Friday, November 26, 2010

Klippers acquire another goalie; not done yet

UPDATE: The Klippers have acquired yet another goaltender, Sean Cahill, who played for the Okotoks Oilers last season. It looks like he was dealt to the Brooks Bandits in the off-season but there are no records of him having played this year.

Cahill is a 20-year-old Calgary native. What this means for Alex Peck is anyone's guess.

Nickel will go to the Fernie Ghostriders of the KIJHL to try to crack that squad.

When asked if this development was related to a Brett Penner trade, Larry Wintoneak said "We hope so." It sounds like he isn't done.

Sorry for the second blog post on this, but Google won't let me sign into the blog, so I had to post this via email.

More info on Sean Cahill:

He went 22-8-3, 2.66, .911 with two shutouts in 36 games for Okotoks last year. He was traded to Brooks Bandits in the off-season but it appears he did not report. Just 10 days ago, his rights were dealt to the Quesnel Millionaires of the BCHL for two forwards. I have been told he did not report there and so his rights became available.

Cahill, who played for Rockie Zinger in Okotoks, was one of three runner-ups for last year's AJHL top goalie award. He already has a scholarship to Alaska-Fairbanks.

Sounds like an accomplished netminder.

UPDATE #2: Just heard from Dusty Nickel and thought I'd share his comments about his brief time in Kindersley.

"I really enjoyed my time with the Klippers," he said. "I had a lot of fun and it was one of my best hockey experiences and I wish it would have lasted longer."

He said he is not heading to Fernie right away, but has talked to the coach there and will keep his options open as for his next move.

Nickel no longer with Klippers

I heard a rumour this morning and have now been able to confirm with Larry Wintoneak that goaltender Dustin Nickel is no longer with the Klippers.

At this point I don't know if he has been traded or let go. From what I heard earlier this morning, the best I can piece together is that he and Brett Penner were traded to the Okotoks Oilers for a player, but that is nowhere near confirmed. I have heard a player is coming from Okotoks though.

Trying to find out more details now and I will pass them on when I know.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Wintoneak says Penner deal "close"

Just a quick update on the Brett Penner trade front. I talked to Larry at a barbecue held in honour of Elwin Peever, who has kept the buses running in Kindersley for the past 30 years.

Larry said a deal to trade Penner's rights for a player was "close" and he was checking his phone constantly waiting for a response from the other team.

It may not be just Penner's rights moving; we may see him packaged up with another player here. I will have more news when it becomes available.

As for the barbecue, several community groups showed up to honour Elwin for his work driving and fixing the buses for the last three decades. Not many communities have their own bus service to transport their teams all over the province and, in some cases, across Western Canada. The buses were run by Kindersley Minor Sports for years.

Three years ago, a group of volunteers including Rod Quinney, Joanne McAdam and Ralph Donahue (and others) agreed to take over the buses, as a special arms-length division of Minor Sports, to try to get it out of debt. In three short years, that group (Kindersley Charters) has managed to turn a profit with a venture that had been bleeding red ink. When Kindersley Charters' mechanic requested to retire this summer, the buses were sold to Oyen's Doug Jones, with a requirement to keep them in Kindersley.

The Klippers were one of the groups in attendance today and they (Larry Wintoneak, Rockie Zinger, Andrew Dommett, Sean Flanagan, Braeden Adamyk) presented Elwin with an autographed home jersey.

Sonny Days Snow Removal

Here's a commercial for Sonny Days Snow Removal (five minutes? Who are we kidding, this is a freakin' infomercial) starring D. Jay McGrath and John Sonntag, with a cameo from a skeptical Andrew Dommett, and a roar of disbelief from Johnny Calkins.

You better watch out Vince. Deej is the next Slap Chop guy in the making.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Klippers win second straight, 7-3 over Humboldt

For the first time since Oct. 6 - exactly 49 days - the Klippers have managed to win two games in a row with tonight's 7-3 victory over the Humboldt Broncos.

