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2014 in review: Team Canada Gold In Sochi


Team Canada Men

Among the horrible conditions, the rampant worry about Russia’s stand on LGBTQ+ rights, and the overall feeling in the Olympics as a whole, there still was sports to be played, events to witness and history to see.  In the end, Canada came away third in the medal standings with 10 gold, 10 silver and 5 bronze.  Russia was first with 13 gold, 11 silver and 9 brozne and Norway came in second in the medal standings with 11 gold, 5 silver and 10 bronze medals.

But the showcase for Canada was capped off with the game everyone was waiting for.  In the gold medal game, Canada played Sweden for hockey supremacy.

First Period

Second Period

Third Period

The Canadians beat the Sweds 3-0 to take the gold medal.  Four years before, Team Canada beat the Americans on an overtime winner from Sidney Crosby in Vancouver.

Team Canada WomenEarlier in the Olympic schedule, Team Canada’s women beat the Americans in an overtime thriller, 3-2 to take the gold medal.

 
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Posted by on December 27, 2014 in Life, randomness, Sports, video

 

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Live Tweeting SVHL


So, most everyone should now know I got a new cellphone, my first in quite a while.  Tonight was a hockey game in Outlook, and I cover them for the paper, but I also announce at them as well.  But tonight I did something else.  I live tweeted the entire thing.

 

I could have gone further and added who scored, but damn that Blackberry keyboard is tiny.  Take some getting used to.

However, this isn’t a bad idea, and I think it should be something suggested on the Sask Valley Hockey League forums.  Live tweet the games, using the hashtag #svhl.  If you’ve got a camera phone, upload a picture with the tweet.  It worked out okay tonight.  I think I’ll do that for other games as well, it’s a quick way to check on scores via twitter.

After all, I’ve never seen this in the SVHL before.  Good way to intermingle the league and social networking.

 
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Posted by on November 16, 2012 in Life, randomness

 

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Hazy Shade of Winter


With apologies to Simon and Garfunkle (and the Bangles), it is rather hazy.  Even though it’s not officially winter yet.  There’s been a good amount of snow we’ve received, temperatures are very cool out (though, Environment Canada says we should get warmer weather next week), and to top it all off there’s an NHL Lockout and the possibility that the entire season will be scrapped.

There’s a good side to that.  The latter point, that is.  No NHL means no hockey broadcasts which means diehard hockey fans (does not include me) will have to go somewhere else for their fix.  This means that leagues like the WHL, the SJHL and even down to senior leagues like the Sask Valley Hockey League should benefit.  As an example, the Outlook Ice Hawks begin their season tonight with a tilt against the Conquest Merchants.  It’s an exhibition game, so it really shouldn’t matter because it doesn’t count to the rest of the season.  But it’ll be interesting to see the crowd support.

On the one hand, anytime Conquest is in town to play Outlook, there’s a good crowd.  Granted, most of those people are from Conquest (seriously, we aren’t talking thousands of people in the rink, I don’t think it can hold over 500).  So if there’s a good crowd tonight, it’ll be a so so indication, but we won’t know until the next home game against Lucky Lake on November 4.  If there’s a good crowd on that night as well, then it might be a better indication of things to come.

Granted, the Ice Hawks haven’t been a powerhouse in the league over the years.  That mark goes to the Rosetown Redwings.  Who haven’t lost a game in two years.  Still, there will be those NHL die hards who will show up for a lowly SVHL game just to get a fix.

The only real distraction that will come, might be if the Saskatchewan Roughriders make it to the Western Final or the Grey Cup, and a game is scheduled for that day.  Then no one, even those at the arena, will be paying attention to hockey as our sights will squarely be on football.

 
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Posted by on October 26, 2012 in Life, randomness

 

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Do you wear stripes a lot?


I don’t wear stripes at all.

I don’t even wear polka dots.

I’m pretty much a solid colour kind of guy. And by that, I usually mean black, red, green or white. Sometimes, I get a little crazy and I do a colour combo of two of those. Sometimes, three. Though never combining red or green.
Some colour combos include green, black and white. This combination happens to be the commonly used colours in the Saskatchewan Roughriders team paraphernalia.

Others include red, black, white and a splash of gold, which so happens to be the colours of the Ottawa Senators, the NHL team I happen to cheer for.

There’s also red and black, which happens to be the colours of the Outlook Ice Hawks Senior Hockey Team that I happen to do the Public Service Address announcements for during their home games.

Often, I wear white and red, which will contain a maple leaf somewhere in the design scheme. This, naturally, shows the devotion I have to the country I was born in. Yes, we Canadians can be proud of our home and native land, and I just so happen to be one that will show it more than just on July 1st or during the Olympic Hockey tournament.

So there you have it, in a nutshell, just a few of my fashion tastes.

