Darryl Skender's Website

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

Leaving The Business

Posted by Darryl Skender on November 17, 2011

I stopped blogging a little while back but thought a personal blog about myself might save me from answering the same questions hundreds of times.

There comes a time in every guy’s life where he sits back, looks at his life and wonders about his future. I have thought hard and long about it and when a job opportunity came up for me, I realized I must take it while I can. I love my current job at CJVR/CK750, I also love the people I work with. But this decision was based on what is right for me and my family and all of our futures. I handed in my resignation at work today and will be done in the radio business as of December 7th.  Yes it was tough considering it was my dream as a kid to do play by play and also get paid to do nothing but sports. This being a guaranteed RBC Cup year made it even tougher.

I have accepted an offer by Provincial Aerospace Ltd to operate the radar on one of their aircraft in Comox, BC. They are a civilian company that is contracted by the military, fisheries and quite often work in conjunction with the RCMP. They detect, track and do surveillance on the west coast looking for illegal activity in the water such as illegal fishing, drug smuggling, illegal immigrants as well as search and rescue. So I get to fly in airplane everyday now instead of travelling on a bus with the teams. The company is great. The pay is terrific and the benefits are tremendous. If you’re wondering how I am qualified for this, it’s the same job I used to do in the Navy except I did it on a boat back then instead of on an aircraft.

I would like to say thanks to all the coaches I have had the privilege of meeting and becoming friends with, my fellow broadcasters who are all outstanding at what they do, the players who have made my job easier and the staff at CJVR/CK750 who are second to none. It truly is a wonderful company to work for. Also to all listeners through out my four and a half years in Melfort that have said so many kind things. I feel like I have been blessed with what I have accomplished in the past and the future that I am about to embark on.

My last game will be on December 7th, Humboldt @ Melfort. I’m not sure of my replacement yet but Branden Crowe will do a wonderful job in the meantime. He is as talented as anyone I have ever met for his age. Not sure what my new number will be but I can always be contacted at dskender@hotmail.com. Take care!


Posted in Humboldt Broncos, Melfort Mustangs, Nipawin Hawks, U of S Huskies | Leave a Comment »

Dubyk To Start Against Mustangs Tonight

Posted by Darryl Skender on October 8, 2011

It will be a battle of 2 struggling teams on our CK750 radio broadcast tonight. The Humboldt Broncos and Melfort Mustangs will tangle at the Northern Palace. The Mustangs have lost 5 of their last 6 games while the Broncos have lost 4 of their last 5. Both teams lost last night as Melfort dropped a 7-1 decision to Nipawin and Humboldt a 5-4 score to Battlefords.

Melfort has been alternating their goaltending this season with the exception of opening weekend. Expect Jesse Ehnisz to be in between the pipes this evening as Jesse Wilkins played in Nipawin last night. The Broncos have alternated Matt Hrynkiw and Tyler Marble every game until last night where Marble started his 2nd straight. That will change tonight. Former Moose Jaw Warrior Deven Dubyk gets his first start of the season in a Bronco uniform. Dubyk was not dressed last night as Marble started with Hrynkiw playing the role of back up. Tonight, Marble won’t dress and Hrynkiw will once again be the backup.

Melfort is 1-4 at home this season while Humboldt is 0-4 on the road. It will be the first of 6 meetings this season. Here is a look at tonight’s match up:

Melfort: 2-6-0-1 (6th in Bauer Conference)
Humboldt: 4-5-0-0 (T-4th in Bauer Conference)

Goals Per Game
Melfort: 1.89 (12th)
Humboldt: 4.67 (4th)

Goals Against Per Game
Melfort: 4.11 (12th)
Humboldt: 3.11 (3rd)

Shots Per Game
Melfort: 25.67 (10th)
Humboldt: 33.33 (5th)

Shots Against Per Game
Melfort: 37.00 (12th)
Humboldt: 23.78 (1st)

Power Play
Melfort: 10.2% (11th)
Humboldt: 21.6% (6th)

Penalty Kill
Melfort: 75.4% (11th)
Humboldt: 79.3% (5th)

Last Year’s Head To Head Record
Melfort: 4-2-0-0
Humboldt: 2-4-0-0
* Note: Humboldt was actually 3-3-0-0 after Melfort had a win taken away for using an ineligible player.

