Thursday 30 November 2023

The Hockey Show - Episode 584

The Hockey Show, Canada's only campus-produced radio show that strictly talks hockey, is back with another hour full of hockey chatter tonight as our bosts break down all the news and hockey stories over the last week. We originally had plans to have a few people in-studio this week, but those plans fell through after some scheduling conflicts arose, but the show will push on as if that hiccup never happened. Thankfully, the hockey world has been busy with heartwarming stories, head-scratchers, tales of idiocy, and more for the hosts to discuss, so make sure you have your radio or streaming device tuned into The Hockey Show at 5:30pm CT!

Tonight will perhaps be one of the quickest shows in terms of pace that Teebz and Jason have done as they have a pile of smaller stories to pull apart. Among the many topics they'll cover, the two hosts will discuss Corey Perry's abrupt end to his Blackhawks days, Sam Girard pausing his season for help, Dean Evason being fired for having no goaltending, Marc-Andre Fleury's mask making Gary Bettman have an aneurysm, Patrick Kane joining the Red Wings, John Tortorella and the Flyers doing right on Hockey Fights Cancer night, the Brandon Wheat Kings becoming a new team tomorrow, the PWHL announcing first home games and home arenas, and the CSSHL getting a Board of Directors! They'll also point out The Hockey Show's streakbusting effect, there are some announcements, and there's a very sweet Melbourne Moment this week! All of that will be discussed tonight or Teebz and Jason will die trying on The Hockey Show at 5:30pm CT on one of 101.5 FM, Channel 718 on MTS TV, or via!

If you live outside Winnipeg and want to listen, we have options! The new UMFM website's online streaming player is pretty awesome if you want to listen online. We also recommend Radio Garden if you need an easy-to-use online stream. If you're more of an app person, we recommend you use the TuneIn app found on the App Store or Google Play Store. If you 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! 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 and Jason chat abrupt endings, finding help, stupid policies, brilliant efforts, new names in new places, and much more exclusively on 101.5 UMFM and on the web stream!

PODCAST: November 30, 2023: Episode 584

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Wednesday 29 November 2023

Kissinger My Grits

I'll be upfront on this article and tell you that I have nothing good to say about Henry Kissinger except that he passed away at the age of 100 today. Frankly, not only are his politics abhorrent and repugnant despite earning a controversial Nobel Peace Prize, but the former Secretary of State under two Presidents is seen by some as an unpunished war criminal for the chaos he unleashed geopolitically thanks to his aligning with anti-communist dictatorships. How he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1973 after it was found that the US bombed Cambodia which killed millions is still one of the most inexplicable world events of all-time. However, we're here to talk hockey, not geopolitical upheaval and warmongering, and it seems that The New York Times linked him to a hockey team through a humourous piece they published in 1976.

If your sharp eyes caught the logo I attached to his jacket lapel, that would be the NHL's Detroit Red Wings logo which he's sporting. Back in 1976, it seems the Red Wings had dismissed head coach Doug Barkley, leaving a vacancy on their bench that needed to be filled. That's where writer Gerald Green stepped in, writing a humourous piece about Kissinger's future jobs after his role under Gerald Ford came to an end when Jimmy Carter defeated Ford in the 1976 Presidential election.

Let me be clear: this is a satirical piece that Green wrote for The New York Times on April 26, 1977. It should not be taken seriously nor should it be used as a reflection of Kissinger's character when it came to his life and career. In saying that, here are the first few paragraphs of The Indispensible Man, a column written by Green that ran in the April 26, 1977 edition of The New York Times.
"The announcement that Henry Kissinger will coach the Detroit Red Wings hockey team next season came as no surprise to those who know of the former Secretary of State's long‐time interest in ice.

"Although Mr. Kissinger does not know how to skate, he has observed a lot of ice, particularly on visits to the Soviet Union. 'When you get down to basics,' Mr. Kissinger said recently, 'forechecking isn't much different from disarmament.'

The fact that Mr. Kissinger will also be coaching the San Antonio Spurs of the National Basketball Association in autumn does not faze him. 'I believe I can handle both jobs,' he told a sports writer. 'I won't be spreading myself too thin, as some claim, and besides I'm fascinated with basketball. It reminds me of open diplomacy.'"
Of course, Henry Kissinger did NOT coach the Red Wings in the 1976-77 season or any other season for that matter. The only sport he seemed to care for was soccer, and he was actually named as the chairman of the North American Soccer League board of directors in 1978. Because of his obsession for a sport played on grass and not on ice, having Green link him to the Red Wings is clearly satirical and should not be considered fact in any way.

This will be the only mention that Henry Kissinger ever gets on this blog. Had he not been linked to the Red Wings by Gerald Green's satirical column, this article wouldn't even exist. He brought terror and death - both directly and indirectly - to many people in many countries, and he deserves no further recognition for the destructive and devastating plans that were set in motion while he was one of the most powerful men in America. Henry Kissinger is dead tonight, and that's ok with me.

I suspect Red Wings fans and Spurs fans are also ok with that.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Tuesday 28 November 2023

An Alternate Reality?

I'll admit that I enjoyed Marvel's Loki series despite my dislike of multiversal ideals. The acting was good from all the important figures, and it seems to set up the next wave of Marvel movies nicely with its ending. I won't spoil anything here for fans of the Marvel series, but it seems we might be exploring a little multiversal fun in this reality as the Brandon Wheat Kings are going to re-write history for one night where they change everything!

The Brandon Wheat Kings will don new uniforms, a new look, a new name, and a new logo this Friday night when they host the Regina Pats in WHL action. Rather than having me tell you about it, though, I'll let the Wheat Kings show you their one-night jump into an alternate reality where they become an entirely new team!

You may be asking why the Wheat Kings are doing this, and I honestly have no idea. I couldn't find any news stories nor any reason for the change other than it seems like the the Wheat Kings are having a little fun with their own history that pays homage to the city in which they play! In that vein, it's kind of similar to the Turn Ahead The Clock nights that Major League Baseball did in 1998 where teams got to imagine what their jerseys and logos may look like in some future year. The only difference is the Wheat Kings are re-writing their own history rather than looking into the future!

The jerseys seen to the left and in the video above is what the Wheat Kings will be wearing as the Wheat City Walleye. Frankly, they look pretty good even if the logo is a little cartoonish, but I like the colour scheme and the jersey design they've chosen. The colours, despite being different, remind me of the old Manitoba Moose colour scheme that worked so well for the local AHL club. I do think this Walleye uniform could use a shoulder yoke of some sort, but the Walleye's jersey design could stand the test of time with how they look. They're clean with good contrasts in colours, and they have all the striping in the right places for a traiditonal hockey sweater. Again, the logo is a little cartoonish, but I can live with that since the Wheat Kings are having a little fun. Overall, this re-imagining of the WHL team gets a PASS from me.

The fun part is that this game celebrating the rewriting of the team's history wasn't on their promotional schedule. The Wheat Kings have nothing showing on that schedule, so they're clearly adding a fun night of hockey to the team's schedule. The game against Regina will begin at 7pm CT, and I plan on finding a stream somewhere so I can watch the Wheat City Walleye take to the ice for their one-and-only WHL game! Brandon sits five points up on Regina in the WHL Eastern Conference and win could bump them as high as fourth-place from their current sixth-place standing, so a Wheat City Walleye win will certainly help the Wheat Kings!

