Wednesday, 30 January 2019

Those facing mental health challenges can still be great in all parts of life

All set to cover the Memorial Cup in Regina in May of 2018.
    People who have mental health challenges can still function and be great in life.
    It seems like that last sentence I wrote is hard to believe.
    Since 2012, I have known I have battled with issues dealing with anxiety. There is still a stigma around mental health issues, and they are unfortunately still treated as the elephant in the room in too many circles.
    I write about my experiences on the mental health front in hopes it will help others. Since 2016, I’ve kept up with a tradition where I write a post regarding mental health on Bell Let’s Talk day.
    This year, I am hoping to get the message out that those that deal with mental health challenges can still be great in their everyday lives and have success.
    Part of the stigma around mental health is the belief it isn’t possible for those dealing with mental health challenges to be great in their everyday lives.
    When you admit to dealing with a mental health challenge, it almost feels like others treat you as damaged goods, and that you should be thrown away. At least, that is how I have felt some have reacted to me in some circles, especially if I go out and interview for jobs. It seems like anything you have done to meet or overcome those challenges is not noticed in job interviews.
Pictured with a Parker Kelly bobblehead doll in Prince Albert.
    It seems like there is a belief that those that deal with mental health challenges aren’t capable functioning well at anything, so they should be tossed to the side.
    If we as a society are to break the stigma that surrounds mental health, that line of thinking has to change.
    Put it this way, Clara Hughes won two bronze medals competing in the 1996 Olympic Summer Games in cycling and one gold, one silver and two bronze medals over three Winter Olympics in speed skating while battling depression. She accomplished some pretty impressive things dealing with her mental health challenges.
    As for me, I find the spot I really take off is when I am covering a sporting event, especially WHL hockey games. Since I am in my 20th season covering major junior hockey, I seem to be in a comfortable spot, when I cover one of those games.
    When I cover a WHL game, it seems my mind often gets triggered to remembering some other good time I had from covering that circuit in past years. Those memories get me even more pumped to do well at that night’s game.
Visiting the Broncos bus crash memorial in Swift Current.
    If a game is intense or hangs in the balance needing to be decided by a late third period goal or in an extra session, I feel like I am absurdly calm. At that point in a game, I am looking to see who will be the player that steps up to make a play to win the game. Overall, I am always intrigued what that night’s story is going to be.
    Covering games on that circuit is second nature to me. When I head to the rink, my mind is set I am going to get to the game, do my thing and everyone is going to be impressed by what I do.
    Of course, readers won’t agree or be impressed with everything I write, but I take pride in calling things as I see them.
   When I head out on the road, it is second nature planning out road trips. I know how to regiment my day to ensure I am hitting the highway at the right time to arrive in the city I will be covering a game in at a punctual moment. There is a comfort level in going through that process of hitting the road due to the fact I have done it tonnes of times before.
Hanging out with Emma Manson, left, after covering a WHL game.
    I also take pride in trying to represent myself well when I am in another league centre. I try to be personable as possible to others when I am on the road.
    In my mind, I always feel I am going to give the readers something special to check out when I write stories, take pictures and layout the entire package.
    When I was putting together my post for my top memories of 2018, I found myself looking back at the pieces I produced while covering the Memorial Cup held last May in Regina. My best memories of the event involve renewing ties with the large number of friends I have made covering the sport.
    Still, I actually impressed myself when I checked out the pieces I produced.
    I don’t want to sound egotistical, but I really did think to myself, “Wow! I did a lot of good work at this event.”
    I have also formed so many great relationships on that circuit, and it does make me feel good renewing those relationships.
    Day in and day out, I can still function as well working in media like I did before I knew I was dealing with issues dealing with anxiety.
The end of a WHL game night at the SaskTel Centre at home in Saskatoon.
    Since moving to Saskatoon in the summer of 2014, I have engaged in various contract opportunities to supplement my media work. I feel I have always adapted well to any contract opportunity I have taken up.
    I still do regular life activities like everyone else like gassing up my car, working out, going to movies or going out to a nice dinner.
    When you have challenges with mental health, it doesn’t mean you are constantly rolled up into a ball and crying.
    It is still possible for people to be great, excel and do special things even when they face mental health challenges.

    If you have any comments you would like to pass along about this post, feel free to email them to stankssports@gmail.com. My Bell Let’s Talk post from last year called “Being content can become a mental health challenge” can be round right here. A piece from 2017 called “Recognizing and respecting triggers is key for mental health” can be found right here. A piece from 2016 called “Feeling connected calms the mental health seas” can be found right here. A piece called “My Mental Health Story” can be found here. Another post I like that I wrote in February of 2015 about my mental health journey call “Huskies hockey was good for me” can be found here.
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Sunday, 27 January 2019

