For a goalie, I'm going to talk a lot of football today. But not before hockey talk, which is on everybody's lips around here these days...
Nobody's cheering more for the Brandon Wheat Kings right now than those in Tri-City and Vancouver. The Wheaties and Calgary Hitmen are all tied up at 1-1 in the WHL East Conference Final heading to Brandon but if Brandon WINS the series, then the West Conference champs get an automatic berth into the Memorial Cup. This, of course, is because the Wheat Kings are the Cup hosts. The Giants and Americans are tied up 1-1 in the West Final.
We had this scenario when I was with the P.A. Raiders in 1995 and the West Division champion Kamloops Blazers were hosting the Memorial Cup. The Raiders lost out in a 7-game East Final to Bryan McCabe and the Wheat Kings that year which ranked as the toughest loss I'd ever been a part of up until the 2009 Grey Cup. Brandon went on to the Memorial Cup in Kamloops that year, but never won.
As for this series, the Hitmen overnighted in Regina Sunday night on their way to the Wheat City for Game 3 tomorrow night.
The SJHL's La Ronge Ice Wolves are in a similar situation to the '95 Wheat Kings in this year's Junior A Anavet Cup which is currently tied up 1-1. Since their opponents, the Dauphin Kings, are hosting the Royal Bank Cup, the Ice Wolves are automatically in the national championship.
More than any other SJHL champ in recent memory, the Ice Wolves are capturing the hearts of Saskatchewan hockey fans. People are talking about them a lot, and it didn't hurt having the Credit Union Cup on Access 7 province-wide for people to see them for the first time.
To follow the Ice Wolves' fortunes, read the blog of La Ronge play-by-play man Bill Burfoot at:
I checked it out yesterday and he already called one of the Dauphin players "classless". Nice!
The TriTown Thunder lost 5-3 to Revelstoke in the gold medal final of the Junior B Keystone Cup in Kamloops on Sunday.
At the Esso Cup, the national female midget AAA championship at Regina's Cooperators Centre, here are Sunday's scores: Moncton 4 Richelieu 1, Notre Dame 5 Edmonton 2, Thunder Bay 2 Regina 1. Tonight Jordan Eberle will be signing autographs at the event from 6:30 to 7:30 prior to the Regina-Moncton game.
Don Cherry's mad at the amount of diving in the Stanley Cup playoffs this year. Guess what Grapes? If the refs are biting, you can't blame the players because it's giving their teams the edge. That's the way it's going now. Didn't you hear? You can even run goalies now!
FORT WORTH (AP) — A week after the end of his 20th full NHL season, and with his contract with the Dallas Stars expiring, Mike Modano said he plans to take some time before deciding whether to retire or play another season. He is also part of a group seeking ownership of the Stars, who are being sold by Tom Hicks' financially strapped Hicks Sports Group.
"It's really hard, I'm really kind of on the fence right now," Modano said Sunday about his playing future. "It's tough. And then you watch some of the playoffs, watch some of those games and it's like those are the things that you miss."
Modano was at Texas Motor Speedway on Sunday, where he was scheduled to drive the pace car before the start of the rain-delayed NASCAR Sprint Cup race. The event was rained out and Modano will drive the car today.
A lot of my friends and media colleagues read the blog of former Globe & Mail media watchdog William Houston called Truth & Rumours. But not anymore. Houston's merciless hatchet job on a variety of media people last week, including Globe hockey writer James Mirtle, reaked of somebody who's bitter, jealous and fast becoming a raving lunatic who's lost all sense of reality.
I've erased the bookmark and won't be visiting that site again. It's a joke. And I wish the people who feel the same way about this blog would stop visiting too, rather than writing in with stupid comments. But that's their choice.
I'm getting murdered in the Pats draft. I've got all Caps and Wings and sit in last place. In drafts, like life, you should always trust your initial gut instinct and mine told me to load up on Sabres because no one else would. But dang it, I didn't. But we're a long ways from being done yet.
The National Post reported the average household earning over $70,000 per year spends an average of $260 per year on gambling. I spend $20 per year ... on the Pats draft. And that's it other than literally $5 or so on penny slots in Vegas. How about you?
In our Titan Auto poll of who will win the Stanley Cup, Chicago drew the most of your votes with 16% followed by Vancouver (15%) and Washington (14%). The other 45% was split between the other 13 teams in the playoffs.
In our other Titan Auto poll of the week you readers said the series you're following the most is the Washington-Montreal affair, closely followed by Ottawa-Pittsburgh.
Interestingly, CBC had their pick of the first two series and they chose Vancouver-L.A. and then Ottawa-Pittsburgh. TSN got the next choice and they took Washington-Montreal before the two networks alternated choices.
Tell me how Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers was photographed in this parkade wearing a U OF R COUGARS t-shirt?? Pic courtesy Tyler Bieber.
Rider Pride blog email:
This was the Grey Cup Game Ball ( Congi's Field Goal that ended the first half ).
I brought it home, and my daughter stole it from me and wouldn't let go of it for two days.
The Regina South Rotary Club has snagged Brendan Taman as the guest speaker at their annual dinner and silent auction being held on May 20th.
They're expecting Brendan will light it up with the inside scoop on what it's like to come home to Saskatchewan and take on the General Manager's position.
