Saturday, February 28, 2009

I am going to run through the text messages I sent and received tonight on a crazy night in the NWJHL playoffs.

We had game 4 between Peace River and Beaverlodge from Beaverlodge.
Game 5 between Dawson Creek and Grand Prairie from Dawson Creek
Game 4 between FSJ and Slave Lake from the NPA

The texts I received from Dawson were from Jr Canucks play-by-play voice Darren Dupont, from Beaverlodge the texts were sent by Peace River Navigators play-by-play man Damien Gnass. I was sending to both unless otherwise stated.

8:12pm (received) - From Beaverlodge: 2-0 Peace River 5 minutes in.

8:13pm (sent) - 2-0 Huskies 6 minutes in.

8:14pm (received) - From Beaverlodge: 2-1 Peace River .

8:14pm (sent) - 3-0 Huskies All three guys on top line have 3 points.

8:21pm (sent) - 4-1 Huskies Kyle Porter.

8:23pm (received) - From Dawson Creek: 0-0 8 minutes left in 1st.

8:24pm (received) - From Peace River: 2-2. Shots are 16-2 for Navs but game is tied.

8:29pm (sent) - 4-3 Huskies. We started our backup he's made 4 saves.

8:35pm (received) - From Beaverlodge: 1st period summary. 2 to 2 score. Goals by Bagan, Bunn and Dumas twice (for Beaverlodge). Shot 21-7 for Navigators.

8:36pm (received) - From Dawson Creek: 1-0 Grand Prairie after PP goal Atkinson 19:59 mark tipped high out of air.

8:39pm (sent) - 5-3 Huskies after first. 13-11 shots for FSJ. Reffing appalling both ways.

After 1st Period:
FSJ 5 - Slake Lake 3
Dawson Creek 0 - Grand Prairie 1
Beaverlodge 2 - Peace River 2

9:03pm (sent) - 5-4 Huskies. 3 soft goals on backup goalie.

9:07pm (received) - From Beaverlodge: Navs up 4-2 early in second.

9:22pm (received) - From Beaverlodge: Two man advantage goal for Navs, 5-2 Navs.

9:24pm (sent) - 5-4 Huskies after 2. This would have been like 15-1 until our goalie let in the bad goals.

9:26pm (received) - From Beaverlodge: Blades goal late second. Power Play. 5-3 Navs.

9:28pm (received) - From Dawson Creek: 3-1 GP after 2.

9:34pm (received) - From Beaverlodge: Second Period summary. Goals from Richardson Smith and Richardson again and Cody Moulds (Blades) Shots 18-13 Navs. Score is 5-3 after 2.

After 2nd Period:
Huskies 5 - Slave Lake 4
Dawson Creek 1 - Grand Prairie 3
Beaverlodge 3 - Peace River 5

9:50pm (received) - From Beaverlodge: Blades goal in first min. 5-4 Navs.

9:50pm (received) - From Beaverlodge: 5-5 in third.

9:53pm (received) - From Beaverlodge: Tied at 5. Robinson (Blades) break away goal.

9:59pm (sent) - 6-5 Slave Lake MacIsaac.

10:00pm (received) - From Dawson Creek: 3-2 GP 4 min left.

10:02pm (sent) - MacIsaac just took a 4 minute High Sticking pen 6:30 left in 3rd.

10:03pm (received) - From Beaverlodge: Blades power play goal to lead 6-5 10 minutes left.

10:04pm (sent) - Wongstedt ties it 6-6 on PP for Huskies.

10:10pm (sent) - 7-6 Huskies 1 min left. Kole Norris.

10:10pm (received) From Dawson Creek: 5-2 GP FINAL. Dawson is out. 2 EN goals.

10:20pm (received) From Beaverlodge: Blades power play goal. 7-5 with 2 min left.

10:22 (sent) - 7-6 Huskies FINAL. Huskies win series 3 games to 1.

10:23pm (received) From Beaverlodge: 7-5 Final.

10:26pm (received) From Beaverlodge: Third Period summary. Shots 16-6 Blades. 4 straight goals after Navs take 8 penalties.

10:28pm (sent to Beaverlodge) - Good Calls? Or typical NWJHL dodgy reffing?

10:29pm (received) From Beaverlodge: Horrible. 2 Navs players got interference penalties at same time?

So that wraps up a crazy night in the NWJHL playoffs. The Blades come back from 5-2 down to win 7-5 on home ice and force a game 5 tomorrow night in Peace River. Grand Prairie wins game 5 on the road in Dawson Creek, win the the series 3-2.

And the Huskies win a thriller which shouldn't have been a thriller but they got the job done after trailing in the third they rally for the 7-6 win and a 3 games to 1 series victory.

Huskies win game 3

Game 3 was last night at the NPA and the Huskies showed just why their record was so good on home ice this season. The Huskies came out flying against Slave Lake and were dominating play in the offensive zone leading to goals from Cody Kalb, Dustin Heitman with a beauty backhand shelf job on a breakaway and Linden Apsassin that were sandwiched around a fluke goal from the Wolves that deflected off Cash Brinkworth and past Zach Blain. The second period was more of the same and by the time the score was 7 - 1 I was on my way out of the NPA as I was sick as a dog and wasn't in doubt about who would win the game. Kyle Porter scored in the second and Jordan Hartnell added one as well to give a goal to all 3 of the guys playing on the 4th line. Cody Hildebrand scored as did Kole Norris on his return to the lineup as the Huskies rolled to a 10 - 1 victory and a 2 games to 1 lead in the series. Cody Kalb fought Nick Plourde and won the Jon Zacks decision.

Game 4 is tonight at the NPA and the Huskies can clinch the series and set up a second round match-up with either Peace River if they win their series or the winner of Dawson Creek and Beaverlodge if Peace gets upset by the lodge.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Huskies back at it tonight, Flyers on Sunday

Huskies get back at it tonight. Game 3 against Slave Lake is at the NPA at 8 pm. Let's pack that place. Apparently the Peace River fans have been setting attendance records so far in the playoffs. We can't let them outdo us, so let's set some records of our own. Look out for #87 Tyson Price from Slave Lake, he has 3 goals in the 2 game so far. Also, #51 Nick Plourde likes to run around and hit everything and takes A LOT of PIMs so keep you eyes on him as well. Looks like Kole Norris will be back in the lineup tonight as well.

