Friday, 20 October 2017

Buzzer Beater

Ever since UND decided to eliminate its women's hockey program, I have been drifting without a team to follow. There are players that I'm cheering for - Wisconsin's Kristen Campbell, for example - but I needed a new program to sink my loyalty into, and I may have found it with the Colgate Raiders. I made the commitment after Krista Patronick took over the reigns as Director of Women's Hockey Operations at Colgate University and appeared on The Hockey Show. Needless to say, I may have hitched my wagon to one heckuva program after tonight's game!

I had asked Krista when she appeared on the show if she was worried about the early schedule with teams such as St. Cloud State, Northeastern, and Mercyhurst on the docket, but she said she wasn't worried at all. At the time, I might have dismissed the comment as an employee of Colgate putting faith in her own program, but it seems my dismissal might have been both erroneous and premature. After downing both St. Cloud State and Northeastern by a combined 16-2, the fifth-ranked program in the nation welcomed Mercyhurst to the Class of 1965 Arena.

Goaltender Liz Auby had set the Colgate women's team's shutout streak at 308:44 in her three shutouts to start the season before Northeastern finally found a crack in the Auby wall late in the second period, so Mercyhurst had a tall task in front of them as they began the weekend series with the Raiders tonight. While Mercyhurst entered the game with a 1-4-1 record, Colgate certainly wouldn't take the Lakers lightly.

After Colgate surrendered a goal late in the third period to allow Mercyhurst to tie the game at 3-3, overtime loomed. It would take nearly the entire five-minute extra frame to find a winner, but we did find one just in the nick of time! One day after she took over Colgate's Instagram account, Jessie Eldridge went and did this.
Despite what the voice on the video stated, Eldridge scored with one second remaining in overtime to give the Colgate Raiders their fifth-straight win to open the season! The great lead pass came from the player who did the pickpocketing of the Laker in the offensive zone, and freshman Malia Schneider went tape-to-tape to send Eldridge in with speed. Moments later, there were team hugs in the corner as it was game, set, match with Eldridge's second goal of the night!

I feel pretty confident in my choice for a new NCAA team to follow after seeing them start the season 5-0-0. They play Mercyhurst again tomorrow, and then they go on the road against the Clarkson Golden Knights and perhaps their toughest match to date with the sixth-ranked St. Lawrence Saints next Saturday. I have faith, though, that players lake Shae Labbe, Jessie Eldridge, Shelby Perry, Malia Schneider, and Liz Auby will do their part in keeping this magical season alive!

Heckuvan ending tonight, though. Well done, Raiders!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Thursday, 19 October 2017

The Hockey Show - Episode 265

The Hockey Show, Canada's only campus-produced radio show that strictly talks hockey, is back tonight with a special show as we're knee-deep in Pledge-O-Rama for another season! Pledge-O-Rama is UMFM's annual pledge drive that goes to help us fund capital projects at the radio station such as equipment upgrades, a new transmission tower that was installed and activated this summer, and other major upgrades in and around the station. Being that UMFM is a non-profit station, any black ink on the bottom line gets invested back into the station, so Pledge-O-Rama helps us out immensely in bring you quality and unique programming that you won't find anywhere else!

Tonight, Beans and I are thrilled to welcome this beauty to the show. That's Rob Ullman, and he's a talented and incredible artist who has a pile of success to his name with everything he's been involved with in his career. He has worked with minor-league baseball's Richmond Flying Squirrels to come up with their eleven t-shirt designs this past summer, creates his own unique sports artwork, he's the staff cartoonist at Dejan Kovacevic's Pittsburgh-based website, and he's contributed to a number of other websites with his artwork. In other words, he's a pretty darn good at what he does! Tonight, Beans and I will talk to Rob about his art, jerseys, his beloved Pittsburgh Penguins, his family and more as we get to know Rob Ullman tonight on The Hockey Show's Pledge-O-Rama Extravaganza!

I was going to paste the whole rigmarole about the Pledge-O-Rama stuff again, but I did that last night. Click here for more details! And remember that any donation of $50 or more gets you entered into the draws for Rob's art!

So now you might be saying, "Teebz, I know Rob!" or "Teebz, I like his art and want to know more about him. How can I listen?" We suggest that you download the UMFM app on your phone or tablet. It's the easiest and most convenient way to listen to any of UMFM's great shows any time of the day, so go get it! Just follow this link on your iDevice or this link for your Android device and get the UMFM app! It's never been easier to tune into The Hockey Show or UMFM! Download the UMFM app today, and don't miss any of our great programming or shows!

If you prefer social media, we try to remain up-to-speed there as well! Email all show questions and comments - including Pledge-O-Rama questions - to hockeyshow@umfm.com! Tweet me anytime with questions you may have by hitting me up at @TeebzHBIC on Twitter. You can also post some stuff to Facebook if you use the "Like" feature, and I always have crazy stuff posted there that doesn't make it to the blog or show.

Tonight, Teebz and Beans talk The Tragically Hip, hockey, art, family, jerseys, Pittsburgh, Richmond, and more as we get to know artist Rob Ullman only on The Hockey Show found on 101.5 UMFM and on the UMFM app!

PODCAST: October 19, 2017: Episode 265

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Pledge-O-Rama Preview

UMFM, the home of The Hockey Show, is currently in its week-long pledge drive known as Pledge-O-Rama. Pledge-O-Rama is important to the station because it helps us raise funds for capital improvements that often are priced beyond our normal operating budget. Some of the improvements we've done over the years include paying for the remote broadcast units, upgrades to station audio equipment, and covering the costs of a new transmission tower as we move from analog to digital and remain current for another twenty-five years. Needless to say this is a big week for the station!

If you enjoy our crazy program or any of the other programs on UMFM, The Hockey Show wants you to donate. As of right now, we're sitting at $30,033.46 of our $34,000 goal, so we're not far off with a couple of days to go. You can make a donation in a few different ways, so let's get to this.
  1. You can always call us at 204-474-6610.
  2. Email us at pledge@umfm.com and we'll get back to you.
  3. Use the online donation form.
  4. Visit us if you're in the University of Manitoba area.
What do you get for donating? There's some great shwag up for grabs!
  • UMFM's Friends With Benefits Card: good for discounts and offers at a more than 40 local businesses!
  • UMFM Tote Bag: a classic heavy duty canvas bag!
  • UMFM Beer Stein: we're proudly calling this mug the Dietmar in honor of our favorite German listener!
  • UMFM T-shirts: the artwork was done by excellent local designer Roberta Landreth, and there are two designs you can choose from (of grab both)!
  • UMFM Toque: our new style is made by Carhartt, the premier manufacturer of warm, dependable outdoor gear!
  • UMFM sweatshirt: the same designs on the t-shirts can be found with sleeves and fleece!
  • UMFM earplugs: everyone gets a pair for donating, and we'll even toss in some stickers and temporary tattoos!
So how many clams will this stuff set you back?
But here's where the fun part happens. The Hockey Show wants you to get all that stuff above at the level you're able to make a donation. We're going to add some more fun on top of whatever incentives you want, though, as we have a pile of stuff to give away. All it will take is a donation at the $50 level or more, and we'll enter your name in the draws we'll be making!

Our guest tomorrow is the amazing artist Rob Ullman. Rob worked with minor-league baseball's Richmond Flying Squirrels to come up with their eleven t-shirt designs this past summer, and that's a huge honour for the Virginia-based artist. He also does a pile of other sports artwork, he's the staff cartoonist at Dejan Kovacevic's Pittsburgh-based website, and he's contributed to a number of other websites with his comics. I am proud and honoured to call him a friend, and I'm happy to announce that we'll be giving away a pile of his artwork!

We have a pile of hockey prints to give away. There are six (6) Mark Scheifele prints, one (1) Sidney Crosby print, one (1) Claude Giroux print, one (1) Pekka Rinne print, and one (1) Jonathan Toews print. Everyone who donates at the $50 level or higher will have one of these prints added to their UMFM prizes while supplies last. If there are more than ten people who donate - which would be awesome as that's $500 or better into UMFM's coffers - we'll draw to see who receives a print.