Stars lock up first in SFMAAAHL for fifth straight year

Leschyshyn nets winner in 2-1 OT victory over Rebels

Anna Leschyshyn drives home the OT winner for the Stars on Sunday.
    It seemed fitting that the longest serving members of the Saskatoon Stars played key roles in delivering another first place finish for the team.
    On Sunday at Merlis Belsher Place, captain Grace Shirley scored in overtime and assistant captain Anna Leschyshyn drove home the winning goal on a power play with 53.2 seconds remaining in overtime to power the Stars past the Regina Rebels 2-1 in a stellar Saskatchewan Female Midget AAA Hockey League regular season game.
    With the win, the Stars improved to 22-1 and clinched first place in the SFMAAAHL regular season standings for a fifth straight year.
Grace Shirley, left, scored her 90th career regular season goal on Sunday.
    Saskatoon earns a bye into a best-of-five semifinal series in the SFMAAAHL playoff due to topping the regular season standings.
    The Rebels continued to sit second in the SFMAAAHL standings as their record moved to 16-5-3.
    “It is awesome,” said Shirley. “Each year we put in the work, and we just try to improve and develop.
    “I think it is definitely working. It is nice to see for sure.”
    “It is important to win against the second place team, because we might have to play against them in playoffs,” said Leschyshyn. “I think just being able to clinch first and have that bye weekend is just an advantage on our half.”
Anna Leschyshyn drives into the offensive zone for the Stars.
    Shirley and Leschyshyn are the only two players to have skated with the Stars in all five of the seasons in their current streak of consecutive first place finishes. Both are in their 17-year-old and final seasons of midget AAA hockey.
    Both saw time with the Stars as 13-year-old underage players in the 2014-15 campaign, which marked the first time the Stars ever topped the SFMAAAHL standings.
    Shirley appeared in three regular season games, five SFMAAAHL playoff games and all seven contests that Stars took part in at the Esso Cup female midget AAA national championship tournament. Leschyshyn saw action in three regular season games and five SFMAAAHL playoff games.
Grace Shirley cuts across the front of the offensive zone for the Stars.
    Both elevated themselves to full time status the next season and took up spots as two of the best players the circuit has ever seen.
    Shirley, who helped Canada recently win gold at the women’s world under-18 hockey championships in Obihiro, Japan, said she still goes through times when it doesn’t seem like that 2014-15 campaign was that long ago.
    “Thinking back on it, it seems like yesterday, but it was a while ago,” said Shirley. “I think it is kind of cool to see how much we’ve kind of grown and developed.
    “It is definitely neat.”
    Leschyshyn can still remember a lot of details from the time she played with the Stars as an associate player call up often splitting time with Shirley.
    “It was crazy,” said Leschyshyn. “Jenna Nash tore her ACL (anterior cruciate ligament), so then we rotated back and forth.
Larissa Bohlken controls the puck at the point for the Rebels.
    “I got to play in that finish game where they won. I think it is just something that I will remember forever and just had a really good experience. I think I can bring that into this year’s playoffs.”
    In Sunday’s game against the Rebels, Shirley opened the scoring at the 3:05 mark of the first period. The goal was the 90th career goal of her SFMAAAHL career, and currently, she is only the second player in the history of the league to pull off that feat.
    “I honestly didn’t really know that was the 90th,” said Shirley, who is the fourth all-time leading scorer in the history of the SFMAAAHL posting 90 goals and 64 assists for 154 points in 102 career regular season games. “It is cool, but at the same time, I think I am just trying to play my best hockey right now and work hard.”
Rebels G Payton Schlamp stops Stars D Ashley Messier.
    Still, Sunday’s clash with the Rebels had the feel of a playoff game. The same intensity existed when the two sides met Saturday at Merlis Belsher Place and the Stars pulled out a 4-2 win in that contest.
    In Sunday’s game, Stars netminder Arden Kliewer and Rebels goalie Payton Schlamp were making big save after big save. Kliewer stopped 31 shots, while Schlamp turned away 32 shots.
    Regina broke through on the scoreboard with 3:07 on the scoreboard, while working on the power play. Rebels winger Lauren Focht buried the rebound of a shot taken by Regina defender Brooklyn Stevely to tie things up at 1-1.
Ashley Messier had an assist on the Stars OT winner.
    After playing through a scoreless third period, the Stars caught a break in overtime, when Focht was penalized for hooking.
    On the ensuing power play, Leschyshyn got the puck from offensive defender Ashley Messier, circled across the front the Regina goal and blasted the winner past Schlamp to give the Stars their 2-1 victory. With her overtime winner, Leschyshyn became just the sixth player in the history of the SFMAAAHL to score 70 or more regular season goals.
    “It is really nice,” said Leschyshyn, who is the fifth all-time leading scorer in the history of the SFMAAAHL posting 70 goals and 74 assists for 144 points in 110 career regular season games. “We lost to them in Regina (on Jan. 13), so it is good to get a little bit of revenge and sweep this weekend.
    “I think it is really important that we finish hard and outplayed them at the end there.”
    Stars head coach Greg Slobodzian, who has guided the club to all of their first place finishes, said it has been impressive to see how much of an impact Shirley and Leschyshyn have made to Saskatoon’s success over the run of first place finishes.
Rebels W Lauren Focht, left, battles Stars W Jayda Sachs for the puck.
    “It is something,” said Slobodzian. “It just goes to show you their dedication and commitment, because that is a long time to be around one team.
    “For the fact that they’ve contributed to put us into first place again like that, it is special. Those are two kids that I’m sure really appreciate and enjoy that.”
    The veteran bench boss said the run of five straight first place finishes speaks highly of all the players who have played for the Stars during that period of time.
    “The rewards are nice,” said Slobodzian. “Whenever we are coaching and talking in practice, it is just about getting better and the process.
    “The fact that you get those accolades obviously means the girls are putting in the work. It is definitely rewarding. I’m sure once you sort of sit back and look at it, you will be like, “Holy cow that was a good run.””
The Stars celebrate their OT win over the Rebels on Sunday.
    The Stars return to action on Feb. 7, when they travel to Battleford to take on the Battlefords Sharks at 7:30 p.m. at the Battleford Arena. The Rebels also resume play on Feb. 7, when they host the Notre Dame Hounds at 8 p.m. at the Co-operators Centre in Regina.