Flyers schedule for round 2 against Spirit River has been released. Check it out here:

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Playoff waiting game

Not a lot going on lately as we wait for the playoffs to get back underway. The Huskies are back in action at the NPA Friday night at 8 for game 3 against Slave Lake. The Huskies need to continue to work the special teams that were excellent for the most part and killed off 4 or 5 5 on 3 situations and they scored 3 times with the man advantage. Lots of offense from the back end through the first two games as well which is encouraging and needs to continue throughout the playoffs. The Huskies get offense from Spence and Wongstedt and even Disher has been chipping in with some assists lately and combine that with two very good scoring lines and the Huskies should have a nice balanced attack and that is huge in the playoffs. The top line does need to step up this weekend though and start scoring at a similar rate to the regular season when they were one of the best units in the league. The Huskies have made the NPA a fortress and they rarely lose on home ice, and i don't see them losing anymore games in this series.

The Flyers have been sitting around waiting to play round 2 as they need to find out who they will play next and that depends on Falher and Peace River. Game 5 of that series goes tonight so the Flyers will know who they play next and hopefully when and where they play next by tomorrow. Not sure if we will see Ryan Carter in this next round but if the Flyers do end up with Spirit River in the next round you might see Carter making the trip for a weekend. Matt Shuya was a beast in the first round. A lot of guys scored a lot of points during the series against Lakeland but Shuya had 18 points in three games to lead the team. It's good to see Shuya playing well and hopefully in a series against Spirit he will get his pay back for a broken nose by putting the Rangers to the sword offensively.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

NWJHL playoffs

Dawson Creek lost game 3 last night in Grand Prairie so the Wheelers have a 2 games to 1 lead in that series with game 4 in Grand Prairie. Dawson Creek is in tough and are still without their top player Charles Radke who is down in the lower mainland for school but would be back if his mates can force a game 5. The final score last night was 3 - 0 for GP.

Peace River Stamps force game 5

Bad news Flyers fans. Falher lost to Peace River last night so that series is tied at two. If Falher wins that series the Flyers will play Spirit River in the next round of the playoffs and that is what we want. I am not sure when the deciding game 5 will be but I will let you know when I know who won and what the Flyers playoff schedule looks like.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The return of the Champions League

Today is the return of the Champions League.

There are several glamour matches in this the first round of the knockout stages of the Champions League. Arsenal v Roma, Real Madrid v Liverpool (two of the three most successful teams in this competitions history) and Chelsea v Juventus. But for me the clash between the defending champions of England and Europe who are currently leading the table in England against the current leaders in Italy is the draw that has me nervous. Inter have won the Italian crown the last two years and have a healthy lead again this year. As do my team in England.

For those of you who don't know me then I will let you know that above Hockey, above even Baseball the sport with the highest place of honour in my heart is Football. Not that American crap where they almost never use their feet. No the real Football. The Football of Pele, Maradona and George Best. The 5th Beatle as he was known. And yes I am a Manchester United supporter. Call me a glory hunter if you would like but my father has been a United supporter since the 50's. In fact I can pinpoint the exact day. May 3rd 1958. That's the day that Manchester United lost the FA Cup final to Bolton. A remarkable final because just months earlier Manchester United's plane crashed while trying to take off from the Munich airport. Several players died in that crash and one of the most promising young teams in the sports history was decimated. Duncan Edwards was killed in that crash and he was only 21 at the time and already considered one of the best players in the world and some people who saw him play saw he would have gone on to become the greatest ever to play. So a team with many of it's stars dead and it's coach in a coma managed to play a match just 13 days after the crash. And several months later they reached the FA Cup final and then lost with 4 crash survivors playing in the game along with a couple of new recruits and some young players called up from the reserve team. My father listened to that game on the radio and cried for days after United lost. And that is how Manchester United got into my blood. He stuck with them through the 70s and 80s when they weren't great and Liverpool were, but now we are the dominant force in England and long may it continue.

So I am nervous today. I am as nervous as a 10 year old at the Neverland ranch when the lights go out. I can't sit still. Manchester United play Inter Milan today in the first leg of the round of 16 in the Champions Leage. It's the knockout stage, you play two game one home and one away and whoever has the most goals wins. And Inter Milan is coached by Jose Mourinho a charismatic leader who stopped United's dominance when he was at Chelsea in England and who always seems to have United's number. And we are without several key defenders for the first game which is in Italy at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza or the San Siro as it is commonly known. This is an intimidating stadium to play in. But we have a ton of experience in this competition. We are defending champions and I am confident we can get a result. A score draw will do nicely. 2 - 2 would be ideal. Then we go back to Old Trafford for the second leg and take care of them on our turf. I can't wait.

Blades win game 3

Beaverlodge wins in double OT. The series between the Blades and the Navigators is now Peace River 2 - 1. Game four will be in Beaverlodge Saturday.

Let's break this down a bit.

Game 1 - Peace River 1 - Beaverlodge 0
Game 2 - Peace River 4 - Beaverlodge 3 (OT)
Game 3 - Beaverlodge 4 - Peace River 3 (2OT)

So they have played 2 plus OT periods and all three games have been decided by one goal. Could this series be any tighter? I guess it looks like it will go to game 5. I wish Peace River was closer to FSJ so I could go see game 5 if there is one. I can honestly see a scenario where Peace and Dawson lose their series. I think that you would obviously want the top seeds to progress and play each other but everyone loves an underdog.

Game 3 between Dawson and GP is tonight in GP. You can listen at to Darren Dupont and the Jr Canucks broadcast. He does an excellent job and you can check out his and Dave Dawson's blog in my blog list. They both blog a lot about the NWJHL and have lots of good insight.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Playoff Update

NWJHL playoffs

1. Whitecourt - 1st round Bye

2. FSJ Huskies vs 7. Slave Lake Wolves (Series tied at 1)

Game 3 should be Friday. Huskies have all the remaining games of the series on home ice. I don't see anything unexpected happening at the NPA. But they should be good games. Slave Lake plays a physical style so the Huskies PP should decide this series.

