Saturday, November 29, 2014

Cortez Leaving Riderville???

Sportscage insider Arash Madani is reporting this on the eve of the Grey Cup....

The freefall of the Saskatchewan Roughriders season will claim at least its offensive coordinator, and likely more members of the team’s coachin‎g staff.
Sportsnet has learned the Riders have parted ways with offensive coordinator George Cortez, only a year after winning the Grey Cup. Cortez is believed to be one of a number of Saskatchewan coaches that will not return in 2015.
The Roughriders got off to a terrific 8-2 ‎start this season, but lost quarterback Darian Durant to a torn elbow tendon in September. From there, the team was lost offensively — ineffective with back-ups Tino Sunseri and Seth Doege. Kerry Joseph was called off the couch from retirement in October, but did not help down the stretch, nor in the West semi-final playoff loss to the Edmonton Eskimos.
Cortez’s play calling c‎ame under fire throughout the season, and whispers from within the organization suggested a stubbornness to change.
Saskatchewan special teams coach ‎Bob Dyce may also find a new home. Sources said Dyce is interviewing for both the University of Regina head coaching job, as well as the offensive coordinator vacancy with the Ottawa RedBlacks.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Makowsky And Eddie Davis Going To CFL Hall of Fame


The Canadian Football Hall of Fame and Museum (CFHOF) announced a star-studded cast of 2014 inductees on Friday night in Vancouver.

Former Calgary Stampeders and BC Lions quarterback Dave Dickenson highlights the list of players inducted, which also includes Leroy Blugh, Eddie Davis, and Gene Makowsky. Bob O'Billovich, a long-time CFL Head Coach and General Manager, headlines the list of builders being inducted along with Larry Reda and Bob Wetenhall.

“On behalf of the CFL, our Board of Governors and our fans, congratulations to this year’s inductees on this great honour,” said CFL Commissioner Mark Cohon. “Every one of these gentlemen had a positive impact on the growth of football in our country, and for that we are forever indebted to them."

Players Category

Leroy Blugh

Leroy Blugh had a successful collegiate and professional career. During his time with the Bishop’s Gaiters, Blugh amassed numerous records with Bishop’s University and in the Canadian Intercollegiate Athletic Union (CIAU). After college, Blugh spent 14 seasons with the Canadian Football League (CFL) with the Edmonton Eskimos and the Toronto Argonauts. During his career with the CFL, he has two West Division All-Star selections. Once his playing career was over, Blugh decided to return to his Alma matter in Bishop’s and coached the Gaiters for six seasons from 2006 until 2011.

Eddie Davis

Eddie Davis started his CFL career in 1995, when he was part of the Birmingham Barracudas. He then moved on to play to play for the Calgary Stampeders where he spent five seasons, winning his first Grey Cup in 1998. During his time with Calgary, Eddie’s best season was in 1998, where he had 77 total tackles, three sacks, and four interceptions for 127 yards. In 2001, Eddie joined the Saskatchewan Roughriders. He continued on as a Roughrider until his retirement in 2009. During his time with the Roughriders, he led Saskatchewan in interceptions in 2001 with 4 and 2004 with 6 and won his second Grey Cup in 2007.

Dave Dickenson

Dave Dickenson started his CFL career with the Calgary Stampeders. In his first 5 years, Dickenson participated in two Grey Cups, winning his first in 1998. Named a CFL and West All-Star, & won the Most Outstanding Player award in 2000. Dickenson joined the NFL for three seasons, returning to the CFL in 2003 as Quarterback for the BC Lions. Leading the Lions to the Grey Cup win in 2006. Dickenson returned to his roots, finishing his career with the Calgary Stampeders.

Gene Makowsky

Gene Makowsky played his entire 17-year career with the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Throughout his career, Makowsky played a total of 284 regular season games, 16 playoff games, and 4 Grey Cup games with Saskatchewan. Upon his retirement, he is listed first in most seasons played by a Saskatchewan Roughriders with 17. In 2013, Makowsky was also inducted into Saskatchewan Roughriders Plaza of Honour.

Builders Category

Bob O'Billovich

Bob O’Billovich began his football career with the University of Montana, where he is a member of their Hall of Fame. O’Billovich then played five seasons with the Ottawa Rough Riders from 1963 – 1967. During that time he was an Eastern divison All-Star in 1965 and a Grey Cup participant in 1966.

Once O’Billovich retired as a player, he became an Assistant Coach for the Ottawa Rough Riders from 1976 - 1981. Bob’s first head coaching position was with the Toronto Argonauts where he stayed for eight seasons from 1982 - 1989 and won his only Grey Cup in 1983. Following that, O’Billovich moved to Vancouver and took on the role of Head Coach/General Manager of the BC Lions from 1990 - 1992.

Moving back to Toronto to become the Head Coach/General Manager from 1993 - 1995. After Toronto, O’Billovich bumped around the CFL until he landed the General Manager position with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in 2008. In total, Bob O’Billovich garnered 107 wins as a head coach.

Larry Reda

Larry Reda is known as the man who is behind the Western Canada All-Star football camp which runs annually at Simon Fraser University. As a coach, Larry participated in every level of amateur football. As an administrator, Larry held the following positions: Director, and President of the BC Junior Football League.

Among the highlights in his career, Larry is a lifetime member of the Canadian Junior Football League (CJFL), a trustee of the selection committee for the BC Sports Hall of Fame, the recipient of the lifetime achievement award which are presented by the BC Lions, was a charter member of the BC Football Hall of Fame, awarded the Commissioner’s Award for outstanding service to football in Canada in 2011.

Bob Wetenhall

Bob Wetenhall was the primary figure in the expansion, infrastructure improvements, and the restoration of Percival-Molson Stadium at McGill University. As owner, Montreal had 10 first-place finishes, eight Grey Cup appearances, three Grey Cup championships, and the city of Montreal hosted two Grey Cup games.

Since 1997, when Bob brought former CFL commissioner Larry Smith into the organization, the two designed the “Adopt an Alouette” project, which is Montreal Alouettes players went into the schools, talked to the students and got the excited about the Canadian game. Among helping designed the “Adopt an Alouette” program, Bob was part of the Board of Governors from 1997 until 2013, and in 2011 was granted McGill University’s highest honour: The Honourary Doctor of Laws Degree.

Jays Trade Brett Lawrie To Oakland

The Oakland Athletics have traded All-Star third baseman Josh Donaldson to the Toronto Blue Jays.

The A's will receive third baseman Brett Lawrie, right-hander Kendall Graveman, left-hander Sean Nolin and minor league shortstop Franklin Barreto.

Oakland GM Billy Beane said on a conference call that Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos was reluctant to give up four players for Donaldson, but the A's wouldn't have proceeded otherwise.

"We wouldn't have done the deal unless it addressed now and the future, and they were able to do that. This deal in our minds addresses a little bit of everything," Beane said. "It got pretty serious the last 48 hours. They were reluctant to give up all four players, and we weren't going to do it without those four players in the deal."

Donaldson, 28, a sure-handed, athletic defender, batted .255 with 29 home runs and 98 RBIs in 158 games this past season, and was named to his first All-Star team. In four seasons in the majors, all with Oakland, he has a .268 average with 63 home runs and 228 RBIs in 405 games.

In his only two years as a regular, he finished fourth (2013) and eighth (2014) in AL MVP voting.

Lawrie batted .247 with 12 home runs and 38 RBIs in 70 games for Toronto this past season. He missed most of the final three months because of a broken finger and an oblique strain.

Barreto, 18, is a .296 hitter in 132 minor league games. He is "exciting, but a ways away," a scout told's Jerry Crasnick.

