Friday, April 29, 2016

WHL Championship Series, Brandon vs Seattle

KENT, April 29, 2016 - The Seattle Thunderbirds will play the Brandon Wheat Kings in the best-of-seven WHL Championship series. 
The Wheat Kings defeated the Red Deer Rebels 5-2 in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Championship Friday night in Brandon to win their best-of-seven series 4-1. 
Game 1 of the WHL Championship is Friday, May 6, at 6pm in Brandon.
The T-Birds will host Games 3, 4 and 5 of the WHL Championship. Game 3 is Tuesday, May 10, at 7:05pm at ShoWare Center. Game 3 will be a Directors Mortgage 2-for-Tuesday game that will feature two-for-one tickets in all price levels and $2 concession specials on beer, hot dogs, popcorn and soda.
Game 4 of the WHL Championship will be a White Out Wednesday game on May 11. The first 5,000 fans at Game 4 will receive a special, limited edition FREE T-Birds white t-shirt. The puck drops at 7:05pm at ShoWare Center for Game 4.
Single game playoff tickets for the WHL Championship against Brandon will go on sale at noon on Tuesday, May 3, on the T-Birds website and at the ShoWare Center box office. The ShoWare Center box office is open Monday through Friday 10 am to 5 pm.
The T-Birds have a Group Ticket Special for fans that want to purchase tickets to the WHL Championship. Fans that purchase 10 tickets to Game 4 for $220 will also receive 2 additional FREE tickets to Game 4. Fans can purchase this playoff Group Ticket Special for Game 4 online or by calling the T-Birds at 253-239-PUCK (7825). 
WHL Championship Schedule
Game 1 Friday, May 6 at Brandon, 6pm 
Game 2 Saturday, May 7 at Brandon, 5:30pm
Game 3 Tuesday, May 10 at Seattle, 7:05pm
Game 4 Wednesday, May 11 at Seattle, 7:05pm
Game 5 Friday, May 13 at Seattle, 7:35pm*
Game 6 Sunday, May 15 at Brandon, 5pm*^
Game 7 Monday, May 16 at Brandon, 5pm*
* if necessary
^ time subject to change (all times local)
The T-Birds advanced to the WHL Championship with a 4-0 sweep of the Kelowna Rockets in the Western Conference Championship. The T-Birds swept the Prince George Cougars 4-0 in Round 1 of the WHL Playoffs followed by a 4-1 series win over the Everett Silvertips in Round 2.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Number 4-8 in WHL Top 50 of All-Time Announced

Calgary, AB - As part of the Western Hockey League’s 50th Season celebrations, a panel of historians selected the top 125 players in WHL history this past September. From this list, WHL fans voted at to select the Top 50 WHL Players of All-Time. This week, the fan and panel voting results revealed the following placements:

#8 – Mike Modano (Prince Albert Raiders)

#7 – Jarome Iginla (Kamloops Blazers)

#6 – Lanny McDonald (Medicine Hat Tigers)

#5 – Scott Niedermayer (Kamloops Blazers)

#4 – Bryan Trottier (Swift Current/Lethbridge Broncos)

The Top 50 WHL Players of All-Time countdown will conclude next Wednesday, at the 2016 WHL Awards in Calgary, as the top-three are announced.

#8 Mike Modano (Prince Albert Raiders, 1986-89)

One of the greatest American-born hockey players in history, Modano spent three seasons with the Prince Albert Raiders from 1986 to 1989. As a 16-year-old rookie, Modano found the back of the net 32 times and had 62 points in 70 games. The following campaign, Modano broke through to finish 10th in League scoring with 127 points (47g-80a) in 65 games. In 1988-89, Modano was named to the WHL Eastern Conference First All-Star Team after notching a team-leading 105 points (39g-66a) in just 41 games. Modano also represented his country at the 1988 and 1989 IIHF World Junior Championships.

At the end of his WHL career, Modano had compiled 294 points (118g-176a) in 176 regular season games and 23 postseason points (8g-15a) in 17 contests. After the Minnesota North Stars selected Modano first overall in the 1988 NHL Draft, he played the majority of his 21-year NHL career with the Minnesota North Stars/Dallas Stars organization. Modano became the second American-born player to be picked first overall in the NHL Draft and he is also one of only eight WHL players to achieve that honour.

The product of Livonia, MI hoisted the Stanley Cup in 1999 with the Dallas Stars. After retiring in 2011, Modano is the highest scoring American-born player in NHL history with 1374 regular season points (561g-813a) in 1499 games. He also amassed 146 points (58g-88a) in 176 playoff outings. His international resume with the United States includes a gold medal at the 1996 World Cup of Hockey and silver medals at the 2002 Olympics and 1991 Canada Cup. For all his accomplishments throughout his distinguished hockey career, Modano was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame as part of the 2014 class. In addition, his jersey has been retired by the Prince Albert Raiders and Dallas Stars.

#7 Jarome Iginla (Kamloops Blazers, 1993-96)

The St. Albert, AB native played three seasons for the Kamloops Blazers from 1993 to 1996. During his first two seasons with the Blazers, the Club claimed back-to-back WHL and Memorial Cup titles. Iginla received the George Parsons Trophy for being the most sportsmanlike player in the 1995 Memorial Cup tournament.  In his last season in junior hockey, Iginla tallied 136 points (63g-73a) in 63 regular season games to earn the Four Broncos Memorial Trophy as the WHL’s Player of the Year. In addition, Iginla was selected as a CHL First Team All-Star and a WHL Western Conference First Team All-Star that year. The Blazers were unable to defend the WHL crown in 1996, but Iginla won a gold medal for Team Canada at the 1996 IIHF World Junior Championship.

