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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Rebels 3 Pats 2


A big game from the Brandt centre between the Red Deer Rebels and the Regina Pats. The Pats came in looking to jump ahead of idle Saskatoon and draw even closer to Kootenay and Calgary in the East. The Rebels are on the outside looking in from 9th in the conference barely hanging on to hope for the eighth spot. They came in 10 points back of the Wheat Kings for that final spot.

The Pats and Rebels skated hard in the first and both teams had scoring chances. Matt Marantz fired a puck off the post and Dyson Stevenson tipped one off the outside of the post as well. Matt Hewitt was solid on the other end making 1 stops, a number of them through traffic. The Pats had two powerplay chances but were unable to capitalize and the game was scoreless after 1. The Rebels played a good road period and threw everything to the net.

Red Deer continued to play well in the second and they broke the goose egg on a shot from the Pat faceoff dot as Tyson Ness beat Hewitt glove side. The Pats would give up the second goal of the game as well this time on the penalty kill as the Rebels controlled inside the line and Brooks Maxwell beat a screened Hewitt, 2-0 Rebels at that point. The Pats would push back however and on their third powerplay of the game Dominik Volek beat Deven Dubyk for his 13th of the year and it was 2-1 at that point. Matt Hewitt made two outstanding saves after that as it looked like the Rebels had open cages to shoot at both times but somehow the Pats goaltender got an arm on them and kept it a one goal game. A very wide open period for both teams and I'm sure Pat Conacher wasn't impressed with the period from his club who were a little too loose.

In the third the rebels would chase Mat Hewitt after he was beat with a softy through the legs and the Pats fell behind 3-1. Jordan Weal would score on the powerplay, his 8th of the season but that was all the Pats would get as they fell 3-2 on home ice.

The Rebels keep their playoff hopes alive and are now 8 points back of the Wheat Kings, the Pats had a chance to jump into 6th ahead of Saskatoon but that didn't happen.

Next action Saturday vs the What Kings at the Brandt.

Pats Rebels Preview




THE MATCH_UP – This will be the fourth and final match-up between the Pats and Red Deer with the Rebels winning two of the first three and outscoring the Pats 9-7 in the process. Red Deer is led by top NHL Draft prospect Mathew Dumba. The Rebels rearguard is rated in the top 10 by all NHL Draft publications and his 17 goals puts him 4th on the Rebels goal scoring list. Cory Millette, a Storthoaks Saskatchewan native is having a solid rookie season with 27 points in 53 games.

MILESTONE - Jordan Weal moved into 5th place ALL Time in Pats scoring when he recorded his 100 pt this past Friday. Jordan’s 369 career points trail only Len Nielsen (376), Dennis Sobchuk (416), Mike Sillinger (419) and Dale Derkatch (491) on the career Pats scoring list.

CONFERENCE ROUND-UP – The Pats currently sit 7th in the Eastern Conference. They trail the Saskatoon Blades by 1 point for 6th place and lead the Wheat Kings by 1 point for 8th place... The Pats have eight games remaining after tonight’s contest with six of those eight games being played in the Brandt Centre. The Pats will play the Brandon Wheat Kings in four of their last eight games.

CHAMPIONS NIGHT   Sunday March 4th - Join us as we salute and celebrate the accomplishments and championships of some of Regina’s local sports teams and individuals.

UP-COMING GAMES / EVENTS
·         Saturday March 3rd  – 7:00pm Brandt Centre Pats vs Brandon Wheat Kings
o   Another key East Division match-up to determine playoff positioning
·         Sunday March 4th  – 6:00pm Brandt Centre Pats vs Prince Albert Raiders
·         Wednesday March 7th – 7:00pm Brandy Centre Pats vs Brandon Wheat Kings
o   Team Canada’s World Junior leading scorer Mark Stone makes another visit to the Brandt Centre
·         Friday March 9th – 7:00pm Brandt Centre Pats vs Moose Jaw Warriors
o   World Junior star Quinton Howden brings his division leading Warriors to Regina for their last regular season visit of the year.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Pats To Get Captain Back


Brandon Davidson is expected to play tomorrow night when the Red Deer Rebels visit the Brandt Centre. The teams captain has been out since last Saturday when the Pats beat the Ice in Cranbrook 4-2. Davidson took a charge in behind his own net from Jeff Hubic and missed the next three games. The Pats have depth on defense however and were able to keep the ship righted getting 5 of a possible 6 points in his absence. The Pats will be happy to have him back and Brandon himself is itching to get back in the lineup, its not very often the Oiler prospect sits out.

Davidson had this to say at practise today. "I tried to take what I could out of it and stay positive and work hard off the ice and basically get myself healthy for these final 9 games....It was a learning experience for me, I took everything I could out of it. In watching the games and our systems it was a new perspective on how things can be done. You know I saw a lot of mistakes and ways that can help our team out so I think it was very beneficial."

He was talking about a lot of simple things in the defensive end that could be improved like coverages.

He expressed his excitement looking forward to the playoffs. "Its very exciting times, especially for myself, I've yet to get in the post season and this is the year were going to do it. Its exciting time building up to the playoffs but its also exciting finishing strong and creating momentum going into the playoffs."

