Sunday, 31 May 2020

Maybe Don't Celebrate This One

The three men in the picture to the left are former NHL player and analyst Jeremy Roenick, current New York Rangers forward Brendan Lemieux, and Brett Roenick, Jeremy's son. While Jeremy has come under fire for his comments on a popular podcast that led to his dismissal from NBC Sports and Brendan Lemieux's attachment to the MAGA crowd has raised eyebrows for fans across the continent, Brett Roenick hasn't really been on anyone's radars. He played hockey for the University of San Diego where he was the captain before moving into the General Manager role for the ACHA Division-II team, but he's kept his name out of the news for the most part.

Today, however, Brett Roenick's name surfaced on a rather questionable website for what he's been doing during quarantine. Breitbart, the far-right news outlet that was formerly headed by Steve Bannon and often referenced by the current President of the United States, ran the story on Brett Roenick today on how he's trying to start up a music career while he's been at home with ongoing pandemic. We'll talk about his music in a second, but I'm not certain that agreeing to do this story for this site was a good idea by any means when one considers exactly what is happening in the United States of America right now. I know I criticized Jeremy Roenick for not thinking, but it seems that gene has been passed on in the genetic code that makes up his son as well.

I've heard the adage that "the worst part about talked about is not being talked about", but seeing both Jeremy and Brett celebrate this publication publicly on social media makes me wonder if either of them can read the room at all. We're seeing protests against the systemic injustices that have and are happening in the United States while right-wing pundits are calling for further incarcerations and arrests of those who are protesting, and we have a prominent white hockey player celebrating that his son was featured in a right-wing news publication.

Maybe just let this one fly under the radar for a while?

The medium is one thing, but there are some rather interesting statements made in the article that I forced myself to read. For example, as per Kevin Scholla, "[s]omething to do during quarantine has turned into something to be proud of" according to the writer, and I guess that if it's kept him busy that's a good thing since it seems that he's not going to follow in dad's footsteps.

"'I will be a men's leaguer for life,' Roenick told Breitbart Sports."

According to the article, Roenick goes by the name "B. Roe" as a musician, and he just released his first album on Friday under the title "Coasting". All the songs on the album were written by Roenick, citing current musicians Justin Bieber, Mac Miller, and J. Cole as his inspirations for his music. In knowing that, maybe I should cut him a little slack, right?

You can hear a bunch of his work over on his Soundcloud page, and I have to admit that while he has some talent, I'm not a fan. I'm no music critic, but I know what I like. And, if I'm being completely objective, there's not a lot that I like here. I did go in with an open mind in the hopes that I'd find something I like, but I can't say that I did.

For those who want to write music versus producing music, I'm not sure how much "writing" goes into finding an electronic beat and a pre-produced melody and fusing them together, but there isn't much to write home about when it comes to the music on his Soundcloud page. Lyrically, he does a fine job in working within the music and none of the rhymes come off as awkward or forced, but if you weren't listening to the lyrics specifically it's a monotone track that has nothing that catches your ear musically. Of all the tracks, "Serenity" might be the best of what's been uploaded, and it would get lost on most playlists because of its cookie-cutter sound.

What made me laugh is that the article explicitly states that "Roenick insists this isn't his bread and butter" which makes me wonder why this article was even published in the first place. As Roenick told Scholla, "I am currently planning to go work for a branding company" and "I have no intention on doing this for a career", so why spend the time talking about his music when he's not even pursuing this as a career? If this is to just fill space on the website, congrats on a job... done.

I wish Brett success in whatever field he finds, but getting his hobby highlighted on a right-wing website seems like the dumbest thing that one can do in these rather explosive times. If he was trying to make a name for himself in the music industry, I get that having anything published about him is better than nothing, but he admittedly is not trying to make a name for himself nor is he even considering this as a career. If this appearance on the site is somehow related to Brett Roenick's politics, this will be the last time I'll talk about him. Guaranteed.

I guess the apple doesn't fall far from the tree when it comes to using one's head.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Saturday, 30 May 2020

The Valiant Steeds

It was a Thursday night in Henderson when Bill Foley brought out the horses. This past Thursday, to be exact. And he didn't exactly roll out a team of equines, but he did unveil the newest team who will wear the branded equine on their chests as the Henderson AHL franchise - formerly the San Antonio Rampage - now has a name and an identity with the unveiling of the name "Silver Knights"!

I had written that I wasn't really a fan of the Silver Knights name because of how it might indicate second-best with respect to the gold-silver-bronze medal colours, but I have to admit that I never saw this angle as how they'd sell the team. Maybe it's because chess isn't prevalent in my life, but using the horse as the logo's focal point in terms of being knights is actually really clever. Only that idea is wrong too!

In saying that, let's take a look at the new Henderson Silver Knights.

Designed in the same way as the Vegas Golden Knights' logo, the Henderson Silver Knights carries on that same look with the front-facing horse staring its opponents down. The continuity in the logos is actually a really good idea from an overall branding standpoint, so this is a really well-executed logo at first glance as it relates to the overall branding with the logo being designed in a similar way as the NHL affiliate, yet it is its own distinct and unique logo. If there is a drawback I can find, I'm not a fan of what appears to be the background neck armor shown under the nose piece that extends downward in the bottom half of the logo, but I suppose that's a minor quibble when it comes to the overall logo's design, especially when seeing it from further away.

In their debut, the Henderson Silver Knights did include a more robust look at their logo. This explains a little more about the design.
Yes, it was pretty obvious that the face armor of the horse was a capital "H" for Henderson, so that shouldn't need too much explaining. The twenty lines of chain mail that I just complained about along with the twenty rivets in the armor represent the 2020-21 inaugural season for the Knights, and that's something I wouldn't have picked up on had they not pointed it out. As you can see in the image, silver, gold, and black will be the colours used for the Silver Knights franchise.

Those colours, for the pantone-concerned citizens, were also clearly established by the club in the unveiling. If you're looking to rebrand your Rampage fan site, for example, here's what you need to know.
Can I just say that I hate the idea of putting pictures in places where distinct, unique colour swatches should be? There are sorts of colours, shading, and shadowing in those pictures, so what colour is actually #C1C5C8? And I'll double-down by saying I hate that there are colours named after cities where these teams play. I'm not lost on the branding, but it seems that this trend of naming colours to trademark them is getting out of hand.

Because I hate these ideas, here's a better representation of the colour scheme using the hex codes above.
Isn't that easier? And I even have the RGB colour codes on there too! Personally, I prefer this over what they showed above, but to each their own, I guess. Just gimme the colours straight-up with out trying to convince me what the colour looks like.

