Wednesday, September 2, 2015
THE WEDNESDAY THRILLER ... WITH PHIL ANDREWS
I'm going to start with the Riders because it is everything, everyone is talking about right now but I will be brief. Not surprised with the firing of Corey Chamblin. Like every fan and media person who follows this team it was very obvious he had changed since winning the Grey Cup. However, he brought the team to, and won the biggest game in the franchise's history in 2013 and he will be remembered for that.
He's a good coach but lost his way in my humble opinion. As for Brenden Taman, I was a little surprised to see him go as well. I don't know what happened behind closed doors but I have always thought BT had done a good job with this team and again he manufactured the 2013 Grey Cup champion squad. I had no relationship whatsoever with Chamblin but with Taman I spent more than a few times sitting in his office just shooting the wind and always appreciated how good of a guy he is.
They don't make many guys like that and I wish him all the best.
Now on to the Regina Pats where I have spent the bulk of the last four days covering training camp. First off the new way of doing things is a breath of fresh air. The rookies got a chance to prove themselves over the weekend and into Monday while the vets will not skate until later today. It wasn't the usual long drawn out training camp and it gave the scouts and coaches a chance to see the young guys, decide who to sign and who to carry forward to this weeks rookie showcase at the Cooperators Arena.
There is some really good young talent here in Regina. The guys you would expect to look good have, Jake Leschyshyn and Jake Elmer have taken a step. Jared Freadrich will make this team in my opinion, he was the best defenceman in rookie camp, defenceman Brady Pouteau is not far behind either. I was also really impressed with Lane Zablocki who came over in the Jesse Gabrielle trade, he reminds me of Morgan Klimchuk in the way he skates and has some good skill.
He will likely play with Sam Steel to start the year. Gary Haden is the front runner to make the team in the 16-year-old forward group in my opinion. Pretty damn good for a 9th round pick, the kid can skate, he can shoot and seems to have the smarts too. Riley Woods has impressed, the former Pat Canadian is coming off a big year and has a good shot to make the team this year. The Estevan Bruins are hoping he doesn't but I am really pulling for the kid to make the jump to the WHL. He has skill and speed to spare.
Russian defenceman Nikolai Knyzhov is a lot better than I expected him to be. Skates very well, has skill with the puck, he is raw but will develop into a good player. Goaltender Jordan Hollett got better as the weekend went on and played very well in the Blue and White game on Monday night, my guess is there will be three goalies with the team to start the year before a decision or a trade is made. Trygve Many Guns and Erik Gardiner are other guys with a chance to stick in Regina this year. Lots of decisions to come and the pre-season will decide who gets the limited spots available. There are currently 35 players still in Regina including the returning guys.
The rookie showcase starts tomorrow night at the Cooperators Arena when the Pats take on the Calgary Hitmen at 7 o'clock. Daniel Fink and I will be broadcasting the game live on 620 CKRM with the pre-game starting at 6:35. Puck drop at 7.
The Regina Thunder had another record setting day on the weekend in Edmonton when they beat the Huskies 76-9. The 76 points set a club record. That after they set a record the week before with 63 points. It sets up a great matchup this weekend Saturday in Saskatoon against the Hilltops who are also 3 and oh and have also beat up on their opposition in the opening three weeks.
Here is a recap of the week in the PFC courtesy of Ryan Watters on cjfl.org.
COLTS 38 - WILDCATS 14
Saturday night the Colts played their second straight game in Edmonton, beating the Wildcats 38-14 using the run game to control the offence.
Six different players carried the rock with Xavier Ramsay carrying the load with 20 carries for 149 yards and a touchdown. Quarterback John Kiesman rushed four times for 68 yards and had a pair to touchdowns. In all the Colts rushed for 276 yards.
Through the air Kiesman completed just nine passes for 138 yards and threw a 37 yard TD pass to Aaron Roemmele.
The Colts “D” was led by Akida Lewis who had a game high nine tackles and a sack. Colton Burr had a pair of sacks while Owen Redlick recovered two fumbles, picked off a pass and had two tackles. Jayden Lawson also intercepted a pass and Reyd Kessler recovered a fumble. The Colts defence created seven turnovers.
Next weekend the Colts (2-1) will stay on the road and visit the Winnipeg Rifles (0-3) part of the PFC’s Rivalry Week.
The Edmonton Wildcats struggled against the Colts in Week 3, compiling just 81 yards on the ground and 270 yards of total offence.
Quarterback Jordan Olson finished 6 of 17 for just 90 yards and threw an interception, before Colton Hippe’s 11 of 16 for 162 yards and threw a touchdown pass to Ronnie Oling. The top Cats receiver was Landyn Vick who hauled in four passes for a game high 101 yards.
Kicker Ryan Smith was good on 2 of 3 field goals.
Defensively the Wildcats created five turnovers as Tony Savchuk picked off two passes, Jayden Dalke recovered a fumble, as did Jonathan Harke.
The Wildcats (1-2) will play their city rivals the Huskies (0-3) on Saturday night at 7:00pm part of the PFC’s Rivalry Week.
HILLTOPS 65 - RIFLES 9
For the second straight week the Saskatoon Hilltops dominated the Winnipeg Rifles, staying undefeated with a 65-9 victory behind a very balanced attack.
The Hilltops set the tone very early as Bryant Sackney took the opening kick-off 100 yards the other direction for a touchdown.