    If you have any comments you would like to pass along about this post, feel free to email them to stankssports@gmail.com.
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Saturday, 26 January 2019

Rebuilding Broncos rally for huge OT win over Blades

Joona Kiviniemi celebrates scoring the OT winner for the Broncos.
    Tanner Nagel said a big comeback win was a great thing for the youngsters on the rebuilding Swift Current Broncos to experience.
    Nagel, who is the Broncos overage captain, is the only holdover that was a regular on Swift Current’s WHL championship winning team last season. During that run to the WHL title, Nagel got to experience many thrilling victories including a number of the comeback variety.
    Now, the Broncos are a team that has 10 players in their 17-year-old seasons and two in their 16-year-old seasons on their 23-person roster. On Saturday night at the SaskTel Centre, the youthful Swift Current side experienced a rare high in a campaign where the team has trudged along in last place in the entire WHL.
    Trailing the host Saskatoon Blades 4-2 with five minutes remaining in the third period, the Broncos roared back to pull out a 5-4 overtime victory before 3,637 spectators.
Tanner Nagel scored twice for the Broncos on Saturday night.
    In the extra session, Broncos Finnish import left-winger Joona Kiviniemi one-timed home a set up pass from rookie defenceman Alex Moar with 3.4 second remaining in the frame to deliver victory to Swift Current. The Broncos improved to 10-34-2-1 with the win.
    “We have a lot of young guys in the room, so it is great to see them push back in games where we are down,” said Nagel, who scored twice for the Broncos on Saturday. “That is what we are trying to focus on is just teaching them that you have to keep playing right until the bitter end.
    “You are never out of a game. We showed that here tonight.”
Alex Moar set up the Broncos overtime winner on Saturday night.
    Down 4-2, the Broncos comeback started when Nagel scored on the power play sniping home a shot to the low right side of the Saskatoon goal to cut the Blades edge to 4-3 with 4:39 remaining in the third period.
    Broncos head coach and director of hockey operation Dean Brockman pulled netminder Riley Lamb for an extra attacker with about three minutes remaining in the third. Swift Current kept the play bottled in the Saskatoon zone with the extra skater.
    With 1:35 remaining in the stanza, Broncos 18-year-old right-winger Owen Blocker snipped the equalizer past Blades netminder Dorrin Luding to force a 4-4 tie.
    In overtime, both sides had numerous scoring chances before Kiviniemi ended it.
The Broncos celebrate an equalizer from Owen Blocker, right.
    Lamb turned away 48 shots to pick up the win in goal for the Broncos. Luding made 19 stops to take the extra time setback in goal for the Blades, who sit third overall in the WHL with a 29-13-7 mark.
    One night earlier, the Blades dumped the Broncos 5-2 in Swift Current.
    “Any time you win it is a good day,” said Brockman, whose Broncos beat the Blades for the first time this season in six tries on Saturday. “Certainly, they out-chanced us and had a lot of shots.
    “I give our guys a lot of credit. We challenged them after (Friday) night’s game to be better and work hard and they did. That is what you do when you work hard you find ways to get success.”
Goalie Riley Lamb makes one of his 48 saves for the Broncos.
    The Blades got out to a quick start. Just 38 seconds into the contest, right-winger Max Gerlach sprung left-winger Gary Haden in on a breakaway and Haden buried his 21st of the season to give the host side a 1-0 edge.
    The Broncos evened things up a 1-1 just under three minutes later, when Nagel banged home a rebound for his first goal of the game off a shot taken by defenceman Christian Riemer.
    With 58.7 seconds remaining in the first period and Saskatoon working on the power play, Blades overage offensive defenceman Dawson Davidson scored on a point shot that just snuck under Lamb to give the host side a 2-1 edge going into the first intermission.
Dawson Davidson scored for the Blades on Saturday night.
    At the 6:04 mark of the second, the Broncos tied things up at 2-2 scoring their first short-handed goal of the campaign. The shorty came when Swift Current centre Ethan O’Rourke blocked a point shot taken by Blades 16-year-old rookie left-winger Kyle Crnkovic.
    The puck shot out to the centre ice zone, and O’Rourke tracked it down and skated into the Saskatoon zone on a breakaway. He tucked home his eighth goal of the season to get the Broncos on even terms for a short time.
    Saskatoon jumped back out in front 3-2 just under four minutes later thanks to a power-play goal coming off the stick of centre Eric Florchuk.
    Before the second period expired, left-winger Cyle McNabb potted his fifth goal of the season to give the Blades a 4-2 advantage.
    The Blades outshot the Broncos 16-4 in the third period but couldn’t prevent the Broncos comeback dramatics late in the frame and in overtime.
Ethan O’Rourke pots a short-handed goal for the Broncos.
    When Nagel scored late in the third to cut the Blades lead to one goal, Brockman hoped the comeback would indeed be on from that point.
    “This is a team where they’ve always had their backs up against the wall all year,” said Brockman. “Nobody expects us to win a game.
    “I want to give our kids a lot of credit. They were pretty resilient and stayed with it and found a way.”
    Nagel was excited about the final result.
    “Winning is awesome,” said Nagel. “It is the best feeling in the world.
    “It doesn’t matter if it is a game tonight or it is the WHL championship. A win is a win, and I love to win. Anytime you can win a game it is awesome.
Eric Florchuk (#17) had a power-play goal for the Blades.
    “Any time you can come from behind and win a game that is an even better feeling. The young guys showed resilience and the team showed resilience top to bottom. We’re feeling pretty good.”
    The Blades are off until Friday, when they travel to Regina to face the Pats at 7 p.m. at the Brandt Centre.
    The Broncos return to action on Wednesday, when they host the Calgary Hitmen at 7 p.m. at the Innovation Credit Union i-Plex. Nagel said Saturday’s comeback victory will be a big time help to his team going forward.
    “Any time we get the young guys going and playing hard like this, it is great to see them keep chugging along,” said Nagel. “They are learning as we go.
The Broncos celebrate their win on Saturday night.
    “I think every time we put up a good game it just helps them learn a little more.”