Next action is against the Red Deer Rebels, a big game in terms of standings because the Rebels are the only team that could jump up into a playoff spot. The Pats are currently 11 points up on Red Deer but the Rebels do have a couple games in hand including tonight's game in Moose Jaw. The Pats however are looking up at the teams ahead of them. The Blades are just a point ahead in the 6th spot while Kootenay is only 3 points up in 5th. Even home ice advantage in the first round is a possibility with Calgary just 4 points ahead at fourth in the Eastern Conference. Anything could happen in these last nine games but one thing is for sure, teams probably don't want to play the Pats in the first round. The teams record against the teams ahead of them is outstanding, including being undefeated against Edmonton, they've taken 7 of 8 points from Medicine Hat, they can beat Moose Jaw. Kootenay has also struggled with the Pats, especially in recent weeks. I think that this team is capable of something special and I am looking forward to the games to come.

Come on out to the Brandt Centre tomorrow night, the boys deserve the support.

Roughriders Sign 2 QB's



The Saskatchewan Roughriders announced today that they have signed import quarterbacks Colt Brennan and Drew Willy to contracts. Financial details of the signings were not released.

Brennan (6’3 – 207 lbs) was a Heisman Trophy finalist in 2007 during his senior season at Hawaii. In his three years at the school, Brennan broke a number of records including the NCAA Division I record for most touchdowns in a single season with 58 and NCAA record for highest pass completion percentage (70.4%). He holds a total of 31 NCAA Division I records. His other honours included being named the WAC Offensive Player of the Year twice and was named to the First-team All-WAC in two consecutive seasons. After his time with Hawaii, the 28-year old was drafted by the Washington Redskins in the sixth round of the 2008 NFL Draft making him the tenth quarterback to be selected in the draft. Brennan went on to lead NFL rookies in touchdown passes in the 2008 pre-season where he completed 36 of 53 pass attempts for 411 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. The following season he was placed on the injured reserve due to a season ending hamstring and hip injury. In 2010 he was traded to the Baltimore Ravens but was later released.

Willy (6’3 – 215 lbs) played at the University of Buffalo and went on to become the most prolific passer in Buffalo football history. As a four-year starter, he set school records for completions (849), attempts (1,322), passing yards (8,748), touchdowns (52), total offense (8,639), and completion percentage (64.2). During the final 20 games of his college career, Willy threw 36 touchdown passes and only six interceptions. After going as undrafted free agent in 2009, the 25-year-old initially signed with the Baltimore Ravens. After being released in August he was signed by the Indianapolis Colts and added to the active roster and then added to the team’s practice squad. After being released in 2010, Willy spent time with the UFL’s Las Vegas Locomotives before being signed by the New York Jets in January, 2011. He was released in September but immediately signed to the San Diego Chargers practice roster the following day.

GRAEME BELL BACK WITH GREEN AND WHITE



The Saskatchewan Roughriders announced today they have re-signed non-import fullback Graeme Bell to a new contract. Financial details of the signing were not released.

Bell came to the Riders last off-season in a trade with the Edmonton Eskimos. In 2011, he played in all 18 regular season games for the Green and White and added five special team tackles and one kick-off return for 12 yards.

Since joining the CFL in 2005 after signing with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers as a free agent where he spent three seasons before playing in Edmonton for two. over the course of his career the Saskatchewan product has played in 82 regular season games and tallied 59 special team tackles, 18 carries for 66 yards and one touchdown, six receptions for 27 yards and one touchdown. Bell has also played in three playoff games where he added two special team tackles and one reception for 13 yards.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Pats Lose in the Shootout

The Wheat Kings and Pats skated to quits the boring hockey game in Brandon. Both teams had trouble getting into the game. Understandably so for the Pats after three straight emotional wins over Kootenay X2 and the Moose Jaw Warriors. However for the Wheat Kings this was the third straight game where they didn't really show up. All three went to shootouts and they won two of them.

Jack Rodewald opened the scoring two minutes in on a back hand shot that probably should have been saved. Then 13 minutes later Ciarelli tied it for the Wheat Kings beating Matt Hewitt five hole.

That's all the scoring that happened as both teams had chances but couldn't finish. Brandon's Pullock had two glorious chances in the second on the power play with wide open nets but missed. 1-1 was the score after 60 minutes.

In overtime lane Schiedl had the pats best chance to score but just missed the far post and the Mark Stone took a slapper from the slot a short time later which missed as well so we went to the shootout.

Stone scored the first attempt and that was all they needed as Boes stopped Weal, Stephenson and Schiedl for the win.

The Pats get a point but Saskatoon, Red Deer and Kootenay all picked up two.

Pats face the Rebels on Wednesday at the Brandt Centre. 9 games left on the year.

Its Western Pizza Have a Heart night on Monday. Pats players will deliver pizzas between 6-8 PM with all tips and delivery charges going to the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

Friday, February 24, 2012

PATS 8 WARRIORS 2



No shortage of excitement from the Brandt Centre.

A back and forth  period to start between the Pats and Warriors and the Pats led 2-1 after it was done. The pats were on their heels for parts of the period as the Warriors peppered Matt Hewitt but he stood strong making a number of key saves early. Then the Warriors took a penalty and the Pats capitalized on their first power play of the game as Scheidl got his 24th of the season. Moose Jaw would respond however as Cam braes put one past Hewitt from the slot and we were tied at ones. Brandon Underwood with a good fight with Cody Beach as the California Native landed a few good rights. Four minutes later Morgan Klimchuk streaked in the left hand side and finished the back hand to restore the 1 goal lead and that's how it ended after one.

In the second the pats scored 6 minutes in as Chandle Stephenson threw a puck in front of the net which bounced off the skate of McIlrath in behind Luke Siemens, 3-1 Pats. The Warriors got into some penalty trouble after the Pats really got under their skin. The Pats didn't capitalize on their 5 on 3 but with less than a minute left in the period Scheidl caused a turnover down low and threw the puck in front to Jordan Weal who fired it top shelf for the Pats fourth goal of the game. Tanner Olstad with a good fight with Edmundson in the period as well. 4-1 after 2.