The Silver Knights even incorporated some state imagery into their logo, and this was something that I completely overlooked as well when they proposed the "Silver Knights" name. As you can see on the Nevada quarter issued by the US Mint, the state of Nevada is known as "The Silver State", and the horses shown on the state quarter represent the fact that Nevada is home to the largest wild horse population in the United States. In knowing these two facts, the horse imagery and the choice of silver makes much more sense from a location-name correlation now. Again, the cleverness of the name works really well when one has all the facts, something I admittedly didn't when I first heard the name.

So what does this all mean? Well, to be blunt, I was wrong. The name actually works on a number of levels when one considers everything that it represents, and I'm a big fan of having teams represent their communities. I don't mind being wrong in this case because it means the team did a good job in convincing me that a name I perceived as bad is actually really good through smart design and a relationship to the community. While we have yet to see what the jerseys will look like, I have a feeling that the Silver Knights will be fine in that department too.

I'm never in favour of seeing a team move when one considers the history that the San Antonio Rampage had built in the Texas city, but I'll give the Henderson Silver Knights credit for making the relocated franchise a part of their community from the get-go. If they follow their NHL affiliate's lead, I suspect the success on the ice will be the next thing we're talking about when it comes to the Silver Knights.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Friday, 29 May 2020

Charged Up!

I had posted on Tuesday that the University of Alabama-Huntsville needed some serious help in trying to save their Division-I men's hockey program. The Chargers, as I wrote that day, had some solid history despite facing potential program cuts before, but this one seemed the most dire of the threats. Thankfully, they were issued a chance to save the program by the university if they could come up with a large chunk of money by today's date. Today, we check in on that effort.

It is with great pleasure that I am here to announce that the GoFundMe for the UAH Chargers not only reached the goal of $500,000 that they were seeking, but are currently sitting at $536,900 at the time of publication! UAH Chargers hockey will continue in Huntsville, Alabama!

First off, let's give credit to everyone who tossed some money in to save the Chargers program. That is an exceptional amount of money raised in just five days, and kudos goes out to all who donated some cash in these trying times to keep the UAH hockey program running.

Secondly, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention Taso Sofikitis and Sheldon Wolitski who, together, tossed in $250,000 in total monies themselves. This contribution is one-quarter of the total monies that the university had cited as the total needed to fund the program for next season, and Mr. Sofikitis and Mr. Wolitski deserve a little of the spotlight for their contributions.

It should be noted that Mr. Sofikitis is the President and Managing Partner of Maynards Industries, whose credits include being the largest automotive and forestry equipment liquidator in the world. The tie-in to UAH is that Mr. Sofikitis is a former Chargers defenceman who played with the team from 1992-96, scoring 10 goals and 31 assists in 29 NCAA Division-II games in his senior year at the school!

For his part, Mr. Wolitski is the Founder and Chairman of the Board for The Select Group, a technical services firm offering managed solutions and project-based resources. Like Mr. Sofikitis, Mr. Wolitski also played defence for the UAH Chargers over the same period of time from 1992-96 and scored 12 goals and 29 assists to finish with 41 points - the same total as Mr. Sofikitis - in his senior year!

With the school picking up the final $250,000 portion of the $1 million tab, the Chargers will play next season in Division-I NCAA hockey once more. However, the program isn't out of the woods yet despite hitting this clearing as UAH will task its newly-founded Hockey Advisory Board with how to ensure the Chargers' long-term future.

One of the first tasks that UAH has to solve is what conference they'll be playing in next season with the WCHA dissolving. With no clear future on travel, the costs of running the program could escalate greatly, and that's something that needs to be nailed down ASAP so that a clear annual operating budget can be set. Once that's in place, the job of the Hockey Advisory Board will be to find a way to come up with as much as $1.5 million annually in order to cover the costs of the Chargers hockey program.

"We are thankful from the loyal support that has been demonstrated this week by the fans and alumni of Charger hockey," UHA President Darren Dawson said today. "We are hopeful that this support will translate into a sustainable funding model that will allow the UAH hockey program to rise again to high levels of success."

While the immediate future is clear, there's still a lot of work to do. The good news is that the University of Alabama-Huntsville Chargers will return to the ice next season. Beyond that is still up in the air, but it's pretty clear the the community of Huntsville and the alumni of the UAH Chargers aren't go down without putting up one heckuva fight!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Thursday, 28 May 2020

The Hockey Show - Episode 401

The Hockey Show, Canada's only campus-produced radio show that strictly talks hockey, is back tonight with an informational show as we chat with a returning guest about some of the new stuff you might see in stores and on players, some of the challenges he may face in his job, and a few other topics that will give you a perspective on how much this virus may affect hockey from his perspective. I think this is an interesting topic based on the NHL's announcement in returning, so let's hear how one person will navigate the "new normal" if and when the season gets underway in 2020-21!

Returning to the show today is none other than Bisons women's hockey equipment guru Mat Relf! We get the lowdown from Mat on the new line of CCM equipment made specifically for women and how it will be better suited for the ladies than the traditional equipment they've been forced to wear. We'll also talk to Mat about how his job as equipment manager will be affected by the whole COVID-19 craziness, some of the changes he's had to make so far and what he anticipates will change moving forward, some Bisons news from inside the hallways of Wayne Fleming Arena, and more! Mat's always a great guest, and I'm happy to have back tonight to talk about all this and more at 5:30pm CT on 101.5 FM!

Where's the best place can you hear the show if you're outside Winnipeg or not near a radio, you ask? The new UMFM website's online streaming player is pretty awesome if you want to listen online. If you're using an Apple device, the player doesn't seem to like Safari yet, but we highly recommend you use the TuneIn app found on the App Store or perhaps another browser. If you do use the TuneIn app, you won't be disappointed. It's a solid app.

If you have questions, you can email all show queries and comments to hockeyshow@umfm.com! Tweet me anytime with questions you may have by hitting me up at @TeebzHBIC on Twitter! I'm here to listen to you, so make your voice heard!

Tonight, Teebz goes one-on-one with Bisons women's hockey equipment manager Mat Relf as we talk big changes to equipment, major changes to safety protocols and procedures, being affected by these changes in a big way, and much more exclusively on 101.5 UMFM and on the UMFM.com web stream!

PODCAST: May 28, 2020: Episode 401

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Stellar Recruits

According to NASA, the image to the left is the birth of a star. I don't know much about astrophysics or cosmology, but I know I've seen stars born in the Canada West Conference over my time working around the league, and some of those stars have gone on to light the path for the next wave of stars that followed. Of course, we're talking about the recruits that have broke into Canada West and done some rather amazing things at the schools they attended both on and off the ice, and it seems we may finally have the final recruiting info for the 2020-21 season that may or may not happen in the 20-game format proposed by Canada West.

If there's one thing I do know about the birth of stars, it's that they shine brightly once they make an appearance, and I have no doubt that this year's recruits by the nine Canada West schools will be amazing additions to the already-talented women who make up the Canada West women's hockey conference. Let's work through this school by school so you're ready to go whenever the new Canada West season gets underway!

