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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

SOME STARTERS TO SIT, TOSTON TO DEBUT

Keith Toston
The Roughriders held Day 1 of their practice week with a closed workout at Mosaic Stadium on Wednesday.

Afterwards head coach Corey Chamblin revealed they'll leave a handful of starters at home for Friday's game at Calgary.

The list includes SB/PR Weston Dressler, OG Chris Best, RB Anthony Allen and QB Darian Durant.

In the case of Durant, Chamblin said his top pivot practiced lightly on Wednesday and threw some short passes however the right elbow injured he suffered on September 7 hasn't come around to the point that he can be activated for Friday's game.

Chamblin also announced rookie RB Keith Toston will make his pro debut Friday night against the Stampeders.

Kickoff on Friday is 7:30 pm on TSN and the 620 CKRM Rider Radio Network.

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CALGARY - Calgary coach John Hufnagel says star running back Jon Cornish is unlikely to play when the Stampeders host the Saskatchewan Roughriders on Friday.

In a post on the Stampeders' official Twitter account, Hufnagel says Cornish will likely miss the game "due to general soreness.''

The Stampeders (13-2) have already clinched first place in the West Division and will want to have a healthy Cornish in the post-season.

Cornish, from New Westminster, B.C., leads the league in rushing with 977 yards despite missing seven games this season to injury.

Cornish missed six contests in July and August with concussion-like symptoms and didn't play against Montreal in September with what the tam called ``nagging injuries.''

(The Canadian Press)

CKRM'S WEEK 18 CFL PICKS 2014

SCHEDULE

Friday:
Montreal at Ottawa
Saskatchewan at Calgary

Saturday:
Hamilton at Toronto
BC at Winnipeg

ANNCR/RECORD/PICKS
LUC (51-19): TBD
CARM (49-21) MTL - CGY - TOR - BC
REMPLE (49-21): MTL - CGY - TOR - BC
SHARKY (47-23): MTL - CGY - HAM - BC
BALLSY (47-23): MTL - CGY - HAM - BC
PHIL (47-23): TBD
ABOU (46-24): MTL - SK - TOR - BC
SCHULTZ (46-24): MTL - SK - HAM - BC
SCRUFFY (45-25): MTL - CGY - TOR - WPG
R.P. (45-25): MTL - SK - HAM - BC
SAM (44-26): TBD
LYNCH (41-29): TBD
COIN (41-29): TBD

* Winner gets a $100 gift card to the Press Box Sports Bar!

CFL THIS WEEK

MONTREAL AT OTTAWA - FRIDAY - 4:30 PM

Jonathan Crompton is 6-1 as the starter for Montreal (7-8) and looks to improve to 3-0 against expansion Ottawa (2-13). Crompton has won despite a 59.8 completion percentage and not having thrown for over 300 yards in any of his starts. The Alouettes' defence surrendered just four field goals in last weekend's 20-12 road win in Toronto. Veteran Henry Burris starts for Ottawa, which has dropped two straight and 11 of its last 12 games, but backup Danny O'Brien will see action.

Pick - Montreal
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SASKATCHEWAN AT CALGARY - FRIDAY - 7:30 PM

Having already clinched first in the West Division, Calgary (13-2) is unlikely to dress running back Jon Cornish due to general soreness. Cornish ran for 160 yards against Winnipeg and leads the CFL with 977 yards despite missing seven games due to injury. Kerry Joseph, 41, will make his second straight start for Saskatchewan (9-7) after completing 17-of-36 passes for 213 yards with two TDs and two interceptions in Sunday's 24-19 loss to Edmonton.

Pick - Calgary
_________________________________

HAMILTON AT TORONTO - SATURDAY - 2 PM

An important game for both as the winner clinches the season series but Toronto (6-9) needs the victory to remain within striking distance of first in the East Division. The Argos outscored Hamilton (7-8) 21-3 in the fourth quarter two weeks ago for a thrilling 34-33 win at Rogers Centre but managed just four field goals against Montreal last weekend. Newcomer Grigsby, who ran for 744 yards with Winnipeg, should boost Hamilton's ground game. Slotback Andy Fantuz (hamstring) isn't likely to play.

Pick - Toronto
_________________________________

BC AT WINNIPEG - SATURDAY - 5 PM

B.C. Lions linebacker Solomon Elimimian could have two big reasons to smile Saturday night.

First, B.C. (8-7) can clinch a playoff berth with a victory over the struggling Winnipeg Blue Bombers (6-10). Elimimian also needs 10 tackles to break the CFL single-season mark of 130 held by J.C. Sherritt of the Edmonton Eskimos.

Fortunately for Winnipeg, starter Drew Willy (hand) returns after missing last weekend's 33-23 loss to the Calgary Stampeders. Backup Brian Brohm was 14-of-23 passing for 194 yards before suffering a broken thumb.