In his WHL career, Iginla amassed 236 points (102g-134a) in 183 career regular season games and was also a point-per-game player in the postseason with 56 points (26g-30a) in 56 games. After going undrafted in the WHL Bantam Draft, Iginla made the most of his opportunity with the Blazers and was ultimately selected in the first round, 11th overall, by the Dallas Stars in the 1995 NHL draft.

Iginla is currently in his 19th season in the NHL with the Colorado Avalanche. The majority of Iginla’s NHL career was spent with the Calgary Flames. The 38-year-old forward has collected over 600 goals and 1200 regular season points so far in his NHL career. In 2001-02, Iginla had a magnificent season as he won his first of two Maurice Richard Trophies for leading the NHL in goals, the Art Ross Trophy for the leading the NHL in points and the Lester B. Pearson Award as the NHL’s most valuable player as selected by the National Hockey League Players’ Association. The long-time captain of the Flames was also recognized for his leadership abilities on the ice as well as his contributions in the community, receiving the King Clancy Memorial Trophy in 2003-04 and the Mark Messier Leadership Award in 2008-09.

Iginla has also had a brilliant international career with gold medals for Team Canada at the 2002 and 2010 Olympics, the 1997 IIHF World Championship and the 2004 World Cup of Hockey. In the fall of 2007, Iginla became a part-owner of the Kamloops Blazers along with Tom Gaglardi and a group of other Blazers Alumni.

#6 Lanny McDonald (Medicine Hat Tigers, 1971-73)

McDonald was a member of the Medicine Hat Tigers for two seasons from 1971 to 1973. In his first year with the Tigers, McDonald tallied 114 points (50g-64a) in 68 games to place eighth in League scoring. The following campaign, McDonald ranked third in the scoring race with 139 points (62g-77a) in 68 regular season games and was named to the WCHL First All-Star Team. The Tigers hoisted the WCHL Championship Trophy that season with McDonald potting a League-best 18 goals in the playoffs while his 37 points were second only to his linemate Tom Lysiak.

Over his WHL career with the Tigers and a brief six-game stint with the Calgary Centennials in 1970-71, McDonald collected 255 points (112g-143a) in 142 regular season games. He also recorded 41 points (20g-21a) in 24 postseason contests. The Toronto Maple Leafs selected McDonald fourth overall in the 1973 NHL Draft while Lysiak was drafted two spots earlier.

McDonald played 16 seasons in the NHL with the Maple Leafs, Colorado Rockies and Calgary Flames. After winning the Stanley Cup with the Flames in 1989, McDonald hung up his skates. In 1987-88, McDonald was the inaugural recipient of the King Clancy Memorial Trophy which recognizes leadership abilities on and off the ice as well as contributions in the community. He was also awarded the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy in 1982-83 for perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.

McDonald reached two important milestones over his NHL career as he accumulated 500 goals and 1006 points in 1111 regular season games. It was an impressive feat as McDonald became the first WHL graduate to hit the 500-goal plateau in the NHL. In addition, he netted 84 playoff points (44g-40a) in 117 contests. The Hanna, AB product also captured the 1976 Canada Cup with Team Canada. For all his accomplishments throughout his decorated hockey career, McDonald was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame as part of the 1992 class. McDonald is also the lone Medicine Hat Tiger to have his jersey retired.

#5 Scott Niedermayer (Kamloops Blazers, 1989-92)

Niedermayer spent three seasons with the Kamloops Blazers from 1989 to 1992. Already making an impact as a 16-year-old rookie, Niedermayer put together over a point-per-game campaign from the backend with 69 points in 64 regular season games. Niedermayer then notched 16 points in the 1990 WHL Playoffs to help Kamloops win the League title. The Cranbrook, BC native was recognized for his work off the ice the following year as he was the recipient of the Canadian Hockey League and WHL Scholastic Player of the Year Award in 1990-91 after an 82-point campaign. During that season, Niedermayer also won a gold medal for Team Canada at the 1991 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Niedermayer finished off his WHL career by winning his second WHL title and capturing the first Memorial Cup in the Blazers’ franchise history in 1992. The defenceman capped off an outstanding Memorial Cup tournament by assisting on the game-winning goal by Zac Boyer with only 14.6 seconds left in the championship game. Subsequently, Niedermayer was awarded the Stafford Smythe Memorial Trophy as the most valuable player in the tournament. In addition, Niedermayer was named a Memorial Cup All-Star and a CHL First Team All-Star that season as well as a WHL Western Conference First Team All-Star for the second year in a row.

At the conclusion of his WHL career, Niedermayer had accumulated 190 points (47g-143a) in 156 career regular season games and 39 points (11g-28a) in 34 playoff contests. Following his success in Kamloops, Niedermayer was selected third overall in the 1991 NHL Draft by the New Jersey Devils.

His NHL career lasted 17 years including 12 seasons with the Devils before ending with the Anaheim Ducks. When Niedermayer retired in 2010, he had registered 740 points (172g-574) in 1263 regular season games and recorded 98 points (25g-73a) in 202 playoff contests. Over his illustrious career, Niedermayer raised the Stanley Cup a total of four times including three with the Devils (1995, 2000 and 2003). In his 2007 Stanley Cup victory with the Ducks, Niedermayer was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the MVP of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Niedermayer also collected a James Norris Memorial Trophy as the NHL’s best defenceman in 2003-04.