    If you have any comments you would like to pass along about this post, feel free to email them to stankssports@gmail.com.
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Sperling cashes in on big opportunity with Stars

Veteran defender nets winning goal in clash with Rebels

Chace Sperling had the winning goal for the Stars on Saturday.
    Chace Sperling wasn’t going to let a golden opportunity pass her by.
    On Saturday afternoon at Merlis Belsher Place, Sperling’s Saskatoon Stars found themselves in a 2-2 tie early in the third period with the Regina Rebels in a regular season battle between the two top teams in the Saskatchewan Female Midget AAA Hockey League.
    The Stars entered the third period holding a 2-1 advantage and were on the power play. Shortly after their power play expired, Rebels 16-year-old forward Tavia Terry scored the equalizer to tie things up at 2-2 just 48 seconds into the third.
    Just 44 seconds after that goal, Sperling came through with the turning point play for her squad.
    With a maze of bodies in front of Rebels netminder Chantel Weller, the puck squirted out to Sperling at the right side boards in the Regina zone. The veteran defender, who turned 17-years-old earlier this month, quickly fired home a shot to put the Stars in front 3-2.
The Stars mob Chace Sperling after she scores in the third period.
    That tally stood up as the winner as the Stars added one more goal in the frame coming on a power play from star winger Anna Leschyshyn to claim a 4-2 victory. Leschyshyn’s insurance goal was her second tally of the contest.
    At game’s end, Sperling was pumped she could help her squad in a big moment.
    “I just shot it because the whole net was open,” said Sperling. “I hoped for the best and hoped it went in, and it did.
    “It was good to get the momentum back and get back into the game and get a lead, so that we weren’t in a slump. We would have lost momentum maybe if we didn’t score right off the hop after they scored. We got like more momentum back, and then we finished them off and won the game.”
Tavia Terry (#12) celebrates scoring for the Rebels.
    The win allowed the Stars to improve their first place record to 21-1. The Rebels saw their four game winning streak come to an end, but they remained second in the SFMAAAHL with a 16-5-2 mark.
    Saskatoon had been off since falling to the Rebels in Regina 3-2 on Jan. 13. Stars head coach Greg Slobodzian said Sperling’s goal was key in allow his club to get back on track.
    “It was huge, because a few girls got frustrated,” said Slobodzian. “We just came off the power play.
    “With us, it is all about momentum. Obviously, we had lost some momentum a little bit. I was trying to pick them up on the bench.
Hanna Bailey had the Rebels first goal on Saturday.
    “All of a sudden, Chace’s head was up, saw the open net and put it in. I didn’t have to do much coaching after that. The girls were just like, “Yeah. We’ve got this.””
    The Stars came out controlling the early momentum of the first period. They broke through on the scoreboard, when Leschyshyn wrapped home her first tally of the contest at the 7:33 mark of the opening frame.
    Saskatoon was holding a 7-3 edge in shots on goal at the time of Leschyshyn’s goal.
    The Rebels pushed back taking over for the rest of the first period. With 83 seconds remaining in the frame and working on a power play, 16-year-old power forward Hanna Bailey took break out pass from defender Larissa Bohlken, drove into the Saskatoon zone, cut to the front of the net and drove home the equalizer to tie things up at 1-1.
    Regina held a 13-8 edge in shots on goal at the end of the first period.
    The Stars regained the lead at the 7:05 mark of the second period.
Anna Leschyshyn (#7) scored twice for the Stars on Saturday.
    Working close in front of the Regina net, Stars star forward Kaitlin Jockims slipped a smart pass to linemate Halle Helperl to the left side of the Rebels goal.
    Helperl tapped the puck into a wide open cage to give the host side a 2-1 advantage.
    That set the stage for the dramatics in the third period.
    Arden Kliewer turned away 24 shots in goal for the Stars. Weller stopped 25 shots in goal for the Rebels.
    Slobodzian was pleased his squad came out with a strong effort after falling to the Rebels back on Jan. 13.
    “It doesn’t matter how much you talk about it you have to lose to appreciate winning,” said Slobodzian. “I really believe that.
The Stars celebrate their victory over the Rebels on Saturday.
    “I didn’t want to be the team that we played against today, because I knew we were going to come out hard and execute the way we wanted to. It just goes to show you how strong that Regina club is. They were in there the whole game.”
    The two clubs go at it again on Sunday at 12:45 p.m. at Merlis Belsher Place. The Stars will lock up first place in the SFMAAAHL with a win. 
    Slobodzian expects his side to be involved in another intense game.
    “I expect much the same if not more actually,” said Slobodzian. “I know that is a real proud team over there, and they don’t like to lose.
    “When we are playing well, we put up a good fight, and it doesn’t matter who we are playing against. It will be a good battle.”

