey Cup games, winning in 2007 and 2013. He was named the Riders’ Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman in 2011.
"I want to thank the Roughriders and entire province of Saskatchewan for everything they have done for me. It’s been an incredible privilege to play for the Roughriders for the past 10 years,” said Chris Best. “I want to give a special thanks to my coaches, teammates, and especially Rider fans for your continuous support over the years.”
The 33-year-old Best, his wife Emily, and their daughter Libby have made Regina their home.
Wednesday, February 22, 2017
Home Schedule – Thursday
Women’s Basketball – vs. Trinity Western, 7:00 p.m. (CKHS)
Home Schedule – Friday
Track & Field – at Canada West Championships, 2:00 to 8:30 p.m. (Regina Fieldhouse)
Women’s Basketball – vs. Trinity Western, 7:00 p.m. (CKHS)
Home Schedule – Saturday
Track & Field – at Canada West Championships, 11:00 to 4:30 p.m. (Regina Fieldhouse)
Women’s Basketball – vs. Trinity Western, 7:00 p.m. (CKHS) – if necessary
Away Schedule – Friday
Swimming – at U SPORTS Championships, Day 1 (Sherbrooke, Que.)
Wrestling – at U SPORTS Championships, Day 1 (Winnipeg, Man.)
Away Schedule – Saturday
Swimming – at U SPORTS Championships, Day 2 (Sherbrooke, Que.)
Wrestling – at U SPORTS Championships, Day 2 (Winnipeg, Man.)
Away Schedule – Sunday
Swimming – at U SPORTS Championships, Day 3 (Sherbrooke, Que.)
Wrestling – at U SPORTS Championships, Day 3 (Winnipeg, Man.)
Women’s Basketball (U SPORTS Ranking: No. 3) – The Cougars host a best-of-three conference quarterfinal series against Trinity Western starting on Thursday, with the winner advancing to the Canada West Final Four next weekend. Regina and the Spartans will tip off at 7 p.m. on both Thursday and Friday, with the same start time set for Saturday if a third and deciding game is required. The two teams met twice in Langley in late November, with Regina taking 57-51 and 85-47 wins.
Track & Field – The Cougars host the 2017 Canada West Track & Field Championships this Friday and Saturday at the Regina Fieldhouse. Events are scheduled for 2:00 to 8:30 p.m. on Friday and 11:00 to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday. The women’s team is led by fifth-year athlete Joy Becker, who enters the meet ranked first in the conference in both the 60-metre dash and the long jump and second in the triple jump. Reagan Fedak is also ranked first in Canada West in the weight throw, while the men’s squad features No. 1-ranked Tevaughn Campbell (60-metre dash) and the top-ranked 4x400-metre relay team.
Swimming – The Cougars are in Quebec preparing for the 2017 U SPORTS Swimming Championships, which will be hosted from Friday through Sunday by the Université de Sherbrooke. Noah Choboter, Mitchell Hebert, Jong Hoon Lee, Brian Palaschuk, and Noah Wasyliw will all represent the men’s team, while Kendall Horan, Georgia Kaluznick, Lexy King, and Eva Madar qualified on the women’s side.
Wrestling (Women’s U SPORTS Ranking: No. 6 / Men’s U SPORTS Ranking: No. 7) – Also getting ready for nationals this weekend are the wrestlers, who will make the relatively short trip east for the 2017 U SPORTS Wrestling Championships hosted by the University of Winnipeg. Amber Wiebe (51 kg), Dalynn McKay (67 kg), and Inga Hammer (82 kg) will compete for the women’s team, while Daniel Amberson (54 kg), Joshua Zimroz (57 kg), Lucas Hoffert (68 kg), Geraldo Fox (72 kg), Brett Kryger (76 kg), Gaelan Malloy (82 kg), and Waylon Decoteau (100 kg), and Jordan Tholl (120 kg) will all participate on the men’s side.
Men’s Basketball – The Cougars’ season ended in the Canada West play-in round with a series loss to Manitoba last weekend. The Bisons won Game 1 by a 94-84 score, then held off a late U of R rally for an 88-80 series-clinching win in Game 2. Travis Sylvestre and Matthew Augustine both had strong games in the final U SPORTS games of their careers, with Sylvestre scoring 13 points and Augustine ending up with nine points and three assists.
Women’s Hockey – The U of R lost out in the Canada West quarterfinals last weekend at Saskatchewan, losing a pair of hard-fought battles by scores of 4-3 and 2-1. Merissa Zerr, Tamara McVannel, and Jaycee Magwood all scored in Game 1, while Jolene Kirkpatrick provided the offence in Game 2. The series marked the final times in a U of R uniform for fifth-year players Kylie Gavelin, Alexis Larson, Krista Metz, and Meghan Sherven.