How To Listen
Radio: CK750
Internet: www.ck750.com
TV: Saskatel Max Ch. 858 (audio only)

Tonight’s pre-game show starts at 7:15, play by play at 7:30 from “The Palace” in Melfort.

Posted in Humboldt Broncos, Melfort Mustangs | Leave a Comment »

Broncos Staying Close-Mouthed About Goaltending

Posted by Darryl Skender on October 7, 2011

Humboldt Broncos coach & GM Dean Brockman has always kept as much out of the public eye as possible. From the start of training camp to their final game in the playoffs, injuries are rarely specified (and when they are, not always accurately). Everything is lower-body or upper-body, even early on in the season. The term “flu” gets used a lot even if it is actually an injury or a player is being benched. When Dean brings a player in, it is usually on the hush-hush. He doesn’t like bringing too much attention to the team or giving another team an advantage of preparing too early. Dean has asked me quite a few times not to mention players coming over in trades etc. It’s how he rolls. The same can be said for goaltender Deven Dubyk. He has been dropped by the Moose Jaw Warriors and officially cleared waivers a couple days ago so he is back in Humboldt for a second time. He didn’t get a chance to play the first time around but that should change shortly. I asked Dean yesterday if Dubyk would be playing tonight and he said he’s only practiced once so he’ll have to assess the situation today. In fact, as of the time I’m writing this, he’s still not listed on the team’s roster on the website.

In Humboldt’s 4 road losses this season, they outplayed their opponents in 3 of the games. It’s not a secret that the oppositions goaltending has outplayed Humboldt’s in those 4 losses. I’m sure Matt and Tyler would admit that the road games haven’t been their best. Brockman is looking to shore that position up with the 20 year old.

Dubyk is a native of Minitonas, Manitoba and played parts of 4 seasons in the WHL with Moose Jaw and Medicine Hat. He appeared in just 3 games this season and sported a 2-1 record with a 4.00 GAA and .900 save percentage. He also had a short stint with the Swan Valley Stampeders of the MJHL before that. The 6’2″ 170 pounder brings WHL experience but primarily as a back up. It will be interesting to see how he does at this level.

In another move, Humboldt has brought in 17 year old centre Dylan Fluter from the Tri-City Americans. Fluter played for the Battlefords Stars of the SMAAAHL last year where he was 3rd in scoring on the team with 11 goals and 19 assists in 42 games. Dean said the move was necessitated because of all the injuries to his team early on. Fluter picked up an assist in his first game with the Green & Gold on Wednesday in their 7-2 victory over Kindersley.

Humboldt will look to stay perfect at home when they face the 2nd place Battlefords North Stars tonight. It is the first meeting of the season between the 2 clubs. The Broncos currently trail the North Stars by 3 points in the standings and have 1 game in hand. Game time is 7:30 at the Elgar Peterson Arena.

Posted in Humboldt Broncos | Leave a Comment »

Hawks To Don Pink Jerseys Tonight

Posted by Darryl Skender on October 7, 2011

There will be a new look to an old rivalry tonight at the Cage. The Nipawin Hawks will wear pink jerseys this evenng when they host the Melfort Mustangs. They will be raising awareness as well as money for a great cause. After the game, the jerseys will be auctioned off with all money raised going towards breast cancer research and support. It’s being dubbed as, “Pink Out The Rink” night and fans are also encouraged to show support by wearing pink. Sponsors for this event are “Joelle’s Hair Design”, “Your Dollar Store With More”, “Honeywood Vet Clinic” and “Flowers ‘N Things Step By Step.”

The 2 teams met back on September 23rd at the Palace with the Hawks coming away with a 5-2 victory. Melfort has made quite a few changes lately and are a different team from when they last saw each other. Melfort is coming off their first home win and second victory overall on Wednesday. Nipawin comes into the game riding a 4-game winning streak and are 8-1 overall. The Mustangs are 2-5-0-1. Melfort’s line up will look familiar to Hawk fans with 3 players on it that played for the Black & Gold last year. Brendan Tash, Pearce Gourley and Steven Jean will all be suited up tonight.