The People's Grey Cup Ad

This And That

Yeah, its a little late today, but I have some days off from the mighty RM as I have some things going on. The fact it coincided with American Thanksgiving meaning a solid weekend of football was a big factor in scheduling what needed to get done, but hey that's OK!
While watching the Turkey day games south of the border, I am keeping my eyes glued on what is happening north of the border in Vancouver as well so without further adieu, here are some thoughts running through my muddled mind as we get ready to enjoy Grey Cup weekend and as always they come in no particular order.
--Sounded like Rod Pedersen and Luc Mullinder were having a good time doing Saskatchewan's #1 sports show---the Sportscage--from the heart of the action in Vancouver. I turned on my radio yesterday afternoon and heard the Rider pep band doing its thing as Commissioner Marc Cohon paid a visit. I'm guessing the boys will have another solid two and a half hours of programming today.
--Who is going to replace Cohon? I have no idea. Can they find someone as charismatic as him? Can they find someone who will relate with the fans as well as he can? Yes, there is much more to the job than being charismatic, but despite some negatives that have surfaced near the end of his tenureship, Cohon has done more good for this league than bad. He will hold his state of the league address with fans today in Vancouver as well as doing his thing with the media this morning. The bit with the fans last year at the Delta was my favourite part of Grey Cup week leading up to the game. I learned more from his chat with the fans than I did with the media chat. Cohon and the entire program was much less formal. I hope his successor keeps this tradition up.
--Congrats to Riders president and CEO Jim Hopson for being recognized by the CFL for his  years of work with the football team and the league.  There's no secret here how much respect I have for Hoppy and what he has done for this organization.  There are many things he has done as well that aren't publicized to raise the profile of the football club. I'll miss seeing him on the sidelines and wherever next year.
--To the game itself and I think this year's game either has a Calgary blowout or a tight Hamilton win attached to it in my mind. On paper, Calgary should destroy the Tabbies with ideal field conditions and weather, but we don't play the game on paper as we all know. I will be very interested in seeing how both quarterbacks handle their first championship game, but in the end, I see the X factor being Ti-Cats running back Nic Grigsby. If he can allow Collaros to have a manageable distance on second down, I see Hamilton keeping it close. I don't see that Ti-Cats defence being able to consistenly stop Cornish who will get 100  yards.  The chess game between Hufnagel and Austin will be great. In the end, I see Calgary winning this one 31-20.  If that is the case, I won't be happy for the ever-cocky Stamps, but it will be nice to see Brett Jones and Marc Mueller with GC rings on their fingers.
--Congrats to Rams receiver Addison Richards who is off to the East-West Shrine Bowl. He will get to show his stuff to American coaches and scouts at the game in St. Petersburg, Florida in January. Could it get "Addy" an NFL invite somewhere? I think its safe to say he has caught his last pass in a Rams uniform.
--How about the Seahawks last night!! DOMINATION!!!! Colin Kaepernick learned again you don't mess with Richard Sherman!  One has to wonder seeing how Kaepernick has regressed this year if the Niners will look at switching things up next year. It seems to me as if defences have figured out Colin.
--Week 13 (or what's left of it) NFL Lock of the Week  ----Steelers over Saints
   Week 13 NFL Upset of the Week  ---Vikings over Panthers
--Did even the most optimistic Raptors fan see this start coming? They look great!  Speaking of great looking basketball teams, the Cougar men and women play Brandon tonight and tomorrow starting at 6 both nights. Get down to the CKHS and enjoy some great University basketball.
--We almost got to the first of December with no real snow. I guess I'll take that. Sounds like it will be a nasty weekend weatherwise so stay safe. 

Thursday, November 27, 2014

The Winners Are,....

B.C. Lions linebacker Solomon Elimimian is the CFL’s outstanding player.

Elimimian was honoured Thursday at the CFL’s awards banquet at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre

Elimimian becomes the first pure defensive player to capture the award in voting conducted by the Football Reporters of Canada and nine CFL head coaches.
Quarterback Ricky Ray of the Toronto Argonauts was the finalist.
The six-foot, 227-pound Elimimian recorded 143 tackles this season and added five sacks.

Earlier, Elimimian was named the CFL’s top defensive player.

Cornish named top Canadian for third straight year
Running back Jon Cornish of the Calgary Stampeders is the CFL’s top Canadian.
The 30-year-old native of New Westminster, B.C., was honoured Thursday during the CFL’s awards banquet at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre.
Cornish claimed the award in voting conducted by the Football Reporters of Canada and nine CFL head coaches.
The six-foot, 209-pound Cornish led the CFL in rushing with 1,082 yards and averaged 7.8 yards per carry despite only playing nine games due to injuries.
Defensive tackle Ted Laurent of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, who recorded a career-best nine sacks, was the finalist.
Calgary and Hamilton will meet Sunday in the Grey Cup game.

Elimimian selected as CFL’s best defender
B.C. Lions linebacker Solomon Elimimian is the CFL’s top defensive player.
Elimimian was honoured Thursday at the CFL’s awards banquet at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre.
Elimimian captured the honour in voting conducted by the Football Reporters of Canada and nine CFL head coaches.
Elimimian had a season to remember, registering 143 defensive tackles and 151 total tackles — both CFL records — while adding five sacks for the Lions.
Linebacker Bear Woods of the Montreal Alouettes, the CFL’s second-leading tackler with 89, was the award finalist.

Jones named top lineman
Centre Brett Jones of the Calgary Stampeders is the CFL’s top lineman.
The Stampeders’ sophomore lineman was honoured during the CFL awards banquet Thursday from the Queen Elizabeth Theatre.
Jones received the award in voting by the Football Reporters of Canada and nine CFL head coaches.
Jones was the CFL’s top rookie last year.
The six-foot-two, 318-pound Jones, a 23-year-old native of Weyburn, Sask., played all 18 regular-season games for the Stampeders and anchored an offensive line that allowed a league-low 26 sacks.
Calgary also led the CFL in rushing, averaging 144 yards per game.

Waters takes home special-teams player of the year
Swayze Waters of the Toronto Argonauts is the CFL’s top special-teams player.
The Argos punter/kicker was honoured Thursday during the CFL’s awards banquet at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre.
Waters was named the award winner in voting conducted by the Football Reporters of Canada and nine CFL head coaches.
The 27-year-old Waters’s season began on a sombre note when his best friend, Tait Hendrix, died in a motorcyle accident during training camp.
Waters wore No. 34 this season — Hendrix’s high school number — and dedicated the ’14 season to his friend’s memory.
The six-foot, 180-pound Waters led the CFL in scoring (192 points), field goals tried (52), made (47), punting (47.7 yards) and kickoffs (65.2 yards).

McCoil wins rookie of the year
Edmonton Eskimos linebacker Dexter McCoil is the CFL’s top rookie.
The 23-year-old was honoured Thursday during the CFL’s awards banquet at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre.
McCoil was rewarded in voting conducted by the Football Reporters of Canada and nine CFL head coaches.
The six-foot-four, 222-pound former Tulsa star scored three defensive touchdowns this season and also finished tied for the league lead in interceptions (six) while also posting a team-high 67 tackles.
Defensive lineman Tristan Okpalaugo, who had a team-high 12 sacks with the Toronto Argonauts, was the finalist.

