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Tuesday, February 20, 2018

COORS LIGHT RECAP: PADDOCK BACKSTOPS PATS TO WIN IN PA

RaiderHockey.com
Prince Albert, SK – For the second straight outing, the Prince Albert Raiders (23-25-9-2) ran into a hot goalie.

On Monday afternoon at the Art Hauser Centre, it was Max Paddock of the Regina Pats (32-24-5-1) who made 37 saves to backstop his side to a 3-1 victory over the Raiders.

The Pats opened the scoring 7:23 into the contest. Nick Henry’s wrist shot went off of a Raider defender’s stick and past Ian Scott to make it a 1-0 game.

Midway through the game, the Raiders had a great opportunity to get on the board with a five-on-three advantage. Liam Schioler received a five-minute major and a game misconduct for checking Kody McDonald from behind shortly after Jake Leschyshyn was called for cross checking. However, without McDonald or Vojtech Budik, who was a late scratch in the contest, the Raiders were unable to find the equalizer. McDonald eventually returned in the second period.

Late in the period, the Pats extended their lead. Jared Legien pounced on a rebound at the side of the net and slid it through Scott to give the visitors a 2-0 advantage after 20 minutes.

In the second, the Raiders kept pressing Paddock and the Pats and eventually broke through. Brett Leason wired a wrister past the Regina netminder to cut the lead in half with 6:06 to play in the period.

The Raiders came out firing in the third period to tie the game, but Paddock kept is team in the game. Midway through the period, Leason dangled around a Pats defenceman and fired a shot on goal that beat Paddock, but not the post.

In the dying moments with the Raiders’ net empty, McDonald threw a cross-ice pass to Parker Kelly who was robbed by Paddock. Shortly after the save, Matt Bradley’s clearing attempt found the back of the Raiders’ net to wrap up the scoring at 3-1.

Scott stopped 21 shots in a losing effort for the Raiders.

The Pats (32-24-6) are back in action on Friday night in Saskatoon against the Blades. Puck drops at 7 p.m. on 620 CKRM.  Next home game is Wednesday, March 14 against Prince Albert at 7 p.m. at the Brandt Centre. Tickets are available at reginapats.com, the Brandt Centre Box office and at any Regina Safeway where FunZone tickets are just $13 plus tax.

(With files from RaiderHockey.com and ReginaPats.com)

ESKIMOS RE-SIGN GRYMES

(Edmonton) - The Edmonton Eskimos have re-signed international defensive back Aaron Grymes through the 2018 season.

Grymes re-joined the Eskimos midway through the 2017 season following a two-year stint in the NFL with the Philadelphia Eagles and appeared in six games where he recorded 31 tackles and one forced fumble. In two playoff games, Grymes recorded eight tackles.

In four CFL seasons, all with Edmonton, Grymes has appeared in 49 games where he has recorded 123 tackles, eight interceptions, one quarterback sack, one forced fumble, and one touchdown.

In 2015, Grymes was named a West Division and CFL All-Star.

RIDERS EXTEND CHARLESTON HUGHES

The Saskatchewan Roughriders have signed international defensive lineman Charleston Hughes to a contract extension keeping him with the team through 2019.             

The Riders acquired Hughes February 2nd in a trade with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, shortly after the Ti-Cats had picked up Hughes from the Calgary Stampeders.   

Hughes (6’1 – 246) is a veteran of 10 CFL seasons after originally joining the Stampeders in June, 2008.

Over the last 10 seasons, Hughes has registered 412 defensive tackles, 99 quarterback sacks, 38 special-teams tackles and 23 forced fumbles. He’s also appeared in 11 career playoff games and four Grey Cup games.

In 2017, the 34-year-old Hughes registered 41 defensive tackles, 11 quarterback sacks, two tackles for loss and one forced fumble. 

Hughes was named a CFL All-Star in 2012, 2013, 2016 and 2017 while being named a West Division All-Star in 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2015-17.   

He won Grey Cup championships while with the Stampeders in 2008 and 2014.

Monday, February 19, 2018

OUT OF THE TUNNEL: FREE AGENCY WINNERS AND LOSERS


By: RodPedersen.com Staff

Let’s run Out of the Tunnel and take a look at a busy week in the CFL. The free agency period began in earnest on Tuesday with a mass of signings, and by the weekend, it slowed to a trickle.

