Wednesday, April 27, 2011

STACKHOUSE SOAPBOX (Yorkton This Week April 20)

The Yorkton Terriers watched their playoff run come to an end in game seven up in La Ronge last Tuesday night as they fell 3-1 to the Ice Wolves.  The club looked nervous in the opening two minutes and it cost them as they were down 2-0 before fans were even able to warm the seat.  From the rest of the way, Yorkton appeared to be the better club, but couldn’t beat Adam Bartko, who saved his best for last in the La Ronge goal.  Injuries to Brent Struble and Kurtis Decker, inevitably, hurt the team; but the Ice Wolves had injuries of their own.  So, no excuses.  Nevertheless, the Terriers did a number on the Ice Wolves by the looks of things as they were down 2-0 in games to the MJHL’s Portage Terriers after the weekend as the ANAVET Cup series takes place to decide who advances to the RBC Cup in Camrose, Alberta.

The federal election campaign is in full swing and the big question remains whether or not the Conservatives will get the much coveted majority government, or will they form a minority one yet again and have to play ball with the Liberals, NDP, and Bloc Quebecois.  Quebec really is smarter than the rest of the country.  They pick one party and that’s where the allegiance lies.  If the other nine provinces could pick one of the other three, then we wouldn’t have to do this election dance every two years. 

Prime Minister Stephen Harper still says he intends to get rid of a policy that allows political parties to get a subsidy of $2 per vote.  He maintains that he’s powerless to fulfill this promise unless he gets a majority.  Of course, the government that forms power always has more money than the ones that don’t, so naturally he’s okay with this change.  However, it does give me pause when it comes to voting.  If more people realized that a national political party gets $2 for your vote, would more folks stay home and not vote at all?  Admittedly, I’m not real happy with any of the political parties right now, so why should I contribute to the well-being of such a political party?  Wouldn’t be easier to not vote?  I don’t usually condone it; but if we all stayed home on this one I think a real loud message would be sent to those we have already elected to be in charge.

If the BQ ran some candidates in French speaking areas of New Brunswick and Ontario, would they steal a couple more seats?

I found myself behind a student driver last week on Broadway Street.  While I, patiently, waited for this poor person to do what the instructor was telling her, I couldn’t help but wonder how unsafe our roads would be if we all abided by the law right to the letter as per a driving instructor.  Does anyone ever drive that way even the first time he/she gets freedom from a driving instructor?  I can remember driving 52 in a 50 and getting supreme heck from the teacher.  Please.  Can we start living in the real world?  And, it’s not the teacher’s fault.  They are doing their job.

I wouldn’t mind if the Vancouver Canucks win the Stanley Cup, but there is something creepy about Mike Gillis, the team’s General Manager.  Gillis employed the super-creepy David Frost as a player birddog.  To my knowledge, Gillis has never really commented about Frost, but I would even be comfortable with him simply stating that he liked Frost and had no idea the guy was a weirdo.  Sometimes ‘no comment’ speaks loudest.  Former NHLPA Director Bob Goodenow should also have to answer on Frost at some point.  In fact, Goodenow even allowed his own son to be coached by Frost.  Yuck.  Without Goodenow and Gillis, Frost never gets certified as a player agent.

Nice person mentions this week to Kevin Shirtliffe, Riley Rice, Jessica Evans, Allison Wilson, and Brenda Niefer.

Sunday, April 24, 2011


Two questionable goaltending decisions today.  The guy that made the wrong choice, ended up winning.  The guy that made the right choice lost.  You don't often see that.

The Vancouver Canucks didn't win tonight, but I have every reason to believe they will on Tuesday in game seven.

Full marks to Alain Vigneault for getting the right pulse on his roster by inserting Cory Schneider to start in goal tonight.  While not all of the goals against in games four and five were Roberto Luongo's fault; the team in front of him had clearly lost its confidence with him between the pipes.  While media pundits applauded Vigneault's balls for switching to Schneider, I have to think the decision was pretty easy.  Schneider is a good goalie, who figures to be even better in the years to come.  And, how can you start a guy who has given up 10 goals in the equivalent of a full game over his last 60 minutes?  Don't rule out the players going to Vigneault and requesting Schneider be put in there.