The Regina Pats exploded in the third scoring 4 unanswered goals and Jordan Weal got two more points for 100 on the season. The Pats got the bounces in this one and they skated away with the big 8-2 victory on home ice. Chandler Stephensen got two goals while Marincin notched three assists. The power play went 2 for 8 while the penalty kill went  for 3.

Interesting comments from Head Coach Pat Conacher about how his club wasn't very sharp in the first saying that the score was a little deceiving. Matt Hewitt was a big factor early keeping the Pats ahead and if a couple of those went in it could be a different result.

Jordan Weal was humble as always after getting point number 100 tonight. he is just happy his tam got another two points and are well on there way to securing a playoff spot.

Next action is from Brandon tomorrow night, tune in 620 CKRM.

Pats Warriors Preview



THE MATCH_UP – The season series could not be much closer than it is this year between these two long time rivals. Four of the five games played in this year’s eight game series have ended in identical 3-2 scores with the other being 3-1. Tonight will be game #6 in the series with Moose Jaw holding down a   3-2 series edge. The final two games in the season series will take place March 9 & 10 with a home and home match-up.

CONFERENCE ROUND-UP – The Pats currently sit 7th in the Eastern Conference. They trail the Saskatoon Blades by 1 point for 6th place and are 10 points up on the Red Deer Rebels for the final playoff spot. This is one of closest playoff races in recent years in the WHL Eastern Conference as only 9 points separate the 3rd place Medicine Hat Tigers from the 8th place Brandon Wheat Kings. The Pats have ten games remaining after tonight’s contest with seven of those ten games being played at home in the Brandt Centre. The Pats will play the Brandon Wheat Kings in five of the last ten games of the year.

Sasktel Backpack Night – The first 1000 fans in attendance at tonight’s game will receive a Regina Pat Jersey style back pack courtesy of SaskTel.

UP-COMING GAMES / EVENTS
·         Monday February 27 – Western Pizza Have a Heart night
o   Pats players will be delivering pizza to your door to support Heart & Stroke Foundation. Order from any one of the 14 Western Pizza Locations
·         Wednesday February 29  - 7:00pm Brandt Centre  Pats vs Red Deer Rebels
o   Pat look to hold off the hard charging Rebels for the last playoff spot
·         Saturday March 3 – 7:00pm Brandt Centre Pats vs Brandon Wheat Kings
o   Another key East Division match-up to determine playoff positioning

RIDERS UNVEIL “GREY CUP LEGACY PROJECT”


Here's Jim Hopson from this mornings news conference.

JIM HOPSON

The Saskatchewan Roughriders unveiled plans today for the Grey Cup Legacy Project. The $14 million plan will enhance the game-day experience, add thousands of temporary seats, create new revenue opportunities, and leave a legacy for amateur sport programs across the province.

“This is a very ambitious and much needed plan for Mosaic Stadium over the next few years,” stated Riders Chairman Roger Brandvold. “Replacing Mosaic Stadium still remains our top priority, but certain upgrades needed to be made to get us through the next few years and especially the 2013 Grey Cup. I’d like to thank our partners at the Government of Saskatchewan and City of Regina for their support in this undertaking.”

Phase one will add approximately 7,000 temporary seats, as well as corporate boxes, to the north and south end zones; complete with their own concessions and washroom facilities – and creating a bowl-like atmosphere for fans.

The SaskTel Maxtron will be replaced by a new, 60-foot wide, fully digital LED screen and scoreboard in the Northeast endzone; accompanied by a vertical, digital billboard for use exclusively by our sponsors.

This state-of-the-art, new SaskTel Maxtron will be visible from most points in the stadium. But for those in the east stands and north endzone a 55 foot wide digital LED display and scoreboard attached to the West grandstand.

Additional LED ribbons will also be placed at field level on the East side and along the grandstand fascia of the west side, adding more areas to display statistics and player profiles.

Phase two of the Grey Cup Legacy Project will add another level of bleacher seats, and bring the stadium’s capacity to almost 50,000 in preparation for the Grey Cup game.

After Grey Cup, only the second tier of temporary seats will be removed, maintaining the bowl-like atmosphere for up to 33,000 Rider fans.


“While each phase of this plan is a temporary solution, its legacy will make an impact throughout Saskatchewan for decades to come,” stated Riders President/CEO Jim Hopson. “When the new stadium is ready, and the stands are no longer needed, each section can be dismantled and donated to amateur sports programs across our province; allowing friends and family to watch their little, future all-star in comfort.”

“The Government of Saskatchewan is proud to provide a $6.2 million, low interest loan to the Saskatchewan Roughriders for the legacy upgrades”, said Minister of Tourism, Parks, Culture and Sport Bill Hutchinson.  “We want to make sure that every fan, every resident and every visitor has the best experience possible when they visit Regina. We are also pleased that communities from Saskatchewan will benefit from the program by receiving the seating afterwards to help grow local sport and recreation – this truly is part of the Saskatchewan advantage.”

“The City of Regina’s priority is the Regina Revitalization Initiative, which includes replacing Mosaic Stadium and redeveloping the current stadium site into a new neighbourhood with housing and commercial opportunities,” Regina City Manager Glen Davies said. “The City wholeheartedly supports this innovative project that will improve the fan experience during the final years of Mosaic Stadium, and in the long-term benefit the whole community at limited cost to Regina taxpayers.”