As has been the case often this year, the Klippers got off to a hot start in the first period before letting their opponents back in during the second. In this case, Kindersley led 3-0 after the first on goals by Braeden Adamyk, D. Jay McGrath and Sanfred King.

Adamyk's goal came on a deflection of a Sean Flanagan point shot. I'm not sure Adamyk meant to do it as he was heading for the net, with his back to the shot, and it just happened to hit his stick on the way by. McGrath shot a one-timer five hole to make it 2-0 and King let go a pinpoint wrist shot from in tight, top left corner, for the third goal.

Humboldt then scored three in the second, although the Klippers got goals from Tanner Exner and another from Adamyk to take a 5-3 lead after two.

Jeremy Boyer made it 3-1, taking a pass in the slot from the right corner and putting it over Peck's blocker. But Exner responded 21 seconds later on a feed from Taylor Wasden. Then the Broncos scored 42 seconds apart, first on the PP when a blocked shot popped to Adam Antkowiak on the doorstep for an easy backhander, then when Buzzeo broke free on a breakaway and scored blocker side. Finally, Adamyk made it 5-3 for the Klippers with six minutes left in the second.

McGrath and Taylor Duzan both scored in the final eight minutes - McGrath on a deke and Duzan on a juicy rebound with 16 seconds left - to seal the win.

The Klippers got contributions from everyone tonight, getting at least one goal from each of the four lines, including three from the Benn-King-McGrath unit.

A big reason for the win was the team's ability to generate pressure in the Humboldt zone and keep it on. The forecheck was great and the defencemen were very good at holding the puck in to allow for sustained pressure. When it was all said and done, the Klippers fired 42 shots on Broncos netminder Matt Hrynkiw (Humboldt had 30) and they were consistent with 14 shots in each period.

Alex Peck made some big stops and gave the Klippers a chance to push back after allowing the goals in the second period. He has won his last three starts and as you'll hear in his interview below, he's getting more confidence. I believe the Klippers will cut down to two goalies by Dec. 1.

Bump of the game: Taylor Wasden for a hit midway through the first period, in a corner of the Humboldt zone, that was so hard it knocked two stanchions (I think that's what they were?) out of the glass. They fell onto the ice and had to be put back in on the next stoppage.

Three Stars: 1. Braeden Adamyk, 2. D. Jay McGrath, 3. Sean Flanagan. Honourable mentions to Johnny Calkins and Ryan Benn.


On another note, defenceman Jeff Bartel has been cut. But the Klippers will retain his rights, as he will go out to the KIJHL to play with the Creston Valley Thunder Cats. It's not a bad move for a player who had to play single-A last year due to a broken arm. He should get to play regularly and then be a regular on the Klipper blueline next year.

Larry Wintoneak said he is on the verge of trading the rights to Brett Penner for a player, probably in the next 24 hours. He said several teams have had interest in Penner, and he hinted that he may be able to package a couple of players to upgrade at a position and pare down the roster at the same time.



D. Jay McGrath scored twice tonight and talks about how his line with Sanfred King and Ryan Benn is gelling. I have some more goodies from this duster coming later tonight so check back for a good laugh.

Alex Peck made 27 saves tonight and has now won his last three starts. He says he's getting more confident and has simplified his game between the pipes.

Larry Wintoneak talks about the win, the play of the King line, the departure of Jeff Bartel and probable action on the trade front this week, among other things.

Klippers vs. Humboldt preview

I'm looking forward to seeing Humboldt for the first time this season. Of course, the big question is which Bronco team we will see at the West Central Events Centre. Humboldt has struggled recently after starting the season on fire and being ranked the #1 team in Canada for several weeks.

I'll be very interested to see if Dean Brockman makes any changes before Christmas. Don't forget, Humboldt is hosting the RBC Cup next season and if Brockman decides that this team isn't going to get it done, he'd be well advised to deal away some talented 20-year-olds for younger impact players who will contribute to a potential national championship team next year.

The Klippers didn't have much trouble with Humboldt last year, thumping them 8-1 and 9-5 at home. Of course, that was a much different Bronco team.