Too bad for Schneider, who pulled a groin or something on the Michael Frolik shorthanded goal.  To me, the call for a penalty shot was weak.  Definitely should have been a two minute minor.  Following the Frolik goal, I caught the Blackhawks for slashing on Henrik Sedin, an elbow to the head of Kevin Bieksa, and too many men on the ice.  None went for penalties, yet Vancouver had the penalty shot call against them as well as a very lengthy second period five-on-three.  So, they got no favors tonight.

Further, Chicago got two goals on screw ups by a seldom used netminder miscommunicating with his defense as well as another on a penalty shot.  To me, the Hawks were not in this game tonight.  Unlike the last two, where they just obliterated the Canucks.  If we see a similar game on Tuesday as to what we witnessed tonight, Vancouver wins.

And, based on the Schneider injury...Luongo will start.

The other thing Vigneault has to do for game seven is reunite Burrows with the Sedins.  It drives me nuts to watch players like the Sedins, the sweethearts on San Jose, David Krejci, and Marian Gaborik just float through the playoffs the way they do.  While the confidence of Luongo is a big question mark, the dedication of the Swedes in big games also leaves a lot to be desired.

I think Vancouver's biggest problem is that their key players are not Stanley Cup grit guys.  Sedins, Samuelsson, Ehroff, Edler, and Salo are all good players; but they are not playoff type leaders.  Meanwhile, Toews, Bolland, Keith, and Seabrook are.

Which brings us to another team that was let down by its head coach today:  Philadelphia Flyers.  Fortunately, they live to see another day.

The decision by Peter Laviolette to start Michael Leighton smells a bit like coaching ego.  At the very least, it's stupidity.  You are facing elimination in the NHL playoffs and you turn to a guy that has played one game at the NHL level all season?  You also play a guy that gave up the Stanley Cup winning goal from behind the crease line last year?  This is also a guy that couldn't keep a job in the NHL until he caught lightning in a bottle for a stretch last season.  There was just no justifiable reason to put him in there.

To me, Laviolette bailed on Sergei Bobrovsky way too early.  He was good in a 1-0 loss in game one and then was bad in game two, giving up three first period goals.  From there, he goes straight to the press box.  Wow.  Your number one netminder doesn't even get the benefit of a mulligan. 

Enter Brian Boucher, who has played exactly like Brian Boucher has played for the last fifteen years or so.  He gives up the odd bad goal, but otherwise plays good enough between the pipes that a team like Philly should win most nights.  Was he shaky in game five?  Yes.  But, Boucher is like that.  Any coach with a pulse on his team knows Boucher could go right back in for game six without missing a beat.  It's like a closer who blows a save.  You return with your guy. 

Instead, Laviolette has pretty much broadcast to the world that he has no confidence in any of these three.  Based on interviews and other comments made over the course of the season, the players like Boucher and want him to do well.  He's their choice.  And, he should be Laviolette's too.  If Philly finds a way to win game seven, then Boucher has to be the guy the rest of the way whether he goes to hell in a hand basket or not.

I wonder if Bobrovsky gets elevated to back-up?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Our 9-year-old figures it's best to relay a message that may, otherwise, fall on deaf ears through the written word as opposed to the spoken one.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. and Mrs. Souchotte at Boston Pizza in Prince Albert during the Credit Union Cup final.  Even after this brief encounter, I can't say I'm surprised to hear such an amazing story.

Little known fact:  Nolan Souchotte was just as close to winning the SJHL Playoff MVP Award as was Adam Bartko, Marc-Andre Carre, and Logan Herauf.  It just goes to show that people inside hockey still, truly, value things like hard work, face-off wins, and how hard you are to play against.