It should be a beauty game on Friday in Walleye Country!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Monday 27 November 2023

A Big Day For Lemieux

Normally, if someone is talking about hockey and the name "Lemieux" comes up, the immediate thought is former Pittsburgh Penguins superstar Mario Lemieux. For a guy like me who is a Penguins fan, his name is certainly the first that comes to mind whenever someone mentions Lemieux. There were others who had successful NHL careers, however, so perhaps you're thinking of Claude Lemieux if you were a Colorado or Detroit fan thanks to his involvement in that rivalry throughout the late-1990s and early-2000s. Another Lemieux who had a solid career in the NHL was Jocelyn Lemieux who played for six teams in his 13-year career. The Lemieux pictured above, though, had a big day on this date back in 1984, and he does have direct link to Super Mario despite playing just 119 NHL games over his lengthy hockey career!

That man is Alain Lemieux, and he's the older brother of Mario Lemieux whose goal-scoring talent was otherworldly. Alain Lemieux's goal-scoring talent was somewhat less than his younger brother considering that he scored just 28 goals in his 119-game span of games from 1981 until 1987. However, this day should stand out for Alain Lemieux because it was the day he scored three of those goals in one game for the only hat trick of his career!

At 8:18 of the first period, Alain Lemieux scored his second goal of the season unassisted at even-strength to put the St. Louis Blues up 2-1. No one was celebrating Lemieux's goal for long, though, as Brian Sutter scored a power-play goal just 56 seconds later to push the score to 3-1. For Lemieux, he had bounced around between the CHL's Montana Magic, the AHL's Springfield Indians, and the IHL's Peoria Riverman, so his effort would have to continue considering he hadn't scored much before being recalled by the Blues.

Lemieux, though, would find the back of the net again before the period ended when Dave Barr found Lemieux open, and he scored his third goal of the season at 14:26 to stake the Blues to a 4-1 lead. For a guy with 14 career goals entering this game, scoring a pair of goals in one period is a major offensive burst for Lemieux! Of course, this was also hockey in the 1980s, so a three-goal was anything but safe with how frequently teams scored in that era.

The good news is that the Blues scored again just 2:19 into the second period to make it a 5-1 game, and that's when Lemieux decided to have shower him with hats as he scored his third goal of the game at 5:19 when Perry Anderson set him up for the goal! Alain Lemieux's first and only hat trick of his career came against the Vancouver Canucks on this date in 1984 as the Blues defeated the Canucks by that 6-1 score! I should also note that Alain Lemieux did score a second hat trick in the NHL, but he turned that three-goal performance in during a 9-3 win over the LA Kings on September 16, 1990 during the preseason.

Lemieux's description of his three-goal night to reporters made it sound like he was the dominant goal-scorer in the family!

The story takes a turn at this juncture, though, because the four goals that Lemieux scored in the nine games he played to that point in the season would be the only four goals he scored with the Blues that year. He would appear in ten more games for the Blues, recording no additional points, and he was traded to the Quebec Nordiques on January 29, 1985 for Luc Dufour. Lemieux would play 38 more games in the NHL - 37 with Quebec and one with Pittsburgh - before finishing his career in the minor leagues.

The image at the top of the article is a picture of Lemieux with the AHL's Fredericton Express from the 1985-86 season where he played most of season. He did appear in seven games that season, but he spent time wowing fans in New Brunswick to the tune of 29 goals and 45 assists in 64 games for some very Lemieux-like scoring! Despite the great season from Lemieux, Fredericton lost in the opening round of the playoffs to Bill Dineen's Adirondack Red Wings that featured future NHLers such as Basil McRae, Adam Oates, and Bob Probert!

No one can take away the performance he put on for one night on November 27, 1984, though, as Alain Lemieux was one of the top scorers on that day! Of course, some kid named Gretzky put on a show in Toronto against the Maple Leafs with three goals and two assists in a 7-1 Oilers win while Craig Laughlin had two goals and two assists for the Capitals in a 9-2 rout of the Nordiques, but Alain Lemieux could stand with them on that day as his hat trick was half of the goals scored by the Blues in that 6-1 win over the Canucks.

He may not get mentioned as often as his little brother, but Alain Lemieux was the highest-scoring Lemieux for one night in 1984. He deserves a little recognition for scoring three of his 28 total goals on one single night!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Sunday 26 November 2023

The Rundown - Week 9

With two weeks left on the first-half of the Canada West women's hockey schedule, the amount of runway is getting shorter with each game when it comes to the postseason and where each team may finish. The Saskatchewan Huskies had the weekend off as they prepared for one last weekend of hockey next week, but eight teams were in action in Alberta and British Columbia this weekend as Canada West played its last scheduled games in November. Let's find out who did what, what the standings look like, and much more on this week's edition of The Rundown!

FRIDAY: The Thunderbirds welcomed the Dinos to Vancouver on Friday with both teams coming off losses last week. The Dinos were on a three-game slide, so they were needing to end that run with a win to move them back into the conversation for the final playoff spot. UBC, meanwhile, was looking to keep their lead over Mount Royal intact, so wins would be needed to do that. Gabriella Durante was in the visitors' net for this one while UBC countered with Elise Hugens guarding their net.

UBC decided that the vast majority of the period would be played in the Calgary end as they absolutely peppered Durante with shots, but the Calgary netminder stood tall in front of the red iron. Second chances were few and far between as Durante covered most pucks, and those that didn't get covered were cleared quickly by the Calgary defence. UBC had the only power-play in the frame, but they'd come up empty on that chance. After one period of play, the two teams were tied at 0-0 with UBC holding a 21-4 lead in shots. Not a typo.

The second period saw UBC strike early as a turnover at the UBC blue line by Calgary led to a 2-on-1 for the T-Birds. Grace Elliott elected to keep despite looking for Sophia Gaskell, but the decision paid dividends as she went over Durante's glove to dent twine for the sixth time this season, and the Thunderbirds led 1-0 just 60 seconds into the frame. That lead didn't last long, though, as Caitlyn Perlinger's point shot on the power-play at 4:42 found the net behind Hugens for her first Canada West goal, and the game was tied at 1-1. Just past the midway point of the period, Josie MacLeod collected a puck in the UBC corner, made a move along the goal line to create some space between her and a UBC defender, and she tucked the puck home past an outstretched Hugens at 11:47 for her third goal as the Dinos went up 2-1. UBC wasn't going to go into the break down a goal, though, as Mia Bierd's shot with less than four minutes left was stopped by Durante, but the rebound bounced off a player in front and got past Durante at 16:28 to tie the game again. The horn would sound on a very competitive period as this game was knotted up at 2-2 despite UBC outshooting Calgary 35-14 at that point.

We'd only need 53 seconds for one team to pull ahead in the third period. Kyla Mitenko threw a wrister at the net from the half-boards that handcuffed Hugens as it found twine for her third goal, and the Dinos were back on top by a 3-2 score. That goal seemed to light a fire under the T-Birds once again as they hemmed the Dinos in their zone for minutes at a time throughout the period. Despite hitting iron in the closing minutes of the game, that would be the only puck that got by Durante in the final 19 minutes of this one as the Dinos shocked the Thunderbirds with their 3-2 victory! Gabriella Durante was phenomenal as she stopped 48 shots for her third win while Elise Hugens fell in regulation on a 12-save night.