(Canadian Press)

CFL Honors Hopson

Saskatchewan Roughriders President and CEO Jim Hopson has been honoured with the Hugh Campbell Distinguished Leadership Award for his contributions to the Canadian Football League, the game of football and Canada’s sporting culture.
He was presented the award Thursday night by CFL President and COO Michael Copeland at the CFL Awards Show in Vancouver, BC as part of the 102nd Grey Cup festivities.
The former player turned executive has been at the helm of the Riders since 2005, leading them to four Grey Cup appearances and two Grey Cup Championships. Jim’s leadership has helped turn the Roughriders into one of the CFL’s model franchises, achieving record profits while continuing to be deeply rooted within its community.
“The Hugh Campbell Award is given to an individual that has strengthened our league and our game, and their place in Canada’s sports culture and Jim has certainly accomplished that,” said Copeland. “On behalf of our league and Board of Governors, congratulations and thank you for your efforts, passion and leadership.”
Over the past few years, the organization has won Paragon Awards for both marketing and community involvement; been named as one of Saskatchewan’s Top 100 companies: selected one of Saskatchewan’s Top 20 Employers; a regional winner for Most Admired Corporate Culture; and an Honorary ABEX Award Winner.
Personally, Jim has been named one of the Power 50 of Canadian Sports by the Globe and Mail; been recognized by Saskatchewan Business Magazine as one of the province’s most influential men; inducted into the Junior Achievement Business Hall of Fame; and was awarded a 2011 International Communication and Leadership Award by Toastmasters International. Jim is also the official spokesperson for the Saskatchewan Brain Injury Association’s “Save Your Melon” campaign. This campaign has been recognized nationally for its impact on the prevention of brain injuries. Jim has been awarded both a Saskatchewan Centennial Medal and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.  
Earlier this year, the Roughriders announced that Hopson would be retiring from his current role in March, 2015.
Past recipients of the award include Hugh Campbell, Bob Ackles, Stan Schwartz, Tony Proudfoot and Brian Williams.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Week 13 NFL Capsules

Its Thanksgiving Thursday in the NFL meaning not one, not two, but three games. The Bears will be in Detroit, the Eagles will visit Dallas and the 49ers will welcome Seattle. For a closer look at those three games and what is happening Sunday and Monday, click here

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

MJ Warriors Retiring Ryan Smyth's Number

The Moose Jaw Warriors are excited to announce that on Friday, February 6th they will retire Ryan Smyth’s number 28, making his the fourth jersey retired in franchise history.

“On behalf of the Moose Jaw Warriors Board of Directors, Management, Coaches, Players, Staff, and our fans, we would like to congratulate Ryan Smyth on the retiring of his Warriors number,” comments Moose Jaw Warriors Governor and President Chad Taylor. “Ryan played the game with heart, determination, and character, all of which are what we feel best describes what it takes to be a Moose Jaw Warrior. February 6th will be a memorable and special night Ryan Smyth and his family, the Moose Jaw Warriors, and the fans.”

“I’m extremely honoured and ecstatic about this, it’s where my roots started,” said Ryan Smyth. “Junior hockey is a huge stepping stone to the pros and Moose Jaw was a huge part for me. Thank you.”

Smyth was drafted by the Warriors in the 2nd round, 21st overall, in the 1991 WHL Bantam Draft. He went on to play for Moose Jaw from 1992 to 1995, in 188 regular season games he had 110 goals, 114 assists, finishing with 224 points, and sits 12th on the Warriors All-Time scoring list. His best season was 1993-1994, in 72 games he had 50 goals and 105 points. He is one of ten players in Warriors history to score 50 goals in a season, and one of 13 players to record 100 or more points in a season. In 1994 he was drafted 6th overall by the Edmonton Oilers, he is the second highest Warrior drafted to the NHL.

After leaving Moose Jaw, Smyth went on to play 1270 games in the NHL with Edmonton, the New York Islanders, Colorado, and Los Angeles. He retired from professional hockey after the 2013-2014 season, he finished with 386 goals, 456 assists, and 842 points.

Smyth earned the nickname “Captain Canada” for the many times that he represented our country in international competitions. He won gold medals at the 1995 World Junior Championships, the 2002 Winter Olympics, the 2003 and 2004 World Championship, and the 2004 World Cup. He served as captain of Canada’s World Championship team for a record six years (2001-05 and 2010), he is Canada’s all-time leader in games played at the tournament. He played 90 games for Hockey Canada and is the only player in hockey history to win gold at the Olympics, World Cup, World Championships, World Juniors, and Spengler Cup.

Smyth joins Kelly Buchberger, Mike Keane, and Theoren Fleury as the only Warriors to have their numbers retired.

(MJ Warriors Hockey Club)

Monday, November 24, 2014

NHL Three Stars Of Week

Vancouver Canucks right wing Jannik Hansen, Detroit Red Wings left wing Tomas Tatar and Dallas Stars left wing Jamie Benn have been named the NHL's "Three Stars" for the week ending Nov. 23.


Hansen led the NHL with five goals, converting on 71.4% of his shots (5-of-7) to power the Canucks (14-6-1, 29 points) to five of a possible six standings points. He recorded his fourth career shorthanded goal in a 5-4 win over the Edmonton Oilers Nov. 19. Hansen then scored the game-tying goal for the Canucks in a 4-3 shootout loss to the Anaheim Ducks Nov. 20. He capped the week by posting his first career hat trick, including the game-winning goal, in a 4-1 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks Nov. 23. The 28-year-old Herlev, Denmark, native has found the back of the net in three consecutive games for the third time in his career and first time since March 2-5, 2013 (3-2-5). His eight goals in 21 games rank second on the Canucks and are eight shy of his single-season high set in 2011-12 (82 GP).


Tatar tied for second in the League with 4-1-5, including two game-winning goals, to lead the Red Wings (10-5-5, 25 points) to two victories in three starts. He opened the week with a pair of game-winning goals and multi-point performances: 1-1—2 in 5-0 triumph over the Columbus Blue Jackets Nov. 18 and 2-0-2 in a 4-3 victory over the Winnipeg Jets Nov. 20. Tatar then added his ninth goal of the season in a 4-1 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs Nov. 22, stretching his point streak to a career-long five games (5-2-7). The 23-year-old Ilava, Slovakia, native has found the back of the net in three consecutive games for the second time in his NHL career (also Jan. 4-11, 2014: 3-1-4). He is tied for the team lead in goals this season and also is tied for fourth with 12 points (20 GP).


Benn led the NHL with 3-3-6, including a pair of multi-point games, to propel the Stars (8-9-4, 20 points) to two wins in three outings. He posted 1-1-2 in a 6-4 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes Nov. 18 and then collected the secondary assist on Cody Eakin's game-winning goal in a 3-1 comeback victory over the Arizona Coyotes Nov. 20. Benn capped the week with 2-1-3, his first multi-goal game and second three-point performance of the season (also Oct. 14 at CBJ: 1-3-4), in a 5-4 win over the Los Angeles Kings Nov. 22. The 25-year-old Victoria, B.C., native ranks second on the Stars in goals (8), assists (11-tied) and points (19) this season (21 GP). He also has 42-56-98 in his last 102 appearances dating to the start of the 2013-14 campaign.

Pat Quinn Passes Away At 71

It is with great sadness that the Vancouver Giants announce, on behalf of the Quinn family, that Giants Co-Owner Pat Quinn passed away on Sunday night at Vancouver General Hospital after a lengthy illness.
"Words cannot express the pain we all feel today for the Quinn family," said Giants majority owner Ron Toigo. "Pat was an inspiration to all of us. He always said that respect was something that should be earned, not given, and the respect that he garnered throughout the hockey world speaks for itself. He will be sorely missed."
The Quinn family asks that media respect their privacy during this difficult time.
Those wishing to send messages of condolence are asked to either email or send mail to the Giants’ offices at the address listed below.