Maybe you want something more original with a little more depth? We'll give away two (2) copies of both editions of Rob's hockey comic books entitled Old-Timey Hockey Tales! Each of the two-volume comic book packages comes with an Atom-Bomb Bikini sticker and a Rob-designed "51 Years" sticker commemorating the five Pittsburgh Stanley Cups in 51 years! Each of the comic books illustrates some hockey history such as the Miracle on Manchester, Gratoony the Loony, the '78 Leafs and their invisible names, and the story of Bill Barilko. Needless to say, these are great additions to a hockey fan's bookshelf!

Maybe you're more into Rob's pin-up work and want something like that? We have a prize pack that we'll draw for consisting of one (1) copy of the Nordiques-themed cover of Blue Lines Volume 2 and an original Rob Ullman Nordiques hockey card! As per Rob, the book contains "digest-sized collections of my hockey-themed pin-up commissions and Stanley Cup playoff drawings" and is numbered 17/300 as it is a limited publishing run. The Nordiques hockey card is an original drawing of what appears to be Eric Lindros in a Nordiques uniform, and is labeled 6/27/12 on the reverse!

Of course, Rob also does larger cardstock art, and this is one of those options. Rob has sent an inked Terry Sawchuk original design, and it's a beauty. Terry, as you may be aware, was born in Winnipeg, and made a name for himself in the NHL with Detroit, Toronto, Los Angeles, and Boston in his illustrious career before he passed away on May 31, 1970. Sawchuk was born in the north end of Winnipeg, and raised in Elmwood where he not only played hockey, but also suited up for the Elmwood Giants baseball club where he won the league's batting title in 1948! If you're a fan of the Red Wings or you want a great discussion piece for your wall at home, this is the piece! We'll make a draw for this as well!

Finally, we have one last original piece of art that we'll draw for tomorrow evening, and that's for a Winnipeg Jets pin-up girl that Rob had made up specifically for this event!
This piece of art would be a great addition to any Jets fan-cave, and it looks outstanding! We'll include this in the draws as well!

Again, we're excited to have Rob on the show tomorrow, and we're pushing hard towards the $34,000 goal for UMFM. We're less than $4000 away from the goal, and we really could use any and all support you can provide. Anything over $50 not only gets you the great UMFM gear, but entered into the draws for this great art from Rob Ullman, so please give what you can to help the radio station!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Apolitical?

When asked in early May about the NHL's strategy for dealing with outspoken players following the NFL's ordeal when the President of the United States focused his social media voice on the NFL's players, Gary Bettman said, "I would encourage and I do encourage our players to do it on their own time. When they're showing up for work to participate in a game that people are focused on, care about, pay a lot of money to attend, then it should be all about the game. That block of time should be apolitical, and we can use our platforms to demonstrate diversity, inclusiveness, educating communities on good causes whether or not it's health or the environment. But when the game is being played, it should be about the game because that's what fans want."

The image above was taken in January when Mr. Bettman was in Calgary speaking to the Calgary Chamber where he uttered, "It is not an overstatement to say the future stability, viability and continuity of the Calgary Flames, and perhaps the city of Calgary, rests on the achievement of CalgaryNEXT."

Those words piqued the interest of then-Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi who wanted to speak with Bettman over this statement. Over the course of the next few months, they had their discussions, and it seemed the two men were no closer at finding a resolution to the Flames' arena issue as they were in January. All of this culminated in the Flames basically breaking off talks with the Mayor's office over not getting what they want - specifically, public money that they don't have to repay to build an arena. As the frsutration boiled over, Gary Bettman told voters that if they want to keep the Flames in Calgary, they should make their voices heard at the ballot boxes in the mayoral election.

Monday at midnight, Nenshi's main rival, Bill Smith, conceded the election when Nenshi had 112,503 votes to Smith's 97,756. Mayor Nenshi and all the incumbent councillors had secured their seats for another four years despite Gary Bettman's imploring people to reconsider and the public grandstanding by the Calgary Flames over Nenshi's refusal to do business the Flames' way.

For a commissioner who is on record telling his players to be apolitical while on the NHL's time, why is he allowed to make comments as he did without punishment? I get that he represents the owners in this battle, but the only proper title for Commissioner Bettman to use is Hypocrite Bettman if he's allowed to try and sway an election while preventing the players in his legal from protesting peacefully.

To make matters worse, employees of the Calgary Flames took to social media to voice their opinions upon hearing the reports that Nenshi had claimed his third term in office. Both of these tweets have now been deleted, but they lived in the ether earlier today.
That's Calgary Sports and Entertaiment ‎Vice President of Sports Property Sales & Marketing Gordon Norrie telling everyone who he is voting for via Twitter. Norrie's tweet leaves little room for doubt as what he'd like to see in the election results as well.

That's Calgary Flames Director of Communications & Media Relations Sean Kelso expressing himself eloquently once the election results were being tabulated and broadcast on Monday night. It seems his choice of words towards the citizens of Calgary might not be the best example that a Director of Communications & Media Relations would want on his resumΓ©. Nonetheless, voila.

And to think that Flames President and CEO Ken King said to a crowd at the Calgary Chamber on September 25, "We're not in politics. It is impertinent, imprudent and inappropriate for us to try to intercede on the political front."

Foot-in-mouth much, Flames?

Sports is a microcosm of society. Everything happening in and around local cities and regions affects its citizens, both private and corporate. Often as a means of civic pride, sports teams will try to rally communities in an effort to bring people together. In the Flames' case, however, it seems that they have no clue what their community wants since Nenshi ran on a platform that included an entertainment and cultural district in Victoria Park on the eastern edge of Calgary's Beltline neighbourhood where the Mayor had proposed the new arena be built.

With Mayor Nenshi officially back for another four years and the Flames still needing an arena, it might be time to swallow some pride, come back to the bargaining table, and figure out how the Calgary Flames can be good corporate citizens of the city of Calgary without emptying the wallets of Calgary taxpayers. This shouldn't be a difficult negotiation for the Flames if they can make a deal that doesn't bleed the city dry without injecting some sorely needed funds into important things like infrastructure maintenance, police and fire funding, and social programs in the city. Good corporate citizens would work with their neighbours rather than reaching into their pockets to build a new barn.

Your move, Flames. The people of Calgary have spoken. And maybe get Sean Kelso to issue an apology while you're at it.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Monday, 16 October 2017

TBC: Fast Ice Superstars

I have to admit that I sometimes take my position as a hockey fan a little for granted in that I have accumulated a vast spectrum of hockey knowledge. There are those who are discovering the game and certainly trying to learn more about the game in this connected world today, and it's part of any good hockey fan's responsibility to help foster that learning and appreciation for the game. When I picked up today's entry in Teebz's Book Club, I was left feeling underwhelmed, but it occurred to me that not every book is written for my level of hockey fan. In saying that, Teebz's Book Club is proud to review Fast Ice Superstars of the New NHL, written by Andrew Podnieks and published by ECW Press. If you need to know who to keep an eye on in this era's NHL, Mr. Podnieks' new book will certainly give you a number of names to follow in this new NHL.

Directly from his website, "Andrew Podnieks has written more than 80 books on hockey, all of which are featured on this website. In addition, he has attended four Olympics, 13 World Championships, and many World Junior, Women's Worlds, and Women’s U18 Championships for the IIHF, writing extensively for IIHF.com. He has worked with Hockey Canada and USA Hockey to produce comprehensive statistics for all levels of competition. For Canada's Sports Hall of Fame, he helped develop web and exhibition content and successfully nominated several inductees." I've been lucky enough to review a number of Mr. Podnieks' books on this site, so check out the list on the right to get reviews on more of his books!

When you think about the superstars of today's NHL, you can probably come up with a pretty comprehensive list if you've been following the game for a while. Names like Connor McDavid, Sidney Crosby, Auston Matthews, Erik Karlsson, and Alexander Ovechkin will certainly make lists for most fans, but what if you were just breaking into being a fan of the game? How would you know who are the best players from across the league without watching every game and highlight available? The answer would be Fast Ice Superstars as Andrew Podnieks highlights 63 of the best players in the NHL right now from across the league for fans who want to know a little more about each of these players.

