Pages

Thursday, October 30, 2014

U of R Athletics This Weekend







This Week in University of Regina Athletics

Home Events (Canada West)
Men’s Hockey – vs. UBC, Friday (7:00 p.m.) at The Co-operators Centre
Rams Football – vs. Alberta, Saturday (2:00 p.m.) at Mosaic Stadium
Men’s Hockey – vs. UBC, Saturday (7:00 p.m.) at The Co-operators Centre

Away Events (Canada West)
Women’s Volleyball – at Thompson Rivers, Friday (6:00 p.m. PDT) in Kamloops, B.C.
Women’s Basketball – at Victoria, Friday (6:00 p.m. PDT) in Victoria, B.C.
Men’s Volleyball – at Thompson Rivers, Friday (7:45 p.m. PDT) in Kamloops, B.C.
Men’s Basketball – at Victoria, Friday (8:00 p.m. PDT) in Victoria, B.C.
Women’s Volleyball – at Thompson Rivers, Saturday (5:00 p.m. PDT) in Kamloops, B.C.
Women’s Basketball – at Victoria, Saturday (5:00 p.m. PDT) in Victoria, B.C.
Men’s Volleyball – at Thompson Rivers, Saturday (6:45 p.m. PDT) in Kamloops, B.C.
Men’s Basketball – at Victoria, Saturday (7:00 p.m. PDT) in Victoria, B.C.

Away Events (non-conference)
Swimming – at Odlum Brown Colleges Cup, Saturday to Sunday in Vancouver, B.C.
Women’s Wrestling – at Clan International, Saturday in Burnaby, B.C.
Women’s Wrestling – at Can-Am Open, Saturday in Jamestown, N.D.

Rams Football – The Rams (2-5) collected a huge 56-41 victory over No. 9 Manitoba on Saturday to stay alive in the Canada West postseason race. Rookie running back Atlee Simon earned CIS Offensive Player of the Week honours after tying U of R records with four touchdowns scored and three touchdown runs and finishing with 243 all-purpose yards (154 rushing, 89 receiving) in the victory. The Rams finish the conference schedule at home this weekend against Alberta (3-4), needing a win and a little help from the out-of-town scoreboard to qualify for the postseason.

Men’s Hockey – After a weekend off, the Cougars (0-8-0) return to action with a pair of home games this Friday and Saturday against UBC (4-2-2) at The Co-operators Centre. Both games will face off at 7 p.m. The two games against the Thunderbirds mark the first of a stretch of five consecutive two-game weekend sets for the Cougars, who will also face Lethbridge, Saskatchewan, Mount Royal, and Lethbridge again before taking a break from the Canada West schedule during the month of December.

Women’s Basketball (CIS Ranking: No. 8) – The Cougars were rewarded for posting an 8-3 record against CIS competition in non-conference play with the No. 8 slot in this week’s CIS Top Ten, the first poll of the season. They’ll lift the lid on the conference schedule this Friday and Saturday with a road trip to Vancouver Island to take on the Victoria Vikes in a two-game weekend set. Both games will be webcast live at www.canadawest.tv.

Men’s Basketball – The Cougars closed out their non-conference schedule at Brock last weekend, losing a pair of two-point heartbreakers to both York and host Brock along with a Saturday setback to No. 5-ranked Windsor. The Canada West schedule begins this weekend for the Cougars, who will travel to the West Coast for a pair of games against the No. 10-ranked Victoria Vikes.

Women’s Volleyball – The Cougars (1-3) registered a weekend split with Winnipeg in their first home matches of the Canada West schedule, losing in five sets on Friday but recovering for a four-set victory on Saturday. Tori Glynn had a fine weekend for the U of R, leading the Cougars in both kills (32) and digs (33) while hitting a team-high .253 over the two matches. The team is back in action this weekend with two road matches against Thompson Rivers (2-4).