Niedermayer is a member of the elite Triple Gold Club. In addition to winning the Stanley Cup, Niedermayer won two Olympic gold medals in 2002 and 2010 as well as a World Championship gold medal in 2004 with Team Canada. For all his accomplishments in his distinguished hockey career, Niedermayer was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame as part of the 2013 class. In addition, his jersey has been retired by the Kamloops Blazers and New Jersey Devils.

#4 Bryan Trottier (Swift Current/Lethbridge Broncos, 1972-75)

Trottier played in the WCHL for three seasons from 1972 to 1975. The first two campaigns were spent in Swift Current before the Broncos organization relocated to Lethbridge during his final year in junior hockey. As a sophomore, Trottier had a breakout campaign and finished 11th in League scoring with 112 points (41g-71a) in 68 games. In 1974-75, Trottier improved on his point totals and was named the WCHL’s Most Valuable Player. The WCHL First Team All-Star was a runner-up in the scoring race that season as he notched 144 points, including a WCHL-best 98 assists, in 67 games. Trottier was also a member of the WCHL All-Star Team that earned a silver medal for Canada at the 1975 World Junior Tournament.

Throughout his WCHL career, Trottier registered 301 points (103g-198a) in 202 regular season games and 22 points (9g-13a) in 19 postseason outings. A second round pick of the New York Islanders in the 1974 NHL Draft, Trottier made an immediate impact as a 19-year-old in the NHL, earning the Calder Memorial Trophy as the NHL’s Rookie of the Year in 1975-76.

In 1978-79, Trottier had a spectacular season as he received the Hart Memorial Trophy as the NHL’s Most Valuable Player and the Art Ross Trophy for leading the NHL in points during the regular season. A six-time Stanley Cup Champion, Trottier was an integral member of the Islanders dynasty that won four consecutive Stanley Cups from 1980 to 1983 before winning back-to-back Stanley Cups with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1991 and 1992. During the Islanders’ first Stanley Cup victory in 1980, Trottier led the way in the playoffs to earn the Conn Smythe Trophy. His trophy case also includes the 1988-89 King Clancy Memorial Trophy which recognized his leadership abilities on and off the ice, as well as his contributions in the community.

At the end of his 18-year NHL career, Trottier had recorded 1425 points (524g-901a) in 1279 regular season games which sits 16th all-time in NHL scoring. His 184 playoff points (71g-113a) in 221 contests are ranked 11th all-time. The native of Val Marie, SK also won a silver medal for Team Canada at the 1981 Canada Cup. For all his accomplishments throughout his illustrious hockey career, Trottier was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame as part of the 1997 class. Recently, Trottier was inducted into the Canada Sports Hall of Fame.

WHL Top 50 Players of All-Time (as of April 28th)
#4 - Bryan Trottier (Swift Current/Lethbridge Broncos, 1972-75)
#5 - Scott Niedermayer (Kamloops Blazers, 1989-92)
#6 - Lanny McDonald (Medicine Hat Tigers, 1971-73)
#7 - Jarome Iginla (Kamloops Blazers, 1993-96)
#8 - Mike Modano (Prince Albert Raiders, 1986-89)
#9 - Grant Fuhr (Victoria Cougars, 1979-81)
#10 - Cam Neely (Portland Winter Hawks, 1982-84)
#11 - Ray Ferraro (Portland Winter Hawks and Brandon Wheat Kings, 1982-84)
#12 - Bernie Federko (Saskatoon Blades, 1973-76)
#13 - Shea Weber (Kelowna Rockets, 2002-05)
#14 - Brian Propp (Brandon Wheat Kings, 1976-79)
#15 - Wendel Clark (Saskatoon Blades, 1983-85)
#16 - Jordan Eberle (Regina Pats, 2006-10)
#17 - Theoren Fleury (Moose Jaw Warriors, 1984-88)
#18 - Bill Derlago (Brandon Wheat Kings, 1974-78)
#19 - Dale Derkatch (Regina Pats, 1981-85)
#20 - Trevor Linden (Medicine Hat Tigers, 1986-88)
#21 - Rob Brown (Kamloops Junior Oilers/Blazers, 1983-87)
#22 - Brad McCrimmon (Brandon Wheat Kings, 1976-79)
#23 - Mark Recchi (New Westminster Bruins and Kamloops Blazers, 1985-88)
#24 - Clark Gillies (Regina Pats, 1971-74)
#25 - Ryan Getzlaf (Calgary Hitmen, 2001-05)
#26 - Barry Beck (New Westminster Bruins, 1974-77)
#27 - Dan Hodgson (Prince Albert Raiders, 1982-85)
#28 - Ray Allison (Brandon Wheat Kings, 1975-79)
#29 - Reggie Leach (Flin Flon Bombers, 1967-70)
#30 - Doug Wickenheiser (Regina Pats, 1977-80)
#31 - Mike Vernon (Calgary Wranglers, 1980-83)
#32 - Dennis Sobchuk (Regina Pats, 1971-74)
#33 - Jamie Benn (Kelowna Rockets, 2007-09)
#34 - Patrick Marleau (Seattle Thunderbirds, 1995-97)
#35 - Ron Chipperfield (Brandon Wheat Kings, 1970-74)
#36 - Brendan Gallagher (Vancouver Giants, 2008-12)
#37 - Shane Doan (Kamloops Blazers, 1992-95)
#38 - Brad Moran (Calgary Hitmen, 1995-2000)
#39 - Tom Lysiak (Medicine Hat Tigers, 1970-73)
#40 - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (Red Deer Rebels, 2009-11)
#41 - Marian Hossa (Portland Winter Hawks, 1997-98)
#42 - John Davidson (Calgary Centennials, 1971-73)
#43 - Sam Reinhart (Kootenay ICE, 2011-15)
#44 - Brent Sutter (Lethbridge Broncos, 1980-82)
#45 - Pavel Brendl (Calgary Hitmen, 1998-2001)
#46 - Cliff Ronning (New Westminster Bruins, 1983-85)
#47 - Duncan Keith (Kelowna Rockets, 2002-03)
#48 - Darcy Tucker (Kamloops Blazers, 1991-95)
#49 - Ray Whitney (Spokane Chiefs, 1988-91)
#50 - Stu Barnes (New Westminster Bruins and Tri-City Americans, 1987-90)

Seattle wins Western Conference Champonship

KENT, April 27, 2016 - The Seattle Thunderbirds won the Western Conference Championship Wednesday night at ShoWare Center with a 5-4 double overtime victory over the Kelowna Rockets.
The T-Birds swept the best-of-seven Western Conference Championship series against the Rockets 4-0. 
Matthew Wedman scored the game-winning goal at 7:52 of the second overtime. Ryan Gropp had the puck along the left boards and fed Wedman in the neutral zone. Wedman beat a Kelowna defender wide on the left, cut through the low slot left to right, and tucked the puck past Kelowna goalie Michael Herringer's outstretched left pad. Jared Hauf had the second assist on Wedman's first goal of the playoffs.
The T-Birds will now play either the Brandon Wheat Kings or the Red Deer Rebels in the WHL Championship. The Wheat Kings lead the Rebels 3-1 in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference Championship. Game 5 of that series is Friday in Brandon. Single game tickets for the WHL Championship will go on sale once an opponent has been determined. 
The T-Birds came back from two goals down with 1:15 left in the third period to tie the game 4-4 and force overtime. 
The T-Birds pulled goalie Landon Bow with over two minutes left in the game and were able to capitalize twice. 
Ethan Bear beat Herringer with a wrist shot with 1:15 left in the third to cut the Rockets lead to one goal. Jerret Smith passed the puck to Bear who took his shot with traffic in front of the goalie. Mathew Barzal had the second assist on the goal. 
The T-Birds tied the game 4-4 with 2.7 seconds left in the game. Bear took a slap shot that Herringer stopped. But the puck came off the goalie just to his left and Keegan Kolesar, standing on top of the crease, swept the puck into the net. 
Herringer had an epic performance in net for the Rockets making 70 saves in the game. Herringer faced 16 shots in the first period, 17 shots in the second period, 13 shots in the third period, 21 shots in the first overtime and nine shots in the second overtime.
Kelowna scored two goals 25 seconds apart in the first period to take a 2-0 lead. Rodney Southam scored at 13:50 on a wrist shot from the right circle. Tyson Baillie snuck a wrist shot through Seattle goalie Landon Bow's leg at 14:15 of the opening period. 
Seattle outshot Kelowna 16-8 in the first period. 
Seattle cut the Rockets lead to one goal 46 seconds into the second period. Scott Eansor had the puck in the left corner. Eansor spotted Ryan Gropp coming off the bench and into the slot and hit him with a pass. Gropp beat Herringer low for his third goal of the playoffs. 
The Rockets took the two-goal lead back at 4:59 of the second on a goal from Justin Kirkland. Lucas Johansen had the only assist on the goal. 
Bear put the T-Birds back within one goal at 15:08 of the second. Kolesar won the puck on the right boards to Mathew Barzal who carried the puck behind the Kelowna net. Barzal centered the puck to Bear in the slot. Bear beat Herringer with a hard wrist shot for his fifth goal of the playoffs. 
With the assist Barzal is now the franchise leader in playoff assists and points passing former Patrick Marleau. In 28 career playoff games Barzal has 10 goals and 21 assists for 31 points. The 21 assists and 31 points are one ahead of Marleau in each category.
The T-Birds outshot the Rockets 17-9 in the second period and led 33-17 in shots after two periods. 
Kirkland put the Rockets back up by two goals with a power-play goal with 6:10 left in the third period. Baillie and Calvin Thurkauf had the assists. 
The T-Birds two goals with 1:15 came after they killed off a goaltender interference penalty. 
Seattle outshot Kelowna 13-9 in the third period and 46-26 after 60 minutes.
In the first overtime the Rockets had three power plays and the T-Birds had two power plays. Neither team was able to convert. The T-Birds outshot the Rockets 21-5 in overtime. 
The T-Birds outshot the Rockets 9-1 in the second overtime and 75-32 in the game. 
Bow made 28 saves on 32 shots to get the win. His playoff record is now 12-1. 
WHL Western Conference Championship
Game 1 Seattle 2, at Kelowna 1
Game 2 Seattle 3, at Kelowna 2
Game 3 At Seattle 3, Kelowna 1 
Game 4 At Seattle 5, Kelowna 4, 2 OT
First period - 1, Kelowna, Southam 5 (Linaker, Foote), 13:50. 2, Kelowna, Baillie 7 (Dube) 14:15Penalties - Southam, Kel (high-sticking), 3:14. Neuls, Sea (high-sticking), 6:58.
Second period - 3, Seattle, Gropp 3 (Eansor), :46. 4, Kelowna, Kirkland 10 (Johansen), 4:59. 5, Seattle, Bear 5 (Barzal, Kolesar), 15:08Penalties - Chizen, Kel (roughing), 2:23. Uhrich, Sea (high-sticking), 7:00. True, Sea (goaltender interference), 19:55. Stephens, Kel (roughing), 19:55
Third period - 6, Kelowna, Kirkland 11 (Baillie, Thurkauf), 13:50 (pp). 7, Seattle, Bear 6 (Smith, Barzal), 18:45. 8, Seattle, Kolesar 6 (Bear, Barzal), 19:57Penalties - Holowko, Sea (goaltender interference), 12:35.
First Overtime - No scoring. Penalties - Southam, Kel (tripping), 1:02. Bench, Sea (too many men-served by Holowko), 3:37. Southam, Kel (high-sticking), 5:05. Eansor, Sea (slashing), 5:12. Bench, Sea (too many men-served by Holowko), 16:55.
Second Overtime - 9, Seattle, Wedman 1 (Gropp, Hauf), 7:52Penalties - Schumacher, Sea (high-sticking), 5:16.
Shots on goal - Seattle 16-17-13-21-9 75, Kelowna 8-9-9-5-1 32. Goalies - Seattle, Bow 32 shots-28 saves (12-1); Kelowna, Herringer 75-70 (8-10). Power plays - Seattle 0-4; Kelowna 1-7. A - 3,751. Referees - Jeff Ingram, Derek Zalaski. Linesmen - Bevan Mills, Nathan Van Oosten.

Courtesy Ian Henry
Thunderbirds PR 

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Regina Thunder announce 2016 Spring Training Camp

The Regina Thunder Football Club will continue their 2016 roster selection by hosting their annual Spring Camp April 29th to May 1st presented by Leak Technologies.

Spring Camp is an invite only camp and one of the final stages of the selection process for our 2016 roster. The Regina Thunder have hosted three off season indoor workouts in Moose Jaw since January to identify participants as well as one out door session at Mosaic Stadium. Spring Camp will host approximately 130 players from throughout the province.

Schedule for the Spring Camp is as follows. All events take place at Mosaic Stadium. The team will be on the field at Mosaic Stadium during the following times:

Friday, April 29th7:30pm – 9:30pm (General Practice)

 Saturday, April 30th 10:30am – 12:30pm (General Practice)
 3:30pm – 5:30pm (General Practice)

Sunday, May 1st 9:30am – 11:00 am (General Practice)
2:00pm – 4:00pm (Warm Up and Scrimmage)

The Regina Thunder go into the 2016 season looking to get back on top of the PFC (Prairie Football Conference) and Canadian Junior Football League (CJFL) where they were the Canadian Champions in 2013. The 2016 Regular Season starts at home Saturday August 14th vs the Edmonton Huskies.

Please see attached “Players to Watch” spotlight on a select few of this year’s new recruits and guest coaches.


#49 - Carter Stusek – DL (End), 6’0” 210lbs, Campbell Colligate, Regina SK 
Carter hasn’t been a Defensive Lineman all that long, but by watching him play you’d think he has spent most of his career there. In fact, he has spent most of his time on the offensive side of the ball as a slot receiver. Carter’s dedication to the weight room has eased the transition to a new position. He has been a member of both U16 and U18 Team Sask. What has impressed the coaches the most is his consistency, ability to set the edge in the run game and effort in backside pursuit.

#52 - Tajay Morgan – DL (End), 6’0” 190lbs, Winston Knoll Collegiate, Regina SK  
Taj is an explosive athlete with a natural ability to rush the passer. He has proven to be handful for our veteran offensive lineman. He may have flown under the radar for much of his high school career but we expect big things from this young man in the coming years. The ceiling is high for this player. Expect Taj to make an immediate impact on special teams. 

#46 - Tristan Moreau – DL (Inside), 6’2”, 310lbs, St Mary High School, Prince Albert SK
Tristan is your prototypical zero technique, demanding a double team in most situations. With his size, power and quickness off the football Tristan should cause opposing teams’ players and coaches many sleepless nights. He has participated for the U18 Team Sask. Tristan’s size and motor should bolster a typically undersized Thunder defensive line.   

#38 - Davin Williamson – LB, 5’9”, 220lbs, Winston Knoll Wolverines, Regina SK
Davin played for the Winston Knoll Wolverines. Is one of the top Linebackers in the province this year. Has relentless work ethic as well as pursuit and drive. Has played Team Sask U18 for the past two years. Won Defensive player of the game last year in the Bronze Medal game. Is a "THUMPER" when it comes to the linebacker position.

#41 - Tanner Pederson – LB, 6’1”, 217, Prince Albert Carlton Crusaders, Prince Albert SK
Tanner Pederson - Tanner played for Prince Albert's Carlton Crusaders. In 2015 won Special Teams player of the year. Has played Team Sask U18 and has been a contributor. Is a true "SURGEON" at the position dissecting and diagnosing what is happening in front of him.

#25 - Tyson Haubrich - DB, 5’11, 160lbs, Thom Collegiate, Regina SK
Tyson is an exceptional athlete coming to the Thunder after a very successful career with the Thom Trojans. In 2015 Tyson won the Schwann Conference Special Teams Player of the Year and was also a Defensive Back All-Star.  Tyson was also awarded with Thom’s Chuck Toth Outstanding Defensive Player and the Krentz Leadership and Commitment award. We are excited about having Tyson join our defensive backfield where he will be able to use his athleticism and physicality to compete at corner and halfback. 

Red - Brock Sich – QB, 6’1, 196lbs, Miller Marauders, Regina, SK
Brock Sich comes to the Regina Thunder after a successful high school career at Miller Comprehensive High School. Brock has all the intangibles to be a successful quarterback, and is ready to take the next step with the Regina Thunder. The Regina Thunder have a reputation of grooming successful quarterbacks, and we could not be happier to have him with us. 

Red - Chris Campbell – QB, 6’1, 180lbs, Centennial Collegiate, Saskatoon, SK
We are really excited to have Chris joining the Regina Thunder for the upcoming season.  Chris has a tremendous skill set and has a high football IQ.  The addition of Chris bolsters our depth chart.  His leadership and consistency are admirable traits that his teammates will look up to and respect.

#24 - Joel Senko- RB, 5’10, 190lbs, St.Mary's Marauders, Prince Albert, SK 
Josh has only been playing football for three years.  Rushed for 620 yards and 4 td's as the starting RB for St.Mary's.  Recently was a part of the South Sask Selects team that played in Texas in February. Josh is 5'10 and 190 pounds and looks forward to competing for carries in the back field.

#38 - Bryson Simpson- RB, 5’10”, 190lbs, Carleton Crusaders, Prince Albert, SK 
Bryson has been playing football since he was 9 years old.  Their teams competed in Saskatoon minor football.  He has played a variety of positions in his career.  Most recently playing running back at carlton.  He had 700 rushing in the Saskatoon high school league.  He was also a member of the South Sask Selects team that participated in Texas in February. 

#17 - Avery Pierce – Rec, 5’9”, 172lbs, Campbell Collegiate, Regina, SK
Avery Pierce joins the Thunder from Campbell Collegiate Tartans football program. Avery was a standout running back and kick returner with the Tartans. He also played receiver with the Team Saskatchewan U18 team last summer, a position he will continue to play as a member of the Thunder. Avery is fast and dynamic as a ball carrier. As his route running continues to improve the elusive playmaker will look to push veterans for game reps in the fall.


Offensive Line:Michael Knight, Gene Makowsky
QuarterbackAsher Hastings, Deke Junior, Dylan Hart
Running Back: Bradie Aulie, Tim Klien
Receiver: Jacob Carr, Thomas Bresciani, Steve Galan
Defensive Line: Garrett Glasrud, Drew Barss
Linebacker:Bruce Anderson, Joey Todd
Defensive Back: Charlie McCrystal, Tanner Hope, Robert Hartman
Kickers:Evan Drader

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Happy Wednesday Everybody!

-  Is it just me or does it feel like way longer than a week since the Pats were eliminated in game 7 in Red Deer? The season came to an end only 8 days ago but for whatever reason it seems like a month ago. I miss it and I'm sure the fans wish we were talking about two home games this week against the Brandon Wheat Kings. What a great run and here is to a longer one next season!

- The Pats focus is now firmly set on the 2016 WHL Bantam Draft in Calgary next week Thursday. Here are what the team is looking at in terms of picks for the draft.

1st round -No pick, traded to Red Deer in the Jake Leschyshyn deal.

2nd round - The Pats will pick in the 2nd round with Medicine Hats selection which was acquired in the Kyle Burroughs and Dryden Hunt trade. The Pats do not own their 2nd rounder, it was traded to Medicine Hat for Boston Leier three years ago.

3rd round - Regina will not pick in the 3rd round, their pick was traded to Medicine Hat as well when the team acquired Daniel Wapple and Logan McVeigh.

4th round - Two selections, their own pick as well as Prince George's which was acquired in the Lane Zablocki for Jesse Gabrielle trade.

5th round - Do not have their own pick but have Kelowna's from the Marc McCoy trade.

6th round - The Pats have their pick.

7th round - No pick, traded to Prince George for Aaron Maclin.

8th round and later - The Pats have all their picks for the rest of the draft.

I will have an in depth draft preview coming up early next week.

- I know it's early but looking at next season, there will certainly be a couple of new faces on the roster. Head Coach and GM John Paddock will be looking at adding an overager for the year with only two on the current squad in Adam Brooks and Chase Harrison. The draft could be a place where a trade is made but I suspect it will wait until later in the off-season or even after the season starts. I would expect the acquisition would be a winger to play with Sam Steel. The other new face will come from the 2016 CHL Import Draft. I would venture Paddock will look at a winger there as well. The club is solid down the middle with Adam Brooks, Sam Steel and Jake Leschyshyn and the back end is all returning aside from Colby Williams and 2015 first round pick Dawson Barteaux will push for a roster spot along with the other 7 returning guys and other prospects. It will be an exciting off-season.

- It will be interesting to see if the Pats American prospects make their way north of the border for training camp next season. 2015 3rd round pick Bryan Lockner was at training camp last year but played just four games this season because of injury. Lockner looked like a player in the limited time we saw him last year and would puch for a spot as a 16-year-old. Forward Landon Langenbrunner was listed by the Pats and is the son to former NHLer Jamie Langenbrunner. Landon played in Minnesota this year and will be entering his 16-year-old season. Another list prospect is 18-year-old defenceman Scott Perunovich out of Hibbing Minnesota. He had 68 points in 25 games this season but is committed to the University of Minnesota-Duluth. NHL Central Scouting has him ranked 161st in North America so if he is drafted their is always a chance he could come to the WHL. Lastly forward Trevor Janicke from Maple Ridge MN is another listed prospect. He is committed to Notre Dame and had 30 points in 25 games this year as a 15-year-old. It certainly seems like their is some quality players here but we will have to wait and see if the CHL is a route they want to take.

- The WHL's Conference finals have been awesome. The Brandon Wheat Kings won two absolute thrillers on home ice over the Red Deer Rebels to start the East Final but dropped game 3 last night 6-2. The Rebels scored four times in the first and that was enough to get on the board in the series. We know in Regina that Red Deer is tough to beat at home. After the first two games I thought Brandon might make quick work of the Rebels and that might hold true if the Wheat Kings can win game 4 tonight on the road.

Out West the Seattle Thunderbirds took a 3-0 series lead over Kelowna with a 2-1 win last night, The Thunderbirds are simply put, huge. Their size is causing Kelowna tons of problems and on top of the size, they are skilled and have Landon Bow whose numbers are nothing short of incredible. Bow in 12 games has an 11-1 record with a goals against under 1.50 and a save percentage approaching .950. The Rockets have managed just 4 goals in the first three games of the series and face elimination tonight in game 4.

- I am thoroughly enjoying the NHL Playoffs. Three series really got me in round 1. The Blackhawks and Blues was the best in my opinion. St. Louis finally excercised their demons in the first round and advanced to take on the Dallas Stars. While Dallas won the conference, the Blues are a better all around team in my opinion, I think they advance to the Conference finals and the Stanley Cup Finals. I like their team and they just beat the best team in the Western Conference in Chicago. I predict they will take on San Jose in the Conference championship.

In the east I loved the Washington, Philadelphia series. What a fun physical matchup that was. Michal Neuvirth gave the Flyers a chance but the Caps are just too good. Now we get to see Crosby vs Ovechkin in round 2 and I can't wait. The Penguins looked really good in their first round win over the Rangers despite missing starting goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury. Evgeni Malkin showed up big and the young players on that team are fast and dangerous. The Capitals have the skill to match and under Barry Trotz play an incredible game. They also have maybe the best goaltender this year in Braden Holtby. I love the matchup and can't pick a winner but I think whoever comes out of this one will face St. Louis in the Stanley Cup Final.

The last series I really enjoyed was Minnesota - Dallas. The Wild minus some key players gave the Stars a ton of trouble and almost made an incredible comeback in game 6 but fell just short. The Stars can score there is no disputing that but keeping the puck out is a problem. That's why I have them losing to the Blues in round 2.

Can John Tavares will the Islanders past the Lightning in round 2? Maybe? I'm not too confident however in New York and their chances in this one. Tampa, despite missing Stamkos and Stralman they made quick work of the Detroit Red Wings. They are a good team despite missing those two key pieces. The move on in this one.

- The Regina Thunder are holding their annual spring training camp starting Friday nigh at Mosaic Stadium. There will be 130 players in camp competing for 90 spots in the teams main camp this fall. The three day spring camp will culminate in a scrimmage on Sunday afternoon. It's a big weekend for the club to get a look at the progress of the returning players and the quality in the recruitment class. QB Sawyer Buettner is entering his first year as the teams starter with Jaeden Marwick having moved on to the CIS and Bishops University. Running back Colton Klassen has also moved on to the Universoty of Saskatchewan and offensive lineman Matt Halbgewachs to Concordia so right there are two starting positions up for grabs. Keep it here for coverage from this weekend.

- Big congrats to former Regina Thunder coaches Mark Becker and Ventson Donelson who were named to the U of R Rams coaching staff for this season. Becker will serve as the Rams Tight Ends Coach and Scout Team Coordinator. Donelson is the new defensive backs coach. Two good guys who will perform well.

- Be sure to catch tonight's final episode of the season of Pats TV on Access 7. My guests are the three graduated Pats, Colby Williams, Cole Sanford and Aaron Macklin. It all gets started at 6:30.

That;s all I have for today, have a great week!


Monday, April 25, 2016

Thunderbirds Eansor named WHL Player of the Week

Calgary, AB - The Western Hockey League announced today that Seattle Thunderbirds forward Scott Eansor has been named the WHL Player of the Week for the week ending April 24th, 2016.

Eansor netted three goals, including two game winners for the Seattle Thunderbirds in the first two games of the WHL Western Conference Championship against the Kelowna Rockets this week.

On Friday, April 22nd against the Kelowna Rockets, Eansor buried the decisive game winner late in the second period of Game 1 as Seattle skated to a 2-1 victory. The following night, Eansor potted a pair of goals, including the game winner as Seattle clipped the Rockets by a score of 3-2 in Game 2 of the WHL Western Conference Championship. Eansor also earned a plus-2 rating and was named the game’s first star for his performance.

The 20-year-old native of Englewood, CO recorded 42 points (12g-30a) to go along with a plus-10 rating in 55 regular season contests while collecting nine points (7g-2a) in 11 post-season contests thus far. The 5-8, 172 lb forward is in his third WHL campaign with Seattle and has amassed 91 points (29g-62a) in 179 career WHL regular season contests.

The WHL has also nominated Landon Bow of the Seattle Thunderbirds for the Vaughn CHL Goaltender of the Week award. Bow, a 1995-born netminder from St. Albert, AB posted a record of 2-0-0-0 with a 1.50 goals against average and a .944 save percentage. On Friday, April 22nd, Bow was productive as he turned aside 23 shots to lead the Thunderbirds to a 2-1 road victory over the Kelowna Rockets in Game 1 of the WHL Western Conference Championship. Bow was named the game’s first star for his efforts. The following night, Bow kept up his consistent play with a 28 save performance in Game 2 against the Rockets in a 3-2 Seattle win. Currently in his first WHL campaign with Seattle, Bow has posted a 74-56-8-5 record with a 2.91 goals against average and a .912 save percentage with 15 shutouts in 160 career WHL regular season appearances.

WHL Player of the Week
Sept. 24 – Sept. 27: Alex Forsberg, Victoria Royals
Sept. 28 – Oct. 4: Reid Gardiner, Prince Albert Raiders
Oct. 5 – Oct. 11: Brayden Point, Moose Jaw Warriors
Oct. 12 – Oct. 18: Jon Martin, Swift Current Broncos
Oct. 19 – Oct. 25: Jesse Gabrielle, Prince George Cougars
Oct. 26 – Nov. 1: Mathew Barzal, Seattle Thunderbirds
Nov. 2 – Nov. 8: Nick Merkley, Kelowna Rockets
Nov. 9 – Nov. 15: Jackson Houck, Calgary Hitmen
Nov. 16 – Nov. 22: Tyson Baillie, Kelowna Rockets
Nov. 23 – Nov. 29: Justin Gutierrez, Lethbridge Hurricanes
Nov. 30 – Dec. 6: Tyler Benson, Vancouver Giants
Dec. 7 – Dec. 13: Rihards Bukarts, Portland Winterhawks
Dec. 14 – Dec. 20: Kailer Yamamoto, Spokane Chiefs
Dec. 28 – Jan. 3: Adam Brooks, Regina Pats
Jan. 4 – Jan. 10: Adam Helewka, Spokane Chiefs
Jan. 11 – Jan. 17: Reid Gardiner, Prince Albert Raiders
Jan. 18 – Jan. 24: Giorgio Estephan, Lethbridge Hurricanes
Jan. 25 – Jan. 31: Chase Witala, Prince George Cougars
Feb. 1 – Feb. 7: Ivan Provorov, Brandon Wheat Kings
Feb. 8 – Feb. 14: Dryden Hunt, Moose Jaw Warriors
Feb. 15 – Feb. 21: Adam Brooks, Regina Pats
Feb. 22 – Feb. 28: Tyler Wong, Lethbridge Hurricanes
Feb. 29 – Mar. 6: Jayce Hawryluk, Brandon Wheat Kings
Mar. 7 – Mar. 13: Chad Butcher, Medicine Hat Tigers
Mar. 14 – Mar. 20: Tyler Soy, Victoria Royals
Mar. 21 – Mar. 27: Vladimir Bobylev, Victoria Royals
Mar. 28 – Apr. 3: Adam Brooks, Regina Pats
Apr. 4 – Apr. 10: Ivan Provorov, Brandon Wheat Kings
Apr. 11 – Apr. 17: Jayden Halbgewachs, Moose Jaw Warriors
Apr. 18 – Apr. 24: Scott Eansor, Seattle Thunderbirds

Vaughn CHL Goaltender of the Week (WHL Nominee)
Sept. 24 – Sept. 27: Landon Bow, Swift Current Broncos
Sept. 28 – Oct. 4: Coleman Vollrath, Victoria Royals
Oct. 5 – Oct. 11: Coleman Vollrath, Victoria Royals
Oct. 12 – Oct 18: Ian Scott, Prince Albert Raiders
Oct. 19 – Oct. 25: Adin Hill, Portland Winterhawks
Oct. 26 – Nov. 1: Adin Hill, Portland Winterhawks
Nov. 2 – Nov. 8: Landon Bow, Swift Current Broncos
Nov. 9 – Nov. 15: Carter Hart, Everett Silvertips
Nov. 16 – Nov. 22: Declan Hobbs, Kootenay ICE
Nov. 23 – Nov. 29: Carter Hart, Everett Silvertips
Nov. 30 – Dec. 6: Ty Edmonds, Prince George Cougars
Dec. 7 – Dec. 13: Connor Ingram, Kamloops Blazers
Dec. 14 – Dec. 20: Nick Schneider, Medicine Hat Tigers
Dec. 28 – Jan. 3: Carter Hart, Everett Silvertips
Jan. 4 – Jan. 10: Landon Bow, Seattle Thunderbirds
Jan. 11 – Jan. 17: Zach Sawchenko, Moose Jaw Warriors
Jan. 18 – Jan. 24: Jordan Papirny, Brandon Wheat Kings
Jan. 25 – Jan. 31: Coleman Vollrath, Victoria Royals
Feb. 1 – Feb. 7: Taz Burman, Swift Current Broncos
Feb. 8 – Feb. 14: Connor Ingram, Kamloops Blazers
Feb. 15 – Feb. 21: Zach Sawchenko, Moose Jaw Warriors
Feb. 22 – Feb. 28: Landon Bow, Seattle Thunderbirds
Feb. 29 – Mar. 6: Connor Ingram, Kamloops Blazers
Mar. 7 – Mar. 13: Landon Bow, Seattle Thunderbirds
Mar. 14 – Mar. 20: Jordan Papirny, Brandon Wheat Kings
Mar. 21 – Mar. 27: Mario Petit, Everett Silvertips
Mar. 28 – Apr. 3: Jordan Papirny, Brandon Wheat Kings
Apr. 4 – Apr. 10: Carter Hart, Everett Silvertips
Apr. 11 – Apr. 17: Landon Bow, Seattle Thunderbirds
Apr. 18 – Apr. 24: Landon Bow, Seattle Thunderbirds