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Play by Play for the U of S football Huskies, Melfort Mustangs, Nipawin Hawks & Humboldt Broncos

A Long Overdue Post

Posted by Darryl Skender on August 23, 2011

I’m back off holidays and have a lot of catching up to do so here we go.

The Nipawin Hawks traded goaltender Brody Hoffman to the Fort McMurray Oil Barons for future considerations a little over a week ago. Hoffman was up on the trade block for a while. Coach & GM Doug Johnson brought in goaltender Davis Jones from the Oil Barons in June. It’s interesting that the Hawks and Oil Barons ended up trading goaltenders to each other about a month and a half apart. Doug said, “We wish Brody the best of luck. He was a key part of the organization for 2 years and is a great young man.” A lot of people feel that Jones will be the starter in Hawksville but Johnson said that’s not the case. He stated, “Davis’ numbers are very appealing what he did last year but Stephen’s a competitor and he’s had a good summer so I’m going to let them sort it out. That’s the best way to do things, let the players decide who’s going to play. Summer’s a long time. Guys can work hard or guys cannot. I want to see who comes in prepared and who doesn’t. That goes for all positions.” Whichever way Doug decides, there will be a new starting goalie in Nipawin this season.

Still with the Hawks, their Hockey School is fast approaching. It is taking place this weekend at the Cage. It will be run by coach & GM Doug Johnson and assistant coach Chad McLeod as well as some of the players that are volunteering their time. It works in conjunction with Nipawin Minor Hockey. All the information is on the Nipawin Hawks website including an online registration form. Johnson said, “We’ll take players from age 5 to 17. We will have 3 different groups per day. You get what you put into it. If the guys come in with a good attitude, they’re going to learn a lot. If they’re just out to get in shape, they’re still going to get something out of it.” Ten per cent of the money raised will go back to Nipawin Minor Hockey.

I was driving back from Saskatoon (Huskie press conference) and I passed Doug near Aberdeen. He was on his way to Saskatoon to pick up assistant coach Chad McLeod. Welcome to our great province Chad.

I did up our SJHL broadcast schedule while I was away. Our first hockey broadcast is September 16th with Nipawin @ La Ronge. That’s followed by Humboldt @ Notre Dame on September 18th and Melfort @ Kindersley on September 20th. We will be doing an increased amount of games for all teams this year which will keep Branden and myself very busy.

The University of Saskatchewan Huskies have been hard at training camp. They started with testing on Thursday and have been doing two-a-days since Friday. About 95 players started out at camp. One notable not there is running back Jeff Hassler. He suffered a severe high ankle sprain while playing in a select rugby game and has been lost for the season. Head coach Brian Towriss told me that Hassler has accepted a position with Rugby Canada and is a carded athlete. That means his footabll career is either on hold or over. Despite losing a player with a ton of talent, BT said that even though they are a man short, they aren’t missing someone they’ve ever had on a regular basis. Jeff has spent most of the past 2 seasons injured. Obviously that means Ben Coakwell will get more carries and also opens the door for a guy like Dexter Janke.

As for training camp, the players have had a few of the days in sweltering heat. Things seem to be progressing nicely. The Dogs still don’t have a starting QB yet however. Trent Peterson and Jahlani Gilbert-Knorren are still battling for that title. Peterson was the back up last season while Gilbert-Knorren was 3rd but Jahlani also played other positions like receiver, running back and kick returner. They have 2 very different styles. Peterson is more like a Laurence Nixon type. He is very cerebral and methodical while Gilbert-Knorren uses his legs a lot more. Both QB’s will get a lot of time with the 1st unit during their non-conference game Friday.

At today’s press conference, it was announced that the September 2nd game is going to be dedicated to the Canadian Armed Forces. They are calling it the “Support Our Troops” game. CEO of the Concorde Group David Dube is once again involved in this venture. There will be a barbecue tailgating party for the troops and their families in attendance as well as a live band. The regular public is also invited for a small fee. All money raised will go to the “Soldier On” fund.

And finally, I can’t wait. Football is back on Friday with the Huskies hosting the Windsor Lancers in a non-conference game. Game time is 7:00. The pre-gamwe show with myself and Kelly begins at 6:30.  Let’s have a good turnout at Griffiths Stadium.

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