Men’s Volleyball – The Cougars (0-4) were defeated twice by Winnipeg last weekend in the U of R’s first conference matches of the season at the Centre for Kinesiology, Health & Sport. Fifth-year middle Steve Carston had team highs in both kills (13) and hitting percentage (.429) over the weekend for the Cougars, who will now prepare for a pair of matches at Thompson Rivers (0-6) in Kamloops, B.C.

Wrestling – Jacob Luczak highlighted the University of Regina’s first competition of the season, placing first at 100 kg in last Saturday’s Dinos Invitational in Calgary. Sean Belisle also medalled for the Cougars, finishing third at 90 kg. The women’s team will split the squad this weekend, sending Iyanu Adetogun, Emily Foerster, and Sydney McIntyre to the Can-Am Open in Jamestown, N.D. and entering Vicki Busch, Dalynn McKay, and Dakoda Sinclair in the Clan International hosted by Simon Fraser in Burnaby, B.C.

Swimming – The Cougars have their first road meet of the 2014-15 schedule this weekend, as they’ll travel with a full squad to compete in the Odlum Brown Colleges Cup hosted by the University of British Columbia on Saturday and Sunday. It’ll serve as a major tune-up for the Canada West Championships for the Cougars, which will be held Nov. 22 and Nov. 23 in Lethbridge, Alta.

Women’s Hockey – Another weekend, another split for the Cougars as they move to 1-3-3-1 on the season with a 3-2 overtime win over UBC on Friday and a 2-0 loss to the Thunderbirds on Saturday. Brooklyn Moskowy scored the game-winning goal on Friday for the Cougars, who now sit in sixth place in the Canada West standings with 10 points. The U of R will have this weekend off before returning to the conference schedule on Nov. 7 and Nov. 8 at home against Lethbridge.


Cross Country – Matt Johnson again provided the highlight for the cross country teams at the Stewart Cup in Calgary on Saturday, finishing in first place to win his fourth race in as many starts this year for the Cougars. Both the men’s team and the women’s team finished in third place in the overall standings, and the Cougars will now prepare for the CIS Championships hosted by Memorial University on Nov. 8.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Week 9 NFL Capsules


The NFL week starts in New Orleans as the Saints take on the Panthers in an NFC South showdown. For other games in Week 9, click here 

Getting Ready For Game 7



This was the way it had to be. For the two Wild Card-winning clubs that could not be denied. For the World Series loaded with punches and counterpunches. For the legion of fans invested either in the Giants' drive for dynasty status or the Royals' scintillating storyline. These two teams have given us so much entertainment in this event, and now they've given us baseball's ultimate gift: Game 7.

It happens tonight at Kauffman Stadium. First pitch is at 8:07 p.m. ET, and the FOX broadcast begins at 7 p.m. Tuning in on the tube or turning out at what will be a packed and powerful park is not just recommended but required. Jeremy Guthrie and Tim Hudson will get the respective starts for the Royals and Giants, but it will be all hands on deck (including would-be Series MVP Madison Bumgarner) and all eyes affixed on the conclusion of a captivating Fall Classic.

"It's a cool opportunity for us, the Giants and the Royals," Giants catcher Buster Posey said. "Just for baseball fans, in general, Game 7 of the World Series? It doesn't get much better."

Or as Royals manager Ned Yost put it, every kid's baseball dream revolves around Game 7.

Said Yost: "Hitting rocks in the backyard, trying to hit it over the fence for a home run, I never once thought, 'OK, bases loaded, two out, bottom of the ninth, Game 5 of the World Series.' You know? Never. It was always two outs, bottom of the ninth, Game 7 of the World Series."

It was after Game 4, when the Series was knotted at 2-2, that Yost -- his team immersed in its first October opportunity in 29 years -- said he went into this experience secretly wishing for a Game 7 "for the excitement and the thrill of it." It was an unexpected admission from a manager whose team, at that moment, still had a chance to lock up the title in six, but that didn't make it any less true. And at the same time, Giants manager Bruce Bochy admitted a Game 7 wouldn't surprise him the slightest bit, knowing the way these two clubs play.

So now the hopes and hunches have come true, and Game 7 has no shortage of storylines itself.