Before you run through the lists, I need to qualify these lists. These are the players that have either signed a letter of intent and been registered with U SPORTS OR these are players who have been announced by the schools themselves and are in the process of registering with U SPORTS. These lists may not be final or complete based upon needs of the teams, but they are complete to today's date.

As you read through these, the "Current" is the last team or current team they played with while "Prv." is the province or state where that team is found. You'll also notice a few bolded, yellow names. Those are former Lethbridge Pronghorns players or recruits who opted to move elsewhere with the announcement that the Pronghorns hockey programs were being shuttered.

With that information, here are all the players joining the nine Canada West teams in 2020-21.

Canada West Recruits

Alberta Pandas
Name Current Prv. Pos G/GAA A/SV%
Hayleigh Craig
Lloydminster
AB
F 13 7
Jadynn Morden
Lloydminster
AB
F 26 10
Allison Reich
St. Albert Slash
AB
F 12 10
Bree Kennedy
Edge School
AB
F 8 13
Danica Namaka
The Rink Academy
MB
F 30 42
Jada Livingston
Notre Dame Hounds
SK
D 4 15
Abby Soyko
Northern Alberta
AB
F 14 13

Howie Draper brings in the high-scoring Namaka after she transferred from St. Mary's Academy to The Rink Academy for her final season at the prep level. Adding to her talent would be the two Steelers in Morden and Craig who have no trouble working together. Kennedy and Reich should provide some nice depth scoring once they reach their peaks as well while Jada Livingston will be given every opportunity to play her way into the lineup. Perhaps the biggest coup for Howie, though, was landing Abby Soyko who was the scoring star for the Northern Alberta X-Treme, and she should be able to find a spot in the Pandas lineup with her scoring talents.

Calgary Dinos
Name Current Prv. Pos G/GAA A/SV%
Alli Borrow
Lethbridge
AB
F 4 10
Kyra Greig
Lethbridge
AB
F 7 11
Grace Machholz
Liberty U. (NCAA)
VI
F 11 17
Ashley Sutherland
Red Deer (ACAC)
AB
D 8 10

It seems Danielle Goyette is aiming for top spot in the conference with the additions of four veteran players. We know Borrow and Greig can score from their days with the Pronghorns, and Machholz will reunite with former teammate Annaliese Meier after being a point-per-game player at Division-I Liberty University. Bringing in the talented Sutherland who showed all sorts of growth with Red Deer College last season makes the Calgary blue line stronger immediately. The Dinos look scary-good again this season!

MacEwan Griffins
Name Current Prv. Pos G/GAA A/SV%
Aryn Chambers
Red Deer Chiefs
AB
D 5 5
Brooklyn Schroeder
St. Albert Slash
AB
F 2 4
Kallie O'Hearn
Delta Academy
BC
D 2 11
Rebecca Thiessen
Balmoral Hall
MB
D 2 7
Robyn Short
Northern Alberta
AB
D 1 5
Jenny Andrash
Delta Academy
BC
F 11 15
Brooke Fawcett
MT1R - Alberta
AB
G 3.33 .882
Grace Crooks
Calgary Fire
AB
F 4 3
Makenna Schuttler
St. Albert Slash
AB
F 4 16
Sage Sansregret
Lethbridge
AB
F 4 2
Mila Verbicky
Lethbridge
AB
F 3 3

I like what Lindsay McAlpine is doing here. She has a young squad who will grow together, but has enough talent and scoring to rattle some cages in Canada West at the very least. Adding in Sansregret and Verbicky who already have a season of CanWest hockey under their belts with Lethbridge will go a long way in having experience at this level, Aryn Chambers looks like a top-pairing defender from what she showed this season, Makenna Schuttler had the Ottawa GeeGees excited for her scoring as a recruit for the school before opting to stay closer to home, and all Jenny Andrash did for Delta Academy was score. This MacEwan team will be good, and teams can't sleep on them.

Manitoba Bisons
Name Current Prv. Pos G/GAA A/SV%
Brenna Nicol
Thunder Bay
ON
F NA NA
Hanna Bailey
Regina Rebels
SK
D 7 12
Meagan Relf
St. Mary's Academy
MB
G 2.78 .907
Kylie Lesuk
Eastman Selects
MB
F 20 26
Aimee Patrick
St. Mary's Academy
MB
F 20 29
Jena Barscello
Yellowhead Chiefs
MB
F 21 20
Kimmy Davidson
Delta Academy
BC
G 1.36 .934

After Manitoba had spells where scoring goals seemed impossible last season, Jon Rempel went out and added three 20-goal scorers from Manitoba in Barscello, Lesuk, and Patrick while bringing in an offensive defender in Bailey to help push the play. Reports out of Thunder Bay indicate that Nicol is coming to Manitoba after leading the Queens in scoring, so there's another weapon for Jon to deploy. With just Erin Fargey as an everyday netminder for the Bisons, both Relf and Davidson will be given the opportunity to grab that backup spot, but I suspect we'll see a bit of a rotation with the two backups all season long based on their stats coming into camp.

Mount Royal Cougars
Name Current Prv. Pos G/GAA A/SV%
Sydney Trotter
Rocky Mountain
AB
D 2 9
Kaia Borbandy
Rocky Mountain
AB
F 7 15
Sydney Benko
Rocky Mountain
AB
F 13 9
Alexandria Spence
Lloydminster
AB
D 2 5
Courtney Kollman
RMU (NCAA)
PA
F 5 6
Taylor Sawka
Clarkson (NCAA)
NY
F 3 2

The Mount Royal Trotters, er, Cougars added the third Trotter daughter as Sydney joins Cassidy and Breanne on the squad. Joining Sydney are Raiders teammates Kaia Borbandy and Sydney Benko who were the top-two scorers for the Raiders this past season. Spence comes in as a steady, reliable defender who will only get better, and the addition of former Robert Morris University forward Courtney Kollman might be one of Scott Rivett's best recruiting jobs in a long time as the Canada West finalists only get better with these five players!

UPDATE: Make it six players with the announcement of Taylor Sawka on June 3. Sawka played in a checking role for the Golden Knights last season after being named as the team's Rookie of the Year the year before. With Sawka added to an already-talented incoming class, it seems clear that the Cougars are aiming for top spot in the conference this year.

