Realty One

Monday, May 8, 2017


Keith Hershmiller Photography

1 - A PICTURE SAYS 1000 WORDS: Doesn't that pic from Saturday's Game 2 of the WHL Finals say it all? The Regina Pats are back in this series in a big way after netting a 4-3 overtime victory over the Seattle Thunderbirds, drawing the series even at 1-1. It was absolute and sheer bedlam in the Brandt Centre when Josh Mahura slapped home the winner 5:22 into overtime, completing the comeback from a 3-1 deficit. Why this team always wants to do it the hard way, I have no idea. But in the end, they always seem to get it done.

2 - SELFISH, SELFISH, SELFISH: I'll say it again; this is why we love sports so much. It's because when you go to the arena, stadium, ballpark each day, you never know what to expect. And in Saturday's Game 2, I saw something I've never seen in a lifetime of watching hockey.

Seattle Assistant Captain Keegan Kolesar kneed Regina defenceman Connor Hobbs in the jewels early in overtime, putting his team down a man at the most critical time.

Kneeing a guy in the groin? Why? Especially then.

I've seen players do selfish things before on the ice. (In fact it happens almost every night). But this is the biggest head-scratcher of all-time.

Instead of being part of winning the game for the Thunderbirds, Kolesar assuredly cost his team the game. Had they gone up 2-0 in the series heading back to Seattle for Games 3, 4 and 5, they very likely were going to take this thing on home ice.

Now, the Pats have some momentum as the series shifts venues. Should Regina go on to win this thing, they can look back at the pivotal Game 2 and thank Keegan Kolesar for his ridiculous penalty in overtime.

3 - SAVE IT: I can hear some of the fans now. "But Rod, these players are kids! Take it easy on them!" For one, I've never really bought that argument. Kids or not, WHL players are treated like rockstars in their market and the benefits vastly outweigh the drawbacks. It can set them up for life if they're smart.  So when it comes to criticism, you need to take the bad with the good.

Keegan Kolesar is 20 years old. He's an adult. A man. And the Thunderbirds are furious that he may cost them their first league championshp in franchise history.

4 - GO JONNY GO: Caught right smack dab in the middle of this series is NFL star Jon Ryan. The punter for the Seattle Seahawks calls Regina, SK home so clearly he has allegiances to both franchises in these WHL Finals. I asked him prior to Friday's Game 1 who he's rooting for.

"A real Sophie's choice," Ryan wrote via text. "I'll be at the games wearing a Switzerland shirt. Seriously, I ordered one."

Switzerland, of course, has a history of being neutral as a country during world conflicts and not picking a side.

Either way Ryan will be on hand in Kent, WA for Wednesday's Game 4, dropping the ceremonial game puck.

Perhaps his mother Barb can stitch a jersey that's half Pats/half Thunderbirds.

5 - TRAVEL: Everybody's asking about the travel in between games in this Best-of-7 series given the geographical distance between Regina and Seattle. Well, dating back to at least 1968, teams have shared a charter aircraft paid for by the WHL to take them back and forth between games.

The reason I know this occured in 1968 was because the Memorial Cup was a Best-of-7 series back then and the Regina Pats and Montreal Jr. Canadiens flew together on an aircraft across the country.

Mal Isaac was the Pats broadcaster back then, and he said a brawl erupted on the plane in the middle of the series! I don't think that comes as a surprise to many.

Some suggested Seattle's Turner Ottenbreit should sit beside Pats captain Adam Brooks.

And just like last year, this chartered aircraft flew from Regina to Abbottsford on Sunday and the teams bussed the two hours down to Seattle (separately).

6 - YOURS TRULY: Many thoughtful Pats and WHL Fans have asked over the past few days if I'll be attending Games 3, 4 and 5 in Seattle this week.

I WISH! But somebody's got to stay home and mind the SportsCage and keep you abreast of all the other goings-on around here.

Should the Pats advance to the Memorial Cup, then I hope to head to Windsor for sure.

7 - WHAT A DRAFT!: The Saskatchewan Roughriders feel very good about the nine picks they made in the 2017 CFL Draft Sunday evening and why wouldn't they? They got the top linebacker available in the entire draft (UCLA's Cameron Judge) and felt they got a steal in Round 2 (offensive lineman Dariusz Bladek of Bethune-Cookman who was pegged to go in Round 1).

Scooping U of R Rams receiver Mitch Picton in Round 5 was another steal since the mock drafts at had Picton scheduled to go in the third round.

Of their nine picks, four were offensive linemen and frankly that's the only major area of concern for the Roughriders heading into 2017.

The rest of these players, we've never heard of, but it's a great stockpile of additional talent heading into training camp in 20 days!

8 - ALONG CAME JONES: Roughriders Head Coach & GM Chris Jones attended his first ever Regina Pats game on Saturday and came away thinking it was "really cool". He compared it to last year's Championship Final in Saskatoon when the NLL's Saskatchewan Rush captured the league title at a raucous SaskTel Centre.