Proceeds raised at the event will support Regina Palliative Care as well as a variety of organizations that promote education, housing and
sports in Regina's inner city neighborhoods.
For tickets call Jenny at 584-0561.
Something to think about from Roughriders' defensive tackle Marcus Adams via Twitter:
Why do all the pretty girls drive the junkie cars, then the ugly girls drive the nice cars????"
Leading scorer Kevin Durant of the NBA's Oklahoma City Thunder has earned the nickname "Durantula" which rhymes with Tarantula. Should we "borrow" that moniker for the Riders' Darian Durant, or let Kevin keep it? I must admit I kind of like it.
Winnipeg Free Press writer Ed Tait was taken aback to see scented candles on the desk of new Blue Bomber coach Paul LaPolice this week.
"It's really simple," LaPolice told Tait. "This is a football office and there are a lot of smelly guys around here."
The NFL draft is this Thursday. The CFL draft is May 2.
Geroy Simon will be terrorizing CFL DBs for a few more years to come. From Sunday's Vancouver Province and writer Lowell Ulrich:
"In a manner similar to his understated trademark pose after scoring a touchdown, the 34-year-old slotback slipped into Buono's office Thursday and signed a contract extension, The Province learned Saturday.
"Simon was heading into his option year and his new deal will only bind him through the 2011 season, though he has often stated he has no desire to play elsewhere.
"It is believed the contract maintains the position of the 34-year-old veteran as the highest-paid receiver in the CFL, earning in excess of $200,000 annually."
The United Football League is already through one season and many of us were completely unaware that it occurred at all.
The league will add a fifth team with Omaha joining Hartford, Sacramento, Las Vegas and Orlando in 2010. None of those cities are major markets and if the league is to survive, it is probably better for the organizers and owners to be
in those cities rather than New York and San Francisco, two
metropolitan areas that apparently had very little interest in the UFL in 2009. (http://www.examiner.com/)
BOISE, Idaho (AP) - A former Montreal Alouette wide receiver and Idaho Department of Correction guard convicted of having sexual contact with a female inmate has been released early from prison.
District Judge Ronald Wilper placed Timothy R. Gilligan on probation earlier this week, less than six months after sentencing the 28-year-old to serve between one and three years in prison.
Gilligan was a wide receiver for the Boise State football team between 2000 and 2003 and also played in the Canadian Football League with Montreal.
Legendary CFL coach Don Mathews will be inducted into the University of Idaho Vandals Hall of Fame in 2010. Here's
Don's bio from the Vandals' website (for those who may not know it):
Matthews was an offensive guard for the Vandals and earned four letters (1960-63). He was a team captain during his senior season. After his playing days were over, he headed for the coaching ranks where he built a career of legendary proportions in the Canadian Football League. His CFL career includes: five Grey Cup championship teams (head coach), a .633 winning percentage in 22 years, 11 divisional champions, and five-time Coach of the Year. As an
assistant, he was on staffs of five Grey Cup champions.
Does anybody remember the name "Chris Jennings" in the CFL? The Cleveland Browns running back was arrested early Saturday morning for allegedly punching a bouncer in the mouth outside a Cleveland nightclub. MSNBC.com had this to say about it:
"As of 8:15 AM Sunday, Jennings was still being held in a city jail. He reportedly 'ran into trouble' with a doorman at a local club. The former CFL star already figured to be on the roster bubble this year, and this won't help his case."
A quick Google search shows Jennings signed with the Montreal Alouettes in 2008. Frankly I don't recall him being a "star".
Former Roughrider financial controller Mike Back and his fiance Jayda Mann (of CKRM News) are a smart couple.
They booked their wedding for the Saturday of this September's Labour Day weekend. Why? They knew the Rider game is on Sunday so Saturday's open for a wedding and everyone will be back in Regina for the game. Wise planning!
The Press Box Sports Bar officially advertising its opening for a manager in Saturday's Leader Post. The shift calls for Thursday - Sunday nights and all the sports you can handle. Email your resume to email@example.com.
Big retail rumour! The Monday Morning Goalie heard on the weekend that Winners will be going into the old Walmart in the Southland Mall. Great news!
Meanwhile this goalie is pumped for East Side Mario's to be opening in Harbour Landing. That'll give Chris Winkler and me a place to hang during Rider home game weekends when he's staying with us, and it's close enough for us to do the watermelon crawl home afterwards.
This might be fun at Regina's Rainbow Cinemas:
MIDNIGHT MOVIE MARATHON Friday April 30th. 4 Movies, Unlimited Refills On Drinks & Popcorn. ALL Proceeds Donated To The 2010 MS WALK. Pick Up Your Pledge Form Now At Rainbow Cinemas. For More Information Call 306-359-6353.
I'd love to do that but I'll be speaking in Estevan the next day the Estevan Minor Football fundraiser presented by Estevan Motors and The House of Stationary. I don't need to pull an all-nighter the night before.
Please don't wait for City of Regina workers to clean up your neighbourhood! The snow melt has revealed a massive amount of litter around this fine city and it needs to be gone pronto. BEAUTIFY REGINA by getting some garbage bags and pitching in!
Okay that's about it. Any requests for Sportsline tonight? I haven't lined up any guests and I'm stumped for what is best to discuss.
HAVE A GREAT WEEK AND KEEP YOUR STICK ON THE ICE!