Sunday, January 31, 2016

Weston Dressler Admits He Has a Major Challenge In Front of Him


It's Canadian football's version of the Hatfields and the McCoys.
Receiver Weston Dressler's move from the Riders to the Blue Bombers is almost traitor-like for fans of one of the most popular players to wear green and white over the last decade.
Not even Dressler's girlfriend and her Regina family are on board – yet.
“They were obviously upset. Or more saddened than upset, I should say, to see me not be part of that organization anymore,” Dressler said in his first day in Winnipeg. “They're obviously fans of the Roughriders. We'll work on getting them into some blue and gold, though.”
The rivalry between Winnipeg and Saskatchewan goes back decades, culminating every season in back-to-back, mid-season clashes: the Labour Day Classic in Regina and the Banjo Bowl in Winnipeg.
In early September Dressler will try to help his new team stop a trend that's seen it lose 11 straight Labour Day Classics to his old one.
“That'll definitely be an interesting moment for me. I'm sure it'll be unlike any other on the football field,” Dressler said. “That'll be a tough day, for different reasons. But once we get to that point it'll be about finding a way to win that game... just on the opposite side now.”
Until then, he'll deal with the barbs from former teammates and friends in Regina, who can't believe he chose the hated Bombers.
“It's a very unique situation to be in,” Dressler acknowledged. “I'm just trying to enjoy it and have as much fun with it as I can. A lot of my old teammates are joking about it... We're talking about how weird it will be.
“But I don't think it'll take me long to fall in love with this organization and this community and these fans, much like I did in Saskatchewan.”

(Winnipeg Sun)

Saturday, January 30, 2016

John Scott Is Having Fun at All-Star Weekend

  John Scott didn't want to forget the signature moment of his 2016 Honda All-Star Weekend to date, so he turned the tables on the horde of media gathered around his riser during Media Day at Bridgestone Arena.

After finishing his question-and-answer session, Scott had some commands for the crowd of journalists.

"That it?" he asked after the last question of the 13-minute session. "All right, don't move!"
As the media members laughed, Scott pulled out his cell phone to take a picture of the crowd.

"Everyone smile now," he said, flashing a smile of his own as he clicked the shutter.

The session with the media, which precedes the 2016 Honda NHL Super Skills competition on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, Sportsnet, TVA Sports) and the 2016 Honda NHL All-Star Game (5 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports) brought to an end all the questions and opinions about the All-Star candidacy of Scott, who the fans voted to be captain of the Pacific Division team while he was still playing for the Arizona Coyotes.

Scott was traded Jan. 15 from Arizona to the Montreal Canadiens and was subsequently demoted to St. John's of the American Hockey League. He had one point in 11 games with Arizona before the trade.

Eventually, the NHL decided Scott would be allowed to fulfill his captain's role and represent the Pacific Division. It was a storyline that has been debated for the better part of the past month.

Now, Scott has put it all in the past, focusing instead on the process of being an All-Star, one of 44 players selected to represent the League in its showcase event.

"It's nice to have that outside news go away and start focusing on having some fun and playing in the All-Star Game," he said.

Scott, a 33-year-old veteran of 285 NHL games, said it has been difficult as the debate has swirled around him. At times, he said, it was hard to read some of the articles about the merits of his candidacy or to listen to reports on the topic on various broadcast outlets.

But since arriving in Nashville, he said he has found nothing but positive experiences.

"It's nice, [the League has] been very welcoming," Scott said. "I sat down with [NHL Commissioner] Gary [Bettman] and we had a quick chat and he was good. He said, 'We are happy to have you here and we are going to have a good time and make the best of it.'

"We had a quick talk because I think he was worried about me not feeling welcome and being uncomfortable with this whole situation. He just said, 'We are happy you are here, we wanted you to be here and just go out and have fun and know our support is behind you.' It was good to hear that from him because there was a time when I wasn't really sure how the League felt and he kind of put those thoughts at rest."

It has helped that fellow All-Stars have been supportive of his presence. Many of the players on Friday said how happy they were to have Scott in the game. That, Scott said, might be the best part of the process to date.

"That means a lot more than anything, to have your peers respect you and want you in this game," he said. "It does mean a lot. I've been on a few teams in this League (six, not counting Montreal), and just to know you have those bonds with those guys; that means more than most."

Friday, January 29, 2016

Riders Add Four To Roster

The Saskatchewan Roughriders announced today international wide receiver Shay Hodge, national wide receiver Jordan Reaves, international defensive back Robert Sands and international defensive back Marte Sears have signed with the team. As per club policy, details of the contracts were not released.

Hodge (6’2 – 207) was originally signed by the San Francisco 49ers as an undrafted free agent in 2010 out of Ole Miss. The 28-year-old also spent time with the Washington Redskins before joining the Cincinnati Bengals practice roster for his rookie season. He signed with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in April, 2013 and has also spent time in the Arena Football League.  

Before pro, Hodge finished his NCAA career at Mississippi with the most receiving yards in school history (2,646) while ranking second in receptions (173), receiving touchdowns (22) and 100-yard receiving games (8).        

Reaves (6’4 – 220) signs with the Riders after originally signing with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in April, 2015. The Winnipeg native attended training camp with the Bombers, playing two preseason games collecting two receptions for 10 yards. 

Sands (6’4 – 215) joins the Riders after spending time with the Edmonton Eskimos in 2014 playing one regular season game, recording two special teams tackles. Previously, the West Virginia product spent parts of two seasons in the NFL after being selected by the Cincinnati Bengals in the 5th round (134th overall) of the 2011 Draft.      

Sears (6’5 – 220) comes to the Green and White after attending training camp with the Edmonton Eskimos last season, playing two preseason games. The Fresno, California native previously had signed with the Cleveland Browns as undrafted free agent in May, 2015 after two seasons at Faulkner University collecting 102 tackles and 10 interceptions in 18 collegiate games.    

This and That

The tarp has been lifted. Sorry for the delay!!

Welcome to the usual set of Friday thoughts running through my muddled mind, and as always, they are in no particular order.

--The last Labour Day Classic at Mosaic Stadium will be memorable, but the annual first Sunday in September visit by the Winnipeg Blue Bombers will be more memorable after news Tuesday that Weston Dressler would be on the field that afternoon as a member of the Bombers. Two weeks after Dressler was released, there is still a great deal of anger in the Rider Nation and that anger was fuelled by this tweet from one of my favourite all-time Riders Jeff Fairholm.

That is a sentiment being shared by a lot of people. There is no doubt Dressler is one of the most popular Riders in the 100 plus year history of the franchise. He is arguably top 5 and he may arguably be top 3 and for good reason. It still sickens me to think Dressler's CFL career won't continue with him wearing a green and white uniform, and I will be very interested to see what type of reception he is given during the LDC. No doubt Rider fans will salute him before the game starts with what should be a standing ovation for his 8 years of service, but would they cheer for him if Drew Willy or whoever throws two TD passes to him. They probably won't do that, but they will make the call-in show interesting.