No. 3 Robert Marve will serve as Willy's backup after completing 5-of-10 passes for 64 yards against Calgary. Running back Paris Cotton, who replaced the departed Nic Grigsby as the starter, had 108 yards and two TDs on 14 carries.

Winnipeg remains in playoff contention, but just barely. The Bombers would not only have to win their final two regular-season games - the other is a rematch with Calgary - but also get plenty of help to reach the post-season.

B.C. not only comes off a bye week but a pretty dominant 41-3 home win over Ottawa on Oct. 11. The Lions' defence hasn't allowed a touchdown its last three games, which isn't exactly good news for the struggling Bombers.

The Lions and Saskatchewan Roughriders (9-7) both face two potential playoff scenarios.

Currently, B.C. is fourth in the West Division, two points behind Saskatchewan, which has lost four straight. Either the Lions or Riders will secure the third Western playoff seed but the fourth-place squad would become the East Division's third playoff seed if it ended the regular season with a better record than the Eastern third-place finisher.

A more pressing concern for B.C. is Winnipeg, but the Bombers are just 1-7 against West Division competition this year.

Pick - B.C.

Last week - 3-1

Overall - 46-23

(Canadian Press)

THIS WEEK IN COUGAR ATHLETICS

Rams Football – The Rams (1-5) suffered a heartbreaking loss at UBC on Saturday, taking a one-point lead on the first play of the fourth but surrendering a pair of rouges – including with two minutes remaining – in the final quarter to lose 33-32. The Rams now need to win both of their remaining games to make the postseason and will also require some help on the out-of-town scoreboard. Fortunately for the Rams, both of their final games are at home – beginning with Saturday’s Week 7 matchup against Manitoba at Mosaic Stadium (2 p.m.).

Women’s Volleyball – The Cougars (0-2) started out their conference season on the road last weekend with a three-set loss to Manitoba on Friday and a four-set loss to the Bisons on Saturday afternoon. The Cougars will now prepare for their Canada West home openers this weekend at the Centre for Kinesiology, Health & Sport, as they’ll host Winnipeg (3-1) on Friday (6:00 p.m.) and Saturday (5:00 p.m.).

Men’s Volleyball – After opening up Canada West play with a pair of road losses to Manitoba, the Cougars (0-2) will play their first home conference matches of the season this Friday (7:30 p.m.) and Saturday (6:30 p.m.) against Winnipeg (3-1). The men’s matches will follow the conclusion of the women’s matches both nights.

Women’s Hockey – The Cougars (1-2-2-1) recorded their third consecutive weekend split on Friday and Saturday, losing 5-3 to No. 10 Calgary in the first game of the two-game set before Emma Waldenberger’s successful attempt in the first round of the shootout stood as the only goal of the game in a 1-0 U of R win on Saturday afternoon. The Cougars are back in action this weekend with a pair of road games at No. 5 UBC (3-1-1-1).

Men’s Basketball – The Cougars won two of their three games on their road swing against NAIA opposition last weekend, starting out with a 69-63 win over Dickinson State on Friday. They were then edged 79-71 by Mayville State before finishing the trip with a strong effort in an 82-63 victory over Jamestown on Sunday. The Cougars are back at it this weekend with a trip to Ontario for a non-conference tournament hosted by Brock that will see them play York, Windsor, and the host Badgers.

Cross Country (Men’s CIS Ranking: No. 9) – Now entering the stretch run of the 2014 schedule, the men’s and women’s cross country teams will travel to Calgary this Saturday to run in the Stewart Cup. It’ll be the final race for both Cougar teams before the 2014 CIS Championships, which will be hosted on Nov. 8 by Memorial University in St. John’s, N.L.

Wrestling – The Cougars have their first meet of the 2014-15 season this weekend, as the men’s and the women’s teams will make the trip west to participate in the Dinos Invitational at the University of Calgary. It’s the first of three consecutive weekends of competition for the women’s team, with the Cougars also to compete in the Clan International on Nov. 1 and the Wesmen Invitational on Nov. 8.

Men’s Hockey – The Cougars (0-8-0) lost twice at Calgary last weekend, falling 5-0 on Saturday before having their comeback fall just short in a 3-2 loss on Saturday that saw them come back from a three-goal deficit with third-period goals by Austin Bourhis and Cody Fowlie. The Cougars will have this weekend off to regroup before returning to action on Oct. 31 and Nov. 1 at home against UBC.

Women’s Basketball – The Cougars went 2-1 at a non-conference tournament hosted by McGill over the weekend, defeating both Toronto and Lakehead but losing to the host Martlets. Alyssia Kajati led the Cougars in scoring all three games, piling up 23 on Friday, 14 on Saturday, and 21 on Sunday. The Cougars finish non-conference play with an 8-3 record against CIS competition and will have a weekend off before travelling to Victoria to begin Canada West play on Oct. 31 and Nov. 1.

Women’s Soccer – The Cougars (5-5-2) were eliminated from postseason contention after 3-0 and 3-1 road losses to Saskatchewan on Saturday and Sunday. The matches are the final of the 2014 season for the Cougars, who finish in fifth place in the Prairie Division with 17 points and will graduate fifth-year players Molly Glass, Melanie King, and Jayde McFee.

