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Saturday, December 16, 2017

COORS LIGHT RECAP: BLADES 4 PATS 3 (OT)

Keith Hershmiller Photography
Regina – The Regina Pats earned a single point in a 4-3 overtime loss to the Saskatoon Blades on Friday night at the Brandt Centre.

The Pats opened the scoring when Wyatt Sloboshan beat Nolan Maier five hole for his fourth of the season and it was 1-0 after one.

Bryce Platt extended the lead to 2-0, also with his fourth, but Saskatoon responded on a five on three powerplay and it was 2-1 Regina after 40 minutes.

In the third, Saskatoon scored 29 seconds in and then again at 12:51 to take the lead at 3-2.

The Pats battled back with a powerplay goal from Jake Leschyshyn, his ninth, and it was 3-3, forcing overtime.

In the extra period, Evan Fiala put home his own rebound and the Blades took the extra point in a 4-3 final.

The Pats outshot Saskatoon 33-26, the powerplay was one for five, the penalty kill five for six and Tyler Brown made 22 saves in the defeat.

Quick Hits
- Sam Steel made Team Canada for the 2018 World Juniors on Friday, Josh Mahura was among the final cuts.
- The Pats are now 1-1-1-0 against Saskatoon this year.
- The attendance was 6201.

What’s Next?
The Pats (16-15-3) are right back at it Saturday night at home to the Lethbridge Hurricanes. Puck drops at 7 p.m. at the Brandt Centre. Tickets are available at reginapats.com, the Brandt Centre Box office and at all Regina Safeway locations, Safeway Funzone tickets are just $13 plus tax.

(Phil Andrews/ReginaPats.com)

Friday, December 15, 2017

STEEL MAKES TEAM CANADA, MAHURA SENT BACK TO REGINA

ST. CATHARINES, Ont. - Hockey Canada made its final five cuts to its world junior roster on Friday, reducing its roster from 27 to a tournament-ready 22.

Forwards Tanner Kaspick and Nick Suzuki were released, as were defencemen Josh Mahura and Mario Ferraro as well as goalie Michael DiPietro.

The cuts came less than two hours after Canada wrapped up its selection camp with a 5-2 win over Denmark at Meridian Centre.

Canada has pre-tournament exhibition games against Czech Republic on Wednesday in London, Ont., and Switzerland on Dec. 22 in Hamilton.

The Canadians' final roster must be submitted to the International Ice Hockey Federation by Dec. 25. Their first game is in Buffalo, N.Y., on Dec. 26.

(The Canadian Press)

SJHL POWER RANKINGS EDITION VI

By: Mike Stackhouse

1-NIPAWIN HAWKS 23-5-2-2 (1)
Unbeaten in thirteen, including a win over the North Stars this week.  Josh McDougall is an offensive marvel on defense with 42-points in 30-games.

2-BATTLEFORDS NORTH STARS 22-5-2-0 (2)
Extra time loss against Nipawin this week, otherwise on a four game unbeaten run of their own.

3-MELFORT MUSTANGS 20-6-4-1 (3)
Two of their six regulation losses have come at the hands of Yorkton.  Hard to figure out.

4-HUMBOLDT BRONCOS 19-9-3-2 (7)
Another hot streak with no regulation losses in their last eight, but they remain a combined 1-5-2-and-2 against the three teams ahead of them in these rankings.

5-NOTRE DAME HOUNDS 19-9-1-3 (4)
They are 4-and-2 against the Stars and Hawks this season.  A team to keep an eye on as we hit the second half.

6-WEYBURN RED WINGS 19-11-3-0 (8)
A nice bit of regrouping as of late, they’ve feasted on the bottom four teams, going 10-1-and-3 overall against Bombers, Mils, Terriers, Ice Wolves.

7-ESTEVAN BRUINS 19-11-2-1 (5)
Bruins will be happy to be done playing lowly Yorkton.  Last weekend, they obliterated them and then lost to them one night later and are 3-3-and-1 overall against the Terriers.

8-KINDERSLEY KLIPPERS 13-12-2-2 (6)
Losers of five straight, they are entrenched in fourth place in the Global Ag Risk Solutions Division.

9-MELVILLE MILLIONAIRES 11-20-0-2 (10)
Brandon Wells returns for a third stint with the Mils and could be a top three SJHL goalie in the second half.

10-FLIN FLON BOMBERS 9-15-1-3 (9)
In past years when Mike Reagan went to help at the World Junior ‘A’ Challenge, the Bombers got hot under Gary Childerhose.  Not this year.  However, Reagan’s Canada West is into the Gold Medal game at Truro.

