When the SJHL announced a change in playoff format prior to this season, there were many who felt we had seen the end of regular Yorkton vs. Melville best of seven series’ as the odds for these two to play each other greatly increased when it was decided that the match-ups would be dictated by overall record instead of where you placed within your division. Well, here we are one year into the new format and the Terriers and Millionaires are set to play, what could be, the most exciting and anticipated league final the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League has ever seen. Both rinks will be full, which means a minimum of 2000 fans every night and there will be thousands more watching on cable television.
The onus is, squarely, on the Millionaires to make this a competitive league championship series. Yorkton goes in as heavy favorites and they dominated Melville during the regular season. The two teams, when they are at their best, play two completely different styles so it will be interesting to see which one wins out. I’ve felt that in previous games, Melville gets sucked in to playing the kind of wide open skating game that Yorkton wants and, of course, Yorkton wins. The Mils are best when they are banging and crashing and the Terriers haven’t done well when faced with that kind of a physical test; however they are getting much better at it and I’ve noticed a bit of a push back from them at times.
Let’s hope both teams can get healthy and ice their best line-ups. Yorkton has had to put Tayler Thompson on the shelf and his status would be questionable for the start of the series if my information is correct on what is ailing him (I’m not going to be the one to give it away). I also think Melville captain Colin Mospanchuk is questionable for the start of the series after a crushing hit at centre ice in game four of the Battlefords series. If I am a betting man, I think he will be ready, but anytime you are dealing with a potential head injury, you have to be careful. Mils goalie Isaiah Plett is probable after missing the series finale with the North Stars.
Take nothing away from Yorkton, they’ve been the best team in the SJHL all year and deserve the title as favorites, but what a story it would be for Melville if they were to win. They were the 4th best team in the regular season and to win a championship, they will need to beat 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. I don’t think that’s ever been done. So far, they’ve handled 2nd (Battlefords) and 3rd (Kindersley) rather easily.
If you need some help appreciating the infrastructure we have in Saskatchewan, take a drive through Manitoba. I spent some time on the Yellowhead Highway in southwestern Manitoba over the weekend and the cell service was deplorable. I also travel throughout Saskatchewan on a regular basis and my SaskTel serviced cell phone hardly ever loses a signal. But, I am not kidding when I say I went from Russell to Brandon and had the ability to stream on-line radio stations for no more than just a few minutes. It’s not like I was in a remote area on my Thompson. But, having said that, I’ve gone to La Ronge a number of times and the cell service is pretty consistent. So, kudos to Sasktel for providing us with infrastructure that is, sometimes, taken for granted.
In one of the more incredible explanations I’ve ever seen, a rich man who is the heir to two wealthy companies, was spared jail time despite admitting raping his 3-year-old daughter. The judge determined he ‘would not fare well’ behind bars. Court records indicate the accused is 6’4” and weighs between 250-276 pounds and has no physical illnesses.
In yet another unbelievable case I stumbled across, a 7’2” man was allowed to walk free of justice when a judge determined he was too big to fit prison beds and uniforms. He fired a gun through a window and stole Christmas presents. We’ve now reached a point in society where being guilty and admitting it isn’t even enough to get someone locked up.
A popular argument I get from people who are upset at the bubble we raise our kids in is that we are not preparing them for the ‘real world’. We allow all kids to pass their grades and don’t issue a 0 for incompleted work and now there is a movement to remove red ink from the school system. As it turns out, the real world is now adapting to these soft children and there may not ever be a wake-up call. Universities in England are lowering their expectation level for acceptance because not enough students are qualifying.
Nice person mentions this week to Lyle Possberg, Rachel Sterzuk, Rick Dillabough, Damon & Jody Johnson, and Danette Payne.