Regina Cougars
Name Current Prv. Pos G/GAA A/SV%
Tavia Terry
Regina Rebels
SK
F 11 22
Megan Long
Edmonton Pandas
AB
D 3 5
Shaelyn Myers
Regina Rebels
SK
F 9 11
Arden Kliewer
Saskatoon Stars
SK
G 2.78 .921
Ally Kosteniuk
Weyburn Gold Wings
SK
F 3 2
Lauren Focht
Regina Rebels
SK
F 14 13
Kaitlyn Bassett
Balmoral Hall
MB
D 0 3
Mariah McKersie
Red Deer (ACAC)
AB
D 2 3

After losing their top forward, defender, and goalie, Sarah Hodges needed to add some flair to her team, and she'll get it from Rebels teammates Focht and Terry who were dynamic for Regina all season. Megan Long has all the traits of a franchise defender while Katie Bassett will eat up minutes with her dogged defensive play. Myers looks to be a solid depth scoring threat while Kosteniuk missed most of last year, but appears poised to regain her scoring form in Canada West. Kliewer will join a crowded crease, but the Cougars showed that goaltending can solve a lot of problems last season and there will be hope that Kliewer can find the same success as this young Cougars team gets better with this class of recruits!

Saskatchewan Huskies
Name Current Prv. Pos G/GAA A/SV%
Kelsey Hall
St. Albert Slash
AB
F 8 6
Brooklyn Stevely
POE Academy
BC
D 5 17
McKenna Bolger
Calgary Fire
AB
D 4 3
Jasper Desmarais
Prince Albert
SK
F 7 6
Sara Kendall
Swift Current
SK
F 20 27
Kendra Zuchotzki
Notre Dame Hounds
SK
D 2 8
Jessie Herner
Prince Albert
SK
D 2 4
Colby Wilson
POE Academy
BC
G 1.38 .943
Emily Holmes
Saskatoon Stars
SK
D 6 5
Jayda Sachs
Waterloo (OUA)
ON
F 1 3
Meg Dyer
Lethbridge
AB
D 1 3
Mallory Dyer
Edge School
AB
F 9 9

Steve Kook's largest recruiting class in years has all sorts of potential, and will be led by scoring dynamo Sara Kendall and potential first-pairing defender Brooklyn Stevely. Hall, Desmarais, and Sachs will be given opportunities to grow into roles while the addition of Lethbridge recruit Mallory Dyer will add a big-bodied scoring threat up front for the Huskies. The blue line will get an immediate talent infusion from former Pronghorn Meg Dyer while Bolger, Herner, and Zuchotzki all complement the pieces with their skills that the Huskies currently boast. Adding in one of the best goalies at the prep level last season in Colby Wilson only means that the Huskies will continue to boast some of the best netminding in the nation.

Trinity Western Spartans
Name Current Prv. Pos G/GAA A/SV%
Desiree Wiens
Pacific Steelers
BC
F 12 1
Jade Ridgewell
Pacific Steelers
BC
D 3 7
Emma Killman
Pacific Steelers
BC
D 0 4
Kate Bumstead
St. Mary's
MB
D 6 14
Lainie Nichols
St. Mary's
MB
D 2 16
McKenzie Mayo
Prince Albert
SK
D 6 7
Brooklyn Anderson
Prince Albert
SK
F 8 9
Jordan Mackow
Winnipeg Avros
BC
G 1.42 .938
Reilly Kellner
OHA
ON
D 3 2
Ryleigh White
Swift Current
SK
D 4 13
Ashlee Wolfe
Swift Current
SK
F 14 9
Jacelyn Scott
Lloydminster
AB
D 3 5
Neisha Germann
Red Deer (ACAC)
AB
F 5 7
Chantel Weller
Regina Rebels
SK
G 1.17 .945
Chloe Reid
Edmonton
AB
F 8 8
Cheyenna Harden
Northern Alberta
AB
F 6 6
Brooklyn Moore
Northern Alberta
AB
F 4 10
Brooklyn Rublee
Swift Current
SK
F 6 22
Laurel Gollnick
Shawnigan Lake
BC
F 5 6
Georgi Aus
Little Falls HS
MN
F 1 1
Hayley Johnson
Winnipeg Avros
MB
F 28 26

In true expansion team form, the Spartans appear to be building a brand-new team. Head coach Jean Laforest will open up the roster and let players claim spots, it seems, as Year One of the Spartans looks like it will lay the foundation for this team. Wiens is a pure goal scorer, Johnson was one of the best two-way forwards for the Avros, Wolfe plays a solid forward game while Rublee will give her some familiarity as a teammate, and Harden and Moore could work as an effective pairing out of the Northern Alberta program. Defensively, the pairings of Bumstead-Nichols and Ridgeway-Killman should allow them to work effectively as pre-set tandems on the blue line. The battle between Mackow and Weller could go all season long as both goalies look to grab the starter's role, and that will help TWU as they elevate their games. Either way, expect the Spartans to consistently improve as the season progresses with the talent they've assembled.

UBC Thunderbirds
Name Current Prv. Pos G/GAA A/SV%
Sierra LaPlante
Calgary Fire
AB
D 3 6
Sophia Gaskell
Greater Vancouver
BC
D 20 20
Olivia Buckley
Okanagan
BC
F 5 9
Karine Sandilands
Balmoral Hall
MB
F 8 3
Elise Hugens
Edmonton
AB
G 0.96 .957
Ashton Thorpe
Okanagan
BC
D 2 6

UBC's recruiting class under Graham Thomas brings more size, scoring, and puck-stopping. Gaskell was lights-out for the Comets when it came to scoring with her 5'7" frame, Sandilands plays a solid two-way game and stands in at 5'7", and LaPlante was the captain of the Fire while towering in at 5'10". The odd-player out, it seems, is Buckley who stands in at 5'3", but she's a shifty playmaker who should get to the front of the net for the T-Birds. Hugens was stellar all season long for the Pandas, backstopping the Pandas to a Female World Sport School Challenge gold medal this year, so it seems the Thunderbirds will have excellent netminding for years to come. Having these weapons at his disposal makes Thomas' team just as dangerous as last season.

UPDATE: It was registered later by U SPORTS last Wednesday, but Ashton Thorpe's addition to the UBC blue line is a solid add by Thomas. Originally committed to RIT in the NCAA, Thorpe will bring her 5'7" frame to the Thunderbirds next season instead.

Now, I normally would tell you how excited I am to see all these players on the ice next season, but there's still some unfinished business to go over regarding the Lethbridge Pronghorns. As you know, they too had built a recruiting class, so here are those recruits with those who have moved on crossed out. I'll explain further below.

Lethbridge Pronghorns
Name New School Prv. Pos G/GAA A/SV%
Mallory Dyer
SASKATCHEWAN
SK
D NA NA
Emma Neff
NIPISSING
ON
D NA NA
Abby Soyko
ALBERTA
AB
F NA NA
Alli Soyko
RED DEER
AB
F NA NA
Madeleine Noonan
RED DEER
AB
F NA NA
Molly Mitchell
no move
??
G NA NA
Maddy McCleary
SAINT MARY'S
NS
D NA NA
Jade Sandberg
no move
??
F NA NA
Teah Workman
no move
??
D NA NA

Emma Neff made the jump to the OUA to join the Nipissing Lakers which is a good move for her as the Lakers are a strong program in the OUA and only getting better. As highlighted above, Mallory Dyer joined Saskatchewan with her sister, Meg, and Abby Soyko remained in northern Alberta as the Pandas signed her to a letter of intent. Maddy McCleary is on her way to the east coast to join the Saint Mary's Huskies (stick-tap to Dave)! And the Red Deer College Queens have inked Alli Soyko!