Posted in Melfort Mustangs, Nipawin Hawks | Leave a Comment »

Huskies Have Outside Shot At First

Posted by Darryl Skender on October 6, 2011

It’s been an up and down season for the U of S Huskies who hit the bye week at 3-2, tied for 2nd place with the UBC Thunderbirds. On Monday and Tuesday, the Dogs had what Brian Towriss called, “Good practices” and they also got their team picture taken. Tuesday also featured a scrimmage with some of the younger players who don’t get to travel with the team. B.T. held a simualted game on Wednesday where there was no contact and the purpose was more for conditioning than anything else.

The bye comes at a pretty good time for the Huskies and all teams considering it’s the mid-point for teams that are planning on playing 10 or 11 games (with playoffs) this season. Obviously from an injury standpoint, the Green & White probably could have used a bye a couple of weeks ago. Remember these players have been going hard since late August while trying to keep their academics up.

The Huskies offence certainly looked better last game. I asked B.T. about the improvement and he said, “We narrowed the package a little bit, concentrated on execution and really emphasized getting the ball out on time, plus getting Ben Coakwell back to provide us with a little more speed in our run game. It was better, we can be better yet, that’s what we have to continue to work towards.”

The Huskies still have a shot at 1st place in Canada West but they need some help. The Calgary Dino’s, despite all their changes this season, are 5-0. The Dino’s have to play in Saskatchewan and UBC and will be at home to Manitoba so they have the tougher schedule. We’ll have a better idea of whether the Huskies have a shot at 1st place after the Calgary game next Friday. Obviously it’s a must-win. Calgary has been able to remain healthy this year, something the Dogs have not been able to do. B.T. said, “Big game for us after the bye this weekend. If we can win that one, we can stay in touch with 1st and put a pretty good leg up on 2nd. If we don’t win that, we’re kinda right back in the hunt and have to get after the last 2 weeks to secure a playoff spot.”

Some good news for the Green & White is they are expecting to get both Luke Thiel and Kit Hillis back into the lineup for next weekend’s game. They were both lost in Week 3 against Manitoba. Thiel will be playing with a cast so he probably won’t be available for returning kicks but will be in the secondary.

Posted in U of S Huskies | Leave a Comment »

Nipawin Hawks In Unfamiliar Territory

Posted by Darryl Skender on October 4, 2011

The Nipawin Hawks fast start has not gone unnoticed by the rest of Canada. In the latest CJHL rankings which came out yesterday, the Black & Gold are ranked 13th in the country. It’s been awhile since we’ve been able to say that. But a 7-1 start will open some eyes. They beat the Humboldt Broncos 5-4 on Saturday to even that head-to-head series at 1 game apiece.

The Hawks will look ahead to tonight now as they play the 2nd game of their 4-game homestand against the Battlefords North Stars. This is another team who has started out of the gate quickly and in fact, haven’t lost on the road yet this season going 3-0. The biggest difference I see with Battlefords is their defensive play. They were a run and gun team the past few years under Ken Pearson whereas this year with a new coach are more defensive minded. In fact, they have the best goals against average in the league up until this point.

The Hawks meanwhile are perfect at home at 4-0. The 2 teams met last Friday in North Battleford with Nipawin coming away with a 6-4 victory. Let’s take a closer look at how the 2 teams compare:

Nipawin: 7-1 (1st place in Bauer Conference)
Battlefords: 5-2 (3rd place in Bauer Conference)

Goals Per Game
Nipawin: 4.63 (2nd)
Battlefords: 3.29 (7th)

Goals Against Per Game
Nipawin: 2.88 (2nd)
Battlefords: 2.71 (1st)

Shots Per Game
Nipawin: 32.38 (8th)
Battlefords: 35.86 (1st)

Power Play
Nipawin: 29.4% (T-1st)
Battlefords: 16.2% (9th)

Penalty Kill
Nipawin: 82.5% (4th)
Battlefords: 83.3% (3rd)

Head To Head
Nipawin: 1-0-0-0
Battlefords: 0-1-0-0

CJVR/CK750 will be on hand at tonight’s game helping out with the 50/50. Gametime is 7:30 at the Cage.