The five names mentioned above make appearances in Fast Ice Superstars, but there are players that I may have overlooked that Mr. Podnieks highlights that should be noticed by hockey fans. You may list off names like Laine, Seguin, Stamkos, and Subban in your top-ten players right now, but there are a pile of players on teams one may forget about that should also be included, and that's what Mr. Podnieks identifies in Fast Ice Superstars. Players like Cam Atkinson from the Columbus Blue Jackets, Rasmus Ristolainen from the Buffalo Sabres, and Noah Hanifin are often forgotten in this conversation about today's best players, and new fans should certainly be aware of these great players who play for teams who often don't get the national spotlight.

Each player of the 63 chosen by Mr. Podnieks is profiled in Fast Ice Superstars. The write-ups list career accomplishments, unique facts, where the player developed, and statistics. The facts listed by Mr. Podnieks will be appreciated by long-time fans while newer fans will learn where these players developed and why they are considered some of the best players in the game today.

For the long-time, knowledgeable hockey fan, Fast Ice Superstars won't introduce you to any random, obscure, or eccentric information about players. It's a very straight-forward, factual book about how the 63 players highlighted by Mr. Podnieks reached the pinnacle of the sport. For fans who want to know more about their favorite players or for fans who are just learning about the game, this book will be vital in accelerating one's learning about the players thanks to the very clear and concise writing that Mr. Podnieks employs in describing the players contained within Fast Ice Superstars.

There is nothing more important than giving factual and correct information to people, and Fast Ice Superstars delivers on that front as Mr. Podnieks profiles 63 NHL stars with solid write-ups for each player. You won't be dazzled with personal information or obscure facts about the player, but you will get a solid history of the player's development and his work within the NHL to date. For newer and/or younger fans, this is the kind of information that will lead to those fans following players and the sport for a long time. For that very reason, Fast Ice Superstars is absolutely deserving of the Teebz's Book Club Seal of Approval!

Find Fast Ice Superstars at your local library and bookstores as of tomorrow when it hits shelves! It is a suitable for all hockey fans of all ages, and would be suitable for hockey fans at all levels!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Sunday, 15 October 2017

The Rundown - Week 2

After the U SPORTS national rankings came out this past week with three Canada West teams in the top-ten, you had to know that we were going to see some outstanding hockey in at least one of the four series. The top-ranked Alberta Pandas traveled east to Manitoba to meet the eighth-ranked Bisons in a second, consecutive week where Manitoba faced a top-ten opponent - they played second-ranked UBC last week - while that UBC team went into Calgary to battle a much improved Dinos team. With three top-ten teams in action, there was bound to be some fireworks, so let's get into it on this week's edition of The Rundown!

MOUNT ROYAL at REGINA: In the battle of the teams named Cougars, both teams were looking to improve their standing. Mount Royal headed east to Regina for this weekend's series, and we witnessed a couple of good games between young teams in this series. Regina was looking to keep pace with the top teams while Mount Royal needed points to climb out of the basement, but it didn't start well for the Mount Royal Cougars when Jaycee Magwood opened the scoring for Regina at 13:25 after a good cycle job saw Mackenzie Hutchinson feed Magwood, and her slap shot beat a screen Zoe DeBeauville!
Regina would continue to build on that lead in the second period. Sarah Hornoi scored her first U SPORTS goal when she deflected a partially-blocked shot past DeBeauville at 5:33!
The Regina Cougars made it a three-goal advantage 2:19 later when Bailey Braden zipped a shot past DeBeauville with a Regina Cougar in the crease at 7:52! Goaltender interference? You be the judge here, but the referees determined this was a good goal!
It was at this point that the Calgary-based Cougars from Mount Royal decided to awaken from their slumber. Amy Tatum made good on a wrap-around that Kane Kish simply couldn't get the pad on at 9:09 to make it a 3-1 game. Amy was a big part of the second Mount Royal goal as well as she skated the puck out of her zone and into the Regina zone before dishing to Anna Purschke who beat Kish cleanly at 19:09, and we had ourselves a one-goal game with one period to play!

Despite Mount Royal outshooting Regina in the final two periods by a 26-11 margin, it would be Jaycee Magwood who iced this game at 17:06 when he shot from the high slot somehow found its way through DeBeauville for the 4-2 lead.
Regina would take this one by that 4-2 score to improve to 2-1-0 on the season. Jane Kish made 33 stops for the victory while Zoe DeBeauville stopped 19 shots in the loss.

MOUNT ROYAL at REGINA: I have to say that the Regina Cougars' Twitter account having all the video of goals scored by the home team is exactly what I want to see out of a social media account. That being said, they didn't capture the visitors' goals - for good reason, I imagine - and they missed the first goal on Saturday when Kate Scidmore found a loose puck during a scramble in front of Morgan Baker, and she netted her first U SPORTS goal after it seemed like the puck sat in front of the crease forever at 13:45 to put Mount Royal up 1-0.

We jump to the second period where the action picked up considerably. Jaycee Magwood bulged the twine behind Zoe DeBeauville with a laser of a wrist shot that DeBeauville simply couldn't stop at 1:39 to make it 1-1. However, Mount Royal went back up by a goal just 58 seconds later when Rachel Piitz finished off a play with a backhander that beat Baker at 2:47 for the 2-1 Mount Royal lead. The two teams would trade chances for the next fifteen minutes, but Regina eventually broke through. Kaitlyn Crowe fed Kylee Kupper with a long stretch pass to send the speedy forward in alone on DeBeauville, and she made no mistake going high on the blocker side for the equalizer at 17:43!

It would be Kupper again in the third period who broke the deadlock. After streaking down the left wing and behind the net, she fed Jenna Grube out front whose initial shot was stopped by DeBeauville. However, Elise Endicott was standing in front and the rebound came out to her stick, and she made no mistakes in potting the goal at 9:21 to put Regina up 3-2! Despite a late four-minute double-minor to Endicott, the Mount Royal Cougars could not solve Morgan Baker as she held strong in preserving the 3-2 victory! Baker made 24 stops in the win while DeBeauville stopped 23 shots in the loss. All the highlights of Regina's goals are below!

SASKATCHEWAN at LETHBRIDGE: Lethbridge and Saskatchewan met on Friday with both teams looking up at other teams in the standings, so both were on the hunt for points. It looked like one team was ready for puck-drop as Saskatchewan's Elizabeth Salyn had an easy tap-in past Alicia Anderson off a beautiful pass from Rachel Lundberg just 2:07 into the game for the 1-0 Huskies lead. Saskatchewan relied heavily on its speed to set up plays, and it seemed that Lethbridge looked overwhelmed at times. However, Anderson was outstanding as she stopped 22 of 23 shots sent her way in the first period to keep this a one-goal game through twenty minutes of play.

Whatever was said in the dressing room by head coach Michelle Janus sparked the Pronghorns in a big way as they came out flying in the second period. They'd only need a couple of minutes to even the game up as Jasey Book stopped Jodi Gentile's point shot, but Brett Campbell scopped up the rebound and fired it past Book at 2:52 to make it a 1-1 game! The speed of the Huskies eventually began to wear down the Pronghorns' attack, but Anderson was there to keep the Pronghorns in this one as she made another eleven saves through this period to keep the game knotted up.

The third period was more of the same as Anderson stood on her head to make another 13 saves, but neither team coyuld resolve this game in sixty minutes so it was off to overtime! The four-on-four overtime saw both sides playing a little more tentatively, but we would find a winner at the 4:02 mark! Rookie Alli Borrow took a pass inside the Huskies' zone, made a nice move around a defender and into the slot, and she snapped the puck past Book for her first U SPORTS goal and, more importantly, the game-winning goal as Lethbridge picks up the 2-1 OT win! Anderson was more-than-ridiculous tonight in stopping 44 shots for the victory while Book made 20 stops in the overtime loss.