UPDATE: Jade Sandberg from the Lloydminster Steelers and Teah Workman from the Calgary Fire, who weren't announced by the Pronghorns as recruits but had made preliminary agreements to join the Pronghorns, appear to still be on their radar as well (stick-tap to Josh for that info!).

UPDATE #2: Maddy Noonan is on the move as she joined the Red Deer College Queens on June 7 as announced by Red Deer! She'll be a great addition to the Queens lineup as they look to capture an ACAC championship!

Still either looking for homes or working to restore the Pronghorns program are Molly Mitchell, a big goaltender who played very well in the Lloydminster system while posting a 2.06 GAA and a .940 save percentage; Jade Sandberg, a 5'10" forward with good skating and great vision as shown in her four goals and 10 assists; and, Teah Workman, a talented offensive defender who recorded 11 goals and 17 assists in the Calgary Fire program.

There are amazing players from that Pronghorns team that are still sitting on the sidelines as we inch closer to the start of next season - Eryn Johansen, Kenzie Lausberg, Brooklyn Palmer, Kianna Dietz, Eva DeBaie, Madison Porter, Ali Aitken, Tallon Stephenson, Ashlee Hodge-Hirschfield, Rose Noonan and Stephanie Gross - who still have two-or-more years of eligibility left that would instantly make a handful of Canada West teams better or a number of teams across this nation better. While I fully respect their efforts to revive the Pronghorns program so they can play in Lethbridge once again, I suspect that they'd be happy to join another program to continue playing hockey. If there's a roster spot opening up on a team for whatever reason, I implore you to reach out to one of these women and see if they'd be interested. You're gonna get a helluva player if they make the move to your program, I assure you.

In saying that, seeing these new recruits getting in the groove for hockey with their new teams is exciting, and I'm anxious to get the season started so we can see which rookies jump off the page and into stardom! If there are more announcements, I'll add to this page, so keep your eyes locked on this article regarding all the 2020-21 rookies!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Tuesday, 26 May 2020

Charging Forward

You may have seen the news flash across your social media feed that the University of Alabama-Huntsville made the decision to cut their NCAA men's hockey and tennis programs from the budget due to the ongoing COVID-19 budgetary challenges. The decision is very real, and the Chargers will no longer play in the NCAA following the announcement on May 22. Like the cancellation of hockey in Lethbridge, this affects a number of people who play, coach, and work around the game in Huntsville as the Propst Arena at the Von Braun Center will go dark for NCAA hockey. It was a tough day in Huntsville with this announcement.

"These actions are the necessary result of intensive review and discussion about where we can make adjustments that protect our current financial condition with the least possible disruption to our central mission – education, research and service to the community," UAH President Darren Dawson and Athletic Director Cade Smith said in a statement to the university community.

UAH hockey has struggled since it jumped into Division-I men's hockey back in 2011, amassing a 54-230-22 record over those nine seasons. This past season, the team finished with a 2-26-2 record as the squad struggled once again, but fans in Huntsville seem to support their as best they can with the team having an average of 1419 fans in the stands each game, ranking them 47th out of 60 NCAA Division-I teams. The catch is that attendance has consistently fallen since 2013 which will always put more strain on the program, and those 1419 fans were just 21.5 percent of capacity of the rink, second-lowest of all NCAA teams.

With the announcement above, the University of Alabama-Huntsville officially closed the book on hockey despite a handful of other times it avoided the guillotine at the school. It seems any chance of seeing Huntsville college hockey in this season or further seasons is all but gone despite UAH announcing plans for a multi-use arena to be built on-campus one year ago. While that arena seems slated to still be available for other sports, it seems hockey will not take place at this new arena when it finally opens.

Or will it?

After the heartbreak of seeing the team axed from the university's offerings, it might still have life! A GoFundMe for the program has been started in an effort to keep UAH Chargers hockey on the ice for the 2020-21 season and beyond!

As per the GoFundMe page,
"We have been given an opportunity to show our grit as the University has asked us to raise 1 million dollars by COB this Friday, May 29th. We have already had alumni, booster club members, and life-time supporters setup with large individual donations and commit to donating annually to make sure the program is self-sustaining for the long-term. For short term we are looking to raise $500,000 of the 1 million via this Go Fund Me account. If the required funds are raised, UAH has agreed to create an advisory board consisting of hockey alumni, local business leaders and major donors to help turn UAH Hockey into a world class hockey program."
Overlooking that "show our grit" part, the fact that the university is willing to work with the program despite holding a gun to the program's head when it comes to raising money on its own is just enough of an opening to keep the dream alive, it seems. As stated, the program is working with some of the people who can contribute bigger totals annually, but this is where the public comes in to help save the Chargers.

Why is Hockey Blog In Canada writing about this? Well, besides this being another hockey team cut from an academic institution in the midst of this pandemic, the Chargers boasted sixteen Canadians on their roster in 2019-20 including one Manitoban in defenceman Dayne Finnson. All of the students, including Finnson, would be forced to move to a new school to play hockey if they so choose, so ending the program would be as devastating to these students as it was to the students in the Lethbridge Pronghorns programs.

Maybe you've never even heard of the program? Well, there have been a few notable names that called UAH home as they played with the Chargers. Cam Talbot, goaltender for the Calgary Flames, played for the UAH Chargers from 2007-10, and forward Derek Puppa, brother of former NHL netminder Daren Puppa, also played for the Chargers. Jared Ross, son of former UAH head coach Doug Ross, was the first Alabama-born and Alabama-trained played to play in the NHL when he suited up for the Philadelphia Flyers from 2008-10.

Look, I know times are hard for everyone right now. I know that people in Canada may not have a tie to the UAH Chargers program directly, but there are a ton of kids who played in the BCHL, the AJHL, and the OJHL who now play for the Chargers. If you can and have the means to, try and help this program. They've been given a chance to keep the puck on the ice in Huntsville, so let's help these kids get an education, play hockey, and reach their goals both on and off the ice.

The deadline is Friday. The team is about $425,000 short on their GoFundMe goal. Let's help the Chargers push forward and keep the kids in school in Huntsville.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Monday, 25 May 2020

Temper The Excitement

Easy there, Jon Stewart. While the excitement builds for many over the potential return of the NHL to finish the 2019-20 season with a 24-team playoff format for the first time in the league's history, I'm here to tell you that the decisions made this weekend are nothing more than door being opened by both the NHL and NHLPA at the possibility of finishing this season. The NHLPA's vote this weekend simply approved the 24-team format that was proposed by the NHL, and nothing more. There are still a myriad of variables that need to be solved before a single, solitary player steps on the ice for a truncated training camp following this three-month hiatus, and no one will be flying to any city anytime soon unless those variables are solved quickly.