I remember when Wayne Gretzky got traded to Edmonton, and while an Oilers fan deep down I wasn't disappointed to see the Kings beat the Oilers in the 88-89 playoffs. I somehow relate this situation to that one.

The rivalry is a great one, but I had to wonder if the Bombers poured some fuel on it Tuesday when announcing Dressler was now a member of their organization. This quote really had me wondering if there was a dig given. That quote being "The stadium is hands down the loudest in the CFL." Now it wouldn't surprise me to see a quote get crafted, but is he suggesting Winnipeg fans are louder than Saskatchewan fans. We know how loud Mosaic can get, and admitedly I have not been to Investors Group Field, but I think a challenge has been issued as to how loud Mosaic can get.  Is it Labour Day yet?


I am hearing rumblings, and there is nothing concrete to this at all, that Jeff Fuller could be a guy heading to Saskatchewan in free agency. I would applaud that move if it were to happen.'s top 30 free agents are led by Trevor Harris, Andrew Harris and Ted Laurent. I can't disagree with that, but Chad Owens is a tad low at 15 and Travis Lulay at 10 is a tad high. As for Laurent, it seems as if one of the newest Riders--Shawn Lemon--wants Laurent to come here. If that happened, it would be like a Ted Laurent for John Chick trade. I'm OK with that.

We are still a week away from Super Bowl 50 and it seems as if Cam Newton is doing the best job he can to make this about him. Why is he bringing race into the issue? His newser Monday in which he said America doesn't know how to deal with him because no African-American quarterback can do what he does was a little over the top. Cam Newton is a good quarterback, but he is not the first black quarterback to play in or win a Super Bowl so why is he coming off as he is.  I think it is safe to say some do hate him (sadly) because of the colour of his skin, but others hate him because of his demeanour. Not all quarterbacks are going to be golden boys like Joe Montana and Troy Aikman, but show some humility and instead of coming off like the arrogant guy that he is. There can be an arrogance factor, but you need to do something first and last I looked, Cam Newton hasn't won the Super Bowl or been named the league MVP yet.

--The NHL all-star break has arrived and all I can say is "When do the games start again?" Ovechkin isn't going to be there, Crosby isn't going to be there, Toews isn't going to be there and either will be McDavid while Jagr just doesn't want to play.  Those who have read this blog in the past know of my dislike for all-star games. I won't be watching it and it seems some players don't want to be in it. Yes, it means they will miss their team's first game back, but the Capitals and Hawks don't have to worry about making the playoffs.

--John Scott will be at the NHL all-star game much to the NHL's disdain. A lot has been written about Scott over the past few weeks, but his article in the Players Tribune is absolutely fantastic as it paints the picture as to what has been going on his mind, and how his life and that of his family has been turned upside down, and how the NHL doesn't really want him there, I have no idea what the weekend is going to hold and as Phil Andrews said, this could be his last ever game in the NHL. I hope that isn't the case, but I can't disagree with what Phil is thinking.

--A tip of the hat to TSN's Sara Orlesky. Her feature on former Pats forward Rick Rypien and Jets assistant GM Craig Heisinger was brilliant. The only problem I had with it is was that it wasn't longer. Every Pats fan needs to see that piece.

--I don't know who has applied for the vacant U of R Rams head coach position, but I am hearing someone who hasn't applied is Thunder coach Scott McAuley which is too bad seeing he is probably the best candidate. Perhaps a bridge has been burned beyond repair, and if it has I can't really blame Scott especially when he watched the implosion that occurred in Ramsville this year. 

--Above zero temperatures in late January. I'm down with that!

--The first fantasy baseball magazines have hit the shelfs with season previews to follow very soon. I'm down with that too! 

--The Saskatchewan Rush are back home tonight to take on the Colorado Mammoth (love that name). The first home game saw a crowd of 10-thousand come to Sask-Tel Centre, and despite the home team losing I heard a lot of positives so hopefully a crowd of 10-thousand plus will be there for this one.

--The stars of High Impact Wrestling do their thing at the Hungarian Club and tonite's card marks the start of Season 3 of HIW on Access 7 as we begin TV tapings with yours truly channelling his inner Jerry Lawler. I just hope the fine people of Gronkville have bathed and look presentable for tonight's gathering seeing they will be on TV. I fear my expectations may be too high though.  Here's hoping co-hosts Pete Paczko and Drew Dalby at least have the courtesy to look and behave proper tonight. Again, my expectations may be too high especially when it comes to Dalby, Who's kidding who, you gotta love that guy and his large, bulbous melon. His show on 104.9 the WOLF is one you need to listen to because there isn't any better on the dial in the afternoon in this town. 

--That's all I got. Have a great weekend. Enjoy the spring-like weather!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Rob Bagg Back With Green and White

The Saskatchewan Roughriders announced today national wide receiver Rob Bagg has signed an extension to remain with the team through the 2018 season. As per team policy, financial details of the contract were not released.
“Rob Bagg has proven to be a versatile and dependable player throughout his career and was an important guy for us to retain within our receiving core and in our locker room,” stated Riders head coach and general manager Chris Jones. “Canadian starters and depth are always important in our league, but what is most important are players that bring a willingness to work and sacrifice to win. Bagg has been a leader in all that he does.”     
Bagg (6’0 – 192) will return for his ninth CFL season with the Green and White after signing with the team as an undrafted free agent in January, 2008. The 30-year-old Kingston, ON native has collected 3,708 yards and 19 touchdowns on 272 catches through 105 career regular season games. He currently ranks 12th on the Riders all-time receptions list and 17th in receiving yards.
Last season, Bagg started all 18 games registering 50 receptions for 540 yards and four touchdowns while adding five carries for 14 yards and three touchdowns. 
He was named a West Division All-Star in 2014 and won his first career Grey Cup in 2013.  
Bagg was eligible to become a free agent on February 9th.   

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

This Week in Cougar Athletics

At Home – Friday
Swimming at Optimist Prairie Cup, Day 1 (Lawson Aquatic Centre)
Women’s Volleyball vs. Alberta, 6:00 p.m. (CKHS)
Women’s Hockey vs. Mount Royal, 7:00 p.m. (The Co-operators Centre)
Men’s Volleyball vs. Alberta, 7:30 p.m. (CKHS)

At Home – Saturday
Swimming at Optimist Prairie Cup, Day 2 (Lawson Aquatic Centre)
Women’s Hockey vs. Mount Royal, 3:00 p.m. (The Co-operators Centre)
Women’s Volleyball vs. Alberta, 5:00 p.m. (CKHS)
Men’s Volleyball vs. Alberta, 6:30 p.m. (CKHS)

At Home – Sunday
Swimming at Optimist Prairie Cup, Day 3 (Lawson Aquatic Centre)

On the Road – Friday (all times CST)
Track & Field at Knights of Columbus Indoor Games, Day 1 (Saskatoon, Sask.)
Women’s Basketball at Manitoba, 6:00 p.m. (Winnipeg, Man.)
Men’s Basketball at Manitoba, 8:00 p.m. (Winnipeg, Man.)
Men’s Hockey at Mount Royal, 8:00 p.m. (Calgary, Alta.)

