Monday, December 31, 2012

Mustangs and Hawks Ready To Do Battle:

The Melfort Mustangs and Nipawin Hawks have faced off twice so far this season, with each club picking up a win in the others' barn. Tonight is the start of their second home-and-home series in Melfort, with important points on the line.

Heading in to the Christmas break, the Mustangs started to get on to a slide of sorts, losing 5 of their previous 6 and 4 consecutively. A 6-2 loss to Melville was the last result, a game that saw the Christmas jitters get the best of a team that has come so far since September 21st.

Nipawin is ready for a similar outbreak of wins this year than what they had in the second half last season. They're a team that has won 2 in a row but their last road win was back on December 8th in Flin Flon. The Hawks were 15-3-2 after the Christmas break last season, can they do it again in 2013?

Davis Jones is fresh off a scholarship to the University of Alaska Fairbanks, where he will suit up for the Nanooks next season. Jones is 14-8-4 this season with a 2.67 GAA and .917 Save Percentage.

Jesse Wilkins has been steadily improving all season and dominance could soon be on the horizon, and there is no better time than now while the spotlight is on him with Patrick Johnson currently with the Saskatoon Blades. After winning just 7 games last season, Johnson is already at 6 wins in 17 less games played.

Tonight's game at the Northern Lights Palace will be broadcast live on CK750 with Branden Crowe and Dustin Scafe beginning at 7:15, with the online broadcast available at yourtownnews.ca.

The two teams will do battle 24 hours later up Highway 35 in Nipawin, with puck drop again set for 7:30.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Davis Jones Commits To Alaska-Fairbanks:

Another SJHL'er is off to Alaska.

Nipawin Hawks netminder Davis Jones has signed a letter of intent to play at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks.

Jones joins Humboldt Bronco teammates Joey Davies and Cody Pettapiece as the trio of recent SJHL'er who will head north.

Jones arrived from the Fort MacMurray OIl Barons and has been nothing short of spectacular ever since.
The reigning SJHL goaltender of the year put up a .932 save percentage last season while posting a 26-12 record, leading the Hawks to game seven of the Bauer Conference semi-final.

Jones is 8-4 this season and has the Hawks in the hunt for top spot in the Bauer Conference as the second half of the season begins.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Merry Christmas Hockey Fans:

On behalf of the CK750 broadcast team, I would like to wish all listeners and readers a very Merry Christmas this year and a Happy Holiday!

Where ever you are headed, I wish for your safest travels and can't wait to be back bringing the best of the SJHL to the airwaves and the world wide web!

Nipawin is currently 16-11-1-4 and sits 5 points back of a Humboldt-Flin Flon tie for first in the Bauer Conference.

Melfort is currently 12-18-1-1 and sit in the basement of the Conference, 3 points back of La Ronge with 4 less games played.

The two teams will meet twice in the coming weeks, in fact twice in as many nights. It all stars New Years Eve a the Northern Lights Palace in Melfort, come down and enjoy one of the SJHL's hottest rivalries. The next night, the teams head up the Highway to Nipawin, where like the first night they will face off at 7:30.

Both of those games will be broadcast live on CK750 and online at Your Town News.ca!


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Kalashnikov Gets On Board In WJHC Finale:

A member of the Nipawin Hawks had his chance to shine in front of the world, and did just that in the tournament finale.

Artsiom Kalashnikov is a 19 year old forward from Minsk, Belarus who joined the Hawks this season after playing his last 2 seasons in BC, where his family relocated to 3 years ago.

In November, Arti was named to Team Belarus for the Division 1 World Junior Hockey Championships which was held this past week in Amien, France.

The Belarussians began the tournament on December 9th with a 2-0 win followed by a similar victory over Austria the next day.

They then lost their first and only game of the tournament to the Austrians, 4-2. That followed with a bounceback victory over the host French, and they clobbered them winning 9-3.

The tournament's last game came after Norway beat Slovenia to clinch 1st in the tournament and a spot in next year's World Junior Hockey Championship with the likes of Canada, Russia and the USA.

Kalashnikov would beat the Denmark netminder 3:02 in to the 2nd period to open the scoring before setting up Dmitri Zalamai just :54 seconds later, his first 2 points of the tournament.

Belarus would end up scoring 2 more times en route to a 4-1 win, but because of Norway's win, 1st place was out of reach and Belarus would settle for 2nd place.

Arti finished a +2 with 4 shots on goal, and a goal and an assist in 4 tournament games.

Meanwhile, Arti's older brother Yan is now a solid member of the NOJHL's Soo Thunderbirds after being shipped there from the Hawks for future considerations. He has put up 3 goals and an assist in his first 5 games as a member of last year's RBC Cup representative.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Hawks Suffer 3-1 Defeat In Battlefords:

 Sporting their new track suits, the Nipawin Hawks headed on the road Thursday to the Battlefords, where I had a chance to see the Civic Center for the first time. Unfortunately, the game didn't end the way it started for Nipawin, who allowed a PP, SH and even strength goal en route to a 3-1 loss.

Michael Lambert scored early in the opening period on a nifty 2-on-1 with Wheaton King, while Jesse Bernard nabbed the 2nd assist. The goal came just 17 seconds in to a Joren Johnson penalty to give Nipawin some confidence on the man advantage. The rest of the period was exciting, featuring some hard hits as well as some scoring chances, but no one else could solve the netminders, ending the period with Nipawin in front. Shots in the opening period were split at 12 apiece. In the final minute, North Stars goalie Connor Creech summonded the trainer to the net, where they had a conversation for a couple minutes before Creech left the game and did not return. Reports say Creech suffered a groin injury. Luke McColgan also took his first of 2 penalties in the dying minutes, sending Nipawin to the powerplay to the start the 2nd.

In the middle frame, the Hawks started slow, unable to develop any formation in the Stars zone. The Hawks worked to get shots at backup netminder Casey Parker, but Parker looked comfortable stopping everything that came his way whether a clear shot or a deflection. The tying goal wouldn't come until late in the period, when the Hawks play started to slow up and the Stars took advantage. Austin Evans started a shorthanded end to end rush and blew by the Nipawin defenders before slipping it by Davis Jones, who made 25 stops in the loss. There was just 1 penalty per team in the 2nd as well, with Luke McColgan taking one and Jesse Bernard taking another with 1:00 left in the period. Going in to the break, Nipawin had an 11-6 advantage in shots in the 2nd.

Luckily for the Hawks, the Stars early power play could not develop any offense and Nipawin started to look for the tying goal. Just under 9 minutes in to the 3rd period, Braeden Johnson found that offense on the powerplay by grabbing a puck in the high slot and roofing it top shelf beside Jones' head to put Battlefords up 2-1. Just over 3 minutes later, McColgan would go end to end and put the Stars up a couple goals. He walked around the defensemen and then went 5-hole on Jones, getting the first even strength goal of the evening. Nipawin could not get anything flowing as the 3rd period faded away, and with the goalie pulled they made one last unsuccessful attempt to make the game closer. Casey Parker picked up his 2nd SJHL win with a 17(6 in the 3rd) stop performance, while Davis Jones made 8 of 10 stops in the final period as the Hawks fell to 14-10-1-4.

While it was one of 'those' games for the Hawks, there was a few players who brought a strong effort to the table and for that turned in their best games of the season. Michael Lambert got his 2n powerplay goal in as many games, and was going all night long. As was David Heath, who got to play some time as a forward before reverting to d. Heath made smart plays all night and proved that his skating is second-to-none. I was also pleased with the game played by Dexter Bricker, he looked a little more confident and I assume moving towards 2013, he will only continue to improve.

For the Hawks, it's a quick turnaround as 24 hours later the Kindersley Klippers will host the black 'n yellow. That game will need a see a more consistent effort for a full 60 minutes if the Hawks want 2 points. Kindersley is one of the coldest teams in the league, and is tied with 2 other clubs for the fewest points on home ice with 13. Nipawin has lost just 1 of their past 5 road games after losing all 3 on their southern swing in early November. Since then, they've won in Melfort, Melville, and twice in Flin Flon.

Tonight's roster may be a little different than last night, with a number of players questionable at present. I won't say who is out, but I can tell you Brady Zerr and Carter Danczak sat out last night and will not dress tonight. Ian Bablitz, who is now a Tri-Town Thunder, joined the team as an AP for this weekend and he will likely dress for tonight's game.

Tune in to CK750 beginning at 7:15 for the pregame show from Kindersley, where we chat with Doug Johnson and Rockie Zinger as well as preview the game-to-be. You can listen online at yourtownnews.ca 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Hawks Head On Road Happy:

HAWKS WIN 3-2 AGAINST RIVAL HUMBOLDT BRONCOS

 

  It was an exciting battle on Tuesday night in Nipawin as the Hawks welcome the Humboldt Broncos to the Cage. In one of the best games I have seen all season, the Hawks managed to score in timely situations including a late goal by Michael Lambert that sealed the 3-2 win. Highlights are available below!



