The title says about 90% of what this post should convey.

It's at the curling rink, conveniently right beside the Mel.  As the schedule stansd, Cocktails are at 5 p.m. with Dinner at 6.  I'll be MC'ing the event, which isn't a good start, but I'm sure everyone else will be able to pick it up.  Hold out hope that they'll book Steve Martin next year.

{EDIT} Yes I will be wearing a beanie cap to go along with my electric blue tux and rotating bow-tie.  In case you were wondering and wanted to match.

Tickets for the event are thirty bucks and are available at the Ice Wolves office along with a couple other locations around town I all of a sudden can't remember.  That's helpful.

There's a silent auction running through the evening along with the annual Ice Wolves jersey Auction.

Hope I see you there!

-D
 
First, Congratulations to the Ice Wolves on an absolutely fantastic season.  They fell just short of their goal of returning to the RBC Cup, but it was quite the ride to be on.  While many may have just smiled and nodded when the Wolves set their goal at returning to the National Championship, the Wolves went about doing it, how many teams can set a nearly impossible goal like that and come so close?

Second, congrats to the Terriers, they played a fantastic Game 7.  They shut down the Ice Wolves offence for two games and are very deserving of their trip to Camrose and the Anavet Cup.

Just a quick post today as I'm still digesting the series and the rest of the season.  I'll start on some of my thank you's today.

First I want to thank everyone at MBC for giving me the opportunity to chase my dream of calling games for a living.  Not only did they get me up here, so many people have helped me out along the way and I look forward to continuing my time with MBC.

The Ice Wolves Organization including the coaching staff have been absolutely fantastic.  Everyone's been welcoming and very understanding of my situation as a 'rookie'.  It was a great year doing webcasts and working with everyone around the club.

The Ice Wolves themselves.  It took a little while for us to get to know eachother, and they all thought I was in my thirties, married with kids or something like that.  Once they figured out I'm only a couple years older than them and a lot of stuff suddenly made sense we got to know eachother and it was a fun year.  Special thanks goes out to all the guys that did colour commentary for me.  You guys have my reference if you ever want to get into broadcasting, haha.

On the subject of colour commentators, thanks to everyone that helped me out this year with broadcasts.  Your insight was appreciated and it let me take drinks and have a moment to breathe which is always appreciated.  I look forward to doing it again next year.  Of course I need to give a special shout out to my 'wingman' on the webcasts, Curtis "the Burbot" Skalicky.  He stepped up from fan to webcast tech to colour in the span of a few games, you rock man.  

Mitchell Blair (SJHL Comms Director)  never did colour commentary for me, but he takes the time to send out stat packages for every game and I would be a little lost without those.  Thanks for all your hard work in your rookie season!

Of course, none of this matters without you, the fans.  Your support through the season has been nothing short of awesome and I thank you for that.  I hope you enjoyed reading and listening as much as I enjoyed bringing it all to you.  A special thanks goes to the parents of the players from the Ice Wolves and other teams.  It was great spending time with your sons and getting a chance to meet you when I did.

If I missed anyone, sorry.  You know who you are and you can ream me out for it later.

The Ice Wolves have their wrap up banquet coming up this Saturday, so I'll definitely have more after that and possibly before then as well.

-D
 
I've had the question a couple of times, so here's the answer.

There is no radio bingo on MBC.  Game 7 of the Anavet Cup will be broadcast in its entirety.

Thanks for listening!

-D

60 Minutes...

4/24/2011

 
At least in theory, that's what is left for the La Ronge Ice Wolves and Portage Terriers to show who is the better team.  Ironically enough, with all the stretched out scores and such, with last night's 1-0 Ice Wolves win in Game 6, the goal differential in this series is zero, much like it was heading into Game 7 of the SJHL Final. 

This series hasn't been on the same level of excitement consistently, but it got there last night.  I don't think anyone could have predicted the outcome of Game 6.  Adam Bartko was possessed by some puck stopping demon last night and stopped everything the Terriers threw at him.  A few of the adjectives from last night: unreal, unbelievable, dominating, ridiculous, fantastic, ridiculous.  It was the best goaltending performance I've seen this year.  If Bartko can keep on going like that, the Wolves are in good shape.

 
I have a feeling if I told Ice Wolves fans their team would be down 3-2 heading back to Portage at the beginning of this series, I would have been met with astonished looks and slight ridicule.  

Well, now it's a reality and I think Ice Wolves fans are, well, slightly astonished.  While the Wolves played pretty well in 6-3 and 6-1 wins in Games 3 and 4, Wolves fans got a glimpse of why this team trails in the series in Game 5.  A very good Portage Terriers team and a Wolves team that just doesn't have the jump they did against Flin Flon, Melfort and Yorkton.

If the Ice Wolves of the SJHL Playoffs make an appearance, we could very well be headed to a deciding Game 7.  If not...