And, I see right away there must be some sort of illness involved.  After all, we can't just blame the guy for being an idiot.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Steve Downie on Dean McAmmond:  20 game suspension
Raffi Torres on Brent Seabrook:  0 game suspension

Downie's hit on Ben Lovejoy tonight is pretty similar to the one on McAmmond.  However, I would argue Downie did not hit Lovejoy in the head.  Nothing is up on You Tube yet for that hit.

What about the Kunitz elbow to Simon Gagne?  Suspendable?  You decide.


The Raffi Torres hit on Brent Seabrook last night is generating all sorts of wide ranging opinions concerning whether or not he should be suspended.

I have long been calling for automatic stiff suspensions for hits to the head such as this.

I'm changing my tune.  Not because I'm a Canucks fan, but rather because I don't get a feeling that hockey players or the majority of hockey fans want to see the game altered to the point where players aren't getting their daylights knocked out.

As a parent, I've made a choice that the game is too violent and dangerous for my son to play.  That's a personal decision.  I just feel that, as a hockey player, you are not signing up for that kind of a life changing collision.  My son can play soccer, baseball, swimming, pretty much whatever he wants.  Heck, he can even play football because at least he'll be able to see the hit coming!

Clearly, I'm in the minority.  And, that's fine.  Tough guy Krys Barch was all over Twitter last night saying there is absolutely nothing wrong with the hit.  Meanwhile, Islander sweetheart Michael Grabner had a much different take with his Tweets.  Therein lies the problem with hockey.  I think you have a certain faction that wants no part of this violence and some that are of the understanding you can freight-train a guy who's not looking and that it's simply part of the game.

At least with football, every player that straps on a helmet understands the risk of a major injury.  It's no different than auto racing, where drivers assume the risk that each race might be his last day on earth.  Hockey players aren't at that point.  While they are willing to accept that they may lose a few teeth, break the odd leg, heck even become paralyzed due to a hit from behind, I don't think hockey players are in full agreement that getting knocked senseless while not handling the puck is a part of the game. I'm arguing that it might be.  The NHL has to step up and either come down with really harsh penalties for those that do it, or else say this is hockey and not figure skating.  Suck it up and play or beat it.

And, therefore, it has to come down to personal choice.  If Sidney Crosby decides this kind of violence isn't for him and he walks away, then I'm all for it.  However, if Crosby also chooses to come back and play, he also has to understand that these violent full body checks to the head are a reality and he may deal with concussion like symptoms for the rest of his life.  The price you could, conceivably, pay for being a National Hockey League player.  Don't whine about it.  Just play.  Or, don't play.  Simple as that.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Just a few thoughts to close out the series, which was the most competitive SJHL final that I have seen in my ten years of being involved with the league.

--Adam Bartko deserves way more credit than he gets.  He was the difference last night.  Anything less than his spectacular showing and the Terriers spoil the party.

--Marc-Andre Carre could approach 130 points next year.  I wonder who his linemates will be.  Rhyse Dieno, I would think, is a shoe-in.  After that, there is a spot open.

--It was great to see Dayton Fossum get the Playoff MVP.  The kid is a horse on the blueline.  I hope someone takes notice and gives him an opportunity next year either at the minor pro level or in university.  If you want an Exhibit A as to why stats are not always important, you look at Fossum, who scored his first goal of the playoffs in game seven.

--Clarke Breitkreuz proved his mettle in a big way.  He, almost, single handedly won the series for the Terriers as he looked like a man on a mission in games four through seven.  He also dropped the mitts to stick up for a teammate earlier in the series and his feisty style drives the opposition crazy.

--If I had chosen the Playoff MVP, here are the top contenders after Fossum:  Carre, Bartko, Herauf, and Souchotte for La Ronge.  Breitkreuz, Ciolfi, Peters for Yorkton.