Dylan Fluter opened the scoring  on the man advantage after a goal mouth scramble had Davis Jones down and out, with Fluter sweeping the puck in for his 9th of the year. Exactly 3:30 after that, it was the Hawks turn as Jesse Bernard started the breakout with a pass up the wing to newcomer Ben Johnstone, who went tic-tac-toe with Wheaton King, who finished the play on his 13th of the year. Humboldt was great in the opening period, outshooting the Hawks 15-7 but being stuck in a 1-1 tie.

Five minutes in to the 2nd, Jeff Datoff would get caught hooking a Bronco, giving the Broncos their 2nd powerplay of the night. Logan Sproule got the puck to Joey Davies who worked it in to the corner allowing Cody Pongracz to walk to the slot and rip a shot by the block side of Jones to get the Broncos in front. Once again though, the Hawks responded around three minutes later as the big, strong line of Carter Coben, Carter Danczak and Garret Lockeridge went to work. Danczak found the rebound on the very side of the net and just got a piece of it, burying his 4th of the year. With a tie game, the Hawks seemed to steer momentum in their direction as the 2nd period  wore down, despite getting out shot 12-10 in the period.

Nipawin continued to move the puck forward in the final frame, getting several chances on netminder Matt Hrynkiw. Jones made a few great saves at the Hawks end as well, as the two teams exchanged pressure. Carter Coben can take some credit for this next play, as he took a hard check from David Miazga, popping his helmet off and into the air causing the ref to call a roughing penalty. That's a call the Broncos would want back, as Michael Lambert would tip home a shot from Jeff Datoff at the 3:37 mark to send the smaller, yet louder Nipawin crowd to a frenzy. Hrynkiw would be summoned to the bench late but the Hawks persistence kept forcing the Broncos to the neutral zone while keeping the puck away from their goalie. The Broncos called a time out, followed by a crowd chant of Go Hawks Go, followed by the final buzzer going off to improve the Hawks record to14-9-1-4, good for 33 points which is 3 back of the Broncos, who fell to 17-10-2-0.

Davis Jones was remarkable making 38 stops for the win, while Matt Hrynkiw had 26 stops in the loss. For the Hawks, the style they played the second half of the game is the style they'll need to play on the road trip this week as Thursday night the Battlefords North Stars will host the black 'n gold, followed by the Kindersley Klippers playing host on Friday. Both of those games will be broadcast on CK750 and online at Your Town News .CA beginning at 7:15, with puck drop set for 7:30.

There are two home games left before the Christmas break, as Notre Dame will be in town on Sunday, beginning at 6:00 at the Centennial Arena, followed up by the Stars paying a return trip to Nipawin on Tuesday night, and that one will start at 7:30.

Happy Holidays to everyone!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Tisdale Trojan Report:


Every week, 105 CJVR and CK750 put together the Trojan Report, a look at the SMAAAHL's Tisdale Trojans. A couple ex-Trojans I wish to shout out to, in case they read this; Tyson Strachan, Michael Olson, Craig Gaudet and TJ Sutter.

The Trojans won the 2002 Air Canada Cup(now Telus Cup) in Bathurst, New Brunswick thanks to a 6-2 win in the final over Sidney Crosby's Dartmouth team. Some notable alumni from other teams include Jay Rosehill(Red Deer), Guillaume Latendresse(Quebec) and umm...Andrew Gordan(Dartmouth). Those are the only 4 players aside from Strachan who would go on to play in the NHL.

The Trojans host the Prince Albert Mintos on Wednesday, and a win will pull them within 3 points of the league lead. Puckdrop is 7:30 at the Tisdale RECPlex.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

From Russia To Soo With Love:

The Nipawin Hawks have traded Yan Kalashnikov to the Soo Thunderbirds of the NOJHL for future considerations.

Yan had a goal and 8 assists in 21 games this season, and I will never forget calling his first SJHL goal. He just couldn't find his scoring touch in the SJHL and now the Belarussian turned Coquitlam product is heading east.

I want to thank Yan for being such a beauty during his time here. The kid deserved a lot more points than he had, and I for one, wouldn't be surprised if he puts up points from here on out.

Best of luck Yan, and light it up there!

Mustangs Come Back For Win Over Kindersley:

Mustangs Fall Down 2-0, But Win 4-3
Parent/Billet Weekend finished with a bang on Saturday night, with the Melfort Mustangs erasing a 2-0 deficit to defeat the Kindersley Klippers on home ice.

Jesse Wilkins got the start for the 'Stangs and ex-Mustang Tyrell King got the call for the Klips. After Colby Daniels and Brett Printz both got the Klippers on board early, Melfort started to look a little nervous but still had smooth rhythm just couldn't convert on chances. There wasn't a whole lot of bounces going their way in the first period aside from the lone power play of the period thanks to a Too Many Men penalty against the visitors. Shots were 12-10 Melfort after 20 minutes.

In the second, Melfort really picked it up. It took them 8:43 to beat King, and it was Bryden Serafini notching his 1st SJHL goal(and he got the puck)! Jay Aasen and Regan Wilton got the helpers to cut the lead in half. Anthony Pickering would later add his 6th of the year to tie it up and the crowd started to turn up the volume. With just 19 seconds left in the period, Shaun MacPherson would give Kindersley the lead heading in to the break.

Just past the midway point, after Melfort was generating lots of opportunities, a Kinderlsey player got caught grabbing the puck in the crease and gave ex-Klipper Brennan Bosovich a penalty shot. Bosovich made a nifty forehand backhand move and got it past King to tie the game up. Just over a minute before this, Cody Brown dropped the mitts in a spirited affair with Kyle Davies. Surely the fight proved to be a spark for the guys, because just 36 seconds after the Bosovich goal, Brandon Formosa found the back of the net with his 12th goal of the season (did I say 11th in-house?). Jarrett Zentner got the lone assist as the Mustangs pulled back out in front. Kindersley pushed hard late with the empty netter but Jesse Wilkins made 3 or 4 of his 27 stops in the final seconds. Tyrell King had 28 stops in the loss against the team that dealt him to the Klippers 2 days before the season started for none other than the penalty shot shooter, Brennan Bosovich. With the win, the Mustangs are now 3 points back of Battlefords at 11-13-1-1and haven't lost in regulation in 4 games.

Tuesday night is the next meeting for these 2 clubs, this time in Kindersley. You can listen on CK750 beginning at 7:15. Sadly I won't be with the team this week. Wednesday the North Stars will host the Mustangs in a game that could potentially see the two teams swap spots in the standings if Melfort wins Tuesday. That game also begins at 7:15 on CK750 and online at yourtownnews.ca

To all the parents I got to meet this weekend, it was a pleasure and I hope we are able to meet again! Keep sharing your comments and thoughts, added conversation is always a treat! My email is scafe18@gmail.com if you ever want to get in touch.



Hawks Notes:

The Nipawin Hawks couldn't beat Melville's netminder once as for the third straight game, the two teams played to a shutout. Alex Wakaluk had 38 stops for the win and David Jones had 32 stops in the loss. Scoring the lone goal was Michael Sagen for the Millionaires.

The Hawks are in Flin Flon on Friday night and that will be a CK750 game, while CJVR and myself will have the La Ronge - Notre Dame game from Watrous beginning at 7:15.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Hawks Bring On Johnstone:

The Nipawin Hawks have acquired 19 year old Ben Johnstone from the Virden Oil Capitals of the MJHL in exchange for future considerations.

Ben is right handed and is from Carlyle, Sk. He has put up 5+5 in 25 games this season.

Last season Ben played with the Estevan Bruins and put up 8+8 in 49 games and was named SJHL Rookie of the Month for December, 2011.

Welcome to the Hawks organization, Ben!

Mustangs Start Weekend On Right Foot:

Anthony Pickering had a goal and an assist, while Brandon Formosa scored the game winner and Brady Goebel notched his first Mustang goal, in a 3-2 win over the Estevan Bruins on Friday at the Northern Lights Palace.

Jesse Wilkins was stellar in net for the blue 'n green, stopping 35 shots in the win, which was good for a mention in the night's 3 Star selection.

Of the night's 5 goals, 3 were scored in the 3rd period, with Formosa picking up the winner with just over five minutes to play in regulation.

Pickering got his 5th of the season with 2:10 to go, and Estevan added a late goal but Wilkins continued to shut the door to preserve the win.

In the loss, Estevan netminder Curtis Martinu made 31 saves.

For the Mustangs, Parents Weekend continues tonight as the Kindersley Klippers come to town. The Klippers fell 7-2 to La Ronge last night.

Puckdrop at the Palace is set for 7:30, but fans are encouraged to show up early to get their bids in for the Mustangs Shoot Out, which will be held after the game featuring a special guest shooter!

Hawks Send Hopkins To MJHL:

Sad to see this kid go.
Unfortunately in the game of a hockey, there is a business side. It's even more unfortunate that the numbers game can sometimes cause coaches to make deals they would rather not have to make.

That was the case this morning for Doug Johnson, as with the December 1st deadline looming, he made a move sending forward Brendan Hopkins to the Steinbach Pistons of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League.