SASKATCHEWAN at LETHBRIDGE: With both teams earning points on Friday, both teams knew that a clean win would really help on Saturday. Things actually started the same way as they did on Friday as Elizabeth Salyn got the Huskies on the board first. While shorthanded, she picked the pocket of a Pronghorns defender just outside the Huskies' zone, kicked it into overdrive to pull away, and went forehand-backhand to beat Alicia Anderson on the breakaway at 10:11 to put Saskatchewan up 1-0! Anderson was busy once more as Lethbridge was outshot 13-6, but found themselves down by only a goal through the opening frame.

The second period saw no scoring, but the Pronghorns were certainly the more aggressive of the two teams. Lethbridge outshot Saskatchewan 8-5, but were unable to solve freshman Chloe Marshall in the middle frame so it was off to the third period where we saw goals scored. With the pressure still on in the Pronghorns' zone after an expired penalty, Emily Upgang collected the rebound off the back boards from a Leah Bohlken shot and found room past Anderson over her shoulder just 29 seconds in to put Saskatchewan up 2-0. The Pronghorns, though, wouldn't go quietly into the night. Madison Toppe forced a turnover deep in Sasakatchewan's end midway through the period, and she fed Mikaela Reay who beat Marshall on the blocker side at 10:23 to make it a 2-1 game!

The Huskies would counter right back and literally take the wind out of Lethbridge's sails. Just 17 seconds after Reay's goal, Bailee Bourassa stole the puck from a Pronghorn at the Lethbridge blue line, stepped into the zone, and unleashed a rocket from the top of the circle that beat Anderson high on the blocker side to make it a two-goal Huskies lead once more! Late penalties saw the Pronghorns stuck in their own zone and unable to push for an equalizer, and Saskatchewan takes the second game by a score of 3-1. Marshall made 19 stops for the win while Anderson stopped 34 shots in a losing effort.

UBC at CALGARY: The second-ranked team in the nation made the trip across the Rockies to visit the Dinos. On paper, this series looked like it might be a mismatch, but that's why they play the games! And this one saw the scoring start early as Madison Patrick's point shot at 3:13 was redirected in front, and this change of direction eluded Kelsey Roberts in the Calgary net to make it 1-0 UBC! Three minutes later, the Dinos found themselves on a power-play where Morgan Loroff's point shot was deflected up and over Tory Micklash to even the score at 1-1 at the 6:46 mark!

UBC, though, continued to press, forcing Calgary to take two penalties back-to-back for an extended five-on-three power-play. On said power-play, the Thunderbirds put on a display of exceptional passing. Nineteen seconds into the power-play, Brielle Bellerive turned a pass into a snipe as she went short side on Roberts for the power-play goal at 12:18 to give UBC the 2-1 lead!

The second period saw UBC extend its lead when Emily Costales came off the bench to join the rush, and she one-timed a feed from Kenzie Robinson past Roberts at 11:03 to make it 3-1. Tiffany Chiu added a fourth T-Birds goal on a two-on-one at the 6:11 mark when she played give-and-go with Shay-Lee McConnell before firing home a shot on the glove side to make it 4-1. While the score wasn't all that bad, the difference in shots spoke of who dominated this game. Tory Micklash earned the win with a 15-save effort while Kelsey Roberts suffered the loss despite making 39 saves on the night.

UBC at CALGARY: After Friday's game in which UBC controlled the majority of the play, you had to know that Calgary wanted to push back in Saturday's game. The teams played a little end-to-end hockey in the first period with neither team finding an advantage thansk to saves like the following from Kelsey Roberts!

The second period brought more of the same as the scoreless game continued.

The third period appeared to be another scoreless frame, but UBC broke the draw late in the game. Hannah Clayton-Carroll held onto the puck on a two-on-one, and that decision was a wise one as she wristed home a laser to the top-shelf on Roberts that the netminder couldn't snag, and the T-Birds had the 1-0 lead with 2:50 to play! With Roberts on bench, the Dinos had a few good opportunities on Amelia Boughn, but the Thunderbirds' netminder turned away all shots for her first shutout in the 1-0 UBC victory! Boughn stopped all 19 Dinos attempts while Roberts was outstanding in a 38-save loss.

ALBERTA at MANITOBA: The top-ranked Pandas stopped by Wayne Fleming Arena for a weekend set with the eighth-ranked Bisons, and these two rivals brought all the energy needed for a classic heavyweight bout. Would the Bisons finally be able to snap the mastery of the Pandas over the Manitoba squad? They had won all six games last season over the Bisons, so Manitoba wanted to start this season's series off the right way!

Amy Boucher opened the scoring at 6:24 of the first period in a rather unconventional way. After Rachel Dyck misplayed a rebound, Boucher came crashing into the play and flicked a puck up high that hit Bisons forward Lauryn Keen and ricocheted into the net to put the Pandas up 1-0! Alberta then used the power-play to double the lead as Autumn MacDougall found some space in the slot and swept home the pass from Taylor Kezama past Dyck at 15:34 to make it a 2-0 Pandas lead. The Bisons, though, wouldn't go into the intermission without a power-play goal of their own as Lauryn Keen deflected an Amanda Sharman blast past Dayna Owen to make it 2-1 at 17:43.

The Bisons would open the second period on the power-play, and they didn't waste any time. Alanna Sharman and Venla Hovi worked the top of the umbrella nicely before Hovi set up Erica Rieder for the big one-timer from the right face-off dot, and her blast got through Dayna Owen to tie the game at 2-2!

Alberta would take the lead back midway through the period on a shot that I'm sure Rachel Dyck wants back. Ashley Morin got a step on a Bisons defender and got a good, low shot away on Dyck. Dyck got part of it as the shot went between her legs and slowly trickled across the line for the Pandas goal to make it 3-2 at 11:56. In a rather strange moment, Alanna Sharman was whistled late in the period as she stepped out of the box and touched the puck, but the referee ruled she hadn't fully left the box prior to touching the puck. The result was a delay of game penalty, but Manitoba would kill off that odd call and take the 3-2 score to the intermission.

The teams traded chances in the third period, but a scary moment occurred late in the game. Jenai Buchanan was going into the corner and was bumped from behind by Abby Krzyzaniak which caused Buchanan to fall awkwardly into the boards. Buchanan was down on the ice for a minute in some discomfort, but she was able to skate off under her own power. Krzyzaniak, however, was assessed a five-minute major for boarding and a game misconduct, so the Bisons would have the majority of the remaining time to find the equalizer!

It would take a few minutes for the Bisons to find their comfort zone again, but they finally scored on the power-play when Alexandra Anderson walked the line while eight players stood in front of Dayna Owen, and her wrist shot somehow found its way to twine to make it a 3-3 game at 16:06!

It looked like we'd be playing some free hockey on Friday night, but Amy Boucher wanted none of it. She picked up a turnover at the Bisons blue line with a handful of seconds remaining, and she wired a wrist shot high and hard on the blocker side over Rachel Dyck's shoulder with eight seconds remaining to give the Pandas the 4-3 victory! Dayna Owen made 15 saves for the win while Rachel Dyck suffered the loss in an eight-save game.

ALBERTA at MANITOBA: If Friday's game was a preview between these two rivals, I want more and more often. Saturday was a big game for Manitoba as they needed to keep pace with the Pandas in the standings, so anything outside of three points would be a disappointment. The opening period was filled with opportunities, but Dayna Owen and rookie netminder Lauren Taraschuk, playing in her first U SPORTS start, were both up to the challenge. It would be on a power-play where the scoring was opened, and it was Alana Serhan in front causing all sorts of mayhem who had the puck go off her from a Venla Hovi centering pass and end up behind Owen at 15:32 for the Bisons' first lead of the weekend!

The second period started with all sorts of goals. Hannah Olenyk caught Caitlin Fyten in no man's land as she got caught backing up towards Taraschuk, and the shifty Pandas forward used Fyten as a screen to go high on Taraschuk at 1:02 to make it 1-1. Fyten, though, came right back and erased that mistake with a goal of her own when she snuck in from the point and banged home a rebound off a Venla Hovi shot to put the Bisons up 2-1 at 1:38. The Pandas didn't stop skating, though, and Amy Boucher struck again as she made a good rush into the zone while players crashed the crease. Boucher, though, held the puck and circled the net for the wrap-around that she tucked home just before Taraschuk could get her pad to the post, and we were tied 2-2 at the 6:41 mark! The two teams settled down after that and took the deadlocked game into the dressing room as we looked for a winner in the final frame.