On the Road – Saturday (all times CST)
Men’s Wrestling at Cascades Classic (Abbotsford, B.C.)
Track & Field at Knights of Columbus Indoor Games, Day 2 (Saskatoon, Sask.)
Men’s Hockey at Mount Royal, 4:00 p.m. (Calgary, Alta.)
Women’s Basketball at Manitoba, 4:00 p.m. (Winnipeg, Man.)
Men’s Basketball at Manitoba, 6:00 p.m. (Winnipeg, Man.)

Women's Hockey – The Cougars (10-8-3-1) split with the Alberta Pandas last weekend, meaning they sit in third place in the Canada West standings – just one point back of Alberta. Regina will host Mount Royal (7-11-3-1) on Friday night and Saturday afternoon with a chance to move up the standings. Toni Ross leads the nation with 13 wins, and has broken the Cougars’ record with 32 career victories and counting.

Women's Volleyball – No. 4-ranked Alberta is in town as the Cougars host their final home matches of the 2015-16 season this weekend at the Centre for Kinesiology, Health & Sport. They’ll be the final times playing at the CKHS for fifth-year outside hitter Tori Glynn, who needs just two more kills to become one of just two U of R players with 700 kills and 700 digs as a Cougar. The two teams will meet starting at 6 p.m. on Friday and at 5 p.m. on Saturday.

Men's Volleyball – Three Cougars will play their last home matches in a U of R uniform this weekend, as Andre Borgeaud, Jacques Borgeaud, and Matthew Lueck will all be honoured as part of Senior Night festivities. The Cougars will host the No. 2-ranked Alberta Golden Bears on Friday (7:30 p.m.) and Saturday (6:30 p.m.) at the CKHS.

Swimming – The Cougars compete at home this weekend at the three-day Optimist Prairie Cup, which stretches from Friday to Sunday at the Lawson Aquatic Centre. It’s one of the last remaining tune-up events for the Cougars as they continue preparations for the CIS Championships, which will be hosted from Feb. 26 to Feb. 28 in Quebec City.

Women's Basketball (CIS Ranking: No. 3) – The Cougars scored a key road sweep last weekend, defeating UBC 71-69 in a Friday night game that featured a buzzer-beating layup by Alyssia Kajati and following that up with a 69-61 win over the Thunderbirds on Saturday. The Cougars (11-1) remain in third place in the Pioneer Division standings, a half game back of second-place Alberta (12-1) and a game behind division-leading and top-ranked Saskatchewan (12-0). They’re back in action this weekend with a pair of road games at Manitoba.

Men's Basketball – The men’s basketball team pulled off a historic win last Saturday, recording their first ever road victory over UBC after outlasting the Thunderbirds by a 83-79 margin. That win gave the Cougars a weekend split as they continue to jockey for position in the Pioneer Division standings. At 8-4, they remain in third place as they prepare for another critical road weekend – this time against Manitoba, which at 9-5 is in fourth place just a few percentage points back of the Cougars. Tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m. on Friday and 6 p.m. on Saturday.

Men's Hockey – Regina is on the road for the second consecutive weekend, heading to Calgary to face off against Mount Royal University. The Cougars were swept last weekend by a potent Alberta attack, falling 4-1 and 5-1 to the second-place Golden Bears. Dillan McCombie and Trent Lofthouse scored for the Cougars (5-17-0).

Wrestling (Women's CIS Ranking: No. 3 / Men's CIS Ranking: No. 8) – Kayla Brodner and Kristine Longeau were both crowned champions in their weight classes at the Huskie Open in Saskatoon on the weekend. On the men's side, Gaelan Malloy and Waylon Decoteau both captured first place in their respective divisions. The men's team will travel west to compete at the Cascades Classic this weekend, while the women's team will take a break until the Canada West Championships on Feb. 5 and Feb. 6.

Track & Field – Joy Becker became the first member of either of the U of R’s track & field teams to hit a CIS standard this season after going 6.01 metres in the long jump on Friday at the Golden Bear Open in Edmonton. Next up for the Cougars is the Knights of Columbus Indoor Games in Saskatoon this Friday and Saturday. While the U of R won’t be sending a full squad to Saskatoon, interim head coach Wade Huber expects the throwers and some select others to make the short trip up Highway 11.

Ti-Cats Officially Sign John Chick

Image result for john chick

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats announced Wednesday that the football club has agreed to terms on a two-year contract with international free agent defensive end John Chick.

“John is an incredible talent that brings significant CFL experience, professionalism and a winning pedigree to our team,” said Tiger-Cats Vice-President of Football Operations, General Manager and Head Coach Kent Austin. “He has the ability to create pressure on the quarterback and has been solid against the run throughout his career. We’re thrilled to be able to bolster our defence with a player of his caliber.”

Chick, 33, posted 42 tackles, 11 quarterback sacks, two tackles for loss, an interception, a forced fumble and two fumble recoveries in 18 games with the Saskatchewan Roughriders in 2015. The native of Gillette, Wyoming is a two-time Grey Cup Champion (2007, 2013) and CFL All-Star (2009, 2014), and was named the CFL’s Most Outstanding Defensive Player in 2009. In six CFL seasons, all with the Roughriders (2007-09, 2013-15), Chick has registered 190 tackles, 53 sacks, 20 tackles for loss, one interception, nine forced fumbles and six fumble recoveries in 91 career games.

The 6-4, 250-pound defensive end also played 19 career NFL games with the Jacksonville Jaguars over a two-year span (2011-12), compiling 10 tackles, 2.5 sacks, three pass knock downs and a forced fumble. He also spent time with the Indianapolis Colts in 2010.

Prior to turning pro, Chick was a four-year starter at Utah State at both linebacker and defensive end, finishing his Aggie career with 163 tackles, 39 tackles for loss and 23.5 quarterback sacks.

(Hamilton Tiger-Cats)

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Bombers Sign Weston Dressler

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers today announce the signing of eight-year CFL veteran Weston Dressler to a two-year contract. 

Dressler joins the Blue and Gold after eight seasons with Saskatchewan, where he has been one of the league’s most productive receivers since his arrival in 2008. The 5-7,180 pound Bismarck, ND product is a two-time CFL All-Star, and has been named a Division All-Star on four occasions. He has accumulated 7,797 receiving yards on 539 receptions, with 50 touchdowns.  