Wildcats’ Lind hits second on SFMAAAHL’s all-time scoring list

Taylor Lind is the SFMAAAHL’s second all-time top scorer.
    Swift Current Diamond Energy Wildcats star captain Taylor Lind achieved her biggest personal milestone to date on Saturday.
    Lind scored twice to help her Wildcats down the host Weyburn Richardson Pioneer Gold Wings 7-2 at Crescent Point Place in Weyburn. With those two tallies, Lind leaped ahead of former Saskatoon Stars captain Mackenna Parker for second on the SFMAAAHL’s all-time career regular season points list.
    In 78 career regular season games, Lind has 85 goals and 74 assists for 159 points.
Parker played in 104 career regular season games for the Stars from 2014 to 2018 piling up 82 goals and 76 assists for 158 points. She currently plays for the Boston University Terriers women’s hockey team in the NCAA ranks.
    Moose Jaw product Olivia Howe is the SFMAAAHL’s all-time leader scorer in career regular season play piling up 107 goals and 100 assists for 207 points appearing in 106 games with the Notre Dame Hounds from 2008 to 2012.
    In Saturday’s game, the Gold Wings took a 2-0 lead in their clash with the Wildcats receiving goals off the sticks of Kira Barham and Payton Mabee.
Taylor Lind scored twice for the Wildcats on Saturday.
    The Wildcats tied things up at 2-2 heading into the first intermission, scored four times in the second period to go ahead 6-2 and cruised to victory from that point. Swift Current has won seven games in a row.
    Defender Tobi Fontaine scored twice for the Wildcats, while Crystal Wale, Ryleigh White and Brooklyn Rublee had singles.
    Amaya Giraudier made 14 saves to pick up the win in goal for the Wildcats (13-9-1). Amara Lewendon turned away 42 shots to take the setback in net for the Gold Wings (1-20-1).
    The two sides go at it again on Sunday at 1 p.m. at Crescent Point Place in Weyburn.

    If you have any comments you would like to pass along about this post, feel free to email them to stankssports@gmail.com.
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Friday, 25 January 2019

Bauml regains top offensive form with Huskies

Kohl Bauml scored twice for the Huskies on Friday night.
    Kohl Baum has found the groove that has eluded him since his rookie season with the University of Saskatchewan Huskies men’s hockey team.
    On Friday at Merlis Belsher Place, Bauml potted a pair of goals in the second period to lift the Huskies to a 4-0 victory over the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds in a U Sports regular season clash before 1,998 spectators. With those goals, Bauml has recorded points in his last five straight games posting four goals and four assists over that span of time.
Kohl Bauml, right, has points in his last five straight games.
    The fourth-year forward had nine goals and 17 assists for 26 points appearing in all of the Huskies 23 regular season games to date. The Saskatoon product is having his best season since he led the Huskies in scoring as a rookie in the 2015-16 campaign posting 12 goals and 21 assists for 33 points appearing in all of the Huskies 28 regular season games.
    Last season, Bauml, who stands 5-foot-8 and weighs 170 pounds, posted his lowest offensive totals in a U Sports campaign recording four goals and nine assists for 13 points. His work ethic was there, but the offensive numbers didn’t come.
The Huskies celebrate Kohl Bauml’s first goal on Friday night.
    The Huskies have a deep and talented squad, so when Bauml wasn’t able to contribute offensively on the scoresheet, others did.
    Now that Bauml has rediscovered his top offensive form, he helps make the Huskies that much more of a contender for the Canada West Conference title and the U Sports national championship.
    U of S is currently riding a five game winning streak and sits first in Canada West with a 20-3 record holding a one point lead over the 19-3-1 University of Alberta Golden Bears, who are the defending Canada West and U Sports champions. The Huskies are also rated third in the U Sports Top 10 rankings.
Collin Shirley scored the Huskies fourth goal on Friday night.
    Against the Thunderbirds on Friday night, Bauml, who has built a reputation as being one of the Huskies best ambassadors in the community, scored one goal off of grit and another off of finesse.
    With the Huskies holding a 1-0 lead thanks to a first period goal from sophomore defenceman Sam Ruopp, Bauml extended the host side’s edge to 2-0 potting the rebound of a shot taken by linemate Levi Cable at the 6:57 mark of the second frame.
    Just under four minutes later, Bauml scored a power-play goal to put the Huskies up 3-0 converting a backdoor feed from a beauty set up pass from centre Logan McVeigh.
    From that point, Bauml’s Huskies teammates ensured the Thunderbirds weren’t able to get up off the ground.
    With 40.6 seconds remaining in the third period, sophomore forward Collin Shirley tipped home an Alex Forsberg shot from the right side boards on another power play to give the Huskies a 4-0 advantage.
Evan Fiala was sound on defence for the Huskies.
    During the course of the contest, the Huskies had the Thunderbirds pinned in their own zone for extended periods and had the potential to really bury the visitors. The score could have looked worse had it not been for a stellar 37-save performance from UBC netminder and Saskatoon product Rylan Toth.
    The Thunderbirds fell to 11-10-2 with the loss, but they still sit fifth in the Canada West standings and have a playoff berth locked up.
    Sophomore goalie Taran Kozun, who has become a star this season between the pipes for the Huskies, stopped all 17 shots sent his way to pick up his third shutout of the campaign.
    The two teams go at it again tomorrow at 7 p.m. at Merlis Belsher Place.
    Bauml is one of the Huskies top good guys, and it is always great to see good things happen to good people.
    Hopefully, he will have a lot more big offensive moments as the season and the upcoming post-season rolls along.
Taran Kozun made 17 saves to pick up the shutout in goal for the Huskies.
    NOTE – Friday’s game was the “Huskies Fight Cancer Game” for the men’s hockey team. Money was raised for equipment purchases for the Saskatoon Cancer Centre through Choc ’la Cure. The Huskies had superkid Roan, who is battling leukemia, drop the puck for a pre-game ceremonial faceoff. 
    He was joined at centre ice by Marty and Darla Smuk. Marty and Darla are the parents of Huskies alum Cody Smuk, who passed away from cancer in June of 2015.

