Hockey Headlines

Sunday, 19 February 2017

The Rundown - Week 18

This week's edition of the Rundown will be shorter than most thanks to the fact that only four teams in Canada West women's hockey saw action. Two teams unfortunately did not acquire enough points to make the playoffs while those that had all too many points for their own good got a week off as a reward for finishing atop the standings. The four teams in the middle squared off in the opening round of the CWUAA Playoffs with their reward for winning being a road trip while losing would end their seasons. Who would move on? Let's find out on this week's episode of the Rundown!

REGINA at SASKATCHEWAN: The fifth-place Regina Cougars traveled north to Saskatoon to meet the fourth-place Huskies in the battle of Saskatchewan with a trip to either Vancouver or Edmonton on the line. Like any good playoff series, this best-of-three saw the first period go scoreless as both teams began to feel one another out for weaknesses. Regina would carry a 10-8 lead in shots into the second period, but both Regina's Jane Kish and Saskatchewan's Cassidy Hendricks played well in the opening frame.

Lauren Zary's bodychecking penalty with 28 seconds left in the first period carried over into the second period, and it would kick off the scoring for both teams. Saskatchewan would grab the lead just 48 seconds into the period while shorthanded as Kaitlin Willoughby got just enough blade on the puck sent over to her by Kayla Kirwan to get it past Kish for the 1-0 lead. 39 seconds later, Regina ended the power-play when Melissa Zerr took a pass in the slot and went high stick-side over the shoulder of Hendricks to make it a 1-1 game at 1:27. Saskatchewan's Kira Bannatyne would head to the sin bin 23 seconds later, and Regina would use this new power-play to gain the lead when Alexis Larson's shot from the point found its way through traffic and was tipped by Tamara McVannel past Hendricks at 3:02 to make it 2-1 for the Cougars! Saskatchewan, though, would use a power-play of their own to tie the game as Willoughby's rush into the zone saw her zip a shot past Kish at 7:32 to make it a 2-2 game! The remainder of the period saw the teams trade chances, but they would enter the second intermission deadlocked at that 2-2 score.

Saskatchewan went up 3-2 just 4:52 into the third period when - who else? - Willoughby found a puck in the slot and wired the puck stick-side past Kish. Exactly two minutes later, Kori Herner was sent in on a breakaway off a neutral zone turnover, and she made no mistake in beating Kish to make it a 4-2 game for the Huskies. Regina would make a desperate push late in the game as Jaycee Magwood was able to close the deficit to one when she beat Hendricks off a scramble in front of the Huskies net at 16:18, but the Cougars couldn't get the one they needed in the end as Saskatchewan emerged victorious in the 4-3 victory. Hendricks made 28 saves in the victory while Kish stopped 25 shots while coming up short. Saskatchewan gained a 1-0 advantage in the series.

REGINA at SASKATCHEWAN: Regina would have last change in this game, and they needed a win to keep their season going. Saskatchewan would be the road team on home ice, and they were looking to close out this series. Both teams had their chances early on, but it was a goal late in the period that would put the Huskies up 1-0. Bailee Bourassa's shot from the right face-off circle found a path through traffic and Jane Kish to dent twine at 17:51 to put pressure on the Cougars.

The second period was more defensive in nature, but the chances that were generated were stopped at both ends so we'd be forced to move to the final 20 minutes of regulation with the Huskies still leading 1-0. Midway through the third period, Kylee Kupper's shot was stopped by Cassidy Hendricks, but the rebound came out on her stick-side and Jolene Kirkpatrick was there to bang home the loose puck at 9:33 to get the Cougars on the board and tie the game at 1-1! It would be a mistake and a turnover in the neutral zone that would lead to the next goal as Kori Herner picked up the mishandled puck, broke into the zone, and fed Kaitlin Willoughby for the shot on Kish that pinged in off the post at 16:25 to put Saskatchewan back up by a 2-1 count.

Desperation set in quickly for Regina as they needed a goal badly. Kish was on the bench with nearly three minutes to play, and a late power-play for the Cougars had everyone on the edges of their seats, but the final horn would end this game with no further scoring as the Saskatchewan Huskies survived the late pressure by the Cougars to win the game 2-1 and sweep the series by a 2-0 count. Hendricks stopped 31 shots in helping her team advance while Kish made 21 saves as the Cougars' season comes to an end.