STACKHOUSE SOAPBOX (Yorkton This Week Apr 13)

Women in Yorkton need to be on high alert while some creep roams the streets asking for directions so that he can try to abduct his victim(s).  City RCMP first made us aware of this very scary situation on March 31st, when a report came in from a female, who was walking along Laurier Avenue on March 30th was forced, at knifepoint, into a truck.  She got away.  A huge coincidence later that night as a report came in about a similar incident on March 19th.  What are the chances of something like this occurring and then a victim waiting 12 days to file a report and it just so happens another woman was victimized that same night?  With two reports being made public, a third woman has now stepped forward saying a man was asking directions on March 29th while she was jogging on North Street.  ( arrest has been made; but the accused is innocent until proven guilty

Kelsey Jones is a guy I work with and his attention to detail is great because you need to have that as a graphic  artist.  However, I find this character trait extends beyond the work world.  He has a way of finding the most obscure things.  Today, he pointed out that after the 1976 Olympics in Montreal, the Canadiens won the Stanley Cup.  In 1989, the Calgary Flames won the Stanley Cup after hosting in 1988.  Vancouver, of course, hosted the 2010 Olympics and they have to be considered odds on favorites to win the Cup in 2011 , even without this odd pattern.

Speaking of the finer point of details, if you are looking to save money, then pay special attention when in line at the grocery store.  I guess if a product goes through the scanner at the cash register with a higher than advertised price, then you get it for free as long as the item is $10 or less.  If the product is $10 or more, than you get $10 off.  Apparently, it’s called the Scanning Code Of Practice and most major retailers abide by this voluntarily. 

A member of the Toronto FC says the locker room should be a sacred place and off-limits to reporters, male and female.  I couldn’t agree more.  You should be able to wait 15 or 20 minutes for an athlete to shower and get cleaned up before he speaks to the media. 

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers must be the only team that received the memo about the CFL season being shortened to four games.  Why else would they trade Steven Jyles, their 1A quarterback behind the oft-injured Buck Pierce?  I have my doubts on Pierce even making four games!  One Regina media member remarked that Jyles is not a quarterback that you can win with.  My response : Joey Elliott is?

Where do we draw the line when it comes to federal election debates?  The Green Party really doesn’t have enough popularity to participate, but the Bloc                 Quebecois doesn’t even run candidates outside Quebec.  So, in the interest of fairness, we should ban both of those parties.  The BQ can participate in the French debate, but there is no reason to have them in the English one.  The realist in me says to ban the NDP too because they have no chance of forming government, although if Jack Layton and company are able to make a deal with the Liberals and form a coalition, then I suppose his party’s views do become relevant.

Without pointing fingers at any particular party, I will say that it is comical to see what a couple of the leaders have promised so far.  It’s almost like a political leader will say anything in order to get elected.  We, as a general public, need to remind ourselves that if the promise sounds too good to be true it is because it really is a promise too good to be true.

We are in big trouble in this country if the 63% rent increase that was given to tenants of a Regina apartment building becomes the norm as opposed to the exception.  The increase is legal because the landlord has given tenants until August to either find a way to pay the new monthly rent of $1100 (current rent is $675) or else leave.  I suppose the landlord knows he can fill his building at that price per suite without any problem, but that’s crazy. 

Nice person mentions this week to Garth Simms, Rod Steciuk, Ryan Hoffman, and Kris Sapara.

Sunday, April 10, 2011


I'm sure Keith Acton is a very nice person, but why the Toronto Maple Leafs continue to employ this guy as an Assistant Coach is a mystery and why media scribes in that city don't even bring it up is way beyond my understanding.

Acton has been with Toronto since 2002, somehow managing to stay on staff with Pat Quinn, Paul Maurice, and Ron Wilson.  Many of the other assistants have changed, but Acton stays constant.  So too do the non-playoff performances by the Maple Leafs.

And, now the Leafs have doled out a professional contract to Keith's son Will.  This, despite Will plugging along in the Ontario Junior 'A' ranks for three really unremarkable years.  His best season was 29-points in 33-games with hometown Stouffville.  Unremarkable could best describe his four year stint at Lake Superior State too. Undrafted, Brian Burke and company scooped him up and he's gone pointless in four games at the AHL level.