    If you have any comments you would like to pass along about this post, feel free to email them to stankssports@gmail.com.
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Monday, 21 January 2019

Rebels sweep Gold Wings, motor into heavyweight tilt with first place Stars

Rookie Neena Brick had eight points in the Rebels last two games.
    The Regina Rebels showed they won’t take anyone lightly.
    This past weekend, the Rebels continued to cement themselves in second place in the Saskatchewan Female Midget AAA Hockey League standings by sweeping the rebuilding Weyburn Richardson Pioneer Gold Wings in a home-and-home series.
    On Saturday, the two clubs met at Crescent Point Place in Weyburn and the Rebels led 2-0 after the first period, 4-0 after the second frame and skated to a 9-0 victory.
    Forward Lauren Focht, who recently turned 17-years-old, led the way for the Rebels netting four goals and an assist. Neena Brick, who is a 15-year-old rookie forward, had a goal and three assists.
    White City product Tavia Terry had two goals and one assist. Sophomore 16-year-old forward Hanna Bailey, who has committed to join the University of Manitoba Bisons women’s hockey team for the 2020-21 season, recorded three assists for the Rebels.
Lauren Focht had four goals for the Rebels on Saturday.
    Shaelyn Myers and Alexis Petford each had singles for the Regina.
    Veteran 16-year-old netminder Chantel Weller made 18 saves to record her first career SFMAAAHL shutout for the Rebels.
    Amara Lewendo turned away 39 shots going the distance in net for the Gold Wings.
    The two sides went at it again on Sunday at the Co-operators Centre in Regina, and the Rebels jumped out to a 4-0 lead and cruised to a 10-3 victory to extend their winning streak to four games.
    Brick had a hat trick and an assist for the Rebels, while Bailey had a hat trick. Kaylee Dyer, who is a 15-year-old rookie forward, had a goal and two assists for Regina.
    Focht, Petford and Myers all had singles for the host side.
    Payton Mabee, Sydney Keddie and Reece Pittman replied with singles for Weyburn.
    Payton Schlamp, who is a rookie 15-year-old goalie, turned away 24 shots to pick up the win in goal for the Rebels.
    Lewendo stopped 44 shots going the distance in goal for the Gold Wings, who fell to 1-19-1.
Hanna Bailey has six points in the Rebels last two games.
    Having won four straight, the skilled and spunky Rebels improved to 16-4-2. They now travel to Saskatoon to face the first place and defending SFMAAAHL champion Stars (20-1) in a two-game series at Merlis Belsher Place.
    The two sides hit the ice this coming Saturday at 2:30 p.m. and go at it again on Sunday at 12:45 p.m.
    The Rebels and Stars split their first two regular season encounters in Regina. On Jan. 12, the Stars blanked the Rebels 3-0. On Jan. 13, the Rebels downed the Stars 3-2.
    The Gold Wings return to Weyburn and will host the Swift Current Diamond Energy Wildcats this coming Saturday at 2 p.m. at Crescent Point Place.

