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Monday, June 26, 2017

VIDEO REVIEW THE TOPIC AFTER WEEK 1


It didn't take long for instant replay to again become a hot-button topic in the CFL.

In the league's opening two regular-season games, questionable calls following review took centre stage in two closely-contested encounters. On Thursday night, the Montreal Alouettes nipped the Saskatchewan Roughriders 17-16 before the Calgary Stampeders and Ottawa Redblacks battled to a 31-31 overtime tie in a Grey Cup rematch the following night.

Saskatchewan tied its game 7-7 on Kevin Glenn's 19-yard touchdown pass to Bakari Grant. Grant lost possession of the ball on the play, with television replays showing he'd fumbled before scoring.

As per league rules, the CFL's command centre reviewed the play but surprisingly upheld the call.

Montreal secured the narrow victory after Saskatchewan kicker Tyler Crapigna missed a 45-yard field goal on the game's final play.

On Friday night, Calgary got the benefit of two replay calls.

The Stampeders tied the score 11-11 when Bo Levi Mitchell hit Kamar Jorden on a nine-yard TD strike. Jorden lost the ball on the play, with Ottawa's Khalil Bass recovering it and returning it for an apparent Ottawa touchdown.

The on-field officials originally ruled Jorden had scored, a decision a call that was supported by the command centre.

Jorden was again the centre of attention in the fourth when he fumbled before being downed on a completion. Ottawa challenged, but again the call was upheld.

Four plays later Jerome Messam's three-yard TD run made it 28-28.

Ottawa linebacker Taylor Reed took to social media to voice his displeasure.

"Please @CFL what we gotta do to fix this. I just need clarity!'' Reed tweeted.

Glen Johnson, CFL senior vice-president of football operations, didn't immediately return a message seeking comment Monday.

Last season, the CFL admitted its officials made two mistakes on a key play in Edmonton's 24-21 East Division semifinal win over Hamilton. With the game tied 21-21, Ticats quarterback Zach Collaros completed a pass before being hit by Eskimos defensive end Odell Willis.

A holding penalty against Hamilton tackle Brandon Revenberg negated the 17-yard gain but the Ticats challenged Willis's hit, looking for a roughing-the-passer call. Upon review, the challenge was denied, but Johnson said later not only should Revenberg not have been flagged but replay official Jeff Harbin should've upheld the Ticats' challenge.


ATTENDANCE CONCERNS: It was a triumphant start to the 2017 season for the Toronto Argonauts. Ricky Ray threw for a career-best 506 yards and a TD in leading the squad to a 32-15 home win over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in Marc Trestman's Argos head-coaching debut.

But the contest drew just 13,583 spectators at BMO Field. Last year, almost 25,000 fans watched Hamilton dismantle Toronto 42-20 in the Argos' first-ever contest at the refurbished venue.

Ray said at least most of the fans present Sunday were vocal.

"I mean, there was energy there at the end of the game making it tough on Hamilton,'' Ray said. "We're just trying to come out and win each game, and we'll see where it goes from there.''

Granted, Sunday's football game went head-to-head against the Pride parade in Toronto. But Ticats fans traditionally make the trek to Toronto to support their squad against the hated Argos.

The Argos' next home game is Friday night against the B.C. Lions, a team that usually doesn't draw well in Toronto. The Toronto Blue Jays are also at Rogers Centre that night facing the New York Yankees, and it's also the start of Canada Day long weekend.

Toronto averaged 16,380 fans in its first season at the 27,000-seat BMO Field with no sellouts. A 2-7 home record certainly didn't help matters.


INJURY WOES: The Edmonton Eskimos' linebacking corps has taken another hit.

The Eskimos announced Monday that veteran J.C. Sherritt suffered a season-ending Achilles injury in their 30-27 win over the B.C. Lions on Saturday. Edmonton lost linebacker Cory Greenwood, an off-season free-agent acquisition, to a season-ending knee injury during training camp.

Hamilton receiver Terrence Toliver was injured early in the club's 32-15 road loss to the Toronto Argonauts on Sunday, Toliver left the game early in the first half with an apparent knee injury.

Losing Toliver is a big blow to Hamilton. He had 65 catches for 1,036 yards and nine TDs last year despite missing five games.

Meanwhile Calgary Stampeders receiver DaVaris Daniels isn't expected to play in Thursday's home-opener because of an apparent shoulder injury.

The CFL's rookie of the year in 2016 was injured in Friday's 31-31 tie with the Redblacks in Ottawa.