Pat Quinn
Vancouver Giants
100 North Renfrew Street
Vancouver, BC
V5K 3N7

(Vancouver Giants Hockey Club)

Something To "Mitch" About

The combatants for Grey Cup 102 are known. It will be the Hamilton Tiger-Cats versus the Calgary Stampeders in the big game as Kent Austin will try and win in Vancouver what he couldn't win in Regina last year. He can thank punt returner Brandon Banks for having one more game to play. That guy was unreal on Sunday. His second touchdown was just sick and really it should have been his third as one was called back due to penalty.  Meanwhile, the Stampeders used some big plays to sink the Eskimos who were sunk when Mike Reilly's foot gave out late in the 4th.  The Stamps will be heavily favoured as they should, but I'm guessing around these parts the Ti-Cats and Austin will be favoured.

Speaking of Grey Cups, I am guessing we aren't forgetting about this little event that occurred one year ago today....

I don't know about you, but I still get shivers watching that. I've watched that game four or five times now and I still think my favourite play in the game is the Durant fumble that Sheets snatches out of mid-air and runs with. There was no way the Riders were going to lose after that was there. Fast forward to present day and the body still hasn't cooled with everyone offering an opinion on everything Riders. It seems like the offseason from Grey Cup win to the start of this season was the off-season no one wanted to end and the off-season we are in now is one the Rider brass and many of the fans would like to end in a month so we could get going again.

Just some other odds and ends...

 --Are we seeing a changing of the guard at the CFL's most important position? The final four quarterbacks last year were Darian Durant, Henry Burris, Ricky Ray and Kevin Glenn. Yesterday, it was Jonathan Crompton, Zack Collaros, Bo Levi Mitchell and Mike Reilly. Although, I think we all know Durant would have been part of the equation last year had it not been for what happened.

 --How much longer can the Edmonton Oilers fanbase go before they see a team that is competitive. The excuse that was Friday's game against New Jersey and Saturday's debacle against Chicago has to be close to the last straw when it comes to Dallas Eakins. In fact, I was surprised Sunday morning to find out he hadn't been given the heave-ho.   It goes higher than Eakins though. Kevin Lowe needs to be removed as quickly as possible. Its obvious he can't get the job done. Owner Daryl Katz must see this and with the team getting ready to move into a new building, the time is now to start showing Edmonton hockey fans there is a future to look forward to. The waiting is over. Who's kidding who, the coach on those Boston Pizza ads is a better motivator than Eakins. 

--If this isn't one of the best smack signs ever, I don't know what is. It comes from a Texas high school football game over the weekend...

--OK, maybe its time to start noticing the Toronto Raptors.

--The whole Maple Leafs salute to the fans/not saluting the fans after the game is the biggest non-story out there. WHO CARES???

--Its sad that political correctness cost the PA Raiders their mascot after just one game. No one had a problem with "the Raider" 20 years ago when it donned their jersey. It just makes me shake my head.

--From the UFC, Paige Vanzant made her debut this weekend and it was a success. If you don't know who Vanzant is, you may want to. Why?

Ohhhhh. I don't know.
Giants receiver Odell Beckham had what might be the best catch I have ever seen. If you didn't see it, check this out and watch it over and over again.
Sorry Arizona, when you can go into CenturyLink Field and beat the Seahawks in a meaningful game, you've done something. You still have a ways to go to beat the champ! That effort by the Seahawks D shows they aren't ready to give up defending the crown.
The Atlanta Falcons just continue to make me scratch my head. It is just one brainfart after another with them and it will cost them a playoff spot or a playoff game. That is three games this year they should have won, but gassed it at the end.
Thanks to the Colts, I am still in both of my Survivor pools, I was hoping for help from Miami or the Rams, but both blew it in the end.
It was just a matter of time till Sting showed his head in the WWE. I thought it would be at Royal Rumble or this Monday's RAW. I thought Daniel Bryan would come back to surprise "The Authority" at Survivor Series, but nope. Was it at least a good PPV?
Fred Stamps says he has played his last game for the Eskimos. I am guessing the REDBLACKS have already contacted his agent.
There are Rider fans hoping the team throws great gobs of cash at Weyburn's Brett Jones who will be a free agent. Don't bother. If what I heard this weekend was correct and I'm guessing it is, he is off to the NFL with word around the campfire being the Patriots might have the best shot. Lets see where that goes.
Danny Macioccia is one win away from coaching a Grey Cup and Vanier Cup champ. How many times has that happened?
That's all I got. Enjoy your week!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Cougar Athletics This Weekend

Away Events (Postseason)Swimming – at Canada West Championships, Friday to Sunday in Lethbridge, Alta.
Home Events (Canada West)Women’s Volleyball – vs. UBC Okanagan, Friday (6:00 p.m.) at CKHS
Men’s Hockey – vs. Mount Royal, Friday (7:00 p.m.) at The Co-operators Centre
Men’s Volleyball – vs. UBC Okanagan, Friday (7:30 p.m.) at CKHS
Men’s Hockey – vs. Mount Royal, Saturday (2:30 p.m.) at The Co-operators Centre
Women’s Volleyball – vs. UBC Okanagan, Saturday (5:00 p.m.) at CKHS
Men’s Volleyball – vs. UBC Okanagan, Saturday (6:30 p.m.) at CKHS
Home Events (non-conference)Track & Field – at Intrasquad Meet, Saturday (11:00 a.m.) at CKHS
Away Events (Canada West)Women’s Basketball – at Lethbridge, Friday (6:00 p.m. MST) in Lethbridge, Alta.
Women’s Hockey – at Mount Royal, Friday (7:00 p.m. MST) in Calgary, Alta.
Men’s Basketball – at Lethbridge, Friday (8:00 p.m. MST) in Lethbridge, Alta.
Women's Hockey – at Mount Royal, Saturday (3:00 p.m. MST) in Lethbridge, Alta.
Women’s Basketball – at Lethbridge, Saturday (5:00 p.m. MST) in Lethbridge, Alta.
Men’s Basketball – at Lethbridge, Saturday (7:00 p.m. MST) in Lethbridge, Alta.
Away Events (non-conference)Wrestling – at Huskie Open, Saturday in Saskatoon, Sask.
Swimming – The Cougars will send a total of six student-athletes to represent the U of R at the Canada West Swimming Championships this weekend at the University of Lethbridge. Eyad Albassiouny, Daniel Gomez, Brent Hill, and Chris Myers qualified for the conference meet for the men's team, while Jacee Kaczmar and Eva Madar will compete on the women's side. The conference meet runs from Friday to Sunday at the Max Bell Regional Aquatic Centre on the U of L campus.
Men's Hockey – The Cougars (3-10-1) took three out of a possible four points last weekend against Saskatchewan, winning 3-1 in front of a packed The Co-operators Centre crowd on Friday and falling 2-1 in a shootout on Saturday in Saskatoon. Looking to make up even more ground in the Canada West standings, the Cougars are back at it this weekend with two home games against No. 10-ranked Mount Royal. Game times are scheduled for 7 p.m. on Friday and 2:30 p.m. on Saturday.
Women's Volleyball – The Cougars' Canada West record fell to 3-7 on the season after a pair of four-set road losses to No. 9-ranked Calgary last weekend. And they host UBC Okanagan this Friday and Saturday in what will be the second consecutive weekend against a nationally ranked opponent, as the Heat come in ranked No. 3 in the CIS. The teams will start at 6 p.m. on Friday, with first serve scheduled for 5 p.m. on Saturday.
Men's Volleyball – The Cougars dropped a pair of road matches to Calgary last weekend as their conference record drops to 1-9 for the year. Now with just four matches left on the Canada West schedule before the December break, the Cougars are back at home this weekend with two matches against a UBC Okanagan (0-12) team that's still searching for its first conference victory of the season. The Cougars and the Heat are scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and 6:30 p.m. on Saturday.
Track & Field - The Cougars host part of their first meet of the 2014-15 season this Saturday upstairs at the Centre for Kinesiology, Health & Sport. The Intrasquad Meet will have four track events in addition to the triple jump and the long jump, and will stretch from 11 a.m. to about 1:45 p.m. at the CKHS.
Women’s Hockey – The Cougars continued their recent surge with two wins over Saskatchewan last weekend, getting overtime goals from Emma Waldenberger and Kylie Gavelin on back-to-back nights to give them six wins in their last seven games. The Cougars (3-5-3-1) are currently fifth in the Canada West standings and return to action this weekend against eighth-place Mount Royal (0-1-9-2). Game time is scheduled for 7 p.m. (MST) on Friday and 3 p.m. on Saturday.
Women’s Basketball – Winners of four consecutive Canada West games after 77-54 and 71-58 home wins over Calgary last weekend, the Cougars (4-2) now sit in a tie for third place in the Pioneer Division standings with Winnipeg. The Cougars continue the Canada West schedule this weekend with a pair of games at Lethbridge, which comes into the weekend with a 3-3 conference mark. Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m. (MST) on Friday and 5 p.m. on Saturday.
Men’s Basketball – The Cougars recorded a weekend split with Calgary at the CKHS, including an impressive 85-76 win over the No. 10-ranked and previously undefeated Dinos on Friday night that saw Jonathan Tull score a season-high 28 points for the U of R. Tull, who was named the Canada West Third Star of the Week for his efforts, and the rest of the Cougars will travel to Lethbridge this weekend for two games against the 4-2 Pronghorns.
Wrestling – Coming off the men’s wrestling team’s annual trip to the Dakotas, both wrestling teams return to the mat this weekend at the Huskie Open in Saskatoon on Saturday. It’ll be the last competitive meet of the season for both the men’s and the women’s teams, which will both break for the month of December before hosting the Cougar Invitational on Jan. 4.