“Adding a veteran player with his skillset was really a no-brainer for us,” said Blue Bombers General Manager Kyle Walters. “Coach O’Shea was immediately interested in adding him to our offensive lineup, and we’re very excited to have Weston on our side moving forward.”

“I’m beyond excited to start my career as a Winnipeg Blue Bomber,” said Dressler. “It’s widely known the loyalty their fans have, and the passion the city and province have for the Bombers. The stadium is hands down the loudest in the CFL. And there are great football people in the organization. We have a quarterback who I think is as good as anyone in this league, and some really solid pieces around him. I’m really looking forward to the days ahead.”

Dressler has five 1000 yard seasons and 25 career 100-yard receiving games. Including his work on special teams, he has tallied 55 career touchdowns in the CFL. He’s played in seven career playoff games, and two Grey Cup’s, winning in 2013.

(Winnipeg Blue Bombers)

Documentary on Montreal Expos to air on MLB Network Tuesday

There were three colors on their caps. There were two languages being spoken over the ballpark P.A. system. But there was only one team called the Montreal Expos, and even though they're no longer in the Major Leagues, they'll never be forgotten.
The beloved team that began in 1969, played north of the border until its last season in 2004, and moved to Washington, D.C., to become the Nationals, had a history filled with unique ballpark traditions, eccentric characters, legendary players, an unidentifiable but awesome mascot named Youppi!, the highest of drama in between the lines, and fans who couldn't get enough of the evolving story. For many, it ended way too soon.
But the passion for Les Expos still burns brightly, and MLB Network has captured the spirit of the team and its still-devoted following in its latest one-hour documentary, "The Colorful Montreal Expos," which premieres tonight at 9 ET. The film, part of the MLB Network Presents series, is packed with Expos footage and interviews and has a little bit of everything for any Expos fan and for fans of baseball in general.
Award-winning actor and Montreal native William Shatner provides the film's narration, and Hall of Famers Pedro Martinez and Andre Dawson participate, as does possible future Hall of Famer Tim Raines. One recurring set piece in the film is a restaurant where former Expos Dawson, Warren Cromartie, Cliff Floyd and Rondell White are sitting around talking with reverence about their former team.
Other subjects from the team's storied history who speak on camera include Rusty "Le Grand Orange" Staub; former Expos ace Steve Rogers; Sandy Carter, the widow of another Hall of Famer who played for the Expos, catcher Gary Carter; the team's original owner, Charles Bronfman; and former general manager Dave Dombrowski.
Additional commentary is provided by longtime Expos broadcasters Dave Van Horne and Rodger Brulotte; journalists Michael Farber and Mitch Melnick; the current mayor of Montreal, Denis Coderre; and author and Montreal native Jonah Keri, who wrote a definitive history of the team in his 2014 book "Up, Up, and Away."
"The best kinds of people to talk to for documentaries are the ones with great memories and great passion," senior coordinating producer Bruce Cornblatt said. "Those are the primary qualities any documentary filmmaker looks for. For me, what made this work so well was almost everybody who participated had both.
"You can create energy with music, edits, with moving characters around. What you can't supply on your own is the energy with which they tell their stories. Thankfully for us, everybody you hear in there, especially the narrator, makes that connection come across. You can really feel how passionate they all are about this team."
Cornblatt and producer Andrew Brenner went to Montreal to tell a story of a team remembered for its fun approach to the game and its undeniable excellence on the field during several seasons. Finding interview subjects was not difficult.
"Everybody jumped at the opportunity to sit down and talk about the Expos," Brenner said. "Despite the way the franchise left, there's no bitterness there -- just a great amount of nostalgia that still exists."
All of the quirky charms of Jarry Park and Olympic Stadium are revealed in the film, but there's also melancholy.
The 1981 season is featured, and with it comes the heartbreaking loss to the Dodgers in Game 5 of that year's National League Championship Series. Of course, Rick Monday, who hit the ninth-inning home run that sunk Montreal's magical season, appears on camera to describe his big hit and its aftermath, which Expos fans refer to as "Blue Monday."
Then there's the sadness of 1994, when the Expos -- led by Martinez, Larry Walker and Moises Alou -- saw a MLB-best 74-40 record and six-game lead over the Braves in the NL East disappear when the season was lost to the players' strike.
And then there's 2004, when the team left for good. Still, despite all this disappointment, the fans, quite a few of whom are also interviewed for this film, don't look back on the team with the bitterness one might expect.
"I long ago came to terms with the fact that the team I grew up with no longer exists," Keri said. "The way I wrote the book is the same kind of thing … I wanted people to be heartened and say, 'That was fun to read.' And the documentary does that well.
"This team was so weird and funny and colorful, and it was a lot of fun. That was the main message that comes across."
It came across in the words of the city's mayor, too. Coderre mentions in the film that the 2012 passing of Carter from brain cancer sent an emotional charge through the city, which has always revered its former catcher. With successful exhibition games staged each year at "The Big O" and recent comments from Commissioner Rob Manfred about the zeal of the fan base, the mayor says he see plenty of reasons to work toward getting a team back in Montreal.
"It's not nostalgia," Coderre says in the film. "It's not just memories. It's DNA. It's truly part of us."

Monday, January 25, 2016

Riders Sign a Pair

The Saskatchewan Roughriders announced today international quaterback BJ Coleman and international offensive lineman Quinterrius Eatmon have signed with the team. As per club policy, details of the contracts were not released.

Coleman (6’3 – 231) spent two seasons with the Green Bay Packers after being selected by the team in seventh round (243rd overall) in the 2012 NFL Draft. The Tennessee native spent his rookie campaign on the Packers practice roster after attending training camp and playing four preseason games. He returned to the team for 2013, seeing action in three preseason games.

Last season, Coleman played with the Arena Football League’s Arizona Rattlers where he was named AFL Player of the Week following a week seven performance.     

Eatmon (6’6 – 310) joins the Riders after attending training camp with Oakland Raiders last season, playing two preseason games. The Prichard, Alabama native originally signed with the team as an undrafted free agent in May, 2015.

Before going pro, Eatmon spent four seasons at South Florida playing 47 career collegiate games.

CFL Mock Draft 1.0

The Calgary Sun's Scott Mitchell is doing what many will do over the next few weeks and that is take a stab at the first round of the CFL draft and deciding who will go where.  Here is what he thinks.


1:1 Saskatchewan Roughriders — OL Charles Vaillancourt, Laval

First of all, it’s not even February, so take everything you’re reading with a couple grains of salt. The one thing you can count on is uncertainty and it starts right at the top where Chris Jones and John Murphy will look at every single option. With Canadian depth needed, there’s a good chance they strongly entertain trading the pick for a package, especially since the consensus top player available is Manitoba DL David Onyemata, who looks like he’ll have NFL options. If they keep the pick, look for them to stay in the trenches. It’s been John Murphy’s M.O.