Posted in Nipawin Hawks | Leave a Comment »

Red Hot Hawks Host Broncos Tonight

Posted by Darryl Skender on October 1, 2011

The Nipawin Hawks have made believers out of a lot people early on. They improved to 6-1 on the season last night with a 6-4 win over the Battlefords North Stars. I wasn’t at the game as I was in Saskatoon doing the Huskies broadcast but the Black & Gold are proving to be a serious contender this year. They are first overall in the SJHL. Rookie Tad Kozun continues his quick start to the season as he opened the scoring in the first period. Justin Waskewitch led the way with 2 goals and Davis Jones stopped 35 pucks for his 5th straight win to start the year.

The Humboldt Broncos on the other hand have not yet found their identity. They have a lot of talent but the vast number of new players are still getting acquainted with playing with each other. Lines are being juggled to find the right chemistry. There’s no doubt that once things are finalized, they will also be near the top of the league. The Green & Gold are coming off a pair of losses on their recent road trip to Estevan and Weyburn. Neil Landry leads the team in scoring despite missing a game earlier in the season because of a suspension. The team is 3-0 at home but just 0-3 on the road.

Here is a preview of tonight’s game:

Nipawin: 6-1 (1st in Bauer Conference)
Humboldt: 3-3 (4th in Bauer Conference)

Goals Per Game
Nipawin: 4.57 (2nd)
Humboldt: 4.50 (3rd)

Goals Against Per Game
Nipawin: 2.71 (2nd)
Humboldt: 2.67 (1st)

Shots Per Game
Nipawin: 33.00 (5th)
Humboldt: 31.67 (8th)

Shots Against Per Game
Nipawin: 31.29 (7th)
Humboldt: 22.00 (1st)

Power Play
Nipawin: 29.0% (2nd)
Humboldt: 17.9% (7th)

Penalty Kill
Nipawin: 85.7% (3rd)
Humboldt: 81.8% (7th)

Last Year’s Head To Head Record
Nipawin: 2-5-0-0
Humboldt: 5-2-0-0

How To Listen
Radio: CK750
Internet: www.ck750.com
TV: Saskatel Max Ch. 858 (audio only)

Tonight’s pre-game show starts at 7:15, play by play at 7:30 from “The Cage” in Nipawin.

Posted in Humboldt Broncos, Nipawin Hawks | Leave a Comment »

Huskies Grab Share Of Second Place

Posted by Darryl Skender on October 1, 2011

The 9th ranked U of S Huskies beat the UBC Thunderbirds 36-33 last night in front of over 6000 fans at Griffiths Stadium. Starting QB Trent Peterson was replaced by Jahlani Gilbert-Knorren after hurting his throwing hand late in the 2nd quarter. Gilbert Knorren threw for 187 yards for the rest of the game and rushed for 66 more and 2 TD’s. The Dogs trailed 11-2 at the end of the first half. The only UBC TD in the first half came on a drive that started at the Huskies 1 yard line after a Trent Peterson interception. QB Billy Greene got into the end zone on his 2nd attempt. The star of the night belonged to Huskies running back Ben Coakwell who retured from injury. He carried the ball 20 times for 205 yards and 2 TD’s. Jeff Moore was the leading receiver with 6 catches for 70 yards while Garrett Burgess hauled in 5 and Rory Kohlert 4. The win improves Saskatchewan’s record to 3-2 heading into the bye weekend. It also gave head coach Brian Towriss his 170th win of his career to make him the CIS all-time winningest coach. Towriss’ record stands at 170-95-1. UBC falls to 3-2 as they trail the Calgary Dino’s who are 4-0 and play tomorrow against winless Alberta. The Dogs next game is October 14th when they host the Dino’s at Griffiths Stadium.