3. Peace River vs 6. Beaverlodge (Peace River leads 2 - 0)

Peace can finish that series tonight in Beaverlodge but that sure is a tough place to play and this series is closer than it looks. Peace won game 1 by a score of 1 zip and game 2 by a score of 4 - 3 in OT. You can listen to game 3 if you like on Kix 106's website.

4. Dawson Creek vs 5. Grand Prairie (Series tied at 1)

Grand Prairie earned the split in Dawson and took home ice advantage from the Jr Canucks who will be looking to earn it back in a tough place to play. GP is good at home just ask the Huskies. They played a couple of OT games there this year. Game 3 sounds like it will be tomorrow night listen to if you would like to hear that game.

Flyers win series

The Flyers won 21 - 7 and won the series 3 games to none. What else is there to say about that?

They should get Spirit River in the next round and fingers crossed that series could start on Thursday night here in FSJ. That will be a good series and well worth the price of admission. Once we know for sure we will start promoting that series a bit more.

Huskies versus Slave Lake game 2

Game 2 was a heck of a lot of fun for us to broadcast.

The Wolves again came out flying in their home barn and they played out of the skins. The were hitting everything that moved and using some hometown reffing to their advantage. Tyson Price scored twice in the first and after 20 minutes the Huskies were down 2. The strong play in the Slave Lake goal continued and there was more to come. Travis Chartier does not look like your typical goalie but he was excellent all weekend. The Huskies were sparked by the second line with Steve Fast playing with Cam McKinnon and Cody Hildebrand after Jason Arnouse was kicked out early in the game after a charging call that he apparently questioned, he then got a 10 minute misconduct penalty (apparently he asked what the call was) and was tossed for losing it after that.

*Rant Alert* If that is truly what Arnouse said to the stripes then I can understand him losing it a little. It gets really old to watch the referees in this league not allow players to question calls. It smacks of a lack of confidence and these are young kids who will occasionally allow their emotions to get the best of them. Have some thicker skin. You only have to ask the Whitecourt Wolverines about this. They had a guy kicked out of the game when they were playing in FSJ that was suspect at best. Here is a quick memo for the stripes. No one cares about you, no one is there to see you play, no one is interested in you and no one wants to see you deciding games so figure it out. *Rant Over*

Anyway, Hildebrand scored a couple of goals going to the front of the net after joining that second line and the Huskies eventually took a lead when Wongstedt popped up at the front of the net and found a lose puck in a scramble to give the pups the 4 - 3 lead. Slave Lake tied the game though when Kyle Pichette scored his second of the game and we were headed to overtime.

How Cam McKinnon missed a basically empty net in OT is beyond me. The puck looked like it rolled on him and he kind of scooped it over but give him that chance another hundred times and he scores 99 of them. Then Chartier made a spectacular glove save stealing one from Dan Pappin. That was the turning point. The game should have been over. Linden Apsassin was on the ice and had maybe the best view of anyone not named Pappin and his expression said it all. I could read his lips. Here it is Linden Apsassin after Chartier robbed Pappin, "WOW." That says it all. Wow. Slave Lake had Tyson Price on a breakaway that he fired wide and the Huskies killed a PP late in the first overtime so we were off to double overtime. So much fun but when you are getting on a bus for a 4 hour ride back to FSJ after the game you start to notice how late it is getting. Only during the intermission though because the play on the ice was great. A great pace to play considering the boys had played the night before and the physical play continued in overtime.

Jon and I predicted who we thought would win the game so I went off the board and picked Lovelace and Spence a guy who doesn't score a ton and a D man. Zacks went Steve Fast and Tyson Price I believe. He went way out on a limb with those two. Turns out I was closer. The winner was scored by a fourth liner who had played no more than 5 or 6 shifts all game. Tyler Couch found the puck on his stick behind the ride line so he threw it towards the net. Never a bad play and it worked as Zack Blain was trying to get to his post but was a little late and the puck hit his skate and trickled into the net.

Series tied at one each and Slave Lake players celebrating like it was 1999. What a game.

Game 3 will be Friday we believe at the NPA. The Huskies will win this series. If they get Smith, Brinkworth and Norris back in the lineup it shouldn't be close but credit to the Wolves for giving it their all in game 2 and deserving the win. It was their first over the Huskies all year.

Huskies Game 1

Sorry about the delay in posting. Getting internet signals in Slave Lake was like getting a

Game 1 Huskies 4 - Slave Lake 1

The Huskies played a pretty good road game in game one. They were very tight in their own end and for the most part they handled the very physical nature of the Wolves game plan. Slave Lake kept it close though thanks to some good goaltending and some bad finishing from the Huskies. The special teams battle really told the story of the game. The Wolves were 1 for 8 on the PP but they had 3, 5 on 3 advantages during the game. They scored on the third to make it 3 to 1 at that point. The Huskies were 2 for 5 on the PP and despite being shorthanded for the last 7 minutes of the game they managed to hold on and a Payden Wongstedt short handed empty netter sealed the 4 to 1 victory. The Huskies will be happy with the defensive effort because they were missing Brandon Smith and Cash Brinkworth on the back end. They were also missing Kole Norris who had expected to make the trip but is still suffering some issues related to a concussion he received the weekend before in Peace River. Zack Blain continued to play well in goal and Jon Spence was excellent. The one issue for the Huskies continues to be discipline. You just have to find a way to stay out of the box in the pastseason.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Huskies start playoffs tonight on the road!

The Huskies kick off their NWJHL playoffs tonight in Slave Lake. The Huskies do have home ice advantage in this series but were unable to get ice time this weekend so they will start with two games on the road and we would assume 3 at home next weekend if they are necessary. They shouldn't be necessary though as the Huskies were purely dominant against the Wolves this season. The Huskies won all five games with Slave Lake in the regular season and only one was close.

Oct. 26th Huskies 4 - SL 3
Nov. 1st Huskies 12 - SL 2
Nov 23rd Huskies 8 - SL 1
Dec. 6th Huskies 6 - SL 3
Dec 7th Huskies 7 - SL 1

That's a total of 37 goals for the Huskies in the five games while they only allowed ten. It is interesting to note that the Huskies haven't seen Slave Lake since before Christmas so we won't know for sure what they have to offer in this series. Plus it is playoffs and so the regular season numbers don't really mean a whole lot. Slave Lake will be looking to put on a show in front of their home fans and do have some toughness in the lineup. The Huskies should win both games but you just never know.