Stampeders head coach Dave Dickenson said Monday that the 24-year-old wideout was "not likely'' to be in the lineup for Thursday's rematch at McMahon Stadium.

THIS 'N THAT: Montreal quarterback Darian Durant was 20-of-31 passing for 233 yards with two TDs against his former team. Durant spent 11 seasons in Regina before being dealt to the Als in the off-season ... DeVier Posey (seven catches, 147 yards, one TD) and S.J. Green (seven catches, 124 yards) were both sensational in Toronto's win over Hamilton but Edmonton's Brandon Zylstra was the CFL's top receiver last week, registering seven catches for 152 yards against B.C... Lost in the win over Hamilton was a Toronto defence that didn't allow a TD and just 221 net yards while recording five sacks, two forced fumbles and an interception. Linebacker Marcus Ball, back with the Argos after three seasons in the NFL, had a team-high six tackles ... Defensive back Jovon Johnson, signed by Saskatchewan following his release from Montreal, had a team-high seven tackles against the Als ... Calgary linebacker Alex Singleton recorded a league-best nine tackles against Ottawa.


(Canadian Press/Dan Ralph)

RIDERS READY TO OPEN NEW MOSAIC STADIUM


Dressed in a gray suit and a green and white dress shirt, Saskatchewan Roughriders President & CEO Craig Reynolds met with reporters Monday morning at New Mosaic Stadium. The topic? This Saturday's Saskatchewan Roughriders home-opener against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and the grand opening of New Mosaic Stadium.

Here are some notes from the session:

WHAT'S THE BEST FEATURE OF THIS STADIUM?

CR: That's a hard question to answer because there's so many fantastic things! Honestly for me, it's the fan reaction to it. I was walking the concourse last game and had so many fans come up and they were loving it. I love the "social aspects" of the game in that they can watch the game however they want to watch it.

If they want to stand and watch the game, they can. If they want to mingle, they can do that with tons of social areas. The fan experience is top notch.

ARE THERE ANY ISSUES LEFT?

CR: Of course. When you do test events, the key aspect is to test the facility and you learn things. There were some operational things that are mostly behind the scenes that aren't necessarily fan-facing. There were transit issues. We promoted it, lots of people used it, but now we have to deliver on the transit side. But generally the feedback was really, really positive.

HOW IMPORTANT IS THIS HOME-OPENER?

CR: Quite honestly it's one of the most important days in the history of this franchise. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity; to open a stadium in front of our fans. Our fans absolutely deserve this type of facility and it's an amazing tie-in with Canada 150.

WHAT'S PLANNED?

CR: I would encourage fans to come early. There will be some pregame festivities and ceremonies and there will be a large scale halftime production with over 200 fans and performers associated with it. We're going to celebrate what we've accomplished collectively as a community and then we encourage everybody to see the fireworks postgame. I don't want to say too much more about the halftime. We've engaged the same group that does the Grey Cup halftime shows so we've been working with them for a long time. It's really going to be a celebration of this province's love for the team and what we've accomplished collectively building this facility.

WHAT ARE YOUR EMOTIONS?

CR: It's a range. It's tremendous pride, tremendous pride in our team in what we've accomplished. An incredible sense of satisfaction in working with the Province and the City to deliver this for our fans. This has always been about our fans. Our fans deserve this type of facility and so to be able to deliver on that, to see the fan response, and to see 33,000 Rider fans enjoying this facility, I say it's "pride".

IS THERE STILL A "WOW" FACTOR FOR YOU?

CR: Absolutely. There's a wow factor when I see our football ops space so every time I see it, it's amazing. Players who've been elsewhere just rave about it. That helps and then just day-to-day, when you show up here and look out over the stadium, it's iconic. It's world-class. We should all be proud.

WHAT STOOD OUT IN THE PRESEASON GAME?

CR: We'd been in here since February but just to see it full of Rider fans, and to hear it, it was loud. We had a great crowd but it's going to be louder on Canada Day. For me it felt full of life for the first time. But how loud will this facility be for that first big play under that roof? It'll be exciting.

SOMETHING TO "MITCH" ABOUT

By: Mitchell Blair

GREAT DEBUT -- Well done CFL!  The first week of games were tremendous with the first three coming right down to the last play before we knew what the verdict was going to be. You can't really ask for anything better than that as a fan. Yes, those who bleed green-and-white wish the last play of their game would have been better, but Week 1 was full of excitement.   While the Toronto-Hamilton game was a one-sided affair, you can see Ricky Ray could be re-juvenated under Marc Trestman the way Anthony Calvillo was, and SJ Green was SJ Green which is bad news for secondaries and defensive co-ordinators around the league.