This And That

The weekly assortment of thoughts running through my muddled brain in no particular order

 --Is it just me or has interest in the CFL gone down to zero around these parts? No one is talking about the East and West finals around here and if they are, where are they? In other years when the Riders were out, there was still some interest, but it seems to have vanished this year. Hey, I'll admit I'll be as guilty as the next guy on Sunday, The Eskimos and Stampeders will be playing in the Western final and I'll be watching the Seahawks-Cardinals which to me is a much more important contest seeing my team is battling, If the Riders were in Calgary, I'd be PVR'ing or switching back and forth.

--If the CFL had been one nine team league as some have suggested it should be, Calgary and Edmonton would have had first round byes last weekend with BC home to Hamilton and the Riders home to Montreal. Would you have liked that? Would the Riders had won?

--As the weather gets cold, the talk about moving up the season has started again. Here's a novel idea.....lets scrap the 18 game schedule and go to a 16 game schedule thus saving your two weeks. You can still start training camps on June 1 and be done the regular season at the end of October with the Grey Cup being played in mid-November.  Each time would play each other once at home and once on the road. I'm all for that!

--The story of the Humboldt couple who are fighting with Blue Cross over an insurance bill of almost one million dollars has certainly caught the eye of most everyone----unless you think the biggest story in Saskatchewan is the massive snowfall in Buffalo.  Blue Cross' refusal to make any media statements about this matter certainly isn't helping their profile any, Is it worth their silence to keep good public relations. I am guessing their business will take some kind of a hit. That being said, I do question someone being allowed to travel when they are six months pregnant. In the end, this story will work itself out and I think the Humboldt couple will be fine, but many who buy travel insurance will be asking a lot of questions in the future.

--Speaking of the snow in Buffalo, there was some talk about Sunday's NFL game having to be postponed or moved because of all the snow at Ralph Wilson Stadium that needs to be removed, The Bills are asking people to come out with shovels in hand and get paid 10 bucks an hour, As Rod Pedersen and I said on Wednesday's Sportscage, if that call came to Mosaic Stadium, we'd have that sucker cleared in two hours and be glad to have helped out. Word is its about to warm up in Western New York with temperatures in the 6-10 degree celsius range for the weekend. That will melt a lot of snow and create a lot of water!

--Week 12 NFL Lock of The Week--Seahawks over Cardinals
   Week 12 NFL Upset Of The Week ---Falcons over Browns

--Speaking of the Browns, if they make the playoffs with Brian Hoyer at quarterback, what do they do? They invested in Johnny Manziel in the first round and he hasn't seen a lick of action this year as Hoyer has come in and done a great job. This is his last year in Cleveland. If he gets them to the playoffs, you have to give him a new contract don't you. If not, you start over with Manziel and who knows how that works out.

--The Toronto media must really start salivating when the Leafs lose big like they did the other night to Nashville. They are just like dogs on raw meat. It makes me wonder why so many say they would love playing for the Leafs.

--Sportsnet reported earlier this week that the next World Cup of Hockey would be an 8 team tournament, Canada, the U-S, Sweden, Russia, Finland and the Czechs would make up 6 teams with players from other countries like Slovakia, Switzerland, Austria, etc. etc would make up the 7th team with a "young guns team" making up team number 8. How about this? The US, Russia, Finland, Sweden, the Czechs and the International team along with Canada East and Canada West.  A Canada West team with the likes of Getzlaf, Eberle, Toews, Seabrook and Price just for starters would be a pretty good team.

--Who saw Bill Cosby going down? Will anyone be able to watch the Cosby Show in the same way again. For that matter, will the Cosby Show ever come on TV anymore.

--I'm guessing Jack Johnson won't be buying Mom and Dad any Mother's Day or Father's Day presents for a while. Stealing your son's money isn't payback for having to get up early to get him to practice and he shouldn't have to pay you back for all those hot chocolates and coffees you had watching those early practices.

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

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Lions Fire Benavides

The BC Lions Football Club announced today that Mike Benevides has been relieved of his duties as head coach.

“Today, we made the very difficult decision to relieve Mike Benevides of his duties as head coach of the BC Lions,” said Wally Buono, GM and VP of Football Operations. “Our football team experienced a very tumultuous season. Still, we believe as an organization that the team we had assembled was capable of more than what we accomplished in the regular season and in the playoffs. In short, we underperformed and failed to meet both our own expectations and the expectations of our fans.”

Benevides served three seasons as head coach for the Lions taking the reins from Buono following the club’s 2011 championship season. In that time, he led the Lions to a 33-21 regular season record.

“Mike is a very good coach as well as an outstanding husband and father. His commitment and loyalty to our organization was endless and we wish him the very best in the future,” added Buono.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Week 12 NFL Capsules

The lowly Oakland Raiders are home to the Kansas City Chiefs to kick off Week 12 of the NFL season, For a complete look at that game and others this week, click right here

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

TV Numbers For CFL Playoffs Take A Nosedive

All those empty seats in Montreal and Edmonton for last Sunday's CFL playoff games aren't the only things outgoing commissioner Mark Cohon sees in his nightmares. The television ratings from last Sunday's division semifinals no doubt have him bolting upright in bed and screaming in horror.

The West semi between Saskatchewan and Edmonton averaged 1,267,000 viewers on TSN -- a 20 per cent drop from the ratings for last year's playoff game between Saskatchewan and B.C. Much more scream-inducing was the East semi between the B.C. Lions and Montreal Alouettes, which saw audiences plummet 40 per cent from the 1.45 million who watched last year's version between Toronto and Hamilton.

The only good news that came out of the weekend for TSN was the fact that the two CFL games ranked second and third among all sports programming, finishing well ahead of everything but perennial ratings-topper Hockey Night In Canada.