It is appropriate, first of all, that the only other World Series to feature two Wild Card teams also went seven games. That would be the 2002 tilt featuring the Giants and Angels, when the Rally Monkey-led Halos won Games 6 and 7 at home.

And that brings us to the next point that must be emphasized here: Recent history resoundingly sides with the Royals in this one.
The home team, after all, has won each of the last nine World Series Game 7s, dating back to 1982 (and including the 1985 Royals' championship over the Cardinals). The last eight home teams who won a World Series Game 6 to force a Game 7 won the winner-take-all game, too. In the designated hitter era, the American League has won five out of seven World Series Game 7s played in AL ballparks, including each of the last four.

And for whatever it's worth, the Giants, as a franchise, have never won a sudden-death game in the World Series. They are 0-4. They did, however, play a Game 7 in the 2012 National League Championship Series against the Cards, and that worked out pretty well.
"You go back to '12 and look at this postseason, and I think a lot of people had us getting beat in the first and second round," Bochy said. "This club's so resilient. They're so tough."

If we look at the full scope of history, the home team is 18-17 in World Series Game 7s, which is the kind of a coin-flip outcome you'd expect in a game in which just about anything can happen.

For the Giants, the ace in the hole here is Bumgarner. Whether he can give the Giants one inning or multiple innings on two days' rest remains to be seen (this game falls within his normal between-starts throwing routine), but it would seem a reasonably safe bet that we'll see him in some capacity. The Giants will also again have Yusmeiro Petit available for long relief after he worked just two-thirds of an inning in relief of Jake Peavy in Game 6.

For the Royals, the benefit of blowing out the Giants in Game 6 (beyond the obvious) was the ability it gave Yost to rest his fearsome relief threesome of Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis and Greg Holland. Those guys will all be on multiple days' rest, and ergo, they could be ready to give multiple innings of work.

So Game 7, clearly, is not all about the starters. The 35-year-old Guthrie and 39-year-old Hudson both pitched effectively in Game 3, but they also both gave up an average of 9.5 hits per nine innings this season. Against two lineups prone to contact (and seeing them for the second time in less than a week), that could spell trouble and perhaps an early hook.

Offensively, the Royals, who were clearly bolstered by the return to AL rules and their regular lineup, might appear to have the momentum, but momentum has obviously been a fleeting thing in this Series so far.


"I think it will be a completely clean slate," Royals designated hitter Billy Butler said
.
A clean slate upon which history will be written. There have been 2,461 games played in this Major League season.
We've got one left.

Royals: Guthrie expects gutsy effort
As if pitching a Game 7 weren't pressure enough, the Giants' ability to bring in Bumgarner midgame could, one supposes, put added pressure on Guthrie not to let San Francisco grab an early lead. But the value of posting zeros on the scoreboard is not exactly a novel idea, no matter the circumstance.

"My margin for error is going to be minimal either way," Guthrie said.

The Royals have won both of Guthrie's starts this postseason. After allowing just a run on three hits with two walks and two strikeouts, he left the mound after the fifth inning against Baltimore in Game 3 of the AL Championship Series and announced, "I'm done." The bullpen took it from there. In Game 3 of this World Series, Guthrie went 5 2/3 innings, allowing just two runs on four hits with no walks or strikeouts. In the process, he became the first pitcher since Bob Turley of the 1960 Yankees to win a World Series game without recording a strikeout.

"I feel like I'm in a good position to pitch well, as I've been all season long," Guthrie said. "And that's a good place to be, to not have to worry about being fatigued or not have to worry about any lingering soreness. I feel that whatever I bring to Game 7 will be my best."

Giants: The Bumgarner watch

Bumgarner, who has allowed just one run in 31 career World Series innings and has a 1.13 ERA and .156 average against in six starts this postseason, will not be surprising everybody and starting. Rid yourself of that thought right away.
"You know, this guy is human," Bochy said. "You can't push him that much. He'll be available if we need him, but to start him, I think that's asking a lot."
But Bochy could definitely ask Bumgarner to bail him out of a jam. Bumgarner pitched two scoreless innings of relief in the 2010 NLCS, and having Game 7 land on his throw day allows the Giants to play with the possibility. And once he's in there, Bochy will just have to monitor his workload and effort level to decide how long he can ride him.
Don't worry about Bumgarner needing a long time to warm up.
"Something tells me it won't take too long to get loose in Game 7 of the World Series," he quipped.