Say what you will about him, but Corey Chamblin had the Argos defence looking good as well,  Let us also remember it is also Week 1.  I think it is safe to say though that if we can get games like what we saw this weekend it will be good for the CFL as a whole.

KICKERS -  Rider Nation isn't the only one gnashing their teeth over the late game play of kickers. Safe to say, it wasn't a good week for those guys. Alphabet in Toronto had a kick blocked that went back for a touchdown, but that wasn't when the game was on the line.  We know what Crapigna did, and he had company with the usually-dependable Rene Paredes and BC's Ty Long.  Long's performance made me wonder if Wally was looking through his contacts to see if he still had Paul McCallum's number.  Rider radio analyst Luc Mullinder sent out a tweet Saturday night saying Week 1 kicking in the CFL has been ____________!  I'm guessing we know what some of the answers were.



CAN THAT STATEMENT BE REVIEWED? --  On Saturday night, TSN's Farhan Lalji came on saying he had spoken to Glen Johnson about two controversial calls that were not changed even though they probably should have been in the Riders-Montreal game and the Calgary-Ottawa game. The reason being they weren't "egregious" enough. Excuse me?!

Johnson told Lalji  "They want replay to be just about egregious calls that have been missed, they don’t want grey area. So if it takes two-and-a-half to three minutes to make sure the call gets exactly right, that means that call was too close to overturn."

He goes on to say "Those were not egregious calls. In the minute, minute-and-a-half we want to take to make these decisions in an effort to speed up replay, not slow down the pace of the game, those calls did not meet the standard for obvious, egregious mistakes and we’re just not going to overturn those types of calls. That’s going to be something people around the league are going to have to get used to.'”

I'll just leave that there and let you react accordingly.

WHO IS NUMBER TWO? Sportsnet is asking Blue Jays fans to rank the top 40 players to have worn the Toronto uniform. There is no doubt Robbie Alomar will be number one when all is said and done. Who is number two though?  Roy Halladay would get my vote.  If they're going to retire Mark Buehrle's # in Chicago, then perhaps it is Toronto's time to retire another number other than the 12 once worn by Alomar.  In thinking about it, and by no means is this gospel---the top 5 Jays in my mind would be Alomar, Halladay, George Bell, Joe Carter and Dave Stieb.

WHO WON THE NHL DRAFT - I don't know if one team won the draft, but one country did. When did Finnish hockey become so popular?  12 Finns went in the first two rounds. Compare that to the entire Quebec Junior Hockey League who only saw 14 players get drafted in total.  I like what Vegas did, I like what Columbus did in getting Artemi Panarin for Brandon Saad and I liked St. Louis' draft. The kid they took at 20--Robert Thomas--was the guy I was hoping to see fall to Edmonton at 22.  I also like Calgary's acquistion of Travis Hamonic although it was a little steep when it came to the price they paid for him. Is the Battle of Alberta coming back. You bet it is!

NHL FREE AGENCY: As New York Rangers players cleaned out their lockers after a second-round playoff exit, all the talk was about impending change.

That's just getting started - for the Rangers and the rest of the NHL.

Big moves leading up to and at the draft by the Rangers, rival New York Islanders, Chicago Blackhawks and others set up a potentially crazy week to come going into free agency. Teams could begin talking to pending free agents Sunday and can sign them starting Saturday afternoon, and in between there could be plenty more movement now that the Vegas expansion draft is over and the foundation has been laid for trades.

Here are some things to watch for this week:

ACTIVE ISLANDERS

New York already acquired winger Jordan Eberle from Edmonton for Ryan Strome and traded defenceman Travis Hamonic to Calgary for picks, but no one believes Garth Snow is done. Captain John Tavares can be an unrestricted free agent in a year and Snow said he'd like the star centre to retire with the Islanders - and there's some work to do to get back into playoff contention.

That's why Snow said it's very possible the Islanders use draft picks they got from the Flames for Hamonic "as a currency in a future player transaction.'' Duchene would fit the bill, but he won't come cheap, and the Avalanche won't have a shortage of suitors.

CHANGING COYOTES

Within the past 10 days, Arizona has traded starting goaltender Mike Smith, told captain and face of the franchise Shane Doan they're moving on, parted ways with coach Dave Tippett and traded for Stepan, Rangers backup Antti Raanta and Blackhawks defenceman Niklas Hjalmarsson. The youth movement is on for the Coyotes, but they haven't made the playoffs since 2012 and new sole owner Andrew Barroway isn't afraid to shake things up.