If you're asking for highlights, UBC provides none. This game may have been a mismatch on paper, but this is why I maintain that anyone can beat anyone else on any given night in Canada West as the Dinos record the biggest win of their season so far!

SATURDAY: If you believed that the UBC Thunderbirds were content with how Friday night finished considering they controlled most of the play and outshot Calgary 50-15, you may want to readjust those beliefs. I'm sure Calgary was expecting a big push from the T-Birds in the second game, but they may be able to use their quick strikes once more to gain an advantage. Gabriella Durante was back in the crease looking to make it two-straight over UBC while Kayla McDougall for the start for the Dinos in this one.

I'll preface this game by saying that the 21 minor penalties handed out to both teams resulting in 21 power-plays made this game feel like there was less flow than the night before. It didn't stop UBC, though, as their solid power-play went to work in the first period when Cassidy Rhodes got just enough on her shot from the circle to beat Durante for her seventh goal, and UBC was up 1-0 at the 10:28 mark. 1:35 later, they'd double the lead when Kailee Peppler snapped a wrist shot through traffic for her second goal, and the Thunderbirds were up 2-0. That score would carry into the intermission as UBC held a 9-3 advantage in shots.

The parade to the penalty box continued in the second period, and it would UBC's power-play who struck again. Jaylyn Morris wired a shot from the point that found shelf at 9:40, and the T-Birds went up by a 3-0 score. Calgary's power-play seemed to respond later in the period with the T-Birds down a couple of players, though, as Caylin Perlinger looked like she scored, but the goal was waved off due to goalie interference in the crease. However, the Dinos would come right back as Sydney Mercier went backhand to the top-shelf past McDougall at 19:27 for her fourth goal, and the Dinos were on the board as the score was 3-1. The last 33 seconds saw no other scoring, and it was Calgary holding an 18-16 edge in shots.

The third period saw the teams take a break for an eight-minute stretch where no penalties were called! However, that ended midway through the period with a Dinos penalty, and UBC scored seconds after the penalty ended when Chanreet Bassi found the back of the net at 12:16 to make a 4-1 game on Bassi's sxith goal of the season. Four more penalties would be called after Bassi's goal, but none would see goals scored on those opportunties as UBC killed off 11 of 12 power-plays Calgary had in their 4-1 victory. Kayla McDougall picked up her third win of the season after a 21-save effort while Gabriella Durante stopped 24 shots in the setback.

UBC's athletics department was likely busy with the Vanier Cup on Saturday, so highlights of this game won't be seen. In honour of all the penalties, though, here's Dean Morton getting confused in his penalty call! Is it roughing, slashing, or hooking?

FRIDAY: The second-place Mount Royal Cougars were in Langley to do battle with the fifth-place Trinity Western Spartans in what could be a potential playoff series. Mount Royal had swept MacEwan one week earlier while Trinity Western was coming off their second bye week, so it could be a weekend where the home squad was very prepared for what the Cougars were bringing for this series. Kaitlyn Ross was in the net for Mount Royal to kick off the weekend while Kate Fawcett got the start for the Spartans.

The opening period saw Mount Royal play more north-south as they drew a penalty just past the midway point of the period. They came out firing on the power-play, and they were rewarded when Emma Bergesen's shot dented twine behind Fawcett at 13:22 for her fifth goal to make it 1-0 for the Cougars. Mount Royal would double their lead six minutes later when Aliya Jomha notched her third goal with 37 seconds in the period, and the Mount Royal Cougars took a 2-0 lead into the break while leading 19-7 in shots.

The second period saw Mount Royal continue their pressure, but the story was the two penalties they took. Five minutes in, Mount Royal was given a penalty and TWU took advantage. Kara Yackel's shot was deflected by Kyra McDonald and stopped by Ross, but she picked up the loose puck and went stick-side on Ross as the netminder slid to her left as McDonald's second of the season made it 2-1. Later in the frame, Mount Royal was whistled for another infraction, and that allowed Kate Klassen to find Olivia Leier in the slot for the backhander that went under the bar. Leier's fourth goal came at 14:32, and Trinity Western's second power-play goal on the night made it 2-2. The teams would head to the room at the horn still tied at 2-2, but Mount Royal held a 33-13 margin in shots.

Both sides played more cautiously in the third period with Mount Royal killing off an early penalty. It seemed like this game may need extra time - thanks in large part to Fawcett's goaltending - but a late penalty to the Spartans gave us a game-winning goal. Allee Gerrard would score her ninth goal of the season on the power-play at 17:35 to put Mount Royal ahead by a 3-2 score, and that's how this one would finish as the Cougars downed the Spartans on Friday. Kaitlyn Ross picked up her tenth win on a 19-save night while Kate Fawcett likely deserved a better fate after making 38 stops in this game.

Trinity Western's two goals are highlighted in this package!

SATURDAY: After a night where the Cougars nearly got goalied, one had to figure they'd come back on Saturday and push twice as hard. Trinity Western found their power-play in Friday's game, but they needed a bigger effort on the penalty-kill, so we'd see if they could respond on Saturday. Both teams opted to swap goalies as the Cougars gave Scout Anderson the crease while Mabel Maltais was guarding the Spartans' net.

Mount Royal wouldn't waste much time in establishing a lead as Allee Gerrard dented twine for her tenth goal of the season just 3:06 into Saturday's contest, and the Cougars were off and running with a 1-0 lead. The teams would trade power-plays without goals midway through the frame, but a relatively quiet period came to a close with just the lone MRU goal scored with the shots tied at 7-7.

The second period saw more of the same solid, defensive hockey that shown in the first period by both sides. An early MRU power-play was negated by a penalty of their own, and they'd kill off a later penalty as TWU was unable to find the back of the net. Both netminders were keeping things tidy in and around the net as well, and the second period would close with the Cougars still holding their one-goal lead, and they had a 14-13 edge in shots.

The third period was played without infractions, so the back-and-forth was steady. Trinity Western pushed for an equalizer while Mount Royal continued to make good on chances without giving up anything defensively. That strategy would pay off when Abbey Borbandy scored her first Canada West goal 14:16 to put Mount Royal up 2-0. From there, the Cougars simply needed to keep the Spartans out of danger areas, and that would happen as the horn sounded on a 2-0 Mount Royal victory over the Trinity Western Spartans. Scout Anderson made 25 stops for her third win and second shutout this season while Mabel Maltais made 19 saves in the setback.

Since Trinity Western was shut out, there is no highlight reel. As convenient as that is for them, let's continue with a theme as long as the Cougars keep winning. Here's the pinball animation for "seven" from Sesame Street as the Cougars have won seven games in a row!

FRIDAY: The Manitoba Bisons headed northwest to Edmonton to meet the awaiting Alberta Pandas for this weekend's set as Manitoba was closing out their first half of the season's schedule. With the Bisons on a bye next weekend, getting a win or a sweep over the Pandas would be a nice holiday gift for the team, so they had to be ready. Alberta, meanwhile, had been playing some of its most stingy hockey against Regina the week before, and they looked to continue that against the Bisons. Meagan Relf was in the Bisons' crease on Friday night while the Pandas sent Halle Oswald out to her familiar spot on the ice.