Jones was particularly moved by the military officer who comes onto the ice before every Pats playoff game carrying a torch and saluting the crowd. "That was really, really cool," Jones mentioned on Sunday.

Jones was shown on the big screen during Saturday's Pats game and there's some conjecture over the response he received. Let me FIRST say that I was headed downstairs at the Brandt Centre at that exact moment so I completely missed it.

Some say Jones got a smattering of applause, some say there was generally no reaction at all, and many others said Jones was booed by the pro-Pats crowd.

They certainly didn't go wild!

I asked one well-heeled local businessman what the reaction was and he replied, "He got about the same reaction Brad Wall would get if he was to be introduced right now."

Wall would first have to come to a Pats game for that to happen!

And as far as Jones goes, I think people would really warm up to him if he did more radio interviews and community appearances because he's very funny, downright charming, and quick-witted.  But I understand that's not his preferred thing and if he builds the winner he's promised, he'll walk on water around here no matter how much he shows his face.

9 - OH SO CLOSE: As mentioned, training camp opens in 20 days at Griffiths Stadium in Saskatoon so the longest off-season ever is almost over. It was a treat to be able to watch the CFL Draft at new Mosaic Stadium on Sunday, and it's an honour just to be able to be in the facility each time we go.

Every time we go in there, it just gets better and better.

One of the questions I've gotten the most lately is, "What's your broadcast booth like?"

Well, it's as good as there is in pro football. It's identical to the NFL broadcast booth at MetLife Stadium in New York and better than the radio booths at AT&T Stadium in Dallas.

As bad as ours was at Taylor Field, the visitors broadcast booth in the old stadium was 10 times worse. It was cramped, the windows wouldn't open properly, and it was in a bad location.

Visiting CFL, USports and PFC broadcasters will think they've died and gone to heaven in Regina now.

However the home booth is out-of-this world, second only to the TSN booth next door.

10 - HOW ABOUT THOSE OILERS?: That was nuts on Sunday. The Riders put the Oilers-Ducks Game 6 on a giant TV screen next to the CFL Draft broadcast in the team theatre at Mosaic Stadium and we couldn't believe our eyes as the Oilers went up 1-0, 2-0, 3-0, 4-0, 5-0, etc.

How in the world does this happen? But full marks to them, and at least we didn't have to hear about the officiating for once.

The Oilers won in a 7-1 rout and forced a Game 7 back in Anaheim this week.

This will assuredly be the highest-rated hockey broadcast on TV so far this year, save for perhaps the World Junior gold medal final in Montreal.

Go Oilers!

Click here for details on our 2017 Social Media Workshop in Moose Jaw. You can sign up right there, or email me for information at


Craig said...

I believe the 1968 Regina Pats were part of the SJHL not the WHL, they went back to the SJHL so they would qualify to play for the Mem Cup as the WHL (WCMJHL back then) didn't qualify to play for the Mem Cup in 1968.

Rod Pedersen said...

Somewhere around there.

Kelly Markwart said...

I was wondering the same thing about the response to Jones but also saw at the same time a Thunderbird player trying to stir the pot in a scrum on the ice and thought the crowd was reacting to that as well.

Anonymous said...

Jones was shown on the screen, unfortunately, at the same time that Ottenbreit touched the, of course, the crowd gave it to the guy who knocked Brooks out.

CJ Evans said...

Had a tour of the new stadium a couple of weeks back! WOW! Not a bad seat in the house and the media & spotters will have some damn fine digs! First rate all around!!

stephen preston said...

Great draft for the Riders. Very excited about 4th round pick Merrideth - if he shows up at TC dedicated to football and in good shape, he could turn out to be the steal of the draft.

Anonymous said...

Kolsars dad (KD Williams) was a dirty CFLer. Apple doesn't fall far.

Anonymous said...

You can't do the show from Seattle? Scruffy and Meyers can't handle the workload back here? Take another trip to the US. Check out a Mariners game! Hang out with Jon Ryan! Lots of reasons to go. Its not like Seattle is Swift Current!

Rod Pedersen said...

Whoa whoa whoa. Keegan Kolesar's father is K.D. Williams? That changes everything!

Anonymous said...

Good ol Yorkton boy showing his stuff and stepping up in the clutch. Pretty cool to hear John Paddock comparing him to Scott Stevens. He helped the Terriers win the RBC Cup before making the jump to the Dub.

Gunderson's Yorkton

rocker said...

Its a fact, he is Kd's kid

Anonymous said...
Not according to this article. His dad's a ball player named Charles Peterson.

Anonymous said...

read the whole article, not just the 1st paragraph. The article says KD Williams is his biological father.


Anonymous said...

Charles Peterson is his dad, but in an interview, see below link, Keegan states his biological father is Williams and that is where he gets his size from.

Anonymous said...

Who and why would someone ask you if you are going to seattle. I guess as a fan because you really you have nothing to do with the Pats.

Rod Pedersen said...

Somebody's grumpy today.

Anonymous said...