Posted in U of S Huskies | Leave a Comment »

Broncos Come Home Empty

Posted by Darryl Skender on September 29, 2011

The Broncos are headed back to Humboldt after failing to get a point on their 2-game southern road trip. Tonight’s loss was a 4-2 decision at the hands of the Weyburn Red Wings. The game had no flow as it was marred by penalty after penalty. Those penalties included a couple of penaty shots and a 5-minute major for checking to the head. After the game, assistant coach Tim Klimosko said his team played better than the night before in Estevan but it was tough to get in a flow with all the stoppages. Humboldt remains winless on the road (0-3) as their overall record dropped to 3-3. Weyburn improved to 2-2 at home and 3-2 overall. For the 2nd game in a row Humboldt outshot their opponent but came up short. They gave up 4 goals on 19 shots tonight after giving up 6 goals on 23 shots the night before. It’s a fairly quiet bus ride home right now as the team is watching, “Horrible Bosses” on tv.

The Green & Gold, who sit 4th in the Bauer Conference, will finish their third road game in a row when they meet the high flying Nipawin Hawks at the Cage on Saturday. It could be the last chance for a couple of the players as Dean Brockman told me he might be making a couple of cuts this weekend. That game will be broadcast on your Game Day station CK750 starting at 7:15.

Posted in Humboldt Broncos | Leave a Comment »

Broncos Look For Split Tonight

Posted by Darryl Skender on September 28, 2011

I’m sitting in the lobby at the Days Inn in Estevan right now just hanging around waiting for our pre-game meal at 3:30. It was a fun game to call last night at Spectra Place. Not only was it an exciting game where there were a lot of chances, goals and good saves, but it was also my first visit to the new facility. It is a terrific arena with 2 nice press boxes and is also filled with luxury suites all the way around. The Broncos lost 6-5 but easily outchanced Estevan in the game. Despite giving up 5 goals, Derek Tendler was terrific for the Bruins. He has played in all 4 Estevan games this season and I can see why. Unfortunately for him, his stats don’t reflect his play. The Bronco coaches made no bones about it that they didn’t like the way their team played. Murray Brookbank said last night that the team didn’t pay the price around the net while Dean Brockman told me today that he felt they only showed up in the 3rd period. Still, the Green & Gold played hard and never gave up right until the final buzzer. They did score a goal with their net empty and almost tied it a few times in the dying seconds.


I spoke with Broncos winger Robbie Ciolfi this morning. I asked him to slowly say the pronunciation of his name because there are 3 or 4 versions going around between the coaches, players and other broadcasters. Here it is officially. It is pronounced “Cho-fee”. There is no L pronounced in his name. He admits he is off to a slower start than he’d like (2G 3A in 5 games) but likes the line he’s playing on right now. The 20 year old Lethbridge product hopes to play in Italy next year. He is of course a dual-citizen.

The Green & Gold go right back at again tonight in Weyburn. They’ll have to do it without their 3rd leading scorer Adam Zbitniff. He got a lower body injury last night and will be on the shelf for a short while. The Red Wings are coming off a 3-2 win over Flin Flon on Sunday. This will be Weyburn’s last game of their 3-game home stand. One thing that really stood out to me as I was looking over the Red Wings stats this morning was they still haven’t scored a power play goal this year through 4 games. They have had just 10 chances however. Humboldt is perfect at home this season but winless on the road. Weyburn has just 1 win in 3 homes so far. Here is a look at how the 2 teams match up:

Humboldt: 3-2 (4th place in Bauer Conference)
Weyburn: 2-2 (Tied for 3rd in Sherwood Conference)

Goals Per Game
Humboldt: 5.00 (T-1st)
Weyburn: 2.50 (9th)

Goals Against Per Game
Humboldt: 2.40 (T-1st)
Weyburn: 3.00 (6th)

Shots For Per Game
Humboldt: 32.60 (4th)
Weyburn: 24.50 (11th)

Shots Against Per Game
Humboldt 21.40 (1st)
Weyburn: 28.00 (3rd)

Power Play
Humboldt: 31.3% (1st)
Weyburn: 0.0% (12th)

Penalty Kill
Humboldt: 84.6% (5th)
Weyburn: 80.8% (8th)

Last Year’s Head To Head Records
Humboldt: 3-1-0-0
Weyburn: 1-2-0-1

How To Listen
Radio: CK750
Internet: www.ck750.com
TV: Saskatel Max Ch. 858 (audio only)

Tonight’s pre-game show starts at 7:15, play by play at 7:30 from Crescent Point Place in Weyburn.