The 18 year old from Warman put up 2 goals and 1 assist through 12 games so far this season and will bring a hard working skill set to the Pistons, as well as the attitude that the folks in Steinbach will love.

I want to wish best of luck to 'Nuge' as they call him, he's a great kid who deserves a chance to play every night and while this is not the move the Hawks coaching brass really wanted to make, it was one that gives Brendan a chance to get increased ice time and compete for a top 6 role from the get-go.

To Brendan and his family, everyone in Nipawin enjoyed having you around and I hope that Manitoba treats you wonderfully! Best of luck and hope to see you in Nanaimo at the Crescent Point Energy Western Canada Cup!

Nipawin hosts the Melville Millionaires tonight at the Cage, with puck drop slated for 7:30. It's teddy near toss night, so don't forget to bring a teddy or two or three or four to throw on the ice when the Hawks score their first goal!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Mustangs' Brandon Formosa Interview:

Brandon Formosa joined me to talk a little bit about his past, his holiday plans and his feelings on being a Melfort Mustang.

Brandon is in the his rookie SJHL season, but his 2nd season of Junior A hockey, and he currently leads the Mustangs with 10 goals and 19 points to date.

Melfort hosts Estevan and Kindersley this weekend, with both games beginning at 7:30 at the Palace.

Don't forget the CK750 Mustangs radio-thon is Saturday beginning at 9:00 AM, broadcasting live at the Palace. Make sure you get your tickets for the 25th anniversary 2013 Ford Mustang raffle, the car will be given away on December 31st when Nipawin is in town.




Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Mustangs Weekly Report(Audio):

The Melfort Mustangs are in La Ronge tonight to face the only team behind them in the Bauer conference standings. The 2 clubs have faced off 3 times this season, with the Mustangs winning 2-1, 2-1, and most recently 1-0.

I had the chance to chat with Head Coach Gavin Holcomb as part of CK750's feature, the Mustang Report.


Thursday, November 22, 2012

Discussing the Hawks with Doug Johnson:

I had the chance to have a chat with Nipawin Hawks coach Doug Johnson regarding the team, the upcoming games, a player getting the call to the WJHC, and of course, the lockout.

Props to Doug for making the time for me today.

The Hawks are in Flin Flon on Friday evening and host Battlefords on Saturday night.

Hope that you will give it a listen!

Also a big thanks goes out to Branden Crowe, Al Montgomery, Dennis Botterill, Mark Zosel as well as the staff at both Nipawin's Centennial Arena and Melfort's Northern Lights Palace for making this season as fun as it's been. It's only November, but already you all have done so much for myself and the broadcasts!


Saturday, November 17, 2012

Hawks Defeat Broncos 2-1, 3rd Straight Win:

In the first, both teams came out looking strong and playing hard, but no one could beat the netminders at either end. Late in the period, Davis Jones was tested as Joey Davies went in on a breakaway. Davies got a clean shot away but Grant Jensen appeared to have played a little too aggressive, and the referee called a penalty shot. The crowd gave huge boos and made sure Davies couldn't hear himself think, and it proved worthy as Jones made a sharp glove save to keep the game scoreless. Shots after one were 9-9 and it was scoreless.

Early in the period, the ref would do his best to even up the calls by giving the Hawks an early powerplay, but they were unable to get any pressure prior to taking their own penalty. Humboldt seems to really come in waves, not a lot of 1 or 2 man rushes, you often see the whole offensive line rush to the net. For most of the 2nd, the Hawks seemed to be playing much better hockey and at one point the Hawks were up in 3nd period shots 14-2. The 14th shot would be the one to finally beat Humboldt goaltender Matt Hyrnkiw after Arti had a chance in front and the goalie couldn't hang on to the rebound. Carter Danczak eventually beat Hrynkiw after Yan and Arti worked with Danczak in front. The period was all Hawks and the shots showed it, 26-15 in favor of the Hawks.

Just 15 seconds in to he third, the Hawks energy line struck as Michael Lambert got a hard shot in the slot after receiving a pass from the side of the net from Dustin Skilliter, with Carter Coben also working in on the play. Nipawin continued their hard working game in to the first half of the period, but the Broncos showed a little bit more hustle as the period ticked down. Both teams would see a couple powerplays in the period but saves by Hrynkiw and Jones kept the game close. Near the midway mark, Jones would lose a puck behind him off a shot by Cody Pongracz and it would trickle in. Davies and Neil Landry had the assists. Humboldt would continue to buzz late in the period but they could not develop too much momentum as the Hawks played very well defensively. Hrynkiw left the net with just under a minute to go but the extra attacker didn't help the Broncos as the Hawks ended their 6 game winning streak with a 2-1 victory. The win extends Doug Johnsons' club win streak to 3 games. Nipawin outshot Humboldt 37-26 overall with Jeff Datoff picking up first star. Jeff played the game with a cage after taking a skate to the face last night. He discusses in the interview below.

Davis Jones made 25 saves for his 8th win of the season, while Matt Hrynkiw made 35 saves in just his 5th loss of the year.

Overall I thought the Hawks were a very very good hockey team. Coming in, Humboldt was just that, very very good. Nipawin got great defense tonight and when they got the puck they made the right plays. Humboldt showed signs of life at various moments in the game, and like every other time I've seen them play they seem to come at you in waves of 3 or 4 skaters and you can tell teams struggle with that but tonight Nipawin did a good job of containing Humboldt. Michael Lambert took a hard check and appeared hurt, but appeared to come back better than ever as he turned in his best effort of the season. Artsiom and Yan Kalashnikov also played very strong, getting the puck in the zone with smart plays, with both of them picking up an assist as well. Perhaps their best games of the year as well. Grant Jensen also turned in his best game, he broke up a few sure-scoring opportunities.

Next up for the Hawks is a  Tuesday nighter in Melville. The Hawks beat the Millionaires on Friday night with a 1-0 shutout for Davis Jones. That game can be heard live on CK750 with Branden Crowe, and you can also catch the game live on http://www.yourtownnews.ca beginning at 7:15. The Hawks return home Saturday night when the Battlefords North Stars make their first of two visits to the Centennial Arena.




Friday, November 16, 2012

Hawks Welcome Millionaires To Town:

They're 2nd in the SJHL at 14-5-0-1 and the last time the Melville Millionaires played the Nipawin Hawks, they scored 3 goals in the 3rd period in a 5-3 win at the Horizon Credit Union Center.

Jesse Bernard had a goal and an assist in the loss, while Carter Coben and Michael Lambert added singles and Davis Jones made 24 of 28 stops.

Alex Wakaluk made 33 stops on 36 shots, while Russel Trudeau and Ian McNulty led the way offensively for the Mills. TJ Reeve, who played in the WJAC out in Nova Scotia, was not in the lineup that night.

Coming in to tonight's game, the Hawks are fresh off their first road win of the season last Saturday in Melfort. That night features lots of sparks, through goals and hits and big stops from Jordan Liem. Tonight, Davis Jones will get tested against one of Canada's top teams, so make sure you stand on your feet and make some noise for the boys in yellow 'n black.

Tad Kozun will return from a suspension he recieved for an incident in Estevan a couple weeks ago, which is a huge boost for the injury-laden Hawks who are slowly rebuilding their lineup with players returning. Mitch Doell, Brady Zerr and Brendan Hopkins all remain on the IR.

Game time tonight at the Centennial Arena is 7:30, but be sure to get their a few minutes early to get in your seat to catch the starting lineups!

Tomorrow night, the Hawks entertain the Humboldt Broncos, who are in Melfort tonight taking on the Mustangs who are coming off a 5-2 win over Battlefords on Wednesday.

Godric Tham had 2 goals for Melfort that night, who got a strong performance from Patrick Johnson.

You can listen to that game tonight at 7:15 on CK750 and online at yourttownnews.ca and although you will hear Branden Crowe on the call, if you listen extra hard you'll hear my voice as the PA announcer at the Palace tonight.

See you at the rink!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Mustangs Win Heated Affair With North Stars:

Jay Aasen scored a powerplay goal and had an assist while Godric Tham had two goals in a 5-2 win for the Mustangs last night on home ice over the Battlefords North Stars.

The game featured a chance for Melfort to congratulate the MUCC Comets on their 9-man provincial Football title that they won last weekend, so again; Congrats boys!

Battlefords outshot the 'Stangs 32-25, with 16 of those shots coming in the 3rd period. Patrick Johnson was spectacular in net, stopping all but two of those shots. At the other end, it was rookie Ryan Rewerts making his debut after being called up from the SMAAAHL. He would stop 20 of 24 shots in his SJHL debut.

Kyle Hall opened the scoring for the Stars before Jay Aasen zinged a wrister past Rewerts after Blake Young took a tripping penalty. 4 minutes later, it was one of the games top players Brennan Bosovich who scored his 7th of season after splitting the D and breaking in on a mini-breakaway.

There would then be scoring until the 3rd period, but there would be one tilt in the middle frame, when ex-North Okanagan Knight Ben Greenaway dropped the mitts with Mustangs' Cody Brown. Both players have size and strength but the two went down together after only a few hard punches connected.