Game time tonight is 8:30 with the pregame at 8:15 on Moose FM. You can listen online at

Game 2 goes tomorrow night we believe at 7:30 I will try to let you know when we have a game time confirmed.

Flyers lead series 2 games to none

The Flyers only managed to take 10 players to Lakeland to take on the Eagles in game 2 of their first round series. But just like an old sitcom with a similar name 10 is enough for the Flyers. They dominated the Eagles en route to an 18 to 6 pasting. Click on the link to the Flyers for more info or you can go to

Looks like Dustin Kersey led the way with 5 goals and 2 assists and Matt Shuya had a big night as well with a hat trick to go along with 5 assists.

Also I should say a quick congratulations to Flyers who won league awards. Kip Noble was top D man as well as League MVP. Troy Hunt was named top goalie and Jeff Shipton was named top rookie. For more info check out the story on

Thursday, February 19, 2009


I know this is a hockey blog and in particular a FSJ Flyers and Huskies blog but I want to talk about something very very close to my heart right now. I could not be a bigger baseball fan. I love that sport and my team, The Cubs, perhaps more than is healthy. I get excited about spring training. When I am older I will be one of those guys who goes to spring training and plays in fantasy baseball camps. Baseball and soccer are my two main sports loves and then hockey. And there is one man who I cannot help but admire and respect a man who, in this era of steroids in baseball, I feel will go down as the best player of my generation. The best player I have ever seen with my own two eyes. A player I saw play live on more than one occasion. In fact, there was one catch you may remember him making at the Kingdome where he ended up hanging from the wall sort of on all fours and actually broke his wrist. I was at that game. The picture above is the moment right before he hit the wall. I was AT THAT GAME. Oh yeah, he hit a homer earlier in that game. I believe his seventh of the year. But I digress, what I want to say is........Ken Griffey Junior is, and always will be in my opinion, the greatest baseball player of the steroid era. And he did it clean. There has never been even the slightest hint or whisper that Griffey wasn't clean. He is good friends with Barry Bonds because they shared, excuse the pun, the bond of both having basbeall players for fathers and I believe their fathers were friends as well. Despite being linked with Bonds in friendship Griffey has never been linked to him in the steroid scandal. If Griffey isn't clean (And this is a BIG if) I think I might lose all faith in the sport. But as long as there isn't even a tiny shred of a hint that Griffey was dirty I will continue to beat this drum. Ken Griffey Junior is the greatest player of our generation. He is, and might well always be, the greatest play I ever saw. 611 homeruns puts him in 4th on the list of guys who didn't use steroids and how many games did he miss through injury? He missed an average of 36 games per season in his career through injury. That's a total of 720 games. Another close to 3000 at bats that he would have had in his career. In case you are wondering Griffey hits a home run every 15 at bats on average in his career. So if he had been healthy his whole career he would be close to or at 800 home runs. Clean!!!! 800 freaking home runs. And despite all those injuries he is still one of the all time greats. Plus, he was one of the best defensive outfielders of all time making the spectacular seem routine. He could run, throw, make spectacular catches and hit for power and average. When you look up 5 tool baseball player in the dictionary there should be a picture of The Kid. I might be running out of steam on this rant right now.

Oh yeah, Griffey is returning to the Mariners. I am soooooooooooooooo pumped about this. I am going to go to Safeco as soon as possible and as many times as possible to watch this man in the flesh once again. I can't wait. I am giddy right now.

Flyers vs Lakeland Game 2 Tonight

Our FSJ Senior Flyers get back in action tonight in Lakeland. Well, technically in McLennan Alberta but they are playing the Lakeland Eagles. The Eagles should be able to find more than 8 guys to play in this game and that alone will make it a little more difficult for the boys from FSJ. I don't see it being a problem for the Flyers even without Troy Hunt. Ryan Bjorklund showed all season what a capable goalie he is and there won't be much of a drop off in goal for the Flyers with Ryan in between the pipes. Kersey was big in game 1, but then who wasn't good for the Flyers? This should be another easy win for FSJ setting them up to clinch on home ice on Saturday. I will try to blog and let you know what happened as soon as I find out tomorrow.

I will do something I don't normally do here, I am going to make a prediction.

10 - 2 Flyers.

NWJHL Playoffs underway

The NWJHL playoffs are up and running with two series getting going last night.

Grand Prairie 3 - Dawson Creek 2

GP leads series 1 - 0

In the series that I predicted the upset the #5 ranked Wheelers get a huge road victory in game 1. Check out Darren Dupont's blog for more about last night's game. The link is in my other blogs section. I have to say I am not surprised by this result. The Jr Canucks looked uninspired and lost in their final regular season game against Peace River. They haven't been playing well of late and it is hard to get it turned around and rolling in the playoffs.

Peace River 1 - Beaverlodge 0

PR leads series 1 - 0

Wow, that's a crazy score. Peace River is a very good team in their own end of the rink and they are well coached. I am not that surprised to see them playing low scoring games but this is a missed opportunity for Beaverlodge. I made Aaron Dumas my key to this series and this game demonstrates why. The Blades only allow one goal and lose. If Dumas and Robinson had found a way to score a couple they steal home ice away from the Navs. This series is going to get very interesting. Will Peace be able to win in Beaverlodge? That's a tough place to play for road teams, just ask the Huskies last season. Hmm, this is already a fascinating playoffs.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Just some random thoughts about sports that I have had rattling around in my head lately. Pierre McGuire's roster for Team Canada that he had on TSN was pretty much the same as mine actually. I even had Brendan Morrow in my team. Look I know we could take 13 offensive players and there are lots better than Morrow. But you put him with Mike Richards and Shane Doan and you have a line that can shut down the other teams top line, they can agitate and draw penalties, and the can score a little too. You can't just take all the best talent, you have to make a team. Just ask the Dream Teams of recent years. I think if you were to take Morrow out of that mix Toews would be the obvious choice to replace him. Also, Luongo has to be the number 1. He just has to play in his home building and the city he plays in. That to me is a no brainer. And people who are having a hard time with Gagne being on that team. The guy is a point a game guy right now who is coming back from almost a season off and he has a lot of experience at International level. I think he has to be there too.

