Sunday, September 30, 2012

Bruins Finish Road Trip with Loss to Broncos

The Estevan Bruins finished off their three game road trip with a 2-1 loss to the Humboldt Broncos at the Elgar Peterson Arena.

All three goals came in the first period of the game as the Broncos both of their goals 21 seconds apart. At the 5:09 mark of the period Dylan Fluter scored the game's opening goal for Humboldt. Cody Goal would extend the lead to 2-0 at 5:30 of the first period.

Tyler Paslawski scored the Bruins lone goal with 26 seconds remaining in the period on the power play with Tyler Kauk and Austin Yano drawing assists.

The Bruins were unable to tie the game in the final 40 minutes of the game as the Broncos skated away with the two points. Humboldt outshot the Bruins 37-32. On the power play the Bruins went 1-7 while Humboldt went 1-3.

The Bruins next game is Saturday when they host Weyburn at Spectra Place. The Bruins, Austin Yano, Hudson Morrison and Travis Pelletier will remain in Humboldt over the next couple of days to take part in the WJAC ID Camp. Bruins Head Coach Keith Cassidy will also be apart of the camp coaching one of the teams.

Bruins Lose in La Ronge

The Estevan Bruins lost the second of their three game road trip in La Ronge last night 5-1.

The Bruins and Ice Wolves played to a scoreless tie after 20 minutes. In the second period the Bruins opened up the scoring with Austin Daae opening up the scoring for the Bruins to make it 1-0. But before the end of the period the Ice Wolves tied the game at 1-1.

In the third period the Ice Wolves exploded for four goals and took the points beating the Bruins 5-1.

Curtis Martinu had 37 saves. The Bruins went 0-4 on the extra man advantage.

The Bruins finish the road trip today in Humboldt against the Broncos.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Bruins Pick Up First Win In Nipawin

The Estevan Bruins picked up their first win of the season on the road in Nipawin as the Bruins edged the Hawks 5-4.

The Bruins didn't waste any time getting on the scoreboard as Cole Olson opened up the scoring 23 seconds into the first period to give the Estevan Bruins a lead. The Bruins would extend their lead to 2-0 before the end of the period as Tyler Kauk scored his first goal of the season to make it 2-0 for the Bruins after 20 minutes of play.

The Hawks responded early in the second when former Bruin Ryan Ostertag scored for Nipawin to make it 2-1. But the Bruins responded 18 seconds later as Tanner Froese scored his second of the year to give the Bruins a 3-1 lead. The Hawks cut the score to 3-2 but the Bruins responded with Brandon Halbgewachs picking up his first goal this year and Estevan lead 4-2. Nipawin made it 4-3 but with 5 seconds left in the period Olson added his second of the season to make it 5-3 for the Bruins after two periods.

Nipawin did manage to score with 2:28 left in the game to cut the lead to 5-4, but that was as close as the Hawks would get as the Bruins open up the road trip with a win. Kauk ended the game with a goal and two assists while Olson, Halbgewachs, Froese and Calder Neufeld, all had two points on the evening for Estevan.

Curtis Martinu picked up the win for Estevan as he made 33 saves. The Bruins power play went 0-3 while the Hawks were 0-5.

The Bruins continue the road trip in La Ronge tomorrow night.

Bruins Renew Rivalry with Hawks Q and A with Tyler Poskus

The Estevan Bruins will be looking for their first win of the season tonight when they meet the Nipawin Hawks at the Cage beginning at 7:30.

Last year the two teams that wear Black and Yellow in the SJHL had an intense rivalry that was sparked by a pair of trades which saw the Bruins acquire Tyler Paslawski and Tyler Poskus from the Hawks while Jesse Bernard and Ryan Ostertag were picked up by the Hawks.

Both teams had a young core that they're carrying over to the 2012-13 season and big things are expected from each team.

I had a chance to with former Hawk and current Bruin Tyler Poskus about the team's first road trip of the season and playing against his former team in Nipawin.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Locker Talk Preview with Bruins Connor Milligan and Tyler Poskus

On this week's edition of Locker Talk, it's another discussion about the Estevan Bruins as I'm joined by the Captain Connor Milligan and Tyler Poskus.

We take a look back at the first weekend of the SJHL season and look ahead to the Bruins first road trip this weekend.

I also talk with Milligan about being named the Bruins Captain and to Poskus about facing his old team the Nipawin Hawks.

Locker Talk can be see Thursday at 5:30, Friday at 5:30, Saturday at 12:00pm and Sunday 8:30pm on Access 7.

Here's a bonus segment of this week's show with Milligan and Poskus.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Mustangs Squeak by Bruins 2-1


The Estevan Bruins were able to pick up their first point of the season but were unable to record their first win after a 2-1 loss in overtime to the Melfort Mustangs. The Bruins drop down to 0-2-1 on the year.

Melfort had a little jump on the road against the Bruins in the opening period. But the Bruins were able to swing the momentum on their side after Connor Milligan dropped the mitts and fought with Pearce Gourley. The Bruins had a strong end to the period but were unable to score in the opening period. Austin Daae had the best chance in the period, on a powerplay Daae took a pass and had a wide open net and was unable to score from a tough angle.

In the second period the Bruins started off strong and were rewarded with their hard work with the opening goal. At the 3:40 mark, Calder Neufeld completed a perfect passing play from Tanner Froese and Cole Olson and managed to have his shot touch the ipost and in to the net to give the Bruins the lead.

The Mustangs came back from the opening goal and were able to tie the game a few minutes later. Brandon Sloan  buried a shot past Curtis Martinu to tie the game up at 1-1.

Both goaltenders Martinu and Patrick Johnson of the Mustangs turned the game into a goalies duel for the final thirty minutes as neither team were able to grab a lead. The power play gave each team some chances, the Bruins had a 5 on 3 for over a minute but weren't able to score while the Mustangs had back to back power plays that nearly covered four minutes but the game remained tied heading into overtime.

The Bruins were shorthanded at the beginning of overtime but the Bruuins were able to kill of the penalty. With a couple of minutes remaining in overtime, Matt Brykaliuk took a nasty hit from behind from Anthony Pickering. Austin Yano jumped to his teammate's defence and started a fight with Pickering. Yano was ejected from the game with the instigator penalty along with a fighting major while Pickering was ejected with a checking behind penalty and fighting major.