The third period saew the Bisons benefit from another power-play despite missing out on a power-play goal. Seconds after the power-play had expired, Alana Serhan teed a puck up from the blue line and ripped home a high shot that Owen couldn't stop to make it 3-2 at the 7:31 mark. With Alberta pressing for the the equalizer late, Manitoba forward Allison Sexton found room behind the Alberta defence, and Megan Neduzak hit her with a good stretch pass that allowed Sextn to break in alone on Owen. Sexton faked going to the backhand and dragged the puck on her forehand to the far post and around Owen's outstretched pad for a gorgeous insurance goal as the Bisons went up 4-2 at the 17:33 mark

That would be all that Lauren Taraschuk needed as she picked up her first U SPORTS win in the Bisons 4-2 victory! Taraschuk stopped 20 shots in the win while Owen made 30 saves in the loss.

STANDINGS

Here are the updated standings, and note how close the teams are early on. This is going to be a fun season if these teams hang around together all season.

CANADA WEST WOMEN'S HOCKEY
School Record Points GF GA Streak Next
British Columbia
3-1-0-0
9 13 7
W3
@ REG
Regina
3-1-0-0
9 13 10
W2
vs UBC
Alberta
2-1-0-1
7 11 9
L1
vs CGY
Saskatchewan
2-1-0-1
7 10 9
W1
vs MAN
Manitoba
2-2-0-0
6 13 14
W1
@ SAS
Lethbridge
0-2-2-0
4 4 5
L1
@ MRU
Calgary
1-2-0-1
4 2 6
L2
@ ALB
Mount Royal
0-3-1-0
2 6 12
L2
vs LET

Manitoba survived the top-two teams in the nation over the last two weeks, coming away with splits against both UBC and Alberta. UBC and Alberta will meet November 24 and 25, and who knows where they will be ranked at that point. This is why every game and every point is so important as these two teams who medaled at last year's U SPORTS national championship can't take a week off. The hunt is on to see who finishes atop the Canada West mountain! We'll see you next week on The Rundown!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Saturday, 14 October 2017

Six Games For Being An Idiot

This guy to the left? That's Roman Abrosimov, a defenceman for Ak Bars Kazan in the KHL. The 23 year-old has played in 74 regular season games and accumulated a paltry two goals and three assists. He does have 53 career penalty minutes, and that statistic will certainly be increased after Abrosimov committed the most boneheaded incident that a player can do. His indiscretion will most likely earn him some time off as well as all leagues are pretty much against any and all abuse of officials. You'd think a player at the professional level would know this rule after having it taught to him at every level he has played, but c'est la vie in Abrosimov's case.

According to reports, yesterday's game between Ak Bars Kazan and Yaroslavl Lokomotiv saw Lokomotiv up 6-2 late in the game when Mr. Abrosimov decided that he was going to lose all sense by delivering what some have called a "cheap shot" on Lokomotiv defenceman Rushan Rafikov. Abrosmiov "tripped" and ultimately injured Rafikov with the "trip", and pandemonium ensued. If you notice, I have put all of the contestable words in quotation marks as I haven't been able to find any video of the infraction yet. But let's get back to said pandemonium, shall we?

Players began squaring off as the tension escalated between the two squads, and it was during this heightened turmoil that saw Abrosimov, engaged in a heated discussion with a Lokomotiv player, push the linesman who was looking to mediate the skirmish. In short, Abrosimov put his hands on an official, and that's a no-no. For that, the KHL has handed down a six-game break for Abrosimov for his to reflect upon his actions towards both Rafikov and the linesman. The official ruling seems to be a fine and one-game suspension for the shot on Rafikov while the abuse of an official netted Abrosimov a fine and five additional games off.

Kids, if there's one thing that HBIC will never condone, it's the abuse of an official. Officials are there to ensure the game runs smoothly and, at times, be the voice of better judgment in trying to keep hot heads from boiling over. They are not and never will be your enemies no matter what they seem to miss, what calls go against you, and what your coaches and/or parents may say in the heat of the moment. Don't be a dope like Abromisov and touch an official in any way other than to shake hands before or after a game.

That's six games for being a dope, kids.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Friday, 13 October 2017

Attend Game, Get Toque!

See these gals? They're playing tonight. From the left, that's Alana Serhan, Karissa Kirkup, Rachel Dyck, and Erica Rieder of the eighth-ranked Manitoba Bisons women's hockey team who will host the top-ranked Alberta Pandas tonight at Wayne Fleming Arena. This might be the best weekend of hockey you'll see in some time around these parts as these two powerhouse teams look to stake a claim as the early clubhouse leader with a sweep over their opponents. Game time is 7pm, and the Bisons are even offering a little something extra if you decide to drop by the rink for the game tonight!

With the Bisons being on the road last weekend in BC, they didn't get a chance to celebrate World Girls Hockey Weekend at home, so they're celebrating this week! Everyone who attends tonight's game against the Pandas will get a toque compliments of Hockey Canada and the Bisons while supplies last! With winter on its way to our fair city, you might need a toque for yourself or someone you know, so come on down to the rink and get yourself a toque and catch some incredible hockey action!

We'll see you tonight at the Wayne Fleming Arena with toques on! If you can't make it, make sure you check out the UMFM Second Stream where TJ and I will have the call for the biggest series of the season thus far!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Thursday, 12 October 2017

The Hockey Show - Episode 264

The Hockey Show returns tonight on the eve of Pledge-O-Rama with a plethora of stories to go over. Teebz and Beans will be back in their respective saddles tonight as they navigate you through these stories, and we'll give our takes on these stories. Hockey is an interesting sport because just when you think you have it figured out, someone goes and does something that makes you question everything that's right in this world. That's not to say there aren't good stories, though, and we'll work some of those in tonight as well!

Check out these two master anglers! That's Dustin Byfuglien and Matt Hendricks of the Winnipeg Jets who decided to head out on the Fraser River in BC with the Sturgeon Slayers to see if they could wrangle themselves some sturgeon. It looks like Buff and Hendy have the catch of the day... but there's a wee detail being overlooked here. If these two players are both nursing injuries, should they be out in the Fraser River fishing for sturgeon? It seems there may be a bit of a morals and ethics dilemma here, so Beans and I will take a look at that issue as the 1-2-0 Jets prepare for a game against the Canucks tonight. We'll also talk about the Penguins visiting the White House and presenting Donald Trump with a golf bag, why Gary Bettman's "no politics on company time" stance is so off the mark that it's laughable, we'll do a quick tour around Europe again as we fill everyone in on our Friends of the Show, we'll preview the home opener for the Bisons women's hockey team and go over what happened last weekend, and much more! All this happens tonight at 5:30pm CT!

We're literally a day away from UMFM's annual pledge drive known as Pledge-O-Rama! UMFM, for those that are unaware, is a volunteer-driven, non-profit radio station located on the campus of the University of Manitoba. The station has been operating since 1998, and your donations via the Pledge-O-Rama campaign have allowed UMFM to accomplish a number of goals including upgrading the transmitter, gaining better technology so we can do things like remote broadcasts, and making upgrades to UMFM's in-studio equipment and facilities. Basically, the money you donate goes directly into making our programming and our broadcast quality better!

If you're a fan of The Hockey Show, all we can do is ask you to donate whatever it may be that you can afford so that we can continue to do great things like broadcasting Bisons women's hockey, broadcasting from community arenas and events, and bring great people on the show. While Beans and I won't see any money directly, UMFM will be using the money this year to redesign our aging website, purchase new computers for use at the station, set up a digital music library, and investing in capital improvements so that UMFM not only remains relevant in the Winnipeg market, but for fans and listeners across the world.

How do you donate? The easiest way is to donate online. The page itself is 128-bit encrypted for the highest security, and only our General Manager Jared McKetiak and our Program Director Michael Elves - our two longest-serving employees - have access to process these donations. In other words, we take great care and ensure that your information isn't shared with anyone. And we pride ourselves on that admission.