11-YORKTON TERRIERS 7-22-2-0 (12)
Figure this:  Terriers are 6-4-and-2 against Weyburn, Melfort, and Estevan.  They’ve lost 18 of 19 games against everyone else.

12-LA RONGE ICE WOLVES 6-22-0-2 (11)
They’ve been good against their fellow struggling teams Yorkton and Melville (3-0-0-and-1), but have lost nine of ten overall.

KACY RODGERS WORKS OUT FOR PATRIOTS

By: Bernd Buchmasser
PatsPulpit.com

The New England Patriots personnel department has been rather busy this week, making multiple roster moves over the last few days. According to ESPN Boston's Mike Reiss, New England held three free agency workouts this week involving three CFL'ers.

Let's take a look at the trio:

DB Kacy Rodgers II
In 2014, after a four-year college career at Miami, Kacy Rodgers II was signed as an undrafted rookie by the Kansas City Chiefs. The 6'2, 210 lbs linebacker failed to make an impact in Kansas City, however, and in June 2015 joined the CFL as a member of the Edmonton Eskimos. A year later, the linebacker-safety hybrid moved to the Saskatchewan Roughriders, for whom he played 25 games over two seasons, notching 74 tackles, a sack and one interception returned for a touchdown.

CB Chandler Fenner
After a college career at Holy Cross, Chandler Fenner joined the NFL as an undrafted free agent in 2012. The 6'1, 190 lbs defensive back was signed by the Kansas City Chiefs before joining the Seattle Seahawks a few months later. In 2014, Fenner was brought aboard by the New York Giants, with whom he saw his first game-action. The 27-year old appeared in 11 games for New York, almost exclusively as a special teamer. After his release, Fenner joined the CFL's B.C. Lions in February 2016 and appeared in 26 games, registering 105 tackles as well as a sack and an interception apiece.

CB Jonathon Mincy
Jonathon Mincy entered the NFL as an undrafted rookie in 2015 out of Auburn. The 5'10, 195 lbs cornerback signed his first pro contract with the Atlanta Falcons but was let go after training camp. Mincy went north of the boarder after his release and signed a contract with the CFL's Montreal Alouettes. Over the next two seasons, Mincy went on to appear in 32 games, registering 108 tackles, 13 pass breakups and three interceptions as a starting perimeter cornerback. He was released two weeks ago to pursue his NFL career.

Neither of the three players the Patriots brough in for workouts will sign with the team this year due to CFL regulations. However, it would not be a surprise to see New England bring one of the players on board as depth options in 2018 – something it also did in 2013, when defensive linemen Armond Armstead and Jason Vega were signed.

https://www.patspulpit.com/2017/12/15/16778652/new-england-patriots-bring-in-three-defenders-for-free-agency-workouts-fenner-mincy-rodgers

TEAM CANADA CUTS SIX

ST. CATHARINES, Ont. - Hockey Canada cut six players from its world junior championship selection camp roster on Thursday, reducing the team from 33 players to 27.

Defencemen Dennis Cholowski and Logan Stanley were sent back to their junior teams as were forwards Cody Glass, Kole Lind, Jonathan Ang and goalie Samuel Harvey.

Canada plays Denmark on Friday in an exhibition and will announce its final round of cuts later in the weekend.

Hockey Canada has to cut its roster down to 22 players ahead of the world junior championship that begins on Dec. 26 in Buffalo, N.Y.

The final roster will have 13 forwards, seven defencemen and two goalies.

Seven players are returning from last year's silver-medal winning team.

Goaltender Carter Hart (Everett), defencemen Jake Bean (Calgary), Kale Clague (Brandon) and Dante Fabbro (Boston University) and forwards Dillon Dube (Kelowna), Michael McLeod (Mississauga) and Taylor Raddysh (Erie) are all back and virtual locks to make the team.
Defenceman Victor Mete, who was loaned to Hockey Canada for the world juniors by the Montreal Canadiens on Monday, is also expected to be on the final roster.

(Canadian Press)

SCRUFFY'S THIS N' THAT

Welcome to Friday!  Here are the usual weekly thoughts running through my muddled mind, and as always they come in no particular order:

- There are things that you really don't expect and news of the CFL schedule being released so early made me wonder if, instead of getting Christmas gifts for Mrs. Scruffy, did I have to get a Valentines Day gift for her? Was it actually mid-February? 

Who saw that one coming? 

