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

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!

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 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Hawks Head On Road Happy:



  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

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 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!