(Courtesy Braden Konschuh)

THE WEDNESDAY THRILLER ... WITH PHIL ANDREWS

Voice of the Pats Phil Andrews
Some thoughts on the week that was...

1.) The Regina Pats took on the Portland Winterhawks Tuesday night at the Brandt Centre and fell 3-1 despite outshooting the visitors 35-30. Doing my game prep it was almost hard to believe the Hawks had just 2 wins on the season coming into the game. The Pats played a solid game and it was nothing short of excitement for 60 minutes. Brenden Burke and then Bolton Pouliot were fantastic in the Winterhawks goal. Tyler Brown was also impressive in just his second start in the league stopping 27 of 30 shots faced. Dryden Hunt scored the lone goal for the Pats and it was a beauty, a spinning back hand shot into the top corner. Yes it's a loss but this team is fun to watch.  I'll take it.

2.) As for the weekend for the Pats, Friday the team played really well but could not beat Wyatt Hoflin and fell 1-0 in Kootenay. It was as complete a game as the team had played all year but could not get the bounces. Pavel Padakin was the closest to scoring in the first period when he hit the post. Saturday Regina manhandled the Lethbridge Hurricanes in a 6-1 win. Tyler Brown was great in goal making 29 saves while Dryden Hunt and Connor Gay each had three point nights. Morgan Klimchuk made his season debut and scored his first goal of the year. Klimchuk was the lone goal scorer on Sunday in Calgary where the Pats lost 5-1 to the Hitmen. Regina could very well have been up 3 or 4 nothing in the game but missed some wide open nets and then the Hitmen found their game and took over in the second period. Overall it was a 1-2-0 weekend but very well could have gone the other way.

3.) I don't know what's more impressive, the fact that Sam Steel is a plus-8 or that he has 9 points on the season.

4.) Daniel Wapple's numbers don't tell the whole story in my opinion.  His goals against is over 3 and his save percentage under 900 but he has been good. With the chances teams have had against him, most goalies wouldn't have fared much better.

5.) Many of you have seen the story on the 180 million dollar lawsuit against the CHL for violating minimum wage laws. This really grinds my gears. Yes the players don't make minimum wage, no one disputes that, HOWEVER: Take into account housing, food, travel, equipment and education. What is the dollar value of all of that? If a judge rules the CHL needs to pay minimum wage, then teams would automatically fold. Yes there are clubs like the London Knights in the OHL that are making money but think of Swift Current, Prince Albert and Lethbridge... Throw any team that isn't in a major market on that list, they would be done. Maybe it could work if they make players pay to travel, eat and for their equipment and accommodations in terms of the teams bottom line but minimum wage wouldn't allow the players to afford it. This has the potential to kill junior hockey and frankly it's maddening. All this lawyer sees is dollar signs and the player he is using as the name behind the lawsuit is Sam Berg. The kid played 8 games in the OHL, yes 8 games. Absolute stupidity. Let's take it one step further, if the CHL is required to pay minimum wage, then shouldn't Junior A? the SJHL can BARELY stay afloat as it is. Again, if by some unbelievable sequence of events this goes through and teams are forced to pay, say good bye to junior hockey as we know it.

6.) Tough to see the Regina Thunder season come to an end on Saturday in a 20-17 loss to the Calgary Colts. I was unable to attend the game but from the sounds of things when running back Nick Brown went down, the offense struggled. The Colts are riding high and are in Saskatoon for the PFC final against the Hilltops on Sunday.

7.) Didn't see the Rider game on Sunday as we were on the air in Calgary with the Pats. Four straight losses is tough but not that surprising. Unless Darian Durant does come back I don't think the team will win against Calgary or Edmonton to finish the year. Fingers crossed he comes back.

8.) The Riders released Will Ford, Eron Riley and DeNarius McGhee on Tuesday. The moves don't make me scratch my head. Anthony Allen and Jerome Messam are more than capable of handling the running back duties.

9.) The World Series has started, two words: GO ROYALS. Yes the took one on the chin last night, 7-1 to San Francisco but I hope they bounce back. I also hope the time off after the ALCS didn't hurt them.

10.) Back to the Pats road trip, On Sunday in Calgary I got on the elevator to head down for breakfast. The elevator stopped and this guy who looked really familiar jumped on. A random girl who was riding with me immediately went crazy and got a picture with him. I stood there like an idiot trying to figure out where this guy was from. It bothered me all day. Then we get on the bus to leave for the rink in the afternoon and Pavel Padakin is showing off this picture he just got taken with Thoe Rossi (Juice Ortiz), who was in the elevator with me and Kim Coates (Tig Trager) from the show Sons of Anarchy. Just happens to be my favorite show... Can't believe I couldn't figure out who the guy was. Here is that picture, Rossi is on the left, the girl I don't know, Padakin is the third from the left followed by Kim Coates. Coates was born in Saskatoon. Pretty Cool!


