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Monday, October 31, 2011

KEN MILLER STEPS DOWN



Saskatchewan Roughrider VP of Football Operations and head coach Ken Miller announced today he will step down from both roles upon completion of the 2011 regular season.

“Upon the completion of my duties after the end of the season, I am going to enter retirement,” stated Miller. “I thank my wife Maureen for her understanding, friendship and support in my coaching endeavors. I’m thankful to Roger Brandvold and our Board of Directors. I especially thank Jim Hopson for his supportive work environment, his cooperation and friendship we have shared.”

“Thank you to our coaching staff who have been unwavering in their support of me and our common cause. I am also extremely thankful for the opportunity I have had to work with the men who wear the Roughrider uniform and occupy our locker room. Finally, Maureen and I thank our personal friends across the province and the fans of Rider Nation wherever you are.”

Miller joined the Roughriders in 2007 as the offensive coordinator and helped lead the team to their first Grey Cup championship in 18 years. He was named head coach in 2008 and over the next three years led the team to three straight home playoff games and two Grey Cup appearances.

A three time Coach of the Year finalist, Miller’s 36 regular season coaching victories rank fifth on Saskatchewan’s all-time list.

“It’s difficult to put into words how much Ken Miller has meant to the Rider organization,” stated Riders President/CEO Jim Hopson. “I can’t begin to thank Ken for his passion, commitment and contributions to this team and to our province over his time here. Ken and Maureen have embraced this community and will definitely be missed.”



KEN MILLER STEPS DOWN by PhilTheThrill18

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Canadian Bowl 2011


The Saskatoon Hilltops were winners over the Vancouver Island Raiders yesterday in the Jostens Cup National semi-final. 38-28 was the final score in Nanaimo as Regan Schuler rushed for three touchdowns while quarterback Chase Bradshaw scored one with his feet as well. He also threw a touchdown to John Trumpy from 29 yards out in the third quarter. Zach Schmidt hit a field goal from 30 yards to round out the scoring for Saskatoon. For the Raiders Jordan Botel ran for two touchdowns in the game and Andrew Smith caught the lone touchdown pass in the third quarter for 34 yards.

In the other Semi Final the Hamilton Hurricanes were big winners over the AKO Fratmen 42-6.

The Hilltops and Hurricanes will battle for the CJFL Championship on November 7th at 1 o'clock in Hamilton.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Saturday Sports


The St. Louis Cardinals are World Series Champions. Needless to say it was a cinderella esq story after being 10 and a half games out of the wild card with less than a month left in the regular season. They have the Atlanta Braves to thank who self imploded in that last month and gave the Cards there playoff berth. Since then St. Louis beat the leagues best pitching staff in Philadelphia, handled a very good team in Milwuakee and then of course pulling off the most improbable win in game 6 of the world series and winning it all last night. David Freese was named MVP and rightfully so, he batted in 21 runs, a post season record. A number of former Jays will receive rings, the most recent of which pitchers Octavio Dotel and Mark Rzepczynski who were involved in the Colby Rasmus trade. This was a great series to watch, unfortunately I was driving back to Regina from Saskatoon last night and missed everything but the celebrations. I wish it would have been a better game but I think it would almost be impossible for the Rangers to comeback from that loss in game 6. Who says the World Series needs a marquee team? and who says baseball is boring? nobody who watched this series that's for sure.

The Riders will look to save some face today in their last home game of the season. The Hamilton Tiger Cats are in town and the only thing they are playing for is momentum heading into the playoffs. The Riders will have a much different roster with Dinwiddie starting at quarterback, Brandon West at running back. Andy Fantuz and Barrin Simpson have been shut down for the season and Lance Frazier wont play again this week. Chris Graham will get a lot more reps at linebacker and Tyron Brackenridge will get the start at halfback. I'm sure we will get to see a lot from the young guys on the o-line as well. I'm not sure what kind of roster the Ti-Cats will field because they cant improve their spot in the standings but who knows. Kickoff is at 1, look for me on the away sidelines. I will also have GM Brenden Taman on the pre game show on Rider Radio 620 CKRM just after 12 noon.

13 games on the ice in the NHL tonight. Every Canadian team except the ones in Alberta are in action with the Senators and Rangers, Toronto home to Pittsburgh (no James Reimer yet), Montreal home to Boston, Winnipeg is in Tampa and the Canucks home to the Capitals. The Sens have re surged after starting 1 and 5 and have won 4 straight. The Rangers are coming off a loss to the Leafs and are playing in just their second home game of the season. The Leafs are 6-2-1 and even without James Reimer have won two straight. Coach Ron Wilson says Reimer will be back tomorrow night against the Sens but Gustavsson will start tonight. He has played decently well the last two games. Montreal has won 2 straight while Boston has lost 2 and sit last in the Eastern Conference. Winnipeg is only 1 point better in the standings and will be in tough in Tampa. The Capitals are coming off their first loss of the season at the hands of the Oilers, Vancouver has underachieved led by Roberto Luongo, they are 14th in the West and need to get back on track.

The Pats won on Breast Cancer awareness night over the Oil Kings yesterday 4-1. Matt Hewitt stopped 39 of 40 shots for his league leading 10th win. The kid is playing unbelievably to start the season. The Pats are sitting first in the East Division and second in the conference. They take on the Warriors tonight in Moose Jaw at 7. Catch the game on 620 CKRM.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

All - Rite Plumbing and Heating - Regina Thunder Update


From Left to Right, Brett Wade, Clay Cooke, Derek Pilon, and Zach Evans

So after further investigation it turns out in the initial release I received from the PFC awards dinner there were a few Thunder players who weren't included in it. However I have attained more info and I apologize to the players who were left out of my previous post. Defensive back Derek Pilon was named to the defensive all star team after tallying 4 interceptions this year to go along with 13 tackles. Receiver Clay Cooke was named to the offensive all star team, he finished the year third in receiving with 36 catches for 631 yards and 6 touchdowns. Also defensive lineman Brett Wade was given an All Star rookie award. As was in the previous post Zach Evans was named the PFC's outstanding defensive player and to the defensive all star team. I had a chance to talk with all of the award winners, here's what they had to say.