In the final minute Jarrett Zentner's pass from the side of the net bounced off a stick and squeaked past Martinu to give Melfort the win. The Bruins are the only winless team in the SJHL.

Bruins Head Coach Keith Cassidy said after the game it was a frustrating ending to the game but added the Bruins shouldn't have been in overtime in the first place. He said the Bruins had troubling finishing their scoring chances. Cassidy is confident that the scoring chances will come for the Bruins.

Martinu had a strong game for the Bruins making 29 saves for the Bruins. He said that he felt more comfortable this week after arriving last week. He added being in practice this week gave him and the team a chance to work on communication with his defencemen.

The Bruins are back in action on Friday when they kick off a road trip in Nipawin.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Bruins Looking to Bounce Back Against Melfort. Q and A with Tyler Kauk

The Estevan Bruins didn't get the start they wanted on the opening weekend of the SJHL season as they were defeated by the Melville Millionaires in the first two games of the hockey season.

While the Bruins are disappointed that they went winless in their first two games of the season, they realize it's a long season and there is no reason to panic.

The Bruins will be in action tomorrow against the Melfort Mustangs at Spectra Place in a battle of the only two teams that went 0-2 on the opening weekend.

I caught up with defenceman Tyler Kauk after practice today and talked about the postives and negatives from the opening weekend, we preview the upcoming matchup with Melfort and we discuss the expectations for Kauk in his second season with the Bruins.

CJ1280/DiscoverEstevan Bruins Broadcasting Schedule

Here's a broadcasting schedule for Estevan Bruin games on CJ1280 and for the upcoming season. For new Bruin fans the reason why we don't start broadcasting until November is because our radio station airs the MLB playoffs and World Series in October. (Blue Jays in September)

There's 25 games in total and we will have all of the games on air in the postseason.

All games start at 7:30 unless indicated

1. Tuesday November 6 @ Notre Dame 8:00
2. Wednesday November 14 @ Melville
3. Tuesday November 27 @ Yorkton
4. Friday November 30 @ Melfort
5. Saturday December 1 @ Flin Flon
6. Sunday December 2 @ La Ronge 3:00
7. Tuesday December 4 @ Notre Dame 8:00
8. Saturday December 15 @ Yorkton
9. Sunday December 30 vs Weyburn 6:00
10. Tuesday January 1 @ Weyburn 3:00
11. Friday January 4 vs Melville
12. Saturday January 5 @ Melville
13. Friday January 11 @ Battlefords
14. Saturday January 12 @ Kindersley
15. Tuesday January 15 vs Notre Dame
16. Friday January 18 @ Nipawin
17. Saturday January 19 @ Melville
18. Saturday February 9 @ Kindersley
19. Sunday February 10 @ Kindersley 6:00
20. Monday February 11 @ Battlefords
21. Friday February 15 vs Humboldt
22. Sunday February 17 vs Kindersley 6:00
23. Friday February 22 vs Weyburn
24. Saturday February 23 @ Weyburn
25. Tuesday February 26 vs Notre Dame

I'll also be providing play by play for the webcast for the home games starting tomorrow. The reason why I didn't on Friday or really provide an update on the home opener for Friday's game was because I had to go to one of my best friends wedding in Saskatoon. 

I'll have more on the Bruins later today. 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Bruins Crushed By Melville in Season Opener

The CanElson Drilling Estevan Bruins season got off to a horrible start as they were hammered by the Melville Millionaires 10-2.

Melville got a quick goal at the 1:11 mark of the first period with Colin Mospanchuk scoring the first goal of the SJHL season to give the Millionaires a lead. The Mils added to their lead with Sean Aschim scoring his for first of three on the night to make it 2-0 after the first period.

In the second period the Millionaires took control of the game scoring four times to extend their lead to 6-0. After the sixth goal Curtis Martinu was pulled and Travis Pelletier came in relief for the Bruins.

In the third period after Melville made it 7-0 the Bruins finally got on the scoreboard when Tanner Froese scored for the Bruins. The Millionaires wouldn't let up as they replied to make it 8-1. Nick Sova scored for the Bruins to make it 8-2.

Melville ended off the game with three unanswered goals to make the final 11-2. The Bruins went 1 for 6 on the power play while Melville went 1 for 4.

The Bruins will be looking to get some revenge against in the back end of the home and home set Friday night at Spectra Place. The Bruins have a pregame show that will begin at 7:00 and it will include fireworks, video and much more.

Opening faceoff is set for 7:30.

Finals Thoughts of the Bruins Heading Into the Season and Q&A with Calder Neufeld

Hard to believe the new SJHL season has arrived with the Bruins opening up in Melville.

First congratulations to Connor Milligan for being named the Captain of the Bruins and Cole Olson, Calder Neufeld and Tyler Paslawski as the Assistants. All four guys have stepped up as leaders of the Bruins and I know they will all do a great job of representing the Black and Gold.

This is my 5th year with the Bruins and this year's team may have the deepest roster coming out of training camp. The Bruins have a lot of depth and should get some production from all four lines all season. Hudson Morrison will get the first shot of playing with Cole Olson and Calder Neufeld. Morrison is a talented goal scorer and should get plenty of opportunities with his former teammate in AAA Midget (Olson) setting him up.

Up front the player who I think is going to have a breakout season is Matt Brykaliuk. There's no doubt he's the most skilled forward on the team. Playing with Reich and Froese should allow Brykaliuk to have plenty of room down the middle. Brykaliuk has the capabilities of not only setting up Reich and Froese, but should be able to score a lot of goals since he has one of the best wrist shots on the team.

On the blue line I'm really expecting a huge year from Tyler Kauk. After Christmas last year, Kauk really stepped up his game and I believe he will continue his improvement this year. Kauk has all the tools needed to be an elite defenceman, he can hit, he's an excellent skater, he has a hard shot and I think with year of Junior Hockey under his belt his decision making will only get better. I've been really impressed on how Kauk has handled himself off the ice during training camp and there's no doubt he has stepped up to become a leader in the Bruins locker room.

Austin Yano returns as Kauk's partner on the blueline this year. Yano had a solid rookie campaign, showing no trouble making the transition of the jump from going to AAA Midget to SJHL.Like Kauk he's only going to be even better in his second season. As long as he stays healthy Yano should be among the top defenceman in the league for scoring.