Right now, CFL teams are re-setting and forecasting their 2018 salary cap to see what more they can do before they begin bringing in non-CFL Americans from various free agent camps and the CFL draft in May.

There are still some needs for each team. Time and money will tell whether they will fill holes with an existing CFL free agent or rely on their scouting staff to complete their roster.

There were some great stories from all nine teams.

Saskatchewan Roughriders

Top Signee(s): Canadians everywhere

Still Need: Interior defence (LB/DT)

Under the Radar: Signing Johnny Augustine and Adam Laurensse. Two all-conference Canadians that will have a shot at seeing the main roster in 2018.

After two years of making big splash American free agent signings, head coach, G.M. and V.P. of Football Operations Chris Jones may have had his smartest first week of free agency. He had to make up for over five years of poor drafting (not all on Jones & Co.) by picking up Zach Evans, Jake Harty, Sam Hurl and Jerome Messam.

Some tough decisions had to be made to make room for pricy Canadians with the release of last year’s gem of the free agency crop, Derek Dennis and their leading tackler from 2017 Henoc Muamba.

www.famoso.ca
Edmonton Eskimos

Top Signee: Re-signing Canadian LB, Adam Konar

Still Need: Defensive back

Under the radar: Eskimos football operations taking a chance on enigmatic receiver/kick returner Speedy Noil.

The Eskimos' biggest need was re-signing many of their own players and other than Euclid Cummings, Cory Watson and Joel Figueroa all signing with B.C., they did so. Edmonton didn’t really take a deep dive into free agency (other than Alex Bazzie and Juron Criner) choosing instead to ink a pile of non-CFL free agents.

Calgary Stampeders

Top Signee: Bringing Derek Dennis back

Still Need: WR and RB

Under the radar: The retirement of all-star Canadian offensive tackle Dan Federkeil.

Calgary was mostly quiet this week with the exception of the splash later in the week by bringing back offensive lineman Derek Dennis. He had an interesting 2017 in Saskatchewan. With the lack of Canadian depth on the offensive line, (the 2016 CFL Lineman of the Year was a left tackle with the Stampeders) Dennis had to play guard. He was then released earlier this week by the Riders to free up salary and was immediately brought back to the fold in Calgary. With Dan Federkeil retiring, Dennis will bring a veteran presence to the offensive line.

It looks like Calgary will pound the pavement and rely on their scouting staff to fill out the roster at running back and receiver.

Winnipeg Blue Bombers

Top Signee: Defensive end Craig Roh

Still Need: A Canadian on defence

Under the Radar: Signing Canadian running back Kienan LaFrance as a backup to all-star Andrew Harris.

The Blue Bombers are stacking up their lineup with veteran CFLers across the board, but much of their work was done before free agency began. This looks like an organization that is happy with their current lineup. There is still a question of Canadian depth. With the loss of Canadian defenders Jamaal Westerman and Sam Hurl, that is two Canadian starters on defence out of the fold. There will be a need to find a way to fill one of the two spots, or re-jig their seven Canadian starters.

B.C. Lions

Top Signee: Offensive lineman Joel Figueroa

Still Need: Linebacker

Under the radar: Re-signing quarterback Travis Lulay.

After missing the playoffs in 2017, Wally Buono and Ed Hervey have been busy overhauling the roster and coaching staff over the last couple of months. The overhaul continued during the first week of free agency, as the Lions were the busiest team bringing in ten more players. It looks like they are not quite done on the free agency front.

Montreal Alouettes

Top Signee: Canadian defensive end, Jamaal Westerman

Still Need: Help everywhere on offence

Under the radar – Revamped their secondary.

They could have been the most interesting story in the CFL. With a glut of vets under contract over 30-years-old, many expected the release of more than just Kyries Hebert. This team needs help, a lot of help. The offence needs it the most: there are six quarterbacks on the roster with Drew Willy as the lone veteran, the receivers are in need of Canadian help, and running backs Stefan Logan and Tyrell Sutton are over 30-years-old. This will be a long rebuilding process.

Ottawa Redblacks

Top signee: Linebacker Rico Murray

Still Need: Defensive line

Under the Radar – Signing Julian Feoli-Gudino prior to losing Jake Harty to the Riders.

