Sunday, March 29, 2009
The Snakes of course will face either the Victoria Grizzlies or the Powell River Kings. The Kings took a 3 games to 1 lead in the series earlier this week, only to have Victoria come back and win two straight Friday night and last night in Powell River to force game 7 at Bear Mountain Arena on Tuesday night. Hmmm anyone from Port heading down to Victoria? I might want to watch that one...However, that 6am morning show Wednesday might stand in the way of that idea.
That's it for now - I'm off to the golf course. It is an absolute beauty of a day here in the Alberni Valley. Maybe we'll see you out at the Alberni Golf Club in Cherry Creek....If you head into the pro shop ask Bruce about the Adam's Speedline Driver. There might be a demo club kicking around that you might be able to take a swing with. I haven't been able to hit the ball PERIOD off the tee in the last 6 years since I came out to Port Alberni. One 10 minute test run on the range with the Speedline and now I'm KILLING it!
A special special special hello to Ryan Robins from Hockey Canada, if he happens to stop by the blog again some time soon. Ryan, I'm sorry about the weather out that way!
Friday, March 27, 2009
For those that missed the Nolan Graham interview this morning on THE PEAK morning show, you can catch it in it's entirety by clicking right here
Audio courtesy and copyright 93.3 The Peak FM and the Jim Pattison Broadcast Group.
Here's an interesting story from the Nanaimo News Bulletin by Greg Sakaki click to read "Two GM's vying for prospects"
Thursday, March 26, 2009
I haven't had a chance to talk to Nolan on the air since his hiring, so I'm looking forward to it and I'm sure lots of the Bulldogs fans out there are too.
Again - Catch it all tomorrow morning at 8:10am.
Huge congrats go out to my friend Angel Magnussen.....Read below...Way to go Angel!!!!
Angel received an email from the Alberni Valley Chamber of Commerce yesterday informing her that she has been awarded their Outstanding Youth of the Year Award, along with two other local
PS. Just a reminder that we are still seeking contributions for Angel's Celebrity Charity Cookbook. Visit www.members.shaw.ca/awesomeangel for details.
No doubt it's some great hockey to watch....For those that don't have hockey to watch, there's GOLF!
I took in my first round of the season yesterday at the pristine Alberni Golf Club in Cherry Creek. I have NEVER started the golf season so good. Par-Par-missed a two footer for par, parred again, then a QUAD and then another par before I rode the bogey train home. All in all, not bad for the first round of the year. The Alberni Golf Club is in great shape as well. It's a little moist in some spots, but that's the worst of it.
Special thanks to Bruce MacDonald in the pro shop for letting me try his Adam's Golf Speedline driver demo-club. I CRUSHED it all afternoon, and for the most part, it hit it IN PLAY which is usually my biggest problem. On the other side of things, I putted terribly, which is usually my strongest point. Putt for dough. Not yesterday though.
Looking down the first fairway. Yes, I was up the middle. HA.
A look at my buddie Paulie's tee shot on 13. I just had to take a picture. What a beautiful day in the Alberni Valley. The flag, the ball, and a snow covered Mount Arrowsmith frames the picture in the middle. What a beauty!
The Canucks are back in action on 93.3 The Peak FM tonight as they visit the St. Louis Blues. Catch all the action with the pre game show underway at 5pm and the puck drop and all the play-by-play follows shortly after 5:30pm.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
The Vernon Vipers shut out Salmon Arm 3-0 to take a 2-1 lead in the Interior Final.
Cooking with Geno - Man this is funny funny stuff. I've said it before - I didn't like Malkin much when he was playing for Russia at the World Juniors, getting ejected for KICKING people....Now that I've seen more of him as a player but also as a personality, I can't not like the guy.
Enjoy - Cooking With Geno.
We really need a "cooking with Bulldogs" program don't we?
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Some background on the event - My good friend Les Doiron rents the ice at Pacific Coliseum for a good ole-fashioned game on shinny between a variety of hockey players from the Alberni Valley, or hockey players with at least a connection to the Alberni Valley.
It's a casual game for the most part, with "hockey players" being described as anyone who has the ability to at least STAND on their skates. At the same time, there was a smattering of former and current Junior A and College and University and Professional players so the game was quite the mish-mash.
After the game of shinny, it's back to the hotel to change and get "freshened up" and then everyone hopped in pre-arranged limos and headed back to the "Rink on Renfrew" for the Vancouver Giants playoff game that night as they hosted the Prince George Cougars. The game of shinny might have been closer than the WHL playoff game, as the Giants hammered the Cougars 9-1.
In the end, what a day, an "experience of a lifetime" to be sure!