Pats TV has been moved to Wednesdays at 7 o'clock on Access 7. Tonight my guests are Sam Steel, Jared McAmmond, Luc Smith, Colton Kroeker and Dave Struch.

That's it from me today, have a good week.

Phil 
@PhilTheThrill18

WINTERHAWKS 3 PATS 1

Photo courtesy Jared Dumba
REGINA -- The Portland Winterhawks earned a 3-1 win Tuesday in Regina despite being outshot 35-30. With the victory, the Hawks improved to 2-1 on the season-high six-game road trip through the East Division.

Portland got off to a flying start with a pair of special teams goals in the first period. Keegan Iverson opened the scoring with a power play goal 6:33 into the game for a 1-0 lead. They padded the lead at the 12:30 mark while shorthanded when Skyler McKenzie pounced on a long rebound and fired it past Regina netminder Tyler Brown for a 2-0 lead Portland took into the second. It was McKenzie's first career WHL goal.

Regina got one back 36 seconds into the second on a goal from Dryden Hunt as they got within one at 2-1, the lone goal of the period.

With under two minutes to play in the third and the game still 2-1, the Regina Pats took a pair of penalties to give Portland a 5-on-3 power play. While on the two-man advantage, Miles Koules found Chase De Leo on the doorstep, and he banged it home for a 3-1 lead which would stand as the final.

De Leo finished with two points with a goal and an assist, while Nic Petan also had two points on a pair of helpers.

Portland was outstanding on special teams Tuesday, going 2-4 on the power play and a perfect 7-7 on the penalty kill with a shorthanded goal.

Regina's next game is Friday at Swift Current while their next home game is Saturday against the Broncos at 7 pm on 620 CKRM.

(Courtesy Graham Kendrick)

WILLY SET TO RETURN, FANTUZ TO MISS WEEK 18

WINNIPEG (CP) - With their season hanging by a thread, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers can at least look forward to the return of their regular starting quarterback on Saturday.

Drew Willy looked good in practice Tuesday after missing last week's game due to injuries.

"More than that, I liked what he said,'' coach Mike O'Shea said after practice. "He said he'll be fine.''

The Blue Bombers (6-10) will try to end a seven-game losing skid on Saturday against the B.C. Lions (8-7). Winnipeg will be eliminated from playoff contention with another defeat as the Lions are four points ahead in the race for the crossover spot in the CFL West.

Even if Winnipeg wins, the Blue Bombers would need a lot of help for a playoff spot to be possible. They would also need to beat the CFL-leading Calgary Stampeders and hope for a combination of B.C. and Toronto losses.

The Lions would need to lose their final two and the Argonauts (6-9) would have to lose two of their final three.

But first, the Bombers have to win, something they haven't managed to do since Aug. 22.

"We know we've got a good B.C. team coming in here,'' Willy said after practice Tuesday. "Their defence has been playing really well lately. They're not giving up touchdowns.''

And the Bombers haven't been scoring them.

"We've got to work extremely hard this week in the red zone to be efficient,'' he said. "We've been struggling in the red zone for sure at this part of the season so we've got to make sure we're executing at all phases.''

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HAMILTON, Ont. (CP) - The Hamilton Tiger-Cats won't have veteran slotback Andy Fantuz for their crucial road game Saturday afternoon against the Toronto Argonauts.

The six-foot-four 221-pound receiver suffered a hamstring injury in Hamilton's 16-6 home win over the Ottawa Redblacks on Friday night.

Hamilton (7-8) is tied atop the East Division standings with Montreal (7-8). They're two points ahead of Toronto (6-9), which dropped a 20-12 home decision Saturday to the Alouettes.

The Ticats and Argos meet in an important match for both teams as the winner clinches the season series 2-1.

Fantuz has a team-high 62 catches for 639 yards and three TDs.

WEDNESDAY EYE-OPENER

James Shield's debut in this year's World Series didn't go as planned. Shield's only went three innings giving up five earned runs on seven hits as the San Francisco Giants beat the Kansas City Royals 7-1 in Game One. Hunter Pence hit a two-run home run in the first inning to lead the Giants offensively.

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The losing streak is over. The Winnipeg Jets snapped a four-game skid by beating the Carolina Hurricanes 3-1. Adam Lowry scored his first goal of the season at 2:37 of the first period, which proved to be the winner. Andrew Ladd and Dustin Byfuglien also chipped in.

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Ondrej Palat scored the winning goal three minutes into overtime as the Tampa Bay Lightning staged a late rally to beat the Calgary Flames 2-1. The Lightning trailed 1-0 before finally solving Flames goaltender Karri Ramo with 2:16 left in the third period.