Nothing the NFL offered up came close, so there's that. Maybe football fans were too busy raking leaves (or shovelling snow) to watch TV that day.

But considering that the league saw ratings drop 6 per cent this season, this could be part of a disturbing trend. If fewer people watch during the regular season, it's only natural that fewer people will be interested in what follows.

There were a few mitigating factors that might help Cohon and his cohorts sleep a little easier -- or at least not wake up so often -- and still hold out hope that this year's Grey Cup will be a hit.

The West playoff game was a pretty uninspired affair, with both teams fielding shaky backup quarterbacks and little being generated in the way of offence. On the other hand, the game was competitive and the outcome was in doubt right up until the final two minutes. Regardless, any time you can draw more than a million viewers you shouldn't be too concerned.

The East semi suffered from the fact that only one team appeared to be trying to win as the Alouettes basically ran the Lions off the field. The fact that an average of 874,000 viewers watched the game isn't that discouraging. After all, there's little doubt that the only viewers hanging in for the fourth quarter were either relatives of the Alouettes or the kind of people who enjoy visiting abbatoirs on their vacations.

But even with all those factors considered, there are disturbing signs. This marks the second straight ratings decrease for the East semifinal and the audience for last year's Grey Cup experienced a 17 per cent drop from the previous year.

This could all be ancient history by Sunday if the two division finals produce great games and great audiences. The potential certainly is there with plenty of bad blood in both games.

But with so few people interested in the semi-finals, those will have to be superb games to reverse that trend.

(Yahoo Sports)

Monday, November 17, 2014

Time To Play The Role Of Brendan Taman

If what is being reported is true, the Riders have 27 free agents.

The potential free agents include: Tristan Jackson, Tyron Brackenridge, Rod Williams, Carlos Thomas, Woodny Turenne, Brandon Boudreaux, Trevor Guyton, Hilee Taylor, Ricky Foley, Tearrius George, Tim Cronk, Neal Hughes, Kevin Regimbald, Brian Peters, Sam Hurl, Diamond Ferri, Tristan Black, Chad Rempel, Josh Bartel, Dan Clark, Ben Heenan, Kerry Joseph, Tino Sunseri, Jerome Messam, Scott McHenry, Korey Williams and Weston Dressler.

Obviously, Kerry Joseph will not be back, but there are a lot of big names on that list who won't come cheap. Who stays and who goes?

NHL Three Stars Of The Week

St. Louis Blues center Jori Lehtera, Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price and Nashville Predators center Filip Forsberg have been named the NHL's "Three Stars" for the week ending Nov. 16.


Lehtera tied for the League lead in goals (four) and points (six) and posted a +5 rating as the Blues (12-4-1, 25 points) won all three games for the week to move into first place in the Central Division. Lehtera began the week by recording his first career hat trick, including the game-winner, in a 6-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres Nov. 11. He recorded two assists in a 4-3 victory over the Nashville Predators Nov. 13 and closed the week by notching one goal in a 4-1 win over the Washington Capitals Nov. 15, the Blues' 10 win in 11 starts. Lehtera extended his point streak to seven games (5-6--11) and the "STL Line" of Lehtera, Jaden Schwartz and Vladimir Tarasenko has combined for 33 points in its past eight contests.


Price posted a 3-0-0 record, 1.33 goals-against average, .950 save percentage and one shutout as the Canadiens (14-4-1, 29 points) won all four games for the week to move into first place in the overall NHL standings. Price began the week by making 29 stops for his 26th career shutout in a 3-0 victory over the Winnipeg Jets Nov. 11. He followed up with a 21-save performance in a 5-1 win over the Boston Bruins Nov. 13 and finished the week by stopping 26 shots in a 6-3 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers Nov.15. Price improved his season record to 11-3-1 with a 2.49 goals-against average, .919 save percentage and one shutout.


Forsberg tied for second among all scorers last week with five points (2-3--5) as the Predators (11-4-2, 24 points) climbed to second place in the Central Division by gaining four of a possible six standings points. Forsberg recorded consecutive multi-point games, tallying the game-winning goal and one assist in a 3-2 victory over the Edmonton Oilers Nov. 11 and a goal and two assists in a 4-3 loss to the St. Louis Blues Nov. 13. The 20-year-old native of Ostervala, Sweden, leads all rookies in goals (eight), power-play goals (five), assists (12) and points (20), and leads all players in plus-minus (+19).

Something To "Mitch" About

Its over! The 2014 Riders season came to a frustrating end in Edmonton on Sunday afternoon as they lost the Western Semi-Final 18-10. Who's kidding who, this was a game the Riders could have had, they should have had and they might have had it.

Yes, a lot of blame has to be pinned on Kerry Joseph, but I am not going there. This game ended in the 2nd quarter when Josh Bartel decided to kick one down the middle of the field to Kendial Lawrence. Lawrence did what many players did this year-----he went through an atrocious returns team to take it 88 yards for a touchdown. The only TD of the day for the Eskimos who were just as bad offensively under Matt Nichols.

Head Coach Corey Chamblin said the one bad thing about his team came back to bite them in the ass again! No kidding!! Would the Riders have won that game if Lawrence doesn't take it back for a TD....we will never know, but I'm guessing the entire texture of that game changes if Lawrence doesn't and at the end of the game Tino Sunseri would have been getting his team into position for a Chris Milo field goal then a touchdown and a two point conversion.

As for Kerry Joseph, his post game comments hit right to the heart. Joseph said he let the Rider Nation down, he let the province of Saskatchewan down and he let his teammates down with his efforts. He came right out and said he sucked and he was horrible. It was not the way he wanted to go out, but Kerry Joseph has no reason to apologize to the people of Saskatchewan and the Rider Nation for what he did. The loyal order of Rider Priders have loved Joseph since he went off the field in tears after winning the 2007 Grey Cup. That love affair continued well after he was gone and while many mocked his return, many saw the old guy could still play the game. I think many of us knew it was a pipe-dream to suggest the Riders could win the Grey Cup with Kerry at the helm, but he gave us a better chance to win than what Tino Sunseri and Seth Doege did. If one of those two had actually come through once Darian Durant got hurt, Joseph wouldn't have had a chance to come back because he would be sitting on his couch in Louisiana watching Drew Brees and the Saints play.  The last game was nightmarish, but one career can't be defined by your last game. Thanks for at least giving us some life in the final month of the season and some hope.

I'm guessing much like it was after the 2012 semi-final loss to Calgary that Corey Chamblin won't be taking any time off and will be spending endless hours trying to figure out how to make his team better in 2015.  It seemed like last winter we didn't want training camp to come around because it truly meant the 2013 season was over and all that was left were the memories. I think people around here will be waiting for this team to get back at it at training camp in June. They still have a solid nucleus, but changes will be made. What changes aren't known (however, shoring up special teams will be a big start), but what is known is this organization will not take what happened yesterday or this season lying down. There has to be a tremendous sense of disappointment about the way this team caved in when Darian Durant went down. Losing your leader was tough enough, but seeing the way the team reacted when the leader was gone was something completely unexpected.  As this season ends, that is the big question that must be answered. That question being "Why did this team let one injury derail their entire season!"

That's all I got. The floor is yours!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

This And That

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

  --The winner of Sunday's game at Commonwealth will represent the West at the Grey Cup.
  --While I think the Eskimos have the better football team right now, the Riders have the better coaching staff. I'll take Corey Chamblin over an inexperienced as a head coach Chris Jones any day of the week.

  --The dynamic of this game will change tremendously if Matt Nichols starts at QB for the Eskimos in place of Mike Reilly and if Reilly should start, how much mobility does he have. Sunday could be a great one for Chick, Foley and Tearrius George.