The release of the CFL schedule days before Christmas keeps the league in the minds of CFL fans.  The days of hanging the "Gone Fishing" sign on the door of the league office is over and you can thank Commissioner Randy Ambrosie for that.  I had a great chat with Ambrosie on Thursday's Sportscage as we talked about the release and other issues.

- Ambrosie wants the CFL to have a bigger piece of the pie and he is willing to engage with the fans that are the lifeblood of the league when it comes to key issues.  He wants to take the 'moving up the schedule' issue with fans from one side of the country to the other, he wants to talk about the playoff format with fans from all over. He wants what he thinks will be spirited debate on the issue. Why not?

- How can you not like the Rider schedule? No, it isn't perfect and a bye in the last week of the season could be very dramatic considering where the Riders could be sitting at that time. Some have quickly noticed that if they were to be first in the West that they would have a long break. If the Riders finished first in the West, I don't think anyone would care one bit about the break they would have because it would mean they would have finished first!

- People are complaining already about the Thursday game in July. Shocking! Look at the schedule and either work around it and take a long weekend or don't go. It's as simple as that! You have been given plenty of notice.  The decision is now up to you! It's not a Riders thing, its a you thing and the same thing goes for the Thanksgiving Monday game against Edmonton. I personally think that will be outstanding. Is it safe to say we know what the halftime spread in the pressbox will be that day. Yeah, it will probably be smokies!

- The news Wednesday of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment buying the Toronto Argonauts fits into that category of things you don't expect as well.  It is great news for the Argos and the CFL though.  How can it not be?  This will have to move the needle somewhat.   Those going to Leafs and Raptors game will get a dose of the Argonauts with in-game advertisements.  There is also perhaps a way to work together with those two teams when it comes to ticket sales.

- The same can be said with Toronto FC.  BMO Field is now a "stadium of champions". How do you and can you capitalize on that? What is done now will be key for a franchise that is trying to claw its way back to relevance, but it is still a long way from doing so.

- There are things you do expect, and I did expect the Saskatchewan Roughriders to sign Chris Jones to a contract extension.  Say what you will, but the plan is on track.  Yes, it would have been through the East, but Jones had this team just seconds from competing in the Grey Cup. Would they have beaten Calgary on that snowy track in Ottawa? It's a question we will never know the true answer to, but one would have had to like their chances.

The team is on an upswing. It would be unrealistic to see the team take another 5 win progression in 2018 and go to 15 wins, but don't tell that to Jones. He has said it many times before Monday and he said it again during his news conference. My goal every year is to win the Grey Cup and if we don't, the season is a failure.  That is a logic shared by many.   His expectations are high, but Craig Reynolds has said getting a home playoff game is satisfactory to him for 2018.  That home playoff game means you finish first or second and your path to the Grey Cup is easier. I don't disagree.

- Week 15 NFL Lock of the Week -- Falcons over Bucs
   Week 15 NFL Upset of the Week -- Raiders over Cowboys

- Congratulations to Balcarres for being named the Hockey Day in Saskatchewan host venue. It will be a fun time in the home of the Broncs on the January 19-20-21 weekend as the town becomes the center of activity with the game we all love. Once again, there will be many different leagues showcasing their teams and the game during that weekend.  I fully understand why it doesn't happen, but I would love to see a WHL game played at this event as well.

- As you walk through Safeway and you see Pic-A-Pop, tell me you don't think back to your childhood if you are in my age bracket. Unlike me, you probably leave it on the shelf.

- The Regina Pats are not making it easy on themselves.  The comparisons being made to the Saskatoon Blades of 2013 that hosted the Memorial Cup are accurate.  The question being asked now is will John Paddock give up too much or will he completely dismantle the team the way Brent Parker did back in 2001 so that they are competitive come May. It won't be much longer now as the trade deadline is January 10th.  A frustrated fan-base awaits.

- Something about subtraction doesn't add up.

Have a great weekend.  If going out into the chaos that is Christmas shopping, godspeed to you. Chances are I could see you.  SIGHHHHH!!!

JARIOUS JACKSON LEAVING RIDERS FOR B.C. LIONS


(Vancouver) The BC Lions Football Club today announced that Jarious Jackson has been named offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.

Jackson, the former Lions quarterback who spent seven seasons with the club as a player and the 2013 campaign as the team’s quarterbacks coach, was most recently the passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach for the Saskatchewan Roughriders in 2016 and 2017.

