Thursday, September 19, 2013

What I Did This Summer and What I'm Doing This Year

You may have noticed that I pretty much took the summer off from blogging..I've spent the summer transitioning into my new job as a Producer for Access Communications in the Humboldt-Melfort area.

There has been a lot of adjustments moving back..even if it's my hometown.

I did manage some vacation time during August as I traveled west to Vancouver for a wedding and managed to head to Seattle for a couple of days to check out the Toronto Blue Jays and the Seattle Mariners in a pair of games at Safeco Field.

I took the train down from Vancouver to Seattle while the scenery was beautiful, the 2 hour delays weren't. The 4 hour ride turned into a 6.5 trip.

The first Blue Jays and Mariners game I went to manage to take a picture of the opening pitch from the right field bleachers. (pictured to the right) Which was a good thing because Jose Reyes would crush this pitch to Center Field about two sections from me, it was pretty cool seeing the first pitch go over the fence.

I stayed in downtown Seattle for the night so I wasn't too far away from the major tour attractions. In the morning I stopped by Pike Place Market.

Then it was up to the Space Needle and you get such a beautiful view of Seattle from the top of the Needle.

Also at the Seattle Centre there's the EMP Museum, and you would enjoy if you're like me a  huge Nirvana fan as they have an entire wing dedicated to Kurt Cobain and Nirvana.

I went to the third and final game of the Jays and Mariners series. While the Jays lost, it was still a fun day to be at the ball park.

So that's a quick summary of my trip to Seattle. I took like a 1,000 pics but I couldn't post them all on here.

The other highlight was covering the Stanley Cup Day in Lanigan with Sheldon Brookbank. I've had the opportunity to kiss the Stanley Cup. Still I think I topped that experience

Along with my normal day to day with duties with Access, I'm going to be joining the SJHL Game of the Week broascasts on Access as an ice level reporter. You'll see during the intermissions of the broadcasts as I interview the players and coaches of the SJHL. I'm looking forward to covering all the teams after spending the last 5 years following one team. So that is part of what I will be blogging, I'm looking forward to traveling the province and checking out of the SJHL rinks from a different perspective. My first two games involve my old team the Estevan Bruins, first the opener which is tonight and then I head to Estevan next week.

I'll also be launching a Humboldt version of Locker Talk in the near future as it will be taking place at the new Boston Pizza when it opens this fall.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

So Long Estevan..Thanks for the Memories..

It’s been a month since I left my position of the Play by Play Announcer as the Estevan Bruins and Morning News & Sports Anchor for Goldenwest Radio. I was planning to post a final blog posting from Estevan around that time of my departure but the final weeks in Estevan were quite hectic and left me little time to wrap around my final thoughts.  During my holidays there were a couple of times I attempted to put together a blog posting but I suffered the famous “writers block”.

But first off I just want to thank the community of Estevan for the past 4+ years, I met some amazing people during my time in the Energy City and to list them all would be nearly impossible. Thanks to anyone that helped me out whether it was at the radio station, at the rink or anywhere else in the community.

There are a few memories that stick out in time in Estevan. One of them was being a part of the football program. When I first moved to Estevan I was shocked to find out there was no high school football program in the city, coming from an area with tiny communities that had 6 man football I just couldn’t believe a City with over 10,000 people didn’t have a high school team. I’m proud to have been a member of the Elecs football for their first 4 seasons of existence. 

 I really enjoyed my time as a coach for the Elecs and while the team didn’t win too many games, I believe the foundation has been made for future success. I want to thank Marco, Mark and the rest of the coaching staff for making the coaching experience so enjoyable, the players who were great to work and the volunteers of football in Estevan who are some of the hardest working people that I know. 

One of the things I enjoyed about my time in Estevan was the Fundraising Dinners, whether they were for Spectra Place or for the Football program. I had the chance to listen to a lot of great speakers over the years, but the one dinner that will always stick out in my mind is the dinner in March of 2010 which was highlighted by Steve Yzerman only a couple of weeks after Canada claimed Gold in Men’s Hockey of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. It was just amazing shaking the hand of Yzerman and getting to meet one of the greatest Captains in hockey history. 

One of my favorite days in Estevan was the Kraft Celebration Tour. It’s kind of weird thinking that Estevan will be the last stop for Jay Onrait and Dan O’Toole in Saskatchewan as a part of the tour with the announcement that they will be leaving for FOX Sports One in LA next month. Jay and Dan were two of the nicest guys I have ever had the chance to interview. I was amazed by the energy Jay had in his suit despite the temperature being around +33 throughout Sportscentre. At the time Estevan had the largest attendance on the Kraft celebration Tour and it was great to see the community rally together after the severe floods from the spring of 2011.

But no doubt the best part of my job was being the voice for the Estevan Bruins. First I want to thank all the volunteers and staff of the Bruins organization, the fans, the parents of the players for all of their support over the years. I want to thank Karry Biette, Sean Garagan, Chad Leslie, Keith Cassidy and Cole Zahn for all of their help as coaches of the Bruins. They always made job a lot easier and were all very accessible for interviews whenever I needed them. 