Ok, so Chelsea football club owner Roman Abramovich has lost something like 6 billion pounds of his own personal wealth thanks to this global economic crisis. Luckily he still has around 10 billion left. But that is a lot of money to have just up and disappear. I know people all over the world are dealing with this same problem and on a smaller and more impactful scale. I get that people have lost their entire life savings and won't be able to retire and all of that. And it sucks. But this guy in his own little world were he has lost that much money must be depressed. I would be. I think I would pay someone to let me punch them until I felt better.

This has nothing to do with sports but I have just heard that Guy Ritchie's new movie RockNRolla is very good but there is no Jason Statham. It won't be the same without "Handsome Rob" but apparently there was a scheduling conflict. I think he was making "The Transporter 6: Gearshifts and Gridlock" Soon those Transporter movies will just be Statham's character successfully getting a letter delivered overnight. There won't even be any bad guys. Just some road work and a flat tire slowing him down. They have to be running out of story ideas about a guy who drives things places and fights people. In fact, it's hard to believe they got one story out of that.

The Canucks are on fire. What have they won 6 out of 7? What happened to Ryan Kesler? I am loving it right now. They are winning without Luongo playing overly well. What happens when he kicks it into gear? I would love to see a first round match-up with Chicago too which is how it would set up if the playoffs started today. That would be a fabulous series. I am a huge Toews fan and can't wait to see what he does in the post season. He is a big game money type player as we saw at the World Juniors.

Here's a shocker, the Flyers won!!

Not a surprise here. Lakeland showed up with 8 skaters. Shinny broke out and the Flyers won. This is not ideal preparation for AAA hockey. 12 - 3 was the final with Dustin Kersey recording 2 goals and 2 assists. Game 2 will be Thursday night in McLennan Alberta but there will not be a broadcast of the game. Game 3 will be back at the NPA on Saturday at 8:30. Then hopefully if everything works out the Flyers will play Spirit River and we will see some good games.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


So this is great news. (Because tone is sooooo difficult to convey in a blog I will insert this comment: I am being sarcastic)

The Fort St John Huskies, who clinched second place in the NWJHL last weekend and have home ice advatange in the first two rounds of the playoffs, will start their playoff run IN Slave Lake. That's right folks. Friday night and Saturday sometime the Huskies will play games 1 and 2 on the road. That would mean games 3 through 5 would be played in FSJ the weekend after. Of course those games won't be necessary so the Huskies are losing out on a playoff gate plus will have to shell out for a hotel. All because they couldn't get ice. I am starting to like the enerplex more today to be honest. Surely someone could have booked some ice in anticipation of a playoff game??? Oh well. It looks like Jon and I will get to broadcast 2 first round games instead of just one.

I am now contemplating going to watch the Flyers in Lakeland on Thursday and then finding a way to Slave Lake the next day to broadcast the Huskies. At least it would break up a long ass bus ride into two parts.

NWJHL Playoffs

NWJHL Playoff Match-ups

1. Whitecourt vs 8. Sexsmith (Still not sure if this series will be played)
Sexsmith might be forced to fold after forfeiting a number of games late in the season. Whitecourt will win easily if they do play the series.

Key Players:
Whitecourt - Take your pic. I will say Lavoie. I could have picked between 8 to 10 guys and you would have a hard time arguing.
Sexsmith - God. Seriously if God was at center and Jesus was in net (he does save after all) I still think the Wovlerines would win the series. What I am getting at is that there is no chance for Sexsmith.

- Whitecourt in 3. And only if and because they have to play 3 games. If a team could find a way to win a best of 5 in 2 games it would be Whitecourt against Sexsmith.

2. FSJ vs. Slave Lake
The Huskies looked so good this weekend that I have decided they will blow away Slave Lake. I don't think the Huskies will lose a game in that series.

Key Players:
Huskies - I would go with Jordan Shipton if he was going to be in the lineup but since we don't know how often if at all we will see the gritty forward I will go with Payden Wongstedt. He was fabulous over the last weekend. Anytime the number 2 team in a league plays number 1 and you are the best player on the ice for most of both games that shows how good you are. Dave Dawson from the Whitecourt broadcast was blown away with Wongstedt's ability. Needs to stay composed and disciplined and stay on the ice.
Wolves - Alex MacIsaac. This kid led his team in scoring but in 5 games against the Huskies he only had 3 points. And they all came in the same game. Needs to be better and more consistent against the Pups if Slave has any hope of causing an upset.

Prediction - Huskies in 3.

3. Peace River vs. Beaverlodge
Peace versus Beaverlodge. Now this is an interesting series. The Navigators are a defence first team that are usually (Friday against FSJ not included) very good in their own zone. They play a good system, they are very well coached, and say what you want about Gerry Young but the kid scores in big games. He had two in the third last night to ice the Jr Canucks and clinch 3rd overall for his team.

Key Players:
Navigators - Bretton Stewart. He will be tested by the Blades who do have a talented if not deep group of forwards led by Dumas and Robinson. Stewart will need to be solid and focused as he may go long stretches without seeing any shots before a flury of activity that will test him. The Navs don't score a ton so he has to avoid the weak goal.
Blades - This is tough. Dumas, Robinson or Longson. I am going to have to go with Dumas. The temptation is to go with the goaltender who will have to stand on his head at times to win games in this series. But even if Longson does stand on his head he will need to see some pucks go in at the other end. So against a team that plays solid D I am going to go with the talented forward. Is there a better offensive player in this league not named Lavoie? Oh yeah, and Dumas has 12 points in 5 games against Peace River this season. If he can do that in this series it might just go 5 and then anything can happen.

Prediction - Peace River in 5 games. I want to pick an upset here but based on what I saw last night as the Navs shutout Dawson I have to think they will find a way to win this series.

4. Dawson Creek vs. Grand Prairie
Grand Prairie actually won the season series over Dawson Creek with one of those victories coming in overtime. Part of the reason Dawson fell apart a little at the end of the season and didn't challenge for 2nd and then missed out on 3rd overall was the fact that Radke was out of the lineup for most of the stretch drive. Sounds like he will be back for the playoffs though.