If you happen to donate, you also get some free UMFM gear! We don't want you going away empty-handed after helping us out, so make sure you go through these options and get what you want from us!
  • UMFM's Friends With Benefits Card: good for discounts and offers at a more than 40 local businesses!
  • UMFM Tote Bag: a classic heavy duty canvas bag!
  • UMFM Beer Stein: we're proudly calling this mug the Dietmar in honor of our favorite German listener!
  • UMFM T-shirts: the artwork was done by excellent local designer Roberta Landreth, and there are two designs you can choose from (of grab both)!
  • UMFM Toque: our new style is made by Carhartt, the premier manufacturer of warm, dependable outdoor gear!
  • UMFM sweatshirt: the same designs on the t-shirts can be found with sleeves and fleece!
  • UMFM earplugs: everyone gets a pair for donating, and we'll even toss in some stickers and temporary tattoos!
Now that you've seen the gear and figured out what you want, what do need to donate to get your wanted stuff?
Ok, so there's a ton of info here, and I apologize for that, but we need to get it out on the internet. If you tune in tonight or in any of the coming weeks, you'll hear us talking about Pledge-O-Rama. If you have questions, make sure you reach out!

So now you might be saying, "Teebz, how can I listen to the show?" We suggest that you download the UMFM app on your phone or tablet. It's the easiest and most convenient way to listen to any of UMFM's great shows any time of the day, so go get it! Just follow this link on your iDevice or this link for your Android device and get the UMFM app! It's never been easier to tune into The Hockey Show or UMFM! Download the UMFM app today, and don't miss any of our great programming or shows!

If you prefer social media, we try to remain up-to-speed there as well! Email all show questions and comments - including Pledge-O-Rama questions - to hockeyshow@umfm.com! Tweet me anytime with questions you may have by hitting me up at @TeebzHBIC on Twitter. You can also post some stuff to Facebook if you use the "Like" feature, and I always have crazy stuff posted there that doesn't make it to the blog or show.

Tonight, Teebz and Beans talk the Jets being photographed doing activities while injured, politics and the why sports is a microcosm of society, our European friends, the Bisons, and more only on The Hockey Show found on 101.5 UMFM and on the UMFM app!

PODCAST: October 12, 2017: Episode 264

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

I Am Legend

Nine teams. 24 seasons. Nearly 2000 points. Two Stanley Cups. A pile of other hardware. A sure-fire first-ballot Hall-of-Fame player. Perhaps the greatest Czech-born player to have ever put a pair of skates on. And now, he's a Calgary Flame. Jaromir Jagr took to the ice versus the Los Angeles Kings for the first time as a Calgary Flame tonight, and he didn't look out of place after having not played for nearly six months of action. While he didn't score any points tonight, you know it will only be a matter of time before this legend starts lighting the lamp.

Jagr lined up on the third line tonight with Sam Bennett and Kris Versteeg, but it sounds like Jagr is his own biggest critic following the 4-3 overtime win against the Kings.

Regardless of how he feels after his first game, it's great to see Jaromir Jagr back on the ice in the NHL.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

We're All Vegas

I haven't posted a lot about the Vegas Golden Knights on HBIC, but I have to say that the franchise is really embracing their role when it comes to civic pride. Everything the franchise did tonight with regards to their tribute to the people who lost lives in the Las Vegas shooting tragedy was perfect. There's not a lot that they could have done better, and, quite frankly, their efforts in honouring those who lost lives and the people who did their best in trying to save lives was one of the best moments in sports-being-bigger-than-sports that I've ever seen.

Here is the video they played to honour the heroes in Las Vegas.

The players lined up at the blueline behind the real heroes in Las Vegas as citizens - nurses, doctors, first responders, firemen and firewomen, and police officers - stood in front of them. Each player was escorted out by one of these men and women who held a city together when it was gripped by terror and fear. These are the heroes, and the Golden Knights honoured them as such.

Following this introduction came 58 seconds of silence in honour of the 58 people lost in the tragedy. Their names also appeared on the ice. And what impressed me the most is that not one person made a sound during the 58 seconds of silence. Not a peep. The level of respect shown by the more-than-18000 fans inside T-Mobile Arena was awe-inspiring. Well done, Vegas!

T-Mobile Arena, for those that noticed, had removed all advertisements off the boards and replaced them with "Vegas Strong" messages as tonight's game was all about healing and finding good things to celebrate. That's when the Golden Knights took over.

The fact that the Golden Knights came out and rocked the socks off the Arizona Coyotes in their home opener only made things better. Tomas Nosek, Vegas resident Deryk Engelland, James "The Real Deal" Neal, Neal again, and Oscar Lindberg paced the Vegas Golden Knights to a 5-2 victory and a little history as they became the first NHL expansion team to start 3-0-0 after dispatching the Arizona Coyotes. Marc-Andre Fleury was outstanding in his third straight game as he made 31 saves for the victory.

Ladies and gentlemen, your Pacific Division-leading Vegas Golden Knights showed the hockey world that despite their young age, they know how to do things right when it comes to honouring the citizens in their city. If anyone wants a lesson on how to do a tribute right, get in contact with the Vegas Golden Knights!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Monday, 9 October 2017

TBC: Gratoony The Loony

I've read a number of biographies and autobiographies. Normally, I choose the book based upon the person in question who I find interesting. I've been lucky to have read some excellent, moving, and interesting stories about people's lives, but today's autobiography in Teebz's Book Club is on an entirely different level. Gilles Gratton was always seen as a bit of an odd-ball in NHL circles for his beliefs, superstitions, and pranks, but I'm not sure he's ever sat down and let everything that's going on in his head come out at once. We get a glimpse in what's going in on in the head of the man they called Gratoony the Loony as Teebz's Book Club is proud to review Gratoony The Loony: The Wild, Unpredictable Life of Gilles Gratton, written by Gilles Gratton and Greg Oliver, and published by ECW Press. It has been said many times that "goaltenders are a different breed", but Gilles Gratton might have redefined the eccentricities with which goaltenders are often associated. Known for his lion mask, Gratoony The Loony takes you inside the mind of the man behind the mask for the stories that made up Gilles Gratton's life.

From the biography on the ECW website, "Gilles Gratton is a former goaltender who currently works with Classic Auctions, a historical hockey memorabilia auction house. He lives in Montreal with his wife, Anne, and teenaged children, William and Charlotte." Gilles Gratton played junior hockey with the Oshawa Generals where he was drafted by the Buffalo Sabres. Instead of joining his brother, Norm, on the Sabres, he inked a deal with the WHA's Ottawa Nationals to play for them. Gratton would spend time with the Toronto Toros, the St. Louis Blues, the New York Rangers, and the AHL's New Haven Nighthawks before retiring from hockey to pursue other opportunities.

Directly from the ECW Press website, "Greg Oliver is the author of the Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame series — The Canadians, The Heels, The Tag Teams, and Heroes & Icons. He has been writing about professional wrestling for over 25 years, starting with The Canadian Wrestling Report newsletter when he was still in high school. Upon completing a degree in journalism from Ryerson University, he worked at the Toronto Sun and Canoe.ca for a decade. A freelancer since 2001, he has worked on more than 40 books as an editor, writer and layout artist. At the moment, he has two hockey books in the works. He lives in Toronto with his wife Meredith, son Quinn, and is active in the community, both in Scouting and as a soccer coach."

I guess the big question is what do you know about Gilles Gratton? There are many stories out there - skating nude in practice, wild partying in New York, his ability to play the piano, his search for peace through Transcendental Meditation - but which ones do you take with grains of salt not knowing the man himself? Thanks to Mr. Gratton, a lot of the rumours are either confirmed or put to rest in Gratoony The Loony as it seems like he's very self-aware in terms of what the public was saying about him.

Gratoony The Loony is like any autobiography in terms of its structure as Mr. Gratton takes you through his childhood and into adulthood where he became a professional hockey player. He talks of family, friends, teammates, coaches, and management, and he shares a number of funny stories about life on the road and what Gilles Gratton was like in the 1970s during his playing days. Needless to say, Mr. Gratton's life is far from a conventional NHL player's life, and that's part of what makes Gratoony The Loony an enjoyable read.

