Monthly Archives: April 2014

WHL Heads South Of The 49th

There will be a new look to this year’s WHL U.S. Prospects Camp as the WHL has entered into a partnership with Under Armour.

The newly named WHL U.S. Combine Camp, powered by Under Armour, will offer, for the first time, on-ice and off-ice testing for all players in attendance. This marks the 9th consecutive year the WHL has hosted a camp focusing on U.S.-born prospects. The camp starts this weekend (April 11-13, 2014) at the Anaheim Ice Facility in Anaheim, CA.

The WHL U.S. Combine Camp in Anaheim will provide a unique opportunity for U.S.-born hockey players to participate with other top ranked 1999 born players in the only evaluation camp conducted by the WHL in the U.S. this season. The WHL is the largest Major Junior Hockey League in North America and is a leading supplier of player talent to the National Hockey League. Virtually all of the WHL’s 22 Member Clubs be in attendance to evaluate players’ ability to play at the WHL level. The WHL U.S. Combine Camp also features a WHL Prospects Information Session, where players and their families will learn about the benefits of playing Major Junior hockey, the highest level in the Canadian system, and details on the WHL scholarship program.

Vanier Cup To Stay In QC

Canadian Interuniversity Sport announced Wednesday a partnership with the Montreal Alouettes to hold the historic 50th Vanier Cup at Percival-Molson Memorial Stadium in Montreal, marking the first-ever staging of the Canadian university football championship game in the Quebec metropolis.

The announcement was made at Montreal’s city hall in the presence of mayor Mr. Denis Coderre.

“Montréal is hosting the Vanier Cup for the first time and I am very proud. This announcement demonstrates that Montréal is a city of major sporting events. The economic and touristic growth and distinction that this event will bring to Montréal is another reason for us to celebrate. Growth based on sports on healthy lifestyle habits in a lively and dynamic city: equals a healthy city!”, said the mayor of Montréal.

Taman Re-Ups

Saskatchewan Roughrider President/CEO Jim Hopson announced today the contract extension of General Manager Brendan Taman. The two year extension will see Taman continue in his role with the organization through the 2017 season. In addition to the extension, Taman will now be positioned as the Vice President of Football Operations and General Manager.

“Brendan has proven to be a key contributor to the recent accomplishments of our football club. This extension, along with Corey Chamblin’s current extension, creates stability and continuity within the Riders Football Operations which is a key ingredient to long term success,” stated Hopson. “We are pleased to come to an agreement with Brendan as these two gentlemen work extremely well together and constantly challenge each other to find ways to continuously improve the on field product.”

Huskies Announce Home Football Dates

The University of Saskatchewan Huskie football team will host three of its regular season home games under the lights and one in a Saturday afternoon matinee against conference rivals the Manitoba Bisons, Calgary Dinos, UBC Thunderbirds and Alberta Golden Bears.

Canada West conference action kicks off for the Huskies at home in a rematch of a 2013 semifinal with a date against the Manitoba Bisons on September 5. The Huskies return home on September 19 to face bitter rival the Calgary Dinos.

The Huskies add home dates against the UBC Thunderbirds on October 4 and the Alberta Golden Bears on October 25.

Who Are the April Fools? Find Out In the Top 10 Tuesday

Here were go with another smattering of thoughts on this second Tuesday of April.

10 – Start off with the WHL who continue to play the role of the fool. This past week and for the second time this post-season the league announced that they would need to modify their post-season overtime format in order to adhere to building requirements for other tenants. Fortunately, the Oil Kings/Wheat Kings game didn’t require extra-time but it is bad form to have to make these amendments on the fly!

Jyles Headed To Lions Den

The BC Lions Football Club announced this morning that quarterback Steven Jyles has agreed to terms on a contract with the team.

A seven-year CFL veteran, Jyles joins the Lions after sitting out the 2013 campaign and last suited up for the Edmonton Eskimos in 2012, starting nine games for the Green and Gold with a 5-4 record.

“Steven has a lot of experience as both a starter and a number two quarterback in our league and we expect him to provide a significant level of competition for the quarterbacks we have under Travis,” said VP of football operations and GM Wally Buono.

WHL To Change Play-Off OT Format….. Again!

The Western Hockey League has announced that the playoff game on Saturday, April 5, between the Brandon Wheat Kings and the Edmonton Oil Kings, may require a shoot-out to determine the winning Club should the game still be tied after two overtime periods.

Brandon and Edmonton are scheduled to play at 12:00 noon on Saturday, April 5, in Rexall Place, followed by a lacrosse game between the Edmonton Rush and the Colorado Mammoth that evening at 8:00 pm.

