Thursday, 19 April 2012

La Ronge Multiplex Survey Results

In late February, the Town of La Ronge released a survey regarding plans to build a new multiplex facility in the northern town.  The survey received over three hundred responses, and though Mayor Thomas Sierzycki didn't release all of the results, he did provide a picture of the respondents' priorities.

It breaks down like this:

Swimming Pool - 78.4%
Ice Facility (Hockey/Curling) - 63.5%
Field House - 55%

The following would be included along with the Field House or as parts of the Rink/Swimming Pool
Fitness Centre - 55.5%
Walking Track - 48%
Conference Centre - 25.8%

Obviously there are a lot of percentages in that list.  They're based off of this question on the survey:

9. What would you be willing to see in the facility?
Rate (1-low, 5-high) Swimming Pool, Rink (Hockey/Curling), track, fitness centre, conference centre, field house

So the process moves on to the many planning stages for a major project like this.  Mayor Sierzycki says there is money set aside for recreation development, which goes towards creating a plan to gain more funds which goes into planning for the facility and so on.  Just from that small section you can kind of see the circles within circles the project will have to navigate until completion.

Town Council will continue to lay groundwork in the coming months before going to a community consultation stage which will help flesh out more details.  There's also the issue of where the new facility will be built.  The town has a couple of locations in mind, but many factors need to be weighed before anything truly moves ahead.  The likely location seems to be near the Co-op in town and Churchill High School so the schools in the area can take advantage of the facilities.

Mayor Sierzycki also commented that the recent projects in Melville and Estevan along with developments in North Battleford certainly makes La Ronge's life easier.  Because of existing plans and the companies involved with those projects, the cost for a similar facility in the North can be taken down somewhat.  The experience gained by firms and the communities involved can help La Ronge through the planning and physical construction phases.

The new project doesn't mean the town is abandoning the Mel Heglund Uniplex, after all, it needs to last until a new rink is constructed.  The recreation department is actively seeking grants to keep the Mel in action as long as possible with the least amount of impact to taxpayers.

It should be interesting to see how it all breaks down over the next few months and hopefully ground can be broken on the project sooner rather than later.


Personal Note: I won't be around the office for a couple of weeks, so the blog will likely be pretty quiet.  Remember, the Ice Wolves AGM is May 9th, so mark that on your calendar.  The Wolves also have their spring camp coming up next weekend down South.  Don't worry if anything happens with the Ice Wolves while I'm away from the station, you can be sure I'll have it up on Twitter.

Monday, 16 April 2012

2012 First Nations Winter Games

The 2012 First Nations Winter Games hosted by the BATC in Saskatoon came to a close Friday night.

Here are all the medal results I have as of Monday.

Gold - Team Woodland
Silver - Saskatoon Tribal Council
Bronze - Battlefords Agency Tribal Chiefs

Gold - Meadow Lake Tribal Council
Silver - Yorkton Tribal Council
Bronze - Agency Chiefs Tribal Council

Gold - Yorkton Tribal Council
Silver - South East Treaty 4
Bronze - Team Woodland

Gold - Meadow Lake Tribal Council
Silver - Saskatoon Tribal Council
Bronze - Yorkton Tribal Council

Gold - Saskatoon Tribal Council
Silver - Team Woodland
Bronze - Prince Albert Grand Council

Gold - Battlefords Agency Tribal Chiefs
Silver - Agency Chiefs Tribal Council
Bronze - Meadow Lake Tribal Council

Gold - Battlefords Agency Tribal Chiefs
Silver - Team Woodland
Bronze - Saskatoon Tribal Council

Gold - Agency Chiefs Tribal Council
Silver - Battlefords Agency Tribal Chiefs
Bronze - Meadow Lake Tribal Council
Those are the complete medal results I have from the weekend, for further results check out the Winter Games Website.

For the overall results, it broke down like this...

The Yorkton Tribal Council earned the Tony Cote Award as the most improved team from the last games.

Congratulations to all of the athletes, coaches and volunteers on a great week of sports.  I hope if you were in Saskatoon, you managed to get out and see some of the games or the extra events.  Sounds like it was a great week.

Thanks to Dan Garvey who was feeding me all of the results this past week and everyone else who chipped in for MBC's coverage of the Winter Games.


Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Jordie Johnston Signs With Sound Tigers

The Ice Wolves all-time leading scorer, Jordie Johnston, is taking the next step in his hockey career.  After a successful run at Ferris State University, the Bulldog's leading scorer for 2011-12 signed an Amateur Tryout Contract with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers in the AHL.

Here's the FSU release:

Source: FSU Release
Big Rapids, Mich. - Ferris State University men's ice hockey senior Jordie Johnston (Rosetown, Saskatchewan), who helped lead the Bulldogs to the NCAA National Championship Game at the Frozen Four in Tampa this past weekend, has signed an amateur tryout contract (ATO) with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers as announced by the American Hockey League (AHL) club today.

The Bridgeport Sound Tigers, located in Bridgeport, Conn., are the top affiliate of the National Hockey League's New York Islanders. 