1:2 Montreal Alouettes — DL Mehdi Abdesmad, Boston College

Here’s the thing: Each and every year, more and more Canadian prospects are getting NFL looks. Last year, the New York Giants left no stone unturned by inviting seven players that ended up being taken in the 2015 CFL Draft to their mini camp in early May, but it was just a look-see. It could get to the point where just about every prospect in the top 20 has NFL aspirations, real or otherwise, that CFL GMs will have to consider. Abdesmad could be in that boat, but he’s a local kid at an Alouettes ratio spot from a really good Eagles defence.

1:3 BC Lions — WR Tevaun Smith, Iowa

The Lions could go a number of ways and they’re in a good spot to draft an offensive lineman that they deem to be safe — they took UNLV OL Brett Boyko in the second round last year, but he spent a year on the Philadelphia Eagles practice roster and was recently re-signed to another futures contract — but they need to find playmakers for QB Jonathon Jennings and Smith is the clear-cut top receiver in the draft and the top player in December’s CFL scouting bureau rankings.

1:4 Toronto Argonauts — OL Josiah St. John, Oklahoma

They have 2015 first rounder Sean McEwen in their back pocket, but he’s investing his time in the NFL right now. With a number of American receiving options and 2014 first rounder Anthony Coombs ready to take on a bigger role, the Argos could go back to the offensive line or maybe even look at one of the top defensive backs available.

1:5 Hamilton Tiger-Cats — OL Dillon Guy, Buffalo

After loading up on linebacker/special-teams types last year, the Ticats need to find some offensive line depth. Guy pulled out of last year’s draft to return to Buffalo for a medical-redshirt fifth season, and the fact he’s from Hamilton only increases the allure.

1:6 Calgary Stampeders — RB Mercer Timmis, Calgary

Jon Cornish is retired. Jerome Messam is a free agent. As of today, running back is a huge need for the Stampeders, both for 2016 and down the road. While no one would expect Timmis to step in and start from Day 1, he’d at least give them another Canadian option alongside fellow Dinos alum Matt Walter. Offensive line or defensive back could also be options at this point in the draft.

1:7 Ottawa RedBlacks — DB Arjen Colquhoun, Michigan State

A big defensive back at 6-foot-1 and 202 lb., Colquhoun would continue to build Canadian depth on a defence that started Montreal product Antoine Pruneau at strong-side linebacker last season. As the draft process unfolds, however, it’s likely more offensive linemen will be in the mix in this range.

1:8 Edmonton Eskimos — OL Philippe Gagnon, Laval

Speaking of offensive linemen, Gagnon is one of three highly-regarded Laval road graders — shocking, I know — alongside Vaillancourt and Jason Lauzon-Seguin. Every draft since 2011 has seen at least three offensive linemen go in the first round. Some think Gagnon isn’t very far behind Vaillancourt.

*Note: Manitoba DL David Onyemata is the consensus top-ranked prospect, but with significant NFL interest, there seems to be little chance, as of late January, that he’s selected in the first round of the CFL Draft.

**Note No. 2: The Winnipeg Blue Bombers forfeited the second-overall pick by taking DB/LB Garrett Waggoner in last year’s supplemental draft.

(Calgary Sun)

NHL Three Stars of Week

Colorado Avalanche goaltender Semyon Varlamov, New Jersey Devils right wing Lee Stempniak and St. Louis Blues goaltender Brian Elliott have been named the NHL’s “Three Stars” for the week ending Jan. 24.
            Varlamov posted a 4-0-0 record with a 0.99 goals-against average and .972 save percentage to lift the Avalanche (26-21-3, 55 points) into the first Wild Card spot in the Western Conference. He made 30 or more saves in three of his four starts: 36 in a 2-1 triumph over the Winnipeg Jets Jan. 18, 33 in a 2-1 shootout win over the St. Louis Blues Jan. 22 and 42 in a 3-1 victory over the Dallas Stars Jan. 23. Varlamov also turned aside 27 shots in a 2-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres Jan. 20. The 27-year-old Samara, Russia, native owns a 19-12-3 record with a 2.59 goals-against average, .918 save percentage and one shutout in 35 appearances this season. That includes a 13-4-2 clip over his past 19 outings dating to Dec. 7.
            Stempniak shared the League lead with four goals in three games (4-1—5) to propel the Devils (25-19-5, 55 points) into the final Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference. He registered 1-1—2 in a 4-2 victory over the Calgary Flames Jan. 19 and scored again in a 6-3 win over the Ottawa Senators Jan. 21. Stempniak then capped the week with a pair of goals – his first multi-goal performance since April 4, 2015 – in a 3-1 triumph over his former team, the Winnipeg Jets, Jan. 23. The 32-year-old West Seneca, N.Y., native ranks second on the Devils with 14-22—36 in 49 contests this season; his 14 goals are one shy of his total from 71 appearances in 2014-15.
            Elliott went 2-1-1 with a 1.48 goals-against average and .955 save percentage to backstop the Blues (28-16-8, 64 points) within one point of second place in the Central Division. He made 36 saves in a 5-2 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins Jan. 18, followed by 29 stops in a 2-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings Jan. 20. Elliott then registered 40 saves in a 2-1 shootout loss to the Colorado Avalanche Jan. 22 before closing the week with 23 stops in a 2-0 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks Jan. 24. The 30-year-old Newmarket, Ont., native has compiled a 10-6-5 record in 24 outings this season, including at least one point in eight of his 10 appearances in January (5-2-3).

Something to "Mitch" About

--Sports is a great avenue to vent and discuss things, but no matter what is happening with our favourite teams and competitions, it pales in comparison to what happened Friday afternoon in La Loche.  Those things aren't supposed to happen in our province. We hear about mass shootings in the U-S seemingly on a daily basis and some say while it is tragic, it could never happen here. Wrong! It has and the community is devastated as four young people are gone for no good reason. My thoughts and sympathies are with all who have been affected by what has taken place. The day and the memories of those who have been taken will not and should not be forgotten as time moves on.

--We now know the combatants for Super Bowl 50. Denver will play Carolina in what could very well be Peyton Manning's last game. The Broncos defence just punished Tom Brady by giving him one of his worst beatings ever while Peyton did enough to give Denver what is likely the last Manning vs Brady matchup. Von Miller and that Denver D was the story of this one as they did not allow New England to do anything until the very end and then survived a two point convert try which would have sent the game to OT. As for the NFC Championship game, the Panthers delivered another early knockout blow and while Seattle gave it their best shot last week, Arizona could not this week. Let the two weeks of hype begin.

--Former Riders OC Jacques Chapdelaine has had his name mentioned when it comes to who the new head coach of the Rams should be. Chapdelaine has university experience having been at Simon Fraser before bolting to the Riders. I would think Jacques wants another CFL job much like predecessor so with no ill will being expressed towards Chapdelaine, I just wonder if whoever is doing the hiring for the head coach position wants to go down this road again. A name mentioned to me on the weekend as a good candidate was former Rider player and defensive co-ordinator Richie Hall. I don't think Richie is leaving Winnipeg anytime soon and I would say the same about him as I am about Chapdelaine. Getting someone with CFL experience is great, but get someone who has 100 percent no desire to get back into the CFL coaching wars.