MOUNT ROYAL at MANITOBA: The sixth-place Mount Royal Cougars traveled east to visit the third-place Manitoba Bisons for a battle to determine who would advance to play either the Thunderbirds or the Pandas. This game started off quickly as both teams pressed early in trying to force a mistake by their opposition. It would be Mount Royal who flinched first as a failed clearing attempt up the boards was corralled by Caitlyn Fyten, and her slapshot after changing the shooting lane was deflected perfectly by Venla Hovi past Emma Pincott at 2:55 to put Manitoba up 1-0 early. Even with the furious pace, the two teams couldn't find the net again in the first period as Manitoba took the lead into the intermission.

The battle continued in the second period, and Mount Royal would finally solve Rachel Dyck on the power-play. Gabrielle Seper cut into the Bisons zone and received pass from Sarah Weninger before throwing a low shot on net that eluded Rachel Dyck's outstreched left leg and somehow found the inside of the far post to even the game at 1-1 at the 10:57 mark. The Cougars actually took control of this game for a portion of the period after the goal, but it would be a veteran who changed the tides of momentum. Manitoba's Karissa Kirkup pulled off an incredible individual effort as she chipped the puck past her check, put the puck on her backhand, skated into the slot, and went top-shelf with the backhander past Pincott at 16:47 to score one of the prettiest goal this season in giving the Bisons the 2-1 lead!

The two teams went back and forth at the start of the third period, and it would Kirkup who would strike at the midway point of the frame. She carried the puck into the Cougars zone, stopped in the face-off circle, and ripped a shot through Pincott at 10:12 to put the Bisons up 3-1. Five minutes after that, the Bisons were killing penalty when Alanna Sharman forced a turnover at the point and led a two-on-one the other way. Her feed over to Nicole Carswell was perfect as Carswell poked the puck between Pincott's legs for the shorthanded goal and the 4-1 lead at 15:13. Alex Anderson would tee up a point shot at 18:47 that appeared to change direction to elude Pincott with 1:13 to play, and that would be more than enough for Rachel Dyck to close this game out as the Bisons win 5-1 and go up 1-0 in the series. Dyck stopped 26 shots in the win while Pincott turned away 20 shots in the loss.

MOUNT ROYAL at MANITOBA: Game Two of this series saw the Cougars shift to the home team while the Bisons, playing on home ice, would be the road team. This would give the Cougars the last change, and they would use that advantage to match lines and get key players on the ice in specific situations. Quite literally, Mount Royal played a perfect road game despite being the home team in clogging up the neutral zone so Manitoba couldn't attack with speed and keeping the Bisons on the outside when they did gain the offensive zone.

Through 40 minutes, the Cougars and Bisons played scoreless hockey with a few chances, but both Rachel Dyck and Zoe DeBeauville were flawless in their netminding. However, the third period saw the scoreless draw snapped as the Bisons' third line made their presence felt. Caitlyn Fyten cleared her zone with a perfect bank pass off the boards to Erin Kucheravy who evaded a defender at the blue line and broke down the left-wing wall. She threw a centering pass across the ice where Alana Serhan, who had a step on her check, reached out and redirected the puck past Zoe DeBeauville whose sliding save wasn't quite stretched far enough to stop Serhan at the 8:18 mark.

With the Bisons leading 1-0, the Cougars began to throw everything they could at Rachel Dyck. Late in the game, the Bisons were down two women due to penalties and head coach Scott Rivett pulled DeBeauville for a six-on-three advantage. Blocked shots, big saves, and desperate clears kept Manitoba in the lead until the final horn sounded as the Bisons survived Game Two by a 1-0 score to win the series 2-0 and move on. Dyck was perfect on all 12 shots for the shutout win while DeBeauville was outstanding in making 15 stops in her final game this season.

Up Next

The top-four teams in Canada West women's hockey will play in the semi-final series as the Saskatchewan Huskies will travel west to Vancouver and play the UBC Thunderbirds in that best-of-three series while the Manitoba Bisons will head northwest to Edmonton to visit the Alberta Pandas for a best-of-three series.

UBC and Saskatchewan were 2-1-1-0 this season against each other with the teams splitting the two-game series in Vancouver in early October. Obviously, things have changed since then, but Saskatchewan is the only team in Canada West to have defeated UBC twice this season. That could be important as the two teams were similar in their defensive play - UBC had 45 goals-against while Saskatchewan had 52 goals-against. UBC, however, scored 30 more goals than Saskatchewan did this season, so we'll have to see if UBC can get that potent offence running. If I were a betting man, I think this series goes three games with UBC prevailing.