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Erik Cole scored two goals and Kari Lehtonen made 43 saves as Dallas held off Vancouver 6-3. Earlier, Phil Kessel scored twice to lead Toronto to a 5-2 rout over the New York Islanders. In Montreal, David Desharnais scored 56 seconds into O-T to lift the Canadiens over Detroit 2-1.  Finally in Nashville, Ryan Ellis provided a goal and two assists in regulation before scoring the deciding shootout goal in Nashville's 4-3 victory against Arizona. James Neal scored the tying goal in the third period for the 4-0-2 Predators.

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Anthony Bennett is finding his groove in Minnesota. The Brampton, Ontario native poured in 17 points to lead the Timberwolves in a 107-89 NBA pre-season win over the injury-riddled Indiana Pacers. Fellow Canadian Andrew Wiggins did not play.

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Isaiah Thomas was hot for the Suns. Thomas had a buzzer-beater at the end of the fourth quarter to send the game to O-T and added 26 more in Phoenix's 114-108 win over the L-A Lakers. Kobe Bryant led the Lakers with 23 points. Around the N-B-A, Miami edged Houston 90-85, and the Portland Trail Blazers beat Denver 93-75.

(Canadian Press)

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

WEEK 17 PLAYERS OF THE WEEK

TORONTO (CP) - Calgary running back Jon Cornish was named CFL offensive player of the week and top Canadian after his stellar performance in the Stampeders' 33-23 victory over the Winnipeg Blue Bombers last week.

Cornish, from New Westminster, B.C., had 21 carries for 160 rushing yards and scored on a nine-yard touchdown run late in the fourth quarter to help seal the victory. He also had a 12-yard reception.

Edmonton linebacker Dexter McCoil was named defensive player of the week. He had a career-high seven tackles and added a pass knockdown and an interception to help the Eskimos to a 24-19 win over Saskatchewan.

Eskimos kick returner Kendial Lawrence took the special-teams honour after recording 150 combined return yards and scoring a touchdown.

RIDERS RELEASE THREE

The Saskatchewan Roughriders have announced the following transactions:
 
· RELEASE international running back Will Ford
· RELEASE international quarterback DeNarius McGhee
· RELEASE international receiver Eron Riley

TICATS ADD GRIGSBY

HAMILTON - The Hamilton Tiger-Cats have signed international running back Nic Grigsby, the team announced today.

Grigsby, a 5-11, 195-pound native of Los Angeles, California, started 14 games for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers this year, rushing for 744 yards and eight touchdowns on 162 carries while catching 55 passes for 444 receiving yards and a score. He was released by the Blue Bombers on October 15.

The University of Arizona product has also spent time with the BC Lions, Miami Dolphins, Oakland Raiders and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Monday, October 20, 2014

CHL TO "VIGOROUSLY DEFEND" LAWSUIT

A class action lawsuit launched against the Canadian Hockey League alleges its players are underpaid and seeks millions in financial compensation.

The suit claims players have been paid less than the minimum wage required by law in their regions and asks for $180 million in back wages, overtime and vacation pay, as well as punitive damages.

The CHL is the umbrella organization for the Western Hockey League, Ontario Hockey League and Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. It touts itself as the top development league for the NHL.

There are 60 teams in the CHL stretching from Victoria to Halifax as well as eight teams based in the United States. More than 1,300 players ranging from age 16 to 20 play in the CHL's leagues, which comprise both privately owned and community-owned clubs. Teams such as the Calgary Hitmen and Edmonton Oil Kings are owned by the NHL team in their respective cities.

The lawsuit is the latest labour shot across the major junior hockey's bow. An attempt to unionize major junior players stalled in 2012, but Canada's largest private sector union Unifor expressed interest in July in representing the players in the future.

A statement of claim filed last Friday in Ontario court alleges that if players want to participate in these leagues, they must sign contracts paying them a weekly fee between $35 and $125 per week with no set hourly wage, overtime, vacation or holiday pay.

The lawsuit cites OHL players as examples, saying they devote 35 to 40 hours to a team and receive $50 a week on average.

None of the allegations have been proven in court.

The crux of the lawsuit isn't whether the players are professional or amateur, but whether they are employees of their teams or "independent contractors.''

"The big question is whether the players are employees within the meaning of minimum-age legislation across the country versus an independent contractor,'' said Toronto lawyer Ted Charney, who is representing the players. "If the judge hearing the class action decides they're employees, in my opinion, there is a breach of legislation across the country.''

CHL commissioner David Branch counters the players are neither employees nor independent contractors.

"They're amateur student-athletes,'' Branch said in an interview Monday. "We'll certainly vigorously defend ourselves because this could not only in our view have a negative effect on hockey in Canada, but through all sports in which amateur student-athletes are involved.''

(Canadian Press)

PATCHAT

The Week That Was
A busy stretch for the Pats started on the road as the team went through a three-in-three weekend.  It opened in Cranbrook as Wyatt Hoflin shut the door on the Pats in a 1-0 shutout loss to the Kootenay Ice on Friday.