Lind, Hogan on fire for Wildcats

Carissa Hogan scored the OT winner for the Wildcats on Sunday.
    Veteran forwards Taylor Lind and Carissa Hogan of the Swift Current Diamond Energy Wildcats are too hot for the opposition to handle at the moment.
    Both played key roles in helping the Wildcats sweep the Battlefords Sharks in a series this past weekend, which allowed Swift Current to increase its winning streak to six games.
    On Saturday, the two SFMAAAHL squads faced each other at the Gull Lake Arena in Gull Lake as part of “Hockey Day in Saskatchewan” festivities.
    The Wildcats and Sharks were locked in a 2-2 tie in the second period before Swift Current exploded for four straight goals and ultimately claimed a 7-3 victory.
    Lind, who is the Wildcats captain, had two goals and two assists in the win, while Hogan had a pair of goals. Sara Kendall aided the Swift Current side with three assists.
    Brooklyn Rublee, Kate Wagner and Ashlee Wolfe had singles for the Wildcats.
    Logan Halter, Sydney Rowley and Jordyn Blais replied with singles for the Sharks. Captain Ali Aitken had a pair of assists for Battlefords.
    Amaya Giraudier stopped 34 shots to pick up with win in goal for the Wildcats.
    Yelena Zaleschuk turned away 36 shots to take the loss in goal for the Sharks.
    On Sunday at the Fairview Arena in Swift Current, the Wildcats fell behind 3-1 to the Sharks before rallying for a 4-3 overtime victory.
    Lind gave the Wildcats a 1-0 lead, but the Sharks responded with three straight goals to take a 3-1 edge into the first intermission. Ensley Fendelet, Brooklyn Rowley and Kiana McNinch netted singles for the Sharks.
    Battlefords continued to hold its 3-1 lead heading into the third period.
Taylor Lind has 20 points in her last six games.
    Lind scored 55 seconds into the third to cut the Sharks edge to 3-2. Hogan picked up an assist on that tally.
    With 80 seconds remaining in the third, Lind teamed up with Baylee Kirwan to set up Kendall for the equalizer that created a 3-3 tie and forced overtime.
    Just 50 seconds into overtime, Hogan blasted home her fourth game-winning goal of the season to give the Wildcats the 4-3 win.
    Harper Davey stopped 27 shots to pick up the win in goal for the Wildcats (12-9-1).
    Zaleschuk turned away 33 shots to take the overtime setback in goal for the Sharks (10-11-4).
    Hogan has points in five straight games for the Wildcats recording five goals and three assists over that span of time.
    Lind has only been held off the scoresheet in one of the Wildcats 22 regular season games. During Swift Current’s current six game winning streak, Lind has hit another high gear posting 10 goals and 10 assists over that span of time.
    She leads the SFMAAAHL in scoring with 19 goals and 28 assists for 47 points.
    Thanks to the seven points she posted this past weekend against the Sharks, Lind vaulted past current Saskatoon Stars captain Grace Shirley into third on the SFMAAAHL’s all-time career regular season points list.
    In 77 career regular season games, Lind has 83 goals and 74 assists for 157 points.
    Shirley has 89 goals and 63 assists for 152 points in 100 career regular season games.
    Lind, who is the Wildcats all-time leading scorer, trails former Stars captain Mackenna Parker by one point for second in career SFMAAAHL regular season points.
    Parker recorded 82 goals and 76 assists for 158 points playing 104 career regular season games with the Stars from 2014-18. She currently plays for the Boston University Terriers women’s hockey team in the NCAA ranks.
    The Wildcats return to action this coming Saturday, when they travel to Weyburn to face the Richardson Pioneer Gold Wings at 2 p.m. at Crescent Point Place.
    The Sharks are off until Feb. 7, when they host the Stars at 7:30 p.m. at the Battleford Arena.

Hats fly for Bears forwards Kicia and Anderson

Haley Kicia had a hat trick on Saturday.
    Prince Albert Northern Bears forwards Haley Kicia and Brooklyn Anderson each celebrated hat trick nights this past weekend to help their team sweep the Melville Prairie Fire in a two-game series.
    On Saturday at the Shellbrook Skating Rink, Kicia, who is a 15-year-old sophomore, recorded the first three goal game of her SFMAAAHL career in regular season play to power the Bears past the Prairie Fire 5-2.
    Paris Oleksyn and Kate Ball each had a goal and an assist for Prince Albert.
    Jordyn Bear and Megan Hayhurst replied with singles for the Prairie Fire.
    Lexi Beuker stopped 20 shots to pick up the win in goal for the Bears.
    Cheyenne Jamieson turned away 36 shots to take the setback in goal for the Prairie Fire.
    On Sunday at the Kinsmen Arena in Prince Albert, Anderson scored three straight goals in the second period to power the Bears to a 4-1 victory over the Prairie Fire.
    Defender Jessie Herner, who committed to joining the University of Saskatchewan Huskies women’s hockey team in the U Sports ranks for the 2020-21 season on Monday, had the Bears other goal on Sunday, which tied things up at 1-1 at the 6:57 mark of the second period.
    Reauna Blight gave the Prairie Fire a 1-0 lead heading into the first intermission.
Brooklyn Anderson had a hat trick on Sunday.
    Scout Anderson stopped 16 shots to pick up the win in goal for the Bears, who have won three straight to improve to 14-8-2.
    Jamieson turned away 31 shots to take the setback in goal for the Prairie Fire (8-13-1).
    The Bears are off until Feb. 8, when they travel to Weyburn to face the Richardson Pioneer Gold Wings at 7:30 p.m. at Crescent Point Place.
    The Prairie Fire travel to Wilcox this coming Saturday to take on the Notre Dame Hounds at 4 p.m. at the Duncan McNeill Arena.