Posted in Humboldt Broncos | Leave a Comment »

Busy Schedule

Posted by Darryl Skender on September 27, 2011

It’s been a busy start to the season for me. I haven’t seen the inside of the radio station much so I have been out of touch with what’s been going on around me a little bit. I just went through a stretch of being in Winnipeg on Saturday (the 17th), Notre Dame Sunday, Kindersley Tuesday, Battlefords Wednesday, Calgary Friday, went to Moose Jaw Saturday and Sunday and I’m on my way to Estevan-Weyburn today and tomorrow.

We just watched “No Strings Attached” (bit of a chick flick) on the Broncos bus and are still on our way down to our hotel in Estevan. It’s a full bus as usual with the Broncos. William Plourde is the only player not making the trip. It’s everyone’s first trip to the new rink in Estevan including myself. I’ve already called Blaine Weyland (PxP voice for Estevan) to get the low-down on which booth I broadcast from and some name pronunciations for the Bruins.

Here’s how the teams match up:

Humboldt 3-1-0-0 6pts (Tied for 3rd in Bauer Conferenmce)
Estevan 1-2-0-0 2pts (5th place in Sherwood Conference)

Goals Per Game
Humboldt: 5.00 (1st)
Estevan: 4.67 (2nd)

Goals Against Per Game
Humboldt: 1.50 (1st)
Estevan: 4.67 (11th)

Shots For Per Game
Humboldt: 32.00 (5th)
Estevan: 32.33 (4th)

Shots Against Per Game
Humboldt: 21.00 (1st)
Estevan: 29.33 (7th)

Power Play
Humboldt: 35.7% (1st)
Estevan: 33.3% (2nd)

Penalty Kill
Humboldt:80% (8th)
Estevan: 66.7 (10th)

Last Year’s Head To Head Records
Humboldt: 3-1-0-0
Estevan 1-2-1-0

Tonight’s game is on:
Radio: CK750
Internet: www.ck750.com
TV: Sasktel Max Ch. 858 (audio only)

Pre-Game show starts at 7:15, play by play at 7:30.

Posted in Humboldt Broncos | Leave a Comment »

SJHL Pre-Season Standings (After Sep. 7-11)

Posted by Darryl Skender on September 8, 2011

Bauer Conference

Flin Flon           3-0-0-0    6    11-6
Melfort             1-0-0-0    2     6-1
Nipawin            1-2-0-0    2     8-11
Humboldt         0-1-1-0     1     5-7
Battlefords       0-1-0-0     0     4-6
La Ronge          0-1-0-0    0     1-6                  

Sherwood Conference

Estevan            3-0-0-0      6     13-8
Yorkton            3-0-0-0      6     17-14
Kindersley        2-2-0-0      4      8-20
Melville             1-1-0-1      3     20-16
Notre Dame      0-1-0-0      0      5-6
Weyburn           0-2-0-0      0      3-7

Posted in Humboldt Broncos, Melfort Mustangs, Nipawin Hawks | Leave a Comment »

Hockey Is Back

Posted by Darryl Skender on September 7, 2011

After a pretty tough week for me personally last week, I am happy to say that this week should be better. In a matter of 30 minutes last week, I totalled my truck, then learned that my Grandma had passed away. I am back at work today.

I have updated the “RBC Cup”, “Football Calls” and “Interviews” sections of my website as well as the radio broadcast schedule on the sidebar. Branden Crowe has been helping me with the RBC Cup reports which has been a huge help.

All 3 of our coaches feel that their training camps were a success this year. Hawks coach & GM Doug Johnson liked his team’s effort and was also pleased with the 2 games up in Flin Flon. The Hawks won their first pre-season game at home last night, 4-3 over the Humboldt Broncos at the Cage. The Black & Gold have 30 players left on their roster which include six 20 year olds.