The only question is, what comes next? Arizona has roughly $25 million in cap space and can make some splashes with more deals or free agent signings.

IT'S ALWAYS A GOALIE CONTROVERSY IN PHILADELPHIA

The goaltender carousel has stopped spinning after Carolina acquired Scott Darling, Dallas landed Ben Bishop, the Flames picked up Smith and the Coyotes got Raanta. That leaves the Philadelphia Flyers, no strangers to goaltending predicaments, as the only potential playoff contender in search of a starter.

The Flyers could run it back with Steve Mason and Michal Neuvirth, inquire with Vegas about 27-year-old Calvin Pickard or look to sign someone such as Jonathan Bernier, Ryan Miller, Brian Elliott or Mike Condon.

RE-DO IN FLORIDA

Since Tallon reassumed control of Florida's front office, he has taken steps to undo a lot of what former GM Tom Rowe did last summer and put his own stamp back on the Panthers. Tallon cleared $5 million cap space by trading Reilly Smith to Vegas and said he'll be ``aggressive moving forward'' and attack July 1 with a defined plan in place.

PENGUINS MARCH ON

Changes are afoot in Pittsburgh with goalie Marc-Andre Fleury already gone to Vegas and Daley, Nick Bonino, Chris Kunitz, Matt Cullen and Ron Hainsey set to be unrestricted free agents. With Justin Schultz and Conor Sheary among those needing new contracts, GM Jim Rutherford told free agents to test the market and come back to him, so the Penguins could look very different just three weeks after another Cup parade.

SHATTENKIRK SHOULD GET PAID

The Capitals committed big money to winger T.J. Oshie with a $46 million, eight-year deal, but they're unlikely to re-sign Shattenkirk, Williams, Karl Alzner and Daniel Winnik. Shattenkirk, 28, wants to be a No. 1 defenceman and is a good bet to sign the richest contract of any free agent Saturday.

"I've kind of done it all and I want the opportunity to do it consistently,'' Shattenkirk said. ``I have to prove myself and get that opportunity and run with it, but hopefully it's out there.''


@scruffyregina

(With files from Canadian Press)

ALOUETTES FREE WILLY


MONTREAL - The Montreal Alouettes signed veteran quarterback Drew Willy to a one-year contract Monday.

Willy played for the Toronto Argonauts and Winnipeg Blue Bombers last season. He was released by the Argonauts earlier this month.

In 16 games last season, Willy completed 214 of 304 passes for 2,154 yards and eight touchdowns with five interceptions.

The six-foot-four 214-pound native of Randolph, N.J., made his CFL debut in 2012 with the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

Over his 76-game CFL career, he has completed 727 of 1,085 passes for 8,539 yards and 39 touchdowns. He has thrown 29 interceptions and has recorded 128 rushes for 697 yards and six touchdowns.

Also Monday, the Alouettes added defensive back Willy Dorcin to their practice roster and released receiver Alex

(CP)

Sunday, June 25, 2017

RIDERS LOOK FOR IMPROVEMENT IN WEEK 2

The Saskatchewan Roughriders enter Week 2 of the 2017 CFL season at 0-1 following Thursday's 17-16 season-opening loss at Montreal.

It was a heartbreaking defeat, with Rider kicker Tyler Crapigna missing a 45-yard field goal with 0:00 on the clock. It came at the tail-end of a gummed up final drive which began at the Saskatchewan 26-yard line with 2:22 to play.

Quarterback Kevin Glenn effectively moved the offense down the field, converting on three 3rd down gambles. However with 21 seconds to go and facing 1st-and-10 at the Montreal 37-yard line, the Riders ran the clock down to 0:08 before calling a timeout. Head Coach Chris Jones said crowd noise led to miscommunication getting the play in.

The club ran one more play before Crapigna's missed field goal attempt which ultimately awarded Montreal the victory. While Crapigna admirably pointed the finger at himself, there was plenty of blame to go around.

Jones lamented penalties, turnovers and a rare Crapigna miss as the culprits for the meltdown and that sent the Riders back to the drawing board as they get ready for Saturday's home opener against Winnipeg at New Mosaic Stadium.


The Riders entered 2017 as the youngest team in the CFL for a second straight season, and their 29 returning players constitute about a 50% roster turnover.

Saskatchewan Assistant V.P. of Player Personnel John Murphy says this year's roster make-up is by design, and they don't plan to be stung by the same mishaps as a year ago at this time.

