Saturday, March 7, 2009

Where Has That Been?

The Regina Pats may not make the playoffs this year but they showed everyone on Friday night what type of hockey they are capable of playing. Dale Derkatch’s crew came back from a 3-1 deficit to beat the Medicine Hat Tigers 4-3 at the Brandt Centre in a game shown on Access 7 with yours truly and Kelly Remple. Upon games end, I wandered downstairs and what I saw was something I hadn’t seen in a long time and that was smiling faces and a happy atmosphere. Guys like Victor Bartley, Matt Strueby and Colten Teubert who was named the game’s first star finally were able to enjoy one on home ice after beating a quality opponent in the Tigers. It was Strueby who turned the game around when he took a pass at the Medicine Hat blue line in the final minute of the 2nd and snapped one behind Tigers goalie Ryan Holfeld to give Regina some momentum going into the final 20 minutes. Matt Robertson tied it when he converted a rebound on a goalmouth scramble and Strueby won it 50 seconds later when his centering attempt went off a Tiger d-man into the net. While Teubert was named the game’s first star, the honor could have easily went to goalie Damien Ketlo. He received his 2nd straight start which is something he deserved after his performance against Lethbridge last Sunday and he delivered. Speaking with Derkatch before the game, I asked him if Ketlo’s start was supposed to be a message to Linden Rowat or not and he said absolutely not and that Ketlo’s play against the Hurricanes was the reason he got the start against the Tigers. After the game, he said “Everyone including you thought I was crazy to start Ketlo but everyone was wrong. He didn’t say it in an “I told you so” tone but you know he was happy to have quieted the second-guessers. Expect Ketlo to guard the goal again tonight when Brandon visits in a 7 o’clock start. As if the win wasn’t good enough, Saskatoon beat P-A 5-4 and Swift Current beat Edmonton 3-2 meaning the gap is now 5 points with 5 games to play. The Raiders have three games left and the Oil Kings have 4. A win over Brandon tonight will perhaps make it interesting in the last week. The chances of being in the playoffs are still slim but you just never know---especially in junior hockey. One other WHL note….perhaps a preview of the final last night in Vancouver with the Hitmen beating the host Giants

The dream of an all Saskatchewan national semi-final at the CIS womens basketball championship went up in smoke on Day 1 of the tournament but thankfully the host U of R Cougars are still in position to be in Sunday nights championship game. The Cougars beat Cape Breton 66-51. Chelsea Cassano had 15 to lead Dave Taylor’s squad who will meet Windsor in an 8 o’clock start tonight. Windsor eliminating the Huskies with a 63-55 win. That game will be on “The Score” as will the other semi featuring number 1 Simon Fraser against number 4 Alberta. This only begs the question….do I go to the Pats game or the Cougars game. Decisions, decisions, decisions.
If the Grey Cup is Canada’s big party than what is the Tim Hortons Brier. People of all ages will converge on Calgary’s Saddledome for what may be the best Canadian mens curling championship we have ever seen. Kevin Martin, Glenn Howard, Jeff Stoughton, Mark Dacey, Jean-Michel Menard, Brad Gushue and Russ Howard are all in the field making for what should be a very competitive week. While Joel Jordison competes in his first Brier, the Moose Jaw skip and his rink have done well curling against the heavyweights in the sport on the World Curling Tour so it will be interesting to see how he does. TSN is once again all over it as they will bring you 60 hours of coverage starting with this afternoon’s first draw.
Its Canada against the U-S at the World Baseball Classic today in front of what they are saying will be a sold out Rogers Centre. Can Canada’s bats overcome what is a second rate pitching staff??
UFC 96 goes tonight with “The Dean of Mean” Keith Jardine against Rampage Jackson in the main event. If Jackson wins, one would think he deserves a title shot against Rashad Evans. Listen to this UFC newbie making such a bold statement. I love the nicknames in the sport. I would be Mitchell “No Nickname Required” Blair. Who’s kidding who, I’d be Mitchell “One Bloody Laid-Out Mess” Blair. If you’re a UFC fan, go to after its over as they have a pretty nice post-match show that you can catch online.
Just one other thing that is non sports related. I don’t care what race you are, the fact Christopher Pauchay is getting just three years for what he did is in my mind proof positive our justice system is a joke. 18 months each for the lives of his two young daughters who didn’t even get a chance to enjoy life because of his actions. That is extremely sad. This man deserves much more than 3 years behind bars….much more.
I think that’s all I got for now. Get out there and enjoy your Saturday and if you are headed to the Eagles in Saskatoon for Sunday’s show---have a safe trip! I know many who are making the trip up Highway 11 for one of the three performances. Sadly I will not be one of them. I asked the wife if she wanted to go and she said no…OK. I think she might be waiting for a concert at Taylor Field (Mosaic Stadium) on August 29….if a concert should be happening at that venue on that night and I'm hearing there could be. It could leave her "Thunderstruck"!!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

No way Blair! Don't tease me with the Thunderstruck comment! If its true this 50 something old head banger will be front and center getting squashed, and loving it down the highway to hell.