This one didn't get out of hand until second period, but one side scored a number of goals. Jadynn Morden scored her tenth goal of the season at 10:17 to make it 1-0 for Alberta, and Madison Willan scored her third goal as Alberta's power-play flexed its muscle, and the Pandas had a 2-0 lead 16:08. Alberta would kill a late penalty off, and they'd hit the break with the 2-0 lead despite being outshot 7-5.

Alberta used the second period to push things from bad to worse for Manitoba. Natalie Kieser scored 60 seconds into the frame, and her fifth goal made it 3-0. 2:01 later, Allison Reich fired home her second goal of the season, and it was quickly 4-0 as Meagan Relf's night came to an end. Emily Shippam came on in relief of Relf, but that didn't deter the Pandas. At 6:11, Taylor Anker scored her first goal of the season to make it a 5-0 game for the Pandas, and the rout was on. Alberta would be whistled for a penalty later in the period, but nothing came of that opportunity for the Bisons. With 40 minutes in the books, Alberta held a 5-0 lead and was up 19-18 in shots.

Cassidy Maplethorpe would add her fourth goal of the season at the 3:23 mark of the third period, and the Bisons simply couldn't solve Oswald or the Pandas' defensive system on this night as Alberta cruised to the 6-0 win over Manitoba. Halle Oswald stopped all 28 shots thrown at her for her seventh win and fourth shutout of the season while Meagan Relf was the goalie of record in the loss as she stopped six of ten shots she saw in 23:01 of play. For the record, Emily Shippam made 14 saves on 16 shots in 36:59 of relief.

No highlights from the Pandas, but this GIF sums up what happened in this game. Three-straight shutouts for Alberta as well!

SATURDAY: With the Bisons playing their final game before January after a stinging loss the night before, one had to expect them to be much better on Saturday. Alberta, as seen the night before, was firing on all cylinders, so a bounce-back wouldn't be easy. Meagan Relf was in the Bisons' crease for the second game while Misty Rey got the start for the Pandas.

The first period saw the ice slanted in one direction as Manitoba came out of the tunnel with some fire under them. The Bisons were all over the Pandas in the opening frame as they tested Rey time and time again, but the netminder kept things level for her side. An Alberta power-play saw nothing come of it despite Alberta's power-play success this season, and we'd hit the break with the teams tied at 0-0 and Manitoba holding a 15-4 edge in shots.

The second period saw the teams commit more infractions, but Manitoba's first penalty cost them when Natalie Kieser got a stick on Taylor Anker's shot and deflected it past Relf for her sixth goal, and the Pandas jumped out to the 1-0 lead on that power-play goal at the 5:12 mark. From there, the Pandas really turned on the defensive pressure as they denied Manitoba any good looks over the final 15 minutes. At the end of 40 minutes, the Pandas had the one-goal lead with Manitoba holding a 19-13 advantage in shots.

The third period felt like a sequel to the second period, only there were fewer penalties and less goals. Alberta absolutely suffocated the Manitoba offence in the final frame as very few shots found their way to the Alberta net, and the handful of shots Alberta took were denied by Relf. Unfortunately for Manitoba, time would run out on them as the Alberta Pandas posted their fourth-straight shutout with a 1-0 win over the Bisons. Misty Rey stopped 22 shots for her third win and first shutout of the season while Meagan Relf fell for the second time in as many days on a 19-save night.

No highlights from the Pandas, but they were money all weekend.

FRIDAY: Two teams that need wins to keep their playoff hopes alive met in Edmonton as the Regina Cougars were visiting the MacEwan Griffins. Every point matters at this point in the season for teams trying to climb the standings, and both of these squads likely came into this weekend hungry. Natalie Williamson was in the Regina net to start this game while Brianna Sank got the nod for the Griffins.

Regina came out of the gates fired up and firing pucks as they put all sorts of shots on net throughout the period. MacEwan did a good job weathering the storm past the midway point, but the Cougars killed a penalty and followed that up by scoring a goal when Kaitlyn Gilroy snapped her fourth goal past the glove of Sank at 13:15, and the Cougars grabbed the 1-0 lead in this game. 2:31 later, it was a 2-0 game when Olivia Leggett's blast on the power-play found room past the bodies in front of the Macewan net as her first goal came at 15:46. A late power-play for Regina wouldn't yield anything more, but the Cougars took the 2-0 score into the break while leading 16-4 in shots.

The second period was all about offence as both teams decided that defence wasn't needed. 31 combined shots were put on net in this period, but only one team found twine with those shots. Paige Hubbard made it a 3-0 game when she beat Sank on a breakaway at 5:15 for her fifth goal. MacEwan had opportunities, but they simply couldn't beat Williamson or pucks would avoid sticks. In any case, Regina kept coming and they'd go up 4-0 when Kaylee Dyer went blocker-side on Sank at 15:09 for her first of the season, and the Cougars took a 4-0 lead into the second intermission while holding a 32-19 margin in shots.

The third period saw Macewan continue their offensive push while the Cougars played more defence to close out this game. That combination may have helped MacEwan when Maria Ayre's centering pass went off a skate and past a startled Williamson at 8:29 for her third goal, and that cut MacEwan's deficit to three goals at 4-1. After killing off a number of longer penalties, Regina would ice this one on the power-play when Jadyn Kushniruk jammed a puck home under Sank with 2:45 to play for her third goal, and the Regina Cougars skated to the 5-1 win over the MacEwan Griffins. Natalie Williamson stopped 31 shots for her first win of the season while Brianna Sank was on the wrong end of a 32-save night.

No highlights from MacEwan, but the Cougars were all over the Griffins like this cat wrestling this toddler. Even when it looks like the kid gets away, there's the cat again! Relentless attack!

SATURDAY: The Griffins likely weren't too happy with the results from one night earlier, so I expected them to come out strong. Regina, meanwhile, showed an explosion of goals after being shut out by Alberta twice on the previous weekend, and I expected them to continue to push the pace. Arden Kliewer got the start for the Cougars while Lindsey Johnson was in the Griffins' crease!

Regina wasn't waiting around for the water to freeze from the resurfacing as Kaylee Dyer got her stick on Rachel O'Toole's point shot to redirect the puck past Johnson just 28 seconds into the game for her second goal, and the Cougars grabbed the early 1-0 lead. That goal wouldn't deter the Griffins, though, as they pushed back in the period. A mid-period penalty was killed off by the Griffins, but, seconds after the penalty expired, the Cougars added a second goal when Jenna Merk deflected a Paige Hubbard shot past Johnson at 13:16 for her third of the season and the 2-0 lead. That would be all the scoring we'd see in the first frame as the Cougars hit the intermission with the two-goal lead despite MacEwan holding a 9-8 edge in shots.

The teams clashed again in the second period as they were fairly even throughout the frame. A pair of coincidental minors were the only penalties called, but we'd see a goal late in the frame when Jesse Jack found room past Kliewer on a rebound with 29 seconds left in the period to make it a 2-1 game on Jack's fifth goal of the season. Regina had their chances, but Johnson seemingly got better as the period went on. The horn would sound on this period with Regina holding a 2-1 lead, but with MacEwan up 18-16 in shots.

