Monday, 1 February 2021

The Pandas And Queens

As started yesterday, my weekend would have been booked solid had there not been a pandemic currently in place across the country. Because this is one of the bigger tournaments that features many U SPORTS recruits, I convinced the powers-that-be at UMFM to allow the broadcast of this tournament on our online stream assuming there's zero conflict with the Manitoba Bisons broadcasts. The first game that I'll post here from the 2020 Female World Sport School Challenge was the opening game for both the Edmonton Pandas and Thunder Bay Queens, and there are all sorts of recruits who you'll see in Canada West assuming we'll be playing in September once again.

Why is this important enough for me to post? Well, it will give you some high-level female hockey to listen to during your workday if you're craving it, but, more importantly, you'll get to hear these players do their things who may either play for your local Canada West team or who will visit as part of another Canada West team before they hit university ice in their careers.

Most of the audio has been edited down to just contain the game action and a few ads for St. Mary's Academy as they are the hosts for the Female World Sports School Challenge, and there are a few games where edits were made to clean up poor audio quality. You're basically getting full audio of these games for free, and I'll feature eight of the sixteen teams who played at the tournament this season in those games including the gold-medal game on Saturday.

The bad news? I'm doing play-by-play for most of these games, so you might notice a significant drop-off in quality when it comes to the guy on the microphone. I am, however, joined by a handful of excellent colour analysts for games, and they make the broadcasts entirely better. If you're going to complain about the guy doing play-by-play, I'm already quite aware he's terrible. Unfortunately, he's the best that UMFM has that can dedicate four-straight days to calling games, so try not to be too upset with the dude on the mic.

I do want to apologize to players and families whose names I butchered during these broadcasts, but we weren't given a pronunciation guide for any of the teams. I will say we did our best to ask teams, but some coaches and players simply didn't cross our paths for us to get correct pronunciations. If I butcher a name, leave me a note below and I'll be happy to note that pronunciations for future Canada West broadcasts!

Let's get into the game here because we have notes to post before the audio file can be heard. As stated, there are a pile of players who will suit up for Canada West teams from both of these teams, so we'll run down names to listen for in this game as the Pandas and Queens do battle.

You'll hear me read out the records of each team at the start of this game in their respective league contests, but those records mean nothing in this tournament. Teams have to be ready to roll the moment the puck drops as losses are hard to erase in a pool with just four teams. That being said, the experience factor is on the Pandas' side as their players are older, but let's take nothing away from an upstart Queens team in this game who feature four players aged 16 or younger!

The Pandas should be proud to see Sydney Olsen and Shaelyn Hopkins join the MacEwan Griffins, Megan Long join the Regina Cougars, Chloe Reid joins the Trinity Western Spartans, Elise Hugens join the UBC Thunderbirds, and Sage Taylor will stay close to home by joining the Alberta Pandas. In NCAA news, Emerson Jarvis will join the Ohio State Buckeyes while Emma Hebert will take her talents to Union College. ACAC news sees Payton Basterash join the ACAC's NAIT Ooks while Alexandra Black and Natalie Buttle both join the Red Deer College Queens.

The Thunder Bay Queens should be proud to see Brenna Nicol join the Manitoba Bisons, Alexis Paddington join the NCAA's Minnesota State Mavericks, Jada LeBlanc and Kailey Swerhun join the NCAA D-III University of Wisconsin-Superior Yellowjackets, and Kendra Fortin who will suit up with the Bemidji State University Beavers.

As I post the audio, I am solo on this game's call. I will admit that calling a game solo is entirely far more difficult than doing it as a tandem or team, and the number of eyes one needs to call games is infinitely easier wiht additional people keeping an eye on things. That being said, it's a decent broadcast for the first day of action, so enjoy this UMFM broadcast of the Edmonton Pandas playing the Thunder Bay Queens from January 30, 2020 at the Female World Sport School Challenge in Winnipeg at BellMTS Iceplex!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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