I’m going to try and make Monday a blog update day during the off-season, while filling in with other “breaking news” as it happens during the off-season…so, lets look back at the week that was…
— The Memorial Cup is now three games old and it was been full of twists and turns as the opening weekend saw a blowout on Friday, a herculean comeback on Saturday and then a shutout on Sunday.
The Brandon Wheat Kings looked like two different teams on Friday ( a 9-3 loss to Windsor) and Sunday (a 4-0 win over Moncton) as the host team is now 1-1 in the tournament waiting to finish out the round-robin schedule tomorrow vs. Calgary.
The Friday shellacking was ugly…Windsor just dominated from the opening faceoff, but it was nice to see the WHL team respond so well yesterday.
For Mike Williamson and the Calgary Hitmen, their opening game, while a win, wasn’t quite what they envisioned…having to come from behind to defeat Moncton 5-4 on a fluky bounce that led to the game winner (game highlights can be found at www.whl.ca). They will have a tough test tonight against Windsor in a game that could determine who gets the automatic bid into the Memorial Cup Final at 4 PM local time on Sunday.
— In International play, Nino Niederreiter’s Swiss National Team is having a good World Championships in Germany, having gone 4-1 through 5 games with one game remaining against Sweden before fighting it out for the medals. Nino played 20 minutes combined in the first two games and then sat on the bench without getting a shift against Canada and the Czech Republic. He was a scratch for today’s game against Norway.
— In the same tournament, while it hasn’t been great for Team USA, being forced to play in the relegation rounds after dropping their first three games, it has been a good tournament for former Hawk Brandon Dubinsky. Dubinsky posted a five point game against Kazahkstan and then a three point game against France. Through Sunday, he led all scorers in the tournament with 2-6-8 in five games. The USA will take on Italy tomorrow.
— On the Hawks front, it’s pretty quiet right now…lots of preparing going on for next season in the office as well as players preparing for the NHL combine and draft and training camp in August.
— Lastly, wanted to send best wishes to Rod Pederson, the former voice of the Regina Pats, who is moving on to bigger and better things in talk radio in Saskatchewan. His blog is in the links on the left and he has good insights on a lot of subjects, including the WHL.
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