Dean Brockman of the Humboldt Broncos also liked his training camp. In the annual Green & Gold game on Sunday, the Gold won 4-1. He started with over 100 kids and is down to about 30 or so. The rest of the cuts should be made after pre-season is over. Dean has said he’d like to be down to about 25 players after that. They have eleven 20 year olds left but 2 of them are out until at least the end of September.

The Melfort Mustangs training camp ended on Sunday. Branden was one of the coaches in their intersquad game. They were impressive in their first exhibition game last night. They beat the La Ronge Ice Wolves 6-1 at the Mel Hegland Uniplex. Ex-Hawk Brendan Tash scored one of the goals for Melfort. That was the Mustangs first of 3 exhibition tilts. I don’t know if this is right but the SJHL website shows this as the only game the Ice Wolves play in the pre-season. Melfort is in Humboldt tomorrow. Gavin Holcomb told me this morning that he is down to 24 players on his roster and is using 8 players from the Mintos and Trojans on top of that. He currently has eight 20 year olds.

Branden will be doing the first radio broadcast on CK750 on Friday September 16th from La Ronge as I will be flying to Winnipeg for the Huskies-Bisons game on the 17th. He then does a webcast the 17th. I have a hockey broadcast the same day I get back from Manitoba on the 18th in Notre Dame. This will be by far our busiest hockey season to date but will also be a lot of fun.

Posted in Humboldt Broncos, Melfort Mustangs, Nipawin Hawks | Leave a Comment »

Hawks Training Camp

Posted by Darryl Skender on August 29, 2011

The Nipawin Hawks camp starts Wednesday. Registration is between 10:30 and 11:30, then the players will be hitting the ice immediately after that. Head coach & GM Doug Johnson says he is hoping to have between 72 and 78 kids this year which should be attainable considering they already have 70 signed up. The camp is free to the players. I asked Doug why he doesn’t charge like a lot of other teams. He said, “This is our bread and butter. You work as hard as you can all year long to get the strongest possible main camp and I don’t want to lose a player for $75 bucks or $100 bucks.”

Expect the Black & Gold to get down to 23 players when the regular season gets underway. Doug said that he doesn’t want to carry 25 or 26 players for a few weeks and then cut them loose because then there are less opportunities for that player to seek. He wants to work mainly with the players that are playing most of the games and let the rest get a chance to play somewhere else.

Camp will consist of 4 teams which will each practice once on Wednesday and Thursday. The evenings will consist of scrimmages. Each team will have another scrimmage on Friday morning. After that will be the first round of cuts. There will be 1 or 2 more cuts after the intersquad game on Friday night. Johnson is planning on keeping a few younger kids around for the September 3rd exhibion game against Flin Flon. Some will be sent home after that but he wants to get them in a Hawks jersey in a real game first. The hope is to entice the players to come back and become a part of the organization later on.

There won’t be a lot of special tactics for the first part of the exhibition schedule. Johnson said, “For our first 2 or 3 exhibition games, basically there’s a little black puck out there, go find it, work as hard as you can to get it and if the other team has it, bang the hell out of them. It’s going to be high tempo, lots of intensity. Then that Tuesday game against Humboldt on the 6th, we’ll start getting into X’s and O’s a little bit. Hard work wins a lot of games for you, systems can come later. With the returning group we have, they know some of the systems we have in place so it’s going to be of less importance.”

Here is a list of the Hawks pre-season games:

Sep. 3: Nipawin @ Flin Flon – 6:30 PM
Sep. 4: Nipawin @ Flin Flon – 6:30 PM
Sep. 6: Humboldt @ Nipawin – 7:30 PM
Sep. 9: Nipawin @ Melfort – 7:30 PM
Sep. 10: Nipawin @ Humboldt – 7:30 PM

Posted in Nipawin Hawks | Leave a Comment »

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.

Posted in Humboldt Broncos, Melfort Mustangs, Nipawin Hawks, U of S Huskies | Leave a Comment »