Regina came out for the third period with a fury I haven't seen from most teams this season as they sent every puck they could at the MacEwan net. The problem was the wall named Lindsey Johnson who stopped every puck thrown at her. That was key because, late in the period, the Griffins found an equalizer off the stick of Maria Ayre when she sniped a shot between the wickets of Kliewer for her fourth goal at 15:22, and, more importantly, this game was tied at 2-2. The last four minutes seemed to last forever as the Cougars pushed for the winner, but the horn would sound as we'd move to overtime to solve this one with the game tied at 2-2 and Regina holding a 37-21 lead in shots.

Overtime saw both teams play a little more cautiously as neither side wanted to see the other celebrate, but the five-minute period would expire, sending us to the shootout. In the skills competition, we'd go five rounds without a goal as Kliewer and Johnson were on full denial mode, In the sixth round, however, Allee Isley snapped one high on Kliewer to put the Griffins up. Kaitlyn Gilroy would be denied, and the MacEwan Griffins rallied for the 3-2 shootout win over the Regina Cougars. Lindsey Johnson picked up her first Canada West victory with 35-save effort in regulation time and six more stops in the shootout while Arden Kliewer took the shootout loss after stopping 19 shots plus five more.

No highlights again from the Griffins because they haven't done a highlight reel in a decade, but you'd think they'd celebrate with video proof when their teams are...

School Record Points GF GA Streak Next
27 67 22
Mount Royal
26 47 27
vs SAS
26 45 15
20 32 21
Trinity Western
13 33 37
13 32 54
12 29 54
vs UBC
9 34 52
vs TWU
6 27 64
vs ALB

Changes Behind The Bench

I had heard this a few weeks ago, but with PWHL camps fully underway for the January start to their season, it seems that Canada West lost another good coach to the professional women's league. UBC assistant coach Mike Sommer is on his way to New York to join Howie Draper as his assistant coach as Draper continues to add high-quality people to his coaching staff. Sommer had been with the Thunderbirds since 2014 where he joined the squad out of Leslie Global Sports in Vancouver where he worked with approximately 1500 female and male hockey players a year. Sommer also served as an assistant coach with New Zealand's Under-20 men's national team from September 2012 to February 2013, helping the team claimed back-to-back bronze medals at the IIHF U20 World Division-III Championship.

Having seen Sommer coaching in-person, I can honestly say that New York is getting a guy who thinks the game five steps ahead of everyone else, and his knowledge of systems and tactics is second-to-none. I know Graham was likely reluctant in letting him go, but Mike has a massive opportunity at the professional level that he could turn into another pile of opportunities. In my view, Mike's good enough to be running his own program if he chooses, so that may be an avenue he explores at some point.

I want to wish Mike all the best as he jumps into the professional ranks, and I know he's going to make a difference with the women playing in the PWHL. All the best, Mike, and here's hoping there's a championship waiting for you and Howie at the end of Year One!

Vacancy Filled

With Mike leaving for the Big Apple, Graham Thomas didn't waste any time bringing in someone to fill the rather large shoes that Mike left behind. That person is none other than Partap Sandhu, and he joined the Thunderbirds with some impressive credentials as well!

Born and raised in Surrey, BC, Sandhu is the owner and instructor of Taps Hockey Development, and he's "been coaching and instructing for over 13 years in the lower mainland having worked with almost every association and various spring programs. He specializes in stride mechanics, edgework and skill development." Sandhu has worked with players just starting their hockey careers right up to major junior, collegiate and university players, and NHL players including the likes of Connor Bedard, Logan Stankoven, former NHLer Robin Bawa, and AHL and ECHL player Luka Burzan. Sandhu is also very skilled in other sports as he played soccer in Europe for the U19 team of SC Furstenfeldbruck, a German Association Football Club!

We'll see how Partap Sandhu fits into the equation for the Thunderbirds, but it seems very clear that Graham Thomas has made another solid hiring when it comes to skill development and skating. For a team like UBC that already skates like the wind and has an abundance of skill, Sandhu's hiring seems like the right one to continue to push the Thunderbirds towards a third-straight Canada West title!

Road Worriers?

The Manitoba Bisons will get an extra week to rest up for the second half of the season as they'll have the bye next week in the final week of the first half of the schedule. There have been major changes for the squad since Jordy Zacharias and Amanda Schubert took over behind the bench, and I expect we'll see more as this team begins to resemble their coaching styles.

It seems pretty clear that the Bisons will be playing on the road in the opening round of the Canada West playoffs if they capture a postseason berth, and the road has not been friendly to the Herd thus far. Including the two games against Mount Royal where a different coach was standing behind the bench, Manitoba is 1-6-1 this season, scoring just seven goals while allowing 28 goals-against. They've been shutout four times and have scored three-or-more goals in a road game just once this season.

Let me be clear in that these stats aren't a matter of effort. Manitoba has outshot its opponent in the last five road games, so they're getting chances. It hard to imagine that a team with as much talent as the Bisons has just seven goals on 210 shots on the road (3.33% shooting percentage), but part of those woes come from the fact that the Bisons are oh-fer on 27 power-play attempts on the road as well. If the Bisons aren't scoring when they have the advantage, it becomes a lot harder to go into the opposition's barn and win games when you score once on 30 shots.

With no games for the next five weeks, there could be some good work put in by the players to really get themselves ready for a solid second half. Whether they end up going to Alberta or Saskatchewan for playoff games will still need to be determined, but the Bisons are a combined 0-5-1 against potential playoff opponents. A solid month of hard work to ramp up the power-play and get systems down will pay dividends down the road, so we'll see how the Bisons use their longer break!

The New Standard

I mentioned in the recaps that MacEwan Griffins forward Maria Ayre, pictured to the left with her previous team in the Northern Alberta X-Treme, had scored her fourth goal of the season this weekend. For those not aware, that's the most by a Griffins rookie skater since they joined Canada West, breaking the record of three held by Aryn Chambers and Hailey Maurice in 2021-22! Ayre has been a bright spot for the Griffins all season long with her effort and determination on the puck, and it's paying off as she's finding the back of the net with some regular frequency this season! Ayre is now tied with UBC's Jaylyn Morris for the rookie goal-scoring lead after her two goals this weekend against Regina!

Ayre's five points on the season would have her tied for fourth in rookie scoring, but, unlike Morris, all of Ayre's goals have come at even-strength. One could argue that Ayre is this season's best rookie goal-scorer based on how she's scoring goals and the rate at which she's scoring them. If MacEwan needs a goal late, I'd expect Ayre to be on the ice for the Griffins just as she was when she scored the game-tying goal on Saturday!

Congratulations to Maria Ayre on setting the team rookie goal-scoring record! There's still a pile of games to go, so keep up the great work and make that record difficult to match or beat!

The Last Word

There's one more week of games on the first-half schedule for the eight teams not based in Canada West's easternmost province. Three teams have a shot at hitting 30 points before January, virtually guaranteeing that they'll not only be playoff teams, but will likely either have a bye or be hosting a playoff series. Another team can seemingly creep past the threshold depending on their results to all but lock in a playoff spot this week as well.

That leaves two spots to be decided for the remaining five teams. With the Bisons watching this week, they could be out of a playoff spot by the time Sunday's games are over and they could potentially be tied for seventh-place in the conference. It seems we'll have a race for playoff spots in the second half of the season after all, and all five teams competing for that spot still have a legitimate chance at grabbing one of those two final postseason berths.