Mosaic stadium is owned and operated by the City of Regina. The Regina Revitalization Initiative includes plans to re-develop large areas of land in the heart of Regina with housing, commercial and retail opportunities and replace Mosaic Stadium with a state of the art facility. Construction of the new stadium is scheduled to begin in 2013, with completion in 2016.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Pats 2 Ice 1


The ice were in town looking for revenge from Saturdays loss. Some changes on the Pats lineup with both Fenske and Davidson out The team caled up defenseman Colby Williams and Kyle Burroughs again was playing on the back end.

The Regina Pats did everything but score in the first period as this game started much like the two teams last meeting on Saturday. The Pats played their style of hockey, physical and hard on the fore check and had the majority of the chances. Morgan Klimchuk looked like a man on a mission as he just missed on a breakaway and set up Matt Marantz right in front but Nathan Lieuwen somehow managed to keep the puck out. Both teams exchanged power plays in the first but the penalty kills held firm. zeroes on the board after one.

Much of the same in the second as the Pats limited the Ices scoring chances though they did ring a couple shots off the post. The Pats took two penalties in the period but Jordan Weal scored his 6th short handed goal of the season at 5:15 and gave his team the 1-0 lead. The Pats played another solid period and took a 1-0 lead to the third

In the third the Kootenay Ice tuned it up but Matt Hewitt had the answer. He made a number of great stops in close to keep the lead. After killing some extended penalty time the Pats got a powerplay chance of heir own and Lane Scheidl scored his 23rd of the season to give the Pats the 2-0 lead. The Ice kept coming however outshooting the Pats heavily in the period but it wasn't until with 1:08 left in the period that they solved Matt Hewitt. Brock Montgomery beat him glove side but it was too little too late as the Pats pick up another win over Kootenay. With the Blades dropping two points versus the broncos the Pats are just a point back of 6th in the Eastern Conference.

Next action is versus the Moose jaw Warriors on Friday at the Brandt Centre. Its Sasktel Back Pack night so make sure you get your tickets.

Hopefully my sore throat goes away for the next game so I don't sound like a frog.



Sunday, February 19, 2012

Pats Get 4 of 6 points on Road Trip

The Regina Pats skate to a huge 4-2 win over the Kootenay Ice in Cranbrook. The Pats started the game well killing an early penalty and really taking the play to the Ice in the period. Dryden Hunt scored late in the first in his hometown and the Pats took a 1 point lead into the break.

In the second much of the same as the Ice were kept off the scoreboard and the Pats had the majority of the scoring chances on 5 power plays. The club didn't capitalize on their man advantages but late in the period Jordan Weal banged home a puck in front and the Blue and White took a 2 goal lead to the third.

The Pats took a penalty a couple minutes in and te ice scored to make it 2-1. Then a minute twelve later they tied it on a shot from the top of the circle and all the momentum was going Kootenays way. That's when the Pats started to turn things around. A couple of good shifts and frustration started to show from the Ice. It started with a 5 minute charging call on a hit on Brandon Davidson the Ice continued to take penalties. The Pats almost squandered their go ahead chance but that's when Chandler Stephenson took a pass up the left wing side and made a great move around the defenseman and put it home on a nice move in front. Lane Scheidl scored an empty netter to seal it for the Pats as they won in Cranbrook for the first time since 2009.

The Pats will look to win 2 straight versus the Ice on wednesday when Kootenay visits the Brandt Centre.

It will be the first broadcast without Dan Plaster as he moves on to his job with the Riders. I wish him all the best, it was great working with him these past few weeks.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Pats Win Streak Halted

A somber Regina Pat Club left Lethbridge after a tough 6-4 loss to the Hurricanes. The Pats had won three straight coming in and looked to be on a role. However the team struggled at times and the penalty kill got shelled as they gave up 4 power play goals in the second period. The Pats did battle however and cut the lead to 1 in the third period. They got a power play chance of their own and after Matt Hewitt made a nice stop shorthanded Matt Marantz rang what would have been the tieing goal off the post.

Dyson Stevenson played a good game scoring twice and picking up a win in a fight late in the second. Amazingly Matt Marantz who had a goal and an assist was a plus 3 in the game. However the Pats got caught playing some wide open hockey and it cost them in the end.

Assistant Coach Josh Dixon said after the game that the team was flat and didn't play with enough intensity to win.

That's the second time this month that the Hurricanes have beaten the Pats. Hard to believe Regina can get up and play so well to beat Saskatoon and Medicine Hat but fall to the second last team in the Eastern Conference.

A tough loss for the team as Brandon, Saskatoon, Red Deer and Moose Jaw all picked up two points.

Its a quick turn around as the team travels to Cranbrook for a matchup with the Kootenay Ice Saturday night. This one will decide whether or not the road trip was a successful one.

As always the game can be heard on 620 CKRM with the Press Box Sports Bar Pre-game show getting underway at 735 Regina time.

Riders Keep Jackson

The Saskatchewan Roughriders announced today that they have re-signed import defensive back/kick returner Tristan Jackson who entered free agency this week. Financial details of the signing were not released.
 

Jackson came to the Riders last season in a trade with the Edmonton Eskimos in March, 2011 where he spent the previous three seasons. Originally thought to be a primary kick and punt returner Jackson went on to earn a spot as a starting cornerback for the Green and White. The soon to be 26-year-old started in all 18 games for the Riders and tallied 71 defensive tackles, five pass knockdowns, two forced fumbles, one interception and one tackle for a loss. He added 57 punt returns for 448 yards and 23 kick-off returns for 550 yards.