Humboldt Broncos

Make no mistake - despite their recent struggles, this is an extremely dangerous team with a lot of depth. With the likes of Justin Buzzeo, Jeremy Boyer, Spencer Braaten and Nick Keller, along with secondary scoring from Troy Gasper, Ward Szucki, Riley Gillies and others, the Broncos have attacking power coming out the ying-yang. They are second in the SJHL in total goals. That said, Humboldt has lost seven of their last 10 games and are coming off a 7-4 loss to Battlefords last night that saw the Stars score four times in the third period.

On the back end, 18-year-old Josh Roach has been a revelation and a huge part of Humboldt's success. In his second SJHL season - he had 14 points last year - the Saskatoon product has six goals and 23 points in 25 games. They also have 17-year-old Tanner Clark, who played 29 games last year and was returned by the Swift Current Broncos early this season. Other than that, the Humboldt blueline has had a lot of turnover from last season, with stay-at-home defender Kenton Valliant the only other returnee. The Broncos are seventh in goals against.

Between the pipes, 2009-10 SJHL MVP Andrew Bodnarchuk is still around, although he's losing quite a few starts to backup Matt Hrynkiw (17 and 11 appearances, respectively). Not sure who we'll see tonight although Bodnarchuk started last night in North Battleford.

Kindersley Klippers

The Klippers are coming off a big win over Weyburn on Friday and have no doubt spent the five days since then hitting the gym. Larry Wintoneak has often talked about using these off-stretches early in the season to work on fitness, and that is especially important this year since the Klippers didn't have access to their facilities until the end of September.

On the attack, the focus will continue to be on Andrew Dommett and how he adjusts to playing again. It will take a few games for him to get back into top form and, as he said the other night, to get his hands back. Calkins and Adamyk had good nights on Friday and their play will no doubt help the captain make the transition. Another guy I'll keep my eye on is D. Jay McGrath (he of Sonny Days Snow Removal). He's played with Sanfred King recently and I thought he looked great on Friday. He really moved his feet and put pressure on the Wings with his forecheck. It's only a matter of time before that line puts up some numbers, I think. Also of note, Justin Gerwing is eligible to play tonight after serving his three-game suspension for a staged fight. My guess is we see him in, but it's hard to say with 14 healthy guys.

On the blueline, there are eight guys in the picture and time may be running out for certain guys to show why they deserve to stick around. Larry Wintoneak said Friday that he's going to trim down the roster soon, and you'd have to think a defenceman will be included in that. As for a player to watch, for me, it's Casey Rogers. He seems to be getting more comfortable in the SJHL and should only improve as that process moves along. He scored on a heck of a shot Friday and is very poised in moving the puck up ice. Defensively, his positioning is very good. When you consider he's only 19, I see Casey as a huge addition to the Klipper blueline in the short and long term.

In goal, your guess is as good as mine. Peck and Nickel have been alternating starts for the most part, but Peck could get in again. We'll find out at game time.

Changes to the blog

Good afternoon and welcome to hump day. It's the middle of the week, and if you're me (which you probably are not), that means the busiest time of the week is over and the pace slows down a bit.

You may have noticed a few changes to the blog yesterday and today. I've gotten a domain name for the site, which means you can now access it by going to without the blogspot part. The old address will still redirect you to the new one, though.

At the top of the page, you'll notice I've added pages for the team's schedule as well as Klipper articles from The Clarion. The calendar is colour-coded for home and away and you can see the opponent by clicking the date. Both pages are a work in progress. Over the next couple of weeks I'll add more to the Articles page and eventually have all my Klipper stories up there.

With the new domain also comes a new email address. If you want to contact me regarding anything to do with the blog, or the Klippers, you can now reach me at

For some reason, the blogroll on the left side of the page has disappeared with the move. I'll try to figure this out and get those links back up ASAP.

I'm still exploring what I can do with the new tools, so if you have any ideas for things you'd like to see, or feedback on the changes, leave a comment and I'll see what I can do.