  --I'm not surprised Darian Durant isn't starting. It won't surprise me if Durant is not under center again until 2015.

   --Lulay or no Lulay, the Lions will not beat Montreal.

  --After all the talk about the disparity between the East and West this year, would it be a good thing for the CFL or a bad thing if an Eastern team won the Cup?

  --There were only three 1000 yard receivers in the CFL this year. Does that or the fact 13 percent or over 1600 CFL plays this season resulted in a penalty represent a bigger concern to you.

 --With the Kootenay Ice being one of the worst teams in the WHL's Eastern Conference, do they trade Sam Reinhart and if they do who gets him? Reinhart could be the missing piece for several teams. His status may also affect the trade value for Morgan Klimchuk. I would expect the Pats to trade him at some point in the near future as well.

  --Week 11 NFL Lock Of The Week --- Saints over Bengals
     Week 11 NFL Upset Of The Week --- Colts over Patriots

--Oh Connor McDavid, your hand had better be fine when it comes time for the puck to drop at the World Juniors. Save your fights for the big time kid when you will be getting paid. Don't do it now!

  --I'm glad I'm not the only one thinking its a TSN hockey game from 20 years ago when Paul Romanuk is behind the mike.

  --Congrats to Jordan Eberle on his 100th career goal Thursday night against Ottawa.

   --Its not even minus 20 and I feel damn cold outside. What's it going to be like when its minus 40?!

    --In what has to be the cruelest and coldest dig of the week, several took to Twitter when it was announced Kobe Bryant had missed 13,418 field goals in his career that it was equivalent to Chris Milo this year. That's funny, yet oh so cold!

--The boys (and girls) of High Impact Wrestling are back at it again tonight at the Hungarian Club in a 7 o'clock start. Alas, other events have me away from the grappling this evening, but I will be checking in to see what's going on. If you have nothing planned on this Friday night, go down and see what its all about. A lot of people saw what it was all about at the Chad vs Ballsy 104.9 The WOLF  party last month at Queensbury and I'm guessing some of that crowd will make an appearance tonight. Sadly, I can tell you there will be no Brittany vs Lady Luck match tonight, but hey it might come someday. If you've never been to Gronkville, go check it out, but make sure you have your shots first.

 --Who is going to play center field for the Blue Jays this year and how exactly did they fleece Detroit. Anthony Gose for the Tigers top prospect? Anthony Gose??

 --Dave Naylor's piece on the Stastny brothers and their defection to North America was brilliant.

 --Has anyone in Western Canada noticed the start of the Toronto Raptors?

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

CFL Award Finalists

PLAYER Solomon Elimimian (BC) Ricky Ray (TOR
DEFENSIVE Solomon Elimimian (BC) Bear Woods (MTL)
CANADIAN Jon Cornish (CGY) Ted Laurent (HAM)
OFFENSIVE LINEMAN Brett Jones (CGY) Jeff Perrett (MTL)
SPECIAL TEAMS Lirim Hajrullahu (WPG) Swayze Waters (TOR)
ROOKIE Dexter McCoil (EDM) Tristan Okpalaugo (TOR)

KJ Gets The Start

REGINA -- If Darian Durant is going to start another game for the Riders this season, they'll have to win their Western Semi-Final on Nov. 16 without him first.

The team announced on Thursday that Kerry Joseph will get the ball for the Riders' opening playoff matchup against the Edmonton Eskimos at Commonwealth Stadium on Sunday, as Durant remains at least another week away from returning to action.

Joseph started the Riders' final three regular season games, after the team couldn't settle on either Seth Doege or Tino Sunseri following an elbow injury sustained by Durant during the Sept. 7 Banjo Bowl vs. Winnipeg.

Durant hasn't played since, while the 41-year-old Joseph has secured the Riders' starting quarterback position in the meantime, throwing four touchdowns and five interceptions with a 48.3 completion percentage.

Joseph last started a playoff game in the 2012 Eastern Semi-Final against the Argos in Toronto, and before that in the 2007 Grey Cup Championship. He's thrown 148 touchdowns in his career and rushed for 57 more, while owning a career quarterback rating of 83.0.

The Riders face the Eskimos in Sunday's Western Semi-Final for the fourth time in seven games, as one of the league's fiercest rivalries intensifies. Joseph has started two of his team's three games against its division rival, going 1-1 against the Esks this season.


Cougar Athletics This Weekend

This Week in University of Regina Athletics

Home Events (Canada West)
Women’s Basketball – vs. Calgary, Friday (6:00 p.m.) at CKHS
Men’s Hockey – vs. Saskatchewan, Friday (7:00 p.m.) at The Co-operators Centre
Men’s Basketball – vs. Calgary, Friday (8:00 p.m.) at CKHS
Women’s Basketball – vs. Calgary, Saturday (6:00 p.m.) at CKHS
Women’s Hockey – vs. Saskatchewan, Saturday (7:00 p.m.) at The Co-operators Centre
Men’s Basketball – vs. Calgary, Saturday (8:00 p.m.) at CKHS

Away Events (Canada West)
Women’s Hockey – at Saskatchewan, Friday (7:00 p.m.) in Saskatoon, Sask.
Women’s Volleyball – at Calgary, Friday (6:00 p.m. MST) in Calgary, Alta.
Men’s Volleyball – at Calgary, Friday (7:30 p.m. MST) in Calgary, Alta.
Men’s Hockey – at Saskatchewan, Saturday (7:00 p.m.) in Saskatoon, Sask.
Women’s Volleyball – at Calgary, Saturday (5:00 p.m. MST) in Calgary, Alta.
Men’s Volleyball – at Calgary, Saturday (6:30 p.m. MST) in Calgary, Alta.

Away Events (non-conference)
Men’s Wrestling – vs. Northland CTC, Thursday (7:00 p.m.) in Jamestown, N.D.
Men’s Wrestling – at Jamestown, Thursday (8:00 p.m.) in Jamestown, N.D.
Men’s Wrestling – vs. Doane College, Friday (6:00 p.m.) in Mitchell, S.D.
Men’s Wrestling – at Dakota Wesleyan, Friday (7:00 p.m.) in Mitchell, S.D.
Men’s Wrestling – at DWU Open, Saturday in Mitchell, S.D.

Women’s Basketball – The Cougars brought their Canada West record up to .500 after a pair of wins over Manitoba in their home openers last weekend, winning 71-60 on Friday but breaking out for a big 91-55 win on Saturday. The Cougars are back at home this Friday and Saturday with games against Calgary in a matchup that will feature a pair of Pioneer Division teams with 2-2 records. Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m. at the CKHS both nights.

Men’s Basketball – The Cougars (1-3) scored their first win of the Canada West schedule with a 98-85 victory over Manitoba on Friday night, but lost a close 90-88 overtime decision to the Bisons on Saturday to end up with a weekend split. The Cougars are right back at home this weekend, as they host No. 10-ranked Calgary on Friday and Saturday at the CKHS with an 8 p.m. tip both nights.

Men’s Hockey – The Cougars split with Lethbridge last weekend, losing 5-3 on Saturday after giving up a pair of late goals to the Pronghorns but winning 4-1 on Sunday to improve to 2-10-0 on the season. Ian McNulty scored the U of R’s first two goals and added an assist in Sunday’s win for the Cougars, who peppered the two Lethbridge goalies for a total of 50 shots. The Cougars play a home-and-home with Saskatchewan this weekend starting on Friday night (7:00) at The Co-operators Centre in Regina.