Key Players:
Jr Canucks - Jason Higson. 5 points in 5 regular season meetings between DC and GP. Also has close to 50 minutes in PIMs in those games as well. Can be excellent or almost non-existent. Needs to be good all series long and stay out of the box.
Wheelers - Cory Littman - 3rd on the team in goals despite only playing about half the games. Hasn't been playing in many games of late. If he is the in lineup GP has a more balanced attack and some of the pressure comes off of McVey.

Prediction - Wheelers in 5. Have to pick an upset at some point right? Based on season series and the total lack of effort by Dawson last night in a massive game I think that the Wheelers might pull this series out.

If I am right about all of this it would set up a match-up between the two most storied franchises in NWJHL history. Navigators versus Huskies would not only be fun and a great series but would bring back a lot of good and bad memories for the fans of each team. Playoffs get underway tomorrow in Peace River. I will try to update the playoff scenario as often as possible.

NPHL Playoffs

I felt like I should provide a list of the playoff match-ups in the NPHL and the NWJHL.

We will start with the NPHL because the Flyers get under way tonight.

1. FSJ vs 8. Lakeland
2. Falher vs 7. Peace River
3. Grand Prairie vs 6. High Prairie
4. Spirit River vs 5. Hythe

The Flyers potential second round match-up if everything were to go according to plan, and it rarely does in the playoffs, would be Spirit River. In fact that Hythe vs Spirit series would be a fun one to watch. Peace River I think has the only shot at the upset in their series with Falher. Don't let the 2 vs 7 rankings fool you Falher only had 4 more points than Peace all season. Everything here should go according to plan setting up a mouth watering second round Spirit River vs FSJ match-up.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Flyers vs Eagles Round 1 Game 1 tomorrow

Well, the wait is over. Finally might I ad.

The playoffs have arrived. This is exciting for several reasons, not least of which is that the playoffs come right around the time when spring seems within touching distance. But more importantly the Senior Flyers really begin to make that run towards the 2009 Allan Cup. It all starts tomorrow night at the NPA as the Flyers do battle with the Lakeland Eagles. Now, Lakeland is the worst team record wise of the teams that made the playoffs and of course the Flyers are the top team in the league so this first round series might not be the best but it is still playoff hockey. Let's pack the NPA tomorrow night and show the Flyers a ton of support. I for one can not wait. 8:30 pm is puck drop.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Huskies lose a pair to Wolverines

Well that was a tough way to end what was a pretty good weekend for the Huskies. Friday night they clinched second overall so the games yesterday and today against Whitecourt were meaningless in the standings but not for the players and coaches. They were all looking forward to this weekends matchup as a great tune up for the Playoffs. The Huskies played very well last night controlling play for the better part of the first two periods but once again against Whitecourt they were unable to bury their chances while the Wolverines managed 4 scoring chances and scored on 3 of them. No blame at all on any of the goals to Zach Blain who was very good in net all weekend. In fact, I will say that Blain played like one of the top two or three goalies in this league over the weekend. Maybe only Ryan Demharter was playing better than Zach but unfortunately Demharter plays for the Wolverines. Whitecourt ended up winning a 5 - 1 decision in a game that could and should have been closer. The Huskies just can't seem to find a way to put away their scoring chances against Whtiecourt. Today it was a different story as the Huskies dominated the majority of the first two periods. They had several chances that they didn't convert but Cody Kalb and Dan Pappin got the Huskies going and Steve Fast added a goal on a deflection of a Jon Spence point shot and heading into the third the pups were up 3 - 1. Whitecourt had a lot of jump in the third, came out flying and really took it to the Huskies. Wolverines D man Darcy Charrois scored a beauty, the Hore brothers combined in overtime and Whitecourt escaped the NPA with the 4 - 3 victory. Again I thought Blain played well. Spence and Wongstedt were massive all weekend and the top line played great and maybe deserved more points than they got. But at the end of the day the Huskies had a 3 point weekend rather than the 6 that they wanted.

They now roll into the playoffs to take on Slave Lake. Game 1 goes Friday at the NPA and game 2 will be Sunday afternoon live from Slave Lake on Moose FM. I will let you know the game time as soon as I get that info. Kole Norris should return to the lineup and what a welcome addition he will be and you wonder what a difference he might have made this weekend against Whitecourt. Hopefully we see some of Jordan Shipton in the playoffs as well.

I had a lot of fun doing colour for Dave Dawson broadcasting the games back to Whitecourt and tried my best to be unbiased and fair. Hopefully it worked. My honest opinion was that the Huskies maybe outplayed the Wolverines on the whole in both games but didn't score enough of their chances where Whitecourt was more clinical in their finishing.

The game was delayed by a bench door malfunction that saw Dan Pappin, in his full gear, do some cutting or welding, I am not too sure what he was doing down there, and the door eventually got fixed.

The league was left looking a little foolish after last nights all important playoff seeding determining game between Dawson and Peace was never played because no officials were scheduled to work the game. That's embarrassing. The game will now go tomorrow night from what we understand. So I will get to go watch. Looks like things worked out ok for me.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Huskies clinch second

The Huskies played as good a game as they have played all year last night as they easily beat the Peace River Navigators 7 - 1 in a must win situation. The victory clinches second place in the NWJHL and home ice in the first two rounds of the playoffs for the Huskies. The D was solid all night, nice to have Cash Brinkworth back in the lineup, and made almost every little play that the D men have to make. Wongstedt really played well and stepped up in the second period and really created the first two goals of that period with his skating and stick handling ability. He scored one and set up the second and before the Navs knew what had hit them it was 3 - 1. Two more in that period for the Huskies, the fourth goal of the period came with just 0.6 left on the clock, and it was 5 - 1 after two and the Huskies were cruising. Zach Blain was very solid in net and at times was forced to make some pretty difficult saves but for the most part the puck was at the other end of the ice. The Huskies fore-check and cycle were both working well and despite the second line being held in check and no points for Cody Kalb the pups still skated out of Peace River with the big W.

Man was it good to see Kole Norris climb aboard the bus. In case you missed the game Kole was laid out by a Gerry Young hit (a hit we couldn't see because of the broadcast location in the River but opinion very divided on the legality of the hit) and was down on the ice for a very long time. Norris eventually came to and was stretchered off the ice and taken to the Hospital for precautionary reasons. There was about a 5 to 10 minute period there when it was a little scary so it was great to find out "Chuck" was OK. The Ref made the right call as well when he ran the last 45 seconds off the clock while Norris was lying on the ice. No need to finish playing that game at that point.