The Estevan Bruin players were unbelievable to me. In my 5 years with the Bruins every single Bruins player was great to me and I really appreciated that.  It was unfortunate that the Bruins never achieved much success in the standings during my time with the team but I will always look back with fond memories because of the friendships I made with the team.

One of the guys who I have to give a special shutout is Lucas Stubel. There was no one in Estevan who I interviewed more  than Stubs, I think in his first year he was a little bit hesitant but soon enough he became my go to guy whenever I needed an interview from a Bruin. It was unfortunate that Stubel got injured late in his 20 year old season but if there was one benefit it was that he stepped inside of the booth to provide color commentary, a job he would continue to help me out for the last couple of years while he played Senior Hockey in Bienfait and Midale. Also I have to give a shout out to Mark Cross and Ty Ariss for being the other two players who were with the Bruins for my first three years with the team. 

There was only one player who was with the Bruins for 4 years during my time with the team and that was Dylan Smith. Smitty was an outstanding player on the ice and he always very accommodating to me with interviews, whether it was practice, after the game or when he was in Connecticut. I appreciate all the help he provided me over the years.

While I enjoyed all five years with the Bruins, my favorite was my third season with the Bruins (2010-11). There were a lot of great guys who were with the Bruins for that season only like Troy Hunter, Ben Findlay, Joel Kot, Joel Danyluk, and others. Along with the vets there were a lot of talented rookies on the team including Josh Jelinski, Ryan Ostertag, Eric Baldwin, Cole Olson. With the mix of vets and rookies it made for a great locker room atmosphere, and while the team failed on their high expectations, I looked back at that year with fond memories that I will remember for the rest of my life.

I also have to give a special shutout to Cole Olson. It’s been a lot of fun watching Olly play over the last three years, it almost seemed like yesterday I was chasing him in Battlefords for our first interview. On the ice, Olly was the hardest working player who gave it all on every night. Off the ice, while he didn’t say too much, everyone loved Olly and you will never hear anyone ever say a bad word about Olly.
Other players who I just want to say thanks for everything they’ve done for me during my time in Estevan include Matthew Dochylo, Chris Daniels, Michael Hengen, Calder Neufeld, Dominic Perrault, Matt Brykaliuk, Tanner Froese, Tyler Poskus, Austin Yano just too name a few, I know I’m missing some names but like I said the list would be too long to name it all.  

I’ve just started my new position in Humboldt as an Assistant Producer for Access Communications. You may see my face (and hear my voice) with the SJHL broadcasts on Access in the fall.
I plan on keeping this blog running, there probably won’t be much material for the next bit while I get settled in the new job. I might just post some random thoughts of mine in the sports world while I get settled back in the local scene. 

 I also plan on producing/hosting Locker Talk in Humboldt so check back for details on that in the future.  I do plan on making some changes as compared to the show I did in Estevan but I have no timetable yet on when I will start that up. 

And while I look back on my days in Estevan fondly, I’m excited to be back home and seeing the familiar faces in my life once again. I hope you come back and see the world of sports through my eyes.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Thank You

In case you don't follow me on Twitter but I announced today that I've stepped down as the Play by Play Announcer for the Estevan Bruins and New/Sports Anchor for Goldenwest Radio in Estevan.

I'll provide a more appropriate Thank You blog posting before my final day which is next Friday, but I quickly want to thank everyone who has made these last 5 years in Estevan so great.

Thanks Again!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Estevan Bruins Spring Camp

The Estevan Bruins held their Spring Camp this weekend, and I had the chance to speak with Bruins Scout (former Assistant Coach) Cole Zahn about the camp and what's next for the Bruins.


Sunday, April 14, 2013

Q an A with Riders Weston Dressler, Geroy Simon and Corey Chamblin at Estevan Football Dinner

It was another successful Estevan Football Fundraiser Dinner last night at the Days Inn Plaza. The guest speakers of the evening were the Saskatchewan Roughriders Head Coach Corey Chamblin, newcomer Geroy Simon and the popular Weston Dressler.

All the money raised will be going to the football program here in Estevan. I had a chance to speak with all three speakers.


Geroy Simon


                                                                       Corey Chamblin


Thursday, March 28, 2013

Cassidy Removed as Head Coach/GM of the Bruins

The Estevan Bruins announced today they would be parting ways with Keith Cassidy. I apoligize I won't be able to provide more details as I'm away on vacation until next week.
Here's the statement from the team
The executive of the Estevan Bruins Hockey Club would like to announce it has decided not to renew the contract of head coach and general manager Keith Cassidy. He will no longer handle head coach and GM duties effective immediately.
"We would like to thank Keith for his contributions to the Bruins organization. Keith played a key role in the team's transition to Spectra Place and has been a stro
ng ambassador in the community," said president Jeff Pierson. "However this is a results based business and there is no getting around the fact the past year was a disappointing one. We feel our fans deserve a winning team and we will take all steps necessary to make that happen."
Pierson added that the search for a new head coach and GM will begin immediately.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Final Postgame Interview from Mar.16

While the Bruins season came to an end last Saturday, it has been much offseason so far for myself with the Big 6 Playoffs and work at the radio station. But he's the audio from the postgame of last Saturday's loss to Yorkton with Head Coach Keith Cassidy. I'll post a few thoughts tomorrow.