Since entering the CFL in 2008, the Central Arkansas product has played in 56 regular season games and added 82 defensive tackles, five pass knockdowns, five tackles for a loss, three special team tackles, three interceptions for 123 yards and one touchdown. In addition he had 235 punt returns for 2,148 yards and three touchdowns as well as 132 kick-off returns for 2,911 yards and one touchdown.

Gene Makowsy Retires

The Saskatchewan Roughriders announced today that long-time Roughrider great Gene Makowsky has retired from the Canadian Football League. 

"It's never an easy decision to make and it was extremely difficult for me,"stated Makowsky. "However I felt that this is the best decision to make for my family, my career and my team."

Makowsky has had a monumental career with the Green and White and will go down in the history books as one of the best to play the game. The 38-year-old has played the last 17 seasons with the Riders after originally being drafted by the team in the second round (23

rd overall) in the 1995 CFL College Draft. He has played in 284 regular season games and in 2011 passed Rider legend Roger Aldag to become the All-Time leader in Rider history for most games played. Makowsky has played in 16 playoff games and four Grey Cups earning a championship ring in 2007.

The list of awards he has accumulated over his legendary career includes being named the CFL Offensive Lineman of the Year in both 2004 and 2005 while being named a finalist for the award again in 2008. In addition, Makowsky is a five time CFL All-Star and was named to the West Division All-Star team for seven consecutive years.

"Geno will go down as one of the greatest players in CFL history," stated Assistant General Manager Jeremy O'Day. "His toughness, work ethic, dedication and character were unmatched. It was an honour to have played with Geno and he made me a better player, a better person and I will be forever grateful for the time we spent as teammates."
 
Being born and raised in Saskatchewan, Makowsky decided to dedicate his passion for this great province by entering the political ring last year. In November he was elected to the Legislative Assembly as a member of the Saskatchewan Party and has begun his term serving the people of Saskatchewan. Gene, his wife Tami and their three sons – Nicholas, Ryan and Blake will always continue to be a part of the Roughrider family.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Riders Sign Labatte and Picard


The Saskatchewan Roughriders announced today that they have agreed to terms with non-import offensive linemen Brendon Labatte and Dominic Picard. Financial details of the signings were not released.

Labatte (6'4 – 304lbs) has spent the last four seasons with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers after being drafted by the team in the first round (6th overall) in the 2008 CFL Canadian Draft. He immediately earned a starting spot on the Bomber offensive line and was named the team's nominee for Rookie of the Year in 2008. In 2009 he earned his first all-star nod after being named to the East Division All-Star team and was the team's nominee for Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman after starting every game at left guard. For the second consecutive year Labatte earned the team nomination for Most Outstanding Lineman and an East Division All-Star nod in 2010. Last season, the 25-year-old started in all 18 regular season games, the East Division Final and Grey Cup game. His dominating play earned him his third consecutive East Division All-Star nomination and his first CFL All-Star recognition. After growing up in Weyburn, Labatte went on to play for the University of Regina Rams.
Picard (6'2 – 301 lbs) spent the last three seasons with the Toronto Argonauts after signing with the team as a free agent in 2009. Previous to making the move to the Argos, Picard spent three seasons with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers after being drafted by the team in the third round (23rd overall) in the 2006 CFL Canadian Draft. Over his time in the CFL, the 29-year-old has played in 85 regular season games, five playoff games and one Grey Cup. Before entering the CFL, Picard spent four seasons at Laval where he served as team captain and the starting centre for two Vanier Cup championship teams.

Pats win Three Straight

The Regina Pats kicked off their three game road trip with a huge win at the Medicine Hat arena over the Tigers. Some changes to the lineup as jack Rodewald was scratched in favor of Kyle Burroughs who played forward tonight. The Tigers were without Hunter Shynkaruk and Kale Kessy who were out with injuries.

The Pats got off to a great start when Matt Marantz scored unassisted a minute into the game. Regina played a very good road period with the only real Tiger scoring chances came on the power play but Matt Hewitt was on his game yet again. 1-0 after one the Pats led.

In the second the blue and white got their first power play chance and Martin Marincin scored on a shot from the point with assists to Weal and Marantz. 5 minutes later however the Tigers would draw within one as a shot from the point was tipped by Cox and in. It was 2-1 Pats after 2.

In the third the Tigers had their chances but Matt Hewitt and some solid defensive hockey kept them off the board. Emersen Etem had a number of chances but overall he was shut down pretty handily. Jordan Weal scored an empty net goal to seal the victory. Hewitt made 31 stops and has given up just 2 goals in the last 3 games.

Next action is Friday night in Lethbridge against the Hurricanes.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Pats Shut Out The Blades 1-0



The Regina Pats got off to a tough start in terms of  penalties as they were shorthanded tree times in the opening frame. However there penalty killing success continued as the Pats killed 2 and a half of those penalties to keep the score tied at zeroes after one. The Pats had some of the best chances on the PK with a 2 n 1 chance with Ouelette and Olstad. Tanner sent the puck just over the net and Andrey Makarov stopped all 8 Pats first period shots.

The second period saw much of the same with both teams showing their dislike for each other. The Pats killed the third Blade power play and then failed to score on one of their own. The parade to the penalty box continued but the Pats penalty kill rose to the occasion. The Blades had numerous chances to score, none better than Jake Trask who had a wide open cage but couldn’t get the shot away and Hewitt covered the puck. We were tied at zeros until the pats took heir fifth penalty of the game. The Blades turned the puck over down low and Jordan Weal skated from one end of the ice to the other and make an outstanding move around Darren Dietz and fired top shelf on Makarov for the 1-0 Pats lead. It was Weal’s 5th short handed goal of the season. The Pats were out shot 21-17 through two periods.