All - Rite Plumbing and Heating - Regina Thunder Update by PhilTheThrill18

Monday, October 24, 2011

PFC’S BEST OF 2011 HONORED AT AWARDS DINNER



Winnipeg Rifles quarterback Ryan Marsch was the big winner at Saturday night’s Prairie Football Conference Awards Dinner in Saskatoon as he won 3 awards.
The 3rd-year pivot that set a new Canadian Junior Football League single season passing yards mark with 3,030 and equalled Darryl Leason’s conference record for touchdown passes with 31 was a unanimous choice as both the conference’s Most Valuable Player and the PFC’s nominee for the Peter Dalla Riva Award as CJFL Offensive Player of the Year. Marsch also took home the Outstanding Offensive Back Award.
In addition to Marsch, 4 other Rifles earned hardware. Receiver Kurt Goodrich claimed Rookie of the Year, Alex Vitt captured Receiver of the Year honors & Alex McKay was selected as Offensive Lineman of the Year. Head Coach Greg Graceffo, in his 2nd year as Rifles bench boss was named Coach of the Year.
A foursome of Calgary Colts picked up individual honors. Prince Baffoh was named the Outstanding Defensive Lineman; Alex Saretsky won Outstanding Defensive Back honors. Stephen Dereniwski was tabbed as Outstanding Linebacker; while kicker Andrew Fabian won Special Teams Player of the Year honors.
Zach Evans of the Regina Thunder captured the PFC nomination for CJFL Defensive Player of the Year.
There were a total of 8 unanimous picks among the all-star teams. On the defensive side, lineman Prince Baffoh and defensive back Alex Saretsky of the Calgary Colts were selected along with defensive back Chad Okumura of Winnipeg and Zach Evans of Regina.
On the offensive side, Rifles pivot Ryan Marsch along with teammates Matt Lariviere & Alex Vitt & lineman Lane Bryksa of Saskatoon made the cut.
Overall, 8 Calgary Colts made the all-star grade, with 7 Winnipeg Rifles on the elite squad. The Saskatoon Hilltops placed 6, while 3 from the Regina Thunder & 2 Edmonton Wildcats rounded out the selections.    
The Winnipeg Rifles fielded one of the youngest squads in the conference as 5 Rifles picked up all-star rookie awards. Punter Brad Mikoluff was one of a pair of unanimous picks, with Edmonton Wildcats quarterback Jordan Olson earning the other. Ryan Migadel was the other Wildcat winner as he was tabbed as Rookie Defensive Back of the Year. One member each from the Regina Thunder & Edmonton Huskies rounded off the rookie elite.
Calgary Colts tailback DJ Whetton was named as the winner of the PFC Community Service Award. Whetton spearheaded a “Pink October” campaign that raised awareness for breast cancer. The campaign was launched just prior to the season and to date has raised in excess of $4000.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

ITS THE PFC CHAMPIONSHIP TODAY


The Hilltops and Colts will go at it for the PFC Championship at noon today. The Hilltops squeaked out a comeback win against the Winnipeg Rifles last week while the Colts were big winners over the Thunder at home. Saskatoon's quarterback Chase Bradshaw was named the PFC offensive player of the week after throwing for 388 yards and a touchdown while rushing for 3 touchdowns against the Rifles. Regan Schuler also had a good game with 92 yards on the ground and a TD run as well. Chad Braun led the way receiving with 150 yards, Kyle McGinnis caught the only touchdown pass. For the Colts offense they didn't put up very impressive numbers even though they won 55-6. But that's what happens when your defense gives you a short field all game long or scores some points for you. Its going to be a battle today at Gordie Howe Bowl between two good defenses. Offensively both teams have been up and down all year and I expect a lower scoring affair today. The Calgary running game is led by Cuong Thai Lieu who has had some breakout games while in others has been shutdown. Quarterback Clayton Masikewich doesn't put up huge numbers but usually takes pretty good care of the ball. I don't think Calgary will win this game but I certainly think they have a chance. It will depend on which team shows up, they have been very good at time but at others very inefficient. Not to mention the Hilltops only defeat came in the last week of the season with all their starters sitting out. Should be a good one today, follow @WrayMorrison for all your in game updates.

PATS 4 RAIDERS 1


The Pats improved to 6 and 2 on the road this season with a 4-1 win in Prince Albert. Jordan Weal and Lane Scheidl both scored two goals in the win while Matt Hewitt stopper 26 of 27 for his 8th win of the season. He is tied atop the league in wins. The Pats killed 6 of 7 penalties including two 4 on 3's and one 5 on 3 Raider powerplay. Head Coach Pat Conacher said after the game that his team escaped with a win and that they have to stay out of the box but that defensively they played solid. Conacher said he is very happy with the road mentality that his team has but that they need to start playing better at home and making the Brandt Centre a hard place to play in. the Pats are 2 and 2 so far this season at home and will have a chance to improve on that tonight against the same Raiders. Prince Albert currently sits last place in the East Division at 4-8-1-1 having given up 50 goals in 14 games. There are only 4 other teams in the league who have given up more goals. For the Pats hey have given up just 32 and there are only 5 teams who have done better than that and a big reason why is the play of Matt Hewitt in goal. He has played lights out to start the season and along with the play of that defensive core they have found success. Jordan Weal sits tied for 12th in the league in scoring with 16 points (6G and 10A). big defenseman Brandon Davidson has 12 points while Klimchuk has 11 and Scheidl has 10. This has been a score by committee team thus far and its always good to see production out of all the lines. Special Teams have also been good and will need to continue to be. The Pats and Raiders go at it tonight at the Brandt Centre with puck drop at 6. You can also listen in on 620 CKRM with the voice of the Pats Dan Plaster.

In other action the Rams lost in a tight one 16-15 to the U of S Huskies last night at Mosaic. They fall to 2 and 5 on the year and sit 5th in the Canada West.

The Leafs won again 5-1-1 baby! Love beating the Habs, but Jonas Gustavsson needs to go. He did record his first win since January but wow he was shaky. Good thing it seems like Reimer is going to be ok. The Habs have less points that the Senators, that's saying something. The Jets, Oilers, Senators and Canucks all won yesterday, the Flames didn't. I'm starting to feel sorry for the Blue jackets, but then I realize who cares about Columbus. Boston lost again while the Caps are 7 and oh after scoring 7 against the Wings last night. Did I mention the Leafs are 5-1-1?

Albert Pujols exploded last night smashing 3 homers in the Cards game three win over Texas 16-7. St. Louis leads the series 2-1 with game 4 tonight in Texas. I think the rangers win tonight but lose the series in game 7.