Sunday, March 17, 2013

Bruins Season Comes to an End with 6-3 loss to Yorkton

The 2012-13 season came to an end for the CanElson Drilling Estevan Bruins as they were defeated by the Yorkton Terriers 6-3.

The Bruins fell behind early as Patrick Martens knocked in a loose rebound to get the Terriers on the scoreboard. The Bruins had a great chance to tie the game in the first period as they went on the powerplay for 5 minutes including a 5 on 3 for about a minute. But the Bruins weren't able to capitalize as Jeremy Johnson scored a short handed goal to make it a 2-0.

Estevan would get on the scoreboard shortly afterwards as Tanner Froese knocked in a loose puck in and made it 2-1 after the first. The Bruins dominated the shot clock as they outshot the Terriers 21-6 in the period but the Terriers Dawson MacAuley was outstanding in net.

In the second period Kailum Gervais scored on a wraparound the gave Yorkton a 4-2 win. The Bruins answered back shortly afterwards as Hudson Morrison scored on the powerplay to make it 4-3. But late in the period Martens scored on the powerplay to make it 5-3 after the second period.

In the third period the Bruins were unable to close the gap as they remained down by a pair of goals. Yorkton extended their lead as Martens scored his third goal of the evening as he crashed in the net and was able to get the puck past the goal line according to the refs eyes before the net came off its moorings. The Bruins answered back shortly as Calder Neufeld scored to make it 5-3. But the Bruins couldn't close the gap as Tyler Giebel finished off the game with an empty net to make the final 6-3.

The Terriers will move on to the Sherwood Conference while the Bruins are now looking ahead to next year.

The Bruins will lose 7 20 year olds to graduation in Curtis Martinu, Alex Cote, Tyler Paslawski, Connor Milligan, Calder Neufeld, Dylan Smith and Cole Olson.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Bruins On the Brink of Elimination after 2-1 Loss

It was another close one goal loss for the CanElson Drilling Estevan as the Yorkton Terriers defeated the Bruins 2-1 which leaves the Bruins on the brink of elimination as they trail in the series 3-1.

The Bruins came out firing in the first period as they had several opportunities to get the lead but were unable to beat the Terriers Dawson MaCauley. Instead it was Yorkton would picked up the lead as Brady Norrish took the puck from his blue line and went inside of the Bruins zone and buried a shot past the Bruins Curtis Martinu to make it 1-0.

In the second period, the Bruins once again ran into penalty trouble. While the Bruins were able to kill off the three penalties, the Bruins weren't able to gain the momentum until late in the second period when they received a powerplay opportunity. The Bruins had their chances but once again couldn't solve MaCauley as the Bruins remain down 1-0 after two periods.

In the third period the Bruins were able to get on the scoreboard after a hardworking shift from Taylor Reich, Brett Dumaine and Wyatt Garagan. The shift ended with Garagan burying a shot top shelf to tie the game at 1-1.

The Terriers came back with a flurry of chances after the Garagan and with just over 6 minutes left, Tyler Giebel knocked a shot past Martinu to make it 3-2. The Bruins were unable to register the tying goal and now face elimination tomorrow night in Yorkton.

Game 5 of the series can be heard on CJ1280 and beginning at 7:15.

Bruins Head Coach Keith Cassidy comments on the game.


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Bruins Lose 2-1 to Yorkton and Now Trail 2-1 in Series

The CanElson Drilling Estevan Bruins pushed the Yorkton Terriers to the limit last night but it was not enough as the Terriers won 2-1 and with the victory, the Terriers lead the series 2-1.

It was an even game through the first 40 minutes, while the shot clock read 21-12, the chances were even as the Bruins had several opportunities but weren't able to capitalize. Brett Blatz had a great chance for the opening goal in the second period but rang a shot of the crossbar. Wyatt Garagan also had a great chance but had a shot go wide by a couple of inches.

At the other end of the ice, the Bruins Curtis Martinu was making lives difficult for the Terriers as Yorkton struggled getting a shot past Martinu. The 20 year old goalie flashed the leather on numerous occasions with some big glove saves including a great chance from the Terrier Captain Devon McMullen.

In the final period, Patrick Martens was able to sneak in behind the Bruins defence and unleashed a lazer of a shot past Martinu to give the Terriers the lead early in the period. Martens would add his 4th goal of the series halfway thru the period when he picked up a turnover in the neutral zone and proceeded to move in on a breakaway and beat Martinu to make it 2-0.

The Bruins didn't go down without a fight as Tanner Froese got the Bruins on the scoreboard with 56 seconds remaining after deflecting Connor Milligan's shot to make it 2-1. But the Bruins were unable to get the equalizer as they fell 2-1.

Game 4 of the series is now set for tomorrow night in Estevan and the game can be heard on CJ1280 and beginning at 7:15.