Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Mid-Week Thoughts.

Good morning,

First and foremost I would like to congratulate the La Ronge Ice Wolves and Yorkton Terriers for providing fans across the province with some outstanding, riveting hockey over the past week or so. One team had to win, and last night the Ice Wolves were able to hold on at home.

I think that all of the praise towards head-coach and G.M. Bob Beatty is entirely appropriate. He'll be the first to shrug it off, but when you consider what he's done up North to not only build a winner, but to maintain a winner, it certainly is commendable. He found a goaltender that nobody else wanted (Bartko) and gave him the window to become a two-time champion and a co-playoff M.V.P. Under his reign, Travis Eggum transformed himself from a third-line grinder to a 58 goal scorer. The list goes on.

I think that the Ice Wolves organization as a whole needs to be recognized for their success, and I wish them all of the best in the Anavet Cup and beyond should they get there.


The Yorkton Terriers put forth a tremendous effort all series, and had it not been for Adam Bartko, perhaps they are off to Manitoba for an all-Terrier battle. Trent Cassan did a marvelous job at holding this team together through hords of injuries, and certainly deserves strong recognition for what he has been able to accomplish in his first two years as a head-coach.

The loss will sting for awhile I'm sure, but in the bigger picture, the city of Yorkton has to be extremely proud of the Terriers, and I hope they are welcomed with open-arms.


I also want to commend the job that Access 7 did covering this series. Over the years I have gotten to know some of the staff at Access pretty well, and I tip my cap to both the Northern and Southern crews that filmed, produced and pieced together a solid production that would make any fan proud.

I felt that Mike Stackhouse and Jay Boyd were tremendous. Both provided solid balance, knowledge and personality to the series, and I take pride on calling myself a colleague of both men. Mitchell Blair's ice-level reporting was top-notch as well. I would jump at the chance to call a game alongside any of those three men. It's always easier to hate on a broadcaster than it is to compliment one, and I feel like those three
were in top-form throughout the series, and I am grateful for that.

Sticking with the broadcasters, I didn't get to listen to any of the radio coverage. But I wanted to congratulate both Daniel Fink and Craig Stein on their solid coverage both on and off the air. I've really enjoyed reading their blogs, and tweets surrounding the series. Both are extremely dedicated, with a great sound, and both are salt-of-the-earth guys away from the microphone who have never once hesitated to help me out. Congrats fellas on a job well done, and I'd love to buy you both a pint or two if we can meet up at some point this summer.


I imagine that there will be at least one more edition of the SJHL This Week Radio Show that will be published on the website at some point. The overall purpose of the show will be to recap the Ice Wolves' run to the Credit Union Cup. I'll keep you posted once I've been given some instructions.


The NHL playoffs begin tonight, and there are five games going tonight. Those who know me well know that I'll be glued to the Vancouver-Chicago game. I'm not going to make any bold playoff predictions, because I'd rather not set myself up ridicule and disappointment. What I will say though is that I'm a big fan of hockey-pools, and I've selected a lot of Canucks, Sharks and Bruins in those respective drafts.


In addition to all of this hockey-watching, I'm also in the midst of deciding on a summer workout goal. I'm happy to report that I am 23 pounds lighter today than I was back on September 1st, and I think I'm ready for a new challenge. I'm toying with the idea of signing up for a 10K run in late August of this year.

I've never attempted to run that kind of distance before, but I think it's an achievable goal that would also help me shed some more weight and gain some more athletic confidence. As it stands right now, I can run for 40 minutes (approx 6.5 K) comfortably at a slow to medium pace. I think that with 4.5 months of consistent training, I should be able to get there.

Before I officially decide, I'm going to consult both my doctor and my trainer. Here's hoping that I get their stamps of approval before I undertake something like this. I know that there are likely some readers that are thinking, "10 K is easy!" Believe me, not when your name is Dan O'Connor.

Enjoy the hockey tonight, and I'll check in again sooner than later!



Anonymous said...

As usual, Dan, enjoyed your blog. I echo your congratulations to the Ice Wolves and Terriers for their success this year, and continued good luck to the Ice Wolves as they represent the SJHL. I did listen to 6/7 games and followed on-line scorekeeping. Now I'm ready for the NHL playoffs, but no predictions from me, as I jump from one bandwagon to the next each try to follow teams that have connections to the Battlefords and the SJHL. I do favor the Canadian teams as long as they are playing. Good luck with your training for the 10K. c.

Mike Stackhouse said...

Thanks for the kind words. Hope to see you in the Fall.