HUGE thanks goes out to Dennis See and Les Doiron for all of the work they put into planning the event from everything to the itinerary to transportation to rooms and game tickets and on and on.
A big personal thanks goes out to Tom McEvay for getting me over to take part in the event as one of the two referees. I never felt so smart in all my life!!
I didn't think that I was going to be able to make it to the event, as I didn't have a way to Vancouver and I didn't have a room and on and on and on. Cue Tom, who came into the radio station last week to drop off a copy of the U17 DVD for me. Tom asked if I was going to the "Lester Cup" and I'm sure I said with heartbreak in my eyes that I wouldn't be able to attend. Well Tom saw the heartbreak and wouldn't take no for an answer...He invited me to stay in his room, and he even called a friend to get me a ride over to Vancouver. Special thanks for that goes to Ron Paulson and David McCormick as they let me stow away in the back of their ride over to the Mainland. I was more than happy to share the back with all the hockey equipment!
A final huge thanks goes out to the Sutton Place Hotel, as they offered up a special rate for everyone from the group that stayed at the hotel. THANK YOU.
I am working on a "Highlight Video" as along with being the referee I was given the duty of trying to capture some of the fun of the event on film. I will post a copy of the video here when it's done.
I'm sure everyone who attended has their own special highlight of the weekend. For me, it was just being able to skate on Coliseum ice. Seeing many former Bulldogs and being able to catch up with them was also a fun time. I was REALLY lucky as I got to meet Michael Buble. What a great guy he was...down to earth, polite, and a HOCKEY FAN.
The highlight of the shinny game for me had to be Dennis See -steadingly improving but a rookie hockey player at best :) - doing his best Sidney Crosby imitation in scoring on former Bulldog Harrison May on a penalty shot. I sadly don't think I got the goal on video, but trust me, it was a leg-kick backhand-top shelf beauty! "Mayday" might still be having nightmares about that one
The "Lord Lester's Cup" is only going to be bigger and better in the future, with the hopes of a fun and incredible fantasy day ALSO resulting in a benefit to charities involving kids and sports. So please spread the word and drop me a line HERE if you have any questions or if you'd like to be involved next year.
Special thanks to Ronnie for the size medium painted on referee jersey!
The two refs and THE KING Richard Brodeur. Don't Tom's glasses just make him look PERFECT for a ref? HAHA
Heading to the game. Lots of old war stories about Bulldog games gone by for sure with this crew!
Thanks again for the great time ladies and gents!
And don't forget to check back for the video. It's a work in progress!
Switching gears - The 2009 U17 World Hockey Challenge might have ended months ago, but the effects of the tournament are living on.....
March 23, 2009
For Immediate Release
2009 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge Legacy Announced
Organizers of the 2009 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in
The legacy funding will be divided up between the
Ron Paulson, Co-Chair of the host committee, says a number of factors, including high ticket sales, support of the business community, strong attendance at partner community venues, grants from Island Coastal Economic Trust and 2010 Legacies Now, coupled with the financial responsibility of the Port Alberni board of directors in operating within their projected budgets, contributed to the event’s financial success.
"The 2009 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge was an unparalleled success that will leave a legacy, both human and financial for community events for the foreseeable future,” said Paulson. “It was a terrific opportunity to showcase
“The 2009 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge is an important event for our Program of Excellence, and we are excited that a legacy will be left for future players on Vancouver Island,” said Scott Smith, Hockey
The host committee also shared information about an economic impact study that was conducted during the event. STEAM (Sport Tourism Economic Assessment Model) is a cutting-edge, economic impact assessment tool that predicts and measures the economic impact of a sport event on a community in
A committee will be named in the coming weeks to govern the legacy application process.
For More Information:
2009 World U17 Hockey Challenge
Manager, Marketing Services/Events
Monday, March 23, 2009
Three members of the North Island College Wrestling Program travelled to Regina, Saskatchewan to compete in the 2009 Junior/Senior National Wrestling Championships. North Island College students Travis Carey and Harry Campbell competed in the Junior (Under 21) Division while their college coach and Port Alberni’s favorite wrestler Travis Cross competed in the Senior National Championships.
The tournament began on Friday morning with the Junior National Division. Wrestler Travis Carey competed in the 74 kilogram Junior Division. Competing in his first national tournament and in his first year of the age division Carey showed that he will be a serious contender at next year’s tournament. He dropped a couple of close one point decisions to competitors from Ontario. Alberni Wrestling and NIC coach James Messenger had this to say about his young charge, “Travis has been the hardest working wrestler in our program all year long. He has only been training and competing in the sport for two years. Most wrestlers at Nationals have a minimum of 6 years of wrestling under their belt. Travis’ hard work and dedication have allowed him to develop and make up for his relative lack of experience in competitions at this level. In the past year he has really matured as a competitor. I am really excited about returning to the Junior National Championships with him next year.”
