A "TRUE" HEARTBREAKER - So much for a Game 7 at the Brandt Centre. With 7 minutes left, it looked as if the Regina Pats were going to send the WHL Final to a deciding game, but as they have so many times in this final, the Seattle Thunderbirds showed they wanted it more and as a result, they are headed to the MasterCard Memorial Cup in Windsor starting Friday.
The difference in this series was the fact the T-Birds simply never ever stopped. In Game 5, the Pats were up 2-0, but Seattle roared back to tie it at 2. That to me was the turning point of this series.
With 6:48 to go and needing a win to send it to Game 7, the Pats just weren't strong enough to stem the tide and when Seattle tied it at 17:06 I had a bad feeling. It set the stage for Alexander True to win it for the T-Birds in OT crushing the Pats dream. They just seemed hungrier. Whether or not it was the fact they lost the final last year or something else, the T-Birds just seemingly wanted it more.
It's a tough lesson for John Paddock's crew to take, but perhaps they will have an opportunity to take that lesson into next year and use it to their advantage when they host the Memorial Cup next year. Of course they will do it without Adam Brooks, Dawson Leedahl and Chase Harrison, but this team will be good next year. They may not be 52 wins good, but there is no reason to think John Paddock and crew will have this team back in the hunt again.
This one stings, but in the end Regina, you have a hockey team you have been dreaming to see for a long time and they aren't going away.
CITY OF CHAMPIONS - Do the fine people in Ottawa need to steal that moniker from Edmonton. The REDBLACKS are Grey Cup champs, the Senators are trying to get to the Stanley Cup championship, Rachel Homan's curling rink are Canadian and world champs, and Carleton seemingly wins the USports Canada men's basketball championship every year. Do you think the NHL wants to see Ottawa in the final when it comes to TV numbers in the states. Having Anaheim oppose them as they did a decade ago would at least have a large market in the final, but I would think an Ottawa-Nashville final wouldn't draw many to their TV's south of the border. In Canada, we will watch no matter who is in the final, but we all know the U-S is a different story.
By the way, do Leafs fans care considering the rise they took this year that Phil Kessel and Dion Phaneuf are opposing one another in this series. I wouldn't think so.
GIVE NOAH A CHANCE - Message to all 9 CFL teams. Someone draft Noah Picton in the 2018 CFL Draft and give him a meaningful chance to be a member of your team moving forward. Yes, I know that is a tall task to ask since CFL teams don't look at the talent at the game's most important position but rather the birth certificate instead. The 2016 Canadian University football MVP went out Saturday and won the MVP honours at the East-West bowl where players for the 2018 draft will be eligible.
At the combine, Picton was making all the throws that had to be made. He has shown what he can do at the University level and will likely have another fine season in front of him as the Rams look to finish first in Canada West for a second straight season.
He deserves the opportunity. Do I realistically think he will get it? NOPE! I've said it once, and I'll say it again. If Picton and other Canadian QB's past and present went to school in the U-S, they would be looked at seriously. If Brandon Bridge had gone to school in Canada, he wouldn't be in the CFL right now.
I know its far down the list on priorities for the league, but they must find a way to get the "Canadian" quarterback into the "Canadian" Football League.
SALUTING THE CAPTAIN -- Derek Jeter will never go down as one of the best players in the history of baseball, but he does go down as one of the greatest New York Yankees to have ever played the game. The long-time shortstop of the Yankees who did many great things including 5 World Series titles in a 20 year career got his due Sunday as the team retired number 2. All that is left now is a trip to Cooperstown.
In a city that has swallowed up numerous athletes, Jeter did it right. The guy is pure class. Those who aren't Yankee fans had to respect what Number 2 meant not only to the Bronx Bombers but baseball as a whole. He had a flair for the dramatich which was stamped in his final at-bat which was a game-winning hit.
He penned his own thank you to New York, and in only the way Jeter can, he hit a homer with it.
By the way, it was somewhat ironic that the Yankees had the retirement ceremony in between games of a doubleheader needed because of a rainout Saturday. I guess the baseball gods wanted the Yankees to play "2" on Sunday.
WHAT NOW - The Thunderbirds win was also the last WHL game on SHAW. Thanks to some extremely short-sighted decisions by suits, it has been decided that coverage of the WHL along with Canada West Football is no more.
The big loser in that are both the WHL and Canada West Football along with you the fan. You got to see other players and other teams that you don't see thanks to the hard-work of the people at SHAW.
You can't tell me that Canada West Football didn't see a record amount of players drafted because scouts had more of an opportunity to watch games along with film. You also can't tell me that more people became invested in the WHL because of what SHAW has done over the last many years bringing us games we would otherwise not see. Both need someone to step up and pick up the ball. Fingers are crossed, but once again there is the stark reality that sports fans in Western Canada have perhaps seen the end of the road of two properties that deserve the coverage they have received and more.
With 5 TSN's and numerous SNET's, it baffles me as to why Canada can't have a sports channel to showcase its amateur athletes and leagues, It's something we could ask decades down the road as well, as we all know that sadly won't happen.
That's all I got, Have a great week and thank you to the Regina Pats for once again giving the Queen City a team we can be proud of moving forward.