The other series is decidedly in one team's favor. Alberta has had Manitoba's number all season in going 3-0-1-0 against the Bisons. Three of the four games, though, were one-goal decisions, so there may be something to build on if you're a Bisons fan. Both teams had similar positive goal differentials, so they question of scoring and stopping goals shouldn't be an issue. It's just a matter of who can stop more pucks, and right now the Pandas have that advantage on paper. If we learned one thing from this Manitoba team, though, it's that they can play on the road and win a series in Edmonton as they did last season. I'm going to bet against common sense here to say that Manitoba wins this series in three games.

These two series should be exciting and fun to watch, so find a way to get to the rinks or tune in via Canada West TV. It might be some of the best, most spirited hockey you see all season as neither team in either series likes one another!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Not Like Last Time

Claude Julien was back in the NHL today with his new team as the Montreal Canadiens hosted the Winnipeg Jets. Julien has had one full practice with his team thus far so I don't expect the Canadiens to pull out of their floundering ways, but a coaching change usually puts a little jump into each player's step as they try to impress the new coach. There's a big difference between a .500 Canadiens team in 2003 and a division-leading team in 2017, but in watching this Canadiens team it is clear they need a different voice.

I don't know if Julien can stop the flat-lining that this team seems to be going through, but watching them today against the Jets was like watching a team in disarray. They started strong, but they looked awful by the end of the game. Shea Weber doesn't look anything like his normal, dominant self. Gallagher, Pacioretty, Galchenyuk, and Radulov seem to be going through the motions when it comes to generating offence, and Carey Price isn't getting a lot of help from the rest of the defence. In short, this team looks a lot like a Michel Therrien team after a number of years.

The one thing that Julien will do is bring accountability to his players just as he demanded in Boston of his players there. No one will get a free ride when it comes to hard work, puck battles, and races to loose pucks. That's just how it is with Julien. If you don't like it as a player, you might as well have La-Z-Boy drop off a recliner in the press box because Julien will have none of it.

In saying this, players like Shaw and Gallagher will be given more responsibility when it comes to their pest-like play, but they'll still be expected to contribute much in the same vein that Brad Marchand was allowed to evolve in Boston's system. Shaw's penchant for temper tantrums and suspensions won't be tolerated by Julien, but it will be expected that he plays tough-as-nails on the opposition. Gallagher will still get his minutes, but he can't rest on the fact that he's a non-scoring pest. He'll need to bring some offence in Julien's systems.

As of right now, I'd say that David Desharnais, Alexei Emelin, and Torrey Mitchell are fighting for their jobs. All three are underperforming based on what Julien will need out of them, and that's not good. If these three cannot find some sort of effective role within Julien's system, I can see all three being dangled as trade bait when the trade deadline rolls around this year.

Overall, the changes will come. Julien will make the Canadiens a better squad overall, but one practice won't do much as we saw today. Julien started his Montreal coaching gig in 2003 with three wins and two ties in five games, but his second stint started with a lifeless 3-1 loss to the Jets. Expect that to change before the end of the month.

If it doesn't, the personnel will change.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Friday, 17 February 2017

The Kenora Experience

While we only got to interview one of these two broadcasting legends, the day yesterday in Kenora was nothing short of magical. Whether it be visiting the world famous chip truck to seeing a number of NHL legends on the ice, the town of Kenora put on one heckuvan event on Thursday, and we still have two days of festivities to go! None of us from The Hockey Show really wanted to pack up and head home on Friday, but other duties called and we needed to get back home. However, today is all about why hockey needs to return to its roots when it comes to events like this as Kenora, Ontario may have hosted the best Thursday of a Hockey Day in Canada event ever!

As one reaches the Ontario border from the Manitoba side, it feels like one has been transported from fields of green to lakes of blue, especially on this warm Thursday. The winding highway through lake country is surround by faces of rock and small cliffs thanks to the Canadian shield, making the drive to Kenora feel more like a trip through a small, picturesque mountain range. But as one nears Kenora on Highway 17, it becomes apparently clear why this is cottage country as the lakes take over the landscape.

Kenora itself isn't a huge city by any means. The town boasts about 15,000 people as its populace, but that number can swell to double the size in summer as thousands flock to the area for boating, fishing, and cottage life. I expected a quiet town on Thursday as I pulled into the city, but what I expected was far different than what I found.

The city had not only embraced Hockey Day in Canada, but personified it in every way. From billboards welcoming people to Scotiabank Hockey Day in Canada to every shop and store in town having a Hockey Day in Canada logo in its windows to jerseys of every team and every generation of Kenora Thistles hockey, Kenora was living and breathing the game of hockey with every foot I went deeper into town.