"The thing that we were able to do effectively is the guys we pinpointed at positions where it was obvious we needed to be improved upon, the guys we brought in don't need to be introduced to anyone in our locker room," Murphy said on Thursday's Rider broadcast on 620 CKRM. "The way they handle their jobs and the way they perform on the field speaks volumes. The other thing is a number of key players on offense have played with Kevin Glenn so there's no re-introduction needed there.

"In those defensive areas we needed to improve, we were looking for an extra pass-rusher and losing Jeff Knox and Otha Foster made us go out and do other things. Losing a DB right on top of our season this year created another void but it's opened up opportunities for other players. Adding a veteran like Jovon Johnson adds experience and, as well, helps as a communicator in there."

Murphy said they won't be caught with inexperience again early in 2017.

"That's where the breakdown occurred last year," Murphy continued. "In Game 1 against the Argos, it wasn't physical. It was mental and emotional breakdowns with the communication not happening in the secondary that allowed Toronto to make two big plays late and earn the victory. That was a very winnable game in Week 1.

"We also saw what happened at the start of last season with the injuries on the O-line and in the secondary. It created a lot of friction on a weekly basis in terms of having to change the ratio and change up your O-line and DB combos. That led to a lot of early losses if you looked at the two areas that could've been improved."

So this year, while the Riders drafted well with lineman Dariusz Bladek and started rookies Chris Lyles, Erick Dargan and Sam Williams against Montreal, they also deployed CFL vets like Peter Dyakowski, Mike Edem and Jovon Johnson.

"I think we've done a good job of ensuring the same thing doesn't happen again this year," Murphy concluded.

Rider fans I spoke with over the weekend seemed very enthused with the team's overall play, and are optimistic for the team's fortunes in the games which lie ahead.

The Roughriders return to the practice field on Tuesday and will host the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the home-opener on Canada Day at 7:00 pm on TSN and the 620 CKRM Rider Radio Network.

RP
@rodpedersen

ARGONAUTS 32 TIGER-CATS 15

Frank Gunn/Canadian Press
TORONTO - Ricky Ray wasted no time excelling in Marc Trestman's offence.

Ray threw for a career-high 506 yards and a TD as Toronto beat the Hamilton Tiger-Cats 32-15 on Sunday. The 37-year-old quarterback, in his 15th CFL season, finished 32-of-41 passing in Trestman's debut as Argonauts head coach before a sparse BMO Field gathering of 13,583.

"Obviously it feels good to get off to a start like this and be able to build some confidence,'' Ray said. "You try and build it during camp but until you go out there and do it in a game, it really doesn't matter.

"It's only one game, we're a long way away from the kind of team we want to be. But it's a good start.''

Trestman joined the Argos, along with GM Jim Popp, this off-season after four seasons in the NFL. In his first CFL head-coaching stint, Trestman, with veteran quarterback Anthony Calvillo in tow, led the Montreal Alouettes to three Grey Cup appearances and two wins from 2008-12.

Trestman sees many similarities between Ray and Calvillo, now Montreal's quarterbacks coach.

"They're such low-maintenance guys obsessed with detail preparation,'' Trestman said. "Every little thing matters to Ricky in terms of his preparation.

"He's even keeled and emotionally intelligent, he just never wavers. He leads the way just like Anthony's demeanour led the way in Montreal and I expect that will be the same throughout.''

Ray finished short of Toronto's single-game record of 524 yards, set in 1960 by Tobin Rote. But the Argos, who outscored Hamilton 17-3 in the second half, won't have much time to enjoy the win as they host the B.C. Lions on Friday night.

Hamilton has a bye before visiting the Saskatchewan Roughriders on July 8.

Argos' sophomore DeVier Posey had seven catches for 147 yards, including a crucial 79-yard TD grab to open the second half. But veteran S.J. Green was impressive in his Toronto debut, registering seven receptions for 124 yards in his first game since suffering a serious knee injury early last season with Montreal.

"A.C. is a first-ballot Hall of Famer and when Ricky is done playing this game he'll be the same,'' Green said. "Ricky throws an easy ball, man, it's real easy to catch. All I have to do is adjust and put my hands on it.''

Ray and Green clicked despite limited pre-season action. Ray played just one series in Toronto's two exhibition games while Green didn't dress for either.

Newcomer Jeff Fuller had 104 yards on three catches for Toronto.