NFL football today, big match up between the Jets and Chargers, statement game for both teams, LT and Cromartie playing their old clubs. Detroit and Atlanta should also be a good one with the Lions looking to rebound and the Falcons looking to get on track. here's an idea, Atlanta should run the ball. Dallas is playing St. Louis, and the Packers have Christian Ponder and the Vikings. I'm taking on Dan Plaster in fantasy football this week, hes 5 and 1, wish me luck.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Football Friday

Big night in the CFL tonight with two games on the schedule. With just three games remaining for every team, every game is critical for playoff position. Though tonight Calgary and Edmonton are taking on non playoff teams they certainly wont be expecting easy wins. Toronto showed last week that they can compete, beating the Stamps, Cory Boyd was the difference in that one. Edmonton will have their hands full. Calgary is taking on the Riders and they are 3 and oh against the green and white already this season but have really struggled as of late. Henry Burris will watch from the sidelines today as Drew Tate gets the start at quarterback. Though you would think advantage Saskatchewan , with their luck Tate will play out of his mind. Lots of people saying Burris is on his way out of Calgary, I'm not one of them but who knows. The Riders are going to score a touchdown tonight. I just cant see 5 straight without a major score, last week they were close, this week it will happen. Defense has played well for the Riders as of late, they will need to stop John Cornish who ran all over them in the last meeting. Durant will start tonight but who knows how ling he will stay in the game. Here's hoping we get to see Cole Begquist at some point. We know what Dinwiddie can do, lets see what Cole can do. Freddy Barnes will dress for tonight, Fantuz and Wheelwright will not. Frazier will also be out of the lineup. It definitely sucks that this game doesn't mean anything for the Riders but it is always nice to beat the Stamps. Also lets hope the Riders can win at least one game against a Western opponent this season, they have two chances left, tonight and in week 19 in Edmonton. The Eskimos have the Argos tonight and if Toronto gives Boyd close to 20 touches again I think they have a good chance. It is beyond me why he has been so underused this season. The Eskimos have a good running game of their own in Messam and McCarty. The offensive line is going to have to play well for Edmonton tonight if they expect to win. Ive got the Eskimos in a close one.

Looking forward to the Rams and Huskies tomorrow at Mosaic. Should be a good game between the provincial rivals. The Rams are fighting for their lives and though they lost last week have been playing well of late. Kickoff is at 7 o'clock.

The Leafs lost their first game in regulation last night, they were outclassed last night, I'm writing that one off as playing in consecutive nights. Especially seen as they played with a very short bench in the comeback against Winnipeg. I hope Luke Schenn can get back to form, I miss his domination. Jake Gardiner is playing very well while Komisarek seems to have regressed after a string start to the season. Phil Kessel was kept without a point for the first time this season, while Nazem Kadri looked like the most dangerous player offensively in his first game of the season, If he gets suspended for that hit I will probably send Shanahan a nasty email. They will bounce back.

The Oilers lost a tough one last night to Minnesota, Khabibulin played very well in net and didn't give up a goal until the last second of the game. Danny Heatley tied the game at 1 and sent it to OT. The shootout ended when Eric Belanger had a wide open cage but hit the post. That's the second shootout loss to the Wild this season. However the Oilers look better than last year.

The Pats didn't play all that well last night against the Hitmen at the Brandt Centre. To be honest it was a bit of a snore fest. The Hitmen took a 3-0 lead in the first and after that the game slowed right down. Neither team played very well and the Pats just couldn't get anything going offensively. They have now lost two straight for the first time this year and sit at 7 and 4.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Tuesday Sports


October is certainly the best month ever, with CFL, NFL, NHL, WHL, and MLB playoffs all on at the same time, there isn't enough time in the day.

The Leafs are off to a good start and yes I know everyone hates the Leafs but I am pretty excited about their team this year. Philly, Washington, Detroit and Colorado are off to good starts as well and I think there is going to be some good competition all season for playoff spots. I cannot believe the Columbus Blue Jackets, they have the fourth highest payroll in the league and cant win. Also the Rangers aren't playing well even with the acquisition of Brad Richards in the off season, they have yet to win a game and to be completely honest I'm pretty OK with that. There are a couple of things I am sick of hearing about this season, one, Don Cherry and his whole issue, as well as Aaron Asham. First the Cherry thing is over and done with so lets just put it to bed, he apologized and it wasn't because he was forced too, move on. With Aaron Asham, he apologized as well, he knew it wasn't a classy thing to do and he said that right after the game. No he doesn't deserve a suspension, no he shouldn't be fined, if you have ever been in a fight and knocked someone out, you would know the adrenaline that's flowing and it makes perfect sense why he did what he did. Like Brooks Liach said, these guys don't need to be babysat.

Exciting times to be a Pats fan, they are off to a great start at 7 and 3 especially seen as the majority of games have been on the road. Goaltender Matt Hewitt has been outstanding and his backup in Adam Buekeboom has played very well in his two starts. They play at home on Thursday against the Hitmen. Brett "the hitman" Hart will be in the building. Puck drop at 7.

The Riders season is over and that sucks, definitely did not see that one coming before the season started, no touchdowns in 4 games is pretty ridiculous. Now what happens? do people lose their jobs, are players shipped out? I'm not sure but I would think that there has to be some changes made.

The Thunder's season is also over after a playoff loss in Calgary. Good thing my Packers are 6 and oh otherwise this would be a bad year for football. How about those Lions, cant believe they are 5 and 1, and the 49ers too. Jim Harbaugh and Jim Schwartz sure don't like each other after the post game handshake when San Fran gave the Lions their first loss of the year. Harbaugh was a little over enthusiastic in the post game exchange but Schwartz definitely overreacted. However I do understand the bitterness of losing a close game so not going to sit here and say he should have walked away. This will be the next thing I get sick of hearing about.

The Texas Rangers are back in the World Series for the second straight year, losing to San Fransisco last year and now they have the St. Louis Cardinals. The Cards are the surprise of the post season, squeezing into the playoffs on the last day of the regular season, thanks to the collapse of the Atlanta Braves. Now they have knocked off both the Phillies and Brewers and have home field advantage in the World Series. It gets underway tomorrow with CJ Wilson on the mound for Texas up against Chris Carpenter. Should be a good game and I predict this will be a long series, game 7 Texas wins on the road. Nelson Cruz has been swinging the bat so well I just think that the Ranger offense will be the difference, though with Pujols and the emerging Freese games will be close.

That's all for now, have a good one.

Monday, October 17, 2011

All - Rite Plumbing and Heating - Regina Thunder Update


Needless to say its a disappointing end to the 2011 season for the Thunder falling 55-6 to the Colts in Calgary yesterday. It was a total flip from the previous meeting between these two clubs where the Thunder moved the ball well and put up points. The defense played well yesterday but the offense struggled. Ben Koot punted the ball 8 times in the game, In total they turned the ball over 8 times, 6 interceptions and twice on downs. Jonathan Probe caught the lone touchdown pass from Asher Hastings. Head Coach Erwin Klempner said that they had to give credit to the Colts defense who came out and made plays all over the field. Even though the score was so lopsided the Colts didn't overwhelm on offense, they only managed 284 yards while the Thunder put up 280. The defense played well, Tanner Hope recorded an interception while Philmon Bairu had a sack. Joseph Rodreke and Matt Lamoureax caught touchdown passes from Masikewich and Chucks Okafor scored a rushing touchdown. That's 21 points, kicker Marshall Bloom kicked 5 field goals, that's 15 points and the defense scored 14 points on interceptions for touchdowns by Alex Saresty and Skylar Pinchak. The Thunder offense didn't show up yesterday and unfortunately now they have a whole off season to think about it. Not to mention the fifth year players who wont be back next year who finished their junior careers in a way no one wants to. Coach Erwin said to me today that they will have meetings and evaluate what needs to happen to make sure this doesn't happen again, I wont even speculate what that means because in my mind this is a very talented football club that has a good coaching staff. Unfortunately all of that is overshadowed by a single bad performance, the worst of the season, at the worst possible time. I personally will miss covering this team but look forward to next year and hopfully I will be back. I appreciate the players and coaches who made me feel apart of the team. Cheers.