 
Just a quick post as I'm running out the door.  The game, a 6-3 win for Portage was actually pretty simple to analyse.

Portage - Came with the intensity and fire you would expect in Game 5 of the Anavet Cup, and now leads 3-2 in the series.

La Ronge - Came out flat for the second night in a row, but didn't recover, and now trails 3-2 in the series.

It was a flatteringly close game for La Ronge thanks to some very strong play from Aaron Enns with his beautiful dangle in the second and jamming the puck in later in the frame.  The Terriers played their best all around game of the series, and the Ice Wolves looked a lot more like the team that dropped two straight in Portage.

It's a tough series to talk about from the La Ronge perspective because I don't want to take anything away from the team up 3-2 in the series right now.  The Terriers are playing very solid.  Bus legs and discipline got them in Games 3 and 4, but other than that, they have their system and they are executing it very effectively.  They don't have that superstar like a Marc-Andre Carre, but that works well for them because the Terriers are playing a great team game.

The Ice Wolves have not played inspired hockey in this series.  As a group that played so well as a team through the season and playoffs, there are a lot more individuals on the ice right now.  I don't know why that is, maybe guys are getting tired, scouts are in the house are they trying to make that cute play to get noticed?  There are a lot of questions right now for the Ice Wolves as they head to Manitoba.  They need to answer them before the puck drops in Game 6.  I have no doubt the team I watched in the SJHL Final can come back from the precipice they find themselves at.

The Ice Wolves need to find that gear and shift to it right away or it will be lights out in Portage.  I would expect with their backs against the wall, the Wolves will be able to come out with some strong push back, but they need to do it together.

At the beginning of the season, the team said the goal was Camrose.  Not just an SJHL Championship and a visit to the Anavet Cup.  They want to be where they were last year.  Now with time running out, it's time for them to prove it.

See you in Portage.

-D
 
It was a convincing 6-1 win for La Ronge who sent fans at the Mel home smiling for the second night in a row as they tied up the Anavet Cup Series at two wins between the teams.

It looked like Portage was going to rebound solidly from their Game 3 loss as they controlled most of the first period with solid board play and a good cycle in the Wolves zone.  Adam Bartko played his best game of the series for the Ice Wolves and limited the Terriers to one goal that hit two sticks, a skate and one of those darn beach balls on it's way in.  Of course I'm exaggerating, but it seemed to happen in slow motion and I definitely saw it re-direct a couple of times.

The Terriers couldn't hold onto the lead though as Justin Ducharme made a nice play with the Ice Wolves on a powerplay to find Travis Eggum in front and send the game to the break tied.  Unfortunately for the Terriers, Eggum was just getting warmed up.

 
The Ice Wolves put forward a showing more what fans are used to in Game 3 of the Anavet Cup with a 6-3 win over Portage.

After La Ronge fell victim to bus-legs and travel weariness in Game 1 of the series in Portage, that seemed to be the case for the Terriers as they just ran out of gas.

Like in Portage, not all the credit goes to the long drive as the winning team, on this night the Ice Wolves, played a solid game and capitalized on their chances.

 
Sorry I didn't have anything on the site after Saturday's Game 2 loss.  I was late getting back to the hotel and early on the bus.  So I figured I would maintain some sanity and pass on a post.

All I have to say about Game 2 are these concise points:

-Great first half, dominant even.
-Problem was chances were going wide.  No rebounds to work with.  Fine tuning too much?
-Faceoff domination by the Terriers leads to three goals off of faceoffs.
-Powerplay effective once, but no more than that for La Ronge.
-Second half of the game... ouch.

That's some of it at least, but like the Ice Wolves and Terriers, I'm moving on to Game 3.

 

With so much traffic on the website right now (700 hits yesterday, WOW!!) I thought now would be a good time to put the survey back up.

You don't need to answer all the questions.  If you've never heard a broadcast, but have read the blog, I want to know what you think.  The responses I've had have been very valuable and thank you to those that have taken the survey.

Here's the rest of the original post. (I know, kinda lazy.  Also, I'm aware of the lack of audio from the finals and now, the Anavet Cup.  I hope to have time to upload it all this week with the three games back in La Ronge.)
--
With the season getting down to its late stages, I've put together a 26 question survey on how I can improve the website and the quality of my broadcasts.  It only takes a couple minutes to complete and it really helps me improve if I know what my readers/listeners would like to see change.

So if you've been grumbling about something for the entire season, now is your chance to get it off your chest and I can work on fixing the problem.  

It would be greatly appreciated if you could take the time to fill out the survey.  

Click Here to Participate in Survey

*If you answer some of the questions with very low ratings, I would ask that you definitely take the time to explain what you don't like.  I can't get better if you don't tell me what you don't like.

Thanks so much for your time!

-D