Perhaps he is a leader.  Canada East named him captain for their World Junior 'A' Challenge entry in Yorkton in 2006.  That season, he fired 11-goals in 48-games.  At least Will's credentials dwarf those of Trevor Nill, the son of Detroit Red Wing Assistant General Manager Jim Nill.  Trevor 'starred' in the hockey world with an 11-point season (53-games) for Penticton of the BCHL, taking up a Canada West WJAC roster spot that could have gone to Dustin Stevenson (La Ronge, now signed with Washington Capitals) or Weyburn's Rhett Bly, who had 42-points that year on his way to back to back 70 point seasons and a scholarship in the NCAA.  Trevor somehow found his way onto Michigan State where he has contributed goal seasons of 1, 2, and 1.  I'm clearly missing something though.  Trevor has been drafted by the St. Louis Blues.

Just the latest example of someone with NHL bloodlines getting as close to a free ticket at an NHL shot as possible.

Saturday, April 9, 2011


I also see the CBC has closed the commenting on this story as well as the one about the accused abductor in Yorkton story.

Yet, a completely tasteless comment about Mandi Schwartz made it through the screeners today.


I'm happy that authorities have zeroed in on a suspect.  We must remember this individual is not guilty until he has his day in court.

I notice he was arrested on Tuesday, but none of this became public until Friday.

Sloppy media work or did the city RCMP not notify in short order as to when the arrest was made?


The La Ronge Ice Wolves rallied from 3-1 down in the second period to defeat the Yorkton Terriers 4-3 in game five of the Credit Union Cup finals on Friday night.

The Ice Wolves went 4-for-8 on the powerplay, while the Terriers were 0-for-2.

5-on-5, Yorkton looked like the better team last night; but the Ice Wolves found a way to get it done despite missing Doug Lindensmith, Philippe Cliche, Phil Belanger, and Byron Sorensen due to injury.

Yet, I feel if the Terriers find a way to stay out of the box on Sunday, there will be another game in La Ronge on Tuesday night.

I would be surprised if Yorkton mails in game six as some are already suggesting.

Friday, April 8, 2011


I'm all for defending your property, and maybe I'm being a little too critical; but she hardly seems like she's stressed about taking another human being's life....even if the life wasn't worth a whole lot.

Thursday, April 7, 2011


The Yorkton Terriers defeated the La Ronge Ice Wolves 4-3, in overtime, last night just one night after La Ronge posted their own 4-3 overtime win.

The series is tied at 2 with game five on Friday night in La Ronge and game six back in Yorkton on Sunday at 6pm (note the start time).

After two games, I tipped my hat to Devin Peters, who pretty much stole game two for the Terriers in a 3-0 decision.  Today, I'm doing the same for Adam Bartko, who made some highlight reel stops in game three that allowed La Ronge to take the series lead.

Defenseman Dayton Fossum continues to cement his position as the best blueliner on the ice for either side.  He's seeing upwards of 30 minutes or more of ice time per game and he broke up a 3-on-1 last night that looked impossible to stop.  Further, Fossum's ability to jump into the play without sacrificing his defense is uncanny.  In fact, if I had a vote for MVP of the playoffs, I would give it to Fossum despite Robbie Ciolfi's 13-goals and the pile of points put up by the line of Carre-Herauf-Eggum.

The Ice Wolves sorely miss Doug Lindensmith and his 98 regular season points; but the Terriers miss Brent Struble just as much.  Struble didn't have the eye popping numbers of Lindensmith, but in a series where the superstars are forced to get greasy in the corners, Struble would have fit perfectly in this series.

Yorkton forwards Justin Buzzeo and Jeremy Boyer finally broke out last night.  It was Buzzeo's solid work in the corner during overtime that produced the loose puck to squirt out to the middle, allowing Boyer to show off one of the best shots in Junior 'A' hockey, giving the Terriers new life in the series.

One of the more fun one-on-one battles in this series has been Marc-Andre Carre vs. Devon McMullen.  McMullen gives Carre almost a full foot in size; but he's not afraid to go toe-to-toe with him.