In the 3rd, Godric Tham would beat Rewerts putting Melfort up 3-1 but just over a minute later Battlefords went to work. Blake Young went low blocker as he flew in to the zone, beating Johnson for a 3-2 deficit. Young would then take a 4-minute high sticking penalty and for the second time on the night, the Mustangs would score with him in the box. This time it was Godric Tham, on a beautiful play set up by Logan Sceviour and Matt Saunderson. With a 4-2 lead, the Mustangs had to play 5-on-6 for the final two minutes, but Brandon Sloan sealed the deal with an empty netter.

With the win, the Mustangs are now 8-12-0-1 and have a chance to win their 4th home game of the season on Friday night when the Humboldt Broncos visit the Palace. You can catch that game on CK750 and online at yourtownnews.ca with Branden Crowe, who will have the call.

The Stars fell to 8-11-0-0 on the season, and sit 1 point back of the Mustangs in the Bauer Conference.

Notes: Avery Van Blaricom, ex-Mustang, played last night's game with the North Stars as an AP call up, and in limited ice time was effective with the puck. I guess this means he won't be a special guest on the broadcast for a while! Also was very nice to see Bosovich play the way he did, he was the stand out player in my eyes. Tham also had his best game of the year and looked like his confidence with the puck grew exponentially. Patrick Johnson and Jesse Wilkins must make up one of the best duos in the league, and Johnson is property of the Saskatoon Blades and with the way he is playing I wouldn't be surprised if he gets called up to the WHL during the World Juniors as their starter, Andrey Makarov, will be with Russia.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Mustangs Host North Stars:

The Melfort Mustangs will look to bounce over the Battlefords North Stars tonight in the Sher-Wood Conference with a win.

The Mustangs, at 7-12-0-1 have won just 2 of their previous 10 but the teams play has been great in most of the games, with most of them being 1-goal games.

The North Stars on the other hand, are fighting to get back to .500 as they are currently 8-10-0-0.

These two teams have met twice this season already, with Battlefords taking both games by scores of 3-1(Sept. 29) and 5-4(Oct. 14). The second meeting was a close one with Patrick Johnson standing tall in net, while Jesse Wilkins stood out with 38 saves in the first meeting.

Connor Creech and Casey Parker have both appeared in one game for the Stars, with Parker stopping 23-of-27 in the 5-4 win, and Creech making 18 saves in the 3-1 game.

The Mustangs seem to have found more success in the offensive zone, although a 5-0 loss last night in Humboldt hurt their average. Last weekend, the team scored 7 in 2 games vs the Nipawin Hawks, showing that the offense is capable of scoring goals.

Brandon Formosa proved his worth last weekend, with a Friday night hat trick while both netminders played two amazing games, keeping the Mustangs within distance for the full 60 minutes.

Tonight's game can be heard on CJNB with my former Fort St John's Moose FM predecessor Mike Feeney, as well as online on the Mustangs Broadcast Network, through melfortmustangs.com

The MBN features what I think is one of the best Junior video broadcasts there is, features replay's, scoreboards, and graphics on goaltenders and players.

Tune in, it'll be worth it! A big thanks goes out today to the parents and fans I received emails from regarding my comments earlier this week, and while I regret putting a Mustang on the spot like that, I am glad you are all understanding of the situation I put myself in to and I look forward to bringing you enjoyable coverage of the SJHL for many games to come!

Monday, November 12, 2012

UPDATE: Hawks and Mustangs Each Win One:

Update- with apology to players. 

Dexter Bricker’s third period goal proved to be the winner as the Nipawin Hawks earned a victory on the road against their bitter rivals, 2-1.

The Hawks opened the scoring in the first period when Garrett Lockeridge snapped home his first career goal. Lockeridge wouldn’t see much ice after that… More on that later.

The Mustangs tied things up on the powerplay when Brennan Bosovich picked up his 6th goal of the season three minutes after the Hawks opened the scoring.

The second period was jam packed with big hits, fights and scrappy play. Hawks forward Garrett Lockeridge was thrown out after what was penalized as a crosscheck to the mouth of Godric Tham in the mouth after the whistle. Tham went for stitches and Lockeridge was given a 5 minute match penalty for intent to injure.

The Mustangs would fail to convert on the ensuing powerplay and things got heated after Cody Brown road Wheaton King in to the turnbuckle. King’s head caught the stanchion and snapped back "faster than I have ever seen" as Brendan Hopkins stated in the intermission show. Grant Jensen jumped in and the two wrestled to the ice.

Brown did not receive a penalty on the play, while King left to local Hospital and did not return. Keep reading for an extended update.

Off the ensuing faceoff Zach Walker and Taylor Balog dropped the mitts and took part in one of the more spirited tilts of the season.

Over 55 minutes in penalties were issued in the middle frame.

Bricker’s winner with under 5 minutes to go moves the Hawks to 8-7-1-3 while the Mustangs slip to 7-11-0-1.

It was a battle of the backups as Patrick Johnson made 28 saves while Jordan Liam kicked aside 18.

The Mustangs head to Humboldt on Tuesday while the Hawks host Melville on Friday. Tuesday's Mustang game will be broadcast on CK750, as well as Friday's Mustang @ Humboldt game, and then Saturday night the Hawks will take over CK750 with the Broncos in town. All games begin at 7:30 with the pregame show at 7:15.

These two teams don't meet until New Years Eve and New Years Day, and let me tell you, from the sounds of it; you won't want to miss those games. These teams do not like each at all, and I'm sure there will be some hurtin' bodies that aren't just from the New Years hangover...

Thank you

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Rematch Between SJHL Rivals:

Last night, Brandon Formosa notched his first ever SJHL hat trick, and netminder Jesse Wilkins made 30 saves en route to a 6-3 win over the Nipawin Hawks, who got 34 saves from Davis Jones.

Tonight, the two teams will do it all over again at the Northern Lights Palace in Melfort. Last night, Nipawin played their best hockey in the 2nd period, and it will take a full 60 minute effort tonight if they want to pick up the two points.

Tonight is also Rivalry Night in Melfort, so if you come from Nipawin, WEAR YOUR JERSEY! Wear it loud, and wear it proud. For every pair of Hawks jerseys, you will get two tickets for $15.00.

It's the Hawks and the Mustangs, Round 2 of the home-and-home! Tune in on CK750 if you can't make it down to the rink, and if you don't have a radio nearby, go online to yourtownnews.ca!

Pregame show begins at 7:15, with puckdrop slated for 7:30 although it is Remembrance Weekend so I invite you to join us for a moment of silence before puckdrop. Stick around after the game for the Davis Rexall Drugs Post Game Show, with the game stars, plays and hits of the game, and of course, thoughts from Hawks' coach Tyson Hobbins.

Mustangs Score Six In Nipawin:

This is from Branden's blog:

Brandon Formosa had the best night of his career with the Melfort Mustangs as he netted a hat trick to lead the Mustangs to a come from behind win over the Nipawin Hawks in an absolute thriller at The Cage.

It took all of 90 seconds for the Mustangs to silence the 630 people in attendance at the Centennial Arena as he opened the scoring on a great shot from the high slot on a Jesse Bernard turnover.

Eight minutes later Godric Tham scored a highlight reel goal as he deked out the defender and ripped home his 5th of the season to give the offensively dormant Mustangs a 2-0 lead at the first intermission.

Doug Johnson is a fiery coach and it was clear that whatever he said in the break woke up his Nipawin Hawks.

Three unanswered goals in 11 minutes helped the Hawks regain the lead and the momentum. The line of Jesse Bernard, Wheaton King and Jesse Williamson combined for 5 points in the period with Bernard and King adding goals to Garrett Lockeridge’s 1st of the season.

The turning point of the hockey game came late in the 2nd period when the Hawks came out flying and fired 9 shots on Jesse Wilkins on one shift and the Calgary native was an absolute rock. Wilkins wasn’t tested too often on the night but was great making 30 saves for the win.

The third period was all Melfort as they exploded for four goals. Brennan Bosovich and Cole Hyrsky chipped in while Brandon Formosa added two more to complete the hat-trick and seal the deal for the win.

10 Mustangs made it onto the scoresheet and their powerplay finally caught a break as they capitalized on a 5-3 in the second period.

Davis Jones made 34 saves in the losing effort for the Hawks and will likely get the start tonight (Saturday).

These two teams swap venues and will do it all again Saturday night at The Palace. The game can be heard on CK750 starting with the pre-game show at 7:15.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Mustangs vs Hawks, Double Header Weekend:


The Melfort Mustangs and Nipawin Hawks are preparing for their first two matchups of this 2012/2013 SJHL season.

Both teams have had struggles as of late, although Nipawin is coming off beating the #3 team in the CJHL on Tuesday.

With a record of 7-6-1-3, the Hawks have been lead to date by Wheaton King, Jesse Bernard and Tad Kozun, who currently has 2 games remaining on a 3 game suspension.

Defenceman Jesse Williamson has made the transition to forward for the past 3 games, and has 2 assists since doing so. Grant Jensen has also seen increased ice time with several forwards out of the lineup with injury.