Ask me anything

 
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Posted by on April 23, 2012 in Fun, photos, randomness

 

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The Way I See It: Ideologies of East vs. West


What we hold as important is amazing.  How people in Europe differ from people in North America differ from people in Asia and so on and so on.  Even within each of those continents and regions, there are geographical differences of what is important.  As an example, in many States they hold the firm belief that they have the God given right to own a gun.  Whereas in Canada, we consider it more a privilege.  We don’t need guns, and we certainly don’t have a right to own them.  That philosophy is not always viewed the same across the Great North Land.

Recently the world has taken notice as something dubbed the Arab Spring has flown across the middle east, into parts of Eastern Europe, and into areas of Northern Africa.  Common citizens doing uncommon things, at least as we in the west would see it.  Rising up against their own oppressive governments, toppling them, or forming a rag tag resistance, in the case of Libya.  It is truly inspiring.

 

Original description by Ted Buracas: Stephen H...

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Riots have taken place in Canada, too.  But there was no outcry from the majority of the citizens who did not vote for Stephen Harper‘s Conservatives.  It was not a reaction to the same old same old budget that came down in the early days of June.  It wasn’t even at a provincial level, as angry citizens got together to show their anger to the British Columbia government.

No, it wasn’t any of those things.  Sadly, for some (not all) outside of Canada, the reaction to the recent riots in Vancouver will be “well, they are Canadians, and they are passionate about their hockey”.  That’s right.  The riots in Vancouver had everything to do with the Canucks loss to the Boston Bruins in game 7.

 

Vancouver Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo in...

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In Egypt, the people stood strong as they showed their dissatisfaction with a corrupt and oppressive regime.  In Vancouver, the fans were pissed because Roberto Luongo wasn’t pulled after the second Bruins goal.  In Tunisia, the people wanted their own say and equal representation in their own government.  In Vancouver, they were mad because the Canucks came so close yet so far.

Here’s the differences between these two very different yet similar scenarios.

In the Middle East, people rioted, clashed with police, defied the government, because they want their lives and they want democracy and an end to corrupt government (ya know, the things we in the West SHOULD be doing).  People are dying in the Middle East because they are opposing the government.  In Vancouver, people are rioting because the Canucks lost the Stanley Cup in 7 games.  Sure, I was saddened when the Canucks lost.  While I’m a Sens fan, I still hold a place in my heart for Vancouver.  Being from Saskatchewan, I also know a lot about losing.  I’m a Roughrider fan after all.  But in the arena of sports, I’ve learned something very important.  We may have lost the Grey Cup, or had a losing season (and by we, I mean the players who actually play, not me and the other armchair quarterbacks), but there’s always next year.  The same holds true for the Canucks.  Next year, just push it over the top.  Look at the Pittsburgh Penguins a few years ago.  They lost to Detroit one year and came back to win it all the next year.

For people in the Middle East, in the nations that their own citizens are standing up against their government, their police, their military and in some cases hired guns, there may not be a tomorrow let alone a next year.

Sadly, I don’t think it really would have mattered in Vancouver had the Canucks won or lost.  It’s a feeling, and there’s no hard evidence, but I think that a small group of people were ready to stir up the pot no matter what went down.  It still is a sad example of where our priorities will often lie.

 
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Posted by on June 17, 2011 in randomness, Rants, The Way I See It

 

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Winter Olympics: a recap from the prairies


Over the last two weeks, I’ve refrained from discussing the winter games very much, if at all.  But that’s not to say I didn’t observe.  Just how well did Canada’s Own The Podium go over?  Not too bad, actually.

At the end of everything, Canada’s Olympic team did not capture top spot in medals, that honour went to the United States, as the Americans took home 37 medals.  An Olympic record.  Vancouver 2010 was an event that saw a number of records fall.  But not in races so much.  Granted, the Canadian Women’s hockey team set an Olympic record by scoring 18 goals against Slovakia.  But this year’s Olympics saw the host nation top the gold medal standings.  Canada set a record for number of gold medals, both overall and by the host nation with 14.  Sunday’s gold medal hockey game win by Team Canada was the jewel set into a crowning achievement.

Looking back on it all, there was disappointment to begin with.  Athletes were not fairing as we had hoped they would.  Sure, a couple picked up silver and bronze, but that elusive gold wasn’t coming.  It did start to trickle in, and there was an excitement that surrounding the games.  The talk was how much better this was than Turino.  I checked the medal counts, and at the time I did, Canada only had 17 medals.  In Turino, Canada captured 24.  My reaction; hold on, we did better in Turino.  But the number of gold medals was a key factor in these games.  Never before has Canada picked up that many gold medals.  Never before has the Canadian National Anthem been heard that many times at an event like the Winter Games.

The final achievement came when Sidney Crosby scored on American goalie Ryan Miller in overtime, allowing the Canadian men to capture the gold medal in a hard fought game that many are saying will be remembered with the likes of events such as the ’72 Summit Series and 1987 when Mario Lemieux scored to lift Canada past the Russians.  This gold was even sweeter than the gold medal in Salt Lake City in 2002.  At that tme, Canada was cruising to a 5 to 2 victory over the Americans.  This game was so much closer.