The following evening saw the Pats’ offence make up for lost time as the Queen City Kids rolled to a 6-1 win against the Lethbridge Hurricanes.  Dryden Hunt, Connor Gay and Patrick D’Amico combined for eight points on the evening.

The weekend came to a close in Calgary on Sunday where the Pats couldn’t capitalize on early opportunities and the Hitmen powered their way to a 5-1 win.

The Week Ahead
Tuesday, October 21st – Pats vs. Portland (7:00 p.m.)
It’s a homecoming for the Pats who despite just a quick jaunt West, haven’t played at the Brandt Centre since October 10th.  It will be Morgan Klimchuk’s first game on home ice since returning from injury.  The Pats face off against the four time defending Western Conference Champion Portland Winterhawks.

Friday, October 24th – Pats at Swift Current (7:00 p.m.)
For the second weekend in a row the Pats play three games in three nights.  It starts in Swift Current as the Pats take on the Broncos for the first time this season.  The teams battled it out last year for the East Division crown. Listen to the action with Home Depot Pats Hockey on CKRM2.

Saturday, October 25th – Pats vs. Swift Current (7:00 p.m.)
In the back half of the home and home, the Pats go pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Night.  The Pats have been Funding the Fight for ten years and look forward to fans joining in to help combat cancer and support those who suffer from it.

Sunday, October 26th – Pats vs. Lethbridge (6:00 p.m.)
A tough stretch of games wraps up as the Pats welcome the Lethbridge Hurricanes.  It’s a rematch of Saturday’s matchup in Alberta in which the Blue and White took a 6-1 win over the ‘Canes.
Klimchuk in the Lineup

Morgan Klimchuk returned to the lineup Saturday in Lethbridge and didn’t waste any time in making an impact.  The sniper scored a powerplay marker against the Hurricanes and followed it up with the Pats’ only goal Sunday in Calgary.

Brown Makes Debut
Call-up netminder Tyler Brown made his WHL debut Saturday in Lethbridge and almost had a perfect night.  The former Winnipeg Wild stopped 29 of 30 shots against the Hurricanes en route to his first win.

Toonie Tuesday
Tuesday’s game against Portland marks the first Toonie Exchange Night for Season Ticket Holders.  Unused Season Tickets can be exchanged at the Brandt Centre Box Office for tickets to the game for just $2.  Only tickets for game dates which have passed may be redeemed.

Funding the Fight for Ten Years
It’s the 10th Anniversary of the Pats Funding the Fight against Breast Cancer.  As in past years, the ice at the Brandt Centre will be turned pink for the game thanks to Imagination Ink.  More of the details for Breast Cancer Awareness Night will be revealed this week.

(Courtesy Daniel Fink)

DAYTONA HOMES MONDAY MORNING GOALIE

The first of Sunday's tailgaters. My buddy Fuji (#74) and the gang..
10 MONDAY LEFTOVERS:

1 - There are millions of fans in the Rider Nation and therefore there are a million different opinions following Sunday's 24-19 loss to the Edmonton Eskimos - the Riders' fourth defeat in a row.  With the Riders up 13-4 at halftime, I thought the table was being set for an upset but the 95-yard kickoff return touchdown by Edmonton's Kendial Lawrence on the first play of the third quarter was the TSN Turning Point.  (Does TSN still do that?).

For whatever reason the Riders weren't ready to start the second half and that completely let the air out of their tires.  Upon watching the replay of the game, Lawrence was only touched once on that return, and it was by Rider safety Tyron Brackenridge.  "Folks are still eating their hotdogs and sucking back beers and can't believe that just happened," stammered TSN colour commentator Matt Dunigan on the broadcast.  "A lot of them are still down in the concession area!"

Dunigan's commentary over two weekend CFL broadcasts was pure gold.

2 - You had to be impressed by the play and the poise of Kerry Joseph, despite the loss.  The 41-year old threw for 213 yards with two touchdowns and two picks in his first start since 2012.  Rider GM Brendan Taman said before the game, "Everybody around here thinks Kerry gives us the best chance to win" and he certainly did that.  He wasn't on the field for the kick return touchdown which really turned the tide in the game.

"I thought Kerry was awesome," Rider coach Corey Chamblin said in his postgame news conference. "I couldn’t ask too much out of him.  I thought he had to have help around him and he got it.  He gives us a chance.  When you look in his eyes, there was always a look that we could win it.  That’s what you want."

Offensive coordinator George Cortez's playcalling won't be questioned this week as they passed 36 times and rushed the ball on 19 occasions.  Running back Will Ford rushed for just 27 yards on nine carries and was attacked each and every time he got a touch.  There may have been some rust there as he hasn't been used regularly in over a month.  It remains to be seen if he'll be the workhorse down the stretch since Anthony Allen was a late scratch due to back spasms.