Davis Jones has been the keystone for the Hawks, and he seems to be improving day by day. He has a 3.02 GAA currently while backup Jordan Liem has also been sharp, and he boasts a 2.70 GAA.

For the Mustangs, the line of Brandon Formosa, Brandon Sloan and Jarret Zentner have both been paving the way for thir team. With a record now of 6-10-0-1, the team has scored just 40 goals, 14 of which from those 3.

Jay Aasen, of Melfort, has given the team a stud on defence, and he's got 3 goals so far. Also on the back end, Matt Saunderson has shown great 2-way improvement.

In net, both goaltenders have looked sharp, with Jesse Wilkins having played 12 to Patrick Johnson's 7. Wilkins SV% is now .901 and Johnson has a 2.15 GAA.

Powerplays for both teams have been an area of concern, with Melfort being 4-for-63 currently, which is last in the SJHL. The Hawks have picked it up but still sit 14-for-96, which is 8th in the league. Both teams Penalty Kills are inside of the top 5, which can bring some joy to the coaching staff.

Tonight's game could either be a one-sided affair, or a goaltending battle down to the wire. Either way, make sure you come to the rink and cheer on your team!

If you come to the rink in Nipawin wearing Melfort colors, you will receive your 1st ticket for just $10.00 and the 2nd for ONLY $5.00! Don't forget to wear Nipawin colors to Melfort on Saturday for the same deal!

Tonight's game at the Centennial Arena begins at 7:30, with the CK750 pregame show with Branden Crowe beginning at 7:15.

Tomorrow night, the 2 clubs will rematch again in Melfort at Northern Lights Palace. That game, too, starts at 7:30 while the CK750 pregame show begins at 7:15 with Dustin Scafe.

You can listen to both games on yourtownnews.ca if you're unable to find our AM signal.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Hawks End Bombers & Their Own Streaks:




Why bother with a big post game write up when the highlights say it all?

What a game last night at the Cage, with the Hawks winning 4-1 against the Bombers, improving to 7-6-1-3 on the season while the Bombers are now 13-4-0-0.

The Hawks came in on a 5 game winless streak while Flin Flon had won 5 straight. 

Flin Flon is in Melfort tonight beginning at 7:30 at the Northern Lights Palace, while the Hawks are off until Friday's game at home against Melfort.

Below is the highlights, and below that is the audio from my visit with the official voice of the Winnipeg Jets on TSN Radio 1290 in Winnipeg, Brian Munz. 


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Bombers-Hawks Broadcast Tonight:

 Nipawin vs Flin Flon, November 6th 2012
  • Hawks: 6-6-1-3 16 pts, 3rd in Bauer Conference
  • Bombers: 13-3-0-0 26 pts, 1st in Bauer Conference

Due to some demand from fans and parents, I will be providing play by play tonight for the Nipawin Hawks and Flin Flon Bombers game beginning at 7:20 on uStream.

 The Hawks are coming off losing 3 games this past weekend, despite the final 4 periods being their best.

Flin Flon is #3 in Canada and seems to just keep getting better and better.

Voice of the Winnipeg Jets on TSN Radio 1290 Brian Munz will join me on the broadcast, and if all goes well he may even provide the call for a period of Hawks Hockey!

The URL for tonight's game is http://www.ustream.tv/channel/sjhl-hockey

You can also click here!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Home-And-Home Ticket Promotion For Hawks & Mustangs:

We are over a quarter of the way in to the 2012/2013 SJHL season and the Nipawin Hawks and Melfort Mustangs are yet to face off.

Next weekend, they will do just that. Friday night in Nipawin, Saturday night in Melfort; the rivalry can finally rekindle.

Both teams play Flin Flon this week, as the Bombers are in Nipawin Tuesday and Melfort Wednesday. 7:30 is the puck drop time for both games, make sure you get to the rink and check out Canada's #3 team!

There will be a special promotion for next weekend's double header between the Hawks and 'Stangs, with the visiting teams fans getting discounted tickets. There's a catch, of course.. On Friday night, if you come from Melfort and have 2 or more people dressed in Mustangs colors, your first ticket will be just $10.00 and your second tickets will be ONLY $5.00! The same can be said for Saturday wear black 'n yellow and support the Hawk in Melfort and pay just $15.00 for two tickets!

Both teams hope to see you at the rink, stay tuned to CK750 all week to follow the teams to their first meetings of the season. Both games will be heard of CK750, the voice of the SJHL!

Hawks Lose All 3 On Southern Swing:


Unfortunately for the Nipawin Hawks, the off-ice attitudes and mindsets couldn't be put on the scoreboard. The guys grew closer and the friendships grew stronger, but the Hawks were unable to win in Weyburn, Estevan and Notre Dame.

The weekend started on Friday with a 4-1 loss to the Weyburn Red Wings(see below post) before heading down to Estevan to get in the hotel and catch some z's before the Bruins played host on Saturday night.

In Estevan, not only did the team get to play in the SJHL's finest barn, but they got to play in front of over 1500 fans. Those fans team up with the Bruins to put the Hawks down 3-0 after 2 periods thanks to goals from Darcy DeRoose, Wyatt Garagan and Tanner Froese. Shots were 25-15 after 2 periods and there weren't many sparks aside from a Tayler Balog 10-minute misconduct.

To start the 3rd, the Bruins netminder Curtis Martinu skated to center for whatever reason and collided with Tad Kozun and then speared Kozun in the throat. As a result of this altercation, Kozun has received a questionable 3 game suspension for being the instigator, which begins Tuesday. Martinu has also received a 3 game suspension which I'm sure is sitting well with the Bruins coaching staff as their backup netminder has now allowed 9 goals in under 60 minutes of action this season. After the penalties were sorted out, the 3rd got going and the Hawks started with an extended powerplay that allowed Dustin Skilliter to get on the board with Yan Kalashnikov and Eric Bollefer getting helpers. Under 3 minutes after that, Jeff Datoff would score his first of the season with a point shot that beat Travis Pelletier to cut the lead to one, assists to Jesse Bernard and Wheaton King. Then it was Dexter Bricker's turn just 3:25 later, after a nice rush from Datoff who fed it to David Heath who hit Bricker in the high slot. Wouldn't you know it, 14 seconds later the Hawks took the lead, as Wheaton King and Jesser Bernard got away on a 2-on-1 and King buried his 5th for the 4-3 goal. Getting upset, the Bruins started to look dangerous with several players taking near-miss runs at some of the Hawks. The only real connection was a Tyler Kauk board on Michael Lambert, which resulted in Lambert getting up slowly. Carter Coben took a later penalty and then moment later Hudson Morrison delivered a hit to the head of a Hawk, earning the gate for the game so the final minute was 4-on-4 under the :06 second mark when Coben got out. Coben rushed to the net where several Estevan players were jamming at the puck and they eventually found it, beating Davis Jones to tie the game with just 3 seconds left. The Bruins bench went nuts as did the crowd, who began throwing souvenir pucks at the Hawks bench and on the ice, not to mention a pack of cigarettes among things.

Final shots in regulation favored the Estevan Bruins, 38-24 but the teams were knotted up at 4-4. Overtime had a few chances either way including a big stop from Jones in close, and then Grant Jensen put his team down a man but they were able to kill it off just fine and the OT ended, shots 3-3.

In the shootout, Tanner Froese started things off but was stopped by Jones, before Yan Kalashnikov went in and missed wide on the right side. Austin Yano would then beat Jones to put his team up prior to Jesse Bernard equaling things up. Nick Weiss again gave Estevan the lead which set up Wheaton King to give the Hawks another chance. King went in, but couldn't pull the trigger to beat Pelletier setting up the Hawks loss and the winless road record continues.

Final shots were 41-27 with Estevan winning 5-4 to improve their record to 6-8-2-0 while the Hawks fell to 6-6-0-3. Davis Jones was, like always, sharp making 37 saves in the loss.










On Sunday afternoon, the Notre Dame Hounds had a chance to continue the Hawks winless stretch on home ice, and they did just that in overtime.

Ian Williams would open the scoring on a setup with Brandon Millian and Mitch Boucher at 9:24 before Wheaton King tied it up 2 minutes later from Jesse Bernard and Jesse Williamson(who played forward and looked great) and that would be it for the first period with the shots being 12-8 in Notre Dame's favor.

The Hounds looked frustrated at something in the middle frame, taking a few penalties while getting a way with a few, but the Hawks would eventually capitalize with 5:02 to go when Wheaton King tried to hit Tad Kozun in front of the net, but the puck instead made it's way to Eric Bollefer, who got his 3rd goal of the season. 56 seconds after that, the Hawks really woke up when Yan Kalashnikov picked up his first SJHL goal from Tayler Balog, making it 3-1. The Hawks outshot the Hounds 10-8 in the period.

In the 3rd, the ref and linesmen seemed to be calling a much more level game, but the Hounds played their hearts out and outshot the Hawks 14-6, while carrying most of the play. 32 seconds in to the period, Brandon Millin scored to cut the lead to one. Sam Aulie and Boucher got the helpers. Davis Jones was tested in the 3rd making several big stops including a back of leg save after he got spun around backwards in the net. With 1:26 to go, the Hawks would give up the late lead when Sam Aulie beat Jones on shot 33.