My first stop was the Kenora Recreation Centre which houses the Kenora Thistles Rink and the Kenora Aquatic Centre. The rink can be described as a modernized "old barn" as it still has the feel of an old-time rink, but has a number of modern amenities that allow it to host all sorts of events. Located at 18 Mike Richards Way in the city, the 1900-seat facility plays host to the vast majority of hockey events in and around the Kenora area including high school and AAA hockey games.

My arrival coincided with meeting Bob, an amazing man who runs the merchandise stand in the rink. Bob is a lively gentleman who loves his hockey almost as much as he's proud of his city, and his knowledge of the history of the Kenora Hall of Fame players is second-to-none. He and I must have spoken for an hour about all the history and great players who have grown up in the Kenora area, and his knowledge on the Thistles teams from the Stanley Cup-winning squad through to today was a lesson in hockey history I'll find nowhere else. Bob is a gem of a human being, and I highly recommend stopping by the merchandise stand if and when you visit Kenora.

The next person I met was a young lady by the name of Casey who was in charge of all things happening at the rink. If I had a question, she had the answer. To call her a resource would be doing her an injustice because she's quite literally the lifeblood of the Rec Centre. She was on the go the entire time I was there, but had time to stop for every question, every fan, and every visitor to ensure that they were doing well. I don't know what she's earning in her role, but I'm quite certain she's worth double the amount with how vital she was during the day in my time at the arena. She's everything that one could hope for in an ambassador, and that only scratches the surface of what I saw from her.

Bob caught me again, and this time he had guests to introduce. Bob introduced me to Len "Kroppy" Kropioski's niece and her husband. Kroppy, as you may be aware, is a legend in Winnipeg thanks to his unwavering support of the Winnipeg Jets who he would drive in to see for each and every home game from his hometown of Kenora. This couple were two of the nicest people one could ever hope to meet, and I feel blessed having met them.

From there, I was able to speak with Sportsnet's Ken Reid, pictured in what he called a "Kenora Dinner Jacket" above, for about ten minutes prior to the Skate with Stanley event happening at the Kenora Rec Centre. I also got a nice nod and smile from Hall of Fame legend Bryan Trottier after I said hi to him. He was also there for the Skate with Stanley. Mark Napier was late and blew by me as he rushed to get his skates on, but he blurted out as he entered the arena, "Man, look at this great old rink. I love it!" Clearly, the appeal of the Rec Centre was not lost on the NHL legends.

I ran around a little in the afternoon as I picked up a few groceries and checked into my hotel room. In both the grocery store and the hotel, every staff member was wearing a Hockey Day in Canada or Kenora Thistles shirt! While the hotel staff is managed by an independent owner who certainly can approve this choice of uniform, the national grocery store chain I visited has an approved uniform. However, it appeared management was entirely in the spirit and had their staff in the spirit as well as they all were in hockey gear!

Upon returning to the Kenora Rec Centre, I went about getting the radio broadcast set up. Lots of people using the concourse walking/running track stopped by the table I was getting set up on to ask what I was up to and pass on stories about their meetings with NHL legends and local hockey heroes. I can't express how incredible this interaction was as people literally were brimming with excitement in being able to tell someone that they met their favorite hockey players. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing their excitement and listened enthusiastically as they told their stories.

The show, if you listened, went off without a hitch as we chatted hockey and had some laughs. The women's hockey game that went on while we went to air between Beaver Brae Secondary School and St. Thomas Aquinas was nothing short of epic as they took a 4-4 tie into the shootout where there played about 30 rounds of the shootout before St. Thomas finally prevailed. Ok, maybe 30 isn't entirely accurate, but we watched a number of shooters score and be denied before a final goal caused a massive celebration on the ice. Honestly, it was one of the best women's high school hockey games I've ever watched.

We were fortunate to feature Mr. Ken Reid on the show as well, and that man is a professional. Ken was gracious enough to spend about an hour with us as he told stories of new books, his time on Sportsnet and working his way up to that illustrious position, and he had some great views on some of the topics we covered on The Hockey Show. He knows his hockey, he's well-versed in broadcasting, and he was a delightful guest. Ken Reid is truly one of the best men in the business!

I also need to give thanks to a number of people as we wouldn't have had this experience without them.

