Saturday, January 8, 2011

Klippers acquire Spencer Braaten

It is official now. The Kindersley Klippers have brought in forward Spencer Braaten from the Humboldt Broncos for future considerations.

I spoke to Rockie Zinger a few minutes ago and he confirmed the trade, as reported by the SJHL website. I will have a chat with Rockie before the Melville game for his comments on the deal. He was still working the phones when I spoke to him.

Braaten, 20, is a 5'7", 164-pound forward with 29 points in as many games so far this season.

Many Klipper fans will remember the dust-up between Braaten and Taylor Duzan last season. Braaten delivered an elbow to Duzan's head during a game at the WCEC and when the Broncos returned, Duzan got the better of him in a fight off the opening puck drop.

Is this a deal the Klippers would have made if not for the Buzzeo-Boyer trade? Maybe. Maybe not. I still expect them to deal for a defenceman if the right opportunity presents itself.

More to come.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Big news out of Yorkton

I'm going to let Craig Stein break this story since he's been waiting for the green light since yesterday, but I can confirm the Yorkton Terriers have swung a blockbuster trade within the SJHL.

Yorkton adds some elite talent with this deal. Hopefully the news will come out soon. I know Rockie Zinger said earlier this week there would be no reactionary moves, but I find it hard to believe the Klippers don't try to do something in response to this, and I'm thinking specifically of a stalwart defenceman.

Meanwhile, keep an eye on Braeden Johnson and whether the Blades include him in any kind of trade (maybe for B. Schenn as rumoured). Johnson has apparently said he will come to the Klippers if he gets moved elsewhere in the WHL. Imagine adding his talent to this current group?


The news is official now. Yorkton lands top forwards Justin Buzzeo and Jeremy Boyer from the Humboldt Broncos for future considerations. From what I have heard, the futures are massive (no surprise there) and will give Humboldt lots of offensive punch next season in their bid for the RBC.

Your move, Klippers?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Chalk up number eight

Notre Dame managed a goal tonight, but it was more or less the same story as Tuesday with the Klippers winning 3-1 to extend their winning streak to eight games.

Braeden Adamyk scored twice in the first period, both on feeds from Johnny Calkins, and that was all the Klippers would need. Andrew Dommett added a second-period marker on a picture perfect power play pass from Kurt Leedahl.

(Try saying that out loud 10 times)

Justin McDonald earned his first start since Dec. 15 and stopped 24 of 25 shots, including a few big ones, for his third win of the year.

Adamyk opened the scoring at 4:24 when he took a pass from Calkins in the high slot and ripped it past Russell Abbott (if you learn by hearing instead of seeing, you can just scroll down for Adamyk's description of his goals).

He put the Klippers ahead by two at 14:02 when Calkins sprang him on a partial breakaway and he fired a low shot that eventually got past Abbott. Adamyk had several chances for the natural hat trick later in the period but couldn't pull it off.

Jordon Hoffman, who had a great game, had a big opportunity late in the frame when his saucer pass went over Taylor Duzan's stick into the corner, but Duzan retrieved it along the boards and whipped a quick pass from inside the blueline to Hoffman in the slot. The move took both Hoffman and Abbott by surprise, and Hoffman had half the net available on his backhand but just missed it with his back to the net.

Dommett scored on a 5-on-3 at 10:17 of the second on a beautiful feed from Kurt Leedahl at the point. Leedahl sat on the puck for a few seconds, lulling the Hound defencemen into a false sense of security, then suddenly skated forward and laid a perfect pass onto Dommett's tape on the doorstep.

Todd Christian broke McDonald's shutout bid with 2:44 left in the second. On a 2-on-1, Christian waited until the last possible second to try the pass, which deflected past McDonald.

I thought Kurt Leedahl had a heck of a game tonight. He was excellent on the power play, made some good plays to keep pucks in and get them out, and that feed to set up Dommett's goal was as good as they come. I had planned on talking to Kurt after the game, but the call of nature had me occupied for a few minutes and then he had left.

I'm barely keeping my eyes open here, so I'm afraid this recap is going to be cut short.


Braeden Adamyk

Justin McDonald

Justin had a few family members make the drive for tonight's game, including his dad and grandfather, and he did not disappoint.

Rockie Zinger

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Seven and counting

Anyone worried about the effect the Christmas break would have on the Klippers only needed to watch the 20 minutes of sheer domination they laid on Notre Dame in the second period tonight en route to a 4-0 win.

Sean Cahill made 29 saves for his first SJHL shutout, including some huge stops on a bunch of penalty kills in the third, and the goals came from D. Jay McGrath (2), Johnny Calkins and Braeden Adamyk, all in the second period.

The coaching staff was adamant that the long layoff would not be an excuse tonight and although there were definite signs of rust from both teams in a scoreless first period, the Klippers would not be denied in the second. Their play in the first and second were so different, it was almost like someone flipped a switch.

McGrath opened the scoring 2:26 into the second when he lofted a routine wrist shot at Russell Abbott, with no traffic, and it somehow evaded the netminder.

Calkins scored a beauty on the power play at 7:05 to make it 2-0. Kurt Leedahl went D to D for Sanfred King at the left point, King threaded a cross-ice feed to Calkins on the half wall, and Calkins kicked it to his stick while moving inside before letting a wrister go low glove.