3 - Like I said, there are a million different opinions on the Riders right now.  One of the guys in the photo above, my buddy Yoda (in the black shirt), figures the Riders won't win another game the rest of the way.  He said it with a smile on his face so it was tough to argue and maybe he'll be right?  The fact is nobody knows how this 2014 campaign is going to turn out.  However whether it's Durant or Joseph pulling the trigger, I think this team still has a chance to win it all.  But they need to get back to being the scrappy team we came to love in the first half.  Sunday's effort was a step in the right direction.

4 - The comments in the Mosaic Place Recap on this blog are purely entertaining.  Are these people loony or just into the sauce?  One guy was calling for the firing of Rider President Jim Hopson.  That's interesting since he'll be retiring in just a few months.  Again, the 24 hours after a loss are always when people are the most heated.  Unfortunately the nutjobs detract from the reasoned commenters.  Which ones should you listen to when they're all anonymous?


5 - So the 13-2 Calgary Stampeders are next for the Riders as the two West Division foes will collide at McMahon Stadium Friday night in a 7:30 kickoff.  With first-place clinched for another year by the Stamps, you have to wonder if coach John Hufnagel will rest some guys.  With second place out of reach for the Riders, you have to wonder about their approach as well.  The game will likely be used as another tune up for the playoffs and we now know the Riders will be going on the road in the 2014 postseason.  All that remains is whether or not it's through the West or through the East.

It's interesting to note that the Stampeders have had the good fortune of beating Edmonton twice (without Mike Reilly), the Bombers once (without Drew Willy) and will face Saskatchewan twice without having to face Darian Durant.  Don't forget that whenever the Stampeders have won the Grey Cup over the past 20 years, they haven't had to face Saskatchewan in the playoffs.

It will be interesting to see what happens between now and November 30.

6 - The Regina Thunder's season is over.  They fell 20-17 at home to the Calgary Colts Saturday night to end their quest of repeating as CJFL champions.  Congrats on a fine season however.

7 - What a disastrous season for the U of R Rams.  They've been close, but not quite good enough in too many games this season and currently sit at 1-5 following Saturday's 33-32 loss at UBC.  A late rouge was the difference.  The Rams aren't mathematically eliminated from the playoffs yet but need to sweep their two remaining home games.  Perhaps Saturday's game will be known more for the technical difficulties Scruffy had trying to get the broadcast on 620 CKRM.  He ended up calling the game over his cell phone.  Marco Ricci was there for the colour commentary but wasn't used.  He went all that way for nothing.  What a shame.

8 - The Regina Pats open a brand new week sitting fourth in the WHL East at 5-5-1.  They were routed 5-1 in Calgary on Sunday completing their weekend road trip at 1-2-0.  They played three games in three nights in Kootenay, Lethbridge and Calgary.  That's an insane schedule and were likely out of gas by Sunday's stop in the Saddledome.  And on Tuesday they host the Portland Winterhawks where I'll be hosting a bunch of Roughriders plus the Tony Roma's staff in the Molson Box.  The Pats are paying for their lax early schedule now.

9 - Leave it to a guy from Wilcox, SK to do in the Arizona Coyotes.  Wilcox's Jaeden Schwartz netted his first NHL hattrick and added an assist as well his St. Louis Blues routed the Coyotes 6-1 Saturday night at Gila Riva Arena to end the Coyotes' season-opening homestand.  Other than that, it wasn't a real exciting weekend in the NHL, from what I saw.

10 - Catch Houston at Pittsburgh on Monday Night Football tonight at the Press Box Sports Bar.  You can get a full rib dinner (which is excellent) for just $9.99 plus you'll have a chance to win a Texans or Steelers jersey.  Kickoff is 6:30 pm.

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Here are the postgame comments of 26-year Roughrider radio analyst Carm Carteri on 620 CKRM.

"A lot of people didn't give the Roughriders a lot of hope against an Edmonton team that was fighting to host the Western Semifinal in Edmonton.  We all hoped that Kerry Joseph could give this offense a little bit of hope and he did.  He threw two touchdown passes and I thought moved the ball pretty well.  Were there some plays he wished he could have back?  Of course.  But this was a game that the Riders needed to show their fans that they'd fight to the end and they did that.

"I think there's a glimmer of hope for this football team with Kerry Joseph.  Not for next year, it's for next week which will be in Calgary and then again back here November 8 against Edmonton.  The Riders had a good game plan in here today.  They allowed Kerry to throw the ball downfield and I was impressed with a lot of his passes.  The problem is you start the third quarter and you allow a 95-yard kickoff return."

I pointed out that Joseph wasn't on the field for that meltdown.

"That's the big thing for this football team!" Carm continued.  "Plays like that hurt this team.  Not the lack of offense or their quarterback.  Is there room for improvement?  Of course there is.  Is there a glimmer of hope for this team?  Yes there is because this was a pretty good football game and it never really got away from this Rider football team until late in the fourth quarter on that Mike Reilly run. But there were other factors in this game that led to this defeat, not the play of Kerry Joseph.  So I do see some positive signs."