First and foremost, Joel Darling of Sportsnet was incredible to speak with when it came to granting us this opportunity. He understood the importance of this broadcast and made it clear that we were to cover the game with the utmost professionalism, but he also was quick to remind me that it was about having fun. I hope we made you proud with our broadcast of the NHL/Kenora alumni game, Mr. Darling. I would not hesitate to jump at the opportunity if you asked us to work with you again. Thank you, Mr. Darling.

I also want to thank Bruce Johnson, Thistle Alumni Coordinator, for allowing us to set up in our broadcasting location for the game. Bruce was vital in getting a pile of Thistles alumni to play in the game, and he was the man in charge of the game's progress once the seats were filled. He allowed me to stand between the benches for a unique perspective on the game while allowing TJ and Beans to broadcast from the concourse at center ice. Bruce was a gentleman, a professional, and he ran a tight ship. The alumni game wouldn't have been possible with his efforts. Thank you, Mr. Johnson.

Lastly, but in no way least in any way, I want thoroughly thank Miss Kerri Holder, Communications Clerk for the City of Kenora, for being my point of contact in getting me in touch with Mr. Darling, Casey, and Bruce. She was vital to UMFM's experience in Kenora despite her being incredibly busy on Thursday. I cannot express how much gratitude for her efforts in getting our little show down to Kenora to be part of the festivities, but she absolutely deserves the recognition. Thank you, Miss Holder, for everything you did to help us.

Of course, this event would have been nothing if not for the people of Kenora, and I want to thank them as a group. My time in Kenora barely spanned 24 hours, but the warmth and welcoming nature of the town was more than I ever expected for some little radio broadcaster. Thank you, Kenora. I love visiting, and you're going to be exceptional hosts for the entire country on Saturday for Scotiabank Hockey Day in Canada.

You may have heard us on The Hockey Show during the World Junior Championship wrap-up talking about how the smaller communities live and breathe junior hockey when it comes to their towns. Kenora is a shining example of an entire city embracing their moment in the spotlight and running with it. While personalities such as Ron MacLean, Don Cherry, Darcy Tucker, and Lanny McDonald visit, the star of this weekend will be the city and citizens of Kenora because of how they are embracing the event.

We implored the World Junior Championship to return to its roots where hockey is a part of the culture and brings people together from all walks of life at all hours of the day in every season. Kenora is the embodiment of this plea from our show, and its citizens are exceptional ambassadors of this wish. Look to the communities where hockey's stars found their path, and you'll find the passion for this game once more. Hockey is still a game. In the end, it shouldn't be about record-breaking profits or the most-attended event in the game's history. It's always been about the love of the game, and I think I saw my passion re-ignited in Kenora thanks to its citizens' outpouring of passion for the game.

I'm proud to have been a part of this event and to have had the privilege of working with some exceptional people. But the real stars of Scotiabank Hockey Day in Canada are the City of Kenora, its citizens, and the memories made as a result of these important pieces. Thank you, Kenora. It's an experience I will not soon forget.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Thursday, 16 February 2017

The Hockey Show - Episode 230

The Hockey Show, Canada's only campus-produced hockey radio show, is on the road today as we broadcast from an entirely different province! Your humble hockey program is out east as we invade the city of Kenora as part of Scotiabank Hockey Day in Canada this weekend! We are beyond excited to bring you the show - and more! - from the city of Kenora as we get ready for a fun-filled, action-packed day that will expand beyond the borders of our one-hour timeslot! You're going to want to be near an internet-enabled device today because The Hockey Show is going mainstream!

We are honoured and humbled to be welcomed to the city of Kenora to participate in Scotiabank Hockey Day in Canada. It isn't often that a show like ours is invited to play on the big stage, but, like any call-up from the minor leagues, we're gonna give it everything we have under the bright lights! Tonight, we'll bring you our normal crazy hockey chatter that will include discussion about Claude Julien being hired by the Montreal Canadiens, Gustav Nyquist's and Antoine Vermette's indiscretions, did Alex Chiasson's spear deserve a major and a game misconduct, the passing of Mike Ilitch, and we'll go over all your Scotiabank Hockey Day in Canada events happening in and around the Kenora area!

But we're only getting started, folks. If you tune in on the UMFM Second Stream found on the UMFM webpage at 5pm, I'll be running down some exclusive content from the events happening earlier in the day in Kenora, and we'll carry past the 6:30pm mark on the Second Stream as Sportsnet's Ken Reid joins us for a quick chat prior to the NHL/Kenora hockey alumni game happening at the Kenora Rec Centre tonight! Ken has had a storied career as the pride of Pictou, Nova Scotia, and we'll chat with him about his time on the anchor desk at Sportsnet as well as being an accomplished author!