Speaking of Klipper stories, here's the article running in today's Clarion.

Dommett makes early return in Klipper victory
Last-second bounce leads to defeat against Bruins

He was not the saviour, but there was no doubt about the impact of Andrew Dommett in Friday’s win for the Kindersley Klippers.

Captain Klipper made his return from a broken jaw two weeks ahead of schedule and the Klippers got a late goal from Braeden Adamyk to defeat the Weyburn Red Wings 4-2.

It was a much-needed win, coming two days after a last-second fluke handed the Klippers a 5-4 loss to the Estevan Bruins.

The victory gave the Klippers (12-11-2) a three-point cushion on Weyburn (11-12-0-1) for third place in the Sherwood Conference. They are five points behind Estevan.

The Humboldt Broncos visit tonight for a 7:30 p.m. contest before the Klippers hit the road this weekend for games in Melville Friday, Yorkton Saturday and Weyburn on Tuesday.

Dommett, who was injured in the second game of the season in La Ronge, was medically cleared to play on Thursday and made his long-awaited return two months to the day after breaking his jaw.

“Obviously it was a little different than practice, but I felt good out there,” said Dommett, who had not been expected back until December. “I’m going to keep it simple. Right now, I gotta get my hands back and not hold onto the puck too long in the neutral zone.”

The left winger had several chances in his first game back, most notably in the first period when he faked a shot to slip past a defenceman for a partial breakaway, but shot the puck into the chest of goalie Mitch Kilgore.

“I had that one glorious opportunity,” he recalled. “I gotta get more comfortable. I should have maybe deked there; instead, I shot ... eventually I’ll get my hands back and the sense of the game back and go from there.”

Weyburn opened the scoring 58 seconds in when Brock Appleyard beat Klipper starter Alex Peck. But Kindersley responded less than three minutes later when Casey Rogers rang a point shot off the iron and in for his first SJHL goal.

Just shy of the eight-minute mark, Rodney Cowie put a rebound past Peck one second after Taylor Duzan came out of the penalty box following a tripping call.

After failing to generate much offence in the second period, the Klippers drew even with 45 seconds left when Duzan scored his league-leading 21st goal of the season.

“Duzan said he wanted to score 30 this year and he’s well on his way to that,” said head coach Larry Wintoneak.

The Klippers’ strong forecheck paid off at 6:41 of the third when they caught a break on the game-winner.

A Weyburn clearing attempt from behind the net hit Johnny Calkins in the chest inside the blueline. He couldn’t settle down the bouncing puck for a quality scoring chance, but Adamyk gathered the rebound in the corner, skated out the right side and caught Kilgore off-guard with a quick short side wrister.

“I think Addy just hung in there that extra second (on the forecheck),” said Wintoneak. “Pretty good read by those guys.”

Calkins added an empty netter with 10 seconds left.

Winger Jesse Mysiorek, one of the hottest Klippers of late, said his team needed the two points against a divisional rival.

“We came out keeping to our game plan, getting pucks in, working hard, skating, forechecking. Getting that win is great for us.”

He added that getting Dommett back is a shot in the arm for everyone, particularly after a rough stretch over the last few weeks.

“It’s huge for the team, a huge motivation boost for everyone. You can just see it in the room, everyone’s ready to go now,” said Mysiorek. “I think we’ve found our identity with Dommer coming back.”

Wintoneak said he was satisfied with his captain’s first game back and that it will take time for him to get back into top form.

“He created a couple of opportunities, he was good on the wall I thought, he made some good plays to get pucks out for us. Earlier he had a lot of jump and then at the end you could see that his legs were a little bit heavy,” the coach commented.

“We held it together. We missed him immensely, but we played through it. We were .500 without him and now he’s back in the line-up and we’re looking forward to it.”

Dommett will likely have to wear a cage for the rest of the season and with that comes a few adjustments. But he said it won’t change his game.

