Well, before everyone stops reading for good, I thought I should wake this blog up a little.
A lot has happened in the sporting world lately, but not a lot directly affecting me, or GX... it's been quiet locally, so the blog has been too.
I haven't taken any vacation days since my Play by Play season ended, but it always feels like vacation when my hours and miles hit a sharp decline like they do this time of year.
So far, plans are to take the first week of July off and spent part of it in Edmonton. I think it was three years ago that myself, news man Randy Atkinson, and salesmen Doug Jonassen and Ron Hana shared a big win in the Rider Lotto. We had four tickets, and one of them won Season Tickets, and another won a Caribbean Cruise. Obviously there was no way to share a two-person cruise between four people, so the travel company out of Regina was kind enough to value it at $5000 and give us each $1250 travel vouchers to use however we like, and that will cover 3 nights at one of the fancier rooms at Fantasyland at West Ed, and waterpark passes. I think Ron went to Vegas, Randy just went to Mexico, so Edmonton might seem a little boring, but I don't think we're going too far anytime soon with a 2-year-old at home! We'll be leaving her with one or both sets of grandparents though, first time for more than a day.
The little monster turns 2 on Friday. Crazy!
I don't want to put this on a public site but will anyway. I put it on Facebook and Twitter about a month ago that my wife and I were expecting again, but unfortunately my wife had a miscarriage a couple days later. I'm still given congratulations almost daily, and people shouldn't feel bad for that, it's just a lot harder to make something like that public than it is to announce happy news. The first day or two afterwards were awful, but we've accepted that it must have happened for a reason, and hopefully we'll get to make another exciting announcement at some point (but probably not as early next time!). To honour the little guy/girl, we started sponsoring a little boy in Bolivia through World Vision. His name's Samuel Fernandez. Bailey calls him "Sammy" and loves the picture of him on the fridge.
Big congrats to Coach Danny McKay and Team Saskatchewan, who won a 5th consecutive National Aboriginal Hockey Championship, with a 5-1 win over Alberta in Saturday night's final. Manitoba captured bronze to make it a prairie sweep of the podium.
Dano was my roommate for all the Kindersley and La Ronge trips during the 2010 and 2011 SJHL Finals when he was Assistant Coach of the Terriers. Definitely a class act and great to see him find success. Sounds like he's leaning towards stepping aside from Team Sask, now that the "Drive For Five" is complete, is isn't completly shutting the door at this point.
Other locals on that team include Terrier forward and Kamsack product Kailum Gervais, Harvest goalie Teryn Phaneuf, and Kirk & Ethan Bear from Ochapowace. Ethan was a 2nd round pick of the Seattle Thunderbirds in the WHL Draft this month, and was one of the youngest players there.
Danny took time to talk this morning.
The Penticton Vees are RBC Champs after a 4-3 win over the Woodstock Slammers in Sunday's final in Humboldt.
I took in the games last Saturday and Sunday, and considered a return trip for the playoff games, but it was far too nice outside and my wife put me to work. I got to work soil and water plants/grass, and weed, while she moved some old bedding plants around and planted some new ones. Honestly, best weekend I've had in a long, long time. It was great to be outside and enjoy the weather, and have some family time. I actually watched little or no hockey all weekend.
I caught the end of the third period and overtime of the Humboldt/Woodstock Semi online, and the third period of yesterday's final on TV.
The hockey was amazing. Clearly all five teams were there for a reason. There WERE a few iffy calls in the tournament, and they went for and against different teams at different times. I thought the refs looked bad giving Penticton defenseman Kyle Beaulieu 5 and a game for a hit on Andrew Johnston, when Johnston came back and scored on that powerplay. But, they had no way to know how serious it was at the time when they made the ruling. Then in the semis, it was Humboldt getting the short end. They also lost Nathan Hudema for a five and a game call (I didn't see it and still haven't). And, had a goal disallowed that appeared to cross the line upon video review on TV. That made the OT loss that much harder to swallow for the Broncos.
And, in the final, Woodstock defenseman Jake Logan was called for tripping, about 30 feet from the puck. Penticton scored on the powerplay in the final minute of the third period and now they're RBC Cup Champs. I hate seeing tight games, especially championships, decided on the powerplay, especially late, but it was a preventable infraction by Logan (who was the first player I noticed in last Saturday's round robin game against Humboldt, he's an absolute beast on skates). It was an intentional trip, and kinda selfish given the time and place. Still, it's not one you often see called, in that time and place.
A good Twitter debate was going on last night between Battlefords North Stars Voice Mike Feeney, and pretty much everyone else! Mike believes a penalty's a penalty, regardless what game it is, what time of the game, the score, and the team. Most others feel they should "let the boys play."
At the time, I was thinking "that's a weak call late in a tied championship game."
Really, I think Mike's right, but the standard has been set by most officials, that they "put the whistles away" in a tight third period, or in overtime, unless you're taking away a scoring chance or injuring someone. We're not used to seeing that call made, but it doesn't mean it wasn't the right one necessarily.
So with that, another Junior 'A' season is over, and as great a job as Humboldt did hosting, there are a couple of pretty attractive travel destinations next year, as the Nanaimo Clippers host the Inaugural Crescent Point Western Canada Cup, with two teams going cross-country to Summerside, PEI for the 2013 RBC Cup. All I know is I've never been that far west, or anywhere near that far east! Let's make it happen, someone!
- The Melville Fox FM Prairie Fire of the SFAAAHL are looking for a new coach. I interviewed Prairie Fire President Gary Campbell over the weekend and will post it later this week.
- It's baseball season! We're looking at doing a WMBL "Game of the Week" involving the Yorkton Caridnals and/or Melville Millionaires this summer. Not for sure yet but sounds like it'll happen.
The Langenburg Indians are back in the South East Senior Baseball for the first time since 2004, and won their first game of 2012, 8-6 in Swan River on Sunday
- The Yorkton Bulldogs lost two close ones over the weekend to kick off the Prairie Gold Lacrosse League season. They fell 9-8 in Estevan on Saturday, and 8-6 at home against the Saskatoon Smash on Sunday.