The pats played a good third period keeping the Blades to just 6 shots in the frame and Matt Hewitt got his fourth shut out of the season. The Blades had a beautiful chance to score late with the empty net but Hewitt made the initial save and the rebound was fired wide. The Pats played their best period in the third and got a huge two points to put some breathing room between themselves and the Wheat Kings and Rebels. Three stars on the night 1st Matt Hewitt, 2nd Marincin and 3rd Jordan Weal. The shots on goal after 60 minutes were 29-27.

Next action is in Medicine Hat on Wednesday, and then the team travels to Lethbridge for Friday and Kootenay on Saturday.

SEASON TICKETS SET TO GO ON SALE


On Tuesday February 14th, 2012 Saskatchewan Roughrider season tickets will go on sale to the general public.
Fans can purchase their 2012 season tickets by going online at www.riderville.com, calling 1-888-4-RIDERS (option 3) or by visiting the Ticket Office at Mosaic Stadium. The Riders recently wrapped up another successful renewal campaign.
“With our current inventory and the anticipation for Grey Cup 2013 we are urging fans to get their season tickets early to avoid disappointment,” stated Riders President/CEO Jim Hopson. “Once again, we may look at capping the amount of season tickets available so that we can ensure there are tickets available for game day sales and flex pack redemption.”
A limited amount of flex packs will also go on sale February 14th. The Saskatchewan Roughriders have reduced the price of flex packs for the 2012 season. A flex pack will now consist of ten end zone vouchers (two of which are valid for Labour Day) for a cost of $290.00. Flex pack holders will also have the opportunity to upgrade their seats anywhere in the stadium based upon availability.
Season tickets and flex packs will remain on sale until the limited quantities are sold. Flex pack redemption will begin on May 28th while single game tickets will be available for purchase beginning on June 1st.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Pats Snap 2 Game Slide

The Pats got a big bounce back effort last night in Swift Current with a 4-1 win over the Broncos. The Pats come out flying in the first much like the game before against Brandon. Regina scored the first goal on the power play on a sick pass from Marantz to Marincin who made no mistake. However the second period was a little bit of a different story. The Pats got into some penalty trouble. They did manage to kill a short 5 on 3 and the ensuing 5 on 4 but the Broncos Taylor Vause did get one on the PP and the game was tied at 1's after 2. I had the privilege of calling the third period last night and though it was a sloppy period of hockey the Pats exploded offensively. The power play caught fire as Land Scheidl scored 2 quick goals with the man advantage and then Lyndon Martell sealed it late in the period with the 4th goal.

Matt Hewitt got his second straight start and he played a solid game, the best I've see him in a couple weeks. He looked confident and made some good saves, especially in the second period. Jordan Weal snapped his pointless streak with 3 assists and as of today he's tied for the league lead with 89. Andrew Reider took what looked like a check from behind at the end of the first (there was no call) and he left the game. Hopefully he's back soon.

Talked with assistant coach Malcolm Cameron after the game and he said that while it wasn't their best game of hockey for the full 60 minutes they came away with 2 points. He said they will continue to work on playing like they did in the first or the full 60 minutes. Cameron said he was happy with the special teams that scored three times on the power play and killed all but one the Bronco's man advantages.

Huge win for the Pats with both the Wheat Kings and Rebels breathing down their necks. The Warriors managed to beat Red Deer last night and the Wheat kings were idle so the Pats restored their three point cushion on Brandon and 7 points on Red Deer.
Regina welcomes the Saskatoon Blades on a rare Monday night match up. Puck drops at 7 o'clock and Dan and I will have the call with pre game at 635 on 620 CKRM. It will be my first full game calling the action.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Thunder and Bayer Announce Partnership


The Regina Thunder Football Club is happy to announce a new partnership with Bayer Crop Science.  The football team has always put an added emphasis on developing players both on and off the field and this is another part of that goal.
The agreement includes three, one thousand dollar scholarships every year which will go to Thunder players from rural areas that meet the educational requirements.
Head Coach Erwin Klempner had this to say. “I think it’s outstanding for the community and local businesses to support these young men. Bayer Crop Science has really stepped up for our out of town players. Partnerships like these go a long way to helping our out of town players establish themselves in a new environment.”
Klempner also says that these types of scholarships help bring quality athletes to their program. “It’s a significant amount of money and our goal and aspirations as an organization are to work closely with more organizations like Bayer and help players better themselves in all occupations.”
Dianna Emperingham with Bayer Crop Science says they are happy to partner with the Regina Thunder. “Bayer Crop Science is committed to helping youth, particularly those interested in Agriculture by providing ongoing education opportunities. It is these youth that will sustain Agriculture into the future”.

Wes Cates Out


The Riders announced they have signed three import running backs today and that Wes Cates will not be back next season. In a news conference today General Manager Brenden Taman said that they have informed Cates he will not be in camp next season. He also said that Brandon West will be the number one guy coming in simply because he has been here longer but that these three signings today of Kory Sheets, Louis Rankin and Demetrius Crawford will give him some very good competition. He said that age, performance and salary were reasons for Cates' release but Taman was quick to say that he is still a good player and could get an opportunity somewhere else. Tough times for an import running back however as the Riders are the only Western team with a featured American at the position. Guys like Coburne and Reynolds are also out of a job so who knows.

Taman also said that O lineman Marc Parenteau has also been released and will not be back next year. He said that the O line has taken the brunt of the 5 and 13 season.

Here's a list of todays moves.

The Saskatchewan Roughriders announced today that they have released non-import offensive lineman Marc Parenteau and import receiver James Robinson from the roster.