“I know there’s still a little bit of a risk for re-breaking it, but I’m not going to play how I don’t play,” he said. “I’m going to play every shift the way I normally play, the hard-nosed, gritty, in your face kind of game.”

He will have to get used to the cage obstructing his view of the puck and keep his head up.

Friday’s game was Dommett’s first in Kindersley in more than 10 months, since before the fire in January. His injury came two weeks before the home opener in October.

“It felt wonderful, coming out in warm-ups. It’s our home and I missed it. Coming out for the first period, seeing the fans in the stands, it felt unbelievable,” he reflected.

On Wednesday, the Klippers and Bruins looked to be headed for overtime when a bad bounce intervened, literally.

With the game tied 4-4 and only a few seconds on the clock, the Bruins broke over the Kindersley blueline 2-on-2. Ben Findlay fired either an errant shot or a dump-in about three feet wide of the left post.

Goalie Dustin Nickel had come out to cut off the angle, and as he glided back into his crease, the puck skipped off the end boards, hit him in the back of the leg and trickled over the goal line, with less than one second on the clock.

“Unfortunately those things happen and I’ve been on the other side of it where we won with no time left on the clock,” said Wintoneak. “When you lose like that, it hurts.”

But the Klippers were able to bounce back two nights later.

“We talked about being resilient and it’s a trait of this club,” said the coach. “When we get knocked down, we get back up.”

The Klipper goals came from Jordon Hoffman, D. Jay McGrath, Mysiorek and Duzan. Estevan got two goals from defenceman Ty Ariss on rockets from the point, along with singles from Matt Dochylo and Joel Kot.

With Dommett back in the fold, the Klippers are up to 25 players, including three goalies, and Wintoneak said the roster will be trimmed by two or three by the Dec. 1 deadline.

Forward Tanner Kissick has been nursing an injury and was expected to resume skating on Monday.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Stats, stats and yes, more stats

Every Tuesday morning, on deadline day for The Clarion, I take an hour or so to update that Klipper stats box you see on page two of the sports section. I go through the game summaries, the scoring leaders, the special teams stats, goaltending, league standings, etc. Every now and then I come across something interesting, but I usually don't have any more time to go through the stats than that hour on Tuesday morning.

So to start your Tuesday afternoon, here are all the Klipper stats you can handle and then some.

Record: 12-11-2-0, 26 points (3rd in Sherwood, 6th overall)
Goals For: 104 (5th), Goals Against: 100 (10th), Goal Differential: +4 (6th)
Home: 7-3-2, Away: 5-8
In overtime: 1 OT win, 1 SO win, 2 OT losses
Shootout: 1-0, one goal on two attempts (Taylor Duzan on Nov. 9), .500 (1st)
Scoring first: 6-4
Record vs. Sherwood: 7-7, Record vs. Bauer: 5-4-2

Power play: 23.6% (4th) Home: 23% Away: 24.5%
Penalty kill: 75.6% (10th) Home: 75.9% Away: 75.3%
Shorthanded goals for: 5 (T-2nd)
Shorthanded goals against: 0 (1st)

Penalty minutes: 796 (1st, 125 more than Flin Flon)
Major penalties: 32 (1st, 10 more than Nipawin)
Opponent PIM: 670 (1st, 11 more than La Ronge)

Goals per game
Overall: 4.16 for, 4.00 against
1st: 34 for, 31 against
2nd: 28 for, 41 against
3rd: 40 for, 26 against

Shots per game
Overall: 954 for, 834 against (average 38.16-33.36)
1st: 311 for, 269 against (average 12.4-10.8)
2nd: 306 for, 296 against (average 12.2-11.8)
3rd: 323 for, 265 against (average 12.9-10.6)

Leading after 20 7-3
Trailing after 20 2-4
Tied after 20 3-4-2
Leading after 40 7-0
Trailing after 40 3-9-1
Tied after 40 2-2-1
Outshoot opponent 10-3-2
Outshot by opponent 2-8 