Hamilton starter Zach Collaros was 26-of-39 passing for 242 yards and an interception. The Ticats also lost Terrence Toliver, a 1,000-yard receiver last year, to an apparent knee injury in the first quarter.

"We were anaemic on offence,'' Hamilton coach Kent Austin said. "I don't know how many second-and-long conversions they had, they might've set a record.

"We didn't make a single play on the ball in the air the entire day. They just flat-out beat us.''

Toronto opened the second half emphatically with Ray hitting Posey on the 79-yard TD strike on the first play. It came after Posey dropped Ray's 17-yard pass in Hamilton's end zone late in the first half, leading to Hamilton's Richard Leonard returning a blocked field goal for a stunning TD with just seven seconds remaining that cut the Argos' half-time lead to 15-12.

"It (TD pass to Posey) wasn't by design but I'm grateful he had the chance to make that play,'' 

Trestman said. "We talked about it in the locker-room how we were never going to stop giving a player a three-point chance because he missed a three ... we're still going to give everybody an opportunity to overcome situations like that.''

Cody Fajardo scored Toronto's other touchdown. Lirim Hajrullahu booted two converts, five field goals and a single. The other points came on a safety.

Brian Tyms registered a two-point convert for Hamilton while Sergio Castillo added two field goals and a single.

After Leonard's heroics, Collaros hit Tyms for the two-point convert to make it a three-point game. 

Will Hill started the late fireworks by blocking Hajrullahu's 24-yard field goal try, resulting in a big 15-point swing.

And that put Hamilton back into the contest despite Toronto's domination to that point. The Argos outgained Hamilton in total yards (265-88) and first downs (25-13) while holding the ball for 19 minutes.

Ray was 18-of-25 passing for 253 yards and Green had four catches for 95 yards while Posey registered six receptions for 68 yards. But Fuller couldn't haul in Ray TD strike in the first before Posey's costly drop.

Toronto's special teams, under first-year CFL coach Kevin Eiben, also surrendered a blocked punt.

"We came back from adversity, I thought that was really good,'' Trestman said. "But it's evident we've got some things we need to do better that down the road can hurt us so we're going to work on those things.''

© 2017 The Canadian Press

MILLIONAIRES 5 RED SOX 4

The Millionaires needed 10 innings to defeat Regina 5-4 in WMBL action Sunday afternoon in Melville. The victory ended an eight-game losing streak for the Money Men.

Dalton England started for Regina, going six complete innings. He exited the game with nine hits, four runs and a walk.

Ruddy Estrella got the bullpen call and threw two scoreless innings.

Kevin Borst, a senior from Tiffin University, took the loss, as he came on in the ninth and gave up three walks and a run in his 1.1 innings of work.

Amado Almanzar started for Melville and went five innings. He received stellar support from the bullpen crew of Tanner Luna, Eric Sandoz and Keaton Sullivan, who got the win.

Marshall McPherson two run shot in the first innings for Melville got the party started for 179 fans at Pirie Field. Regina picked up seven hits in the game including two each from Aden Campbell and Junior Fermin.

The Sox now 13-6, and Millionaires, 5-14, will renew acquaintances Monday night at Currie Field. Game time is 7 pm.

(Courtesy Tony Playter/Outlaw Communications)

RODOCKER POWERS RED SOX OVER MILS

The Regina Red Sox used the long ball to blast past the Melville Millionaires 10-5 at Currie Field.
The victory was the Red Sox third consecutive and moved them to 13-5 on the season. The loss extended the Melville winless streak to eight games.

The story of the game was the bat of Regina outfielder Broderick Rodocker. The senior from Warner University brought the Red Sox fans to their feet with a grand slam to deep left field in the second inning. Rodocker went yard again in the seventh inning with a two-run shot.

The homers were Rodocker’s third and fourth of the season. He finished the night 4 for 5 with two homers including a grand slam, six RBI and three runs.

Taylor Nychyk was the lone bright spot on offensive for Melville. He was two for four with a stolen base.

Carlos Ramirez from Los Lunas, Mexico started for the Millionaires. The sophomore from Otero Junior College was tagged with the loss after allowing eight runs on nine hits and six walks.

Right handed starter Jordan Scott made his fourth start of the season for Regina. The junior from Liberty University threw 114 pitches allowing just three runs on six hits. He also struck out eight batters for the win. Kendal Daniels and Preston Minor came on in relief to close down the Millionaires in the final two innings.

These two teams will meet again on Sunday in Melville and Monday in Regina.

