Friday, November 19, 2010

Klippers edge division rival in Dommett's return

You heard it all over the hallway from members of the Klippers after tonight's game: "we needed that win."

Indeed, tonight's 4-2 victory over the Weyburn Red Wings was a big one against a division opponent and coming after that disaster in the final second against Estevan on Wednesday.

As they have done often lately, the Klippers surrendered the first goal when Brock Appleyard scored on Alex Peck only 58 seconds in. But they answered barely two minutes later, with Casey Rogers getting his first SJHL tally on a sharp shot from the left point that went off the iron and in.

Rodney Cowie slipped a rebound past Peck at 7:54, one second after Taylor Duzan came out of the penalty box, and the 2-1 score stood for more than half the game.

After a bit of a sluggish second period from the Klippers, Duzan tied it with 45 seconds left in the frame.

The boxscore has zero shots on goal for Weyburn in the third period, 10 for Kindersley. I hadn't noticed that. If accurate, I'm not too surprised. The Klippers dominated the final frame.

The winning goal was part luck, part heads-up play. A high Weyburn clearing attempt up the middle hit Johnny Calkins in the chest, just inside the blueline. He tried to settle the puck down, but it was bouncing all over the place and his shot hit Mitch Kilgore's pad.

Braeden Adamyk scooped up the rebound in the corner, skated out along the right boards and unleashed a quick short side wrister that missed Kilgore's glove by maybe an inch. The shot caught the netminder off guard and gave Kindersley their first lead of the night.

The Klippers dominated the next few minutes, putting on all kinds of pressure, and finally Calkins sealed it when his shot from the neutral zone went off the blade of a Red Wing defender and into the empty net with 10 seconds left.

Kurt Leedahl made a key shot block to set up the EN, one period after being hurt on a high stick to the face. He did not miss a shift.

Cody Lund got drilled into the end boards from behind by Lucas Ulmer with 2:09 left in the first period. He stayed down for a couple of minutes but was able to return in the second. Ulmer got two and a game.

Andrew Dommett was eased back in tonight, getting the odd shift early and playing more as the game went on. He had many chances, including a partial breakaway when he shot into Kilgore's chest and another where he was sitting backdoor and Kilgore did a good job to get across and make the stop.

Dommett mixed it up a little and didn't look bad at all for his first game back.

Should also mention that this is the annual Parents Weekend and the boys put on a good show for their moms and dads. It was nice to talk to a few familiar faces after the game.

Here's Dommett speaking about his first game in exactly two months.

Jesse Mysiorek had another big game tonight, banging bodies, creating chances and picking up an assist.

Larry talks about getting the win, how big it was to have Dommett back in the line-up, the play of Alex Peck, and some impending roster moves to cut down from 25 players before Dec. 1.

Dommett makes his return tonight ahead of schedule

Yes, it is true. Andrew Dommett will make his long-awaited return to the Klipper line-up tonight against Weyburn.

Larry Wintoneak confirmed the news earlier this afternoon.

The 20-year-old captain had originally been expected to return in the first week of December, just in time for the SJHL showcase in Weyburn.

But he has been practicing in full gear for two weeks now and was medically cleared to play yesterday. The decision for tonight's game was made after the morning skate today.

Here's what Larry Wintoneak had to say about the return of his star sniper. I haven't been able to reach Dommer yet, but if I talk to him this afternoon I'll also have that interview up.

On his return ahead of schedule:

"We always thought he'd be back next week, by the showcase. Obviously before we're going to let anyone come back from a serious injury like that, we need certification from the health industry. We obtained that document from the doctor and he's ready to go. Who am I to say he's not?"

What helped him to recover faster than expected?

"His work ethic, how hard he works off the ice. It's something you can't control, the healing (of his jaw). Once that was completely healed, he was going to get the green light to go. It's his attention to detail off the ice, with his fitness. He's been practicing in full equipment for the last two weeks. It was just a little gray area where you hope he's 100% healed."

On expectations for Dommett's first few games:

"Our expectations are for him to get through the first game and get his feet wet. I know he'll contribute. The adrenaline rush will carry him through the first couple of games. He's not a guy that's willing to lie down and give up. He's a very competitive individual, he's our leader and the heart and soul of this hockey team. We look forward to having him back."

On the leadership Dommett will provide on the ice:

"Leadership is probably the most important thing in a junior hockey team. He's a guy that we knew, when he (became) a Klipper, that some day he would wear a letter. He's not only a good hockey player but he's a tremendous person. He doesn't take shortcuts. Good things happen to good people."

Game time is 7:30. Come on out and show your support for Andrew and the rest of the boys. This is a game you will not want to miss.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The flukiest fluke you'll ever fluking see

The best script writers in Hollywood would never come up with this, mainly because they wouldn't want to.

After the Klippers came back from a 4-2 deficit with goals three minutes apart midway through the third, they lost it all a nanosecond before the buzzer.

Just as everyone in the rink was getting ready for overtime, Ben Findlay came over the blueline, on the left, on a 2-on-2. Dustin Nickel came out to cut off the angle, and Findlay's shot missed the left post by a long shot. As Nickel was moving back into the crease, the puck ricocheted off the boards, hit him somewhere on the back of his body and trickled over the goal line for a 5-4 Estevan win.

Personally, I couldn't tell if it had crossed the line in time. If this was the NHL, they would have gone upstairs and determined the exact time of the goal. With that option not available, the goal stood and the Klippers dragged themselves off the ice with nothing instead of a point or possibly two.

Someone told me after the game that the Bruins were offside on the play. With less than three seconds left, I certainly wasn't watching for that and I doubt many were.