I think you are actually technically wrong. If I remember correctly the flying issue only dates back to 2006 as a WHL policy when Vancouver and Moose Jaw played in the league final.

The series was not a 2-3-2. The first two games were played in Vancouver and the Giants flew private charter to Regina and were sitting in their hotel room while Moose Jaw still had 12 hours of busing ahead of them. The Warriors brass phoned the league as an unfair advantage and Ron Toigo committed to flying Moose Jaw back and forth to for Games 5, 6 and 7 but wasn't required as the Giants swept the Tribe.

Anonymous said...

How does playing in the WHL set them up for life if they are smart?

Rod Pedersen said...


Anonymous said...

Interesting article on 3 Down Nation today regarding professional soccer in Canada and the role of CFL teams. Down the road, a pro soccer team for Sastachewan would be a very good thing in terms of increasing use of the new, fantastic Mosaic Stadium.

Anonymous said...

Enough of the hockey talk. Who cares who the father is. All that's done is make me want some Kraft Dinner.
Looking forward to training camp for the Riders.

Anonymous said...

LOL @ CFL Fan.

Anonymous said...

Loved the fact that Regina's enemy #1 happens to be Turner Ottenbreit. For those of you who didn't read Vanstone's column a few days back, both he and Paddock both said it was a clean hit.

Those of us from the Parkland, who've followed Ottenbreit's minor hockey league career, all know that this kid is a gamer, who steps up big-time when needed and has always been known for his ability to make an open ice hit, or a devastating hip check along the boards. As noticed on Sunday night, he also does a fantastic job blocking shots, and getting that initial lead pass out of the defensive zone onto the wingers tape. I'm sure the boos would stop if he was wearing Pats colours. However, I'm sure he doesn't mind them and uses them as motivation.

Seattle in 6...
Basic in Yorkton

Anonymous said...

"How does playing in the WHL set them up for life if they are smart?"

Say you are in Regina and don't wanna go pro, you stay in Regina and play U of R and get free schooling from your WHL days. Soooooo many people know who you are that people are throwing jobs at you and you can pick jobs with huge room to grow into a massive salary if you so choose. Guys who don't even go to school get jobs over guys that went to school simply because fans own businesses and want the ex players around.

While you stay here you enjoy the same things (hookups) that you did as a player in many cases and you get to live life as a local celebrity for the rest of your days.

Did you see Frank Kovacs drop the puck at this year's game? Standing ovation..... he wouldn't get that ovation in say.... Calgary. Yes he went off and played pro for a while but even after many years away he was remembered and had ins to many diff jobs. He knew he could get in wherever he wanted so he chose to be a police officer. Now he does a job he loves and is a local celeb for the rest of his life. It's much like an ex rider staying after their career, they stay for the same reasons a smart WHL player would.

Hope this helps.......

Perry Pachkowski said...

Was Kolscar given a suspension from the league for the knee to the groin?
That's not called for in any sports!
We know dam well that if it was a Regina Pat he would be gone!!!

Anonymous said...

Regina Pat fans and writers are going to need Mattresses to use for Crying Towels the way they are Whining and Moaning about Kneeing and bad penalties by Seattle. Get a Life you guys you can't get every call Your way All the time.

Anonymous said...

Easy Perry,

Austin Wagner knee on knee to Ryley Lindgren of the Broncos. Assessed 5 and game, but no further suspension from the league office. Dawson Leedhahl throws a late hit on Lane Pederson resulting in injury. No penalty on the play, no discipline from the WHL. The classy Pats even use it as their hit of the game. Quit pretending Regina isn't the golden boy of the league this year.

Andrew Wiens said...

Perry, who knows if a suspension is coming but either way it seems the Pats made out pretty well off the incident. The T-birds didn't just lose one of their players for a game; rather, that knee led directly to them losing a game (something a suspension doesn't guarantee - just look at game one). Hard to believe that you and Paddock still want more. By the way, where exactly do you get the notion that a Pats player would be treated any differently for the same offense?

Kevin Lindeman said...

Rod, you are spot on with Kolesar and how incredibly selfish and stupid he was in game 2. In fact, in regulation play he popped a Regina player with his stick after the whistle was blown right in front of the official. He was sent to the box and guess what...Regina scored on the power play. I'm a big fan of the WHL first and secondly a T-Birds fan but I'm ready to have Kolesar move over to the Regina bench. Sorry Pats, but it seems that 90% of your goals are scored on power plays, so, unless coach Konowalchuk has a serious come to Jesus talk with him, you can have Kolesar for the rest of the series.

Anonymous said...

Hey Rod,

Chris Jones will be a legend here if he wins.

Speaking of legends and winners. I ran into Tillman on a flight home from Toronto yesterday. What a nice easy going man to talk to. After making small talk about the draft We got into some very detailed conversations about the incident and how he feels about the Riders. Also how he feels about Mark Mueller. I won't go into details because not sure he would want me too but I have never more respect then ever for him and the 2007 Grey Cup he brought us.

Anonymous said...

I hear the pigeons have moved into the new stadium, that sucks.