Goaltending is the big question mark for the Bruins with the injury with Steven Glass injury. If Glass can return from his injury and pick up from he left off last year then the question mark turns into a strength. Glass has the capabilities of being one of the best goalies in the league. Curtis Martinu will get the chance to be the starter after being picked up from Trenton of the OJHL yesterday. He's a big goal at 6'4" and will get a lot of the action in net with Glass out likely til November.

 The talking is over and now the season is about to begin. You can catch tonight's game on Access 7 beginning at 7:30. At 6:30 you can tune into Locker Talk with me, Cole Olson, and Calder Neufeld.

Speaking of Neufeld I caught up with him as we take a look at tonight's game.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

On the Eve of Opening Night with the Estevan Bruins

After six months of waiting, the CanElson Drilling Estevan Bruins will open up the 2012-13 season on the road in Melville when they square off with the Millionaires. Bruins Head Coach and GM Keith Cassidy is looking forward to getting the season after spending the last couple of weeks with the preseason and training camp. "It's certainly an exciting time of year going through camp to see what your team will shape up like. It's another thing into the real games and seeing these guys produce."

With the injury to Steven Glass the Bruins made a trade and acquired 20 year old goalie Curtis Martinu from the Trenton Golden Hawks of the OJHL. Martinu spent time last season with the Drayton Valley Thunder of the AJHL last year. He's a tall goalie listed at 6'4" and is expected to arrive in time for a morning skate  and is expected to be in the Bruins lineup tonight in Melville.

The Bruins have a roster tonight will feature a lot of the lines that we saw in the preseason. Hudson Morrison will start on the wing of a line with Cole Olsen and Calder Neufeld. Cassidy feels Morrison has been a good fit with Olson and Neufeld and will get the first shot of playing on that top line at least for the first couple of games.

On the blueline the top two pairings will be familiar for Bruin fans. Tyler Kauk and Austin Yano along with Connor Milligan and Tyler Poskus will form the Bruins top four. Both pairings were together last season and that's one of the reasons why Cassidy has decided to go with the those two pairings to start the new season. He says the 5th and 6th defencemen in the lineup will be decided after the morning skate.

Tonight's game may be a preview of the Sherwood Conference as many people around the SJHL have predicted the Bruins and Millionaires will be meeting each other in the Conference Finals. .

Opening faceoff in Melville is 7:30. The Bruins will open their home schedule tomorrow night at Spectra Place. The pregame festivities will begin at 7:00 with fireworks, video and music. The puck drops at 7:30.

Cassidy comments about tonight's opening game in Melville.

Brykaliuk Looking to Build Off Rookie Season

Expectations for the 1993 players on the CanElson Drilling Estevan Bruins this season will only increase after a solid rookie season. One of the players who will be asked to step up and take a bigger role with the team is Matt Brykaliuk.

Brykaliuk had 10 goals and 10 assists in 44 games last season with the Bruins. He says one of the biggest goals for himself this year is too improve on his consistency. He said last season he spent a lot of time talking with Bruins Head Coach Keith Cassidy and Assistant Head Coach Cole Zahn about being more consistent last season is hoping that he can be a productive every night for the Bruins.

Brykaliuk played on the wing last season but it appears that he will now be moved to Centre. He's welcoming the change as he played a lot of his AAA Midget at centre. He feels that he's comfortable playing down the middle and is looking forward to playing on either the second or third line with the Bruins.

Throughout training camp Brykaliuk has been playing on a line with Taylor Reich and Tanner Froese. Brykaliuk believes the trio have developed some chemistry in camp and is hopeful that can carry over into the regular season. He noted that Reich is a solid player along the boards and is willing to do the dirty work on the ice and Froese possesses a combination of grit and skill.

Brykaliuk noted last season the Bruins faded a strong start and he says the team is worried about being consistent heading into the 2012-13 season.

Brykaliuk and the rest of the Bruins will open up the season tomorrow night in Melville at 7:30. The home opener is set for Friday night. Fans are asked to be in their seats by 7:00 so they can enjoy a pregame show that will be filled with fireworks, videos and music. The puck drop is set for 7:30.

I talked to Brykaliuk about the upcoming season.

A Video Preview of Locker Talk with Cole Olson and Calder Neufeld

It's going to be an Estevan Bruin night on Access 7 tomorrow night. The Bruins will be in Melville for the season opener and that game will be broadcasted across the province on Access at 7:30. But on Access 7 in Estevan we'll get the evening started at 6:30 with another edition of  Locker Talk.

Joining me this week will be the two longest serving veterans with the Bruins in Cole Olson and Calder Neufeld. We're going to discuss the Bruins training camp, expectations for the upcoming season, finding a replacement for Dylan Smith and much more.

Everyone knows that Olson and Neufeld are excellent hockey players but  they're both pretty good baseball players. I've included an extra segment of Locker Talk of Me, Olson and Neufeld talking a little baseball.

Glass Heading For Additional Surgery

Steven Glass was the biggest reason the CanElson Drilling Estevan Bruins were able to defeat the Notre Dame Hounds last season in the Survivor Series. After a successful rookie campaign was hopeful to enjoy an even better sophomore season but unfortunately it will be awhile before Glass starts for the Bruins.

Near the end of the regular season while playing in Humboldt, Glass suffered a knee injury that kept him out of the lineup for parts of the final weeks of the regular season. Glass was able to return to the lineup for the postseason, but once the Bruins were eliminated from the playoffs, Glass was set to have surgery on his knee.

Glass had his surgery at the end of May was scheduled to be fully recovered within 6-8 weeks. But after returning to the ice in August, Glass was feeling discomfort in his knee and after sitting for the entire preseason he has decided to go for further surgery. At this point Glass is out of the Bruins lineup indefinitely. The only healthy goalie in the Bruins lineup is Travis Pelletier and Bruins Head Coach Keith Cassidy has said they will be looking to add a goalie while Glass is out of the lineup.

Glass admits it has been a frustrating experience recovering from knee surgery but he's doing his best to stay positive and is working as hard as he can to get back in the Bruins lineup.

One the luxuries that Glass should enjoy this season when returns to the lineup is an improved blueline. With Austin Yano, Tyler Kauk, Connor Milligan and others returning to the lineup Glass is looking forward to having all those players along with the rookies play in front of him.