Clarke Breitkreuz has discovered a way to make the temperatures rise for a few of the La Ronge players.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


I've been wondering about Neepawa for quite some time.  I issued some email questions to Bryant Perrier a few weeks ago and to his credit, he wished to talk on the phone about it.  I am not really in favor of that as things can be taken out of context on a phone interview.  In this day and age, it's much easier to copy and paste answers given to specific questions.  He never did answer.  If he does, I'll be more than happy to post.

In the meantime, here is an editorial of mine.  For anyone in Neepawa who may be offended, I apologize.  But this is how I see things from a distance (because Neepawa was the team I covered in the MJHL for five years during my stay in Brandon, I have always continued to follow their success or lack thereof since I moved away):

This past summer, I posted on my blog that I was surprised to see the Neepawa Natives add a player like 20-year-old goalie Wendell Vye.  I also made some comments that were, probably, not fair to Vye or the Natives concerning how they were able to get him and whether or not they could keep him happy for the entire season.

Those comments struck a nerve with Cam Dickie, the now former Director of Player Personnel of the Natives, who decided he’d call me on a Saturday night after 10pm to express his disappointment with me.  Obviously, I didn’t take the call at 10pm, but Dickie certainly tried again the next afternoon and let me have it pretty good with regards to potential law suits, and the fact Vye was just looking for a place to play and had a family connection with Neepawa.

I admit to being wrong on my choice of words with regards to the Vye acquisition/signing (whatever it was); but also felt there was an attempt to bully on the phone.  Maybe that wasn’t Cam’s intent, but that’s how I took it (rightly or wrongly).

I countered with sticking to my guns that the Natives were a shoestring budget organization (now they have their hand out at municipal council, so this point should be further proven) when I worked in Brandon and I’ve seen nothing to indicate things have changed since I moved on.  Cam didn’t really like that assertion, but admitted I was entitled to my opinion.

Still, I left the conversation thinking the Natives must be serious about contending in 2010-11 and I was going to watch how their year goes with great interest following that phone call.

One of the places I go to get a pulse on what people are thinking is the Network54 MJHL Message Board.  Granted, there is a ton of crap on there and you can’t really put a lot of credibility into what is posted by anonymous folks who have axes to grind.  Still, it was obvious to me that Neepawa head coach Bryant Perrier (and Dickie) generated more emotions from fans than any other person, team, or issue in the entire MJHL.  In fact, it’s not even close.  I’m not really sure why.  I’ve never met Perrier, never talked to him, and wouldn’t recognize him if I passed him on the street.

Having said that, most of the time when you talk to a coach about another coach within the same league, you get the feeling that there is an unwritten code where despite the fact they are on opposite teams, coaches don’t throw one another under the bus.  Not so when it comes to Perrier, who is not held in high regard with, at least, two of his MJHL peers based on comments relayed to me.  I also spoke to a handful of former players (and there are a lot of former players when it come to Neepawa) and none of them had anything good to say about their stay.  

Regardless of whether or not a fan likes or dislikes the management of the Neepawa Natives, this is a team that turned over more than half of its roster from opening night by the end of the season.  Dickie was fired in early December and Vye ended up leaving too.  At the end of the day, based on my feeling from the summer, I wasn’t surprised to see Vye leave town.  Was Dickie the ‘family connection’ for Vye?  Why would he leave after Dickie’s departure?  In any event, it doesn’t matter.  The Natives went completely south from that point on and they ended up finishing in last place and missing the playoffs.  I don’t have an opinion on Perrier as a person, but I do know a hockey team that has high hopes to contend for a championship in August, turns over 60% or more of its roster during the regular season, and ends up sinking to the bottom of the standings by February probably shouldn’t be offering a contract extension to the head coach.  I’m not saying he should, necessarily, be fired either.  Maybe he gets a mulligan and let’s see what happens in the first half of 2011-12.  