For four teams, the playoffs may start this week as every point matters, so we'll see how things shake out at the end of the first half after next week's action. One thing is certain, though: this week could set up a very interesting second half of the season.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Saturday 25 November 2023

The Annual Beverage Creation

If there's one thing that I can always count on each and ever year, it's my Mom clearing her schedule for our annual mixing of liquids to create one of her favorite beverages. She officially holds the title of "Quality Control" as there's always a small glass that seems to have a random amount poured into it for taste-testing and consistency, but I'm starting to get a little suspicious that she may just want to imbibe with a rich, delicious beverage midday. I'm not one to ruin a good time, though, so we gathered today where the annual tradition of making homemade Irish Cream was completed.

Thanks to Paul Lukas, esteemed writer of Uni-Watch blog who turned me on to this recipe, I can't imagine not having this beverage. It's a hit no matter where I bring it, and people are often surprised how quick and easy it is to make. There are a lot of websites with various versions of Irish cream recipes, and I'll admit I haven't made a lot of these other concoctions using those directions. The ones I have tried aren't the same, though, as they taste slightly different or miss out on the texture. In saying that, stick with this recipe, folks. I can guarantee you won't be disappointed.

Without further adieu, here is the legendary Paul Lukas' Irish Cream!


2 cups of Irish whiskey*
2 cups of heavy cream**
1 can of sweetened condensed milk
1 tbsp. of chocolate syrup
1 tsp. of vanilla extract
1 espresso shot***
1/4 tsp. of almond extract


Mix all ingredients in a large container and be sure to stir well. Refrigerate for a couple of hours, and enjoy over ice.


* - any mid-range Irish whiskey will do - Bushmills, Jameson, Tullamore Dew - so don't buy any high-end whiskey. You'll lose the nuances of the high-end whiskey, which is what you're paying more for, in the Irish cream mixture.
** - whipping cream at 35% works best for a thick, smooth Irish cream. At the very lowest, don't stray below 18% or you'll lose the creaminess of the beverage.
*** - an espresso shot is 1 tsp. of instant espresso in 2 tbsp. of hot water OR 2 tsp. of rich, instant coffee in 2 tbsp. of hot water. The stronger the coffee, the better the flavor is in the mixture.

As a change, this was the first year that we decided to go with 18% cream over 35% cream. The heavier cream seems to settle in the bottle if it sits for a few days, and it seemed to affect the overall quality. The 18% cream, as per Mrs. Quality Control, offers a more drinkable mixture in that it's not as heavy, but it still features all the notes that this Irish cream recipe features.

Of course, those notes are chocolate, espresso-ish coffee, and vanilla that blend together to create a sweet start to a creamy beverage that has wisps of alcohol blended into it. It should be served cold and it's best served over ice to maintain that chill, but this is one of those beverages that one can enjoy on a cool winter's eve, after coming inside from skating, skiing, or shovelling, or if you just want a nice sweet nightcap prior to slumber.

Because I am no spirits master, I have never tested the mixture for its alcohol content. In saying that, if you do make this, please enjoy responsibly and do not finish off a bottle in one sitting. Because of how tasty and easy-to-drink it is, be smart and call for cabs, Ubers, a ride if you indulge in a couple of glasses. The last gift anyone wants this holiday season is a ticket for driving under the influence, an impounded vehicle, a suspended license, or all three of those things so be responsible so everyone can have a happy holiday!

It's always good to stop in and see my folks, and I know there are far more laughs than should be allowed when we're making this Irish cream - mostly because Mom keeps stealing drinks - but that's a big part of why I love doing this every year. My family isn't much for drinking alcohol, but this beverage hits the target in a big way for all of us. I hope that if you make it, you'll enjoy it as well because Paul's recipe really is good. Be safe, readers, and leave your review of the recipe here if you like so we can discuss!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Friday 24 November 2023

I Stand With Girard

It might be time that we have a serious chat here on HBIC because the image to the left is how most people will want to remember Samuel Girard once his career comes to an end. However, it seems clear that Girard is struggling to find the good times in hockey right now as he released a statement today announcing that he was stepping away from the game to seek help for anxiety and depression with which he's been struggling. For some, it will be hard to imagine how one of the premiere defenders in hockey who is paid millions to play a game would bve struggling with his mental health, but I look at Girard's announcement as a move of courage and strength. And I stand with him in his effort to seek help to overcome these issues.

Girard's statement, released by CAA who represents, reads,
"I have made a proactive decision to take care of my mental health, and will be entering treatment for severe anxiety and depression that has gone untreated for too long and led to alcohol abuse. "Taking care of your mental health is of the utmost importance, and I encourage everyone to speak up and seek help should you feel like you need it. I want to express my gratitude to my wife, family, friends, the club, my teammates, and the fans for their patience, understanding, and continued support."
Girard has engaged with the NHL/NHLPA Player Assistance Program in his efforts to combat his anxiety and depression, and it really goes to show how important that program is becoming when it comes to helping players through any and all issues. We saw Milan Lucic enter the program earlier this week, and we've seen players such as Carey Price, Jakub Vrana, Bobby Ryan, Spencer Knight, and Michael McCarron all enter the program for various reasons. When it comes to being better for friends, teammates, and the ones you hold dear, asking for help shouldn't be stigmatized.

Arizona Coyotes goaltender Connor Ingram went through some dark and harrowing times in life and career before entering the program in 2020 to seek help. He was diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder and treated through the NHL/NHLPA's Player Assistance Program, and his career took off following his exit from the program.

"If somewhere along the way I would have learned about mental health or people would have been open about it, I might have known that's what was going on," he told Dave Kallman of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal in 2021. "It's important to me now to be open about it, because there might be somebody out there that's going through the same thing I did that has no idea what's going on, just like me."

Ingram identifies the problem in his statement - "if.. people would have been open about it" - about how mental health has been stigmatized and shrugged off, and it likely happens far more often in a sport like hockey where macho displays of manhood happen on a regular basis. The unfortunate part is that those displays of macho behaviour fall into the toxic masculinity that hurts the sport more than helps it, and this is why I stand with Girard, Ingram, and everyone else who has used the program to fight their demons: mental health is just as important as physical health, particularly moreso in professional athletes.

As stated above, some will roll their eyes and make comments about how millionaire athletes have nothing to be anxious or depressed over, and it was Nick Foligno who had a retort to that comment in 2021 when the NHL was playing in their bubble due to COVID.

"I always hate that excuse: 'Those guys are millionaires,'" Nick Foligno told ESPN's Emily Kaplan. "If we're actually being serious about treating everybody alike, then that excuse is part of the problem too. For the most part, I can say hockey guys are down-to-earth human beings and have the same problems and cares as everyone else. So it's no surprise a lot of guys have struggled this year, because of what everyone in this world has been facing."

Foligno is right - hockey players are still people who face the same problems and personal issues that everyone else does. Yes, they make considerably more money than you or I do on a weekly basis, but I'll wager that no one has been traded by their company to a competitor during the year. The demands of winning, playing at an extremely high level, avoiding all temptation, and keeping a squeaky clean image are also demands put on these players while they're asked to spend some 200 days away from their families, so you can understand how negative things can get to players quickly in a sport where talking about one's feelings makes one "weak".