    If you have any comments you would like to pass along about this post, feel free to email them to stankssports@gmail.com.
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Saturday, 19 January 2019

McNabb’s highlight reel goals delivers victory to Blades

Cyle McNabb, left, celebrates scoring a goal with linemate Zach Huber.
    REGINA, Sask. – For one night, Cyle McNabb looked like the second coming of Bernie Federko.
    The recently acquired 18-year-old left winger scored two highlight reel goals on Saturday to help deliver the visiting Saskatoon Blades to a 4-2 victory over the Pats in Regina before 5,444 spectators at the Brandt Centre. The outburst marked the first two-goal game McNabb has experienced in his WHL career.
    For a short moment, he mirror what Federko once did for this Blades suiting up at forward for the major junior squad from 1973 to 1976 in his legendary hockey career.
    McNabb, who is a sophomore from Winnipeg, Man., has appeared in 102 career regular season games with the Vancouver Giants, Kootenay Ice and Blades to date recording four goals and three assists.
Cyle McNabb had his first two-goal night in the WHL on Saturday.
    He now has three goals in his first four appearances with the Blades. The Blades acquired McNabb in a trade with the Ice on Jan. 7 in exchange for 18-year-old forward Brandon Machado and a fifth round selection in the 2021 WHL Bantam Draft.
    “Obviously, it was a good night,” said McNabb about the outburst. “Our line was going the whole night, and it paid off in the end.
    “In the end, we are happy to get two points, and we’re just going to try and keep it rolling.”
    The Pats, who are going through a major rebuild, gave the Blades everything they could handle with an extreme hardworking effort.
    Despite being outshot 16-13 in the first period, the Blades exited the frame holding a 1-0 lead, when veteran centre Eric Florchuk tucked home at power-play goal between the legs of Pats netminder Dean McNabb.
    Early in the second, McNabb, who was playing on a line centred by Tristen Robins and Zach Huber playing right wing, went to work. 
The Blades recently acquired Cyle McNabb from the Kootenay Ice.
    McNabb collected the puck at a bad angle at the right side of the Regina net and proceeded to snipe home a shot to the far side of the Pats goal.
    “Robby (Robins) got stepped up on, and he got a big hit,” said McNabb, who stands 6-foot-1 and weighs 191 pounds. “The puck was lying there.
    “Me and Hubs (Huber) had a two-on-one to the net, and I just saw the far side and I took it. It went in.”
    The Blades extended their lead to 3-0 with 70 seconds to play in the second, when Florchuk tucked home a backhand shot on a breakaway.
    The Pats proceeded to fight back early in the third. With the Blades working on the power play, Pats right-winger Duncan Pierce was hacked down while skating into the Saskatoon zone on a breakaway by a Blades player resulting in a penalty shot.
    Pierce scored on a shuffle move on the penalty shot to cut Saskatoon’s lead to 3-1 at the 2:30 mark of the third.
Eric Florchuk (#17) scored twice for the Blades on Saturday night.
    That set the stage for McNabb to step up again a little over three-and-a-half minutes later. With the Blades applying pressure in the Regina zone, McNabb got a hold of the puck, danced around Pats goalie in Davidson, Sask., product Dean McNabb and dumped the puck into an empty cage.
    Cyle McNabb gave credit again to his line for helping him out on his goal that gave the Blades a 4-1 edge.
    “That was nice too,” said McNabb. “Again, Robby (Tristen Robins) made a great play and banked it off the back wall.
    “I just put it in the net.”
    Pats 18-year-old rookie right-winger Riley Krane scored his 10th goal of the season on a determined short-handed effort with 8:33 remaining in the third period to cut the Blades lead to 4-2. 
Duncan Pierce (#22) celebrates scoring on a penalty shot for the Pats.
    Krane was stopped initially on a breakaway, picked up the puck behind the Saskatoon net and came out in front to score.
    That tally wasn’t enough to spark a comeback for the host side.
    Nolan Maier turned away 32 shots to pick up the win in goal for the Blades (28-13-6). Dean McNabb stopped 28 shots to take the setback in goal for the Pats (12-33-1-1).
    Maier was pleased with how his teammates played in front of him on Saturday. He noted that helped him have a good night.
    “A lot of the shots our forwards and the D (defence) kept them to the perimeter,” said Maier. “I think it kind of helped me out getting settled into the game nicely.
Nolan Maier makes one of his 32 saves for the Blades.
    “We came out with two points, and that is all we could ask for.”
    Maier was happy to see Cyle McNabb have a great game for “The Bridge City Bunch.”
    “I think it is really good to see him producing here, and we are lucky to have him,” said Maier.
    Now having played four games with the Blades, McNabb believes he has settled in.
    “Ever since I got here, everyone has been very welcoming of me,” said McNabb. “All the guys are great. The coaches are great.
    “Everyone in Saskatoon is great. They made the transition really easy. I’m happy to be here.”
    He is looking forward to playing the rest of the campaign with the blue and gold.
    “It is exciting,” said McNabb. “They have a great group of guys here, a really good hockey team.
The Blades celebrate their victory over the Pats on Saturday night.
    “I’m just excited to be here, and I am going to do whatever I can to help the team get wins until the end of the year.”
    The Blades return to action when they travel to Swift Current this coming Friday to face the Broncos at 7 p.m. at the Innovation Credit Union i-Plex.
    The Pats return to action this coming Friday when they host the Brandon Wheat Kings at 7 p.m. at the Brandt Centre.

    If you have any comments you would like to pass along about this post, feel free to email them to stankssports@gmail.com.
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