“Ed and I are very pleased to welcome Jarious back to the Lions,” said head coach Wally Buono. “My thoughts on Jarious’ ability as a coach are well-documented and he has gained some valuable experience over the past number of years. He’s enjoyed a significant amount of success since being here in 2013 and we’re fortunate to have him returning to our organization.”

Prior to his two-year stint in Saskatchewan, Jarious spent a pair of seasons with the Edmonton Eskimos as quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator where he helped tutor the Green and Gold’s stable of pivots and enjoyed a Grey Cup win in 2015.     

“I’m excited to return to where my career in the CFL began in 2005,” said Jackson. “I believe the team that Ed and Wally are putting together is going to be very competitive and I’m excited to be part of the organization once again.”

The Lions also announced that Ryan Rigmaiden has resigned his position as director of U.S. scouting.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

CFL RELEASES 2018 SCHEDULE

TORONTO - The Canadian Football League season will be spread over an additional week next year in an effort to promote player safety.

The league announced its schedule on Thursday, two months earlier than last year. The season kicks off a week earlier on June 14, when the Winnipeg Blue Bombers host Edmonton.

The schedule stretches the regular-season over 21 weeks rather than 20 to reduce the number of short turnarounds. No team will have to play three games in 11 days, something that had been part of every schedule dating back to 2005. The number of games to be played on less than a full week's rest has been cut to 44, down from 51 last year and 54 the year before.

The number of games played on five days rest has been cut from 21 last year to 15 this year, a 29 per cent decrease. And every team will get three bye weeks instead of two, reducing the number of consecutive weeks a team must play.

The Toronto Argonauts kick off their Grey Cup title defence on June 154 in Saskatchewan, and then return home to raise their championship banner on June 23 when they host Calgary in a Grey Cup rematch.

Rounding out opening weekend is a double header on June 16 that has Hamilton visiting Calgary and Montreal travelling to Vancouver to battle the B.C. Lions.

CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie said the early release of the schedule is in response to fans.

"For years, our fans have asked to have the schedule released as early as possible, preferably in time to consider buying season tickets as gifts for family and friends,'' Ambrosie said in a statement. "We are pleased today to deliver on that request. Not only is this schedule out two months earlier than last year's, it promises a season that starts a little sooner and will deliver all the excitement Canadians have come to expect from the CFL.''

The schedule will conclude with the 106th Grey Cup in Edmonton on Nov. 25.

Labour Day Weekend features the traditional rivalries _ Montreal visits the Ottawa Redblacks on Friday, Aug. 31; the Bombers visit the Riders on Sunday, Sept. 2; and the holiday Monday on Sept. 3 features a doubleheader, with Edmonton at Calgary in the afternoon followed by Toronto at Hamilton in the evening.


BALCARRES TO HOST CAMECO HOCKEY DAY IN SASKATCHEWAN

Cameco Hockey Day in Saskatchewan heads to Balcarres, home of the Broncs, for a celebration of hockey and community spirit next month. The Balcarres organizing committee hopes to raise $80,000 to pay off recent rink renovations including new lighting. Officially, Hockey Day in Saskatchewan is Jan. 20, but the community of 600 will host events from Jan. 19-21, including:

- Banquet featuring five-time Stanley Cup champion Grant Fuhr (Jan. 19)
- SJHL’s Melville Millionaires vs. Battlefords North Stars (Jan. 20)
- Midget AAA girls Melville Prairie Fire vs. Swift Current Diamond Energy Wildcats (Jan. 20)
- Midget AAA boys Yorkton Rawtec Maulers vs. Regina Pat Canadians (Jan. 20)
- Senior hockey featuring Qu’Appelle Valley Hockey League All-Stars vs. Bethune Bulldogs AAA team that will compete for the 2018 Allan Cup (Jan. 21)
- Prairie Junior Hockey League’s Saskatoon Westleys vs. Fort Knox (Jan. 21)

Tickets, including full weekend passes for all of the above, are available at the Balcarres Town Office, Broncs Kitchen in the rink, Chatterson Lumber, Pattison Ag, and R.W. & Sons Builders.

PATS' MARQUART TO RECEIVE CANADA 150 MEDAL

Regina – The Regina Pats Hockey Club is pleased to announce that co-owner and Governor Anthony Marquart is a recipient of the Senate of Canada 150th Anniversary Medal.

The medals are to honour Canada’s volunteers, community activists and "unsung heroes" which commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Senate of Canada’s first sitting in November of 1867.

Marquart was nominated this summer by Saskatchewan Senator Denise Batters, recognizing his efforts to make the Regina community a better place through generosity, dedication, volunteerism and hard work.