Top scorers
Johnny Calkins 25-8-26-34 (10th)
Taylor Duzan 25-21-8-29 (13th)
Braeden Adamyk 25-25-15-14-29 (14th)
Scorers in top 15: Three (T-1st with La Ronge, Estevan)

Taylor Duzan is tied for the SJHL lead in goals with 21 (Ryan Andersen).
Johnny Calkins is third in assists with 26 (behind Justin Buzzeo, Doug Lindensmith).
Taylor Duzan is tied for second in shorthanded goals with three (behind Robbie Ciolfi).
Taylor Duzan is tied for second in first goals with four (behind Jesse Mireau).
Lance Tabin is second in penalty minutes with 93 (behind Jesse Mychan).
Riley Down and Justin Gerwing are tied for the SJHL lead in major penalties with five each.
Taylor Duzan has the second-longest goal streak this year at seven games, scoring nine goals from Sept. 19 to Oct. 9 (behind Ryan Andersen). Duzan is currently riding another five-game goal streak, with nine goals over that stretch. It is the longest active goal streak in the SJHL.
Sanfred King is tied for the third-longest assist streak this year at seven games, picking up 11 helpers from Sept. 23 to Oct. 16 (behind Brody Luhning, Doug Lindensmith).
John Sonntag is 11th in scoring among defencemen with 15 points.

Taylor Duzan has the only four-goal game in the SJHL this season (Nov. 9 vs. Melville) and his six points that night are tied with Justin Buzzeo and Dylan Smith for the most in a game.
David Haaf has the most penalty minutes in one game with 47 (Sept. 19 vs. La Ronge).
Johnny Calkins has the most PP assists in one game with four (Oct. 2 vs. Battlefords). Sean Flanagan is second with three the same night.
The Klippers are tied with Humboldt for most goals in a game with 11 (Oct. 3 vs. Weyburn).

Two games are tied for most total goals in a SJHL game this season and the Klippers were involved in both of them, a 9-6 loss to La Ronge Sept. 19 and a 8-7 OT loss to Melville Nov. 11.
The Klippers were also involved in both of the games with the most penalty minutes: Sept. 19 in La Ronge (180) and Oct. 16 in Flin Flon (153).
The Klippers are tied for most PP goals in a game with five (Oct. 2 vs. Battlefords).
The Klippers occupy the top three spots in single-game shots in the third period: 22 on Oct. 15 vs. Flin Flon, 22 on Nov. 3 vs. Battlefords, and 21 on Oct. 23 vs. Nipawin.

Johnny Calkins leads the Klippers in power play goals with four.
David Haaf leads the Klippers in PIM per game (4.17), followed by Riley Down (3.93), Lance Tabin (3.88), Justin Gerwing (2.89) and Johnny Calkins (2.76).

Goalie stats
A comparison of stats for the five goalies who have played for the Klippers this season: Alex Peck, Dustin Nickel, Justin McDonald, Scott Hellyer and Patrick Johnson. Aside from Johnson's one game, they are ugly.

Record: Hellyer 5-1, Johnson 1-0, Peck 4-4, Nickel 1-3, McDonald 1-4
GAA: Johnson 1.37, Hellyer 3.58, Peck 4.12, Nickel 4.52, McDonald 4.67
Save percentage: Johnson .958, Hellyer .898, Peck .878, McDonald .854, Nickel .845
Minutes: Peck 481, Hellyer 469, McDonald 244, Nickel 226, Johnson 88.

The Klippers have an average height of 5'11.5, including 5'11 for forwards, 6'0 for defencemen and 6'0 for goalies.
The Klippers have an average weight of 182.2 pounds, including 182.4 for forwards, 183 for defencemen and 179 for goalies.
Some day I'd like to go through all the rosters and see who has the biggest and smallest teams.

The Klippers have 16 players from Saskatchewan, three from Manitoba, three from Alberta, and one each from British Columbia (Lund), Quebec (Peck) and California (Rogers).

The Klippers' average attendance of 517 ranks 11th in the SJHL, just behind Melville and ahead of Notre Dame. Yorkton ranks number one with an average of 896.