Huskies Hand Out Hardware

With conference MVP seasons in University of Saskatchewan uniforms, Dalyce Emmerson and Derek Hulak have been named Huskie Athletics’ female and male athletes of the year.

Hulak becomes the ninth hockey player to win the E. Kent Phillips Trophy for Male Athlete of the Year since 1981, while Emmerson is just the third basketball player to win the Mary Ethel Cartwright Trophy for Female Athlete of the Year.

Averaging a double-double, Emmerson sat second in the Canada West in scoring with 19.2 points per game and first in rebounds with 11.6 per game. The totals put her fourth in scoring and second in rebound in the nation. In 2013-14, the third-year Kinesiology student led the Huskies in scoring in 13 of her 10 games played. Breaking a Huskie record, she recorded 26 rebounds in a single game and set her career-high with 32 points in another. She also led the CIS with 63 blocks.

For her season, she was named the Canada West MVP, Canada West Defensive Player of the Year, a Canada West First Team All-Star and a CIS First Team All-Canadian. This is Emmerson’s second Huskie Athletics major award. In 2011-12, she won the Patricia Lawson Trophy for Female Rookie of the Year.

Dave’s Dis N’ Dat To Wrap Up The Week

Here are a smattering of thoughts from the world of sport to wind-up the week.

Round Two of the WHL play-offs opened last night with the Edmonton and Kelowna jumping out to 1-0 series advantages with lopsided wins. I don’t want to brag, OK who is kidding who of course I do, but I was 8-for-8 in my opening round predictions. For the record, in round two I took Edmonton over Brandon in five, Kootenay to defeat Medicine Hat in 5, Portland to top Victoria in 7 and Kelowna to oust Seattle in 6.

More WHL and there was a lot of reaction to my Top 10 Tuesday’s thoughts at the unbalance that exists within the league which is why it could be a lot longer before a SK team wins a league title. I’m not even sure that any of the teams within the province are really even close to becoming a contender.

Last one on the WHL and the most startling statistic that I came across at the end of the regular season was the attendance numbers across the league. Numbers were down in all buildings and perhaps most alarming is that buildings were only at 56.9% of capacity in the regular season. Bringing that average down was the Saskatoon Blades attendance which was at an average of 31.1% of capacity. Yes they play in one of the biggest rinks in the league BUT the Blades’ average attendance of 4,719 was 10th in the league, in what is one of the biggest markets! Again I will admit that the franchise is in a rebuild mode but this was just step one of that project. The new ownership mentioned in their opening news conference that they wanted to give fans a reason to leave their homes in -30 and come out to hockey games. Here’s hoping that some of their initiatives can turn the tide.

To the SJHL and anyone want to bet that the SJHL’s board of governors are quietly cheering for Humboldt in game five of their Conference Final with Yorkton tonight? A Broncos win would force a sixth game in the series that would be played in Warman. The game would be a huge opportunity for the league to gauge interest in an expansion franchise for the city 10 minutes outside of Saskatoon.

Three Dogs Headed To East West Bowl

Canadian Interuniversity Sport announced Thursday the rosters for the 12th annual East West Bowl, presented by Under Armour. The all-star showcase is set for Saturday, May 10, 2014 at TD Stadium on the campus of Western University in London, Ont. 

Western will host the game for the sixth straight year. The contest was previously held at McMaster (2008), Laval (2007, 2006) and Wilfrid Laurier (2005, 2004, 2003). Kickoff for the 2014 edition is scheduled for 1 p.m.

In addition to the game itself, the week-long event includes daily practices, the Under Armour Combine for participating players (May 6), the Free Agent Combine for players eligible to attend 2014 CFL training camps and not participating in the East West Bowl (May 7), a coaches clinic featuring presentations by CFL coaches and CIS mentors (May 9-10), the annual Friday night banquet (May 9), as well as the inaugural CIS 7-on-7 Passing Tournament (May 10).  

Two familiar faces – Laval’s Glen Constantin (East) and Calgary’s Blake Nill (West) – will serve as head coaches for the spring classic. The old foes, whose teams faced off in the Vanier Cup final last fall, rank 1-2 in East West Bowl appearances as bench boss with seven and five, respectively. 

“It will be very exciting to once again coach the best prospects from Eastern Canada. Now in its 12th year, the East West Bowl has become a can’t miss event for CFL scouts and it offers our student-athletes a unique opportunity to showcase their talent,” said Constantin, who last November guided his Rouge et Or to a remarkable seventh national title in only 13 seasons at the helm. “I want to thank Western University for taking the lead in organizing this week-long event.”