Women’s Hockey – The Cougars (3-3-3-1) had a big six-point weekend, defeating Lethbridge 4-1 on Friday and following that up with a 2-0 victory over the Pronghorns on Saturday. Kylie Gavelin scored twice in the U of R’s Friday victory and added another goal on Saturday, while Toni Ross had a 33-save shutout in the back end of the weekend set. The Cougars play No. 8 Saskatchewan in Saskatoon on Friday night before finishing the series at The Co-operators Centre in Regina on Saturday night (7:00).

Women’s Volleyball – The Cougars (3-5) took care of business against Mount Royal last weekend, coming back for a five-set win on Saturday and winning in four sets on Sunday for a two-match sweep. Michelle Sweeting piled up 32 kills and hit .300 over the weekend while collecting a team-high 16 blocks, while Tori Glynn had 29 kills and led the U of R defensively with 32 digs. The Cougars continue the Canada West schedule on the road this Friday and Saturday against No. 9-ranked Calgary (6-4).

Men’s Volleyball – The Cougars (1-7) lost twice to Mount Royal last weekend at the CKHS, and are now battling some injury issues. Starting middle Brad Millers has now missed three consecutive weekends with an injury, and the team now may be without Matt Lueck after losing the fourth-year outside hitter on Saturday night. They’ll travel to Calgary this weekend to take on a Dinos squad that’s 3-7 on the season.

Wrestling – Rookie wrestler Dakoda Sinclair was the women’s team’s top finisher at the Wesmen Open last weekend in Winnipeg, placing second in the 82 kg division. The women’s team is off this weekend, while the men’s team will have two duals on both Thursday (Jamestown, N.D.) and Friday (Mitchell, S.D.) before competing in the Dakota Wesleyan University Open on Saturday.

Cross Country – Matt Johnson earned All-Canadian status for the second consecutive year for the Cougars, finishing eighth at the 2014 CIS Championships hosted by Memorial University at a golf course in St. John’s, N.L. which saw winds in excess of 100 km/h. Johnson also earned Canada West first-team all-star honours for the fourth year in a row, while Adam Strueby was a conference second-team all-star. Avery Westberg was the top finisher on the women’s side, earning a Canada West second-team all-star nomination.

Rams Football – The Rams’ season came to an end in the Canada West semifinals with a loss to No. 4-ranked Calgary on Saturday afternoon at McMahon Stadium. It marked the last game of the career of head coach Frank McCrystal, who will retire after 31 years as the head coach of the Regina Rams program – 15 as a junior team and the past 16 as a member of the CIS through a community partnership with the University of Regina.

Week 11 NFL Capsules

Week 11 of the NFL season begins Thursday with the Buffalo Bills battling the Miami Dolphins. For a look at the game and others this weekend, click here

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Riders Have 5 Players Named To CFL West All-Star Team

The Saskatchewan Roughriders are pleased to announce that five players have been chosen to the West Division All-Star team. Two players from the Green and White were selected to the West offence while three were selected to the West defence. The West Division All-Stars were selected by the voting members from the West Division markets, the West Division head coaches and the National Chapter.   

ROB BAGG (WR):  2014 marked Bagg’s seventh CFL season after joining the team as a free agent prior to 2008. The Queen’s University product finished the regular season as the CFL’s leading Canadian receiver, also leading the Riders with 54 receptions for 803 yards, while adding three touchdowns. The 29-year-old Kingston, ON native picked up CFL player of the Month honours for August. This is Bagg’s first career Division All-Star nomination.

BRENDON LABATTE (OL):  LaBatte just completed his seventh CFL season and third with the Riders. The University of Regina product played 15 regular season games at left guard, helping pave the way for the team’s ground attack. This is LaBatte’s sixth consecutive Division All-Star nomination after previously being selected to the West Division in 2012 and 2013, and the East Division team in 2009, 2010 and 2011 while with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

JOHN CHICK (DE): Chick just completed his fifth CFL season and fifth with the Green and White. The 31-year-old established career highs on his way to leading the league with 15 quarterback sacks and 11 tackles for loss. His 45 defensive tackles were also a career best. The Utah State product was named CFL Player of the Month for July and August. This is Chick’s second selection as a West Division All-Star after picking up honours following the 2009 season.    

TEARRIUS GEORGE (DT): 2014 marked George’s seventh CFL season and fourth with the Riders. This season, the Kansas State product started all 18 games registering career highs with 37 defensive tackles and 12 quarterback sacks. He also added three tackles for loss and two forced fumbles. This is George’s second consecutive West Division All-Star selection after being nominated for the first time in his career last season.   

TYRON BRACKENRIDGE (S): Brackenridge just completed his fourth season with the Riders after joining the team late in the 2011 season. The Washington State product recorded 64 defensive tackles, three interceptions, three tackles for loss and three forced fumbles. This is Brackenridge’s first consecutive West Division All-Star selection after being nominated for the first time last season

Nichols To Start

Through their Twitter account, the Edmonton Eskimos have announced Matt Nichols will be their starting quarterback Sunday in the Western semi-final.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Lest We Forget

Thank you to those who are serving our country and those who have served. Your contributions are appreciated each and every day of the year.

Monday, November 10, 2014

NHL Three Stars Of Week

NEW YORK (Nov. 10, 2014) – Calgary Flames defenseman Mark Giordano, Ottawa Senators goaltender Craig Anderson and St. Louis Blues right wing Vladimir Tarasenko have been named the NHL’s “Three Stars” for the week ending Nov. 9.
Giordano led the NHL with seven points (2-5—7) to power the Flames (9-5-2, 20 points) to two wins in three contests. He opened the week with 1-1—2, including an assist on Sean Monahan’s overtime winner, in a 4-3 triumph over the Washington Capitals Nov. 4. Giordano followed that up with a pair of assists in a 5-2 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning Nov. 6. He then capped the week with 1-2—3, matching a career high for points in one game, in a 6-4 win over the Florida Panthers Nov. 8. The 31-year-old Toronto, Ont., native currently has 4-7—11 during a six-game point streak, including multi-point performances in each of his last four outings (one game shy of the club record for a defenseman). Giordano also leads all blueliners with 5-13—18 in 16 games this season; he is just the fifth defenseman since 2005-06 to record at least 18 points through his team’s first 16 games of the season.
Anderson went 2-0-1 with a 0.65 goals-against average, .981 save percentage and one shutout to help the Senators (7-4-3, 17 points) gain five out of a possible eight standings points. He made 31 saves, including 16 in the second period, in a 3-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings Nov. 4. Anderson then stopped all 35 shots he faced to record his 28th career shutout (and second of the season) in a 3-0 win over the Minnesota Wild Nov. 6. He closed the week by posting 36 saves – and denying five of six shootout attempts – in a 2-1 loss to the Winnipeg Jets Nov. 8. The 33-year-old Park Ridge, Ill., native is 4-4-2 in eight appearances this season, leading the NHL with a .951 save percentage and ranking fourth with a 1.72 goals-against average.
Tarasenko, the NHL’s “First Star” for the week ending Nov. 2, tied for second in the League with six points (3-3—6) to lead the Blues (9-4-1, 19 points) to three victories in four starts. He recorded 1-1—2 and the shootout winner in a 4-3 triumph over the New York Rangers Nov. 3. Tarasenko then scored the lone goal in a 1-0 win over the New Jersey Devils Nov. 4 and helped the Blues complete the home-and-home sweep with 1-1—2 (his fifth multi-point performance of the season) in a 4-3 victory Nov. 6. He closed the week with an assist on the team’s only goal in a 2-1 loss to the Nashville Predators Nov. 8. The 22-year-old Yaroslavl, Russia, native currently has 5-3—8 during a five-game point streak, tied for the longest of his career. He also leads the Blues with nine goals and 17 points in 14 games this season.