Worth noting
• The early Weather Channel forecast was calling for a first-pitch temperature around 55 degrees with zero chance of precipitation. Game on.
• At 39 years, 107 days, Hudson will be the oldest Game 7 starter ever. Roger Clemens was 39 years, 92 days old when he started Game 7 for the Yankees in 2001.
• The last road team to win a World Series Game 7 was the 1979 Pirates against the Orioles. The '75 Reds are the last road team to bounce back and win a Game 7 after coming up short on a chance to close out the Series in Game 6.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Mr. Hockey Suffers Serious Stroke



Hockey great Gordie Howe suffered a serious stroke Sunday and has lost some function on the right side of his body and has difficulty speaking, according to his daughter, Cathy Purnell.

Howe, who suffered the stroke while in Texas, is recovering at his daughter's house in Lubbock, his son told The Detroit News. Dr. Murray Howe is the head of the department of radiology at Toledo Hospital in Ohio.

"Basically, sometime in the early morning on Sunday he suffered a pretty bad stroke," Dr. Howe told the News.

"The right side of his body is very, very weak. He's unable to stand without help. He's able to speak, but very, very difficult to speak.

"He knows who he is. He knows the people around him. But it is very difficult for him to get up and walk around. So he is pretty much confined to his bed right now. So we're just trying to keep him comfortable, and that's our goal."

Purnell told ESPN.com her father has been looking at family pictures and pictures from his playing days, and he's able to recognize and identify people he played with. She said his three sons were on the way there to see him.

"What he's most excited about is that his boys are coming in. He keeps pointing at the clock and looking at me," Purnell said.

Howe's son told the News that "Mr. Hockey" had returned to shape and was walking up to a mile a day after undergoing spinal surgery this summer. But while the surgery helped alleviate one problem, his recovery from the stroke will be "a little bit tougher to fight."

"For any fans who are concerned about him, they should know that he's very comfortable and he's surrounded by family," he told the News. "And that is our goal, to make sure he is as happy and comfortable as can be, until the end."

Purnell echoed her brother's sentiments.

"He had a few moments of clarity today and it was really good to see the resilience in him. He's a tough old bird. His spirits are high.

"I watched him play hockey a lot of years and this is the biggest fight he's ever had. He's working hard to get through of it and I'm proud of him."

The 86-year-old Howe was a six-time winner of the Hart Trophy as league most valuable player, winner of six Art Ross Trophies as the leading scorer and played on four Stanley Cup-winning teams with the Detroit Red Wings.

The National Hockey League released a statement via Twitter Tuesday night, saying, "The NHL family sends prayers for strength & healing to our revered Gordie Howe. We wish him a speedy & full recovery."

Jose Canseco Accidentally Shoots Himself In Hand



LAS VEGAS -- Former major league slugger Jose Canseco is recovering after shooting himself in the hand at his Las Vegas home.

Metro police Lt. Mark Reddon says officers responded to a call of an accidental shooting Tuesday afternoon.

Reddon says Canseco told police he was cleaning his gun in the kitchen when it fired, shooting a finger on his left hand. He was taken to University Medical Center of Southern Nevada.

Canseco played 17 years in the major leagues, starring for the Oakland Athletics as one of the "Bash Brothers" in the late 1980s. He was part of the A's 1989 World Series championship team and last played for the Chicago White Sox in 2001.

The right-handed outfielder and designated hitter had 462 career home runs and was a six-time All-Star. He also played for Texas, Boston, Toronto, Tampa Bay and the New York Yankees.

He later admitted to performance-enhancing drug use, with his 2005 book, "Juiced: Wild Times, Rampant 'Roids, Smash Hits & How Baseball Got Big," amplifying MLB's doping issues.