At 7:30pm on UMFM's Second Stream, we will bring you the first-ever broadcast of an NHL alumni game on UMFM as names like Lanny McDonald, Darcy Tucker, Mark Napier, and Carey Wilson suit up against Kenora hockey alumni such as Mike Richards and Rick St. Croix! Joining the alumni teams will be distinguished guests such as Jets owner Mark Chipman, Hockey Night in Canada's Ron MacLean and Scott Oake, and Sportsnet's Ken Reid. Rounding out the alumni will be local Kenora hockey alumni, and we'll be bringing you all the action from the Kenora Rec Centre as the two teams have a little fun on the ice prior to Scotiabank Hockey Day in Canada kicking off on Saturday!

You'll be able to tune in to the show tonight by downloading the UMFM app! Like now. It's the easiest and most convenient way to listen to any of UMFM's great shows, so go get it! Just follow this link on your iDevice or this link for your Android device and get the UMFM app! It's never been easier to tune into The Hockey Show or UMFM! Download the UMFM app today!

I'm going to be all over social media today, so follow as you see fit! Email all show questions and comments to hockeyshow@umfm.com! Tweet me anytime with questions you may have by hitting me up at @TeebzHBIC on Twitter. You can also post some stuff to Facebook if you use the "Like" feature, and I always have crazy stuff posted there that doesn't make it to the blog or show.

Make sure you hit UMFM's Second Stream found on the UMFM webpage to get access to all the action tonight, and join us for the NHL/Kenora hockey alumni game as part of Scotiabank Hockey Day in Canada live from the city of Kenora, Ontario! It's going to be a big day for The Hockey Show on 101.5 UMFM, on the UMFM app, and on UMFM's Second Stream!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Big Day Tomorrow

HBIC will be closed today. I hope you don't mind. I know there has been a ton of hockey stuff happening - Claude Julien becoming the head coach of the Montreal Canadiens, Michel Therrien cut loose for the second time, Gustav Nyquist's vicious high-stick on Jared Spurgeon - but there are even bigger things afoot here at the ol' blog. As you might be aware, the radio show is on the road tomorrow as we invade Kenora, Ontario as part of Scotiabank Hockey Day in Canada! This is a huge opportunity for UMFM and The Hockey Show, so I'm closing up shop for the day in preparation of my journey east!

We'll discuss the topics above on the show tomorrow that will air live from the Kenora Recreation Centre, the 1900-seat facility that houses all the big hockey games in the Lake of the Woods region. We'll be on the air a little earlier than normal, but we'll be running an extra-long broadcast on the UMFM Second Stream all night long. Staring at 5pm, we'll be on the air talking all things hockey in Kenora, we'll have our normal show time from 5:30 to 6:30 on both the Second Stream and on UMFM's airwaves, and we'll stick around after the show to continue to talk hockey with a special guest as we lead up to the premiere broadcast of the NHL/Kenora hockey alumni game live from Kenora!

Honestly, this is one of the biggest things we've ever done on our show by a large margin, and I'm pretty sure it's a first for the radio station in having their presence at a major hockey event like the NHL alumni game. There are some people that I feel the need to thank before we get out there, so let me take a moment to do that.

First off, I cannot say thank you enough to Bruce Johnson and Kerri Holder who live in Kenora. Bruce is the man who organized the NHL/Kenora hockey alumni including getting a number of the players from the local community to unretire for one night and come back and play in the big game. Kerri is the lady who is coordinating all the media releases and put us in touch with the powers-that-be when it comes to the broadcasting rights. Without these two, I don't think adventure would have gotten off the ground, and I want to thank them immensely for giving us a shot at joining the fun tomorrow.

Secondly, I think a big thank you needs to go out to Rogers Sportsnet and, in particular, Joel Darling, Executive Producer of NHL Special Events for Rogers Sportsnet Hockey. Mr. Darling and I had a great conversation abut the event, and he graciously allowed us the opportunity to broadcast the game to the world. We are forever indebted to Mr. Darling for this opportunity as well, and we're going to give this broadcast a professional touch in every sense of the word.

In saying all this, I have some stuff to do tonight in getting ready for tomorrow's adventure, so HBIC is calling it a day today. Kenora, Ontario is the destination tomorrow, and HBIC and The Hockey Show are going to bring the fun we have to the celebration they are throwing as we join Scotiabank Hockey Day in Canada for one evening!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!