Travis Carey’s dedication to the sport also showed in his decision to compete in the Greco Roman Junior National Championships on Sunday. Greco Roman wrestling allows wrestlers only to attack or grab opponents upper bodies. You do not see the leg attacks or shots which are common to freestyle wrestling. While it is an Olympic sport very few teams train and compete in this style in Canada. Travis Carey has never wrestled or trained in Greco Roman. However, he decided to try it out and finished fourth in his round robin pool for his efforts.
Also wrestling in the Junior Division on Friday was wrestler Harry Campbell. Unfortunately Campbell was prevented from training over the last two weeks due to a serious muscle pull in his neck. Campbell fought through his injury to compete in the 60 kilogram division. Luck was not on Campbell’s side as he drew the silver and bronze medalists in his first two matches. Despite wrestling very tough, Harry was unable to take a win. He finished with some great experience and he will have that to help him when he returns next year to NIC.
The highlight for the group from Alberni came on Saturday in the Senior Division when 2008 Olympian Travis Cross won his fourth straight national title at 84 kilograms. After taking some time off after the Olympics Cross has been training hard over the last few months in preparation for Nationals. Since Christmas, Travis has travelled to Cuba, Colorado, and the National Training Center in Vancouver to get ready for this tournament. His efforts to prepare paid off as he steam rolled the competition. He beat Danny Brown from the Guelph Wrestling Club in two straight rounds in the gold medal final. “Travis was only scored on once this whole tournament. He looked focused and was in control of his opponents the whole time. He moved really well and scored when he needed to. He once again made it clear to everyone that he should continue to represent Canada on the world stage,” commented Coach James Messenger. Travis’ win qualifies him to once again compete at the World Wrestling Championships which take place in Denmark this summer.
The conclusion of the Junior National Championships officially wraps up a great year of growth for the North Island College Wrestling Team. NIC wrestlers will enjoy a couple weeks of rest and then begin in strength and conditioning training to prepare for the next season. Cross will likely take a few days off before he begins training for the World Championships.
While these Alberni wrestlers will be enjoying some down time a group of six wrestlers from ADSS are training hard to prepare for the Cadet/Juvenile Championships in Fredericton April 1 – 5. If you are interested in helping support this group of wrestlers you are encouraged to contact Coach James Messenger 724-5693 for more information.
Before Banner (Stacey McCulloch photo)
Back l-r Darrin Oscienny, Jeff Dagg, Myles Fitzgerald, Carson McCulloch, Aaron Lambert, Luciano Somerville, Boden Wangler, Catlin McLeod, Sheldon Trees, Eddie Dyson; Front l-r Bryan Read, Troy Rata, Dustin Diemert, Keenan McConnell, Andre Savard, Kody Isherwood, Leo Fitzgerald, Travis Coghill. (missing Ryan Campbell, Matt Larose).
MIDGET BULLDOGS 3RD AT B.C. CHAMPIONSHIP
The AVMHA Midget A Bulldogs overcame numerous challenges to finish in 3rd place at the B.C. Tier 2 Championships last Wednesday (March 18) at Bear Mountain Arena. Their perseverance and discipline in the face of adversity also earned the team the Most Sportsmanlike Trophy. Head Coach Brent Demerais said “The coaching staff is really proud of the boys. We had a great season and got to our goal (winning the Vancouver Island Championship).”
Coach Dave McConnell said “The boys played really well at the BCs even with the injuries and flu that they had to contend with.” Nine Alberni players were off the bench at one time or another during the championship, but no one sat out unless they were medically unable to continue.
The Bulldogs drew the toughest opponents for their first two games. They opened against Penticton Vees on Sunday morning. Penticton scored off a two on one rush in the first minute. Less than a minute later Darrin Oscienny carried the puck through the defence for Catlin MacLeod to even it up. Midway through the period MacLeod drove to the net and scored again on a backhand shot. Sheldon Trees and Oscienny picked up assists. Two minutes later, Trees rang one off the post during a power play, but it did not go in. As the period wound down Penticton tied it up again. The only goal in the second period went to the Vees, who also scored first in the third to go up 4-2. With eight minutes left, the Bulldogs’ Bryan Read on penalty kill cleared the puck along the glass to centre where Myles Fitzgerald tipped it ahead for Leo Fitzgerald to get behind the defence and score short handed. Penticton got it back with a power play goal a minute later. With under three minutes left, hard work earned Alberni another goal. Carson McCulloch knocked in a rebound from Jeff Dagg’s shot to make it 5-4. Read picked up the second assist. A power play goal in the closing minutes gave Penticton the 6-4 win.