With the idea that games would be played out of hub cities, there's a good chance that some players might be away from home for an extended period of time despite some of the teams having home-ice advantage. We've already seen Devyn Dubnyk speak out that he's not in favour of being away from his wife and kids for a possibility of three months, and Tuukka Rask shares in the sentiment that taking families out of the equation for players is non-starter, stating, "It doesn’t feel right to take guys away from their families for many, many months at a time."

I've seen fans on social media rip the players for voicing their choice when it comes to playing or being with family, and I really have to question what kind of monsters these people are who are criticizing the players. These players already miss significant moments in their childrens' and families' lives, and they relish the time between games that they get to spend with their families. To deny the players that time away from the game and with the people they've signed "lifetime contracts" will only have negative effects on their play.

Taking the above humanity out of the game, there are still all sorts of logistics that need to solved before the first puck is dropped.

The NHL has maintained that it will not monopolize testing of any sort for its players and staff while there is a need for public testing. As we've seen and heard from experts all across the United States, there is still a significant shortage for testing in the US yet the NHL is talking about potential hubs cities like Columbus and Las Vegas. Either the NHL becomes part of the problem by going back on its word by obtaining tests for its exclusive use as it said it wouldn't do, or it needs to come up with a solution that effectively ensures the public's safety while ensuring the safety of the players and staff in its hub city or cities.

There needs to be a long list of safety protocols put in place and adhered to so that the "bubble" the NHL creates around their game is watertight. As we saw in San Jose with the Ottawa Senators and Colorado Avalanche players who contracted the COVID-19 virus, it only takes one person to infect many, so how does the NHL control these variables? Without these safety protocols in place, this is really just an exercise in academia.

On top of this, many arenas have taken ice out with the long delay since the last games were played. With that problem being very real, this will force players to other facilities where there's a greater chance of exposure. As Bruce Garrioch wrote on April 3, the Ottawa Senators decided "to take the ice out because the employees and the players have been advised by NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly to stay home until at least April 15," and that ice has yet to return to the Canadian Tire Center in Ottawa. That would force the Senators elsewhere for their camp, and players in the Ottawa area who are not yet cleared to fly back to their teams would also need a place to skate as well.

Did the NHL and NHLPA make progress on possibly concluding the 2019-20 season with the NHLPA's vote to accept the 24-team playoff format? Absolutely. However, we need to keep this progress in check because all the NHLPA did was agree to a potential endgame once every other variable has been hammered out and nailed down.

To put it another way, the NHL and NHLPA agreed to visit Disney World. They have no idea how they're going to get to Orlando and Kissimmee, they haven't booked a hotel, they haven't bought a ticket to visit the park, and they have no itinerary for what they want to see or do assuming they finally do walk through the gates to the "Happiest Place on Earth". Right now, all they have is an idea of how they want this to look.

Yes, we're a step closer than we were last week. However, the devil's in the details as the old saying goes.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Sunday, 24 May 2020

Bisons Rewind: The Pinnacle

Today is the day! Well, maybe it's the second day since this day actually happened on March 18, 2018 and not exclusively on today. Either way, we're hit the final day of Bisons Rewind from that magical 2017-18 season in the history of the University of Manitoba women's hockey team. There was hope that the magic from the shootout win over the Concordia Stingers one day before wouldn't run out against the hometown University of Western Ontario Mustangs in the gold medal game of the 2018 U SPORTS National Women's Ice Hockey Championship, but it would be a battle once more for the ladies in the brown-and-gold when it came to fulfilling destiny.

Western, as the third-ranked team in the tournament, downed Montreal by a 4-0 score in the quarterfinal before scoring two-straight goals after falling behind 1-0 against Saskatchewan, and then held on to win in the semifinal by that 2-1 score over the Huskies. The big story for the Huskies was in net was rookie Carmen Lasis who basically took over the netminding duties in January as Western went on an insane run to not drop a single game since January 20, 2018 as they overcame a pile of odds to win the OUA Championship.

The Mustangs were led by April Clark up front who had been named an OUA All-Star in 2018. The Mustangs captain and senior student led the team in scoring, but she was every bit the heart and soul of the team as the Mustangs followed her scrappy, relentless style of play. Clark finished the season with 12 goals and 10 assists, but she was the true leader on the team after helping Western win the U SPORTS National Championship in 2015 with the Mustangs.

Joining her up front as some of the key players for the Mustangs were Evra Levesque, Amanda Pereira, and Ali Beres. Levesque had an incredible season where she scored 11 goals and added 10 helpers, Pereira was the setup player with seven goals and 13 assists on the season, and Beres had four goals, but set up 11 others on the season. These Mustangs had the depth to score goals up and down the lineup, and it's part of the reason they were playing in the final game of the 2017-18 season.

On the back end, there was no one better for Western in 2017-18 than Emma Pearson, and the senior rearguard was often the first pass out of her own zone. Pearson had three goals and nine assists on the season, and she lead a defence corps that included Claire Balas, Edie Levesque, and Anthea Lasis who really were a big difference in helping the Mustangs put together than 13-game winning streak with their effective play in their own zone while helping Carmen Lasis.

It should be noted that Carman Lasis was the goaltender responsible for the 13-straight wins coming into this gold medal final, and she had been en fuego for two-and-a-half months. Lasis had surrendered three goals in a game just twice all season, and she had pitched seven shutouts coming into the final including three blank sheets in her previous five starts. Lasis entered the game as the second-best goaltender in the tournament statistically to only Miss Lauren Taraschuk of the Bisons.

The Bisons had downed the OUA finalist Queen's Golden Gaels 4-0 in the quarterfinal and needed a shootout to get by the Concordia Stingers by a 2-1 score, so the stage was set as the Golden Path Trophy was about to be awarded to one of the Bisons or Mustangs. Here's the UMFM broadcast of the 2018 U SPORTS National Women's Hockey Championship gold medal game featuring the Bisons and Mustangs as called by TJ and myself.