--Looks like John Chick is going to the Tiger-Cats. How much longer will it be before Weston Dressler finds a new home. I am guessing we won't be waiting for long.

--If Danny Barrett can get a job in the NFL, so can Corey Chamblin. CC has the better resume as well.

--Some ( and yes, I was admittedly one of them) wondered how a goaltender could be named the MVP of the NHL last season. Wonder no more. Carey Price is proving how valuable he is as the Montreal Canadiens are free-falling faster than the Canadian dollar. After a great start to the season, Price was hurt during a game in Edmonton, came back and got hurt again. That 2nd injury has sent the Habs spiralling into a descent we haven't seen since the, since the...well since the loss of Darian Durant in 2014. The Montreal Canadiens are not PK Subban's team, they are not Max Pacioretty's team and they are not Tomas Plekanec's team. The fortunes of the Habs rests on what Price is doing and the past couple of months have proven that. We don't what the injury is although we have heard it is a knee injury or he tore his groin muscle off his bone. Whatever it is, his return date is not known and by the time he does come back, it could be too late for Montreal. Do they ride this one out and throw the white flag up or do they try and find a goalie that can get them into the playoffs. One also wonders if Price will be available for the World Cup of Hockey. I am thinking the Canadiens braintrust really doesn't want to see Price suiting up in a Canadian uniform if he isn't suiting up in a "Canadiens" uniform.

--Flames D-man Mark Giordano says he thinks women can coach in the NHL. Is the day coming where we see a Melody Davidson, a Sarah Hodges or maybe even a Hayley Wickenheiser being a coach in the NHL. Never say never folks. It's happening in the NFL so it can happen in the NHL as well. If you want more proof, at Hockey Canada’s annual general meeting in 2015, there were 639,510 players registered across Canada, and 87,494 of them are women and girls. In 2005-06, that number was 69,557. The report also said there are 7,067 female coaches in various roles with registered teams in Canada.

--The deal Rogers signed with the NHL was in Canadian dollars. That is what the Toronto Sun's Steve Simmons is reporting. There have to be a few people going "OOPS!!" about that right about now as the loonie could almost be confused with an American quarter.

--Nice job by the Cougar basketball teams in Vancouver this weekend as the men split with UBC and the women won both of their games. It is great to see the mens program back on its feet under Steve Burrows. Playoff basketball at the CKHS on the womens side is usually something you can write in on the womens side and now it appears as if we could see someone playoff hoops at home from the men. I have zero problem with that!

--Archie "The Stomper" Gouldie passed away on the weekend at the age of 71 in Tennessee. If you watched Stampede Wrestling in its heyday, he was the best. I have often thought in the WWE world of today, he would make one of the best heels out there. Speaking of wrestling, Triple H wins the Royal Rumble. Shocking! (sarcasm off)

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

Sunday, January 24, 2016

NFL Conference Championship Capsules

Seahawks Meet Patriots in Super Bowl XLIX NFL 2015 Championship Sunday Call 

The two teams who will meet in Super Bowl 50 are determined on Sunday as the Broncos play the Patriots in the AFC Championship game with Carolina battling Arizona in the NFC Championship game. 

For a complete look at the New England-Denver game, click here 
For a complete look at the Arizona-Carolina game, click here

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Duron Carter Reportedly Back in CFL with Alouettes

Duron Carter failed to establish himself last season with the Indianapolis Colts, but was among the Canadian Football League’s most-spectacular receivers during two seasons with Montreal. And now it appears his return to the Als is imminent.

Two sources have told the Montreal Gazette the 6-foot-5, 205-pound receiver has agreed to terms with the Als, the contract potentially making the Florida native the CFL’s highest-paid player at his position.

“There is a … yes. I don’t know the timing, but you’re on to something,” said a source close to the player. “I know he’s excited about potentially coming. He looks at his opportunity — and this is one he couldn’t turn down.

“I’m sure it will go well with Duron in Montreal. He’s excited. He loves the ownership and, of course, coach Jim Popp. The ownership there and the kind of commitment they were making to him. And he really liked Montreal.”

Popp replaced the fired Tom Higgins as the Als’ head coach last August, following a victory at British Columbia. Montreal’s record was 3-5 at the time. Although the Als only went 6-12, finishing last in the East Division and missing the playoffs for the first time since returning to the league in 1996, the organization announced Popp would remain the team’s head coach.

That had a lot to do with Carter’s return, according to the source.

Carter, who doesn’t turn 25 until March 22, produced 1,939 yards for the Als over two seasons and 12 touchdowns. In 2014, his final year, he had a team-leading 75 receptions for 1,030 yards, along with seven touchdowns. He was the league’s third-leading receiver.

But it was clear he was destined for the NFL last winter. The Colts, along with Minnesota, Tampa Bay, Kansas City, Carolina, San Francisco, Cleveland and Tennessee were the teams that either worked Carter out or expressed some interest in signing him. Early last February, he ultimately signed with Indianapolis, agreeing to a three-year, $1.575-million contract. But only $25,000 of that total was guaranteed and he didn’t receive a signing bonus.

The Colts ultimately signed veteran receiver Andre Johnson as a free agent, then drafted another receiver in the first round. Carter spent the entire season on the practice roster, becoming a free agent on Jan. 12, when the organization failed to offer him a future contract to remain on the team’s practice squad.

Although Carter, understandably, was coveted by numerous CFL teams, there was some thought he would exhaust any and all potential NFL avenues before returning north, ultimately not deciding his next move before May at the earliest. So the timing of this quick decision must be considered surprising.

“I think he just wants to play football,” said the source. “He wants to play football and loves to play. Duron’s life is not based on whether he plays in the NFL.

“What Duron wants to do professionally is totally up to him. What’s wrong with playing in Canada? You act like you’re in a third-world country. There’s great opportunities in Canada and the CFL for guys who want to play professional football.”

While there’s no denying Carter’s talent, his lack of maturity, attitude and work ethic have previously been questioned. He’ll have to work diligently to prove his behaviour has changed and that he’ll be accepted readily in the dressing room. Having Popp on the sideline for every game should help, along with the presence of veteran quarterback Kevin Glenn, acquired from Saskatchewan in a late-season trade.

It’s believed Edmonton’s Adarius Bowman is the CFL’s highest-paid receiver, at $250,000 annually. But when S.J. Green signed a three-year extension with the Als last January, the Montreal Gazette reported he, too, would be paid in the vicinity of $250,000.

How long Carter’s willing to re-commit to Montreal remains to be determined. He’s young enough to potentially take another crack south of the border.