The Hilltops managed quite the comeback yesterday against the Rifles in Saskatoon. The Hilltops were down early and didn't take the lead until very late in the fourth quarter. I was following the updates while watching the Riders at Mosaic and I thought that the Rifles were going to pull it off but in the end lost 36-34. So that sets up a PFC Final between Saskatoon and Calgary at Gordie Howe Bowl next Sunday.

Here's what Coach Erwin had to say today.

All - Rite Plumbing and Heating - Regina Thunder Update by PhilTheThrill18

Sunday, October 16, 2011

All - Rite Plumbing and Heating - Regina Thunder Update


Its PFC semi final day, Rider game day and who can forget the NFL all day long. I'm not sure heaven can get any better than this. The Thunder are in Calgary taking on the Colts while the Hilltops are home to the Winnipeg Rifles. Two good games that could go down to the wire. The Hilltops are 2 and oh versus the Rifles this season winning 45-33 and 48-28 respectively. I think this game could be a lot closer than most people think, Winnipeg's offense is going to put up points that's a given but if their defense can stop the run today the Rifles could find themselves in a tight one. However the Hilltops have yet to lose so they have to be the favorites at home today. Kickoff is at noon, follow @WrayMorrison, he will have updates from Gordie Howe Bowl. The Thunder are 1 and oh versus the Colts winning 32-19 in the second last game of the season. Though the Colts did finish ahead of the Thunder in the standings, they had a much easier schedule. I think Regina has the upper hand in this one, especially the way the defense was able to shut the Colts down allowing less than 100 net yards in that game. Will we see a rematch of last years PFC final, I think so. That would be in Saskatoon. However if the Rifles win and the Thunder win then we could have a PFC final here in Regina. Here's the broadcast link for today's game from Calgary at noon, Brin Werret will have the call because I have to work at CKRM today and work the Rider game this afternoon.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

All - Rite Plumbing and Heating - Regina Thunder Update


Its a travel day for the Thunder as they head to Calgary for playoff football. When i talked with Coach Erwin earlier in the week he said that home field isn't an advantage this weekend and that his team really likes being on the road and play well there. Cant argue with that after they won their last two games on the road. Calgary is a team that the Thunder handled quite easily at Mosaic two weeks ago, however I don't think they will take them lightly. Colts running back Cuong Thi Lieu was held to next to nothing in that game but he is the leagues fourth leading rusher with 574 yards and 6 touchdowns. Quarterback Clayton Masikewich threw for over 1400 yards and 13 touchdowns along with 6 interceptions. The Thunder defense didn't give this team much room at all in their previous meeting and will have to have a similar effort if they want to make a second straight appearance in the PFC Championship. No Thomas Ringlein tomorrow so Nick Brown and Derek bell will run the ball in his stay and with Wyatt Playing well and the receiving core doing everything right this is a team poised to make a run. Kickoff is at noon our time tomorrow at McMahon Stadium in Calgary.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

All Rite Plumbing and Heating - Regina Thunder Update



The Thunder are in full playoff mode as the head to Calgary this weekend for the PFC semi final versus the Colts.  The team has won four straight coming in including a 32-19 win over these same Colts in week 8. It certainly sent a message that the Thunder are here to compete and I thought the defense was outstanding in that game. The score doesn’t tell the story of how lopsided an effort it was in favor of the Thunder.  I have to make a concession when it comes to the running back situation, I had assumed (unrightfully) that Nick Brown had won the starting tailback job over fifth year Thomas Ringlein. However Thomas has suffered a pretty serious separated shoulder and that was why he didn’t play much in the Edmonton game this weekend. Tough loss for him and the Thunder. On a brighter note Kolten Solomon says he is feeling about 90 percent right now with his hamstring which is good news, he along with Schinbein, Cooke, Probe, Lagimodiere and the rest of the receiving core have been playing very well.  Wyatt Catley is coming into this playoff game with a hot hand as well and I the game two weeks ago is any indication we should see a rematch of last year’s PFC Final between the Hilltops and Thunder, unless the Rifles can pull off a win in Saskatoon in the other semi final. The defense showed such dominance against the Colts holding them to just 99 yards net offense in the game which is outstanding, the offense put up 423 yards against the self proclaimed best defense in the PFC. In the words of Kolten Solomon “we showed them that they’re not.”  Should be a good game from Calgary this weekend. I talked with head coach Erwin Klempner and receiver Kolten Solomon after practise last night, here is what they had to say.


All Rite Plumbing and Heating - Regina Thunder Update by PhilTheThrill18

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Riders Trade Charles



The Saskatchewan Roughriders have traded import running back Hugh Charles to the Edmonton Eskimos in exchange for a conditional draft pick in the 2014 CFL Canadian Draft.

Charles has played in six games so far this season and tallied 38 carries for 242 yards and one touchdown; 15 receptions for 94 yards and two touchdowns; 14 kickoff returns for 296 yards; and four punt returns for 65 yards.

The Colorado product originally signed with the Riders in September, 2008.

Pats Acquire New Forward


Regina Pats General Manager, Chad Lang would like to announce the acquisition of 20 year old forward, Matt Marantz from the Lethbridge Hurricanes in exchange for a 4th round pick in the 2012 WHL Bantam Draft.

Matt began the season with the Spokane Chiefs before being sent to the Lethbridge Hurricanes on September 29th , 2011. This season between the Chiefs and Hurricanes, Marantz has 5 assists in 7 games. Last season with the Chiefs, Marantz had 20 goals and 22 assists in 68 games while having an outstanding +21.

Regina Pats General Manager, Chad Lang “Matt fills out our final 20 year old position with size, speed and scoring touch up front, he is a proven goal scorer that will give us better depth at the forward position.”