For example, Gilles tells a story of his time in the WHA where he and Mike Amodeo had a little fun with Toros GM Buck Houle. He writes,
We were on the bus in Cleveland, and me and Mike Amodeo were sitting behind Buck. I got up and pissed just a little on each of his shoulders and then sat back down. Buck reached back to touch the wetness, felt it, and took out his handkerchief to clean it up. Five minutes later, I got up and did it again - just a little on each shoulder. He really didn't notice besides wiping it up with the handkerchief. Five minutes later, I do it again and sit back down. Then he turned around, and scolded us both, "You guys had better stop it!" He thought we were putting water on him.
Could you imagine if a player did that to a general manager today? He'd not only never play again for that franchise, but there's a good chance he'd be buried in the minors until his contract ran out! The fact that Mr. Gratton played these types of pranks on a number of people - strangers, teammates, coaches, management - shows how different of a world it was in professional hockey in the 1970s.

There's no denying that Mr. Gratton's career would have been longer had he simply been focused on hockey, but he admits in the book that he never really wanted to play hockey. Instead, he was constantly searching for enlightenment and answers to some of his existential questions. He was curious about astral traveling and got into Transcendental Meditation in a big way. It was through TM that Gilles met Bruce Jessop who worked as a photographer for the IIHF and many European leagues, and Jessop got Gilles into photography. Gilles, in return, got Jessop into yoga in 1983 as he moved on from TM.

I could probably write another thousand words on everything I learned about Gilles Gratton in Gratoony The Loony. Labeling him as "loony", however, is about as far off the mark as one can get when talking about Gilles Gratton. Yes, some of his views on the world differ from what we'd expect a professional to have, but he's a curious soul who walked his own path and eventually found happiness with his wife Anne and his children. I think we can all agree that the pursuit of happiness doesn't have a distinct, worn path that one can walk, and Mr. Gratton simply found his path to happiness.

Gratoony The Loony won't lead you down a path of enlightenment or ive you answers to questions about past lives like Gilles Gratton discovered, but it will entertain you. He was often mocked for his antics and beliefs, but Gratoony The Loony makes it pretty clear that Gilles Gratton was a fun-loving guy who enjoyed a laugh as much as he enjoyed playing music. While hockey was his way of making some good money, it was never a priority to him. It did, however, provide a pile of hilarious stories and some great insight into Mr. Gratton's life, and that's a great reason for Gratoony The Loony receiving the Teebz's Book Club Seal of Approval!

Gratoony The Loony hit bookstores, libraries, and news stands on October 3, so I recommend you check this book out. Parents, please be warned that there is some choice language in the book, so I'd stamp a PG-rating on this book and recommend it for older readers rather than adolescents. Fans of the WHA and of Gratton in general will enjoy this book, though, so pick it up today!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Sunday, 8 October 2017

The Rundown - Week 1

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to another magical season of Canada West women's hockey! Having watched a number of preseason games and keeping up with the teams via social media, I can tell you that this season might be the closest its ever been regarding the level of talent spread across all eight teams. Legitimately, any of the eight teams could win the Canada West banner, but I feel the usual suspects will congregate at the top of the standings as the season presses on. Make no mistake that there are zero "easy" games this season as anyone can beat anyone else on any given night. Canada West women's hockey will be a battle until the final whistle this season, so let's embark on this look at the season with Week One's action on The Rundown!

REGINA at SASKATCHEWAN: The opening game of the Canada West season belonged to the battle of Saskatchewan as the Regina Cougars traveled to Saskatoon for a game with the University of Saskatchewan Huskies. Both teams had busy preseason schedules, so I expected this game to be up-tempo. And this game got off to a quick start as Chloe Smith notched her first goal of the season just 1:19 into the game to put the Huskies up quickly.

Regina would respond at the midway point of the period when Emma Waldenberger dented the twine on the power-play off a pass from behind the net from Martina Maskova at 9:06 to even the game, and rookie Shaelynn Vallotton would collect her first regular season Canada West goal when she beat Casey Book on a cross-crease pass from Jordan Kulbida at 11:02 to put the Huskies up 2-1!

Saskatchewan again used a quick goal in the second period to get things rolling. Bailee Bourassa intercepted a pass in the neutral zone, skated into the Cougars' zone on the right side, and wired home a shot that Jane Kish couldn't stop at 2:58 to even the score at 2-2! The two teams would trade chance until later in the period. With Saskatchewan on the power-play, the puck missed its intended target on the point off a pass, and Regina's Bailey Braden showed some incredible wheels to beat the Saskatchewan players to the puck in front of Book. Her quick wrister eluded Book, and the shorthanded marker put the Cougars up 3-2 at 16:14!

From there, it was the Jane Kish show as she went unbeatable on 14 shots in the third period to hold that 3-2 lead and turn it into a victory in stopping 42 of 44 shots she faced! Casey Book had a much more quiet night in stopping 15 of 18 shots, but it was the Cougars drawing first blood in Canada West action with the 3-2 win!

SASKATCHEWAN at REGINA: In the second half of the home-and-home series to start the season, the Cougars looked to double their win total on home ice while the Huskies hoped to deliver some road vengeance at The Co-operators Centre. And just as they did the night before, the Huskies were on the board before the game was five minutes old!

Bailee Bourassa picked up her second goal of the season when she skated out of the corner relatively unscathed and beat Morgan Baker high on the short side with a great shot to give Saskatchewan a 1-0 lead just 4:58 in! Unlike Friday's game, though, there would be no additional scoring in the opening frame.

The second period saw Saskatchewan double the score on the power-play. Emily Upgang found the puck behind the net and found room under Baker on a wraparound at 2:21 to make it a 2-0 lead for the Huskies. Regina, though, would begin to pick up their play, and they would be rewarded just past the midpoint of the period. Jaycee Magwood found Jordan Kulbida with a pass, and Kulbida went shelf on rookie Chloe Marshall at 11:58 to bring the Cougars within a goal. But Upgang would strike again on a late power-play at 18:20 to restore the two-goal lead and send the teams to the dressing rooms with Saskatchewan leading 3-1.

Kaitlin Willoughby would make it a 4-1 game for the Huskies when she found room over Baker's shoulder at 12:41, and it seemed like Saskatchewan had this game wrapped up. However, appearances can be deceiving, and the Cougars decided to pour on the pressure late. Jaycee Magwood made a nice move around Marshall at 17:32 to make it a 4-2 game, and Emma Waldenberger would add her second goal of the weekend on a wrist shot to the top shelf at 19:53. Saskatchewan, though, would hold off Regina in the final seven seconds to hold on to the 4-3 victory. Marshall stopped 29 of 32 shots in the win while Morgan Baker made 29 stops on 33 shots in the loss.

CALGARY at LETHBRIDGE: It's always refreshing to see a goaltending battle early in the season. Most times, goaltenders don't get enough credit for the work they put in at the U SPORTS level, but we saw what a good goalie can do in Alberta's run to the U Sports National Championship last season. In their very first game, though, Sarah Murray of the Calgary Dinos and Alicia Anderson of the Lethbridge Pronghorns went save-for-save on Friday night.

Both Anderson and Murray made some big saves at times. Murray stoned Katelyn Breitkreuz on a breakaway while Anderson denied both Delaney Frey and Kira Makuk on the doorstep on the same play! At the end of sixty minutes, we had a 0-0 stalemate, so we'd go to extra time!

In the first overtime period, Morgan Loroff hit the goal post behind Anderson, but the puck stayed out. The four-on-four period solved nothing, so it was off to three-on-three. And that's where Mackenzie Gal decided that this goalie duel would end.
How about that goal? Gal ends the game at 2:55 of the double-overtime period to give the Lethbridge Pronghorns the 1-0 win! Anderson was outstanding in all 31 shots sent her way for the shutout while Murray stopped 22 of 23 shots on the night in the overtime loss.