McGrath added his second, and ninth on the year, at 9:53 when Abbott gave up a big rebound on Andrew Dommett's shot from the slot, and McGrath dumped it into the yawning cage from the left side.

Finally, Braeden Adamyk made it 4-0 at 17:08 on an impressive bar down snipe from almost the goal line to the left of Abbott. I think everyone was expecting him to feed Dommett or Calkins and he just went for it. Like David Haaf said in the press box, you could try that 100 times and not pull it off.

The Klippers led the shots 34-16 after two, but that changed in a hurry as the Hounds got three straight power plays (although it seemed like more). Cahill was equal to the task. He made some tremendous saves to prevent the Hounds from getting back in the game and keep his shutout bid alive.

The three stars were very tough to pick tonight. There were a lot of guys who had big games and probably deserved one, ranging from Calkins to Leedahl to Dommett to Mysiorek to Sonntag to Hoffman. In the end it was Cahill because he was full value for the shutout, King because he controlled the second period with his playmaking and vision on the PP, and McGrath for going to the net and being rewarded with two goals.

Jesse Mysiorek picked up the bump on a night when it could have gone to several guys too. Taylor Wasden recorded something like 12 hits tonight according to the scratches.

There is a ton of trade talk swirling around right now and I've had some pretty interesting conversations both tonight and over the past couple of days over who might be on the move. I didn't spot any SJHL team reps in the arena to watch Notre Dame players tonight, but that doesn't necessarily mean they weren't there. Will we see the same Hounds line-up on Thursday?

Let's hear some chatter... who do readers think will be dealt around the league before January 10, and where to?

Klippers will listen to offers at deadline but not seeking a deal

I guess it's time for all of us to get back to reality after the Christmas break. I hope all of the blog's readers had a great Christmas and New Year, and hopefully the first couple days back at work aren't treating you too badly.

I flew back from PEI on Sunday and arrived back in Kindersley around 2:30 in the morning. Then I got up to go to work at 8:30 on Monday to find that the office was closed and no one had told me. A great start to 2011.


Just as we swing back into action, so do the Klippers tonight when they host the Notre Dame Hounds. The team has been on the ice every day since Saturday and Rockie Zinger said he thinks they've gotten back into their good habits. He also said that the Hounds' strong work ethic means the Klippers can't just ease back into it tonight.

The Hounds are also here Thursday and the Melville Millionaires come to town Saturday.

I asked Rockie about the team's plans leading up to Monday's trade deadline. He more or less said that they aren't actively seeking certain players but will consider anything that makes the team better. He added he doesn't expect anything "earth-shattering" to happen.

He also made it clear that there will be no "reactionary deals" - in other words, trying to keep up with the Joneses if a team like Yorkton or Weyburn swings a trade on deadline day.

“We ask these boys to push themselves to become better every day and we’d be doing a disservice if we didn’t try to make our team better and listen to everything. Are we actively shopping guys? No, but if there’s something that makes sense, that makes the Klippers stronger, we have to look at it.
“We’re fairly happy with what we have. We feel we’ve got depth that can compete with any team throughout the league. We’ve got experience from guys who have played in the playoffs, and we’ve got some youth from guys like Elliot, Kissick and Gerwing who are chomping at the bit. The way we were (winning) before Christmas, I think we were just touching the surface of how excited and how good we can be.”
By the way, if you didn't hear over the break, Sean Cahill was named the SJHL's goalie of the month for December. Congrats to Sean on getting the big honour after his first month in the league. He made the big stops and the small ones and was a huge part of the six-game streak.


"Fire me by Christmas if we aren't in the top three."

Karry Biette is surely regretting those words now after being fired by the Estevan Bruins on Monday.

Fed up with his team's lack of results in recent years, Biette made the comment during an interview with before the regular season started in September. Estevan was fourth in the south at Christmas - but only a few points out of second - and losing two of three games this past weekend was enough for the B's executive to act.

Bruins assistant Chad Leslie takes over as interim head coach for the rest of the year.

SJHL teams have now fired as many coaches (Wintoneak, Biette) as NHL teams (Gordon, MacLean) this season.

I'd like to get some readers' thoughts on this. Are SJHL teams a little more willing to dump their coaches mid-season after seeing what happened last year with Trent Cassan and the Yorkton Terriers?


How about Team Canada?

You'd never know the Americans were the heavy favourites at the WJC from watching that game last night. I was only able to see the first period, but that was 20 minutes of pure domination from Canada and it sounds like the rest of the game was no different.

It's yet another reminder that the rosters on paper mean nothing when the puck drops.

Water isn't the only thing flooding over the border at Niagara Falls right now and Canada took full advantage of having the vast majority of the crowd on their side. Can you imagine being an American player in Buffalo and seeing most of the people rooting for the other team?

The Americans had an incredibly fast team, but Canada used its size and physical play to effectively neuter the U.S. breakout. They owned the walls, especially in the offensive zone, and were able to keep sustained pressure on Jack Campbell by winning battles along the boards. And Mark Visentin answered his critics by turning in a very strong performance.

I agree with Bob McKenzie when he says this was one of the most impressive games ever played by Canada at the WJC. They dominated an extremely good team last night.

At this point I want to remind everyone that PEI is proud to call Dave Cameron a native son.

I'll try to post a Canada-Russia preview tomorrow if I have time. Should be a beauty with the way the Russians have played over the last two games.