RW – Matt Marantz
Born: May 9/91
Hometown: Calgary, ABGP-68 G-20 A-22 Pts-42 PIM-62 +/- (+21)
6’0” 190lbs Shoots: Right 
2010-11 Spokane Chiefs


Matt will join the Regina Pats immediately and is expected to be in the line-up tonight as the Pats will take on the Calgary Hitmen at Scotiabank Saddledome. Puck drops at 7:00pm, with the Press Box Sports Bar pregame show beginning at 6:35.

PFC Players of the Week


Offensive Player of the Week goes to the Winnipeg Rifles quarterback Ryan Marsch. It is the third time this year that he has taken the honors. Marsch threw for 396 yards and 4 touchdowns in the teams tie with the Calgary Colts 35-35. With that game he finishes the season with 3030 yards, a new PFC record. He also tied the touchdown record throwing for 31 in 2011.


Defensive Player of the Week is Skylar Pinchak of the Calgary Colts. Pinchak recorded 5 tackles, 3 assisted tackles, a pass knockdown and a fumble recovery against the Rifles this weekend. His biggest play of the game was an interception late in the fourth quarter when the Rifles were driving for the win.


Special Teams Player of the Week goes to returner Tylor Henry of the Edmonton Wildcats. He returned e kickoffs for 118 yards including a ling 64 yarder. He also added 73 yards on 6 punt returns. He finished the season with 324 yards on 13 kickoff returns, and 140 yards on 18 punt returns.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

All - Rite Plumbing and Heating - Regina Thunder Update


Well I think its safe to say the Thunder exploded offensively this weekend beating the Wildcats 53-37 in Edmonton. Wyatt Catley 20 of 32 for 372 and wait for it...5 touchdowns and no interceptions. Impressive I know, Kolten Solomon was back to form with 9 catches for 135 yards and 2 touchdowns, Clay Cooke continued his streak of 100 plus yard games with 105 on Saturday and a touchdown. Mike Shienbein also had a good outing catching 2 passes for 88 yards and a touchdown and also had 99 yards in kickoff return yardage. Brady Keller caught the other Catley TD pass. When it came to rushing it looks like Nick Brown has won over the coaching staff, he had the most touches with 15 and he put up 84 yards on them. Derek Bell rushes for 47 yards and two touchdowns in the game and Ringlein finished with 40 yards on just 4 carries. Defensively Yianni Cabylus led the way with a fumble recovery and 8 tackles while Philmon Bairu recorded an interception and a sack to go along with his 4 tackles. It seems this team has found its form heading into the playoff where they will play the Colts in Calgary in Saturday. I'm sure there are some things the coaching staff will want to correct but when you win four straight to end the season, its a good way to enter the playoffs. The Thunder handled the Colts pretty easily in their last home game and will look to do much of the same next weekend. More to come from practise.

Here are the offensive stats to finish the regular season.

Rushing
Thomas Ringlein 91 rushes 446 yards 1 TD
Nick Brown 41 rushes 230 yards 1 TD
Derek Bell 13 rushes 102 yards 2TD’s
Kolten Solomon 9 rushes 69 yards 1 TD
Wyatt Catley 15 rushes for 49 yards 2 TD
Landon Bessel 3 Rush 38 yards
Asher Hastings 4 rush 11 yards
Justin Bannin 3 rushes 4 yards

Receiving
Clay Cooke 36 catches 631 yards 6 TDs
Kolten Solomon 35 catches 448 yards 5 TDs
Mike Shienbein 19 catches 368 yards 3 TDs
Camille Lagimodiere 19 catches 239 yards 1 TD
Jonathan Probe 22 catches 228 yards 2 TDs
Thomas Ringlein 11 catches 180 yards
Will Heward 11 catches 158 yards 4 TD’s
Jacob Carr 7 catches 96 yards
Brandon Sieber 4 catches 76 yards 1 TD
Brady Keller 4 catches 75 yards 1 TD
Nick Brown 6 catches 60 yards
Jake McGeough 1 catch 27 yards
Derek Bell 1 catch minus 5 yards

Passing

Wyatt Catley 145 for 266 and 2077 yards, 19TD's and 12 INT's
Asher Hastings 22 for 40 and 339 yards , 3TD’s and 1 INT
Landon Bessel 11 for 15 and 171 yards, 1TD

Eskimos 17 Riders 1


Talk about laying an egg. In three games I think we've seen a CFL miracle, 9 points by an offense, 9 POINTS! As I reflect on this team not only this season but in previous years one thing has always been true, the Riders have a good offense, a great offense even. But now, somehow, someway they have lost all competency and sit 4 and 10. How does such a dominant team go from having a quarterback who leads the league in passing one year to failing to score a touchdown in three straight games, its mind boggling. Somehow the defense yesterday was able to hold the Eskimos to 17 points even though the offense turned the ball over 5 times. Between Dinwiddie and Durant there were just 145 yards through the air, Ryan tossed three picks in the first half while Durant completed 7 of 24 attempts. Yet somehow the Riders were still in this game in the fourth quarter down by two converted scores. I am absolutely blown away that this team could play so well on labour Day and then in the Banjo bowl and then fall off like they did. Greg Marshall was under a lot of heat early when he said he didn't know why this team was playing so badly, well Miller has said the same thing and I think its safe to say now that Marshall wasn't the problem. Sure he may have contributed but this is much bigger than him. Hopefully someone can figure this one out and restore this team to its former glory sooner rather than later.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Thunder 53 Wildcats 37



The Thunder won their fourth straight game yesterday over the Wildcats in Edmonton. They did all they could to put themselves in a position to host a PFC Final. It looked good too with the Rifles leading in the fourth over the Colts but Calgary scored a touchdown in the quarter and tied the game at 35. That's how it would end. The Colts got a single point and secured second place so the Thunder will travel there next weekend. The Edmonton Huskies handed the Hilltops their first loss of the season 31-22 yesterday. I imagine the Hilltops were playing non starters all game because they already had first place locked up. They will take on the Rifles in Saskatoon next weekend in the other semi final.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

All - Rite Plumbing and Heating - Regina Thunder Game Day

Its the last game of the season and playoff spots are still up in the air. With a Thunder win over the Wildcats and a Colts loss to the Rifles, Calgary would travel here to Regina for a PFC semi final. But should the Colts win they would clinch second place and the no matter what the Thunder do they could not host a playoff game. However that will not be the focus of today, the task at hand for the Thunder will be the Wildcats. Regina has come in winning 3 straight while the Wildcats are coming off a 51 point performance angainst the Huskies. Edmonton boasts the PFC's third leading rusher in Taylor Souster, also a quarterback, Jordan Olsen, with the third best efficiency rating in the league so this team isn't without weapons. The lat time these two teams met was in week 2 and the Thunder were able to hold this offense to only 10 points in the game. They are going to need a similar effort today. In the previous meeting Thomas Ringlein had one of his best outings of the year rushing for 124 yards and a touchdown. The team totalled 224 total rushing yards in the game. Catley threw for 229 and 3 touchdowns, one to Probe, one to Schienbein, one to Solomon. This is another one of those trap games, where you are supposed to win and the hard part is to not look past this game. Sure it would be nice to host a playoff game but I think that no matter where they end up playing the Colts that the Thunder have what it takes to win. Unfortunately there is no internet connection at the field in Edmonton so we wont have the broadcast up and going. I will try to keep you updated via twitter @PhilTheThrill18. I talked with Head Coach Erwin Klempner this morning, here's what he had to say.