When Glass does return to the lineup, he wants to make sure that he has a fast start his season. He says that he will be working hard to get back into game shape and is hoping he can have a strong finish to his season.

With a lot of veterans back in the Bruins lineup along with a strong rookie class, the Bruins are looking to make a run in the postseason. Glass believes the Bruins have the makings of a strong season but says that team has hard on being consistent for the entire season.

Glass discusses his upcoming surgery.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Elecs Football Team Falls to 0-3


The ECS Elecs fell to 0-3 after a 36-14 loss to the Swift Current Colts yesterday.

The Elecs defence had a strong start as they forced the Colts to punt on their on their opening series but when the Colts went back to punt the punter elected to run with the ball and managed to carry it for a first down. After making the first down the Colts would proceed to score on their opening drive to make it 7-0.

The Elecs offence took the ball the next series and enjoyed success moving the football on the ground and through the air. Unfortunately they were stopped inside of the Colts territory and were forced to punt.

The score remained 7-0 for the Colts in the second quarter when they capped off a long drive for a touchdown to extend their lead to 14-0. On the ensuing kickoff Cole MacCuish returned the ball all the way for a touchdown and the Elecs were down 14-7 at the end of the half.

The Colts responded with a strong start in the third quarter as they managed to score early to extend their lead to 21-7. The Elecs would respond later in the quarter as Kolby Fleury's pass was caught by Evan Tarnes for a touchdown to make it 21-14 in the fourth quarter.

Unfortunately for the Elecs they weren't able to tie the game as the Colts were able to capitalize a couple of drives for touchdowns along with a single that made the final score of 36-14.

After the game Head Coach Mark Schott felt the game against Swift Current was like their previous two games where the team played strong in the first half but weren't able to continue the success in the second half.

Schott said the Elecs enjoyed success on the ground. He felt Running Back Caleb Memory had his best game as an Elec and Colten Bachorick had a solid outing as well. He added Fleury and the receivers had a strong passing game but believes the biggest problem for the Elecs offence is finishing drives.

Defensively the Elecs like their offence were able to make a stand at crucial times. He noted there were a couple of times the Colts were able to march the field when the Elecs needed the defence to make a stop.

The Elecs will have a short week as they will be back in action on Saturday in Moose Jaw squaring off with Central.

A lot of Questions after Bruins Finish Preseason

The CanElson Drilling Estevan Bruins preseason came to an end with a 5-2 loss to Notre Dame, but there's a lot of questions that need to be answered before they open up the regular season in Melville on Thursday night.

The Bruins got off to a slow start in the opening minute against the Hounds when a turnover inside their own zone lead to the Hounds grabbing the 1-0 lead. Later in the period the Hounds extended their lead to 2-0 with a goal on a 5 on 3 powerplay.

The Bruins struck back with a powerplay as Cole Olson scored his first goal of the preseason to cut the lead to 2-1.

In the beginning of the second period Calder Neufeld took a high sticking penalty and the Hounds capitalized with a goal shortly afterwards to grab a 3-1 lead. The high sticking call wouldn't be the only penalty that Neufeld would take as he would drop the mitts with the Hounds Yanni Mamais and his evening was over after a fighting major.

The Bruins would get a goal late in the second period as Ben Williams set up Justin Nychuk in front who tapped it in to make it 3-2 heading into the third period.

In the third period the Bruins weren't able to get the game tying goal as the Hounds pulled away with the game with a pair of goals on their way to victory. The game got a little bit chippy with Ben Williams and Tyler Paslawski each receiving fighting majors.

After the game Bruins Head Coach Keith Cassidy said the Bruins coaching staff would be making some really tough decisions. He said some of the players who had really strong camps were Hudson Morrison, Ben Williams, Brett Dumaine and David Robertson.

The Bruins decision process got a little bit harder with Sean Whelan, Darcy Deroose and Hunter Smith being sent down from the WHL, the Bruins decisions got even more difficult. Cassidy said Deroose is a player that the team will be making room for and believes can have an impact with the Bruins as a 17 year old.

The biggest area of concern for the Bruins heading into the season is their goaltending. With Steven Glass still feeling the effects of offseason knee injury, Cassidy confirmed that the team will be looking for a goalie to go along with Travis Pelletier to start the season while Glass recovers.

The Bruins will open the season on Thursday night in Melville against the MIllionaires. The following night the Bruins will host Melville in their home opener at Spectra Place beginning at 7:00 with the pregame festivities.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Milligan Expected to Lead Bruins

Connor Milligan was acquired by the Bruins last October from the Camrose Kodiaks and instantly had an impact in the Bruins lineup playing alongside Dominic Perrault. Milligan strong start was sidetracked with a concussion injury he suffered in Melville. After being sidelined for nearly six weeks Milligan returned to the Bruins lineup and reestablish himself as one of the top d-men for the Bruins.

Even before the departure of Captain Josh Jelinski, Milligan seemed like a lock to be wearing an A on jersey with the Bruins this year. Now with the Bruins looking for a Captain for the 2012-13 season. Milligan says it would be an honor to wear the C or an A for the Bruins this season but says he is going to continue to provide leadership in the locker room for the Bruins and even if he doesn't get a letter the only letter he's worried about is the B on the Bruins jersey.

Milligan noted one of the strengths of the Bruins is the leadership. He said while he's a vocal leader, there are guys like Cole Olson who lead by an example. Milligan said with the Bruins having so many leaders inside their locker room, there shouldn't be a need to rely on one person to be the lone leader.

Last season Milligan was counted on for his defensive play with the Bruins. This year shouldn't be any different, but he added that he would like to jump up in the rush and chip in offensively with the odd goal.

The Bruins defence should be a strength for the team this season with the combination of veterans and rookies. Milligan said he would love to play with Tyler Poskus again after the two developed some chemistry in the second half of the season. Throughout training camp, Milligan was paired with Patrick Hurley and he added that would have no problem playing with him as well.

So far Milligan hasn't played in a preseason game for the Bruins as the coaching staff has been taking a look at the other defenceman. The Bruins finish the preseason tonight at home against the Notre Dame Hounds at 7:30.

I had the chance to speak with Milligan last week about the upcoming season.

Bruins Trade Johnstone to Virden. Whelan Reassigned From Pats

The CanElson Drilling Estevan Bruins continue to make some tough decisions as they try and get their roster to at least 25 players.