“I don’t think he’ll take away his NFL options. I don’t think he’s given up on playing in the NFL,” the source said.

(Herb Zurkowsky-Montreal Gazette)

Danny Barrett gets NFL Job

Former Saskatchewan Roughriders coach Danny Barrett has a job in the NFL.
Barrett, who coached the Riders from 2000-2006 and had a record of 57-68,  is joining the coaching staff of the Miami Dolphins where he will serve as the team's running backs coach.
After being relieved of his duties at the end of the 2006 season, Barrett went on to be the head coach at the University of Buffalo and was the head coach there when former Rider, now Winnipeg Blue Bombers quarterback Drew Willy was with the team.
Barrett left Buffalo and had been serving as the running backs coach at the University of Central Florida before being given the title of interim head coach when George O'Leary stepped down midway through the 2015 season. Barrett did not win a game in his stint as interim head coach in 4 tries.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Another Potential Rider FA Signs With Club

The Saskatchewan Roughriders announced today national fullback Spencer Moore has signed an extension to remain with the team. As per team policy, details of the contract were not released.

Moore (6’4 – 230) will return for his fourth season with the Green and White after originally being selected by the Riders in the fifth round (44th overall) of the 2013 CFL Draft. The 25-year-old McMaster product has been a solid contributor on special teams through his first three seasons picking up 14 tackles, while also chipping in on offence with nine receptions for 55 yards through 35 regular season games.  

He won his first career Grey Cup in 2013 as a member of the Riders. 

Moore was eligible to become a free agent on February 9.

This and That

Welcome to the usual set of Friday thoughts running through my muddled mind, and as always, they are in no particular order.

  --I hope the University of Regina Rams brought in someone to clean up the clubhouse carpet after Mike Gibson's farewell news conference on Monday afternoon because there was a whole lot of you know what being spewed by the new Eskimos offensive line coach, but then again there was a whole lot of you know what spewed by this guy in the short time he was in Regina. Shortly after he was announced as the Rams head coach, I was told by three people in CFL circles that he would jump at the first gig he could find and he might not even start the season with the Rams. After his debacle in Ottawa, it was obvious that job wasn't coming last year, but when it came he predictably jumped. He states the move was for family, but when you are leaving a place where there is job security for a place where you could be out after one year and you are taking what is reported to be less money in Edmonton than what you were getting here, I say those reasons were pure BS.  Gibson's year in Regina was a joke on several levels from going to Saskjobs to find an offensive co-ordinator (which in truth turned out to be a good hire in Mark McConkey), to his embarrassing display at the end of the first home game against Alberta, to his I don't need Grade 12 comments, to his telling Rod Pedersen on the Sportscage he didn't have good players to his farewell address in which he basically gave those in the room the old double middle fingered salute.  I could go on, but I won't

  As a wise sage told me this week, Gibson was probably put in a no-win position as the person replacing Frank McCrystal and there might be some truth to that. In fact, there is probably a whole lot of truth to that.  After all, Frank didn't replace the legendary Gord Currie as Gerry Zbytnuik coached the Horns for a couple of seasons until Frank took over. The new person won't be the guy replacing Frank, he will be the guy replacing Mike Gibson and that should put that person in a much easier spot as the transitionary period is now over. The key now is hiring the right guy. This program can NOT go through this again. There are people out there, and the favourite would have to be Thunder coach Scott McAulay. He has a great thing going with the Thunder, but he has Ram written all over him. Others can turn this program around, but Scott deserves the first opportunity IF he wants it. For those suggesting Marc Mueller, I think he is firmly entrenched in Calgary with the Stampeders and has no desire to take the job. If this had happened a year ago, the story might have been different. 

 I don't know who will get the job, but I do know this. There is a deep divide between the once-proud Rams and its alumni. A very deep divide. It has something which has worsened what is a bad situation. It has to stop and it has to stop yesterday.  The Rams and their alumni need to work together. There are no ifs, buts or maybes in this scenario. There are problems that exist and both sides need to swallow some pride and start working together to make the Rams what they used to be and that is something Regina can be proud of because right now I don't think that is the case. A reputation needs to be restored. If they can't, the Huskies will continue to be the dominant University program in this province and while that will be considered OK in Saskatoon for obvious reasons, it won't be well-liked here much like the hopefully soon to be forgotten Mike Gibson era which ends with a big fat zero on many levels.  I won't miss him and there are many others who feel the same way I do. As one CFL person texted me Monday morning after hearing the news..."I can't believe Jason (Maas) was that desperate".

 Many will be watching what happens very carefully. The future of the program is at stake!

--The Calgary Flames and the Edmonton Oilers aren't wowing anyone right now, but Kelly Hrudey started a debate last weekend on Hockey Night in Canada and some others have jumped on board when it comes to the future of these two teams and are we ready for another Battle of Alberta the way it used to be like.  Hrudey suggests the Flames are in a better spot right now with young players like Dougie Hamilton, TJ Brodie, Sean Monahan, Johnny Gaudreau and Sam Bennett while the Oilers have Taylor Hall, Connor McDavid, Darnell Nurse, Oscar Klefbom and Leon Draisaitl. Being an Oilers fan, I am biased, but how can you not put Edmonton ahead on this list when they have the once in a generation player in McDavid. His script has yet to be written and it is a great debate, but I have to lean Edmonton's way on this one. I will say this. All 10 players are going to make a once great rivalry great again.

--The NHL got it right with the John Scott story. It's a crime he is playing in the game, but it would have been a bigger crime if he had not been allowed to play. I've said it once and I will say it again---I hope he has the time of his hockey life in Nashville. I think it would be hilarious if he dropped the mitts against someone like Jaromir Jagr who may need a rest after asking fans not to vote for him because he is too old for 3 on 3 for that long. A "fight" between JJ and Scott would make the weekend. I'd watch the highlights though, because John Scott or no John Scott, I'm not watching the game.

--Where are all those people who said Phil Kessel would score 50 in Pittsburgh this season?

---Saskatchewan lost a legend Thursday with the passing of Sam Richardson. Those who watched him speak at countless dinners in this province know what a character he was. He was maybe a better story-teller than a curler and that is saying a lot because he was a damn good curler from what I've been told. It didn't take him long to walk into a room and have those inside in the palm of his hand. The curling world has lost someone special. RIP Sam!

--I expect Sunday's game between Tom Brady and Peyton Manning to be the last head-to-head matchup between the two. In fact, I think if the Broncos lose (which I believe they will) that we will have seen the last of Peyton on the field with his next gig being a talking head on one of the major networks--likely ESPN. Manning has the numbers, but Brady has the titles. Who would you rather have? I'll go with 12.  In the NFC game, I think Arizona is a more complete team than Carolina. I still don't think Carolina is as good as advertised even though they deserved the "W" last week so I am going with the Cardinals.