"Everybody thinks that being a professional athlete is this glamorous life," former NHLPA executive Mathieu Schneider told Kaplan in 2021. "And everybody's making $6 million a year and everybody's going to play for 15 years, so how can you complain? The truth is, it's much different from that.

"Living on the road, out of a suitcase, for days and weeks. The ups and downs of a season. Uncertainty about contracts. Our average, career length is less than five years. Guys are fortunate, no question, to make the kind of money that they do and to be public figures. But there is an awful lot that comes along with that."

This is why I stand with Samuel Girard. We can't possibly know what he's going through when it comes to his anxiety and depression, but it takes courage to make the decision to seek help when one has been told throughout one's career to "toughen up" and to "man up" when it comes to mental health.

"It's really that initial contact, that initial outreach, I think, is sometimes the most difficult for a player," Schneider told Kaplan. "We try to make that as easy as possible, and then have the experts point them in the right direction to go."

We need to accept that mental health is just as important as physical health. While a broken bone, a sprain, a black eye, or cut can be seen, mental health doesn't always present itself in an obvious way nor in the same symptoms for every person. This is why it's very important for coaches, fans, teammates, parents, friends, and players themselves to speak up about mental health and make it as common as a "lower-body injury" in both its usage and acceptance.

Sam Girard isn't asking to be a figurehead or spokesman for mental health. He just wants to be healthy, both physically and mentally, so he can be the best Sam Girard he can be for the Colorado Avalnache, his family, and his friends. Having Sam speak out for mental health is good for all athletes and people because it shows that a professional athlete can be just like you and I when needing help to be better. I stand with Sam Girard because I want him to get the help he seeks, but I also want him to be the catalyst for other players, doctors, cashiers, restaurant staff, CEOs, and anyone else to seek help if they believe they need some mental health assistance.

In a season over the next month where wishes of good health will be bestowed upon many of us from all walks of life, it's important to remember that good health also includes good mental health. The holiday season always adds extra stressors to people's lives, and that stress needs to be dealt with in a healthy manner in order to maintain that good health. Let's not stigmatize those who may need a night off from holiday cheer or who are feeling anxious over holiday events because those feelings are the body's way of telling someone that something may not be right.

I stand with Sam Girard, and I truly hope he gets the help he seeks to defeat the anxiety and the depression he's feeling. No one should have to contend with those dark feelings while trying to be the best at one's job, and one's mental health is every bit as important as one's physical health when one is doing anything, including being an elite athlete. If you or someone you know may be struggling, there are important resources one can use to seek help. They include:
  • Wellness Together Canada - Canadian Government's official, free mental health portal where you can access direct support from a licensed therapist for free.
  • Kid's Help Phone - a national crisis line that connects children and youth with emergency support via phone or text.
  • Crisis Services Canada - a national network of suicide and distress hotlines that's available 24/7/365.
  • Heads Up Guys - a national support site specifically for men to assist in recovery from depression, reducing their risk of suicide, and inspiring men to live healthier lives while improving mental health literacy among men, reducing the stigma, and providing strategies for self-management.
  • UBC Athlete's Hub - a UBC-led website that promotes awareness of mental health issues, reducing stigma, and coping skills and help-seeking among student-athletes.
  • Opening Minds - evidence-based mental health training programs and stigma reduction initiatives.
  • Mood Disorders Society of Canada - programs, educational resources, national campaigns, research activities, tools, and supports for Canadians.
  • Canada Life's Workplace Strategies for Mental Health - tools and resources for workplace mental health and psychological safety across Canadian workspaces.
  • Mental Health America - for people seeking help with mental health, crisis support, finding a warmline, navigating healthcare systems and working with providers, and finding support in your local community.
  • National Council for Mental Wellbeing - an online directory of mental health providers for each US state.
  • American Foundation for Suicide Prevention - a voluntary health organization that gives those affected by suicide a nationwide community empowered by research, education and advocacy to take action against this leading cause of death.
  • Anxiety and Depression Association of America - US-based organization raising awareness about the impact of mental health on physical health, finding new treatments, and one day preventing and curing anxiety, depression, OCD, PTSD, and co-occurring disorders.
  • The Trevor Project - a site for LGBTQ+ teens and youth where one can reach out to a counselor if one is struggling, find answers and information, and get the tools one needs to help someone else that's available 24/7/365.
The vast majority of the organizations listed above have free resources with options for speaking to someone, finding professional help, or both. Everything is confidential in your use of these resources as per the sites' mandates, and all of the resources have evidence of being effective in helping those seeking assistance find it. Feel free to click on any of the sites and find the right help for you if you feel you may need it.

I stand with Sam Girard in his announcement today. I also stand with anyone else who seeks assistance to find good mental health, and I hope the resources listed above may help you find that path to better mental health. If you're currently undergoing treatment for better mental health, keep working with health professionals to ensure you get the proper treatment.

There is no stigma here at HBIC - mental health will always be a component of good overall health, and I truly hope we see Sam Girard return to the Colorado Avalanche lineup when he's overcome the darkness that he was facing for so long. He's a heckuva defenceman who makes the Avalanche better, but Girard needs to be in a better place mentally for him to be effective. I'm glad he's now going to get that treatment, and I hope his announcement today helps other break through that stigma that surrounds mental health.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Thursday 23 November 2023

The Hockey Show - Episode 583

The Hockey Show, Canada's only campus-produced radio show that strictly talks hockey, is back on a night where there is no hockey being played! With American Thanksgiving occurring today, the NHL decided to give all 32 teams the night off for some turkey, some fixings, and some dessert before getting back at it tomorrow. There are some stories that we're following to get you set for the weekend and beyond, so kick back, grab a plate of food if you're listening south of the border, and make you're tuned into The Hockey Show at 5:30pm CT!

With no NHL or AHL hockey tonight, the only professional game in one of the three-highest leagues you can watch tonight is the ECHL's matchup of the Iowa Heartlanders against the Fort Wayne Komets. We recommend you tune into The Hockey Show before that where Teebz and Jason will be discussing Milan Lucic's legal woes, the reveal of the 2024 Winter Classic jerseys for both Seattle and Vegas, the Oilers find another way to lose, Jim Montgomery deserving more respect than he has received, a fun Melbourne Moment where we meet some of the players, Bisons men's hockey are in a world of hurt, we go over a couple of emails received, and there are announcements to be made! In short, it's another busy show with all sorts of information, so gather round the radio for some hockey chatter on The Hockey Show at 5:30pm CT on one of 101.5 FM, Channel 718 on MTS TV, or via!

If you live outside Winnipeg and want to listen, we have options! The new UMFM website's online streaming player is pretty awesome if you want to listen online. We also recommend Radio Garden if you need an easy-to-use online stream. If you're more of an app person, we recommend you use the TuneIn app found on the App Store or Google Play Store. If you 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! 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 and Jason chat bad behaviour, new jerseys, bad hockey, great coaching, new friends, more bad hockey, hockey ideas, and much more exclusively on 101.5 UMFM and on the web stream!