The Redblacks had one of the biggest potential free agent lists in the CFL. Marcel Desjardins did an incredible job re-signing many of their top pending FA’s and also dipped into the pool by inking a pair of veteran defenders Rico Murray and Kyries Hebert. This was a very young team that needed some veteran presence to get them back into the Grey Cup race in 2018.

Toronto Argonauts

Top Signee – Swayze Waters

Still Need: Linebacker

Under the radar: Signing receiver Jordan Westerkamp. He was an outstanding pass catcher at Nebraska and will be a great fit at slot under Marc Trestman.

The Argos did a lot of their work prior to the free agency period by picking up James Franklin and re-signing several key players. It looks like Jim Popp will fill out the roster with the draft, free agent camps and NFL cuts.

Hamilton Tiger-Cats

Top signee: Re-signing defensive tackle Ted Laurent

Still Need: America offensive lineman

Under the Radar: Signing a former Canadian Olympic sprinter Akeem Haynes, following a long line of track stars-turned football players.

Kent Austin and company had the smallest class of potential free agents, and he re-signed the bulk of them. Getting Ted Laurent, Luke Tasker and Larry Dean back into the fold this week was huge.

The moves will continue, but when you look at the CFL transaction page (when it’s back up and running), many of the moves will be  signing recent NFL cuts and players from free agent camps. There are still a few solid free agents available, but that news will be few and far between.

Keep an eye on the wire, and see you next week!

(RodPedersen.com Staff)

VAN GYLSWYK AMONG THREE SIGNED BY ALOUETTES

The Montreal Alouettes announced on Monday that the club has signed international linebacker Kyle Knox, national kicker Quinn van Gylswyk as well as national running back Shaquille Murray-Lawrence.

Knox (6'1'', 220 lbs.) spent the last two seasons with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, helping the team host a home playoff game last fall for the first time since 2011. The 29-year-old made 33 defensive tackles in 17 games last season, including eight games as a starter. The Los Angeles, CA native also added eight special teams tackles to his totals, as well as two quarterback sacks, four tackles for losses and registered two knock downs. Prior to joining Winnipeg, the former Fresno State Bulldog played 16 games in the NFL with the Jacksonville Jaguars and New Orleans Saints. He also spent time with the Seattle Seahawks and Dallas Cowboys. He completed his collegiate career with 215 tackles, 4.5 sacks, 26 tackles for losses and a forced fumble in 46 games.

van Gylswyk (6'2'', 192 lbs.) was drafted in the third round (26th overall) by the Saskatchewan Roughriders in the 2016 CFL Canadian draft following his collegiate career with the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds. The 26-year-old gained professional experience these past two seasons with the Roughriders, playing one game in 2016 where he made a 54-yard field goal while also assuming kickoff duties. The Victoria, BC native completed his university career on a high note as he helped the UBC Thunderbirds win the Vanier Cup, as he made four field goals, including the winning one on the last play of a 26-23 win over the Université de Montréal Carabins at Stade Telus-Université Laval in Quebec City.

Murray-Lawrence (5'8'', 202 lbs.) spent the last three seasons with the BC Lions, where he carried the ball 47 times for 148 yards and three touchdowns in 39 games, while making 13 catches for 73 yards. The 26-year-old also returned 60 kickoffs for 1,288 yards. Last season, the Scarborough, ON native ran the ball 10 times for gains of 68 yards and one touchdown. He also hauled in two passes for 24 yards in five games. Following his last two collegiate seasons with the UNLV Rebels, where he rushed for 970 yards in 21 games, he was selected in the third round (23rd overall) of the CFL Canadian Draft in 2015.

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Sunday, February 18, 2018

COORS LIGHT RECAP: PATS DOWN WARRIORS 4-2 ON SUNDAY

Keith Hershmiller Photography
Regina – The Regina Pats got a goal and two assists from Cale Fleury to get by the Moose Jaw Warriors 4-2 on Sunday afternoon at the Brandt Centre.

The Warriors picked up the lone goal of the first while on the powerplay, but Regina came back with
two in the second to lead 2-1.

First, Emil Oksanen batted in a rebound for his 15th and then Sam Steel tucked home a goal of the year candidate for his 23rd. Moose Jaw got it back to even however with 16 seconds left in the second and it was 2-2 heading to the final period.