Women’s Volleyball – The Cougars closed out the 2016-17 season with a pair of Canada West losses at Calgary, losing in straight sets both nights to finish the year with a 3-21 conference record. Taylor Ungar fell just short of setting a school single-season digs record, as she finished with 293 – just two behind Kelly Cowan’s record of 295 set during the 2006-07 season. Jenna Krahn and Molly Wade-Cummings both played their final matches for the U of R, with Wade-Cummings finishing third in school history with 280 blocks over her five seasons with the Cougars.
Men’s Volleyball – The Cougars finished the year at Calgary, losing to the Dinos in three sets on both Friday and Saturday at the Jack Simpson Gym. Matthew Aubrey had 19 kills in the two matches as the rookie right side finishes the conference schedule with a team-leading 212 kills and an average of 2.68 kills per set. The Cougars could return their entire roster next season with the exception of fifth-year middle Nathan Wiggins.
Tuesday, February 21, 2017
The Ottawa REDBLACKS have acquired quarterback Drew Tate from the Calgary Stampeders in exchange for a fifth-round draft pick in 2018, the club announced Tuesday.Tate, 32, has spent his entire eight-year career with the Stampeders, completing 380 of 572 passes for 4,670 yards and 32 touchdowns in 45 games. Frequently used in short yardage situations, Tate had a CFL-best 10 rushing touchdowns in 2014.
“It’s always paramount in the CFL to have at least two veteran quarterbacks that you know you can win with,” said REDBLACKS Head Coach Rick Campbell. “Drew is a proven performer in this league and we’re happy to have him in Ottawa.”
The former Iowa Hawkeye has also spent time on the practice rosters of the NFL’s St. Louis Rams, who signed him as an undrafted free agent in 2007, and the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
The Saskatchewan Roughriders have signed international defensive lineman Zach Minter.
Minter (6’2 – 300) joins the Riders after spending last season with the Calgary Stampeders where he picked up six defensive tackles and two quarterbacks sacks, starting three of five regular season games played.
The 26-year-old Montana State product spent the previous season with the B.C Lions after signing with the team in March, 2015. Starting seven of 10 regular season games, Minter registered 16 defensive tackles and three quarterback sacks.
Before coming to the CFL, Minter spent time with the Dallas Cowboys and Cincinnati Bengals during 2014. He signed with the Chicago Bears as an undrafted free agent in April, 2013 where he went on to play two regular season NFL games.
The team also confirmed the signings reported last week of WR Bakari Grant and LB Glenn Love
Monday, February 20, 2017
Winnipeg Jets right wing Patrik Laine, Toronto Maple Leafs center Nazem Kadri and Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid have been named the NHL’s “Three Stars” for the week ending Feb. 19.
FIRST STAR – PATRIK LAINE, RW, WINNIPEG JETS
Laine led the NHL with five goals and eight points in four games to propel the Jets (28-29-5, 61 points) to seven out of a possible eight standings points. He recorded his third career hat trick, including the winning goal, in a 5-2 triumph over the Dallas Stars Feb. 14. In doing so, Laine became the first player in NHL history to register three hat tricks before his 19th birthday as well as the first rookie to collect three hat tricks in one season since 1992-93. He scored again in a 4-3 overtime loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins Feb. 16. Laine then finished the week with consecutive multi-point efforts, notching 1-1—2 in a 3-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens Feb. 18 and two assists in a 3-2 win against the Ottawa Senators Feb. 19. The 18-year-old Tampere, Finland, native paces rookies with 52 points in 54 games this season and also shares third place in the entire NHL – as well as the rookie lead – with 28 goals.
SECOND STAR – NAZEM KADRI, C, TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS
Kadri picked up points in each of his four games, totaling 4-2—6 to lift the Maple Leafs (27-20-11, 65 points) to a split of their four contests. He recorded 1-1—2, including the decisive goal, in a 7-1 victory over the New York Islanders Feb. 14. Kadri then scored twice, his fifth multi-goal outing of the season, in a 5-2 defeat to the Columbus Blue Jackets Feb. 15. He closed the week with one goal in a 6-3 loss to the Ottawa Senators Feb. 18 and one assist in a 4-0 triumph over the Carolina Hurricanes Feb. 19. The 26-year-old London, Ont., native already has established a career high with 24 goals in 58 appearances this season, while his 46 points are four shy of his personal best set in 2013-14 (20-30—50 in 78 GP).
THIRD STAR – CONNOR McDAVID, C, EDMONTON OILERS
McDavid continued his quest for the Art Ross Trophy, racking up 2-4—6 in three games to guide the Oilers (32-19-8, 72 points) to three straight wins. He began the week with two assists in a 5-2 victory over the Arizona Coyotes Feb. 14. McDavid then posted 1-2—3, his eighth three-point performance of the campaign, in a 6-3 triumph against the Philadelphia Flyers Feb. 16. He capped the week by scoring his 20th goal of 2016-17 in a 3-1 win over the Chicago Blackhawks Feb. 18. The 20-year-old Richmond Hill, Ont., native paces the NHL with 47 assists and 67 points in 59 games this season.