After a short break, the teams took to the ice for a 5 minute overtime with opportunities coming both ways. I thought the Hawks would finally get the monkey off their back but Carson Grolla used his speed and strength to get around several Hawks and get the puck in deep before beating Davis Jones to end the road trip with just 2 points of 6, and no road victories to look back to with a smile. Final shots were 37-27, and for the Hawks, their powerplay finally clicked going 2/4. Jones made 34 saves while Ty Reichenbach played strong making 24 saves in the win.

Overall, the Hawks road trip with a failure, as they went 0-1-1-1. But let's look at the grand scheme of things, that makes this road trip a huge success. From the guys laughing at dinner to hanging out at the hotel, the team made the most of their opportunities to hang with the boys and grow as a family. I owe a thanks to the coaches, Doug and Tyson, for their time this weekend as well as the players for hangin' out with the broadcast and Brian Kahlbenn just for being awesome. Also big props to Rod Peterson who provided color with me Friday and Saturday and did an absolutely fantastic job and I hope to have him on again soon!

Next up for the Hawks is Flin Flon on Tuesday night. Here's to hoping Garret Lockeridge will be back as well as the other injured players. Gametime at the Cage is 7:30!

Also a reminder next weekend is the Melfort Mustangs-Nipawin Hawks rivalry weekend, so make sure to come to Nipawin on Friday in Mustang colors and then Melfort on Saturday in Hawks colors! If you have 2 people with team colors, tickets are just 2 for 15 dollars.


Saturday, November 3, 2012

Weekend Swing Starts With Loss To Weyburn:

The Nipawin Hawks lost 2 more forwards to injury on Friday night in a lackluster effort, falling 4-1 to the last place Weyburn Red Wings.

The Hawks came out decent in the first period but seemed to die off as the game went on, and Weyburn took advantage of it several times. Jordan Liem was one of a few bright spots for the Hawks, despite statistically only stopping 25 of 29. Jean-Phillipe Boucher of Quebec came in to his second game as a Red Wing and played strong and confident, making 30 stops for his second consecutive win.

Scoring was opened just prior to the 13:00 mark, when Ryan Ostertag and Miguel Pereira got away on a 2-on-1, with Pereira beating Liem off a cross-slot pass. Josh Lees picked up the second assist. 2:32 later, on the powerplay, Lane Harbor would roof a shot over a sprawling Liem with the assists to Sam Normandeau and Shain Scheschuk, who was ejected for a hit from behind on Brendan Hopkins who suffered an upper body injury on the play. 1:01 after the Wings went up a pair, Jesse Bernard would beat Boucher for 5th goal of the season, with Wheaton King and Jesse Williamson drawing helpers. The worst part of that goal was the broadcast was just coming back from commercial! The best part was the Hawks were within a goal late in the first. Shots in the 1st period were even at 10.

Weyburn really picked it up in the 2nd period and just under seven minutes in, Sam Williams capitalized on Jordan Liem, restoring the Red Wings 2 goal lead. Team scoring leader Miguel Pereira got an assist as well as Cody Fiala. Coming in to this game, the Red Wings powerplay was last place in the SJHL while the Hawks PK was 3rd, but the Wings got the edge with their 2nd powerplay goal of the night at the 15:11 mark when Sam Normandeau fired an absolute cannon from the point past Liem. Ryan Cooper and Lane Harbor had the assists on the 4-1 goal. After 2 periods, shots were 21-21 but the Red Wings had a 3 goal lead.

Looking to win their first road game of the season, the Hawks knew they needed a great 3rd period, but several Wings made great plays to preserve their lead. Their was a few sparks in this period as Dexter Bricker and Josh Lees agreed to drop the mitts inside of the Weyburn blue line and I'm not sure if Bricker fell of what but the fight ended moments in, no decision! After that, Arti Kalashnikov poked at a Wing on the bench, receiving 2-2 minute spearing penalties on the play, earning his spot in the press box tonight in Estevan. J-P Boucher made an unbelievable save on Yan, who I thought played a strong game for Nipawin. Shots in the third were 10-8 Nipawin, but they were unable to get any goals falling 4-1 to the previously weak Weyburn Red Wings. With the loss, the Hawks are now 6-6-0-2 and need a win tonight to stay above .500.

I thought the Hawks got strong games from Tayler Balog, Carter Coben and Carter Danczak, and I thought Yan Kalashnikov and Jesse Bernard also played good games. Coming in to their 2nd game of 3 in 3 nights, the Hawks need a much more widespread effort if they want to gain some confidence and catch up to the likes of Flin Flon and Humboldt. The Hawks lost Brendan Hopkins and Tad Kozun to injuries, and now have 5 forwards hurt and out of the lineup. Ian Bablitz played his 4th game of the season last night, and looked very comfortable and he will only continue to play better as he gets some games under his belt.

Tonight's game can be heard on CK750 and online at yourtownnews.ca as the Estevan Bruins host the Hawks for the first time this season(they return Feb. 9). The CK750 pregame show begins at 7:15 and puckdrop is 7:30! Tune in to the call with myself and Rod Peterson, who made his color debut last night and did a heck of a job!

Here's a picture of the green red men at last nights game.


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Bombers Take Down Hawks On Tuesday Night:

Well, I don't have a whole lot to say about tonight's game as I was able to watch as an innocent bystander, and spent more time cheering than actually dissecting the game.

It's always nice to see the voice of the Bombers, Rob Hart; if you can, visit his blog!

First off, thanks to the amazing fans who made tonight's game as fun as it was, next time.... EVERYONE get in on the "let's go Nipawin let's go" chants.. Let's make those guys know we love the team whether they win, lose, or... well, lose in a shootout?

The final tonight was 3-1 and had it not been for Davis Jones it could have just as easily been 5 or 6. I did not think the Hawks played anywhere near their potential tonight.

The lone goal for the Hawks was scored by Brendan Hopkins early in the 2nd, while Cameron Blair, Brody Robinson and Spencer Mault added singles for Flin Flon.

With the loss, the Hawks are now 1 game above .500(not if you count OTL's as a loss) at 6-5-0-2. The Bombers improved to 12-3-0-0 on the year with the win.

View the full boxscore here!

The Hawks now shift their focus to a 3 game road trip this weekend that begins Friday night in Weyburn. Saturday night they will visit Estevan, while Sunday the team will be in Wilcox taking on the Notre Dame Hounds.

Broadcast Information:
Friday, 7:15 pregame show on 105 CJVR, 106.3 in Nipawin.

Saturday, 7:15 pregame show on CK750. 


Sunday, 4:15 pregame show on CK750.

Join me on all 3 broadcasts and you might hear Rod Peterson of Lighthouse FM stepping in to help me out on color on one of the nights, maybe more!

All games can be heard online on www.yourtownnews.ca


Sunday, October 28, 2012

Tough Shootout Loss In Yorkton For Hawks:

The Hawks got 2 goals from Tad Kozun, and a couple assists from Arti Kalashnikov but failed to pick up the 2 points in Yorkton on Saturday night.

Kozun opened the scoring just over a minute in to the game, finding the back of the net off a goal mouth scramble from an Artsiom Kalashnikov shot. But Yorkton would come back 7 minutes later with goal-king Jeremy Johnson adding his first of two n the night. Yorkton would take the 14-11 shot advantage in to the break, but the teams were deadlocked at 1 apiece.

In the second, deep inside the offensive zone Grant Jensen looked to be exchanging words with a Terrier when the Yorkton player decided to turn and skate away while Jensen slashed his stick out of his hands. With the Hawks shorthanded, Dustin Skilliter landed the puck on his stick for a breakaway but couldn't beat Kale Thomson. The Terriers went back on a 2-on-2 but couldn't convert, and then Jeff Datoff threw the puck up in the air to Tad Kozun, who walked in alone and beat Thomson 5-hole to put his team up 2-1 with his 6th of season, all while remaining shorthanded. 5 minutes later, the Hawks were at it again, as Brady Zerr walked over the blue line and fired a beamer over the glove of Thomson and in to the back of the net. The Hawks got outshot 12-6 in the period, but 2 goals put them in front by a score of 3-1.

Kailum Gervais beat Davis Jones early in the 3rd to get Yorkton within 1, with the assists to Zak Majkowski(who seemed to be after everyone physically) and Johnson with his 2nd point of the night. Both teams were less than impressive on the power play, combining for 0-for-9 on the night, so it would be a even strength goal that tied the game; as Jeremy Johnson notched his 2nd and 11th of the year. The Hawks only managed 4 3rd period shots, to Yorkton's 16. The teams would head to overtime after the final minutes saw several stoppages that gave the players chances to mentally set up a big chance late in the game.

Overtime wouldn't see a whole lot of chances for either sides, but the Hawks netminder Davis Jones made several HUGE saves not just in OT, but throughout this game to give his team a chance to win. He would finish the night with 41 saves(and somehow got left off the 3 stars).