In the third, Cale Fleury got a seeing-eye shot to go past Brody Willms from the right point for his 11th and the Pats led 3-2. Two minutes later, Matt Bradley finished off a pretty passing play with Emil Oksanen and Josh Mahura for his 34th to make it 4-2 and that was the final score.

Fleury led the offence with a goal and two assists, Emil Oksanen scored once and added a helper and Max Paddock made 21 saves.

Regina outshot Moose Jaw 26-23, the powerplay was oh for four and the penalty kill went three for four.

Quick Hits
- The Pats picked up four of six possible points against Moose Jaw in three games this week.
- Cale Fleury put up three points in a game for the first time in his Pats career.
- Josh Mahura had three goals and three assists in three games against Moose Jaw this week.

What’s Next?
The Pats (34-21-6) will hit the road Monday to take on the Prince Albert Raiders. Puck drops at 4 p.m. on 620 CKRM. Next home game is Wednesday, March 14 against Prince Albert at 7 p.m. at the Brandt Centre. Tickets are available at reginapats.com, the Brandt Centre Box office and at any Regina Safeway where FunZone tickets are just $13 plus tax.

(Phil Andrews/ReginaPats.com)

RIDERS SIGN JAKE HARTY

The Saskatchewan Roughriders have signed national free-agent receiver Jake Harty to a two-year contract.             

Harty (6’2 – 210) joins the Riders after spending his first three CFL seasons with the Ottawa Redblacks where he was originally selected in the 2nd round (10th overall) of the 2015 CFL Draft.

The 27-year-old Calgary product played 34 career regular-season games for the Redblacks, collecting 36 receptions for 307 yards and one touchdown while adding 12 special-teams tackles. He also played three playoff games and two Grey Cup games. 

Harty won his first career Grey Cup in 2016.

RUSH FALL 16-11 IN ROCHESTER

Rochester NY - The Saskatchewan Rush saw a handful of winning streaks come to an end as they fell 16-11 to the Rochester Knighthawks on Saturday night.

With the defeat, the Rush (8-2) saw their four-game winning streak closed out, and the loss also marked the Rush’s first road of the season as well as their first loss to the Knighthawks in 10 regular-season meetings. Rochester’s last regular-season victory over Saskatchewan came in the 2011 campaign.
The Rush opened up strong with a 3-0 lead before the Knighthawks (4-6) got themselves rolling.

Saskatchewan did still lead 4-3 after the first quarter on a breakaway effort by Ryan Dilks as he raced past two Rochester defenders and beat K-Hawks goalie Matt Vinc over the shoulder.

Mark Matthews put the Rush in front 5-3 early in the second, but the Knighthawks took over the game with a five-goal run including two goals from Cody Jamieson and shot on the run from Brad Gillies that soared past Saskatchewan goalie Evan Kirk. The Gillies’ goal ended the night for Kirk who gave up eight goals on just 19 shots.

Saskatchewan did get some life from the change in net as Jeremy Thompson zipped home a shot on a breakaway and Matthews connected for a first-half hat trick as he rifled a shot past Vinc to leave Rochester ahead 9-7 at halftime. The deficit marked the first time this season the Rush trailed at halftime.

The two teams went back and forth with scoring in the third quarter. A wraparound opportunity for Austin Shanks – a tally that survived a coach’s challenge review – put the K-Hawks up 10-7 but the Rush came right back on a marker from Ben McIntosh as he went hard to the net and put his shot away. The Rush cut the Rochester lead to 10-9 as McIntosh whipped in a quick-stick strike after a setup by Matthews and Jeff Shattler. However, the Knighthawks answered on a late quarter power play of their own when Cody Jamieson beat Rush backup goalie Tyler Carlson.

The Rush drew to within one twice in the fourth as Ryan Keenan, with a rebound off the endboards, and McIntosh, with his hat-trick tally from in tight, both scored on the power play, but the Knighthawks clung to their lead. Cory Vitarelli’s diving goal put the K-Hawks up 13-11 and essentially wrapped up the result for the home squad. Rochester padded the lead with a pair of empty-net goals in the late going.

Mike Messenger also scored for the Rush, while Carlson finished with 19 saves.

The Rush begin a two-game homestand next Saturday as they host another edition of the NLL’s Battle of the Prairies when the Calgary Roughnecks visit Co-op Field at SaskTel Centre in Saskatoon.

(Brandon Urban)