LETHBRIDGE at CALGARY: After the Dinos thought they deserved a better fate than the loss one night earlier, they had a chance to right the ship on home ice against Lethbridge on Saturday in the home-and-home series. We wouldn't need nearly 68 minutes for a winner in this one, but the opening period saw Alicia Anderson and Kelsey Roberts match one another save-for-save just as the two teams did one night earlier.

In the second period, Paige Michalenko found Kate Lumley streaking through the Lethbridge zone, and her pass was converted on the backhand by Lumley that went up high and fooled Anderson to put Calgary up 1-0 at the 5:23 mark. That would be the only puck to get by either Anderson or Roberts in the second period, so it was down to the final stanza with Calgary leading 1-0.

In the final period, both goalies were outstanding again - Anderson made six saves while Roberts had nine saves - and nothing got back either netminder. That means that the lone goal by Kate Lumley was the winner, and the Calgary Dinos delivered a little just desserts to the Pronghorns with the 1-0 victory. Roberts stopped 31 saves for her first shutout of the season while Anderson stopped 22 of 23 shots sent her way as her record falls to 1-1-0.

ALBERTA at MOUNT ROYAL: The U SPORTS National Champions ventured into Flames Community Arena in Calgary to open their season against the new-look Mount Royal Cougars. And just as they steamrolled through Canada West in the second half of last season's regular season, the Alberta Pandas roughed up the Cougars in the opener.

Regan Wright beat Zoe DeBeauville in the first period. Amy Boucher added a second goal in the second period. Alex Poznikoff found the back of the net on the power-play in the third period, and Deanna Morin deposited the puck into an empty net for the 4-0 Pandas victory. In a game in which the Pandas dominated from start to finish, Dayna Owen picked up the shutout in making 16 stops while DeBeauville stopped 21 of 24 shots she saw in this game.

MOUNT ROYAL at ALBERTA: On a night where the Pandas hung the U SPORTS National Women's Hockey Championship banner, there was excitement and electricity in the building. The Pandas, who hung a 4-0 loss on the Cougars the night before, looked to wrap this one up early in front of their home fans at Clare Drake Arena.

The home fans had a reason to cheer midway through the first period as Amy Boucher set up Deanna Morin for a tap-in goal on the doorstep past Zoe DeBeauville at the 11:07 mark to put the Pandas up 1-0. The Pandas had chances on DeBeauville for the last nine minutes, but the Mount Royal netminder would keep the score intact.

The second period was... odd. Neither team generated very good scoring chances as it seems defence took over, and the period was perhaps one of the quietest I've ever seen in Canada West hockey. No goals, nine shots combined, and we would move to the third period.

The Cougars would break Dayna Owen's five-period shutout with an incredible effort from Megan Carver. Carver forced a turnover in the Pandas' zone and then slid the puck under Owen at 2:57 to tie the game at 1-1. DeBeauville would hold off the Pandas for the remainder of the period as they piled seven more shots on the Cougars, but the score at the end of sixty minutes was still 1-1, forcing this game into overtime!

Four-on-four got us nowhere. Three-on-three still left us deadlocked at 1-1. The only thing that would solve this stalemate would be a shootout! Reanna Arnold put the Cougars up 1-0 in the skills competition after the second round of shooters, but Alex Poznikoff would tie things up on the next shot. DeBeauville stopped Hannah Olenyk, and Tianna Ko would end the game on an impressive move in tight against Owen before sliding the puck through the netminder for the 2-1 shootout win! DeBeauville improves her to 1-1-0 after her 22 save effort while Owen falls to 1-0-1 in her 17-save effort.

While I usually don't post stats like this, the Cougars began the night with a 1-25 all-time record against Alberta, including a 1-16 conference record against the Pandas. This is the second victory in as many seasons on Clare Drake Arena ice for the Cougars, and that's huge progress for the Mount Royal program as they move forward!

MANITOBA at UBC: We have an early heavyweight tilt between last season's Canada West champions and the Manitoba Bisons who fell just short in their quest for the banner last year. And this game had a number of punches thrown based on the scorecard!

Logan Boyd opened the scoring for the Thunderbirds just 44 seconds in. Megan Neduzak would find the back of the net with a slap shot on the power-play at 4:30 to tie the game at 1-1. And just before the period ended, Lauryn Keen also capitalized on the power-play at 19:23 to send Manitoba to the dressing room with the lead at 2-1.

Emily Costales picked up her first Canada West goal after Ireland Perrott seemingly had the puck on a string before feeding Costales who beat Rachel Dyck. However, Manitoba followed the same script as the first period by scoring the next two goals... and added another. Courtlyn Oswald beat Amelia Boughn at 13:22, Venla Hovi added her first goal 1:03 later, and Alex Anderson hammered home a power-play goal with traffic in front of Boughn at 17:26 to put the Bisons up 5-2 through forty minutes.

Whatever head coach Graham Thomas said during the break seemed to fire up the T-Birds. Tory Micklash took the crease for the final stanza as Boughn was relegated to the bench, and then the captain took over. Celine Tardif wristed a shot on net that eluded traffic and Dyck to find the back of the net at 9:05 to make it 5-3.
And Tardif struck again with Boughn on the bench at 19:50 when she wristed home a goal from in close. The Bisons, however, would kill off the final ten seconds in a rather tense finish to hold on for the 5-4 victory. Dyck stopped 16 shots for the win while Boughn took the loss after stopping 26 shots. Just for the record, Micklash was eight-for-eight in her twenty minutes of work.

MANITOBA at UBC: For everything Friday night was supposed to be with the Canada West banner being raised and Manitoba spoiling the party, UBC responded on Saturday. This was exactly the kind of game that UBC wanted.

Logan Boyd opened the scoring again at 10:10 when she beat Rachel Dyck. The T-Birds would double their lead three minutes later when Ireland Perrott scored a gorgeous power-play goal for her first Canada West goal when she went high on Dyck under the crossbar at 13:20 to make it 2-0. And the Thunderbirds would make it a three-goal cushion late in the period when Jaedon Cooke found room past Dyck on the power-play at 17:45, and the Canada West champions were off and running as Rachel Dyck was pulled in favor of rookie Lauren Taraschuk after stopping just six of nine shots. Taraschuk would weather the storm to get the Bisons off the ice at the first intermission down 3-0, but the damage had been done.

The T-Birds would get to Taraschuk in the second period. Hannah Clayton-Carroll converted a pass from Shay-Lee McConnell to find the back of the net behind Taraschuk while on the power-play to make it 4-0 at 1:23. Manitoba showed some life towards the end of the second period when Erica Rieder beat Tori Micklash at 17:07 while the Bisons enjoyed a two-player advantage, but they'd go into the intermission still down three goals in a 4-1 quagmire.

The two teams would trade chances in the third period, but the 4-1 lead for UBC would hold through to the final horn as UBC claims victory. Micklash had another solid outing in stopping 21 of 22 shots for the win while Rachel Dyck suffered the loss to drop to 1-1-0 after stopping six shots on nine attempts. For the record, Lauren Taraschuk stopped ten of eleven shots that she faced in relief of Dyck.

CANADA WEST WOMEN'S HOCKEY
School Record Points GF GA Streak Next
Alberta
1-0-0-1
4 5 2
L1
@ MAN
Calgary
1-0-0-1
4 1 1
W1
vs UBC
British Columbia
1-1-0-0
3 8 6
W1
@ CGY
Regina
1-1-0-0
3 6 6
L1
vs MRU
Saskatchewan
1-1-0-0
3 6 6
W1
@ LET
Manitoba
1-1-0-0
3 6 8
L1
vs ALB
Lethbridge
0-1-1-0
2 1 1
L1
vs SAS
Mount Royal
0-1-1-0
2 2 5
W1
@ REG

Everybody is on the board already after one week of action, and there are no undefeated teams for the first time in a long time in Canada West. The parity that we see here should start to break up as the season progresses, but there are some early concerns for a few teams. Can Calgary remain near the top despite only scoring one goal this weekend? Does Manitoba have goaltending woes with Rachel Dyck posting some rather unusual numbers early on in this season? Are the Pandas and Thunderbirds deep enough to make another run at national championship medals? The answer to these questions will be seen as The Rundown brings you each week of action in Canada West women's hockey!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!