In the shootout, Derek Falloon and Jesse Bernard exchanged goals, before Arti Kalashnikov and Zak Majkowski both couldn't score. After a Jeremy Johnson goal, Tad Kozun needed to score to keep the game going, but he fanned on the shot and the Terriers bench erupted to the ice, improving to 7-0-0-0 on home ice. Meanwhile, the Hawks road struggles continued, dropping to 0-3-0-2 away from the Cage.

For the Hawks, I personally felt like it was one of the better games of the year, leading up to the third period. I had nothing bad to say about any individual player, although a few plays almost cost the team the game prior to the shootout. Tad Kozun, Tayler Balog and Jesse Bernard were the top forwards in my eyes, with Dustin Skilliter also having a gutsy effort. All 6 d-men had sound games, and netminder Davis Jones let his 41 stops speak for themselves. I couldn't believe some of the saves he made, I will get audio up on Sunday at some point.

The Hawks will embark on a 3 game road trip next weekend, but before they head out they have to host Flin Flon on Tuesday night. The game will begin at 7:30 down at the Centennial Arena, and the Hawks hope to see the Cage packed as the Bombers are one of the SJHL's top teams and it should make for a great game.

Best of luck to Tayler Balog at the World Junior A Challenge Camp, which begins at 6:00 PM tonight in Calgary. If the next few days go well for Tayler, he will travel to Nova Scotia for the WJAC which begins November 5th. Go get 'em, Balog!


Saturday, October 27, 2012

Hawks Head To Yorkton To Face Terriers:

 The Nipawin Hawks are travelling south east today to Yorkton, where they will hit the ic for a 7:30 puck drop against the Terriers.

The Hawks have won 4 of 5 since dropping both games on their Yorkton/Melville trip in early October. The only loss came in Humboldt, when the Broncos came away with a 5-1 decision.

The last time Nipawin was in Yorkton, they failed to beat netminder Kale Thomson, who made 24 stops in a 3-0 win. That game featured what some refer to as sparks, but I'll refer to it as a bonfire. The 2 teams combined for 236 penalty minutes, including 10 Rough After Whistle penalties and multiple Fighting Majors.

Both teams, you can tell don't like each other much; but I think tonight's game is going to have a quicker pace and a more Hockey-oriented style. Doug Johnson and Trent Cassan were both disappointed with the on-ice performance, meaning they probably want the guys to take this game out on the scoreboard.

Puck drop tonight will be 7:30, but the game can be heard live throughout most of Saskatchewan on the AM dial, on CK750. I'll have the call beginning at 7:15 from the Farrell Agencies Arena.

Tune in online if you can't get the signal, at www.yourtownnews.ca

Mustangs Win In Weyburn:

 Last season, the Mustangs were 0-4 against the Weyburn Red Wings. This year, they've come out to a 2-0 start thanks to last night's 2-1 victory over the Red n White.

Brandon Formosa scored a power play goal just past the midway point of the opening period. He roofed a rebound after Logan Sceviour fired a point shot towards Wings' netminder Nate Ferris.

Weyburn would tie the game in the 2nd, with Ryan Ostertag picking up his 9th goal in 7 games since being traded from Nipawin 6 games in to this season. Melfort left off the gas pedal a little in the 2nd, but had a 1-1 tie going in to the room.

In the 3rd, Jay Aason would put the Mustangs power play to 2/4 on the night with a rocket shot from the point that fooled Ferris. The Mustangs power play had finally awoken and they went in front late.

A push from Weyburn late in the game would result in a dying minutes penalty against the Mustangs, but Patrick Johnson remained solid in net, holding out several booming one timers from Carter Struthers.

Making 26 saves for the win, Johnson improved as the game went on. Ferris made 29 stops in the losing cause, while Melfort improved to 6-7-0-0 on the season. Weyburn fell to 3-12-0-0.

Tonight, the 'Stangs host the Melville Millionaires at the Palace, who are coming off a 8-3 win last night, not to mention a 6 goal 3rd period. These two teams will rematch on Tuesday night in Melville, that game will be heard on CK750.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Mustangs @ Weyburn Preview:

The Melfort Mustangs are in Weyburn tonight to take on the Red Wings, who have struggled lately winning just 1 of their previous 8 games. The Mustangs, meanwhile have lost 2 straight, dropping their record to 5-7-0-0 on the season.

These teams met 2 weeks ago in Melfort, and the Mustangs carried the pace of play for the majority of that game, winning 6-3 thanks to 3-point nights from each member of the top line; Brandon Formosa, Brandon Sloan and Jarrett Zentner.

Weyburn made a trade today sending Brendon Wilde to Estevan, meaning there will be one less familiar face in the Wings line up for the Mustangs to focus on.

In net, both teams have given mostly split duties. Jesse Wilkins and Patrick Johnson have both played over 250 minutes of hockey, while the Red Wings have iced 3 goaltenders, with of them seeing over 250 minutes of action.

Ryan Ostertag has given Weyburn a spark of light as of late, winning last weeks SJHL player of the week award. Ostertag, an ex-Nipawin Hawk, has put up 12 points in his first 6 games in Red and White.

The game can be heard online at yourtownnews.ca as well as on the radio dial on 105 CJVR!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Hawks' Balog To Attend WJAC Camp:

The Nipawin Hawks may have lost 5-1 at the hands of the Humboldt Broncos last night, but there is still one positive vibe pumping from the yellow and black's dressing room.

18 year old Tayler Balog has been named one of seven SJHL players invited by Dean Brockman and the Canada West Coaching Staff to attend the World Junior A Challenge Camp in Calgary.

The camp, which begins Sunday night, will see Balog joined by SJ'ers Tyler Kauk(Estevan, D), Josh Betinol(Battlefords, F), Brett Boehm(Flin Flon, F), Rhyse Dieno(La Ronge, F), Dylan McCombie(Flin Flon, F) and Russell Trudeau(Melville, F).

Of the 7 SJHL players selected, 3 of which call Saskatchewan home during the off season. Another interesting stat, there are 8 players on this list that live east of Manitoba(Ont and Que). This stat, I don't feel should exist.

There are some very quality Hockey players from the SJHL who got passed over potentially because of players who would normally be on the Team Canada East Roster, and I'm sure players from the MJHL and SIJHL as well.  

Because we're all from Canada, it's a hard issue to argue against. I feel this is conflicting with a similar situation last year. Mario Lucia was playing for Penticton in the BCHL yet played for Team USA - I know Canada 'West' and 'East' aren't their own nations, but for me the pride is the same and I feel the WJAC should be a 'play where you're from, not where you play' situation not just for international players.. 

Aside from that, this is an extremely exciting opportunity for all of these players; with 7 returning players from last years team Gold Medal winning team, including last years top 2 team scorers, Canada West should be in for a fun ride this November in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.

With alumni such as Jaden Schwartz and Nail Yakupov, the WJAC is a week of exciting hockey beginning with exhibition beginning not this Friday, but next. Last year, West beat East in the Final in Langley, thanks to a multi-point effort from Alex Kerfoot, who is among the returnees.

Canada West opens the tournament vs the Czech Republic on Tuesday, November 9th at 1:00 Central time, 4:00 Atlantic time. The games can be viewed free thanks to FASTHockey. Click that link and you're on the broadcast page, just sign up and go!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

SJHL Hitting The Books:



This is (great news) from the SJHL website:

The Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League is getting a whole lot smarter.

Although the hockey product will always be the No. 1 priority for the league, the education of the players - both while they are in the league and when they move on in the future - is a growing concern.

That is where Garry Gawryliuk comes into the picture.

Gawryliuk is a retired high school teacher from Yorkton and for the past 15 years he has been working with players from both the Terriers and the Melville Millionaires to help them prepare for educational opportunities once they have finished playing in the SJHL.

Last year, after Bill Chow was brought in as league president, Gawryliuk had his responsibilities expanded when he became the educational consultant for the entire league.

“Last week when I was in Humboldt for the prospects game, the NCAA scouts were pretty impressed,” says Gawryliuk. “There is no other league that has hired an educational consultant. They kind of liked it when they needed information and we had it all there for them.”

What Gawryliuk has done is create a series of templates that the players fill out so if a scout does call, then the information is ready for dispersal. The templates fall into three categories: educational, hockey and vocational. The educational portfolio includes the player’s marks, study interests and possibly a reference letter from a teacher. The hockey portfolio lists all the player’s accomplishments on the ice including any awards won, statistics and a letter of reference from a coach. The vocational template is designed for players who are unsure of going the school route, but would like to continue playing hockey at some level.

“By filling out the portfolios, the players have to decide on what they want to do,” says Gawryliuk. “Judging from the success we had last year we are definitely on the right track.”

The educational and hockey information is obviously used by players wanting to attract a scholarship, whether it is to an American college, Canadian university or even a technical school. The vocational route is rather new, but one that is gaining some momentum as industries and professional trades are looking for workers with a hockey background so that they can represent their business at major tournaments in addition to providing an opportunity for employment.

