It seems everyone and their dog had a hockey stick in their hand this weekend.
Every league in the southwest was busy including all three senior leagues. The Whitemud, Notekeu and Sask Valley Senior Hockey League all had playoff and provincial games.
For many towns, senior hockey is the lifeblood in the winter time. Nothing brings a town together like a Friday night game at the local rink complete with rink burgers and hot chocolate. I can still remember the buzzing sound coming from the hot chocolate maker as the folks gather in the intermissions. When we were young used to hang-out at ice level and pound on the boards with our big ski-doo mitts. With no glass in the way, you kept a close eye on those defenseman as they spun and fired the puck trying to clear the zone.
There is also something about spring-like weather that makes you think playoffs. The warm, melting, conditions always remind me of the post-season. I'm sure this is the case for several hockey enthusiasts.
The Tri City Americans make their only visit to the Civic Center tomorrow night. The "Brocket Rocket" Colton Yellowhorn has missed the last handful of games with a leg injury. It's unclear whether he'll play or not. One thing for sure, Yellowhorn loves the Civic Center ice and routinely had some large games as a member of the Lethbridge Hurricanes.
The Ams kick-off a six game east division swing. Usually the Broncos catch the U.S. teams at the end of the road trip. Not this time. The Ams should be fresh and ready to go. I'll post a game-preview tomorrow.
The Broncos will be without at least three regulars. Phil Gervais and Geordie Wudrick have joined Team Alberta and Team B.C. for the Canada Winter Games. The third regular out will be Broncos Athletic Therapist Paul Ayotte. He has joined the Canada Games training staff and will also work with Team Saskatchewan. The trio will be away until the first week in March. In Paul's absence, Duane Doan will help out from a medical standpoint and Murray Knaoske will handle equipment duties.
I hope everyone is calmed down since Saturday's loss to Saskatoon. I don't expect the Broncos coaching staff to be in that great of a mood for the next couple days. Maybe a win over Tri City tomorrow night will make that trip to Brandon a bit shorter.
Game preview coming shortly,