PODCAST: November 23, 2023: Episode 583

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Wednesday 22 November 2023

Updating The Ratings

The push to get the U SPORTS Women's Hockey version of NHL '94 is on at HBIC Headquarters as I've spent the day updating ratings and rosters for each team. You might be scratching your head and wondering why I'm doing this considering we already had rosters and teams defined back in August, but keeping this game up-to-date for the 2023-24 season was always the goal. That means taking the rosters from August when teams hadn't finalized anything, reviewing player names and numbers, and adjusting ratings accordingly for those players who have been good through the first half of the season. I also adjust team ratings to reflect those teams that are doing well and those who haven't seen as much success, and I think we're pretty close at having that side of the game finalized.

The biggest revelation for me was finding a tool that allowed me to change individual ratings for team skills. This allowed me to rank teams on individual skills like offence, defence, power-play, penalty-killing, and home and road strengths. Had I not found this tool, the teams would be ranked as per the NHL tams they replaced, and that was causing some serious headaches when it came to reality because it seemed like the Regina Cougars were unstoppable. They're good, but a team currently in seventh-place in Canada West likely wouldn't beat a Nipissing or a Concordia as easily as the Cougars were. After making the adjustments, they still can win, but they're not as invincible as they seemingly were before.

After fixing the team ratings, I went back and reviewed all the team rosters because there were definitely recruits I had added that were wearing numbers that differed from what I had assigned them, so that needed to be fixed. On top of that, I reviewed scoring for each of the teams and made some adjustments there as well. For example, Mackenzie Kordic of UBC is now the top-rated player for the Thunderbirds, but players like Chanreet Bassi are Rylind MacKinnon are still rated nicely.

Based on the size of the file, I have limited bytes free for data, so I made the decision to keep rosters between 22 and 25 players. This means that some players who have played this season won't appear in the game, but that's how the game goes when I'm restricted by ROM size. Players who have played in less than half their team's games this season likely don't make the game unless a team needs its roster filled out with players. A few teams have only used six defenders this season so they clearly need a seventh or eighth defender in case of injuries, and that's where I added in an extra player who hasn't played much in the first half of this season.

Goalies who haven't appeared this season or have appeared the least this season also got cut. A lot of teams feature three goalies, but my version of U SPORTS Women's Hockey will eliminate those goalies who have one appearance or less. I simply don't have enough space on the ROM to have all teams carrying three netminders. Just like the players who didn't make the cut in the above paragraph, I apologize to those who didn't make it, but ROM size is a real thing.

With the ratings and rosters finalized, it's all graphics work now. That might be the toughest ask based on some of the ROM editing documentation I've read, but I'm going to sit down and see if I can figure out the programs and how to make the graphics work. If I can get one done and looking professional, it's just rinse and repeat for the other logos. If have to redraw all the logos using this software, that's going to be a lot of work, but the documentation seems to indicate I won't have to do that.

There's the update for November as I'll have more time in December to really work on the game. It's coming along, and I'm very happy with how the teams and rosters are looking after the updates made, but now we'll see how my artwork skiils do in the coming weeks. For a guy who struggles to draw stickpeople, this may be a big ask!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Tuesday 21 November 2023

The End Of Lucic

This isn't normally how hockey players are dressed midweek, but Boston Bruins forward Milan Lucic was in his best suit today as he stood before a judge at the Central Division of Boston Municipal Court for his arraignment on the charge of assault and battery on a household member. As you may have heard, Lucic was involved in a domestic violence incident over the weekend after he assaulted his wife, Brittany, following a night out where it appears he had been drinking. Lucic entered a plea of not-guilty today before the judge who released Lucic under his own personal recognizance with a no-abuse order and a requirement that he refrain from consuming any alcohol while this case is pending. Lucic's silence in the courtroom will likely echo the silence he'll hear from NHL clubs once this case is tried, and this issue should be the death knell on the 35 year-old Lucic's professional hockey career.

I fully admit that everyone shall remain innocent until proven guilty, but based on what has been reported from the courtroom proceedings today it seems like Milan Lucic is on the wrong side of the law in this case. I'm clearly not on the jury nor am I sitting in the courtroom, but the details written by Kevin Paul Dupont in the Boston Globe today don't cast a positive light on Milan Lucic in any way. As much as one hopes that Milan and Brittany can find peace in their marriage following this, it seems as though the law will force Milan to accept responsibility for what he did.

Perhaps the good news that came out of today's arraignment is that Lucic has enrolled in the NHL/NHLPA Player Assistance Program. If this is to assist him with an alcohol-related issue, that's good. As you'll see, police reports seem to indicate that Lucic was inebriated when they arrived at the family's condominium, so getting help is a good start despite it likely being far too late to save his NHL career.

Again, I wasn't sitting in the courtroom today, so what follows is how everything unfolded as per Kevin Paul Dupont. I want to make it clear that what you read may be disturbing as there are descriptions of domestic violence as told by Dupont. Anything I add is based off his reporting. Are we clear? Good. Let's discuss.

Dupont reported today,
"What we can ascertain, per portions of the police report that were read into the record at Lucic's court hearing Tuesday, is that he and his wife got into an argument around 1 a.m., after he returned home from a night out. During the argument, Lucic allegedly yanked his wife's hair and threatened to choke her, his ire initially sparked by his inability to locate his phone and belief that she was hiding it."
Clearly, that's not good at all, and him putting his hands on her followed by threatening her is a major problem. However, the reading of the police report continued. Dupont reported,
"'You're not going anywhere,' Lucic allegedly told his wife as she attempted to walk away from their argument. That is when he grabbed her by the hair, according to the report."
Something tells me that Milan Lucic might be in big trouble based on that piece of the report. However, there was still more revealed as Dupont reported,
"Per the report, Lucic appeared to be inebriated when police entered the condo. There was a broken lamp aside a nightstand. Brittany, per the report, had a red mark on her chest."
It's a widely-known fact that committing a crime while intoxicated doesn't excuse one from the full lengths of the law. With Milan Lucic being drunk and aggressively putting his hands on his wife, his future will be decided by his wife's testimony, the police officers who testify, and the police report since it appears that Lucic wasn't of clear mind when the police showed up to make sense of what was happening. And as it stands, the report alone is pretty damning.

With Lucic on a team-friendly, one-year deal for $1 million, it would be easy to bury his contract in the minors and let it expire. Of course, with him being in the NHL/NHLPA Player Assistance Program, everything is on hold when it comes to player movement. Perhaps the best move to undertake would be to place him on waivers for the purpose of terminating his contract under the "conduct unbecoming" clause written into his contract. Similar to how Mitchell Miller was waived, I doubt that Boston wants the negative press following them along with opposing fans using Lucic's arrest for his crime as something they can use to disrupt the players.

Lucic will have his day in court where he will be able to defend his actions based on his not-guilty plea. He'll be able to work on his behaviours under the guidance of the NHL/NHLPA Player Assistance Program where he can take corrective measures to prevent something like this from happening ever again. Perhaps his wife, Brittany, will drop the charges against Milan and refuse to testify to let him off the hook easy rather than standing in front of a jury. What shouldn't happen, though, is Lucic getting a free pass in the NHL for the actions he committed this past weekend.

With the Bruins being the only team that showed interest in Lucic's services this summer, that opportunity should be ended for the good of all the parties involved. Actions have consequences, and the Bruins can't just sweep this one under the rug when it comes to doing the right, even if it isn't popular.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!