(Courtesy Tony Playter/Outlaw Communications)

ESKIMOS 30 LIONS 27


VANCOUVER - Sean Whyte kicked a nine-yard field goal with no time left on the clock as the Edmonton Eskimos defeated the B.C. Lions 30-27 on Saturday in the opener to the CFL season for both clubs.

The winning points were set up by Mike Reilly's 76-yard completion to Brandon Zylstra with 36 seconds left after B.C. had tied the score on backup quarterback Travis Lulay's two-yard plunge 20 seconds earlier.

But rookie kicker Ty Long missed the extra point that would have given the hosts the lead before Edmonton stole the victory late.

Reilly wound up 20 for 28 passing and threw for 315 yards and two touchdowns. D'haquille Williams and Vidal Hazelton hauled in the TD grabs for Edmonton, while John White added another on the ground.

White finished with 104 yards rushing on 17 carries, while Zylstra had seven catches for 152 yards.

Whyte had three field goals and three extra points.

(The Canadian Press)

SUNDAY SPORTS

The Eskimos pulled out a last-second win on the road to begin their CFL season. Sean Whyte kicked a nine-yard field goal with no time left on the clock as Edmonton beat the B-C Lions 30-27 in the opener to the CFL season for both clubs. Mike Reilly went 20-of-28 for 315 yards and two touchdowns for the Eskimos.

---

Two home runs wasn't enough to lift the Blue Jays over the Kansas City Royals. Troy Tulowitzki and Kevin Pillar each hit solo shots as Toronto fell 3-2 to the Kansas City Royals. The Blue Jays have now lost three straight and are on the verge of being swept by the Royals in the three-game series.

---

J-C Ramirez rebounded from his shortest career start with six solid innings and Cameron Maybin doubled home a run and scored another as the Los Angeles Angels held off the Boston Red Sox 6-3. Mitch Moreland hit a solo homer for the Red Sox, who lost for only the third time in their last 13 home games.

---

The Minnesota Twins aren't planning to go down easily in the AL Central. Brian Dozier hit a leadoff homer off closer Cody Allen to break an eighth-inning tie and Minnesota defeated the Cleveland Indians 4-2. That's the Twins' second straight victory over the division leaders. Minnesota is now half a game back.

---

Francisco Calvo and Jerome Thiesson scored second-half goals as Minnesota United rallied for a 2-2 draw with the Vancouver Whitecaps. And the Montreal Impact fell 4-1 to the Crew in Columbus. Federico Higuain scored twice for Columbus.


(Sportsbreak)

Saturday, June 24, 2017

SCRUFFY'S THIS N' THAT

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

- What a shot to the onions Thursday's CFL opener provided to Rider Nation. Hey, it's not like other games against Montreal have come down to a field goal that hasn't turned out well for you right? SIGHHHH!

What could have been an optimistic week for Canada's Team and its crazed fanbase turned out being another knife-throwing affair in the waning hours of Thursday night and Friday.

- All Tyler Crapigna had to do was kick the game-winning 45 yard field goal and the Riders would have been 1-0 and there would have been a good feeling surrounding the team. But nope!  There was no wind and it was straight down the middle. He has done that before and he will do it again, but on this night it wasn't going to happen.

- On this night, it wasn't to be which is too bad because the Riders outplayed the Alouettes, but they didn't get the two points.  You can complain about Chris Jones bringing in Brandon Bridge and the clock management all you want as well as other things, but at the end of the day, a play that should have been made wasn't made.  Players will tell you one play does not make a game and they are right, but on this night the one play that needed to be made wasn't so we move on to Winnipeg and hope the first official CFL game at Mosaic Stadium does not go down in the history books as a win for the Bombers.


- Crapigna isn't alone as we found out Friday night in a Grey Cup rematch. Rene Paredes had the game on his foot and he failed to come through as well as Calgary and Ottawa played to a tie.  It brought up my problem with CFL overtime which is teams need to start possession at the 45 yard line or 55 yard line.  After Calgary intercepted an Ottawa pass, all they had to do was run two simple plays and kick a field goal.  By putting the ball at the 45 or 55, you make them have to earn at least a first down before having a reasonable shot at a field goal.  It's too easy to get points from the 35.

- As for video review, TSN's Chris Cuthbert put it the best after another highly questionable call by the command centre when he wrote "CFL Video Review needs to be reviewed" on his Twitter account, Yes it does Chris, yes it does.   Hey, at least the first two games of the season have gone right down to the last play though right?

- A question for the CFL from the warped mind of Twitter follower "Jock Cartier".  With no commissioner, whose signature is on the CFL football this year?