Late last night the Bruins traded away veteran Ben Johnstone to the Virden Oil Capitals of the MJHL in exchange of future considerations.

Last year Johnstone had 8 goals and 8 assists including a memorable hat trick in his home town of Carlyle. Johnstone was the top rookie in the SJHL for the month of November. Johnstone will be joining his former teammate in Estevan, Eric Baldwin in Virden.

I always enjoyed watching Johnstone play with the Bruins, it seemed like every shift he would play with a lot of energy. Even though he was only listed at 5 "7, Johnstone played much bigger than that as he was looking for a hit every time he stepped on the ice. Johnstone was a point per game player in AAA Midget and definitely has the capabilities to help out the Oil Capitals on the scoresheet this season.

The Bruins still have 29 players in camp with 16 forwards, 11 defenceman and 2 goalies.

The Bruins also had defenceman Sean Whelan reassigned to the team after he was sent down by the Regina Pats.

Last year with the Moose Jaw Generals of the Sask AAA Midget League he had 12 goals 14 assists in 39 games.

The Bruins finish the preseason tonight against Notre Dame at 7:30 at Spectra Place.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Red Wings Beat Bruins 4-3 in Preseason Action


The CanElson Drilling Estevan Bruins were defeated by the Weyburn Red Wings 4-3 in preseason action.

The Bruins opened up the scoring very early in the first period when Tanner Froese scored. Before the end of the first period the Red Wings would respond and tied the game at 1-1.

In the second period after the Red Wings opened up the period with the goal the Bruins came back with a pair of their own. First it was Hudson Morrison on the powerplay and shortly afterwards Nick Weiss gave the Bruins scored and gave the lead 3-2. But before the second period came to an end the Red Wings scored to tie the game at 3-3.

The Bruins had their chances to claim the lead in third, including Matt Brykaliuk who hit the post on one scoring chance. But with 4:30 left in the third period, the Red Wings managed to squeak one in and won the game 3-2.

Cody Murray played the entire game for the Bruins making 23 saves for Estevan. The Bruins were resting a lot of their veterans including Cole Olson, Calder Neufeld, Austin Yano, Tyler Kauk, Tyler Paslawski and Connor Milligan.

Making their preseason debut was the line of Brykaliuk, Froese and Taylor Reich.The trio provided plenty of scoring chances and are looking like the second line the Bruins will be counting on to provide secondary scoring this season.

The Bruins finish the preseason on Monday night at home against Notre Dame.

Hard Knocks 28 Recap

Local MMA fans were entertained another night of great nights as Hard Knocks Fighting made its return to Estevan for Hard Knocks 28.

The only fight to go the distance was the main event featuring Felix Jimenez and Wade Baldwin. The local fighters received the loudest ovations of the evening before each of them stepped inside of the cage. Jimenez got the early advantage in the bout when he applied a guilltoine choke on Baldwin early in the fight, Jimenez managed to apply the choke for around a minute before Baldwin was able to escape the choke and ended off the round with some punches.

The second round saw Jimenez go to work early with a take down. He positioned Baldwin against the cage and managed to strike his knees against Baldwin's kidney. It didn't look good for Baldwin again in the second but he managed to escaped the situation and once again came back strong with some punches to close off the round.

The third round got off to a slow start with both fighters exhausted from the previous two rounds. In the third round it was Baldwin managed to apply a choke and get Jimenez against the cage. Jimenez used the cage to illegally get himself out the hold and was deducted a point. Knowing that he likely had to end the fight, Baldwin came back with some punches to close the fight but it wasn't enough to knock out Jimenez. After the fight concluded the judges ruled a unanimous decision in favor of Jimenez giving him the decision.

Derek Daku had an early start to the evening as he faced Allan Bogle of Toronto. Bogle was a larger opponent for Daku but the local fighter wasn't intimated. Daku went to work early in the fight with a series of punches. After connecting with some punches Daku used some leg kicks to weaken up Bogle. Following the kicks, Daku landed some haymakers and the fight was then over at the 1:07 as Daku picked up a TKO victory. After the fight Daku said he was ready to for a rematch against Devon Smith for the Heavyweight title.

A fight with local ties featured Estevan's Matthew McCormick and former Estevan Bruins Lee Ruff. This fight didn't last too long as shortly after the fight began Ruff attempted for a takedown but was caught by McCormick with a guillotine choke and Ruff had now choice but to submit early in the contest.

Estevan's Kurt Bailey squared off with Corey Atkinson in the co-main event of the evening in a light Middleweight bout. This was another quick bout after a quick takedown Atkinson managed to apply for a rear naked choke for the submission win.

Another local fighter Craig Gaudry and Meelad Hasteed faced off in a light heavyweight that was filled with plenty of explosions. Right off the opening bell Gaudry charged in on Hastee and landed some quick punches and then some body kicks. Hasteed would survive and would then deliver some punches of his own. Gaudry would counter and apply a choke but couldn't finish the fight. Hasteed escaped and came back with a knee to the body. With only a few seconds remaining in the round Hasteed slipped in a late guillotine choke and scored a submission win.


Estevan's Mike Geib faced off with Kevin Taylor of Brandon in a light heavyweight fight. Taylor managed to score some punches and took control early in the bout. Geib was able to counter and applied some ground and pound but it was short lived as Taylor managed to get back on top and landed some punches. It appeared Geib had survived the first round but in the break Geib gave a verbal tapout due to a knee injury suffered in the fight.


In other fights featuring non local fighters

The opening fight of the night saw a featherweight bout featuring Derek Lapierre and Madison Mejia.  In the opening minutes of the bout Lapierre forced Mejia to the cage but couldn’t apply a choke hold. Lapierre applied kicks and punches before attempting a flying armbar submission. Mejia responded with a pair of takedowns but couldn’t apply a choke submission. At the end of the first round Lapierre did get a scoop slam.

At the second round Mejia came out with some body kicks before Lapierre caught with a reverse triangle submission to get the victory 48 seconds into the first round.

Justin Hill squared off with Cody Puls in a Welterweight bout. Puls started off the fight with a scoop slam but Hill was quick to recover and was able to move in for a choke attempt. At the end of the first round Puls got Hill against the cage was able to force a choke attempt as the first round came to an end.
Hill recovered and dominated in the second round Hill came out punches early on and then was able to snap in a guillotine choke and recorded a submission win. 