Monday, April 4, 2011


According to, NFL free agent outside linebacker Mike Vrabel was arrested for felony theft at an Indiana casino early today.  The 'theft' is related to a bar tab or "taking bottles of alcohol from a deli" on casino grounds.  He was in the grey hotel for about five hours over this incident.  I'm not sure what Vrabel made last year for a salary, but couldn't he pony up the bill?  I mean, even if there is a dispute on what he owes, just pay it and move on.  Some people........

Sunday, April 3, 2011


The series shifts to Yorkton for game three with the Terriers and Ice Wolves tied at a game apiece.

On Friday night, La Ronge caught Yorkton off guard and that really wasn't a huge surprise as the Terriers played a number of, relatively, easy games on their way to the final.  Meanwhile, La Ronge has really had to battle through two top goalies in PJ Musico (Flin Flon) and Charles Corsi (Melfort).

Travis Eggum opened the scoring with a nice move around a defenseman and another to beat Devin Peters for the 1-0 advantage.  Robert Monfore scored on a screen shot from the blueline about 90 seconds after that and the result really wasn't in doubt.  The Ice Wolves were 5-2 winners.

In game two, the Terriers caught a break in the second when Robbie Ciolfi was given credit for a goal that clearly went in off his skate.  What is open for debate is whether or not he made a kicking motion.  It certainly appeared to me that he made a definite redirection move with his skate as it went in off the side of his skate.  After a brief conference between the on-ice officials, it was decided to give Yorkton the goal.  Kurtis Decker scored shortly after that as he picked the puck off the wall and beat Adam Bartko, who was slow getting back in his net after making a clearing attempt behind the goal.  The Terriers went on to win 3-0, giving Peters his third shutout in seven postseason starts.

Through two games, the best defense pairing on the ice for either team is Dayton Fossum and Byron Sorensen of the Ice Wolves.  They give nothing to the opposition and are quick to jump into the offense.  As the series goes deeper, I would expect head coach Bob Beatty to lean even heavier on these two horses.

Yorkton's best player through two games is Devin Peters.  They are down 2-0 in the series if not for about four huge stops that he made in the opening 30 minutes of game two.

Give La Ronge credit for doing their home work.  Yorkton has gotten very little as far as scoring chances are concerned in the slot area or anywhere in the middle of the ice for that matter.  Will that change when the Terriers get on a more familiar ice surface on Tuesday and Wednesday?

The most dangerous player on either side thus far is Marc-Andre Carre.  He can go on a 1-on-2 rush and still make something happen.  In fact, you almost expect him to make something happen.

Yorkton's penalty killers deserve a ton of credit as La Ronge's powerplay has yet to do damage.  Furthermore, last night's 3-0 result was the first time all year the Ice Wolves have been shutout.

Is it good news or bad news that Ciolfi, Clarke Breitkreuz, Jeremy Boyer, Justin Buzzeo, and Blaine Tendler haven't played well, but the Terriers are in a 1-1 series?

Is it good news or bad news that as well as Carre and Travis Eggum have played and as effective as support players Rhyse Dieno, Nolan Souchotte, and Skyler Hladun appear to be that the series is only 1-1.

La Ronge is carrying an extra 20-year-old and that has caused a pretty good player in Nick Keller to watch the first two games from the seats.  Now that the Ice Wolves have lost a game, does Keller get back in?  Who would sit?  It certainly won't be Adam Bartko, Eggum, Lindensmith, Logan Herauf, Fossum, Monfore, or the captain Souchotte.  That leaves Taylor Pillar, who has also looked strong.  I suppose he could also rest Phil Belanger and insert Alex Vandenameele.  Tough decision for Beatty as none of the nine have given him a reason to make a change.

Yorkton defenseman Devon McMullen is only 17 and is listed at 5'8" and 155 Ibs.  He plays like he's 20 and 6'4" 210Ibs.


I got a Facebook message this morning saying Mandi Schwartz has lost her battle with cancer. She passed at 10:35am PST surrounded by family and friends. May you rest in peace, Mandi. May God give the Schwartz family strength during this difficult time.