All - Rite Plumbing and Heating - Regina Thunder Game Day by PhilTheThrill18

Don Cherry, Right ? Wrong ?


Well the hockey world has been in an uproar after coaches corner Thursday night when Don Cherry made known his stance on fighting and contact and how it relates to addiction and ultimately this off seasons untimely deaths. While I did like the overall theme of the segment that the game is going to get soft and players were going to start to be cautious simply because Brenden Shanahan is on a rampage. Some would argue that is a good thing but I disagree, hockey is a contact sport and nothing is better than a big clean hit (Dion Phaneuf on DaCosta last night) or a good fight. However head shots do need to be taken out of the game so it seems there is going to be some extreme discipline right now and all I can say is that it better come back down to earth or we might be watching a game that has the same intensity as flag football. That being said I am sitting on the fence about Cherry's comments about past enforcers Chris Nilan, Stu Grimson and Jim Thompson. On one hand I sort of get what Cherry was saying about how they have already made their living playing that role in hockey so don't go ruining it for everyone else, but on the other hand who is he to say how it effected those individuals. Chris Nilan denied ever saying that being an enforcer has a direct correlation to drug and alcohol abuse but Thompson said that in his case it had everything to do with it. I would argue that to blame addiction on playing hockey is a copout, just like every addict who has ever lived, there are things that happen in life and it all comes down to how you deal with them. I know that money doesn't buy happiness but to play hockey for a living and make big bucks doing it.....well sort of speaks for itself. Sure Cherry crossed a line calling them pukes and hypocrites but at the same time that is the kind of segment he is paid to put out there. His is simply an opinion, albeit coming from a prominent figure in the hockey world but at the end of the day that's all it is. I was debating this issue with a couple of colleagues last night and this whole issue of concussions and hitting and fighting is all front and center and rightfully so after this past off season but everyone has singled in on the role of enforcers and the pressure they have and the beatings they take. What would happen if we looked at the rest of the players, what about the highest paid players with the weight of carrying their teams to victory, what about the other role players, goaltenders, you name it. Would we see the same patterns of addiction and depression, I think so. I would say there is even more pressure on these guys and maybe most of them don't fight but they are taking the same hits game in and game out and are without the same size advantage. In my mind it all comes down to each players personal choices, this off season there was a common theme for the tragic events so everyone has latched on to that as the cause, but there is a plethora of causes that contribute to addictions and suicide and they run deeper than hockey.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Pats 5 Hurricanes 4 (SO)


Well it was an ugly game for both sides. Nothing was working for either team all night long, it seemed like every breakout or offensive series was foiled by a bouncing puck or just so many bodies clogging up the middle of the ice. The puck stayed on the boards for a lot of the game and the referees weren't shy with their whistles. The Hurricanes were 1 for 6 on the powerplay while the Pats were 1 for 7. Andrew Reider scored twice once in the second and once in the third while Dominik Volek and Kyle Burroughs also added goals. Jordan Weal had a three assist night and was the games first star. The Pats were always able to take the lead but couldn't hold it in the game, Lethbridge battled hard in the game and had a couple highlight reel goals. Russell Maxwell scored as nice a goal as you will ever see undressing the defender and going top shelf with the backhand over the shoulder of Matt Hewitt. The canes were given a controversial penalty shot with a minute and a half left to play and Brody Sutter made no mistake sending the game to OT. But the extra frame wouldn't solve anything and it took until the 5th round when Volek scored and Hewitt made the save on Maxwell to seal 2 points for the Pats who improve to 5 and 1. Hewitt remains unbeaten to start the season at 5 and oh with a 2.16 GAA and a .926 save percentage. I made my TV debut last night hosting the game for Access 7, there were some difficulties as it was the first broadcast of the year but overall it went OK. The Pats are back in action tonight at the Brandt, 7 o'clock puck drop against the Prince George Cougars.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Pats and Hurricanes



The Pats will be looking to go 5 and 1 to start the regular season tonight at the Brandt Center. They are playing a rematch of Saturdays match up with the Lethbridge Hurricanes (2-3). The Pats were 4-1 winners at the Enmax Centre, Brandon Davidson, Colton Jobke, Tanner Olstad and Dyson Stevenson were the goal scorers. Matt Hewitt continued his stellar play in the net securing his 4th straight win to start the season stopping 25 of 26 Hurricane shots, he remains unbeaten so far this season. In four games he sits with a 1.75 GAA and a .936 save percentage, only the Kootenay Ice tender Nathan Lieuwen has better numbers. Certainly the management look like hero's for trading away 20 year old Damien Ketlo and letting Hewitt take the reins.When Ive talked with the coaches they have all said that he has worked so hard this off season and its showing on the ice. Ketlo makes his return to Regina tonight with the Canes. Tonight is just the second home game of the season for the Pats, the first was their opening game, a win over the Broncos. This week the Pats were ranked 1st in the WHL and 4th in the country, its been since the days of Jordan Eberle that they were ranked in the CHL. Its early in the season fans have a lot to be optimistic about so far. Puck drop tonight is 7 o'clock at the Brandt Centre. If you cant make it Rod Pedersen, Jared Dumba and I will be broadcasting live for Access 7.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

All - Rite Plumbing and Heating - Regina Thunder Update


The Thunder continue practicing this week preparing for the final game of the Regular season this weekend. The team will travel to Edmonton for a battle with the Wildcats. This will be the second time this season these two have met; the first was a big win for the Thunder 44-10 at Mosaic. In that game the Thunder put up 493 yards of offense and dominated the entire game. However the Wildcats were able to put up some numbers on the ground rushing for 133 yards and a touchdown. One thing is for sure however that these are both different teams from the second week of the season. I know that the Wildcats have improved and are coming off a win over the Huskies 44-10. Quarterback Jordan Olson tossed for 334 yards and 5 touchdowns in the game, three of those to Andrew Johnson who had 182 yards in the game. Running back Shiane Runcie ran for 106 and 2 touchdowns so it seems that this is an offense that can move the ball so the Thunder defense will have to continue to play like they have in recent weeks. So now having won three straight the Thunder have a chance at hosting a PFC Final, they will need to win in Edmonton and get some help from the Rifles. Winnipeg is in Calgary facing the Colts and should the Rifles win the Thunder would jump into second place and host the Colts at Mosaic the following week. But if the Colts should win and the Thunder win then the game would be held in Calgary. I talked with Mark Ingram, Shawn McCall and Erwin Klempner last night here’s what they had to say.


