Move over Cody Eakin. See ya later Layne Ulmer. Buh-bye Tyler Redenbach, Jeremy Williams and Ben Ondrus.
Swift Current Broncos captain Adam Lowry has passed them all.
With two goals Saturday in Swift Current’s 3-2 win at Lethbridge, Lowry did something no Bronco had done in more than 13 years — score at least one point in 17 straight games.
“I wanted to be a leader on this team not only in the dressing room but on the ice and especially in the offensive category,” said Lowry, seventh in the league as of Tuesday with 56 points.
If you didn’t resolve this year to give thanks every day for minor pro hockey, you probably should have because they’ve got the market cornered on this whole ugly jersey thing and making the world a better place. The latest and greatest: The Mississippi River Kings of the Southern Professional Hockey League and their Hawaiian-Elvis-themed jerseys for tonight’s game against Louisiana.
Proudly (is there any other way?) sporting these beauties for Mississippi tonight will be former Estevan Bruins/Notre Dame Hounds/Flin Flon Bombers defenceman Kyle Lundale, and one-game Saskatoon Blades goalie Matt Krahn. That’s one hell of a way to upstage your cross-state rivals.
A few leftovers from the half-week that was …
The highlights don’t really do justice to a natural hat trick when its entire life span is less than three minutes, but check out the below video of Jordan Eberle’s first-period snipe job for the Oklahoma City Barons on New Year’s Day. Total time between his first and third goals – 2 minutes 43 seconds.
If you’re reading this, congratulations – you survived the Mayan apocalpyse!
Merry Christmas you filthy animals and travel safe, wherever you’re going.
What we learned: Eric Tillman vs. everyone, Hockey Canada vs. the WHL, and the Saskatoon Blades vs. the haters
Two weeks in a row? That must be some kind of record. This week we learned …
That Eric Tillman should probably fire Eric Tillman as his own publicist. New Eskimos GM Ed Hervey lit into his predecessor at his introductory press conference: “The double E stands for Edmonton Eskimos, not the Ego Empire.” The incomparable Terry Jones then referred to Tillman as a “fired egomaniac” and quoted Hervey as saying his relationship with Tillman was non-existent. Esks head coach Kavis Reed hasn’t had much good to say either about the man who helped bring the 2007 Grey Cup to Saskatchewan. Then again getting fired twice in the month before Christmas is pretty harsh so he might just want to wait until the new year on that one.
That the WHL doesn’t produce goal scorers. Canada’s selection committee for the upcoming World Junior Hockey Championship named just two WHL forwards to the team’s roster, including Regina product JC Lipon of the Kamloops Blazers. Did Colin Smith, Adam Lowry, Michael St. Croix and Hunter Shinkaruk make urine in someone’s cereal this season? Or is this all payback for commissioner Ron Robison’s embarrassing handling of the Great Portland Winterhawks Debacle of 2012?
Because your week isn’t complete until you watch Steve MacIntyre, the pride and joy of Brock, Sask., smash something. In this case the “something” was Joel Rechlicz of the AHL’s Portland Pirates. Prior to this, it appears Rechlicz’s biggest claim to fame was playing for every hockey team named after an animal, ever. What ever happened to those Bad Asses of the Week awards anyway?
A few hours removed from his last fight, the Swift Current Broncos enforcer and WHL’s best tweeter saw something in Broncos radio guy/Swift Current volleyball all-star Shawn Mullin’s Subway meal he didn’t like.
Circle the wagons and lock up the condiments. You could be next.
If we can be frank (because, let’s be honest, when is being Frank ever a bad idea?) the odds of this becoming a regular feature are pretty slim. Very occasional might be better description but, regardless, we’d encourage you to check back every week as we examine the latest droppings of wisdom the local sports scene hath left on our collective windshield.
This week, we learned …
Greg Marshall is no longer the most embarrassing head coaching hire in CFL history. That honour can now go to George Cortez, who was fired as head coach of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. To be clear, it’s more embarrassing for the organizations involved than the coaches themselves, but Hamilton’s gaffe tops Saskatchewan’s for the simple fact of the dollars involved. When the Roughriders canned Marshall, he was reportedly owed a shade over $638,000 through 2014. Hamilton could end up paying Cortez $1.2 million for the next three years. Oskee-wee-wee, Oskee-ha-ha!
To no one’s surprise (well, almost no one’s surprise) Weston Dressler was the only Saskatchewan Roughrider named to the CFL’s year-end All-Star Team this week. It wasn’t really a surprise either that it was the first All-Star nod of Dressler’s five-year career. This year was after all the first time he finished higher than eighth in receiving yards.
What’s maybe a little more surprising is how well Dressler compares to his peers – in spite of Greg Marshall, Doug Berry, playing in the shadow of Andy Fantuz, and his lack of year-end accolades – over the past five years.
- 4th in passes caught
- 5th in receiving yards
- One of only three receivers (along with Nik Lewis and Jamel Richardson) to catch for at least 941 yards every year since 2008
For the record, that’s better performance across the board than Fantuz, better than Terrence Edwards and better than Arland Bruce, among many, many others.
(We picked 941 because it represents the low mark of Dressler’s career, in 2009, when he was sidelined for the last month of the year with a broken leg. If you go with the more common 1,000-yard benchmark, Lewis stands alone.)
Since 2008 only Lewis, Richardson and Geroy Simon have caught more passes than Dressler, and only those three plus Fred Stamps have caught for more yards. While Lewis, Richardson, Stamps, Simon and Bruce are all very deserving of their multiple All-Star status, the Rider Nation, we’re sure, will gladly accept Dressler’s unwavering consistency – consistency matched only by Lewis and Richardson since 2008.
Maybe, just maybe, reports of the Swift Current Broncos’ demise have been greatly exaggerated.
When a prominent national sports blog floated an unsourced rumour last month that the Broncos were “on their last legs,” speculation began to run wild that they would be leaving town at the end of the year, or month, or next episode of Survivor. But when the Broncos announced a $4,000-ish profit for the 2011-12 season, after eating a $197,000 loss the year before, their so-called last legs suddenly looked pretty lively. You don’t engineer a $200,000 turnaround sitting back on your haunches and waiting for the end, after all.
That’s not to say the financial picture is rosy in the Broncos’ stable just yet. Last year’s hockey operations loss was close to $1 million. But it smells a lot less like manure than it did a year ago at this time.
Whether team officials will admit it publicly or not, the Broncos can sustain themselves on $5,000 profits year-in and year-out. If this is the new normal – and board chair Liam Choo-Foo does refer to 2010-11 as “a perfect storm” of bad luck – then the Broncos aren’t going anywhere for awhile.