“Places like the northern mines, or the RCMP, like junior hockey players because of their discipline, leadership and the team modelling concept,” says Gawryliuk.

“We are becoming a sounding board for agencies interested in that,” added Gawryliuk, who noted that Lee Bitternose of the RCMP has been one to inquire about the program.

While Gawryliuk does the footwork for the players to get started in determining their future career path, he says it is up to the players to be diligent in seeking out opportunities.

“To get a scholarship you have to sell yourself and sell yourself on paper,” says Gawryliuk. “We also encourage players to include video highlights (of themselves) to go with their packages and we tell players if the scouts don’t come knocking on your door, that is where they have to get to work and study what schools they would like to play for and also see which teams might need a player like them.”

Gawryliuk does try and visit most SJHL clubs, but when they come into Yorkton or Melville they can almost certainly expect a visit so as “to give them a face to the name.”

There is no age restriction for any player to select any route although generally it is the younger players that seek out the scholarships and the older players who consider the vocational program.

The SJHL has put a strong emphasis on education and with Gawryliuk taking control of the program, it is very evident that the league will be highly recruited and the players will have a greater chance for success in the future.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Mustangs Preparing For Terriers:

Old Time Logo's For 2 Historical Teams
After a 6-3 win this weekend against the sluggish Weyburn Red Wings, the Melfort Mustangs are back at the drawing board in preparation for Thursday's game against the Yorkton Terriers. These teams are yet to meet this season, but the Terriers will come in with the hot(ter) hand.

With 6 wins in their first 8 games, the Terriers sit with the 2nd best win percentage in the SJHL, behind only Flin Flon. They posses heavy gun Jeremy Johnson, who has 8 goals in 8 games, and they've also allowed a league low 16 goals thanks to Conor Barrie and local boy Kale Thomson. Not bad for a team that hardly made it over 10 returning players.

The Mustangs meanwhile, are now playing .500 hockey at 5-5-0-0 and will look to be above .500 with a win for the first time since February 16th of 2011, and hey, this Terrier club is the same one that ousted the Mustangs in 5 games in the 2nd round that year. A win would also help the Mustangs gain ground on the Humboldt Broncos, assuming they pick up a minimum of 2 points in 2 games leading up to Thursday. The 'Stangs are currently 1 point back of their barn pals, with 2 games more being played by Melfort.

Game time on Thursday is 7:30 at Northern Lights Palace, and if you are unable to make it to the rink, I encourage you to tune in to the Melfort Mustangs Broadcast Network for a few bucks cheaper with Sportsnet like scoreboards and replays!


Sunday, October 14, 2012

Mustangs Improve To .500:

The Weyburn Red Wings came in to Melfort on Saturday night with not much confidence, riding a 3 game losing slide and coming off an 11-4 loss to Nipawin.

The Mustangs, on the other hand, were coming back from a 2-1 win on Wednesday after Humboldt gave them 2 losses last weekend.

Led by Brandon Sloan and Brandon Formosa, the Mustangs improved their record to 5-5-0-0 with a 6-3 win over the Wings at the Northern Lights Palace.

Goric Tham opened the scoring late in the 1st when he picked a Weyburn d-man of the puck and picked his spot on netminder Brett Teskey. And then before I could even get my notes written, they went right back in off the faceoff and capitalized on a 2-on-1. Jarret Zentner and Sloan drew assists on Formosa's 2nd of the year and 1st of the night. Outshooting Weyburn 13-12 in the 1st, the Mustangs took a 2 goal lead to the break.

5 minutes in to the 2nd, with Branden Ganz and Cody Fiala in the box, Jay Aason would score a point shot off a one-touch pass play by Logan Sceviour and Tham. 3 minutes later, the Zentner-Formosa-Sloan line got another one, with Formosa notching his 2nd. With shots 27-14 at that point, the Mustangs kept coming making it 5-0 when Cody Brown moved the puck up to a shorthanded Landon Belchamber who stopped up just below the top of circle and defined top corner for the 646 strong at the Palace. Austin Rosselain got Weyburn on the board with a side of the net wraparound that slipped through the legs of Patrick Johnson, who made some wonderful saves in all 3 periods. Just over a minute later, the Mustangs top line added another, this time it was Brandon Sloan with his line mates getting assists. The game was 6-1 after 2 and the Mustangs had a shot advantage of 28-18.

The 3rd period wouldn't have too much of anything, minus the Red Wings finding their groove. They scored 2 goals 27 seconds apart from Lane Harbor and Brendon Wilde. The Mustangs settled their game down and both teams played a hard fought period with not too much rough stuff at all, minus a few hits and scrums. Shots on net in their 3rd favored the Red Wings, meaning that despite their 2-8-0-0 record, they have only been outshot in all 3 periods once this season, in a loss in the 3rd game against Flin Flon. Final score was 6-3 and the Mustangs did the salute at center to thank their fans.

With the win, the Mustangs now sit 1 point back of the Humboldt Broncos for 2nd in the Bauer Conference, while the loss drops the Red Wings to 2-8-0-0 and leaves them 1 point back of Estevan for 2nd last in the Sherwood Conference.

Next up for the Mustangs is a Thursday night battle with Yorkton down at the Palace. Puck drop is 7:30 and the game can be heard online at melfortmustangs.com on the Mustang Broadcast Network.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Hawks Give Parents More Than A Handful:

It was Parents and Billets Night for the Nipawin Hawks on Friday, and the sons of 19 families(read on....) gave their parents a huge treat, scoring nearly a dozen times en route to a 11-4 shellacking of the Weyburn Red Wings.

The game began with a presentation that saw the players skate from the dressing room across the ice to their parents with flowers in arms. Nice for the parents for sure.

Maybe the flowers were giving off some sort of magical odour, because the Hawks came out hard, and never looked back. It only took 3:24 for the Hawks to strike first, and it was a wonderful play cycling down low between Brady Zerr, Yan Kalashnikov and the newest Hawk, Artisiom Kalashnikov. Arti, as they call him, is the 6 month younger brother of Yan and will surely provide added comfort and confidence for both brothers. Back to the goal, Arti got a wraparound and buried to open the scoring. Drake Brown would beat Davis Jones with just under 5 to go in the period making it 1-1. Most of the first period was played back and forth, but the Hawks went up a couple when Taylor Balog and Tad Kozun began their multi-point nights assisting on Dexter Bricker's 1st of the night. Cody Fiala would deliver a punishing yet very dirty hit on Garret Lockeridge, and fights would follow between Michael Lambert and Ryan Cooper, and Dustin Skilliter and Fiala. Shots would end up being 11-10 in favor of the Red Wings after one, and the Hawks led 2-1.

In the second, Nipawin seemed to find their gas pedal. Brady Zerr got it going 4 minutes in with Keenan Martens and Tad Kozun drawing helpers. The Hawks pressured but found themselves down 2 men at the 8:00 mark, but somehow it was the Hawks that capitalized while down a man. Wheaton King fed the puck to Jesse Bernard who went down shorthanded and beat Weyburn netminder Nate Ferris. :30 seconds later, they did it again, this time it was Tad Kozun off a pass from Taylor Balog. 4 minutes after that, Dexter Bricker capitalized on the man advantage, with Ben Petros and Carter Danczak getting assists on the 6-1 goal. Miguel Pareira added one for Weyburn with just over 5 minutes to go, but their momentum wouldn't last long as Tad Kozun made it 7-2 moments later. Shots after the 2nd were 23-17 for the Hawks, and they lead 7-2.

3 minutes in to the final frame, Carter Danczak got the puck to Jesse Bernard who set up Wheaton King for his first of the night. 2 and a half minutes later, the Hawks found themselves on the powerplay and Tad Kozun gave Taylor Balog the tap in, making it 9-2. The third period seemed to drag on and then the bubble broke when Jeff Datoff moved the puck up to Jesse Bernard, who gave King his 2nd of the night. With 5 minutes left, Kyle Oleniuk picked his spot on Jones, and attempted to give his team some life. His work would prove handy as Matt Martin made a fancy move and beat Jones for his 2nd of the season and to make it a 10-4 game. But the night would end just how it started, as Dexter Bricker scored with just 3 seconds left from the goal line. Both Kalashnikov brothers had assists but I see the SJHL removed them. The Hawks dominated the Wings in the third as well, out shooting them 17-6, and overall 50-34. The Hawks gave their parents a heck of a night, and won 11-4 and improved to 4-3-0-1 on the year.

I was very impressed with the entire Hawks team tonight, they all played with real intensity. Getting Arti and Yan together was huge for both of them and I think along with Brady Zerr, they will make a strong line this season. Tad Kozun looked to be much more confident tonight as well, as did Jesse Bernard. There wasn't many dark spots for the Hawks, and now they have a week to fine tune things for their Friday night game with the Kindersley Klippers. Puckdrop on Friday is 7:30 at the Centennial Arena.

Tomorrow is the 8th annual Hawks Fish Fest at the White Fox Community Hall. It begins at 6:00 and if you would like to go, it's 30 bucks a plate and the night will have music by Touch of Grey. Get tickets at the Hawks office or Scotiabank in Nipawin.