So the Huskies have two left with Whitecourt tonight and tomorrow afternoon. Meaningless in the standings but super important as both teams tuneup for the playoffs. Oh yeah, and the Huskies really need to prove they can beat Whitecourt. If you haven't already decided to go to these games stop thinking about it and just do it. They will be excellent. I will be filling in as colour man for Dave Dawson as he broadcasts the game for XM105 back in Whitecourt. You can listen online at

Peace River now head to Dawson Creek tomorrow to take on the Junior Canucks. Dawson lost to Grand Prairie last night 3 - 2 which sets up tomorrows tilt perfectly. Whichever team wins tomorrow between Peace and Dawson will finish third and set themselves up for a tough first round series with Beaverlodge and a potential second round playoff series with FSJ. Should be a great game in DC as well.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Huskies big weekend.

This is going to be a fun weekend for Huskies fans. The pups travel to Peace River tonight knowing that a win will clinch second overall in the league and home ice advantage in the first two rounds of the playoffs. A loss and it gets a whole lot more complicated. That's because the Huskies play Whitecourt on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon here at home at the NPA. Basically the Huskies need to get 1 more point in those three games to clinch that ever important second spot in the league. As I said this is going to be fun. The Huskies have lost both games they have played in the River 4 to 2 in November and 5 to 3 in December. A part of me wants them to lose tonight just so there is something to play for when Whitecourt rolls into town. The games against Whitecourt should be epic as it would be a matchup between the two best teams in the league. The Wolverines are a phenomenal hockey team that you have to see to believe how good they are. Probably the best goalie in the league, the best overall D corp, and the best most talented and deepest group of forwards. Hence just 3 losses on the season. They have handled the Huskies pretty well this season but the pups are WAY better at home. I can't wait for Saturday. Look out for Layne Brown and Rod Lavoie. They are both sick hockey players. There are a bunch of guys on Whitecourt who are good, in fact they basically have 3 or 4 lines that would be top lines on most other teams, the Hore brothers on D as well as Darcy Charois are all names to keep your eyes on. It's going to be a lot of fun at the NPA and we need to pack that place. But let's not forget about tonight.

Tonight's game is huge. The Huskies need to shut down Gerry Young and Mitch Kohut and if they do then they will have a very good chance in this game. FSJ has won 10 of their last 12 including a win over Peace the last time these two teams met at the NPA. In fact Navigators goalie Bretton Stewart didn't see the end of the second period in that game. This should be a good one. You can hear it starting at 7:45 with the pregame as always on Moose FM.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Huskies beat GP

The Huskies beat Grand Prairie last night in a shootout. It sounds like they had Zach Blain pulled late when they tied the game and sent it to overtime. It might have been ugly but they needed the 2 points and it didn't matter how they got them. Second place is still up in the air so today's game between Dawson and Peace River is huge. You can listen live online at

The Huskies now face a must win Friday in Peace River if they hope to finish in that coveted second spot. I will post more when I find out more details about the game last night.

Flyers overcome Spirit

Wow. OK where to start? The Flyers won last night. The first goal of the game was scored early on by Venhola from Spirit River. The Flyers responded with three straight goals of their own and looked to be taking over. Jeff Fast twice and Jeff Shipton scored for FSJ before Mike Lefley and Mark Wallman scored to tie the game up at three just ten minuted into the first period. Clayton Bahm scored the final goal of the first period with 3:54 left in the period to give the Flyers the 4 - 3 lead. There were 108 minutes in penalties in the first period, more on that later. In the second Kip Noble had two goals and an assist and by the end of the period the Flyers were leading 7 -4. 116 penalty minutes in the second period. In the third there weren't a lot of players left from either team as several guys had been tossed from the game, more on that later, Spirit River scored two third period goals sandwiched between goals from Noble and Middleton that made the final score 9 - 6. 254 minutes in penalties in the game.

Alright. It started on the opening puck drop with Shane McCormick getting his stick up on Dave Alexander and throwing a couple of gloved punches while Dave just kind of held McCormick off but both guys were given double minors for roughing and 10 minute misconducts. Colin Lefley and Tyler Loney got into it in the first period as well but even though both had dropped the mitts, no punches were thrown so both were given double minors for roughing and ten minute misconducts. A fight ended the third with Aaron Scheppers tossed them with DJ Barbarich. Neither one of them landed any punches of real consequence so the bout will be called a draw. In the second was when things got out of control. Matt Shuya was run from behind and went into the boards behind the net face first but there was no cal from the ref. So Shuya popped up and you could tell he was pissed off. Shuya through three big hits in a row after the hit from behind and all three were clean but were right on the borderline. The thing is someone could have got hurt and it all started with the ref missing a call. If the stripes gets the original hit from behind what occurred next doesn't happen. After Shuya delivered the third of his big hits on Colin Lefley it was Lefley who took exception. They two squared up and looked to be about to fight when Lefley cross checked Shuya in the face. Shuya ended up going to the hospital with a broken nose and a bad cut to his lip where his teeth had come right through the lower lip. Shuya and Lefley then engaged in a fight and luckily Lefley never landed any punches on Shuya. Probably another draw. Lefley received a 5 minute major from cross-checking Shuya in the face and a match penalty which should carry with it a suspension. Again the hit from behind was dangerous, Shuya angry running around hitting everything was a little dangerous, the cross-check to the face and the fight would have all been avoided and the safety of the players protected if the Ref had called the original hit from behind. It was during the ensuing power play that things got scary. Chad Wilchynski slashed Luke Middleton and was about to receive a 2 minute minor when he lost his mind. Todd Alexander was trying to cross the blue line with the puck and Wilchynski cross checked Todd in the face. Todd was wobbly to say the least as he tried to make his way to the bench and it was a little scary to watch him trying to find his feet. He left the game with a concussion and didn't return. Meanwhile 3 different Flyers went after Wilchynski but it was Todd's cousin Dave the captain who got there first. Wilchynski is a big boy but Dave was pummeling him so Wilchynski decided to lye down on the ice and turtle. I can't express how much of a chicken sh*t move it is to turtle and especially after cross-checking someone in the face. You have to stand there and fight and if you get beat up oh well that's what you have to do. You just can't turtle. Wilchynski then got up after Dave had been pulled off and seemed pissed off that the ref was throwing him out of the game. Spirit River is a chippy team that does a lot of stick work and that is fine but the whining they do after some of the horrible penalties they take is almost worse. That was it for fights in the second period. In the third the only fight was Tyler Loney and Mazurek. Loney easily won this fight landing all of the punches that were thrown and Mazurek got one shot in before the linesmen tried to break up the fight. It was then that Mazurek started really throwing punches. OK. Wow. It was eventful last night to say the least.