February 10th Transactions:
ADD    Import             RB       Demetrius Crawford
ADD    Import             RB       Louis Rankin
ADD    Import             RB       Kory Sheets
DEL     Import             WR      James Robinson
DEL     Non-Import    OL       Marc Parenteau

Here's the Audio from today's news conference.

Brenden Taman

RIDERS ADD THREE RUNNING BACKS



The Saskatchewan Roughriders announced today that they have signed a trio of import running backs to the roster – Kory Sheets, Louis Rankin and Demetrius Crawford. Financial details of the signings were not released.

Sheets (5’11 – 206 lbs) comes to the Green and White after spending last season on the Carolina Panthers practice roster. After going undrafted in 2009, the Purdue product was immediately signed by the San Francisco 49ers before the Miaimi Dolphins signed him off the 49ers practice roster. He went on to play in two games for the Dolphins in 2009 where he had one carry for five yards. In 2010 the 26-year-old tore his Achilles in training camp for the Dolphins and missed the season. After being waived by Miami in August of last year, Sheets was signed by the Panthers. In his time at Purdue he finished his career as second on the school's record lists with 664 rushing attempts for 3,341 yards, 4,944 all-purpose yards and 324 points scored. He also established Purdue career marks with 48 rushing touchdowns and 54 overall scores.

Rankin (6’1 – 216 lbs) has spent the last three seasons in the NFL after going as undrafted free agent in 2008. After originally signing with the Oakland Raiders that year he went on to play in two games for the team in 2009 before being picked up by the Seattle Seahawks where he played in an additional seven games. In those nine games the Washington product had eight carries for 36 yards, five receptions for 33 yards and 22 kick returns for 466 yards. In January, 2011 he signed back with the Raiders. During his time at Washington he finished his college career playing in 40 games – had 488 carries for 2,480 yards and 11 touchdowns, 39 catches for 255 yards and two touchdowns, 51 kick returns for 1,206 yards and one touchdown.

Crawford (5’8 – 195 lbs) has spent the last few seasons playing in the IFL for the Tri-Cities Fever. After transferring from Sacramento City College, Crawford played two seasons for Montana State, the 25-year-old tallied 427 carries for 2,182 yards and 13 touchdowns, 53 receptions for 386 yards and two touchdowns in 23 games played. He was also earned First Team All-Big Sky honours.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Pats Fall 3-2.....again


It seems the Pats have fallen into a trend of playing in games that end 3-2. Last night the Pats got off to a great start, scoring 35 seconds in off the skate of Mark Stone, Lane Scheidl was credited with the goal but it was more of an own goal. Then on the 5 on 3 power play Brandon Davidson scored from the point for the 2-0 lead after one period. In the second the Wheat Kings played much better and put some serious pressure on the Pats, especially late in the frame but the only managed one goal. It was Michael Ferland who broke up the left hand side up against a forward in Dryden Hunt who tried to go off the boards with the puck but Ferland Knocked it down. He skated in on Hewitt who made the initial save but the rebound went right to the stick of Ferland who finished on the wraparound. After all that Wheat King pressure the Pats took a 2-1 lead into the third period, prior to last night the Pats had lost just once when leading after 2 and the Wheat Kings had won only twice when trailing. The Pats played a good period up until the 12 minute mark when Kevin Sundher broke down the right hand side up against a forward again in Trent Ouellette who looked like he lost his footing a bit and Sundher was able to cut through the middle and shoot along the ice past Hewitt for the tieing goal. About 3 minutes later on a faceoff in the Pats zone, mark stone won it forward and made a nice pass across to Michael Ferland who buried in the open net for his second of the night and the 3-2 lead. That was the final even though the Pats had some good chances late to tie but Corbin Boes played well making some big stops late in the game. The Pats have skated to 3-2 finals in 6 of their last 9 games winning just one.

Overall the Pats played a good game of hockey, just like they did on Saturday against Lethbridge. Its unfortunate that they come away with nothing in both games even though they played well enough to win both nights. I though that the Pats did a good job on the fore check, pressuring the Brandon defensemen who seemed to turn the puck over quite a lot, especially in the first period. Kyle Burroughs played an outstanding game on defense after he hadn't played that position in nearly a month. He made an impact early with a number of big hits and a fight in the first period. Matt Hewitt played much better than he had in recent weeks though he would probably like to have that second goal back.

Plaster and I had Josh Dixon on the post game show here's what he had to say. "We have to stay positive, we have to keep moving forward and improve upon some areas where we were exploited tonight, twice we had forwards covering for our defensemen coming back......its important we keep building on what were doing and obviously going down the stretch its not time to be throwing everything out the window, we are doing things well its just a matter of small little break downs right now that are unfortunately costing us."

Kyle Burroughs said after the game that its a tough loss to take. "Were disappointed as a team, we need to be better in the 60 minutes. We pride ourselves in playing a 60 minute game and working hard and I think right now we need to just get back to that and we will be happy with that."

The Pats will play the Wheat Kings 5 more times before the end of the season, all of those coming in the last 10 games. Regina will look to rebound Saturday in Swift against the Broncos, Dan Plaster and I will have the call starting at 6:35 on 620 CKRM.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Pats fall 3-2 to the Canes

An awesome night in Regina as Rick Hansen was in the building as apart of the 25th anniversary of the Man In Motion Tour. I had a chance to meet him for the second time and all I can say is what a class act and a hero. The 5 thousand plus fans at the game gave him a great ovation in the pregame ceremony where a number of people were honored. Great night to be apart of.