Curtis Richard faced Josh Ferguson was a lightweight bout that went into the second round that another early end in the second round. Richard started the round with some leg kicks and recorded a stiff punch followed by a pair of head kicks and he followed by some more punches and picked up a TKO win 37 seconds in the 2nd round.

Ian Abbott and Nic Dupasquier squared off in a flyweight bout. Dupasquier got off to a strong start after blocking a kick and then following some punches Dupasquier went for a choke hold. Abbott escaped the hold and he came back with a series of punches, after a head kick and punch Abbott recorded a 1st round knockout.

Harold Brun met Miquel Tock met in a welterweight bout. This fight went in to the second round and Brun won the fight after blocking a takedown he applied a choke and picked up the submission win.

Ethan Cornect and Chris Wilson met in a lightweight bout which carried over to the second round. Cornect was able to connect with some punches and that lead to a TKO win in the second round.

Nic Grandboise and Christian Olson met in a lightweight bout. The two fighters exchanged punches during the first round and it appeared Grandbois gained an advantage with a takedown and went for a submission win. But during the break Grandbois had to verbally tap out after suffering a leg injury.

Ryan Starkell and Zachary Atkinson met in an all Winnipeg lightweight bout. The first round went back and forth as Starkell had early pressure but Atkinson came back and almost applied a rear naked choke. Starkell managed to reverse and got back on top for some ground and pound at the end of the round.
Starkell came charging in the second round with punches against Atkinson along the cage. Atkinson came back with punches of his own. Starkell was able to land a big haymaker and followed that up with a big punch. Starkell recorded a TKO win after punches late in the round.

Here are post interview fights with former UFC fighter Jesse Bongfeldt, Derek Daku, Wade Baldwin, and Felix Jimenez.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Daku and Baldwin Ready for HK 28 Tonight

Bragging rights in Estevan are on the line tonight as Wade Baldwin and Felix Jimenez square off in the main event of Hard Knocks 28 at Spectra Place. This heavyweight bout will feature a couple of fighters who are coming off solid wins in Estevan at Hard Knocks 24 and one of them will make it two in a row.

This is the second time that Baldwin will be in the main event for a Hard Knocks card. He fought against Devon Smith on the first card last year and even though he lost that fight he felt it was a great learning experience and could provide him with an advantage. He says it's very easy to get restless waiting in the dressing room with 15 cards, he says it's important that he stays relaxed throughout the night before he fights.

Baldwin and Jimenez have trained together in the past so both fighters should have an idea of what to expect when the opening bell rings. Baldwin says it gives him for confidence preparing for an opponent that he knows very well. Baldwin has been preparing on what he expects Jimenez will do in their fight by having his training partner Derek Daku mimic Jimenez when they're sparring together.

Baldwin says one of the things he would like to do early on in the fight is apply pressure to Jimenez. He says with Jimenez's judo background he doesn't want to sit back and allow an opportunity for him to apply some judo throws. Instead Baldwin wants to increase the pace of the fight and not allow Jimenez to have an opportunity to use his judo background.

Along with fighting in the main event, Baldwin will be in the corner for Daku when he competes with Allan Bogle on the undercard. Baldwin says him and Daku have been training together almost non stop since Hard Knocks arrived in Estevan and he looks forward to being in Daku's corner whenever he competes.

Baldwin, Jimenez and Daku are three of the six local fighters that will be on tonight's card. Baldwin says it's really exciting to see the local talent on the card. He says with more and more Estevan fighters competing it will likely lead to even more local fighters competing and making the Energy City the hot bed of MMA in Saskatchewan.


Derek Daku will be squaring off with Allan Bogle in a heavyweight bout on the undercard portion of the event. Bogle will be making his MMA debut after spending the last few years training out of Toronto. Daku doesn't have much information on Bogle and he's fine with that as it gives him a chance to worry about himself leading into the fight rather than his opponent.

In last fight in Estevan, Daku squared off with Devon Smith for the Heavyweight Title. Daku dominated the first round with a solid ground game. Daku said after that last fight with Smith he has a lot more confidence in his ground game and he's not worried if he has to take the fight to the ground against Bogle.

Along with competing, Daku will be in the corner for Wade Baldwin in the main event when he squares off with Felix Jimenez. Daku says he really gets into the fight when he's cornering for Baldwin. He thinks that his nerves gets even more rattled when someone he's cornering is inside of the cage.

It remains to be seen what happens to Daku's tite shot opportunity if he picks up a win over Bogle. He was promised a rematch with Smith he could score a win in Prince Albert but his opponent backed out at the last minute. Daku's goal is still to get another shot at the title.

Elecs Lose to Peacock 31-14

It was an improved effort from the ECS Elecs Football team as they faced the Peacock Torndoes, but like their Week 1 matchup against Weyburn, the Elecs opponents pulled away in the second half as Peacock won 31-14.

The Elecs defence had a strong start as Halfback Cole MacCuish forced a fumble on the Tornadoes second play on offence and the ball was recovered by Jeremy Godfrey. The Elecs were forced to punt the ball as the Tornadoes took over deep in their zone. After three plays the Elecs defence forced another fumble which they recovered but they couldn't convert it to any points.

Late in the first quarter the Tornadoes QB Sawyer Buettner connected a deep pass for a touchdown to give the Tornaodes a 7-0 lead. Despite giving up an early lead, the Elecs defence stood strong and didn't allow any more points for the rest of the first half.

In the second quarter the Elecs were able to drive down the field thanks to a couple of key throws from Quarterback Kolby Fleury. Running Back Colten Bachorcik scored from the one yard for the Elecs first touchdown of the game, the Elecs were unable to convert on the extra point as they trailed 7-6 heading into the second half.

Early in the second half, the Tornadoes scored on their play on offence has they were able to connect on a deep pass for a touchdown extending their lead to 14-6. After trading the ball a couple of times, the Tornadoes extended their lead with a field goal to extend their lead to 17-6.

The next drive the Elecs took back to back unsportsmanlike penalties which gave the Tornadoes excellent field position and were able to score create a 24-6 lead in the third quarter.

In the fourth quarter, after the Tornadoes added a touchdown to make the score 31-6 the Elecs had another solid drive as Fleury was able to connect on a couple of passes to Ian Ferguson and Evan Tarnes. Bachorcik scored another short touchdown for the Elecs as they cut the lead to 31-14 which ended up being the final score.