Penticton won every game on their way to the championship. However, Alberni scored more goals against Penticton than any other team and gave them their closest game of the tournament. Matt Larose stood on his head in goal to keep the Penticton sharp shooters at bay.
On Monday morning Alberni faced off with Port Moody. What an intense game! There was no score until the Panthers tucked one in midway through the second period. The Bulldogs evened the count on a power play with 3:35 left in the second. Oscienny passed across the crease for L. Fitzgerald to finish. The Panthers slipped another one in with 33 seconds left in the period. At 10:21 of the third the Bulldogs on power play tied it again. Luciano Somerville passed to MacLeod to put it across the crease to Oscienny to hit open net on the glove side. This one should have been a 2-2 tie, but Port Moody managed to score with only 21 seconds left, and went on to second place. Eddie Dyson was sharp in goal to keep it close.
Monday evening Alberni played their second game of the day against host team Juan de Fuca. This was a contest of speed and skill against size. It was all Bulldogs in the early going as they scored three unanswered goals. The first came mid way through the first period when Oscienny set up L. Fitzgerald short handed. The next, late in the second was Troy Rata from the point to MacLeod and then to L. Fitzgerald again. Then MacLeod combined with Myles Fitzgerald to set up Leo for the hat trick early in the third. Throughout the game, the larger Grizzlies were finishing all their checks, sometimes after the puck had been moved on. This continued until the referee cautioned both benches after another late hit. But the damage had been done. Sheldon Trees left with a shoulder injury that started in the previous game, Kody Isherwood with a bruised knee and Aaron Lambert with bruised ribs. Juan de Fuca was able to score three times to steal a tie with only seconds left on the clock.
Next up on Tuesday morning were Ridge Meadows Rustlers. A five on three power play gave the Bulldogs a chance to get on the board first. Good puck movement by Dustin Diemert and Lambert set up a shot from the point by Boden Wangler that went in top corner. The Rustlers got one back before Somerville and Dagg combined to set up another goal by McCulloch and end the first ahead 2-1. In the second period hard work around the net paid off with a power play goal for Dagg. L. Fitzgerald and Andre Savard assisted. In the middle of the period, Ridge Meadows scored short handed, but Dagg got it back for Alberni. His second goal assisted by M. Fitzgerald and Savard made it 4-2. MacLeod scored with assists from M. Fitzgerald and Wangler on a power play to open the third period. The Alberni bench was getting short by the end of the game with Isherwood, Lambert, MacLeod, Rata, and Trees all out. Defencemen Keenan McConnell, Read, Wangler and Travis Coghill all stepped up to keep Alberni in the game. The Rustlers scored twice, but the remaining Bulldogs held on for the 5-4 win.
On Wednesday afternoon the battered Bulldogs returned to face Quesnel Thunder, the biggest team in the championship. At an average 6’2“ and 190 pounds, they towered over the Bulldogs who average 153 pounds. In spite of injuries, Isherwood and Rata were back in the line up for Alberni. It was end to end with no score until the middle of the second period. Jeff Dagg was outstanding in this game and set Carson McCulloch up for the first goal on a power play at 10:25. Late in the period, M. Fitzgerald passed to Dustin Diemert who jumped around a check and sniped the top left corner from a sharp angle. L. Fitzgerald left the game after being speared in the second period but returned in the third to get even on the score board. Working with Dagg and M. Fitzgerald he made it 3-0. By the end of the third, with McConnell out, the short handed Bulldogs were fighting fatigue from five physical games. Quesnel capitalized with two quick goals. Then with three and a half minutes left Alberni had to kill off a double penalty. Quesnel pulled their goalie for almost two minutes of six on three advantage. The Bulldogs successfully defended, but after the penalties were over Quesnel managed a tying goal with a minute left. Although the result was disappointing the tie was enough to clinch third place for Alberni and fourth for Quesnel.
Coach McConnell said “We got unreal goaltending. The goaltenders played great in all the games.”
“Our guys were in better condition than the other teams,” said Demerais. “We had a good year and should be even better next year, as most of this year’s players are eligible to return…. The coaching staff wish every success to the older ‘91 players who will be moving on, and thank them for their contribution this year.”
