Thursday, December 9, 2010

Big third period helps Klippers win on Pink Jersey Night

The first two periods were a bit of a snorefest, but the Klippers turned it on in the third to pull out a 5-2 victory over the Notre Dame Hounds in pink. Johnny Calkins scored twice along with singles from Andrew Dommett, Jordon Hoffman and Jesse Mysiorek.

Trevor Milner opened the scoring for the Hounds barely two minutes in after a bit of a puckhandling gaffe by Sean Cahill. Dommett tied it at 11:45 on the power play when he slipped a rebound past the right pad of Russell Abbott.

About three minutes later, with the Klippers playing keepaway on a delayed Hounds penalty, Calkins banged in a rebound in the crease to put his team ahead 2-1. But Notre Dame tied it with just 8.5 seconds left when James Howden's PP point shot was tipped by Todd Christian.

I felt the Klippers were lucky to get out of the first period tied. Their forecheck was virtually non-existent, they failed to get pucks in deep and had some turnovers. Cahill made some good saves in the first.

The second period? Four shots each. Nothing to report from that 20-minute snoozer.

Hoffman put the Klips ahead 3-2 at 2:17 of the third. He forced Abbott to make a big save on a 1-on-1 and the rebound skittered into the right corner. Hoffman got to it and fired from a really bad angle, but he was quick enough that the puck went in before Abbott had gotten up.

With about six minutes left, the Klippers were handed almost a full-length 5-on-3 and they took advantage quickly. Calkins, stationed at the right half-boards, took a pass from the point and one-timed it low short side to give his team some insurance. Then, with three minutes left, Jesse Mysiorek tapped in a loose puck sitting in the slot on a scramble in front.

The Klippers had two PP goals tonight and another one that was scored on a lengthy delayed penalty. That's good news for a team whose power play has not been setting the world on fire.

Taylor Duzan left the game after the first period. He took a hit late and was sent to the penalty box later on the same shift. He did not return after that. He hurt his ankle, but it doesn't sound serious.

Ryan Benn sat out tonight because he was feeling sick. It was good to see Tanner Kissick get in tonight. He had some dangerous chances.

Back to Russell Abbott for a sec. He was clearly frustrated with his team (maybe himself, but he made some phenomenal saves, especially in the third). After the Klippers' fifth goal, he smashed his stick over the net. At the end of the game, he threw each piece of his gear at the bench, one by one, as he skated off. He was livid. And as I mentioned on twitter, I can't blame him. He made some beautiful stops, especially with the glove, only to have his team get nothing done at the other end, and leave him hanging in their own end.

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Early returns suggest the Klippers along with their jersey sponsors raised about $7,500 for the Canadian Cancer Society tonight. I don't know whose jersey brought in the most in the silent auction, but I know Dommett and Duzan's jerseys were very high toward the end. It's great to see the Klippers and the local community able to contribute to such a worthy cause as breast cancer research.

And I must say, the pink jerseys looked very, very good this year. Last year's sweaters were kind of dull with a plain, black Klippers logo. These ones were snazzy.

Interviews

Johnny Calkins had a four-point night a day before his 20th birthday. After being named first star he got to open some birthday gifts with his family in the lobby.

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Andrew Dommett chipped in two points tonight, including the Klippers' first goal. It was his first goal at the West Central Events Centre since the fire on January 8, as hard as that is to believe. 

This interview was going just fine until it was sabotaged by a certain dad who will go unnamed... but it was Ken Calkins.

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Larry Wintoneak discusses the lulls early in the game and increased tempo in the third, Sean Cahill's WCEC debut, the departure of Tanner Exner and Pink Jersey Night.

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New poster for Sonny Days Snow Removal?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Pearce Gourley in Nipawin

I had heard about this a few days ago but completely forgot about it until now.

Former Klippers winger Pearce Gourley is now back in the SJHL with the Nipawin Hawks. I am not sure exactly when the Hawks picked him up, but it was a few days before Dec. 1. He has played in two games for them so far.

Pearce played seven games for the Swan Valley Stampeders and it apparently wasn't working out for him. Nipawin is a young team looking to the future so I'm sure he will get some good minutes for the Hawks.

Meanwhile, Beau Taylor is still in Swan and it sounds like he's loving it there. He has five points in seven games for them so far. Great to see him doing well.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Exner goes home

As mentioned by Brenden on his blog yesterday, it is true that Tanner Exner has left the Kindersley Klippers.

From what I have been told, Exner informed Larry Wintoneak of his decision on Sunday night.

It seems there are personal issues involved, but I will not get into that here.

Exner had been pencilled in beside Sanfred King right from the start of training camp, but he struggled early in the year and eventually was dropped to the fourth line.

He had started to turn it around on the scoresheet recently, including three points in four road games last week.

Exner was acquired along with Lance Tabin for Travis Eggum midway through last season. Eggum, who wanted more ice time, is now third in the SJHL scoring race. With the departure of Exner, that deal isn't looking so hot now. That said, I don't believe Eggum would have gotten the opportunity here that he now has in La Ronge. This is a deep squad.

Exner's time in Kindersley will be remembered more than anything for that dramatic goal he scored last year with four seconds left in Game 6 in Yorkton, sending that series to a Game 7 in Eston. It was the definition of clutch, and it gave the team new life after some heartbreaking losses earlier in the series.

All of a sudden the Klippers are down to 13 forwards, along with seven defencemen and two goalies. Perhaps a little more trimming than Larry would have liked. I would not be surprised to see another '91 or '92 bottom-six forward brought in soon.

I spoke with Larry Monday afternoon about the road trip and the showcase, as well as the release of goaltender Alex Peck. I will try to get that up tonight, but it is a busy night for me so we'll see.