Head Coach Mark Schott said after the game even though it didn't quite reflect on the scoreboard he felt the Elecs were a better team than they were in Week 1. He thought they made some big strides offensively and defensively and that's all he can ask for right now.

He noted on offence his quarterback Kolby Fleury had a strong game passing the ball and at times lead the Elecs offence on some long drives. He felt defensively the front seven had a strong game shutting down the Tornadoes run game for the most part.

The big play came back to haunt the Elecs and Schott feels that's something they have to work on both sides of the ball. Defensively they've got to work on defending the pass and not allowing teams connect a pass for a long play while on offence they've got to score when the defence creates turnovers for them.

The Elecs will have a short week of practice leading up to their next game on Tuesday when they host the Swift Current Colts at 4:30 at the ECS Field.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Bruins Blank Red Wings

The  Estevan Bruins sent the fans home happy at Spectra Place as they ended the preseason with a 2-0 win over the Weyburn Red Wings. It was the first preseason game for the Bruins with some of the key veterans out of the lineup.

Defence and goaltending were the stories in the contest as both teams were held off the scoresheet through 40 minutes of play. Five minutes into the third period, Tyler Paslawski banged home a loose puck to give the Bruins the first goal of the hockey game. The score would remain 1-0 until 19:40 mark when Wyatt Garagan scored an empty netter to give the Bruins a 2-0 win. Garagan would end up with a goal and an assist. 1995 Goalie Ryland Pashovitz and 1994 Goalie Travis Pelletier combined for a 28 save shutout.

The line of Paslawski, Garagan and Ben Williams had a strong camp for the Bruins and that carried over into the game against Weyburn. Paslawski says the trio are trying the form the same kind of chemistry he had last season with Josh Jelinski and Matthew Dochylo by outworking their opponents and keeping it simple. Paslawski has been impressed with Williams and Garagan and many of the other rookies with the Bruins, especially against the Red Wings veterans and believes the coaching staff will have some tough decisions to make when they make their final cuts.

With 34 players still with the team, many of the Bruins veterans sat out the game. Paslawski was one of the few 20 year old players who was in the lineup and he said that it was important to provide some leadership for the younger players even if it was only preseason.

The Bruins will have a couple of days of practices before they head down Highway 39 and will meet Weyburn in preseason action on Saturday at Crescent Point Place, opening faceoff is 7:30.

Wednesday Thoughts

-- I usually post my thoughts on Tuesdays but this I'm a little bit a late with them. It's been a very busy week as this morning we launched our brand new radio station Rock 106 FM in Estevan. Obviously the music format will be rock. It will mostly be classic Rock but will feature newer rock as well. The early reviews have been great. If you're not in the Estevan area, you can tune into at

-- It was great to be back Spectra Place covering the Estevan Bruins for another season on the weekend. Training camp was full of great talent and I really believe the Bruins will have a strong lineup this season with a mix of veterans and rookies.

-- If the training camp is any indication the top two lines for the Bruins could be Calder Neufeld- Cole Olson-Hudson Morrison and Taylor Reich- Matt Brykaliuk- Tanner Froese. If Morrison is playing on that line with Olson and Neufeld, then I think he has a great shot of being named the league's rookie of the year. And a Reich- Brykaliuk- Froese line has the makings to be a line that has a great mix of skill and grit.

-- Heading into training camp the blueline looked like it will be most interesting position for the team and that's certainly the case. Connor Milligan had a strong camp and it will be interesting how big of impact on the team this year after missing time last year with a concussion.

-- If you're heading to the game tonight against the Weyburn Red Wings, expect some veterans to be out of the lineup as the Bruins Coaching staff take a look at the rest of the roster.

-- This week on Locker Talk, Lucas Stubel joins me as look back at the last four years with the Estevan Bruins. We talk about the best scorers, top defencemen, best goals, and so much more. If you're a Bruins fan I would recommend tuning in on Thursday at 6:30 on Access 7. 

-- On Friday night Estevan will be hosting Hard Knocks 28 at Spectra Place. Right now the card is stacked with 17 fights. For the last year I've been impressed with the quality of fights with Hard Knocks. They've provided some great fights and I'm sure we'll see more on Friday night. I'll have a preview late tomorrow night/early Friday morning.

-- What's worse 52-0 or 25-24? I think Blue Bomber fans are saying 25-24 after the loss on Sunday. I thought Drew Willy did a great job of stepping in for Darian Durant and leading to the Riders on a late fourth quarter drive. If Durant is ready to go there's no doubt he should play on Sunday but the Riders should have confidence in Willy.

-- I think Tim Burke has lost his chance to be the Head Coach of the Bombers next year after Sunday's blunder. Unless the Bombers go on some kind of run late in the season.

-- Football fans rejoiced on Sunday with the return of the NFL. I tried to watch as much as I can. As a 49er fan does it get any better than beating the Packers in Week 1. In the words of Bart Scott I "Can't Wait" till the home opener against the Detroit Lions on Sunday Night Football.

-- Just a prediction..NHL starts Jan.1 (I prefer to start in November but it doesn't look too good right now)

Monday, September 10, 2012

Black and Gold Recap

A very competitive training camp for the CanElson Drilling Estevan Bruins wrapped up on Sunday with the Black and Gold scrimmage as both teams competing for the Gerry Aspen Cup.

Wyatt Trumbley who spent the majority of last season with Campbell River Storm of the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey opened the scoring to give Team Gold a 1-0.

1995 forward Adam Oscevski who spent last season with Prince Albert Mintos managed to deflect Scott Morrison's shot into the back of the mesh to score for Team Black to tie the game at 1-1.

Before the end of the first period team Black would grab the lead as Keegan Allison a 1995 forward who played with the Saskatoon Blazers last year scored and after 20 minutes of play it was Team Black leading 2-1

One of the big highlights of the game saw Matt Brykaliuk use a pretty nice toe drag to set himself with a great scoring opportunity but was robbed by an outstanding save by Ryland Pashovitz.

Hudson Morrison opened up the scoring in the second period deflected a shot from Brett Dumaine and the lead would be extended to 3-1 for Team Black.

Team Gold took advantage of a Team Black turnover as Tyler Paslawski set up Ben Williams who scored to give cut the deficit to 3-2.