Sidney Crosby has solidified himself in the hearts and minds of Canadian hockey fans, and at such a young age as well.  He can now join the likes of Wayne Gretzky, Lemieux and Paul Henderson in the greatest moments in hockey for Canada.

The question now is, had Canada not won the gold medal in hockey, would the games had been just as successful?  It would have, yes, but Canada would have tied the record for number of gold medals at 13.  This win put them on top of the world.  Canada did Own The Podium at this event, that is no question.

Canadian athletes came from all across this nation.  From Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia, to Alma, Quebec, to London, Ontario, to Russell, Manitoba, to Carlyle, Saskatchewan, to Edmonton, Alberta, and to Whistler, British Columbia.  Canada had already picked up a few medals early in the games, but the party started when Jon Montgomery picked up the gold medal in Men’s Skeleton.  His now famous walk through the streets of Whistler, where each and every Canadian wanted to share in that pitcher of beer.

With Vancouver’s celebrations coming to a close, there is no time to become complacent.  Canada now has to look to Sochi, Russia in 2014.  Can they Own The Podium and improve on what they did in Vancouver?

 
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Posted by on March 1, 2010 in photos, Sports

 

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Behind the scenes


A lot of people know that I do the public address announcing at local hockey games.  But not many have seen, or heard me describe the tiny little both that I sit in.  Or what’s done after the hockey game comes to an end.

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Twisted Sister is actually okay to play.

Games usually take place on Wednesday, Friday or Saturday evenings or on a Sunday afternoon.  There’s the rare occasion where a rescheduled game is played on a Monday.  Such as what happened this past season.  If the game is on a weeknight, I head down to the arena at 7:00 p.m., and get ready for an 8:00 p.m. start.  I’ve got a large amount of gear I take with me, just in case.  My camera, so I can have pictures for the paper.  My laptop, to keep track of goal scorers, assists, penalties, shots on goal and so on.  I also use the laptop to play music, which gets plugged into the arena sound system.  You have to be careful when choosing the appropriate music for a hockey game.  Ministry is not a good band for hockey music, while GnR, Metallica and Ozzy Osborn are just fine.  Especially if you use Crazy Train when the home team comes onto the ice to start the game.  Other good options for music are the classic standards.  Gary Glitter – Rock ‘n Roll Part II (also known as the Dr. Who theme), anything by Tom Cochrane (especially Big League and Victory Day), anything by Rush (especially Tom Sawyer), anything by the Tragically Hip (especially 50 Mission Cap and My Music @ Work), and Stompin’ Tom Connors the Hockey Song.  That last one is almost a necessity.  If you don’t have it, something is horribly, horribly wrong with you.  A few other staples include Theory of a Nickle Fault (Theory of a Deadman, Nickelback and Default), Blink 182 and any high energy dance mix.  ABBA and Queen are definitely out.

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This would be so much cooler.

The booth itself is small, while the location is fine.  The entire length of the ice gets a decent showing, and everything is seen clearly.  There’s even a decent sound system in the booth, but no one really knows the best settings unless you go through trial and error.  Sometimes, during the game.  There’s a small phone mounted on the wall, which is connected directly to the time keeper’s bench (it’s beige, I wanted it to be red, then I could always answer “The Bat Line” but NOOO! couldn’t have that).  Along with the phone and sound system is a small bench to set writing materials and such onto, and a few stools.  From time to time I’ll get help with the music, so instead of using my laptop, an iPod gets used.  The last piece of equipment is the horn.  Just an air horn that sounds out loudly, and gets used for when the players hit the ice or when the home team scores a goal.

See? Scuff marks on the glass.

Taking photos through the plexiglass of the booth is a tad challenging, as you have to find the perfect spot so as not to get a scuff mark from a puck in the middle of the photos.  Believe it or not, sometimes a wayward puck will smack the glass outside the booth, and it leaves a nasty rubber mark on the glass.  And on rare occasions the shot is by accident.  Needless to say, it can often be a challenge to take a photo without some grey blob in the middle of it, usually obscuring a goal or a decent shot.  It’s Murphy’s Law as subjected to photography.

My desk... a mess.

Once the game is over, I take all the statistical information I’ve gathered and actually attempt to write a sports report on the game.  Lately, it’s usually involved the losing side of things for the home team Ice Hawks.  I will admit there have been some times when I’ve found some good things to write, especially from the efforts of individual players.  Always when I’m writing the stories and organizing the photos, my desk looks like a complete mess, as I not only have to deal with my desktop iMac but my Acer Aspire laptop as well.  On top of that, I have to transfer photos from my camera to my desktop and also from my laptop to my desktop (the laptop makes a handy storage device in a pinch).  You’d think that really I’d only have maybe three or four photos to worry about, but anyone worth their salt in photography knows that if you want a decent shot, one decent photo from a sporting event, you will have to sort through at least 250 to 300 photos (more if your only job is to take photos).

That, in a nutshell (a really big nutshell, mind you) is what goes on behind the scenes at a hockey game.

Until next time…

…keep ’em flyin’.

 
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Posted by on February 22, 2010 in Life, photos, randomness

 

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