Game Notes

  • I made the decision to cut the post-game festivities and interviews as there was an additional hour of audio there. Yes, it's fun to hear the reactions, but I have size limits for the audio file to which I'm trying to adhere.
  • It can't be overstated just how well Venla Hovi played in the seven games she played after returning from Pyeongchang. Let the record here show that she likely deserved a tournament all-star nod at the very least.
  • Hovi led the Bisons in scoring at the tournament with a goal and three assists, and she was the only Bisons player to record a point in all three games.
  • Tournament all-stars included: Alanna Sharman (F), Jordyn Zacharias (F), Alana Serhan (F), Marie-Joëlle Allard (D), Caitlin Fyten (D), and Carmen Lasis (G).
  • Lauryn Keen was named as tournament MVP.
  • Shockingly, Lauren Taraschuk received no individual awards for her efforts despite allowing just one goal at the championship through three games, ten periods, and one shootout.
  • For the record, Taraschuk would finish the three-game tournament at 3-0 with a 0.32 GAA, a .983 save percentage, and two shutouts.
  • The depth of these two teams might have been unparalleled in the tournament. Concordia likely could fit into this group, but Western's depth shone through on their side of the bracket, helping them to the national championship game.
  • There were three sets of sisters playing in this game - Edie and Evra Levesque and Anthea and Carmen Lasis for Western while Manitoba skated Courtlyn and Sheridan Oswald.
  • As TJ stated, this is the first time in 53 years that a Manitoba Bisons team skated in a hockey national championship.
There is the finish to the biggest season in Bisons women's hockey to date! I'm really hoping you'll join us down at Wayne Fleming Arena at some point this season or any season to see some great women's hockey action in Canada West. Alternatively, you can listen to every single home game on the UMFM Second Stream with select games being broadcast over 101.5 UMFM for your listening enjoyment as well! And don't forget to watch on Canada West TV as well where the same audio comes with video too!

And don't forget the debut of Hockey24 tonight on Sportsnet at 7pm ET! With everyone needing a little boost in the community department, this film will certainly do that as Scotiabank and The Mark showed hockey from this great nation from coast to coast to coast over one day! Catch it tonight!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Saturday, 23 May 2020

Bisons Rewind: Stingers Stung

We saw Manitoba take the opening game at the 2018 U SPORTS National Championship on March 16 - their first win at the national tournament in nine years - and heard again yesterday right here on HBIC. The 4-0 victory posted on the Friday of the 2018 tournament showed just how good the top-ranked team in the nation could be on both sides of the puck, but they were in for a whole new challenge against the RSEQ champions and fourth-seeded Concordia Stingers in Saturday's semifinal game.

Concordia punched their ticket to the semifinal by absolutely dismantling the StFX X-Women by an 8-1 score in their quarterfinal game. Concordia jumped out to a 2-0 lead through one period of play, and it was a 3-1 score at the 7:14 mark of the second period. And then the bottom fell out for the X-Women as Concordia scored five goals over the remaining 31 minutes of the game to win their game by a converted touchdown.

Like the Bisons, the Stingers came into the tournament loaded with all sorts of scoring depth, a solid defence corps, and a stellar netminder. Claudia Dubois and Sophie Gagnon were the players who carried the load for the Stingers, but I'd be remiss in not mentioning players such as Stéphanie Lalancette, Audrey Belzile, and Keriann Schofield up front who gave the Stingers the scoring they needed to match up with any team in the nation.

On the back end, Marie-Joëlle Allard pushed the play for the Stingers as the graduating senior, and she had some solid players to help her such as her sister Audrey-Anne Allard, senior Caroll-Ann Gagné, and sophomore Alexandra Nikolidakis. Backstopping them was a goaltender who had gone to a few U SPORTS Canadian National Team camps in Katherine Purchase who had the talent and the mobility to be a difference-maker for the Stingers.

While it's not in the broadcast below, there was a bizarre moment during the first intermission where TJ and I were being screamed at by who we assumed was Katherine Purchase's dad. Apparently on either the U SPORTS or Western Radio broadcasts, they had français-ed her name from the English "Purchase" to something along the lines of "poor-shass", and the gentleman who found us in out makeshift broadcast booth let us know, in no uncertain terms, how awful we were, how we needed to show more respect for the athletes by getting their names right, and that Katherine hailed from Halifax, Nova Scotia, not Quebec.

After explaining to him that we were the Manitoba radio broadcast and that we knew Katherine Purchase's resumé fairly well, he did apologize for the outburst despite still seeking for whomever was mispronouncing Katherine's last name. We did our best to direct him to both the Western Radio broadcast booth and the U SPORTS TV commentators so he could sort that out with them. Needless to say, that was a first for both TJ and I as we were there simply to call the game on behalf of UMFM.

In saying that, let's get to the broadcast because this one is longer since we played overtime and needed a shootout to decide who would advance to meet the Western Mustangs in the U SPORTS National Championship Final! Here are TJ and I on the UMFM broadcast of the second semifinal game on March 17 from the 2018 U SPORTS National Championship in London, Ontario!

Game Notes

  • As you may have heard, Western downed the Sakatchewan Huskies by a 2-1 score to end any chance of there being an all-Canada West National Championship Final.
  • This game featured another big goaltending matchup as 5'11" Lauren Taraschuk stood 200-feet away from 5'10" Katherine Purchase in the Concordia net.
  • This might have been the most complete game, in my opinion, by the Bisons throughout the entire playoff run, including the Canada West playoffs.
  • I said it yesterday, and I'll say it again today: Lauren Warkentin was amazing for the entire tournament in London.
  • Jordy Zacharias was simply unstoppable in the shootout for her entire career.
  • Lauren Taraschuk, pictured above, was unflappable in this game. Her composure and calmness was amazing while being under pressure all game. Her stop on Lalancette in overtime was like she knew what was coming. She was so good!
  • It was said several times after the game ended that this game should have likely been the gold medal game. Both of these teams deserved to advance based upon their play in this game.
After battling for 70 minutes to a 1-1 draw, Jordy Zacharias and Alanna Sharman showed some offensive flair while Lauren Taraschuk dared the Concordia shooters to beat her and the Bisons were off to the U SPORTS National Championship Final with the 2-1 victory! They would meet the Mustangs in the their barn on Sunday, March 18, and we'll pick that game up tomorrow on the final episode of the Bisons Rewind from the 2017-2018 season!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Friday, 22 May 2020

Bisons Rewind: The New Queens

We're back with some more fun this weekend as Bisons Rewind returns to HBIC! If you missed last weekend's games, we highlighted the game where Tara Slone joined TJ and I in calling a period of hockey before posting both Game One and Game Two of the Canada West Final in 2018 that saw Manitoba capture its third Canada West title over the Saskatchewan Huskies. Both teams would earn berths at the U SPORTS National Championship in London, Ontario where glory would be bestowed upon the team who captured three-straight victories, and that's where we'll pick this Bisons Rewind up as the Manitoba Bisons began their quest for a gold medal!

As you might be aware, U SPORTS ensures that two teams from the same conference can't meet one another in the first two rounds of the national women's hockey tournament. They seed teams accordingly to facilitate this, and I have to admit that I'm a fan of this idea in order to truly name a national champion. In saying that, Manitoba entered the tournament as the top-seeded team in the nation, so we knew that the only guarantee was that Saskatchewan would be ranked sixth or seventh nationally in order to avoid the Bisons in the semifinal.