Canseco was in Regina earlier this year as the guest speaker at the Regina Red Sox annual sportsman's dinner.

Monday, October 27, 2014

NHL Three Stars Of Week



NEW YORK (Oct. 27, 2014) – Los Angeles Kings center Jeff Carter, Edmonton Oilers goaltender Ben Scrivens and New York Islanders center Frans Nielsen have been named the NHL’s “Three Stars” for the week ending Oct. 26.



FIRST STAR – JEFF CARTER, C, LOS ANGELES KINGS



Carter tied for the League lead with six points (2-4—6) in two outings to help the Kings (6-1-1, 13 points) complete a perfect six-game homestand for the first time in franchise history. He opened the week with 1-1—2, including his 54th career game-winning goal, in a 2-0 victory over the Buffalo Sabres Oct. 23. Carter then set a career high with three assists and matched a career high with four points in a 5-2 triumph over his former team, the Columbus Blue Jackets, Oct. 26. The 29-year-old London, Ont., native has compiled 5-7—12 and a +12 rating in eight games this season, including an even or plus rating in each contest. Playing alongside Tyler Toffoli and Tanner Pearson, the trio known as “That ’70s Line” has combined for 16 of the Kings’ 21 goals (excluding shootout tallies) and a +32 rating in 2014-15.



SECOND STAR – BEN SCRIVENS, G, EDMONTON OILERS



Scrivens posted a 3-0-0 record with a 2.33 goals-against average and .920 save percentage to lead the Oilers (3-4-1, 7 points) to their first three-game winning streak since Jan. 26-29. He made 22 saves in a 3-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning Oct. 20, a season-high 32 saves in a 3-2 triumph over the Washington Capitals Oct. 22 and 27 saves in a 6-3 win over the Carolina Hurricanes Oct. 24. The 28-year-old Spruce Grove, Alta., native is 3-3-0 with a 3.31 goals-against average and .882 save percentage in seven appearances this season. This marks the second time in Scrivens’ 79-game NHL career that he has posted a personal winning streak of at least three games; he won a career-high four consecutive games from Nov. 14-19, 2013, while with the Los Angeles Kings.



THIRD STAR – FRANS NIELSEN, C, NEW YORK ISLANDERS



Nielsen tied for the League lead with four goals in three games to power the Islanders (6-2-0, 12 points) to a pair of victories, helping the team match its best eight-game start in the last 31 years (2001-02: 6-0-1-1). He collected one assist in a 5-2 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs Oct. 21 and then chipped in his first goal of the season in a 3-2 victory over the Boston Bruins Oct. 23. With the game tied 4-4 after 40 minutes, Nielsen scored three third-period goals – including the game-winner – to record his first career hat trick and lift the Islanders to a 7-5 triumph over the Dallas Stars Oct. 25. The 30-year-old Herning, Denmark, native has 4-4—8 in eight games this season; he posted a career-high 25 goals, 33 assists and 58 points in 2013-14.


Sunday, October 26, 2014

Something To "Mitch" About


Losses are losses and at this time of year, I don't believe in moral victories. However, I do think the Saskatchewan Roughriders are a much more confident group offensively than what they were despite Friday's 4th quarter meltdown and that we will see some fight from this squad as they prepare to defend their Grey Cup title in earnest in a couple of weeks time

Through three quarters, Kerry Joseph showed us he can still throw the ball and while he had a terrible 4th quarter as did everyone, you could see a spark that hadn't been seen for a while. Remember, there was no Allen, no Dressler, no Smith, no Best and no Labatte.  I don't know if this team beats Edmonton in the final week of the season and I don't know if they win out East in the playoffs with or without Darian Durant, but Joseph has given you a sign this team isn't going to roll over like they had for most of the time Durant was out and the Sunseri/Doege experiment was taking place.

Someone must have told the Stamps prior to the 4th quarter this wasn't the Western final. They were certainly playing as if it was.