What a baffling game last night at the Brandt Centre. The Pats totally outplayed the Hurricanes for the entire night but came up short in the end. The pats fired 47 shots at Lethbridge goaltender Damien Ketlo, the former Regina Pat but only managed 2 goals as Ketlo was outstanding in his return to Regina. The Hurricanes on the other hand only managed 13 shots on net but 3 of them went in past the rookie Adam Buekeboom who was coming off his first shutout the night before in Swift Current. By no means will I blame the loss on him even though his save percentage took quite the hit. The only goal I thought he should have had was the third one that really put this one to bed even though the Pats did manage the late push.

I was more than surprised by Head Coach Pat Conachers comments after the game. After Dan Plaster and I had discussed how well we thought the Pats had played and how it was just a story of a goaltender stealing 2 points, Conacher felt quite the opposite. He said his club didn't have the urgency they needed to get the win. He talked about how they need each player to bring what they bring every night and that it didn't happen in the game. Quote "We had a lot of passengers in this one." Pat said that the shot clock is a deceiving stat in this game and that while he wasn't taking anything away from Ketlo, his team didn't out enough pressure on him. Conacher said that though they did fire a lot of pucks his way there weren't many second chance shots and not enough guys going to the net. Very interesting to hear after what looked like a good effort from the blue and white.

After spending last night and this morning pondering his words I have started to understand at least some of what he was saying. The other parts I will chalk up to the fact that he's the coach and knows this game a million times better than I do. Yes the Pats did get a lot of shots but like Pats said many of them were easy saves and at times with no one on the doorstep looking for the rebound. Another thing I see now is that the same urgency wasn't there like when the Warriors are in town. To be expected in my mind as its harder to get up as high for teams like Lethbridge but at the same time I thought they played an outstanding hockey game.

It came down to a couple mistakes, a 2 on 1, a too many men penalty and some sloppy defense for 30 seconds in the third.

The Pats had their opportunities, 3 powerplay chances and a goal post. (Dan and I both thought that one was in for sure).

In the end Ketlo was the difference, he stole 2 points from the Pats last night. Now its a couple days off before the Brandon Wheat Kings come to town on Wiener Wednesday at the Brandt Centre. Plaster and I will have the pregame at 635 with puck drop at 7 o'clock.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Weal WHL Player Of The Month

Jordan Weal Named WHL Player of the Month
 



Courtesy of the WHL               

C

ALGARY, AB. – The Western Hockey League announced today that forward Jordan Weal,of the Regina Pats, has been named the HUSKY WHL Player of the Month for January.The 19 year-old forward led all WHL scorers collected 25 points through the month of January finding the net nine times and accumulating 16 assists to go along with a +4 rating. 

Weal picked up points in all 12 games played, had seven multi-point nights and gathered goals in eight games.  Some highlights include five point games against Prince Albert on January 4 and Victoria on January 13. 

Weal currently sits second among all WHL scorers with 83 points (30 goals, 53 assists) in 51 games played.  His consistent play helped the Regina Pats to a 6-4-2-0 record in the month of January and currently sit 7th in the WHL Eastern Conference with a 26-20-5-1 overall record for 58 points. 

Weal's efforts have also earned him a Three Star selection six times in January, with two being 1st Stars. The North Vancouver, BC product is playing in his fourth full WHL season with the Pats who selected Weal in the 4th round of the 2007 WHL Draft. 

The Los Angeles Kings made the dynamic forward their 3rd round selection in the 2010 NHL Draft.  This is Weal's first WHL Player of the Month Award; the last Regina Pat to earn the monthly honor was Jordan Eberle in October 2010. His accomplishments make Jordan Weal a deserving choice as the HUSKY WHL Player of the Month for January. 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Riders Add Farthing to Staff

The Riders held a news conference to talk about their newest coordinator. Former Receiver Dan Farthing is the teams strength and conditioning coordinator. Here is the audio from both Dan Farthing and Jeremy O'Day from this afternoon.

Riders Add Farthing to Staff

RIDERS WELCOME DAN FARTHING TO SUPPORT STAFF



The Saskatchewan Roughriders are pleased to announce that they have formalized its relationship with Dan Farthing who has been named the team’s Strength and Conditioning Coordinator.

“We are excited to have Dan officially back with the Riders,” stated Assistant General Manager Jeremy O’Day. “Dan will be a huge asset in this increased role with the team and we believe his contributions will be reflected through on-field success.”

Farthing, who is currently the Director of Sport Performance Training at Level 10 Fitness, has worked with the Rider players over the past numerous seasons through training sessions. This new partnership will ensure Rider players now have access to better designed facilities, consultative services in both training and nutrition as well as regularly scheduled supervised workouts.

“I am very excited about this new initiative, mostly for the players,” said Farthing. “Had this level of support been available during my career, I know that I would have placed a huge value on it and seen it as a tremendous benefit that would give me the best opportunity to be the best player I could possibly be.”

As a former player with the Riders, Farthing currently sits 3rd in all-time receptions and 9th in all-time receiving yardage and is a recent inductee into the Saskatchewan Roughrider Plaza of Honor. In addition to his experience as a professional player, Farthing brings his academic expertise as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist with the National Strength and Conditioning Association, a Certified Exercise Physiologist with The Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology, a Consultant for the Canadian Sport Centre and the Sport Medicine and Science Council of Saskatchewan, a Master of Kinesiology (U of R ’96) and the University of Saskatchewan’s Most Distinguished Graduate (1992). Farthing and his team of Sport Performance Training Specialists, Sport Nutritionists and Yoga Instructors from Level 10 Fitness are very excited to be part of the Roughrider Team.