All - Rite Plumbing and Heating - Regina Thunder Update by PhilTheThrill18

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

PFC Players of the Week


The offensive player of the week goes to the Saskatoon Hilltops slotback John Trumpy. He had 5 catches for 180 yards and three touchdowns in a 48-28 win over the Rifles. With the Win the Hilltops secured their fourth straight PFC Regular Season title. He sits 5th in the league in yards with 458.

Defensive honors go to linebacker Troy Campbell off the Winnipeg Rifles. The third year linebacker had 8 tackles and 2 assisted ones as well in their loss to the Hilltops.

The special teams player of the week went to Jonathan Heidebrecht, rookie kicker for the Edmonton Huskies. He hit all three field goal attempts from 37, 38 and 47 in a 51-25 loss to the Wildcats.

Monday, October 3, 2011

All - Rite Plumbing and Heating - Regina Thunder Update


Three straight wins for the Thunder now and they are heating up at the right time as the playoffs are just around the corner. With a single game left in the season I don't think anyone wants to play these guys in the semi finals. A big part of these wins has been this Thunder defense, yesterday they held the Colts to just 99 total yards in the game, talk about a dominating performance. This Colts team rushed for 228 yards the week before and managed only 23 on the ground in the game, the reigning PFC offensive player of the week running back Coung Thia Lieu was held to 1 total yard on 8 carries. Quarterback Clayton Masikewich only completed 10 balls for 58 yards. For the Thunder they moved the ball well on offense as well, Catley threw for 354 yards 2 TD's and 2 Interceptions (one of which was a pretty questionable call by the refs) He also put up his second rushing touchdown of the year. Catley sits second in the league in passing yards with 1708 but has played one less game than the leader Ryan Marsch. Clay Cooke continued his dominance racking up 147 yards, that's his third straight 100 yard plus performance and has become Catleys favorite receiver in recent weeks. Cooke has jumped into 4th place in the PFC in receiving yardage. Kolten Solomon was back in the lineup and caught 5 passes for 42 yards. Jonathon Probe also had a good day with 70 yards and a touchdown and Mike Shienbeins only catch was for a 7 yard TD. Jake McGeough caught his first pass as a Thunder and was very close to hauling one in in the end zone as well. Thomas Ringlein put up more yards on one pass then he did anywhere else with a big 51 yard catch and run play in the second half. Lagimodiere caught a couple balls for a total of 39 as well. As I said yesterday Nick Brown looked really good coming out of the backfield, he led the team with 58 yards on 12 carries in the second half. Certainly the stats story was very lopsided in this game but the score was pretty close considering. The Thunder turned the ball over four times three of them in the scoring zone so that's a big reason why this wasn't a huge blowout. Even with the mistakes the defense came up big and the offense did what they needed to do. Sets up a big weekend with every game having some playoff implications.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

REGINA THUNDER 32 CALGARY COLTS 18


Brought to you by All - Rite Plumbing and Heating

The Thunder won their third straight game this afternoon beating the Colts quite handily at Mosaic Stadium. The offense had its ups and downs but Wyatt Catley played well in his return managing the game well and moving the ball against the Colts secondary. At halftime he had already thrown for 251 yards but they left a lot of points out on the field and only led 19-11 at halftime. A Ringlein fumble, and interception in the end zone and a turnover on downs at the 1 yard line and the Thunder were letting the Colts hang around. But the Thunder defense was unbeatable today. Zach Evans, Boyd Richardson, Max Amyotte and Brett Wade dominated the line of scrimmage stuffing whatever the Colts threw at them. The Colts had only 23 net yards at halftime and it didn't go any better for them in the second half. The secondary played outstanding as well, the corners stuffed every attempt to go down field and it seemed like they made every tackle limiting the Colts to maybe 2 first downs in the third quarter. On top of that the Thunder managed to put up 12 more points and were leading 31-11 after 3. The Colts would add a late touchdown but it was to little too late as the Thunder made the 5 and 1 Colts look less than mediocre. Kolten Solomon was back in the lineup for the first time in three weeks and though he didn't put up big numbers he played well, they used him in that crossing route over the middle and let him use his legs. He was used sparingly however, he didn't return any kicks like he usually does but having him in the lineup certainly opens things up for the rest of the receivers. Clay Cooke had another big day along with Jonathon Probe. Thomas Ringlein was bottled up all game but Nick Brown came in late in the second half and played well. Hes got some good speed and a natural ability to find the hole. The Thunder have some serious talent at running back. The last home game of the regular season has given them a chance at a home playoff. The Rifles lost to Saskatoon today and so the Thunder sit in third, 2 points back of Calgary. The Colts play the Rifles while the Thunder play the Wildcats. Should Calgary lose and the Thunder win they will finish second and host the Colts at Mosaic. It does seem that we will probably see a rematch of today's game in the PFC semi final, where its played is still to be determined. I will have audio and such tomorrow night.

All - Rite Plumbing and Heating - Regina Thunder Game Day


The Thunder are playing in a huge matchup this afternoon at Mosaic Stadium. The Calgary Colts are in town and with just two game left this season the Thunder have a chance to draw within 2 points of second place in the PFC. Should the Thunder win today and the Rifles lose to Saskatoon. Then it will come down to the last week. The Thunder will take on the Wildcats in Edmonton while the Colts will take on the Rifles at home. A Thunder win and a Colts loss would mean a home playoff game for the Thunder. The Colts are coming off a win against the Rifles in Winnipeg where they put up 49 points and gave up 33. Tailback Cuong Thai Lieu is coming off an offensive player of the week award putting up 128 yards and a touchdown in the game. However there were 3 fumbles by the Colts in the game, how many were Cuongs I'm not sure. In total Calgary rushed for 228 yards and three touchdowns so stopping the run will be the key for the Thunder defense. On the offensive side of the ball the Thunder will have Wyatt Catley back at the helm at quarterback while Kolten Solomons status is still up in the air. When I talked with Erwin on Wednesday he said Kolten was close so we will see if he takes the field this afternoon. The Thunder go for their third straight win and a record above 500 this afternoon. Come out to Mosaic for the 1 o'clock kickoff or if you cant make I will have the call, click the link below.

www.ustream.tv/channel/regina-thunder-football

Here are the Thunder offensive stats going into todays game.