The St. Mary's Huskies would win the AUS and finish the season as the second-ranked team after Manitoba ousted the second-ranked Alberta Pandas in the Canada West Semifinal. Western would rank as the fourth-seeded team after upsetting Queen's in the OUA while Concordia, who beat Montreal for the RSEQ title, would jump into the fourth seed. StFX would grab the fifth seed as the AUS finalist after falling to St. Mary's. Montreal, who was ranked as high as fourth on February 27, 2018, would slot into the sixth spot as the RSEQ finalist, moving Saskatchewan to the seventh seed since they couldn't meet Manitoba. Queen's, who had been ranked as high as fifth nationally on March 6, dropped down to the eighth seed, setting up a date with the Canada West champion Manitoba Bisons.

I'll admit that we looked into the Queen's Golden Gaels quite a bit before going to air on this one. Katrina Manoukarakis - a name I struggled with all game, for some reason - came into the quarterfinal match-up having scoring 16 goals on the season, but had scored just once in the OUA playoffs. She was, however, the OUA MVP and the OUA Forward of the Year, so we knew the Bisons couldn't sleep on her despite her slight scoring slump as she came into the game.

Clare McKellar was the other half of the dynamic duo, and she was the setup player for Manoukarakis, scoring just four times, but recording 17 assists on the season. McKellar skated well, used her agility and stick-handling to get through tight spaces with the puck, and had excellent vision in feeding her teammates for goals. McKellar had also found a slump in the playoffs as she had a total of zero points through the OUA tournament, so the last thing Manitoba wanted to do was let her find her scoring touch again.

One of the things that I pointed out in last week's Bisons Rewind articles was the depth scoring that Manitoba had throughout its roster, and it will come back into play today. Nicole Carswell was knocked out of Game Two against Saskatchewan with an injury, but that opened a spot up for Mekaela Fisher to return to the Bisons lineup. Alison Sexton remained in the lineup, and the Bisons still had more weapons at their disposal with Émilie Massé, Brielle Dacquay-Neveux, and Madi Cole awaiting their shots as they watched from the sidelines as rookies.

I will say that there's three minutes of time in the first period where we lose the feed. This was because we were wired into the Western University internet to broadcast this game via the UMFM Second Stream as well as sending it back to the studio, and Western cut our internet as they flagged our computer as being "not authorized" on their network!

After some quick scrambling to find their IT people and having those people make a couple of changes, we were back on the air. You'll hear the tape screech over those three minutes of time, but there were no goals scored in that period where we got bumped off the air.

Without further adieu, here is the UMFM broadcast of quarterfinal game between the eighth-ranked Queen's Golden Gaels and the top-ranked Manitoba Bisons from March 16, 2018 at the U SPORTS National Women's Hockey Championship in London, Ontario!

Game Notes

  • As noted, the Saskatchewan Huskies downed the St. Mary's Huskies in a 7-over-2 upset on Thursday with a 3-2 victory. Canada West meant business at this tournament with the Huskies and Bisons representing the conference.
  • Western, who won the OUA, continued to add to Montreal's misery by hammering them by a 4-0 score to set up one side of the semifinal as Western and Saskatchewan would meet on Saturday.
  • Personally, the power-play goal that Alanna Sharman scored just after the second period started felt like it changed the game in a big way. While I wouldn't say to took the wind out of the sails for Queen's, it certainly seemed like Manitoba settled into their game which spelled bad news for the Golden Gaels.
  • The Bisons only had seven power-play opportunities through the Canada West playoffs leading into the national tournament, so going 2-for-3 against the nation's best penalty-killing team shows that preparation and execution matter.
  • I know we don't talk about her enough, but Lauren Warkentin was an absolute beast as a rookie in this tournament.
  • This was certainly one of the biggest goaltending match-ups all season long as Lauren Taraschuk - 5'11" - faced off against Stephanie Pascal - 5'10"- in the Queen's crease.
  • As stated, Queen's was a big, big team. Of their entire 2017-18 roster, they had only five players under 5'6" tall. Their shortest goaltender was Claire Warren at 5'8" with rookie and third-string netminder Makenzy Arsenault towering in at 6'0".
  • Queen's was truly an Ontario team with only two players coming to the team from places not found in Ontario.
With Manitoba prevailing on Friday, they would move onto the semifinal where they would meet one of Concordia or StFX, and we'll get everyone updated on that next game tomorrow when Bisons Rewind continues!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Thursday, 21 May 2020

The Hockey Show - Episode 400

The Hockey Show, Canada's only campus-produced radio show that strictly talks hockey, returns tonight as we cross another major milestone in hitting show #400! It's amazing to think we've been doing this weekly show for eight years now, and I'll run through a number of names of guests who appeared on our show, a few clips from interviews, and I have a special interview in the second-half of the show with a woman who might just have one of the coolest jobs in the world! You'll want to tune in for this one!

Tonight, Teebz sits down with Lisa Ferkul, Director of Hockey Sponsorships for Scotiabank, to talk about Hockey24, the amazing documentary produced by Scotiabank and The Mark that will air on Rogers Sportsnet on Sunday, May 24 at 7pm ET! Lisa gives us some insight on Hockey24, some of the work she does in her daily routine, her work with the Winnipeg Jets, and gives some background on a number of grassroots initiatives that Scotiabank is involved with when it comes to hockey. Wanna know where the next Scotiabank Hockey Day in Canada is being held? You may want to listen from 6:00-6:30 tonight for that info! In the first half of the show, Teebz celebrates Episode #400 with some part interviews that have been done with names like Sean Pronger, James Duthie, and Jeremy Allingham that were entertaining! All of this happens tonight at 5:30pm CT on 101.5 UMFM!

Where's the best place can you hear the show if you're outside Winnipeg or not near a radio, you ask? The new UMFM website's online streaming player is pretty awesome if you want to listen online. If you're using an Apple device, the player doesn't seem to like Safari yet, but we highly recommend you use the TuneIn app found on the App Store or perhaps another browser. If you do use the TuneIn app, you won't be disappointed. It's a solid app.

If you have questions, you can email all show queries and comments to hockeyshow@umfm.com! Tweet me anytime with questions you may have by hitting me up at @TeebzHBIC on Twitter! I'm here to listen to you, so make your voice heard!

Tonight, Teebz celebrates Episode #400 with some stories from past interviews before meeting Miss Lisa Ferkul, Director of Hockey Sponsorships for Scotiabank, to learn all about the Hockey24 documentary that will air on Rogers Sportsnet on Sunday, May 24 at 7pm ET!

PODCAST: May 21, 2020: Episode 400

Until next time, thanks for listening to the first 400 shows!