If there was one thing I didn't like about Friday's game, it was the decision to abandon the run. When up by 12, I thought the Stampeders D would get a solid dose of Messam and Keith Toston, but it didn't happen. Why?  That one was a headscratcher as both Messam and Toston were providing some bull-like runs that had Calgary on their heels.  Speaking of Toston, he had a fumble and a dropped pass, but I liked what I saw from him. It was also good to see Chris Getzlaf get back on track.

I'd still rather be in the Riders situation than Winnipeg's. At least the Riders have an excuse for their poor second half that will see them miss the playoffs after such a great start.

Is Montreal the best team in the East? They seem to be.


Other thoughts and takeaways from the weekend.

 --The ceremony to honor Corporal Nathan Cirillo and Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent was simply spectacular and was so well done. I'm guessing there were a lot of misty-eyes across the country after that. Say what you will about Don Cherry, but if you saw him Saturday night, he brought up a very great point when he says we can't forget about our soldiers which we likely will as this event starts to fade away and that donations should be made to the Canadian Forces Morale & Welfare Services (www.cfmws.com) so military families, department of national defence employees, RCMP personnel and others receive the morale and welfare programs, services and activities they deserve.

 --I don't know why Rays manager Joe Maddon has decided to step down, but if he isn't fielding calls from both the Cubs and Blue Jays. there is something wrong. Tell me Blue Jays fans that Maddon wouldn't be a huge improvement over John Gibbons.

--Still with the Rays, I was never an Expos fan, but I would love to see them return to Montreal and if they were to come back and stay in the American League East, it would mean 18 games a year against Toronto which would be so huge for baseball in this country. I don't know if this will happen, but if word comes out about a stadium being built if they do, it just might happen.

 --There's no doubt Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner will be the World Series MVP if San Fran hangs on to win it all, but teams going back home needing to win Games 6 and 7 to take it all have done so eight of the last ten times its happened. Win or lose, Bumgarner has given us one of the greatest playoff runs we have ever seen.

--I got word from a friend of mine in Edmonton who has some sources close to the Oilers who indicated the team passed up a chance to get Johnny Boychuk from the Bruins. They were OK in sending Nail Yakupov to the Bruins, but they balked at sending Boston a second round pick. What???? Why???? That doesn't make sense. Boychuk would have been a great addition in Edmonton.

--I will confess I had no idea who Jian Ghomeshi was until the story came out this weekend.

--It would appear as if Steve Nash's great basketball career is over. He's a Hall of Famer if you ask me. He didn't win a title and that is how greatness is measured these days, but in his prime, there was no better.

--The NHL suspended Slava Voynov after he was arrested on domestic violence charges. That's a good thing. Voynov hasn't been charged yet though. It has some asking if he should be playing. That's a tough question to answer. If he doesn't get charged, he has lost out on a lot of salary for basically nothing. Is that right?

--One has to wonder if Marc Trestman is on shaky ground in Chicago. A beatdown by New England won't help his case. Jay Cutler doesn't either, but that's just my opinion.

--Is it safe to say Tom Brady has silenced his critics?

--The Seahawks won an ugly one, but something isn't right with the defending champs.

--Speaking of the Seahawks, you can vote Regina's own Jon Ryan to the Pro Bowl. Go right here and do so...

http://www.nfl.com/probowl


 --How can anyone watch Two Broke Girls?

--The NBA season starts this week. Did the Raptors playoff run last year mean anything when it comes to interest. I may watch a few more games than usual this year, but I'll be sticking to hockey.

--Congrats to the Rams who got a big win over Manitoba. They also got some help so they are in a position to make the playoffs, but they need to knock off Alberta next Saturday at 2 and then get some more help to get in. One thing is for sure, that team has been very exciting to watch and if their first game against Alberta is any indication, it should be a knock em down, drag em out affair next Saturday.  Gary "Chop" Bresch and I will have the play by play for you on Access next Saturday with Ballsy and Marco Ricci giving you the radio call on 620 CKRM at 2.

--If you are in Hell and you're mad at someone, where do you tell them to go?

--That's all I got. Have a great week!!