Before the end of the period Dumaine scored for Black as they lead 4-2 after 40 minutes.

In the third period Allison added a pair of goals for Team Black to put the game away and picked up himself a hat trick. Wyatt Garagan also scored for Gold as the final ended up being 6-3 in favor for Team Black.

Even though the scrimmage doesn't matter in the standings, the Captain of Team Black Cole Olson said it was a great honor to win the Gerry Aspen Cup since Aspen has spent countless hours over the years helping out with the Bruins. (Prime example is the Bruins Dressing Room which Aspen built. HE spent over 1000 hrs last summer working on it.)

Head Coach Keith Cassidy felt it was a great camp for the Bruins, he said the coaching and scouting staff were going to have some tough decisions to make over the next couple of days. Cassidy said the plan was to have the roster around 30 players for Wednesday's preseason game against Weyburn.

Cassidy noted many of the veterans had strong camps like Cole Olson, Calder Neufeld, and Connor Milligan. He also pointed out the play of the rookies like Ben Williams, Hudson Morrison and goalies Travis Pelletier and Brett Lemchuk during camp.

On Monday the Bruins will take their rookies and the prospects who were in camp to the rookie game in Wilcox against the Notre Dame. After the game most of the AAA Midget players will be sent back to their team.

The Bruins will open up the preseason on Wednesday against Weyburn at Spectra Place.

After the Black and Gold game Cassidy answered some questions about camp.

The Captain for Team Black Cole Olson talks about winning the Gerry Aspen Cup.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Football Day in Estevan with Don Narcisse and Scott Schultz

It was a great day of football celebration in the Energy City with Football Day in Estevan. For the first time ever all four football teams (Atom Sherritt Coal Miners, Century 21 Peewee Chargers, Lions Club of Estevan Bantam Steelers and the ECS Elecs) played  on the same day. Along with the football action there were a couple of big cheque presentations, a big announcement on the future of Estevan football and a pair of Saskatchewan Roughrider legends paid a visit to help out with the big day,

The cheque presentations came from the Estevan Lives Rider Pride group to both Estevan Minor Football and to the Parents Association of the ECS Elecs. Each organization received a donation of $3,000. The Estevan Lives Rider Pride group was able to raise the money thanks to Cabaret held in June here in Estevan. Since launching in 2010 they've been able to donate $45,000 to Estevan Football. With the Grey Cup Game in Regina in 2013, the Estevan Lives Rider Pride group says they are planning to hold a fundraiser of some sorts next year.

Estevan Minor Football and Woodlawn Regional Park also made a big announcement. Both organizations announced that construction would begin later this fall on the Woodlawn Football Field and the plan is to have the Minor Football games back at Woodlawn Field next season. The football field was wiped out last spring because of the massive flooding in southeast Saskatchewan.

Don Narcisse speaking at the opening ceremonies to the players

Scott Schultz speaking to the players

The Saskatchewan Roughriders were represented at the event by former players Don Narcisse and Scott Schultz. Both players were on hand at the football field throughout the day signing autographs for the fans, speaking at the opening ceremonies and provided motivational speeches to all of the Estevan football teams. (The pictures at the top of the page were both Schultz and Narcisse delivering their speeches to the ECS Elecs team). I had a chance to speak with both Narcisse and Schultz and talked about Football Day in Estevan and of course their thoughts on the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

Of course there was football action with the four games.

The Sherritt Coal Atom Miners kicked off the afternoon with spirited effort but couldn't stop the Regina Cardinals 42-6.

The Century 21 Peewee Chargers picked up the first win of the season for Estevan Minor Football as they defeated the Grenfell Argos 12-0. The Chargers scored on the opening drive and were able to had to their lead in the second quarter which provided all the offence they needed. Turnovers were also a big story as the Chargers were able to recover several turnovers on both defence and special teams. 

The Lions Club of Estevan Bantam Steelers gained the lead for the first time of the season but weren't able to capitalize and were defeated by the Balgonie Jr. Griffins 30-22. The Steelers had a great start but a couple of  big plays in the second quarter and in the second half came back to haunt the Steelers.

The final game of the day saw the ECS Elecs take on the Weyburn Eagles. For the first time in history that Estevan and Weyburn met on the gridiron. It was a close first half with Weyburn leading 12-8. In the second half fatigue began to set in and the Eagles would eventually pull away by scoring 24 unanswered points to win 36-8. A couple of the standouts for the Elecs included Jeremy Godfrey who made several tackles, and had a fumble recovery. Cole MacCuish had a strong game as a returner for the Elecs.

Photo courtesy Wanda Harron

After the game I spoke to Elecs Head Coach Mark Schott.

The Elecs will be the next team in action on Thursday as they travel to Moose Jaw and face the Peacock Tornadoes.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Bruins Begin Training Camp Today. Audio with Keith Cassidy, Cole Olson and Taylor Reich

After a long offseason the Estevan Bruins are ready to kick off the 2012-13 season tonight with the opening of training camp. The Bruins have a pair of on ice sessions tonight followed by four on ice sessions tomorrow and then they will wrap up the weekend with the Black and Gold scrimmage set for 3:00 on Sunday as both teams compete for the Gerry Aspen Cup.

I had the chance to speak with some members of the Bruins team last night as they went for a brief skate last night. Below is audio from Bruins Head Coach Keith Cassidy, Cole Olson and Taylor Reich.

Keith Cassidy

Cole Olson

Taylor Reich

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Froese Looking to Build Off Solid Rookie Year

The Estevan Bruins will begin the brand new season tomorrow with the opening of training camp. Sessions will run through the weekend and camp will wrap up with the Black and Gold on Sunday at 3:00

One of the Bruins who expected to a bigger role this season is Tanner Froese. Froese is entering his second season with the Bruins and he's looking to build off a solid rookie campaign that saw him score 15 goals.

I had the chance to speak with Froese yesterday about the upcoming season.

Q and A with Ex-Bruins HK Fighter Lee Ruff

Next Friday Hard Knocks Fighting returns to Estevan for Hard Knocks 28. There will be about 8 local fighters on the card.

One fighter who has a connection with Estevan is Lee Ruff. Ruff played for three seasons in Estevan and will be making his MMA debut next Friday in Estevan.

I had a chance to speak with Ruff about his upcoming fight.