“Regina is the best community in the world and I am honoured to be recognized with this very special medal,” said Marquart. “I am privileged to be friends and work with so many great people in Regina.”

The medals feature the senate’s emblem on one side and the senate chamber, along with the recipient’s name, on the other.

The medals are 7.6 cm in diameter and 0.7 cm thick, the same size as the 1987 Confederation Medal, which was created for the 100th anniversary of Confederation.

The Pats are back in action on Friday night when they host the Saskatoon Blades at the Brandt Centre. Tickets are available at reginapats.com, the Brandt Centre Box Office or stop by any Regina Safeway to get Safeway Fun Zone tickets for just $13.

COORS LIGHT RECAP: BLAZERS 3 PATS 0

Keith Hershmiller Photography
Regina – The Regina Pats fell 3-0 at the Brandt Centre on Wednesday night at the hands of the Kamloops Blazers.

Kamloops opened the scoring just 17 seconds in when Garrett Pilon rifled home his 17th of the year. Five minutes later, Luc Smith scored on the powerplay and it was 2-0 Blazers after the opening period.

In the second, Nolan Kneen put home a rebound for his third of the season and the Pats found themselves down 3-0 heading to the third. Max Paddock would stop all 18 shots he faced in the final frame as part of a 38 save performance, but Regina could not solve Dylan Ferguson who turned aside 42 pucks for the shutout in the Kamloops net.

The Pats outshot the Blazers 42-41, the powerplay was 0/6 and the penalty kill went 5/6.

What’s Next?
The Pats (16-15-2) are back in action on Friday against the Saskatoon Blades. Puck drops at 7 p.m. at the Brandt Centre. Tickets are available at reginapats.com, the Brandt Centre Box office and at all Regina Safeway locations, Safeway Funzone tickets are just $13 plus tax.

(Phil Andrews/ReginaPats.com)

STEEL SITS IN CANADA'S 3-0 EXHIBITION LOSS

ST. CATHARINES - You could do a lot worse than Colton Point and Carter Hart as rent-a-goalies. The pair combined for a 32-save shutout as a U Sport all-star team beat Canada 3-0 on Wednesday in the first of two exhibitions designed to help Hockey Canada evaluate players at its selection camp for the world junior hockey championship.

Because Canada invited four goalies to the selection camp all four played, with Point and Hart suiting up for the collection of players from Canadian universities and Samuel Harvey and Michael DiPietro taking the ice for the juniors.

"It was interesting at first, just introduced myself then said 'oh, I'm playing for you, by the way,''' said Point about walking into the U Sports locker-room. He started in net and stopped all 14 shots he faced in 30 minutes of work. "They were really good about it. I think they knew what to expect.

Luke Philp, a forward for the University of Alberta, had the eventual winner for U Sports. Michael Clarke, from Acadia University, had an empty-net goal with 1:15 left in the third and then Logan McVeigh, of the University of Saskatchewan, added another with 9.5 seconds remaining.

"We played really well tonight on the U Sports all-star squad,'' said Hart with a laugh. He turned aside 18 shots in his half of the shutout. "It was a lot of fun playing with those guys and they had a lot of fun too.

DiPietro started in net for Canada, stopping 11-of-12 shots in the first half of the game. Harvey made 12 saves in relief.

Canada and the U Sports all-stars will meet again on Thursday afternoon before the juniors take on Denmark on Friday in exhibition play. Final cuts to the 33-man roster are expected late Friday to get Canada's team down to 22 ahead of the world championships in Buffalo, N.Y., Dec. 26 to Jan. 5.

Nine players from Canada's junior selection camp roster didn't suit up for the game. Returning players Dillon Dube and Dante Fabbro didn't play. Dube, a forward for the WHL's Kelowna Rockets, has a sore shoulder and sat out Tuesday's second practice. Fabbro, a defenceman for Boston University, missed both of Tuesday's practices with an undisclosed injury.

"It's nothing that could jeopardize their tournament, we're just making sure that they're coming back 100 per cent,'' said Ducharme. "They skated this morning but it's something else to be in games. If we need to take a few days, we'll take a few days. We want them 100 per cent.''

Also missing were OHL leading scorer Jordan Kyrou (Sarnia), 2017 WHL player of the year Sam Steel (Regina), Robert Thomas (London) and Alex Formenton (London). Defencemen Kale Clague (Brandon), Conor Timmins (Sault Ste. Marie) and Victor Mete (Montreal Canadiens) also sat out.

(Canadian Press)