 
Passing

Wyatt Catley 103 for 191 and 1351 yards, 12TD's and 10 INT's

Asher Hastings 21 for 38 and 312 yards , 3TD’s and 1 INT
Landon Bessel 8 for 10 and 143 yards, 1TD

Rushing
Thomas Ringlein 77 rushes 399 yards 1 TD
Nick Brown 14 rushes 88 yards 1 TD
Kolten Solomon 9 rushes 69 yards 1 TD
Derek Bell 7 rushes 55 yards
Wyatt Catley 11 rushes for 34 yards 1 TD
Landon Bessel 2 Rush 21 yards
Asher Hastings 4 rush 11 yards
Justin Bannin 2 rushes 1 yard

Receiving
Clay Cooke 25 catches 379 yards 5 TDs
Mike Shienbein 16 catches 273 yards 1 TD
Kolten Solomon 21 catches 271 yards 3 TDs
Camille Lagimodiere 17 catches 200 yards 1 TD
Jonathan Probe 16 catches 158 yards 1 TD
Will Heward 10 catches 156 yards 4 TD’s
Thomas Ringlein 9 catches 126 yards
Jacob Carr 7 catches 96 yards
Brandon Sieber 3 catches 54 yards 1 TD
Nick Brown 4 catches 53 yards
Brady Keller 2 catches 34 yards

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Saturdays Sports


A good night of football and some baseball last night. Not to mention the Pats and Rams were in action. A double header in the CFL kicked off the weekend with the Bombers and Allouettes battling for first in the East Division. The Als looked to be cruising to an easy victory up by as many as 23 in the second half but late in the fourth Alex Brink put together a comeback. The defense started it off with a blocked punt recovered by first overall pick of 2011, Henoc Muamba for a touchdown. Then Alex Brink threw his only touchdown of the game to Curtis Denmark and then shortly after a Chris Garrett touchdown run brought the Bombers within 6. The defense held the Als to a two and out and got the ball back. On 3rd and 2 from the 26 Alex brink threw up a prayer into the end zone, overthrowing Terrence Edwards by about 20 yards, but somehow the refs called a pass interference penalty placing the ball at the 1 yard line, first and goal with 18 seconds left. First off I cannot believe how bad the reffing is in the CFL this year, somehow it seems worse than ever. Anyways the Bombers had 2 tries from the one and Alex Brink was stuffed both times as the Allouettes held on, barely, and are now atop the standings at 8 and 5 alongside the Bombers.

In the late game the BC Lions were home at the brand new BC Place in Vancouver, talk about a beautiful stadium. The Eskimos were in town for the christening and what a place to play football. The Lions came out slow falling behind 13-5 early in the second quarter but manages a touchdown before the half to draw within 1. However they came out firing in the second half scoring 14 third quarter points to Edmonton's 2 taking a 26-15 lead to the fourth. They stretched it to 33-15 but then the Eskimos started a comeback of their own. They scored a touchdown and added a 2 point conversion to make it 33-24. However that was all they would get as the Lions defense came up big in the end and secured their 6th straight win and more importantly pulled into a tie for second with the Eskimos at 7-6. Kerry Joseph got into the game for the Eskimos in the first half and marched all the way down the field for a touchdown, he looked pretty sharp using his arm and of course his legs. Its good to see him back in the CFL and doing good things.

Now the Riders NEED a win this afternoon against the Stamps in Calgary. With a win The Riders would force a three way tie atop the West and they would be four points back with 5 games to play. After last weeks debacle I can only imagine how eager these guys are to get out there and set things straight. The Stamps have struggled mightily at home this season having won only 2 of 4 while the Riders are 2-3 on the road. This will be the third time these two teams meet this season with Calgary taking the first two but a total of 15 points. The Riders have yet to beat a Western opponent this year and today is as good a time as any to break that streak. The green and white will enjoy the return of Lance Frazier to the secondary but will still be missing Andy Fantuz on offense. Also Dallas Baker is out with a concussion and James Robinson will get the start in his place. Brandon West continues to be in the lineup in front of Hugh Charles and has shown some real promise returning kicks, especially last weekend. He will also get some reps with the offense. I know a lot of people are down and out after last weeks loss but a win today and the West gets really tight. It seems no team is rising above the rest (aside form the Lions but a slow start has them in third). The Eskimos started 5 and oh and are 2 and 6 since. The Stamps have been up and down all season. The Lions are certainly the favorites right now in the West but anything can happen on any night in the CFL and nothing is for certain. If the Riders can start to beat these western opponents I think there is a good chance playoff football is more than a possibility. It all starts this afternoon at 2 in Calgary. Darian and the offense is going to have to be a whole lot better and I expect that they will be. Discipline will be key, penalties have to be kept to a minimum, make Henry Burris work for his points because if you hand them field position the Stamps will make you pay. Its not November yet but it sure feels like the playoffs in Riderville. Ive got GM Brenden Taman on the pre game show on 620 CKRM just after 1 o'clock, have a listen.

The Pats fell for the first time this season at the hands of the defending champion Kooteney Ice 5-2. The Pats took 1-0 and 2-1 leads on goals by Lane Scheidl and Brandon Underwood but the Ice scored two more in the second and 2 in the third en route to the win. Jordan Weal added two assists and Chandler Stephenson added a helper as well. Adam Beukeboom made 22 saves in his first start of the year for the Pats. The Ice's Max Reinhart, 3rd round pick of the Calgary Flames in 2010 had a 4 point night with 2 goals and 2 assists and backup goaltender Mackenzie Skapski stopped 26 of 28 for the win. The Pats play again tonight at 7 oclock in Lethbride against the Hurricanes. Pregame starts at 6:35 on 620 CKRM.

The Tampa Bay Rays kept on rolling last night beating the Rangers 9-0 in game 1 of the ALDS. Matt Moore made his second ever major league start going 7 innings giving up just 2 hits for the win. Amazing stuff considering the quality offense that Texas has. Momentum is huge coming into the playoffs and if there's any team that has it its the Rays, lookout for these guys. Also the Yankees and Tigers kicked of their divisional series but only made it halfway through the second inning before the rain started to pour. They had to postpone game one until tonight. So we will have to wait until game 3 for the pitching matchup between Verlander and Sabathia. Also tonight the NLDS series get underway with the Brewers and Diamondbacks this afternoon and the Cardinals and Phillies later on. There are a lot of quality teams in both conferences but i predict a Tigers Phillies World Series matchup with the Phillies winning in 6. Their starting rotation is just too good with Halladay, Lee, Hamels and Oswalt. Their only weakness might be their bullpen but their starters like to pitch 9 inning games.

And don't forget to come out a cheer for the Regina Thunder on Sunday when they take on the Calgary Colts at Mosaic at 1 PM.