- Jordan Eberle is a New York Islander. A fickle fan base turned on Eberle because they didn't want to remember what he had done over a seven year time, but what he did over a two month period.  Why did Eberle become the whipping boy in the playoffs when Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had just as bad a playoff?  In a bad year, Ebs still scored 20 but in the end it didn't matter as he was sent away for Ryan Strome.  Yes, I would have liked to seen more, but the trade allowed for the return of Kris Russell and perhaps another piece in either a trade or free agency.  You might have not been able to get the same return for RNH as you did for Eberle, but it will be tougher to fill Jordan's skates and his offensive production.  He'll score 25-30 if not more playing alongside John Tavares in a conference that isn't as tough.

- I just want to make sure I have this right. The Arizona Coyotes went to the NHL draft and they were there without A) a head coach B) no president of hockey operations C) no #1 goalie unless you want to give that to Antti Raanta whom they traded for along with Derek Stepan to the Rangers for the  #7 pick and  D) no captain.  What a hot mess!

- Speaking of hot messes, how about the Vancouver Canucks who tweeted out just hours before the draft that they will be re-tooling their scouting staff after the draft and free agency.  ?????  Get excited Vancouver!!  Congratulations as Trevor Linden and Jim Benning have taken over for Craig MacTavish and Kevin Lowe as biggest front office dunces that used to be former players.

- Was the torch officially passed from Sidney Crosby to Connor McDavid as the face of the NHL Wednesday night when  the Oilers captain won the NHL's MVP award?  I don't know if you can really do that until McDavid has the Stanley Cup in his possession whenever that may be especially if Pittsburgh continues to be a strong contender for hockey's holy grail.  I will ask this though.  At the NHL Awards this week, players were asked if you could start a team today what player would you start with and the majority answered McDavid. Connor voted for Carey Price for what its worth. The reason players are voting for McDavid is because he is much younger.  It begs the question that with the likes of Matthews, Laine, Marner and other young guns making their name known, where would you put Sid if starting a team from scratch with everybody available.  I would have to think he would be no lower than 3, Would you put Matthews ahead of him?

- How many people does it take to announce your first round draft pick?

- That's all I got. Have a great weekend!

@ScruffyRegina

LESCHYSHYN TO KNIGHTS, HENRY TO AVS


Regina, Saskatchewan – Regina Pats forward Jake Leschyshyn was drafted in the 2nd round, 62nd overall by the Vegas Golden Knights at Saturday's NHL Draft in Chicago.

 

The Saskatoon product scored 17 goals and had 40 points in 47 games last season. For his WHL Career, the 18-year-old has scored 35 goals and has 59 points in 125 games.

 

The 18-year-old was originally the sixth overall pick in the 2014 WHL Bantam Draft by the Red Deer Rebels. The Pats acquired him in a trade in January of 2015.

 

Leschyshyn was ranked number 42 in North America by the NHL's Central Scouting Service ahead of the draft.

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Regina, Saskatchewan – Regina Pats forward Nick Henry was drafted in the 4th round, 94th overall by the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday.

 

The product of Portage la Prairie, Manitoba, scored 35 goals and had 46 assists for 81 points in 72 games last season.

 

Henry finished second among all WHL rookies in points and goals and led the way at plus 32. His 13 powerplay goals ranked first as well.

 

The 17-year-old was acquired by the Pats in a trade with the Everett Silvertips in 2016.

 

Henry was ranked number 25 in North America by the NHL's Central Scouting Service ahead of the draft.


(Courtesy Phil Andrews/ReginaPats.com)

RED SOX SWEEP EDMONTON

425 fans were entertained at Currie Field as the Regina Red Sox defeated Edmonton 5-4. The win gave the Red Sox a two-game sweep of the visiting Prospects.

Regina starter Jake Waters threw a complete game seven-hitter in the Regina victory. He also had 11 strikeouts.

Jordan Schulz, who was three for five with an RBI, came through in the clutch when he doubled home the winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning.  His RBI double helped to improve Record to an impressive 12-5.

Michael Gahan had a busy night for the Edmonton Prospects. He began the game as the Edmonton starter pitching five complete innings giving up four runs and nine hits before moving to 3B. The Australian born Gahan was also two for four at the plate and he added two RBI.

Andrew Grieder took the loss as he gave up the hit that scored Regina’s winning run. Edmonton is now 9-7.

Regina returns to the diamond on Saturday as they host Melville. Game time at Currie Field is 7pm.

(Courtesy Tony Playter/Outlaw Communications)