Shuya's nose sounds like it will be OK in a couple weeks as there was no major damage and Todd seemed like he was doing fine on the bus on the way home although he did say he had been better, and I don't doubt it. With a bit of a break now until the playoffs both guys should be ready to go with Shuya possibly wearing a full cage. What was most interesting is what happened on the bus ride home. A movie was never put on. No one was playing any games. The boys all gathered in a big group and were laughing and joking. That was the most lively the bus has been after a game in a long time. It really felt like this team became a closer group after last night's game. Coach Brash said it was a bit like old time hockey and the Flyers weren't scared of that kind of game. They certainly responded in the right away, stood up for each other, and won the game on the scoreboard as well. I think this game will go a long way to bringing this team together and they really are ready for the playoffs now.

Monday I will try to post a little bit of a wrap up of the season.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Huskies in GP

The Huskies go to Grand Prairie on Saturday. We will be in Spirit River so there won't be any coverage of the game which is too bad but we just can't be in two places at once. The Huskies need to win this one to really give themselves a good shot at 2nd overall in the league. We will endeavor to provide updates but it will be tough. This will be the Huskies only game this weekend. Not to look past the GP game but next weekend the Huskies play Friday at Peace River, then home Saturday and Sunday against White Court. That is going to be an epic weekend and I already can't wait.

Flyers beat Hythe look to Spirit River

The Flyers rolled into Hythe last night looking to extend their one game winning streak. The Flyers bounced back after a loss in Grand Prairie last weekend to beat High Prairie 14 buzz last Saturday. Well last night in was the Mustangs on the card and maybe the perfect opposition for the Flyers, a team that competes hard every night but that isn't good enough to play with the Flyers. That allowed the Flyers to play a good period, period and a half of competitive hockey against Hythe before they pulled away. Paul Wiens scored one and set up another in the first after the Stangs had taken the lead to make the score 2 to 1 after the first. The second period has been the Flyers period all season and so it continued. They scored four times with Todd Alexander scoring the pick of the bunch with a snipe job. The third was all Flyers again and they made the final score 8 to 1. Shuya, Fast and Wiens would probably have been the three stars in the game if we had a three stars award, but not in that order. Good to see Shuya getting back to where he was before he went Grizwald for a couple months. The bus got stuck before the game in the Hythe & District memorial arena parking lot. The ice in that parking lot may have been better than the ice inside the rink. Next up for the Flyers will be Spirit River who are a potential second round playoff matchup for the Flyers. The game may have some playoff implications or it may not depending on what GP does in it's next game but both teams will be gearing up for playoffs so it should be a good matchup.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Huskies lose in Whitecourt

Sorry it took so long for me to post about the Huskies Wolverines game from Saturday. I was detoxing from the 22 hours I spent on a bus over the weekend.

The Huskies played well in Whitecourt and just that fact is a good sign for FSJ. They haven't showed a whole lot in either of the previous games that they played in the court. The Wolverines are a fabulous team and they bury chances so you have to play a near perfect game to defeat them. The Huskies made one and a half mistakes in the first period, allowed the Wolverines at best 3 scoring chances and they were down 2 to nothing at the end of the period. Rod Lavoie is a sniper and he put a snap shot past Zach Blain that was hard and perfectly placed. The Huskies number 1 has been playing well lately and he made key stops in the second period that kept his team in the game. Dylan Apsassin scored a beauty of a little deflection through the legs of Ryan Demharter in the Wolverines goal. At that point though the Huskies were already down 3 zip but they had their chances. After Dylan scored to make it 3 - 1 the Huskies had a couple of powerplays that would have got them right back in the game. They couldn't cash though a 3rd period goal by Jeff Chalifoux sealed the 4 - 1 Wolverines victory. The Huskies showed that they can play with Whitecourt though and should take confidence from this game. They are better at home so we will see how they do on the 14th and 15th at the NPA when they host the Wolverines.

They get great fan support in Whitecourt and the crowd was boisterous if not a little bias. The referee was OK overall I thought but a couple of phantom calls and the fact that Chalifoux shot the puck at Jon Spence after the second period ended and it went uncalled kept him from having a very good game. Chalifoux is a great player but unfortuanately does some strange and frankly uncalled for things on the ice at times. Jon Spence should not have speared a Wolverines player during the All Star game, that is uncalled for as well, but there is no excuse for shooting a puck at a player, even if you don't like him because someone could get seriously injured. I met a couple of the Whitecourt guys after the game they seem like solid guys and I look forward to a potential play off match-up between the Huskies and Wolverines despite the amount of bus travel that that would entail. Ran into Wolverines coach Joey Bouchard after the game and he had nothing but good things to say about the Huskies. He said they know that the Huskies are a good team and they are loving that their preparation for the playoffs will be those final two games at the NPA in a couple weeks. I can't stress enough how good those games will be. A big thanks goes out to the Slave Lake Wolves for going into Dawson Creek and beating the Jr Canucks. Down 2 nothing and with just 10 players making the trip you would have forgiven the Wolves had they packed it in early but they fought back for a 3 to 2 victory which was very good for the Huskies and for Peace River. There are a lot of key game left for all those teams in the battle for 2nd. The fact that DC and PR pay each other twice more helps the Huskies. As long as those games don't go to OT only one of the teams will get points. If they split them and the Huskies can win one of their games against Grand Prairie or the one against Peace that they have left and the pups should get second place. It is going to be an interesting few weeks. Thanks to Dave Dawson who does the Wolverines play by play for showing us the night life in Whitecourt and for pumping up this blog when I went on his radio station during the second intermission. Next up for the Huskies is on the road in GP but we won't be covering that game unfortunately. We will be with the Flyers as they wrap up their regular season in Spirit River.