The funny thing is I was talking to Casey Rogers after the game and he said the same thing happened to his Corpus Christi team earlier this year, except in overtime. And this kind of goal does happen from time to time, but I have never seen it with one second left in regulation, or anything even close.

It was too bad for Nickel because he played a solid game and didn't have a chance on at least three of the goals. The Bruins were sharpshooters tonight, led by defender Ty Ariss, who scored two goals on absolute bombs from the point.

Hoffman, McGrath, Mysiorek and Duzan scored for the Klippers.

Bump of the game: John Sonntag
Three Stars: 1. Ty Ariss, 2. Joel Danyluk, 3. Jordon Hoffman

I'll have interviews with Larry Wintoneak and Sean Flanagan up hopefully tonight.

Klippers-Bruins preview

I've been sick as a dog for about a week now and was finally able to take a few hours off work this afternoon. I'll take a break from my game day nap for a preview.

This is a game I've been looking forward to for a couple of weeks. Estevan and Kindersley were two of the teams expected to compete for the Sherwood crown this year, and while the Klippers haven't been up to snuff, they showed signs of turning it around last week and I believe a four-point game like this at home will bring out the best in them.

                                     Estevan Bruins

The B's have the third-best winning percentage in the SJHL and have points in eight of their last 10, including six wins. Up front, Ryan Andersen and Dylan Smith have been on fire lately. Andersen boasts a league-leading 20 goals and comes in riding a nine-game point streak. Smith has 26 points in 17 games as an 18-year-old. With other scoring threats including Ben Findlay, Troy Hunter, Mark Cross, Kyle Johnson and Justin Waskewitch, the Bruins will make you pay for your mistakes.

On the back end, though, Estevan will be without two regular defencemen tonight. Dominic Perrault and Brett Rock are both serving suspensions stemming from Sunday's game against La Ronge. But they have several other two-way minute munchers like Ty Ariss, Lucas Stubel, Tyler Spencer and Joel Kot.

I would imagine we'll see Joel Danyluk in goal. He is 10-4-1 with a 3.44 average and .904 save percentage this year.

Estevan is four points ahead of Kindersley with two games in hand.

Kindersley Klippers

The first game back for Larry Wintoneak and Sean Flanagan is a big one. As I mentioned to Braeden Adamyk after the win on Saturday, the Klippers need to start stringing a few wins together, rather than their recent win/loss/win/loss pattern, if they want to move up the Sherwood standings. It all starts with Adamyk and Johnny Calkins, who were fantastic on Saturday. They need to have another big outing tonight. I also look to Sanfred King and D. Jay McGrath to create some offence. They were put together on Saturday and looked pretty good. And of course, the Jordon Hoffman line has been money lately. The current setup gives the Klippers three very dangerous lines, if they play up to their ability.

On the back end, Flanagan will be welcomed back into the fold. His mobility and ability to kick start the play was missed. With the addition of Casey Rogers, it will be interesting to see which two guys sit out, or maybe they go with seven defencemen again. At the same time, it would be nice to see Tanner Kissick draw back in  soon as the 12th forward.

My gut feeling is that Alex Peck will get the start, but in truth I don't know. After the win on Saturday, I think Larry and Rockie want to continue to build up his confidence, and a game against Estevan is a good way to do that.

Speaking of goaltenders, Craig Stein is reporting that Kyle Jahraus has left the Melville Millionaires and they are seeking out a goaltender to back up Zach Rakochy. The post quotes Jamie Fiesel as saying he has spoken with some SJHL teams who are carrying three goalies.

Here are the teams that fit the criteria:

Kindersley - Alex Peck (20), Dustin Nickel (19), Justin McDonald (18)
Battlefords - Graham Hildebrand (19), Kyle Birch (20), Alex Sirard (19)
Weyburn - Mitch Kilgore (19), Riley Hengen (20), Logan Marks (18)
Melfort - Charles Corsi (20), Jesse Ehnisz (19), Jay Hudon (18)

If Fiesel opts to acquire a goalie within the league, the Stars would appear to be the best fit. I could definitely see Sirard heading to Melville. Birch is a possibility, but it seems Rakochy is settling into the starter's role in Melville and I doubt Birch is willing to go there as a backup.

A deal with the Klippers is possible, but they don't have a clear-cut #1 right now. If I'm Larry Wintoneak, I wouldn't want to trade Peck or Nickel only to see the remaining tender fail in Kindersley.

Or maybe I'm just speaking from experience as a Leaf fan after they traded Tuukka Rask instead of Justin Pogge. Who knows.

See you at the WCEC.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Duzan named SJHL player of the week

In what should come as a shock to no one, Taylor Duzan has been named SJHL Player of the Week.

Duzan racked up seven goals and three assists in three games last week, helping the Klippers earn five of six points in games against Nipawin and Melville. The highlight came Thursday when Duzy potted four goals and two apples in a 8-7 OT loss to the Mils. He also had both regulation goals and the shootout winner against the Hawks on Tuesday.

It was closer than you might think. Estevan's Dylan Smith also had 10 points this week.

From the SJHL release:

The tiniest Klipper was large this past week as Kindersley won two of three games. One of those three games saw the 1991 born forward from Saskatoon score four times while setting up two others in an 8-7 overtime loss to Melville. In all, Duzan had seven goals and three assists this past week.

Meanwhile, Yorkton's Davis Vandane (who was recently sent down by the Blades) earned the top defenceman honour while Melfort's Charles Corsi was named top goalie for the third time this season.

The Klippers ranked sixth in this week's power rankings, up from (I believe) eighth last week.

6.       Kindersley Klippers – The Klippers had been struggling, but they won two of three this past week to get back into the Sherwood Conference mix