The successful season would not have been possible without a lot of support. The team says thanks to Head Coach Demerais and Coaches McConnell and Bryce Abbot. Thanks also to sponsors GDM Boom & Sort and Rain Coast Erosion Control, and to Quality Foods and Safeway for providing oranges between periods through the season. Demerais and the other coaching staff really want to acknowledge the behind the scenes support of team managers Janet Fitzgerald and Russell Dyson, as well as trainers Dave and Jill Sherwood and Safety Person Sonia Somerville, and all the parents who have been there throughout the season. The team thanks the other friends and family who came out to cheer them on to the Vancouver Island Championship and at the BCs. A special nod to AVMHA President, Al McCulloch, who has jumped in wherever he was needed all season. The Midget A Bulldogs will be recognized for their achievement by Port Alberni City Council at its April 14th meeting.
Congrats to Travis and the Midget Dogs!
Friday, March 20, 2009
The game right now features U-Mass Lowell vs. Northeastern in one of the Semi Final games for Hockey East.
Maury Edwards is of course a former Bulldog, suiting up through the 2005-06 and 2006-2007 seasons. He's now lighting up on the back end for UMass Lowell.
On Northeastern - Former BCHL'ers Brad Thiessen, Tyler McNeely and Patrick Cey
The game is scoreless in the first period as I type this....I'm off to watch the game!
Thursday, March 19, 2009
The dogs finished in third at the BC's, with their final game a draw vs. Quesnel today. The dogs took a three goal lead after a 0 - 0 first period, but late in the third the Quesnel team rallied and a very tired short benched bulldogs struggled to maintain the lead through a 6 on 3 (goalie pulled). The valley should be very proud of the composure and determination of this team, they battled a ton of adversity!!
Well done Dogs!
The Canucks are back in action tonight, as they look for their 11th straight win on home ice as they host the St Louis Blues at the Garage.
From the Canucks website, click the links to check out the GAME PREVIEW and the GAME NOTES
Catch the broadcast tonight on 93.3 The Peak FM, part of the Canucks Radio Network, with the pregame show kicking off at 6:30pm and the puck drop and play-by-play shortly after 7pm.
That's it for now...
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
The Nucks are back in action on THE PEAK tonight as they host the Dallas Stars at the 'Garage. Catch the game on 93.3 THE PEAK, part of the Canucks Radio Network with the pregame show at 6:30 and the puck drop and play-by-play shortly after 7:00pm.
I was more than a little surprised yesterday when I heard that former Bulldog bench-boss Jim Hiller had been let go by the Chilliwack Bruins.
Kamloops Daily News Sports Editor Gregg Drinnan has it all covered on his blog TAKING NOTE including a story with a reaction from Jim HERE - Hiller surprised by firing
Former Bulldog goalie Brian Stewart and his Northern Michigan Wildcats will be heading to Joe Louis Arena for the CCHA Championship after a big win on Sunday. "Stewie" or "Brian the Dog" (as I called him during his time here) turned away 40 plus shots.
Read more from the Wildcats Website HERE
Monday, March 16, 2009
The Caps were of course down 3 games to 1 before staying alive with a 4-1 win at Bear Mountain Arena on Friday night. Saturday back at the BIG STICK they won 3-1 to force tomorrow's game 7.
Who is the pressure on? Interesting question. The pressure has to be on the Caps, right? Simply because if they lose, IT'S OVA.
For the Grizzlies, there has to be some pressure there as well, because if they lose it's not over but they wait until May when they will play again in the RBC. No host team wants the "backdoor" label thrown on them.
I have to pick the Capitals in this one. Don't get me wrong, I think the Grizzlies are a GREAT team, but when it comes to playoffs and game seven's especially, it's all about effort and desire and passion and etc etc etc. NO ONE is ever as motivated out there, as when they are fighting for their season to continue, and for some guys, for their careers to continue.
If the Capitals react positively to the pressure, and it brings out the good in them, they'll win. If they get tight though, the Grizzlies will move on.
In the end, the Capitals have everything to lose, not the Grizzies.
An update now on the Midget Bulldogs at the Provincials down Island. Thanks Russell Dyson for the update!
Evan it was a tough game vs the Penticton Vees today. We started with a goal each in first two minutes as we went up 2-1 but they tied before the end of the first. They scored lone goal on second. Lots of errors on our part and difficulty clearing the zone. They took a 4-2 lead and went on power play, you could just tell what was going to happen.... Dogs sprung Leo Fitzgerald free for the shorthanded goal 4-3. Unfortunately we squandered the momentum and they potted a pp goal. It ended 6-4. Catlin McLeod with two goals and Andre Savard with one, Matt Larose in goal kept the team out of trouble as best as he could. Port Moody tomorrow(today) at 11.
Get score updates and schedule information by CLICKING THIS LINK
Good luck Bulldogs!