Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Leafs Win, Pinder Preview

The road to a repeat of the Fred Page Cup is getting rockie for the defending champs from Penticton. The Vees and Vernon Vipers head into a huge game four tonight at the South Okanagan Events Center. The Vees won the first game, but Vernon have grabbed the last two and the big "mo" in the series. A must win game for Penticton tonight? Close to it. Here's Ryan...

Vees Broadcaster Ryan Pinder on Game 4

Click here to download

We also chatted about the attendance in the series so far which has been somewhat underwhelming given the usual numbers in those cities. Why do you think the numbers have been down? Economy, marketing, short notice of the dates, expectations of a conference or league final?

Speaking of teams with high expectations, the top ranked Nelson Leafs finished off the Castlegar Rebels in the second round of the KIJHL playoffs last night. The Leafs are powered by former Smokies Brock Monroe, Scott Jago and Miles Houston... as well as Smokies APs Tommy Rizardo, Peter Alexander, Dylan Walchuk, Michael Spring and Jacob Perich. There are more than a few connections there, eh? Congrats to Simon Wheeldon's Leafs on another step towards what could be a run at the KIJHL Championship at a Cyclone Taylor Cup maybe? Wheeldon won his third consecutive Coach of the Year award and sure seems to be establishing an elite program. If he wasn't such a big part of that community I'm sure a BCHL team would've scooped him up by now.

Castlegar and Beaver Valley both had strong teams this year that could have emerged from other divisions in the league, but Nelson just had more depth. Congrats to all teams in the Neil Murdoch for another very competitive season. The one thing that has kept me going after the Smokies exit was the exciting playoff hockey we saw in our region. The Leafs did sweep the second round, but 3/4 of the games were decided by a single goal.

Here's Brock...

Former Smoke Eater and Nelson Leafs Captain Brock Monroe

Click here to download
Finally just a quick note that the Smokies executive also responded to the "move to the KIJHL" letter in the Trail Times. Rick Basso's letter is a must read, but I think most Smoke Eaters fans always knew what we've been saying about Trail's place being in the BCHL. The future is still bright in my eyes.

No comments: