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Monday, May 30, 2016

PATS SIGN MUIR AND PADDOCK

Regina, Saskatchewan – Regina Pats Head Coach and GM John Paddock announced today the team has signed prospects forward Cole Muir (’01) and goaltender Max Paddock (’00) to Standard Player Agreements.

Cole Muir (6’2”, 195 lbs) was the Pats’ second round selection, 33rd overall, at the 2016 WHL Bantam Draft.  The big centre tallied an impressive 76 points (37G, 39A) in just 35 games with the Yellowhead Chiefs of the Manitoba Bantam AAA league.

“It’s amazing and I’m glad to be signed now,” said Muir. “It’s phenomenal and playing for John Paddock will be amazing.”

“You like to get your highest pick signed as soon as possible,” commented John Paddock.  “He’s somebody we had highly ranked, he’s a big part of the future of the organization and he wants to play in the Western Hockey League.  We have a cornerstone player for down the road.”

Max Paddock (6’1”, 133) was picked by the Pats in the 10th round, 212th overall, at the 2015 WHL Bantam Draft.  The goaltender posted an 8-10-0 record supported by a 2.82 GAA, 0.908 SV% and one shutout over 38 appearances for the Midget AAA Brandon Wheat Kings.

“He’s a tremendous athlete,” said Paddock.  “There isn’t a sport he can’t do so I think that’s what makes him a goaltender.  He’s very smart in the net for a goalie and his movement is great for a goalie.  I think his athletic ability is going to give him the chance to be quite the player.”

The Regina Pats completed their annual spring prospects camp over the weekend.  A group of prospects, mostly from the Pats’ 2015 and 2016 draft classes, were in Regina to learn about the organization and take part in a pair of on-ice sessions.

Daniel Fink
Director Media and Communications
Regina Pats Hockey Club




Ice Hire Goaltending Coach

Cranbrook, BC – Luke PierceHead Coach of the Kootenay ICE Hockey Club, today announced the Club has hired Jamie McCaig as their new Goaltending Coach.

I am excited to welcome Jamie McCaig to our staff and look forward to working with him once again. I have full confidence in his ability to help our goaltenders reach their full potential and believe he is a tremendous asset to our Club,” continued Pierce.

Jamie McCaig played hockey at the University of Brandon (2000-2002) and the University of Lethbridge (2003-2005), also spending two seasons in the professional ranks in the WCHL and ECHLMcCaig was the Goaltending Coach with the Chinese National Women’s Team (2009-2010) and has held a similar role with several Junior “A” teams in British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan over the past nine seasons. He was the Goaltending Coach for Team Canada West at the 2015 World Junior “A” Challenge in Ontario. McCaig is the Co-Owner / Operator of ATC Goaltending, a training company based in Edmonton, Alberta.

Jamie McCaig is a 36 year-old native of PentictonBritish Columbia. He replaces Mike Bergren, whose employment agreement with the Club was not renewed.

Chris Wahl
Director of Sales & Public Relations
Kootenay ICE Hockey Club





Sunday, May 29, 2016

LONDON KNIGHTS WIN MASTERCARD MEMORIAL CUP

Terry Wilson/CHL Images
Matthew Tkachuk scored twice including the OT winner as the London Knights won the 2016 MasterCard Memorial Cup with a 3-2 victory over the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies on Sunday afternoon.

The Knights opened the scoring in the second when Tkachuk tipped a shot past Marchand for his 4th to make it 1-0. However 15 seconds later the Huskies tied it up when Francis Perron tapped one in from the crease and it was 1-1.

In the third Rouyn-Noranda took the 2-1 lead on Julien Nantel's 2nd but the Knights drew even with just over 4 minutes left thanks to Christian Dvorak (7) and it was 2-2 and the championship game needed overtime.

In the extra frame Tkachuk (5) buried his second of the day on a toe drag and then release at 7:49 to clinch the championship and give the Knights their 17th straight victory.

London's Mitch Marner was named the tournament MVP, he had 2 goals and 12 assists in the four games played.


RED SOX 5 BEAVERS 3


It was opening day at Currie Field on Sunday and the Regina Red Sox did not disappoint the 750 fans in attendance.

Infielder Derek Slate collected three hits, scored two runs and stole a base as he sparked the Red Sox to a 5-3 victory over the Weyburn Beavers.

Regina got a quality eight inning start from Ben Schweinfurth.  The senior from Southwestern Oklahoma picked up the win, while allowing two earned runs, on just seven hits while striking out three. Sam Brunner threw one inning of relief for the save.

Cole Feazell started for the Weyburn Beavers and held the Regina Red Sox scoreless for six innings. Reliever Austin Perez, who was tagged for three runs in a third of an inning, took the loss for the Beavers.

Regina had five runs on nine hits while Weyburn scored three runs on eight hits but was also charged with three errors.

The Red Sox will host Yorkton on Tuesday night at Currie Field.

Pats wrap up 2016 Spring Camp


The Regina Pats wrapped up 2016 Spring Training Camp with another ice session on Sunday morning. The 19 prospects will now make their way home and prepare for main training camp in the fall.

Head Coach and GM John Paddock says it was a good weekend for everyone involved. "I think it was a really exciting time. Probably equal on non hockey stuff as hockey stuff. Stuff associated with our organization from the school to our dinner last night to just talking with parents and the kids and they were all real happy and that's the most important thing."

Paddock says it's an important couple of days for the players and their families. "Why it's so good for them is they come back in August and it's comfortable for them. The kids know where the dressing room is, they know where the rinks are, they've met us, they've talked to us, they've met the guys they are going on the ice with. So they feel really comfortable and I think that's the first step to success is feeling comfortable where you are at."

Director of Scouting Dale McMullin says he is impressed with the players. "Overall I think the 2001 group that we just drafted I mean the kids carried themselves well all weekend. I think the two practices went very very well and the off ice portion of it they were polite and respectful kids and year I think it went very well."

There was one player in Regina for the weekend who did not take part in the on-ice portion of Spring Camp. Forward Nick Henry who was acquired from the Everett Silvertips at the WHL Bantam Draft in May made his way to the Queen City to get a feel foe the team that traded for his rights. Henry was originally a 3rd round pick of the Silvertips and was named the MJHL rookie of the year as a 16-year-old with the Portage Terriers this season. He says he enjoyed the weekend. "It's been awesome, it's a first class organization and it's been just a great experience overall."

The Pats traded a 6th round pick at the 2016 draft as well as a conditional pick to Everett for Henry's rights and he says the move come as a surprise. "We had just got off the ice at Westerns and my assistant coach came up and told me that my rights had been traded to Regina and I was totally shocked. It came totally by surprised... It gives me another option, somewhere to go with my college and then now I have Regina and it's good to have lots of options."

Henry who is being recruited heavily by the Pats and the NCAA says he has a big decision to make over the next couple of months. "So much stuff to think about and talk through with your parents. It's going to be one tough decision now being traded to Regina because it's just a great organization, they have a lot of great players and they have a heck of a team so it's making my decision pretty tough right now. I have all summer, and I will be coming to camp and stuff so I will think about it all summer and probably make the right decision in the end."

Henry is entering his 17-year-old season. If he were to sign with Regina the Pats would give up that undisclosed conditional draft pick.













Saturday, May 28, 2016

SILVERTIPS' HART AND WHEAT KINGS' PROVOROV EARN 2015-16 CHL AWARDS


Hart named Vaughn CHL Goaltender of the Year; Provorov captures Arctic Spas CHL Defenceman of the Year

  • Photos available via CHL Images (info below)
Red Deer, AB - The Canadian Hockey League today announced the winners for the 10 major awards that will be presented at the annual CHL Awards Ceremony Saturday evening as part of the 2016 MasterCard Memorial Cup festivities in Red Deer.

Everett Silvertips goaltender Carter Hart and Brandon Wheat Kings defenceman Ivan Provorov claimed the 2015-16 Vaughn CHL Goaltender of the Year and Arctic Spas CHL Defenceman of the Year honours respectively to represent the WHL.

Hart enjoyed a productive season for the WHL’s second-best defensive club this season, posting a 35-23-1-3 record with six shutouts in 63 appearances. The 17-year-old from Sherwood Park, AB finished second amongst WHL netminders with a 2.14 goals against average, finished with the sixth-best save percentage at .918 and placed first overall with 35 victories while propelling the Silvertips to a second place in the U.S. Division. Hart also posted a pair of victories in the 2016 WHL Playoffs to go along with a 2.39 goals against average and a .929 save percentage with one shutout. Furthermore, Hart was also named the Vaughn CHL Goaltender of the Week in late November and is ranked second amongst North American goaltenders in NHL Central Scouting's Final Rankings leading to the 2016 NHL Draft.

Recent WHL winners: Jordon Cooke (Kelowna Rockets 2014), Patrik Bartosak (Red Deer Rebels 2013), Darcy Kuemper (Red Deer Rebels 2011), Chet Pickard (Tri-City Americans 2008), Carey Price (Tri-City Americans 2007), Justin Pogge (Calgary Hitmen, 2006), Jeff Glass (Kootenay ICE, 2005), Cam Ward (Red Deer Rebels 2004)

Brandon Wheat Kings defenceman Ivan Provorov played a major role on the blue line from an offensive and defensive stand point in his second season in the WHL. The 19-year-old from Yaroslavl, Russia finished first in scoring amongst WHL defencemen with 73 points, including 21 goals, in 62 games while also finishing first in plus-minus with a plust-64 rating. Provorov also notched 13 points (3g-10a) in the 2016 WHL Playoffs to go along with a stellar plus-22 rating en route to helping the Wheat Kings claim the Ed Chynoweth Cup as WHL Champions. A member of Russia’s National Junior team that won the silver medal at the World Junior Championships, Provorov was the Wheat Kings’ first round pick, 30th overall, in the 2014 CHL Import Draft. Provorov was selected seventh overall by the Philadelphia Flyers in the 2015 NHL Draft.

Recent WHL winners: Derrick Pouliot (Portland Winterhawks 2014), Jonathan Blum (Vancouver Giants 2009), Karl Alzner (Calgary Hitmen 2008), Kris Russell (Medicine Hat Tigers, 2007), Dan Hamhuis (Prince George Cougars 2002).

Other 2015-16 CHL Award Winners:

-BRP Top Prospect Award: Pierre-Luc Dubois (Cape Breton Screaming Eagles, QMJHL)
  • WHL Nominee, Jake Bean (Calgary)
-Cavendish Top Scorer Award: Conor Garland (Moncton Wildcats)
  • WHL Nominee, Adam Brooks (Regina)
-Janes Sportsman of the Year Award: Samuel Girard (Shawinigan Cataractes, QMJHL)
  • WHL Nominee, Tyler Soy (Victoria)
-All Weather Windows Humanitarian of the Year Award: Will Petschenig (Saginaw Spirit, OHL)
  • WHL Nominee, Tyler Wong (Lethbridge)
-TVA Sports Scholastic Player of the Year Award: Alexis D’Aoust (Shawinigan Cataractes, QMJHL)
  • WHL Nominee, Tanner Kaspick (Brandon)
-Bumper to Bumper Brian Kilrea Coach of the Year Award: Gilles Bouchard (Rouyn-Noranda Huskies, QMJHL)
  • WHL Nominee, Dave Lowry (Victoria)
-CCM Rookie of the Year Award: Alexander Nylander (Mississauga Steelheads, OHL)
  • WHL Nominee, Matthew Phillips (Victoria)
-Sportsnet Player of the Year Award: Mitch Marner (London Knights, OHL)
  • WHL Nominee, Dryden Hunt (Moose Jaw)

CHL Awards Images available online:
The CHL has announced that high resolution game images from the CHL Awards as well as all 2016 MasterCard Memorial Cup games are available for free editorial use atwww.chlimages.ca.  To access the high resolution non-watermarked version of the images, click the Client Area tab and register for an account entering a username and password.  Images are available for editorial use only and must be credited to Terry Wilson/CHL Images and Rob Wallator/CHL Images as applicable.  Please note that if you are already registered for the OHL Images program, you will be able to access all of the MasterCard Memorial Cup images with the same log-in credentials.  Please contact Aaron Bell  aaron.bell@chl.ca to confirm any new accounts.

For further information, please contact:

Brad Trojan
WHL Coordinator, Website & New Media

Pats complete first ice session of 2016 Spring Camp


The first on ice session at 2016 Regina Pats Spring Camp took place on Saturday morning at the Cooperators Centre. Friday night consisted of an orientation for parents and players and then fitness testing. At 10:30 Saturday the 19 players hit the ice along with current Pats players Adam Brooks, Jake Leschyshyn, Riley Woods and Rykr Cole. 

Tristen Robins 
It was a faced paced skate and 2016, 4th round pick Tristen Robins says he has enjoyed his time here so far. "Pretty great experience, you know it's always great to see the draft picks and everything. It's even better that I've got some guys I know so it's easy to gel, easy to come in here, it's lots of fun." 

The Robins family has a connection to Assistant Coach and Assistant GM Dave Struch. Tristen's dad Trevor played with Struch with the Saskatoon Blades from 1989 to 1992 and then again in Europe with the London Knights of the BISL in 2001-02. Robins says that makes being drafted to Regina that much better. "I think it's easier if it's that way then if you are just coming in not knowing anyone."

Dawson Barteaux
Of the 19 players in attendance, 10 have a chance to make the roster in 2016/17. The guy at the top of that list is 1st round pick in 2015, defenceman Dawson Barteaux. The Foxwarren MB product got into one game as a 15-year-old last season and joined the team for the playoffs. He says this being his second spring camp, it has a different feel. "It's more competitive for me, I'm going 100 per cent all the time and I want to prove I can crack the squad this year."

Size is what Barteaux wants to put on ahead of main camp this fall "Just put on more weight so I can play with these 20-year-olds and handle my own."

Assistant Coach and Assistant GM Dave Struch says it has been nice to put faces to names so far this weekend. "It's exciting especially for John and I and the coaching staff because we haven't had a chance to see them. When you come into something like this, with the trust we have in our scouting staff, getting an opportunity to see them in this setting starting last night with some fitness testing, it's not really an evaluation weekend. It's an opportunity for us to get to know the players, the draft picks from last year, getting to know the draft picks from this year. So far so good, a great group of kids. Obviously when you look at the draft list that we had this year, a lot of them were leaders on their teams and that's a start. We are talking about building something really special here in Regina and these kids are the future and so far it's been pretty good."

The players and parents get a tour of Riffel High School Saturday afternoon and will take part in a team meal. The next on ice session is Sunday morning at 10:30 at the Co-Operators Centre.












CHL ANNOUNCES AWARDS FINALISTS

Toronto, ON - The Canadian Hockey League today announced the nominees for the 10 major awards that will be presented at the annual CHL Awards Ceremony which takes place on Saturday May 28 as part of the 2016 MasterCard Memorial Cup festivities in Red Deer.
 
BRP Top Prospect Award:
Jake Bean (Calgary Hitmen)
Matthew Tkachuk (London Knights)
Pierre-Luc Dubois (Cape Breton Screaming Eagles)
 
Notable winners: Connor McDavid (Erie Otters 2015), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (Red Deer Rebels 2011), Vincent Lecavalier (Rimouski Oceanic 1998).
 
Cavendish Top Scorer Award:
Adam Brooks (Regina Pats)
Kevin Labanc (Barrie Colts)
Conor Garland (Moncton Wildcats)
 
Notable winners: Linden Vey (Medicine Hat Tigers 2011), Patrick Kane (London Knights 2007), Sidney Crosby (Rimouski Oceanic 2004 and 2005).
 
Janes Sportsman of the Year Award:
Tyler Soy (Victoria Royals)
Mike Amadio (North Bay Battalion)
Samuel Girard (Shawinigan Cataractes)
 
Notable winners: Sam Reinhart (Kootenay Ice 2014), David Desharnais (Chicoutimi Sagueneens 2007), Jeff Carter (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds 2005).
 
All Weather Windows Humanitarian of the Year Award:
Tyler Wong (Lethbridge Hurricanes)
Will Petschenig (Saginaw Spirit)
Samuel Laberge (Rimouski Oceanic)
 
Notable winners: Ben Fanelli (Kitchener Rangers 2013), Colin Fraser (Red Deer Rebels 2005), Simon Gamache (Val-d’Or Foreurs 2000).
 
TVA Sports Scholastic Player of the Year Award:
Tanner Kaspick (Brandon Wheat Kings)
Nicolas Hague (Mississauga Steelheads)
Alexis D’Aoust (Shawinigan Cataractes)
 
Notable winners: Connor McDavid (Erie Otters 2014-15),  Josh Morrissey (Prince Albert Raiders 2013), Jonathan Brunelle (Cape Breton Screaming Eagles 2012).
 
Bumper to Bumper Brian Kilrea Coach of the Year Award:
Dave Lowry (Victoria Royals)
Kris Knoblauch (Erie Otters)
Gilles Bouchard (Rouyn-Noranda Huskies)
 
Notable winners: Gerard Gallant (Saint John Sea Dogs 2010 and 2011), Peter DeBoer (Plymouth Whalers 2000), Ken Hitchcock (Kamloops Blazers 1990).
 
CCM Rookie of the Year Award:
Matthew Phillips (Victoria Royals)
Alexander Nylander (Mississauga Steelheads)
Vitalii Abramov (Gatineau Olympiques)
 
Notable winners: Nikolaj Ehlers (Halifax Mooseheads 2014), Patrick Kane (London Knights 2007), Brett Connolly (Prince George Cougars 2009).
 
Vaughn Goaltender of the Year Award:
Carter Hart (Everett Silvertips)
Mackenzie Blackwood (Barrie Colts)
Chase Marchand (Rouyn-Noranda Huskies)
 
Notable winners: Jake Allen (Drummondville Voltigeurs 2010), Cam Ward (Tri-City Americans 2004), Ray Emery (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds 2002).
 
Arctic Spas Defenceman of the Year Award:
Ivan Provorov (Brandon Wheat Kings)
Mikhail Sergachev (Windsor Spitfires)
Samuel Girard (Shawinigan Cataractes)
 
Notable winners: Dougie Hamilton (Niagara IceDogs 2012), Keith Yandle (Moncton Wildcats 2006), Dan Hamhuis (Prince George Cougars 2002).
 
Rogers Player of the Year Award:
Dryden Hunt (Moose Jaw Warriors)
Mitchell Marner (London Knights)
Francis Perron (Rouyn-Noranda Huskies)
 
Notable winners: Connor McDavid (Erie Otters 2015), Jordan Eberle (Regina Pats 2010), Sidney Crosby (Rimouski Oceanic 2004 and 2005). 
 
For more information please visit www.mastercardmemorialcup.ca
 
Paul Krotz
Director, Communications
Canadian / Ontario Hockey League





Friday, May 27, 2016

MEMORIAL CUP: HUSKIES 3 REBELS 1


The Rouyn-Noranda Huskies advanced to the final at the MasterCard Memorial Cup with a 3-1 semi-final win over the Red Deer Rebels on Friday night. 

For the second time in as many meetings at the tournament the Huskies jumped out to a 2-0 lead on goals from Francis Perron (1) and Martins Dzierkals (1). 

Rouyn-Noranda added to their lead when  Nikolas Brouillard (1) slapped one home on the powerplay to make it 3-0. The rebels responded with a goal on the man advantage as well. Luke Philp (2) tapped in a slap pass from the blue line and it was 3-1 but that was all the scoring for the contest. 

The Huskies will play the undefeated OHL Champion London Knights in Sunday's final at 2:30 PM. 


Pats extend Director of Scouting Dale McMullin


Regina, Saskatchewan – Regina Pats Head Coach and General Manager John Paddock announced today the club signed Director of Scouting Dale McMullin to a multi-year contract extension.

“I would like to thank the Ownership Group and John Paddock for having faith and belief in the work being done and signing me to an extension,” said Dale McMullin.  “I’m very thankful for the opportunity to continue working with the Pats.  It’s a great organization from top to bottom.”

McMullin joined the Pats in 2011 after spending nine years with the Red Deer Rebels.  During his time with Regina, Dale and his staff selected players including Sam Steel, Austin Wagner and Jordan Hollett at the WHL Bantam Draft.  Beyond the draft, the Pats have listed well by bringing players including Tyler Brown, Chase Harrison, Adam Berg and Sean Richards.

“Dale does an excellent job and goes about his work in all aspects as a true professional,” commented John Paddock.  “The staff follows his lead and as a result they do a tremendous job.  Dale’s work and the staff’s is paramount to our success.”

Pats prospects will be on the ice this weekend as the team holds its annual spring camp.  On-ice sessions are open to the public and take place 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Daniel Fink
Director Media and Communications
Regina Pats Hockey Club





Thunder's Matt Knight headed to Rider Training Camp

Via @MattKnight41 
When the Saskatchewan Roughriders open training camp in Saskatoon on Sunday, it will have a Regina Thunder flavour. 

Offensive lineman Matt Knight will participate as a territorial junior. 

Knight joins a long list of Thunder players who got the same opportunity over the last few years. Including DL Zach Evans, OL Matt Halbgewachs, WR Preston Bews and LB Brandon Whitehouse. 

Rider training camp starts Sunday at 9 AM at the University of Saskatchewan’s Griffiths Stadium in Saskatoon. 

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

MEMORIAL CUP: REBELS 2 WHEAT KINGS 1 OT

Rob Wallator/CHL Images

The Red Deer Rebels ended the Brandon Wheat Kings season with a 2-1 OT win at the MasterCard Memorial Cup on Wednesday.

The first goal of the contest came over halfway through the second period when Tim McGauley (1) stole a clearing attempt and ripped a shot into the top corner to make it 1-0 Wheat Kings.

It stayed that way until 5 minutes left in the third when the Rebels tied it up thanks to Adam Musil who chipped in his 1st to make it 1-1 and that forced overtime for the first time at the tournament.

Evan Polei (2) scored the game winner for Red Deer after the Rebels forced a turnover in the offensive zone and the Brandon Wheat Kings were eliminated from the MasterCard Memorial Cup.

The Rebels (2-1) will play the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies (1-2) in Friday's semi-final.





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Happy Wednesday Everybody! Lots to get to today.

MEMORIAL CUP - The London Knights are through to Sunday's final at the MasterCard Memorial Cup. They improved to 3-0 in the round robin with a 5-2 win over Rouyn-Noranda on Tuesday night. The Knights are the best team at the tournament no doubt and beat their best competition in last nights game. Though it was tough to get a read because the refs and players got in the way to the tune of 17 powerplays between the two sides. The game was painful to watch at times because there was no flow and a ton of stoppages. Let the teams play!

The Knights powerplay is just stupid good, there is no other way to put it. Mitch Marner, Christian Dvorak and Matthew Tkachuk are dynamite. 5 on 5 yes and with the man advantage they just play with the opposition. It's fun to watch, just not 20 times a game. Marner had 4 more assists last night and has 13 points in three games at the tournament... not to shabby.

If the Oilers don't take London defenceman Olli Juolevi at number 4 in the NHL Draft I will be stunned.

Really surprised at the Brandon Wheat Kings through their first two games of the tournament. Not only are they oh and two but they've been outscored 14-4 and have looked out of place against Rouyn-Noranda and especially the London Knights. Brandon has almost looked uninterested. I know that's not truly how the players feel but they aren't playing with any jump and discipline has been a huge problem. Fortunately for them all they need is a win tonight against Red Deer to keep their tournament alive but they will need to be much better. Red Deer beat Rouyn-Noranda and have looked pretty good through their first two games. If the Wheat Kings win tonight it would mean a three way tie for 2nd in the round robin standings at 1 and 2. Based on goals for and against one team would go straight to the semi-final and the other two would play in a tie-breaker.

BOB WOODS OUT? - Rumors are flying around that the Saskatoon Blades are going to lose their Head Coach and GM Bob Woods to the NHL. Woods is rumored to be heading to Minnesota as an assistant coach with newly hired bench boss Bruce Boudreau. Woods was an assistant coach with Boudreau in Washington, Anaheim and with the Hershey Bears of the AHL. Maybe the rumours simply stem from the history for Woods and Boudreau together. We will see...

SPRING CAMP - The Regina Pats will welcome 19 of their prospects to the Co-Operators Centre this weekend, 17 skaters and 2 goaltenders.

The players and their parents will get an orientation on Friday evening and then the kids will go through fitness testing. The first on-ice session will be Saturday at 10:30 AM and then again Sunday at 10:30 AM.

Head Coach and GM John Paddock says it's an important weekend for both the players, their families and the organization. "We view it as an experience where they can meet us. A little bit of on ice stuff, a little bit of testing just to show the direction they need to go. They will tour the school and get a feel of where they could possibly be going to school at some point. So it's really just a fairly casual setting. It's really good for me probably more than anyone else and Dave (Struch) because most of the kids we don't get to see you know in their first draft and the last two drafts. So it's good in that way for us to get a visualization of them initially or how they may have changed over the last season."

Paddock says they won't see American born players Bryan Lockner and Landon Langenbrunner this weekend. "Bryan is not going too and Landon was going too but his sister is graduating from high school this weekend so they are both out. Everything is fine with both of them. It doesn't change Bryan's approach, he will be coming to main camp and we hope to have him play with us next year."

As for the 2016 WHL Bantam Draft, Paddock says all will be in attendance other than American defenceman Kaden Bohlsen. "It looks that way, Bohlsen we are still waiting for a phone call back from him but the rest will be here."

Here is the roster for the weekend:



Keep it here for full coverage from this weekend.

PATS PROSPECTS AT U16'S - Seven of the eight players drafted by the Pats in 2016 are headed to or have already taken part in their respective provinces U16 development camps. Hockey Alberta was the latest provincial body to release its development camp list.  Both newly drafted, Alberta-born Pats prospects were among the 80 invited to the camp.  Forward Kjell Kjemhus (4th round – 77th overall) and defenceman Ryker Evans (10th round – 209th overall).  Alberta’s camp takes place July 5-10 in Camrose, AB.

May 12-15 saw Hockey Manitoba hold it’s Program of Excellence Top-40 Camp.  All three Pats Manitoban draftees were in attendance led by second round pick, forward Cole Muir (33rd overall). Joining him were forward Tristen Robins (4th round – 76th overall) and defenceman Michael Ladyman (5th round – 108th overall).

Rounding out the Pats prospects attending Canadian summer camps is Logan Nijhoff (8th round – 165th overall).  The forward will be in Shawnigan Lake, B.C. July 13-17 with 44 top players from British Columbia.

Following these camps, each province will create a shortlist before trimming down to a final roster for the 2016 Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup in Calgary.

Meanwhile, south of the border, forward Kaden Bohlsen (9th round – 187th overall) earned an invite to the USA Hockey Select-15 camp July 16-20 in Amherst, New York.

HANLON IN VANCOUVER - The Vancouver Giants overhaul at the top has resulted in Glen Hanlon being hired as the teams second GM in it's history. Hanlon was Head Coach of the Washington Capitals from 2003-2007. He was also an Assistant Coach with the Vancouver Canucks, Head Coach of the Belarusian and Swiss national teams and an Assistant Coach with the Giants from 2011-2013. Before coaching Hanlon played in 477 NHL games with Vancouver, St. Louis, New York, and Detroit. Hanlon is now tasked with hiring a new Head Coach for the Giants and I'm told an announcement is coming very soon. Some reports have come out that former Kelowna Rockets coach Brad Ralph is among the final candidates.

SUTTERS HONOURED BY WHL - The legendary Sutter brothers were honoured with the WHL Milestone Award at a reception Sunday evening as part of the MasterCard Memorial Cup festivities in Red Deer.  The WHL Milestone Award pays tribute to extraordinary achievements by players, coaches, trainers, officials and teams over the 50 year history of the WHL.

The Sutters are the only family in WHL history to not only have six brothers play in the WHL but also go on to highly successful careers in the National Hockey League.

Brian, Darryl, Duane, Brent, Rich and Ron each graduated from the WHL and went on to very lengthy NHL careers that spanned 25 years combined. From 1974-83, the six Sutter brothers played in a total of 781 games for the Lethbridge Broncos in which they posted 1,007 points (458g-549a) and 2,248 penalty minutes. Products of Viking, Alberta, the clan totaled 2,934 career NHL points (1320g-1614a) in nearly 5,000 regular season games from 1976-2001.

MALCOLM CAMERON HIRED IN ECHL - Former Regina Pats Head Coach and Assistant Coach Malcolm Cameron has landed back in the ECHL. The Wichita Thunder introduced Cameron as the 13th head coach in teams history last week. Cameron has spent the last two heads at the Okanagan Hockey Academy.

NHL - The Pittsburgh Penguins forced game 7 in the Eastern Conference Final with a 5-2 over Tampa Bay last night. When the Pens went from Matt Murray, to Marc-Andre Fleury in goal and then back again for game 6 I thought they were dead. But Murray made 29 saves after getting game 5 off and now the Pens will head home for the deciding game of the series. We will see tonight if the same goaltending strategy works for St. Louis. They started Jake Allen in game 5 and lost 6-3 and will go back to Brian Elliott for game 6 tonight. I'm of the opinion you shouldn't change goaltenders in a series when you are tied 2-2 but obviously that didn't hurt Pittsburgh. I do believe however the Sharks are going to the cup finals.

RAPTORS - I sit here today with my hand raised as one of the doubters of the Toronto Raptors in the Eastern Conference Final against Cleveland. Especially after games 1 and 2 when the Raps were embarrassed. However give Toronto all the credit in the world and more for the last two games they have played. Kyle Lowry and Demar DeRozan have showed up huge and Bizz Biyombo has been incredible in the middle. If the Cavs continue to love shooting the 3 ball 40 times a game then the Raptors will have a chance. Could you imagine if they pull off a road win in game 5 tonight and head home for game 6 with a chance to advance to the Finals? I am also blown away that the OKC Thunder are up 3-1 on Golden State in the West Finals. Sports are awesome.

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

Phil
@PhilAndrewsCKRM






Tuesday, May 24, 2016

MEMORIAL CUP: KNIGHTS 5 HUSKIES 2

Rob Wallator/CHL Images
The London Knights (3-0) punched their ticket to Sunday's MasterCard Memorial Cup Final with a 5-2 win over the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies (1-2) on Tuesday night. The win was London's 16th in a row.

The Knights powerplay struck for the 7th and 8th times in the tournament in the opening frame, JJ Piccinich (2) and Matthew Tkachuk (2) the goals. There were 8 total powerplays between the two clubs in the first 20 minutes.

The parade to the penalty box continued in the second. The Huskies powerplay struck as Timo Meier buried his 4th from the top of the right circle and it was 2-1. Late in the period the Knights made it 3-1 with a beautiful short handed goal. Max Jones (2) finished off a gorgeous passing play with Mitch Marner who picked up his 3rd assist and it was 3-1 London.

In the third London scored their third powerplay goal, Christian Dvorak (6) on a rebound and it was 4-1. The Huskies got back within 2 when Timo Meier (5) slid one just inside the post to make it a 4-2 game. Mathew Tkachuk (3) sealed it with an empty netter and 5-2 was the final score.

Mitch Marner finished with another 4 assists and leads the tournament with 13 points.

London was 3 for 7 on the powerplay and the Huskies were 2 for 10.

The round robin wraps up on Wednesday night when the Red Deer Rebels (1-1) take on the Brandon Wheat Kings (0-2). Brandon needs a win to force a tie breaker or they are out and Red Deer would play Rouyn-Noranda in Friday's semi-final.






Pats Open Spring Camp Friday

Regina, Saskatchewan – The Regina Pats hold their annual spring prospects camp this weekend.  It runs Friday, May 27 to Sunday, May 29 at the Co-operators Arena.
This year’s camp features a more focused roster with 19 players attending.  Skaters range from the recently drafted 2001-born prospect class to 1998-born prospects. 
The camp is the first opportunity for fans to see recently drafted, listed or acquired prospects.  Players attending the 2016 spring camp include 2015 first round pick Dawson Barteaux along with 2016 draft selections Cole Muir, Tristen Robins and Kjell Kjemhus. 
Following registration and orientation Friday evening, the prospects take part in on-ice sessions running from 10:30 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. both Saturday and Sunday.  Rather than previous years where players were split into two groups, all players will be on the ice for each session.  These sessions are open to the public at the Co-operators Arena.
2016 Spring Camp Schedule
Saturday, May 28
10:30-11:30 a.m.
On-Ice Session
Co-operators Arena
Sunday, May 29
10:30-11:30 a.m.
On-Ice Session
Co-operators Arena

The Neutral Zone Authentic Pats Sportswear holds its sidewalk sale throughout the weekend.  Stop by for great deals on Regina Pats merchandise.
Neutral Zone Hours
Friday, May 27 – 1 p.m.-4 p.m.
Saturday, May 28 – 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Sunday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. 


About the Regina Pats
Named for the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, the Western Hockey League’s Regina Pats are the oldest major junior hockey franchise in the world.  Since their founding in 1917, the Pats have won three Memorial Cup championships and compete in the WHL’s Eastern Division.  To learn more about the Pats, call 306-337-1535 or visit www.reginapats.com.
Daniel Fink
Director Media and Communications
Regina Pats Hockey Club





Chase Lang signs with Minnesota

Vancouver, B.C. - The Vancouver Giants would like to congratulate forward Chase Lang on signing an entry-level contract with the Minnesota Wild of the National Hockey League.

The Giants acquired Lang in a five player trade with the Calgary Hitmen on October 27, 2015. The 19-year-old tallied 25 goals and 31 assists in 55 games in a Vancouver uniform. After the end of the Giants’ season, Lang was assigned to the Iowa Wild of the American Hockey League where he scored two goals and an assist in 11 games.

The Nanaimo native was a sixth round pick (167th overall) of the Wild in the 2014 NHL Draft. The Calgary Hitmen drafted Lang in the fifth round of the 2011 WHL Bantam Draft.

To inquire about purchasing season tickets to see the Vancouver Giants, call 604.4.GIANTS (604.444.2687) or go to VancouverGiants.com/SeasonTickets for more information.

Brendan Batchelor
Director of Media Relations/Play-By-Play Broadcaster
Vancouver Giants Hockey Club



Monday, May 23, 2016

MEMORIAL CUP: KNIGHTS 9 WHEAT KINGS 1

The London Knights won their 15th straight game and improved to 2-0 at the Mastercard Memorial Cup with a 9-1 drubbing of the Brandon Wheat Kings (0-2) on Monday night. 

The Knights struck early and often in this one scoring 4 in the first, 3 in the second and 2 in the third. 

Mitch Marner had 4 assists in the win while Christian Dvorak added three goals and a helper. 

London went 4/8 on the powerplay and now have 6 PP goals through two games of the tournament. 

The Wheat Kings (0-2) will wrap up the round robin against the Red Deer Rebels (1-1) on Wednesday. Brandon needs a win to extend their tournament. 

On Tuesday London (2-0) will play Rouyn-Noranda (1-1) at 8 PM. 







Sunday, May 22, 2016

MEMORIAL CUP: REBELS 5 HUSKIES 2

The Red Deer Rebels bounced back in their second game of the Mastercard Memorial Cup with a 5-2 win over Rouyn-Noranda Huskies on Sunday. 

The Huskies jumped out to a 2-0 lead early in the first on goals from Timo Meier (3rd) and Julien Nantel (1st). The Rebels got one back just past the midway point when Evan Polei snapped home his 1st and it was 2-1 after 20. 

Red Deer dominated the second stanza outshooting the Huskies 16-11 and got two goals from Adam Helewka (2nd and 3rd) and one from Jake DeBrusk (1st) to lead 4-2. 

Haydn Fleury (1) added a powerplay goal late in the 3rd and Red Deer won their first game of the tournament, 5-2 the final. Both the Rebels and Huskies are 1-1 through 2 games. 

On Monday the Brandon Wheat Kings (0-1) will play the London Knights (1-0) in a 6 o'clock puck drop. 







SUTTER BROTHERS HONOURED BY WHL

Brian, Darryl, Duane, Brent, Rich and Ron will receive the award Sunday night in Red Deer.


Red Deer, AB – Western Hockey League Commissioner Ron Robison, on behalf of the WHL Board of Governors, announced today that the legendary Sutter brothers will be honoured with the WHL Milestone Award at a reception Sunday evening as part of the MasterCard Memorial Cup festivities in Red Deer.  The WHL Milestone Award pays tribute to extraordinary achievements by players, coaches, trainers, officials and teams over the 50 year history of the WHL.

The Sutters are the only family in WHL history to not only have six brothers play in the WHL but also go on to highly successful careers in the National Hockey League.

Brian, Darryl, Duane, Brent, Rich and Ron each graduated from the WHL and went on to very lengthy NHL careers that spanned 25 years combined. From 1974-83, the six Sutter brothers played in a total of 781 games for the Lethbridge Broncos in which they posted 1,007 points (458g-549a) and 2,248 penalty minutes. Products of Viking, Alberta, the clan totaled 2,934 career NHL points (1320g-1614a) in nearly 5,000 regular season games from 1976-2001.

“The hockey career accomplishments of the Sutter brothers at both the WHL and NHL levels are nothing short of remarkable and will likely never be matched again by any other family in the WHL,” commented WHL Commissioner Ron Robison. “We are very proud to call Brian, Darryl, Duane, Brent, Rich and Ron graduates of the WHL. Each of the Sutter brothers have made incredible contributions to the game at all levels and their legacy continues to be an inspiration to everyone associated with the WHL."


Brian, the first to enter the WHL, played two seasons with the Broncos from 1974-76 recording 173 points over 125 games. Selected 20th overall by the St. Louis Blues in the 1976 NHL Draft, Brian played all 12 seasons of his career with the Blues, the final nine of which he served as the team’s captain. He began his coaching career after retiring in 1988 and quickly won the Jack Adams Award in 1991. His number 11 has since been retired by the Blues.

Darryl suited up for the Broncos in the 1977-78 season and recorded 81 points (33g-48a) over 61 games. After being selected by the Chicago Blackhawks in the 11th round, 179th overall, of the 1978 NHL Draft, Darryl played 406 career regular season games for Chicago and registered 279 points (161g-118a). He retired as a player in 1987 and has since gone on to a highly successful coaching career with Chicago, Calgary, San Jose and most recently Los Angeles – where he has won two Stanley Cups in his five years at the helm.

Duane spent time with the Broncos from 1977-80 and recorded 166 points (69g-97a) in 98 games to go along with 307 penalty minutes. Selected 17th overall by the New York Islanders in the 1979 NHL Draft, Duane promptly won four Stanley Cups with the Islanders to start his NHL career. In total, he recorded 342 points (139g-203a) over 731 regular season games along with 1,333 penalty minutes. Duane transitioned to coaching as his brothers before him did and then to scouting where he currently works for the Edmonton Oilers.

With the Broncos for 107 games from 1980-82, Brent Sutter racked up 189 points (101g-88a) and – like Duane – was selected by the New York Islanders in the first round, 17th overall, this time in the 1980 NHL Draft. Brent won a pair of Stanley Cups with Duane in New York and played in 1,111 games between the Islanders and Blackhawks over 18 seasons, recording 829 points (363g-466a) in the process. Brent purchased the Red Deer Rebels following his playing career and guided the club to a Memorial Cup in 2001 as coach and general manager. He guided Team Canada to World Junior gold medals in 2005 and 2006 before beginning his NHL coaching career. Brent has since returned to serve as the head coach and general manager of the Rebels, the host team of the 2016 MasterCard Memorial Cup.

Rich and Ron, the twins and youngest Sutters, have the distinction of being the only two brothers to earn a WHL Championship. The pair suited up for the Lethbridge Broncos for three seasons from 1980-83, winning the League title together in their final season. That season, Ron led the WHL in playoff scoring with 41 points (22g-19a) in 20 games. Ron was selected fourth overall by the Philadelphia Flyers in the 1982 NHL Draft while Rich was taken six spots later by the Pittsburgh Penguins. Each had long careers for seven different teams, with Ron suiting up for 1,093 regular season games and Rich for 874. Rich and Ron played together in the NHL at times for both the Flyers and Blues. The final Sutter brother to retire from playing, Ron began his career in the Calgary Flames’ scouting department in 2001 where he currently serves as Director of Player Development. Rich also went on to spend a great deal of time within NHL scouting departments and also returned to Lethbridge for two seasons in 2008 as the team’s assistant general manager. Rich also currently spends time as an analyst for Sportsnet, the official national broadcast partner of the CHL.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

MEMORIAL CUP: HUSKIES 5 WHEAT KINGS 3

Photo credit: Rob Wallator
San Jose Sharks 1st round pick Timo Meier scored twice to lead the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies to a 5-3 win over the Brandon Wheat Kings on day 2 of the Mastercard Memorial Cup.

The Wheat Kings opened the scoring thanks to Reid Duke but surrendered 5 unanswered through the rest of the first period and the second and trailed 5-1 heading to the third.

That's when Brandon turned it on and outshot the Huskies 20-4 in the frame. The Wheat Kings got two back but dropped their opening contest 5-3.

Brandon outshot the QMJHL Champs 41-29 in the loss.

The Huskies (1-0) are right back at it on Sunday when they take on the host Red Deer Rebels (0-1). Puck drops at 5 o'clock.






Friday, May 20, 2016

MEMORIAL CUP: KNIGHTS 6 REBELS 2

I
Mitch Marner scored twice and added three assists to lead the London Knights to a 6-2 win over the Red Deer Rebels in the first game of the 2016 Mastercard Memorial Cup on Friday. 

The Knights scored three in the first and three in the second to lead 6-0. Red Deer got goals from Luke Philp and Adam Helewka in the loss. 

Tyler Parsons made 30 saves in the London goal, the Knights outshot Red Deer 36-32 in the game. 

Next action at the Memorial Cup is Saturday when the WHL Champion Brandon Wheat Kings take on the QMJHL Champion Ryoun-Noranda Huskies at 5 PM.








Malcolm Cameron returns to the ECHL

Wichita, KS - The Wichita Thunder, proud member of the ECHL and powered by Toyota, are excited to announce that the team has hired Malcolm Cameron as the 13th Head Coach in franchise history. 

Cameron, 46, was introduced at a press conference earlier this afternoon. He returns to the pro ranks after spending parts of two seasons with the Regina Pats of the Western Hockey League. The Cole Harbor, Nova Scotia native boasts an impressive coaching resume. Cameron spent eight seasons as a Head Coach in the ECHL with Cincinnati, Long Beach, Texas, Florida and Elmira. His teams reached 40 or more wins in four of those eight seasons and qualified for the playoffs seven times. All seven times his teams advanced past the first round. Other highlights of his ECHL tenure include three All-Star game appearances and a runner-up for Coach of the Year three times. 

"I am very excited and proud to be joining the Wichita Thunder organization for their 25th anniversary season," commented Cameron. "I have fond memories of playing against the Thunder many years ago and the passionate fan base that created such a hostile environment. My family and I are excited about the move to Wichita and the work has just begun on building a fast, fun and hardworking team that we can all be proud of."

Malcolm led two ECHL teams to significant turnarounds, which rank seventh and eighth-best for improving a team from one year to the next in ECHL history. Cameron took over as the bench boss of the Texas Wildcatters in 2006-07 and led them to a 41-22-9 record and 46-point improvement. In 2004-05, he took over as head coach for the Long Beach Ice Dogs and guided them to a 43-20-9 record and a 44-point improvement. In 2007-08, he set an ECHL record for fewest regulation losses in a season, going 52-9-11 and recorded 115 points, which is tied for second-most in league history. 


"I would like to thank Rodney & Brandon Steven as well as GM Joel Lomurno for their interest in me and the opportunity to work for their organization."

After leaving Elmira in 2010-11, Cameron joined Regina as an assistant coach for the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons. He was promoted to head coach the following year, winning the WHL's East Division regular season title with a record of 39-26-4-3. Cameron returns to the ECHL looking to improve on his outstanding numbers all-time. He is tied for eighth in wins (317), 10th in games coached in league history (555), 12th in playoff wins (34), and ninth in playoff games coached (68).

"We are thrilled to have Malcolm on board," stated Rodney Steven II, owner of the Thunder. "He has a proven track record of success in the ECHL, wins everywhere he goes and is a relentless recruiter. During this process we spoke to several NHL, AHL and ECHL executives as well as some of his former players who had nothing but great things to say about his coaching ability and work ethic. We are confident he will build a solid team on the ice and will be an asset to the Wichita community."

After a five-year playing career, Cameron joined the coaching ranks as an assistant with the Lubbock Cotton Kings of the WPHL. Thunder fans may recognize him from his time with the Fort Worth Fire and the Nashville Nighthawks of the CHL. Cameron and his wife, Heather, have two sons, Brett and Logan. 


Courtesy Thunder PR

Red Sox Open Training Camp Sunday

New manager Mitch MacDonald and his coaching staff will hold the 2016 Regina Red Sox training camp at Currie Field from Sunday, May 22 to Friday, May 27.

The Red Sox are scheduled to practice starting at 2 pm on Sunday. Weekday workouts will be begin at 6 pm.

Regina will also open the 2016 WMBL season with a three game home stand. The first pitch of the campaign will be thrown on Sunday, May 29when the Red Sox host the Weyburn Beavers in an afternoon matinee.

Yorkton will travel to Regina for a night game on Tuesday May 31, before the Sox end their home stand against the Moose Jaw Millers on Thursday, June 2. 

Regina’s first road trip will be back in Moose Jaw on Friday, June 3.

For the complete 2016 Regina Red Sox schedule or to buy season tickets visitwww.reginaredsox.com.



Thursday, May 19, 2016

Regina Pats Prospects Earn U16 Invites


Over recent weeks, the governing hockey bodies of the western provinces and USA Hockey announced their U16 development camp invites.  Among those invited or, in the case of Manitoba, having already attended were seven of the eight prospects selected by the Regina Pats at the 2016 WHL Bantam Draft.

Evans and Kjemhus
Hockey Alberta was the latest provincial body to release its development camp list.  Both newly drafted, Alberta-born Pats prospects were among the 80 invited to the camp.  Forward Kjell Kjemhus (4th round – 77th overall) and defenceman Ryker Evans (10th round – 209th overall).  Alberta’s camp takes place July 5-10 in Camrose, AB.

Muir and Robins
May 12-15 saw Hockey Manitoba hold it’s Program of Excellence Top-40 Camp.  All three Pats Manitoban draftees were in attendance led by second round pick, forward Cole Muir (33rd overall). Joining him were forward Tristen Robins (4th round – 76th overall) and defenceman Michael Ladyman (5th round – 108th overall). The group represents three of the first four players selected by the Pats at this year’s intake.

Rounding out the Pats prospects attending Canadian summer camps is Logan Nijhoff (8th round – 165th overall).  The forward will be in Shawnigan Lake, B.C. July 13-17 with 44 top players from British Columbia.

Following these camps, each province will create a shortlist before trimming down to a final roster for the 2016 Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup in Calgary.

Meanwhile, south of the border, forward Kaden Bohlsen (9th round – 187th overall) earned an invite to the USA Hockey Select-15 camp July 16-20 in Amherst, New York.

The first opportunity for Pats fans to see the latest group of prospects is the Pats’ annual Spring Camp coming up May 27-29 at the Co-operators Centre in Regina.





GLEN HANLON NAMED GIANTS GM

Photo credit: CJ Relke/Vancouver Giants.
Vancouver, B.C. – The Vancouver Giants unveiled Glen Hanlon as the second General Manager in franchise history at a press conference on Thursday morning.

"Glen has a vast network in the hockey industry, and his experience will be a huge benefit to the Giants," said majority owner Ron Toigo. "He’s someone who we all know and have worked with in the past, and we’re very excited to work together going forward."

Hanlon has extensive experience in the game of hockey, serving as Head Coach of the Washington Capitals from 2003-2007. He was also an Assistant Coach with the Vancouver Canucks, Head Coach of the Belarusian and Swiss national teams and an Assistant Coach with the Giants from 2011-2013.

"It feels good to be back with the Giants and involved with the Vancouver hockey community," said Hanlon. "I look forward to positive organizational changes, and I'm embracing the challenges that we face to position ourselves with the top teams."

In his playing days, Hanlon spent three seasons with the WHL’s Brandon Wheat Kings from 1974-77, earning WHL Goaltender of the Year honours in his final season while posting an impressive 49 wins in 65 games which still stands as a WHL record. Selected by the Vancouver Canucks in the third round of the 1977 NHL Amateur Draft, Hanlon played in 477 NHL games with Vancouver, St. Louis, New York, and Detroit.

To inquire about purchasing season tickets to see the Vancouver Giants, call 604.4.GIANTS (604.444.2687) or go to VancouverGiants.com/SeasonTickets for more information.

Brendan Batchelor
Director of Media Relations/Play-By-Play Broadcaster
Vancouver Giants Hockey Club






Wednesday, May 18, 2016

VIGR Lifestyles Wednesday Thriller

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Happy Wednesday Everybody! I am feeling opinionated today so lets get to it.

ED CHYNOWETH CUP - Well first off a congrats to the Brandon Wheat Kings on winning the WHL Championship over the Seattle Thunderbirds in 5 games. I wrote it last week and I will say it again. What a difference a year made for the Wheat Kings who played like a team that had been there before. They didn't panic, played their game and won a championship. I am not a Wheat Kings fan, just like I was never a fan of Derek Jeter, however I firmly believe you have to respect greatness no matter what league, team or organization and both the Wheat Kings and Jeter have my respect.

MASTERCARD MEMORIAL CUP - The Brandon Wheat Kings join the host Red Deer Rebels, OHL Champion London Knights and QMJHL Champion Rouyn-Noranda Huskies in the 2016 Memorial Cup. Lots of hype about the Knights who are playing in their 4th Memorial Cup in the last 5 years. Just an unbelievable run however they have not won the National title. Led by Mitch Marner and Matthew Tkatchuk, both had 40 plus points in the playoffs, the Knights set an OHL playoff record with 13 straight wins and only lost twice in the post season. I think it's safe to say they are the favourites going in. Brandon will give them a good test and Red Deer as well to a lesser extent. Goaltending will be the difference as always. Rouyn-Noranda had a great QMJHL playoffs led by goaltender Chase Marchand with a league-leading 1.35 goals-against average, a .946 save percentage and a 15-3-0-0 record over 19 games. His six shutouts contributed to a new QMJHL playoff record of 215 minutes without allowing a goal. Can he be the difference for the Huskies? We will see, Can't wait until Friday night when the Knights and Rebels meet to kick off the tournament.

HERSHEY BEARS - Former Pats Chandler Stephenson and Garrett Mitchell each have four points in the playoffs and are on to the Eastern Conference Finals in the AHL with the Hershey Bears. They are taking on Toronto for a chance to advance to the Calder Cup Finals. Former Captain Colby Williams and current Pat Connor Hobbs are both with the Bears on ATO's but have not played in any games.

STEVENSON GOING FOR REPEAT - Former Pat Dyson Stevenson and the Allen Americans are looking for a second straight ECHL Kelly Cup Championship. The Americans are in the conference final series and are coming off two road wins over Fort Wayne to start the series and are heading back home for three in a row. On the other side South Carolina is taking on Wheeling. Stevenson has 5 points and 27 PIM's in 15 playoff games so far.

NHL PLAYOFFS -  The Sharks got a big 4-0 win in St. Louis last night to take home ice advantage. San Jose has been the better team through two games and though they lost game 1, deserve to be up 2-0 in the series. Brian Elliott was great for the Blues in game 1 but the Sharks just came in waves in game 2 and got rewarded. They look like a team finally ready to take the jump and be a championship club. I would like to see the likes of Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau win a cup. Also what a game Bob Cole called last night. My favourite of all time no doubt and he still has it, I don't care what anyone says.

The Penguins are going to join San Jose in the Stanley Cup Finals in my opinion. The Penguins got the OT win in game 2 and are just plain better than Tampa Bay. The Lightning will make it tough, they are a great team too and as the series goes on who knows what will happen but I just like Pittsburgh and the way they play. They are so dangerous because they are so deep. It wasn't by accident they knocked off the best regular season team in the Washington Capitals.

BLUE JAYS - There was a hope that the Texas Rangers incident would galvanize the Blue Jays and get them playing consistent baseball. Well since then the Jays have lost two and have been outscored 25-4. The suspensions coming from the brawl in Arlington are not a surprise. Maybe I am a bit surprised Jose Bautista got a game, all he did was make an aggressive slide which Odor jumped over and no harm was done. Then Jose took a punch in the face after getting beaned in the ribs at the plate. The slide was a baseball play, the Rangers antics were not, they deserve what they got and more. Jesse Chavez of the Jays deserves the three games he got for throwing at Prince Fielder. The thing that bothers me the most is when the Rangers decided to take 'revenge' for the bat flip from last years playoffs. The last at bat for Bautista in the last game between the two clubs in the regular season? C'mon man... I'll tell you what, Rougned Odor and the rest of the Rangers would trade their punches and everything else to have won that decisive game 5 in October last year.

RAPTORS GET POUNDED - The Raptors got off to a good start in game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final last night in Cleveland. But what we have seen at times all playoffs struck again in the 2nd quarter, that cold stretch offensively. Only difference is Cleveland has multiple weapons to hurt you. Indiana had Paul George, Miami Dwayne Wade and the Raptors were able to recover from their tough stretches. The Cavs however have LeBron James and Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love and the list goes on. Cleveland is a whole new animal. They are incredible offensively and are just as good on the defensive side. Toronto will be lucky to win one game in this series. I think that's why I am not as invested in the Raptors run. Yes it has been fun to watch but at the end of the day, even if they get by the Cavaliers, which would take a miracle, there is no way they beat the Warriors or the Thunder in the Finals. I hope I'm wrong but I'm not.

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS - Team Canada is 6-1 in Russia but no one is talking about that, certainly not the media at the event. All I see is highlights of Auston Matthews and Patrick Laine but mostly Matthews over and over and over and over. Look I get it, Toronto is picked 1st overall but my god this craziness has to stop. Especially when Canada wins a round robin game and all TSN is talking about in their coverage is how Matthews played in a USA loss. He's a good player yes, he's not Connor McDavid.

That's all I have for today, have a great week! Hope to see you at the Four Seasons tonight for the Peter Loubardias fundraiser!

Phil
@PhilAndrewsCKRM