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Roughrider General Manager Brendan Taman joined us on CKRM's pregame show as he always does weekly and discussed the lack of production with back-up quarterbacks Tino Sunseri and Seth Doege since Durant's absence.  Keep in mind this interview aired before Sunday's game.

"You know it's frustrating because when you look at Tino, when he's started games, he hasn't been very good," Taman said.  "When he's come off the bench he's been excellent.  How that gets translated to when he starts, I have no idea.  From my chair, when he has the ability to show it, he does at times but he hasn't been consistent.  And Seth didn't really shine when he had a chance.

"When you have young quarterbacks it can go either way.  I know people out there look at Bo-Levi Mitchell or Jonathan Crompton (and their early success) but this is a team game.  I think we need guys around the quarterback to make plays on both sides of the ball.  Our defense needs to take away the ball or get a stop and our receivers need to make a catch or the quarterback needs to throw the ball accurately.

"It's disappointing to me because I really thought that one or both would be okay and we wouldn't have to get to this with Kerry but we are and that's where it's at and we have to move on."

Despite the losses, the time has flown by since Darian Durant's injury at Winnipeg on September 7 and we're already at the stage where Durant will be on the roster for Friday's game at Calgary.

"When you do this show you get some inside information and he's actually been throwing in the locker room to be honest with you," Taman reported.  "So you're gonna see him develop a little bit more as the weeks go on and from talking to him Friday, we're right on course with a lot of what we've been saying all along.  I know a lot of people are out there waiting to see what's going to happen with him but I foresee him playing in the last game of the year.  I really do if everything keeps going the way it's going."

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IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: WEEK 7 IN THE NFL

If it seems as if NFL records are broken or tied every week this season, well, that's because they are.

And not just by Peyton Manning.

Yes, Manning generated the most talked-about mark Sunday, topping Brett Favre's old record of 508 career touchdown passes by getting to 510 with four in Denver's 42-17 victory over San Francisco at night - and, according to receiver Demaryius Thomas, even orchestrating the way some Broncos teammates teasingly played keep-away with the football caught for No. 509 by Thomas.

Manning, making all of those neck operations seem like a distant memory, actually added to another record of his, too: It was his 33rd game with four passing TDs.

Earlier Sunday, Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers had his fourth game in a row with zero interceptions and at least three TD tosses, tying Tom Brady for the longest such run. Seattle's Russell Wilson became the first player in NFL history with 300 yards passing and 100 yards running in the same game.

And showing that running backs still can matter in the modern game, DeMarco Murray helped Dallas improve to 6-1 by gaining 128 yards on 26 carries, making him the first player to run for at least 100 yards in each of a season's first seven games.

In case you missed it, here are the other top topics after the NFL season's seventh Sunday:

BOLD FISHER: Holding onto a two-point lead, facing fourth-and-3 at their 18 with about 3 minutes left, the Rams lined up in punt formation, of course. But coach Jeff Fisher had punter Johnny Hekker throw a pass - and the bold call resulted in an 18-yard completion for a first down and a chance to run out the clock in a 28-26 victory over Seattle. Earlier, the Rams got a 90-yard punt return for a touchdown from Stedman Bailey, when Tavon Austin, their usual returner, lured most of Seattle's coverage unit by pretending to be tracking the ball near the opposite sideline.

FOCUS ON OFFICIALS: With all the penalties being called, officials are getting plenty of attention - and a couple of players were ejected Sunday after making contact with a guy in stripes. Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly left a loss to Green Bay, and Colts linebacker Erik Walden was kicked out of a victory against Cincinnati. Saints coach Sean Payton made clear how he felt after his team was whistled for a dozen penalties in its 24-23 loss at Detroit: "I wasn't happy with how that game was officiated.''

SAINTS' ROAD WOES: The Saints are unbeaten at home so far but simply can't win on the road: They've dropped seven regular-season games in a row away from New Orleans - including four in 2014 - after blowing a 13-point lead in the last four minutes at Detroit. Saints quarterback Drew Brees, whose late interception set up the Lions' final score, said: ``The worst feeling in professional sports is when you feel like you let your team down.'' The Bears, meanwhile, have the opposite problem: They can't win at home. A 27-14 loss to Miami left Chicago with an 0-3 record at Soldier Field, where shouting could be heard coming from the locker room before reporters were allowed in.

AILING ATLANTA: The Falcons are reeling. They have lost four games in a row - and five of six - and each by at least 10 points. A 29-7 defeat at Baltimore on Sunday was also the fourth consecutive time Atlanta scored fewer points than the game before, going from 56 to 28 to 20 to 13 to seven.

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We'll break Sunday's game down on the SportsCage's Rider Monday at 4:00 pm.  Mike Abou-Mechrek and I will chair the affair and we'll be joined by football maven John Lynch and blogger CFL Joe from Ottawa.

Don't forget the Regina Pats are home to the Portland Winterhawks Tuesday at 7 pm on 620 CKRM.  We'll see you there!

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HAVE A GREAT WEEK
RP
@sportscage

(With files from the Canadian Press)