--Has "The Ginja Ninja" kicked his last ball for the Seattle Seahawks? Jon Ryan is a free agent. Does he want to go back to Seattle? Do the Seahawks want him back. I would think the answer is yes, but who knows. I am guessing he will get some offers. 

 --Canada's greatest athlete died this week as pro wrestler Iron Mike Sharpe passed away at the age of 64. His gig was outstanding! He was maybe not Canada's greatest athlete, but he was Canada's greatest jobber. Then again, he won more matches than Mike Gibson won CIS games. I digress!

--Still with wrestling, the WWE trots out the Royal Rumble on Sunday. It is always entertaining, but I think this year, it will be big-time lame especially if current champ Roman Reigns hangs on to the belt. If you didn't know, Reigns used to play for the Edmonton Eskimos under the name Joe Anoai. It was back in 2008 and he played five games getting nine tackles.
--A lot of heat is being thrown at ex-Riders GM Brendan Taman for the fact Weston Dressler and John Chick were released. However, Rob Vanstone of the Leader-Post makes some great comments in a Wednesday column. The rumpled scribe makes a very good point when he states the blame being thrown Brendan Taman's way is a little unjustified. Taman did his all to get Chick and Dressler back here so they could be a major part of the 2013 Grey Cup victory. Both could have gone elsewhere after returning from the NFL, but Taman made sure they came home. What would you have said if those two had been playing elsewhere for the past couple of seasons? As Chris Jones said the day of the release----it comes down to simple economics!

--You may want to mark April 23 on your calendar if you're a Blue Jays fan or just a baseball fan. Robbie Alomar is the guest speaker for the Regina Red Sox Sportsman Dinner at the Turvey Centre. That is always a great night and I don't see it being any different this year.

--Is the NBA all-star weekend in Toronto now made seeing Kyle Lowry is a starter for the Eastern Conference? It's nice to see the NBA and its fans don't make a joke of their all-star balloting by voting some schlub in that doesn't belong.

--Why is there such a furor over the price of cauliflower. You can't tell me anyone REALLY eats that stuff can you? Why? Broccoli yes, but cauliflower?

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

Thursday, January 21, 2016

This Week in Cougar Athletics

At Home – FridayWomen’s Volleyball vs. Thompson Rivers, 6:00 p.m. (CKHS)
Women’s Hockey vs. Alberta, 7:00 p.m. (The Co-operators Centre)
Men’s Volleyball vs. Thompson Rivers, 7:30 p.m. (CKHS)

At Home – SaturdayWomen’s Hockey vs. Alberta, 3:00 p.m. (The Co-operators Centre)
Women’s Volleyball vs. Thompson Rivers, 5:00 p.m. (CKHS)
Men’s Volleyball vs. Thompson Rivers, 6:30 p.m. (CKHS)

On the Road – Friday (all times CST)Track & Field at Golden Bear Meet, Day 1 (Edmonton, Alta.)
Men’s Hockey at Alberta, 8:00 p.m. (Edmonton, Alta.)
Women’s Basketball at UBC, 8:00 p.m. (Vancouver, B.C.)
Men’s Basketball at UBC, 10:00 p.m. (Vancouver, B.C.)

On the Road – Saturday (all times CST)Wrestling at Huskie Open (Saskatoon, Sask.)
Track & Field at Golden Bear Meet, Day 2 (Edmonton, Alta.)
Men’s Hockey at Alberta, 7:00 p.m. (Edmonton, Alta.)
Women’s Basketball at UBC, 7:00 p.m. (Vancouver, B.C.)
Men’s Basketball at UBC, 9:00 p.m. (Vancouver, B.C.)

Women’s Hockey – Sporting a 3-1 record so far in 2016, the Cougars (9-7-3-1) look to continue their momentum as they host Alberta this weekend. The Pandas are tied for first place in the Canada West standings with an 11-7-0-2 record, just one point ahead of the Cougars. Toni Ross had a 30-save shutout in a 1-0 win over Lethbridge last Friday, and the Cougars triumphed 4-2 on Saturday in a game which featured a pair of second-period goals by Kylee Kupper. Game times are scheduled for 7:00 on Friday night and 3:00 on Saturday afternoon at The Co-operators Centre.
Women’s Volleyball – The Cougars play the first two of four consecutive home matches this weekend at the Centre for Kinesiology, Health & Sport as they’ll host Thompson Rivers on Friday and Saturday night. First serve is scheduled for 6:00 on Friday and 5:00 on Saturday. The Cougars are also at the CKHS next weekend with home matches against Alberta.
Men’s Volleyball – After their only away matches of January last Friday and Saturday against No. 6-ranked Winnipeg, the Cougars return home this weekend for two clashes against Thompson Rivers. Match time is set for 7:30 on Friday night and 6:30 on Saturday night.
Women’s Basketball (CIS Ranking: No. 3) – Up one more spot in this week’s CIS Top Ten poll despite being idle last weekend, the Cougars (9-1) are back in action this Friday and Saturday with a pair of road games against a UBC team that will enter the weekend with a 6-6 record. The U of R enters the weekend in third place in the Pioneer Division standings, just a half game back of second-place Alberta (10-1) and two games back of division-leading and top-ranked Saskatchewan (12-0).
Men’s Basketball – The Pioneer Division standings are nothing short of wild right now, with Calgary leading the way at 10-3, Victoria in sixth at 7-5, and four teams – including the Cougars (7-3) – packed in between. The Cougars travel to the West Coast this weekend for a pair of huge games at UBC, which will enter the series in second place in the division with a 9-3 record. Game times are set for 8 p.m. (PST) on Friday and 7 p.m. (PST) on Saturday.
Men's Hockey – The Cougars split with the Lethbridge Pronghorns last weekend, falling 6-4 before bouncing back for a 6-3 win at home. Dillan McCombie and Zach McPhee each scored twice on Saturday as the Cougars improved to 5-15-0 on the season. Regina will head to Edmonton this weekend to meet the No. 6-ranked Alberta Golden Bears. Alberta has a 13-5-2 record and took two decisions over the Cougars in October.
Track & Field – The Cougars had their first away competition of the 2015-16 season last weekend at the Sled Dog Meet in Saskatoon. Joy Becker had first-place finishes for the women’s team in both the long jump (5.61m) and the 60-metre dash (7.82 s), while Ahmed Alkabary was first on the men’s side in the long jump (6.84m). The teams are back in action this weekend at the Golden Bear Meet in Edmonton.

Wrestling (Women’s CIS Ranking: No. 3 / Men's CIS Ranking: No. 8) – The men's team was idle last weekend but the women travelled to Guelph to compete in the Guelph Open. Kristine Longeau wrestled her way to a second-place finish in the 69-kilogram class and Kayla Brodner finished third at 63kg. Both teams will wrestle this weekend as the Cougars make their way to Saskatoon to compete in the Huskie Open.