Four Hilltop quarterbacks finished 21 of 35 for 226 yards. Starter Jared Andreychuck did most of the damage finishing 16 of 24 for 211 yards and threw a pair of touchdown passes to Evan Kopchynski and Logan Fischer out of the backfield. Evan Turkingons and Chad Braun each caught five passes each.
Fischer led the ground game with 10 carries for 85 yards and a score. Both Des Vessey and Adam Marchart also caught TD passes.
The Hilltops defence also flexed their muscle creating seven turnovers and eight sacks. Cole Benkic intercepted a pass returning 10 yards for a touchdown while Tom Schnitzler picked up a fumble and returned it 10 yards for a major. Bobby Ehman had four tackles and an interception to lead the Hilltops. Blake Hermann collected three sacks and Connor Guillet, Tyrell Hering, Schnitzler, Blake Adams and Matt Kozun each had a sack.
Saturday the Saskatchewan rivalry ignites again as the Hilltops (3-0) host the Regina Thunder (3-0) part of the PFC’s Rivalry Week.
The Winnipeg Rifles got behind the 8-ball early allowing the opening kick-off to go 100 yards the other direction and were down 21-7 after the first quarter.
Quarterback Jamie Ybarra Jr. finished 5 of 8 and threw a touchdown pass to Ian Lee. However he also threw his Conference leading fifth interception. Back-up Jonathan Remple came off the bench and completed 13 of 25 for 160 yards and threw a pick.
On the ground Blair Mattes carried 10 times for 27 yards, while Ybarra scampered three times for 34 yards.
The Rifles defence was on the field for the majority of the day. Defensive back Brandan Gates finished with a game high nine tackles. Evan Vitt tallied a pair of sacks and Andrew Ricard picked off a pass.
On Saturday night the Rifles (0-3) host the Calgary Colts (2-1) at 7:00pm part of their Alumni Game.
THUNDER 76 - HUSKIES 9
The Regina Thunder kept pace with the defending champs, staying undefeated blasting the Edmonton Huskies 76-9 in their first road game.
The Thunder compiled 722 yards of total offence, including 418 through the air. Quarterback Jaeden Marwick had a career game completing 18 of 22 for 289 yards and five touchdowns. He also ran for a TD. Back-up Sawyer Buettner was a perfect 9 of 9 for 129 yards and threw a TD as well.
Kasim Ocaya hauled in a game high seven passes for 146 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Kristopher Calcutt also caught two touchdown passes, while Preston Bews and Thomas Bresciani each made a touchdown reception.
On the ground Colton Klassen was a force carrying 16 times for 178 yards and two touchdowns. Victor St. Pierre-Laviolette rushed 10 times for 83 yards and two majors.
The Thunder “D” created five turnovers highlighted by a 76 yard return on an interception by Marcus Hall. Dustin Erbach also picked off a pass and Ethan Hautz recovered a fumble. Erbach and Taylor Mayer each had five tackles.
Saturday night the Thunder (3-0) will lock up with the Saskatoon Hilltops (3-0) at SMF Field at 7:00pm in the PFC Game of the Week. (#cjflrivalry).
The Edmonton Huskies scored all nine of their points in the second quarter as kicker Cole Sabourin connected on three field goals. He is now a perfect 5-5 this season.
The Huskies offence was led by quarterback Bradley Launhardt who completed 13 of 29 for 209 yards. Nine different receivers caught balls, led by Dylan Stanton and his four receptions. James Aldred had a team high 71 yards.
On the ground Jimmie Airey rushed 10 times for 80 yards.
The “D” was led by Brandon Mellen who had nine tackles and Jassen Brown who had six. Michael Getzinger intercepted a pass for the lone Huskies turnover and both Stephan Paleniuk and Brown each had a sack.
The Huskies (0-3) will host the Wildcats (1-2) on Saturday night at Clarke Park part of the PFC’s Rivalry Week.
- Big congrats to the 2015 Regina Sports Hall of Fame Inductees. They include former Regina Pats Rich Preston and Larry Wright. As well our statistician on Rider broadcasts, John Hoffman went in as a builder. A great guy and well deserved. The induction ceremony will take place on October 8th at Evraz Place. Hope you can make it.
- Hearing rumours out of Moose Jaw that the Warriors are not going to be trading star forward Brayden Point any time soon, if at all. I get the team needs to get back to the post season but from my standpoint he is worth more to the Warriors being traded to Red Deer or Brandon than he does to get maybe a 1st, or to stretch things, a 2nd round playoff appearance. Point has played upwards of 40 minutes a night for that team for the last three years and done absolutely everything. He deserves a chance to win. You would think the Warriors want to build around their two top six 1st round picks from this summer. Again it's just a rumour and I'm not a GM but we've seen this same story in Regina before with Jordan Eberle, Colton Teubert, Jordan Weal etc.
- The Toronto Blue Jays found a way to win last night against the red hot Cleveland Indians. Cleveland has done a heck of a job shutting down the Jays bats in the first two games but Toronto generated three runs on sacrifice flies and then got the walk off homer in extra innings from Ryan Goins. It is good to see the team relying on good pitching and manufacturing runs the old fashion way.
- I don't want to hear another word about deflategate. This saga has carried on too long. What a waste of tax payers money having this ordeal go to federal court. My goodness.
- College Football starts this weekend! Enough said.
That's all I've got for today. Talk to you from the rink tomorrow night!