Johnston, 24, joins the Sound Tigers after completing his collegiate career at Ferris State. The Rosetown, SK, posted a breakout season in 2011-12 with the Bulldogs that carried them to the NCAA Division I Men's Hockey Championship game against Boston College, recording a team-high 36 points (20 goals, 16 assists) in 43 games.

Over his four-year career at Ferris State, Johnston totaled 57 points (30 goals, 27 assists) in 136 games. Prior to attending Ferris State, the 5'11, 185-pound forward played three seasons with the La Ronge Ice Wolves of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League, amassing 197 points (90 goals, 107 assists) in 165 games.

For his efforts as a senior, Johnston was an All-Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) Second Team honoree as FSU claimed its second-ever CCHA Regular-Season title and reached the Frozen Four for the first time in school history. 

The Sound Tigers will play two road contests on Friday and Saturday (April 13-14) of this week before they close out their regular season home schedule against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins with Fan Appreciation Day on Sunday, April 15 at 3 p.m. (ET).

Fans can follow @TheSoundTigers on Twitter and "like" The Official Bridgeport Sound Tigers Fan Site on Facebook for the latest Sound Tigers news and information.
Good to see another former Ice Wolves star making the leap to the pro-ranks.  

A quick note about Ice Wolves records and stats.  This season I spoke a lot about Marc-Andre Carre chasing Justin Rohr (which was technically true), but I should have been talking about Johnston.  Somewhere in my number crunching a few points disappeared from Johnston's total of 197 as opposed to Rohr's 195.  Johnston sits as the Wolves' all-time leader in points.  I apologize for the error and any confusion it may have caused through the season.

Speaking of great Ice Wolves players, the team is looking for your help in choosing the the Wolves' "All-Time" team in celebration of the team's 15th Anniversary Season in 2012-13.  Head over to to cast your vote.

I have a feeling Jordie Johnston will get more than a few votes.


Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Ice Wolves Extend Holloway

The Ice Wolves solidified their coaching staff for the next couple years by signing Assistant Coach Ron Holloway to a two year extension.

Holloway was the team's Assistant Coach during the 2011-12 season when the Ice Wolves won the second most games in franchise history with a 30-20-2-6 record.  He was also a part of the staff during the 2010 and 2011 playoff runs that saw the Wolves win back to back SJHL Championships, compete in two Anavet Cups and travel to the RBC Cup.

"I only had a one year deal last year and (the Ice Wolves) decided to sign me to a two year deal this year, so I talked with (Bob Beatty) and decided it would be a good fit," Holloway commented Wednesday morning, "I'm looking forward to coming back."

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Ile-a-la-Crosse Wins Northwest High School Hockey League Championship

In an uncharacteristically low scoring affair, the Ile-a-la-Crosse Huskies won their first Northwest High School Hockey League title with a 2-1 overtime win to get by the Canoe Lake Miksiw.

In the extra frame, Corey Desjarlais let a shot go from just inside the blue-line and the puck found its way behind screened goaltender, Michael Bouvier for the winner.

The Huskies' upset over top ranked Canoe Lake is Ile-a-la-Crosse's first win in four tries in the Championship Series.

NWHHL Commissioner Vince Ahenakew asked me to relay these thank you's:

Thanks to coaches, scorekeepers, behind the scenes workers, referees, the Northern Village of Buffalo Narrows for allowing us to use their ice, and a special thank you to Cameco Corporation for subsidizing the referees all season.

Thanks to all teams for another successful season – La Loche Lakers; Turnor Lake Aces; Buffalo Narrows Eagles; Dillon – Buffalo River Bisons; Ile a la Crosse Huskies; Canoe Lake Miksiw and Patuanak Timberwolves.

Plans/discussions are under way to include Pine House and maybe Beauval next season.
Interesting that the league is looking at expanding.  It would be cool to see a couple more teams enter into the Northwest League next winter.

Time for me to extend some thank you's to everyone who helped me out getting scores and information this season.  I expect the new website will help that along as well next season.  Special thanks to Vince for getting me all the scheduling and filling in gaps in my information during the playoffs and to Steve McKay for his help with a feature on Colton Iron during the season (and of course to Colton for doing the interview).

Congratulations to Ile-a-la-Crosse on the victory and to all of the teams on a season well played!


Monday, 2 April 2012

Contacts Heading to Leduc for National Championship

The Saskatoon Contacts booked their tickets to the Telus Cup, Sunday, beating the Southwest Cougars 5-1 to win the West Regional Qualifier in Virden, MB.

Kolten Olynek put up three points (1G, 2A) on the afternoon while Rourke Chartier notched two goals to lead the way offensively.  Mack Shields was solid in net again, making 29 saves in the victory.

Hudson Morrison scored the lone Cougars goal when he opened the scoring in the first period.  The loss for Southwest came after they upset the Winnipeg Wild to move on to the qualifier final.  That win was a bit of a moral victory for the Cougars as the Wild swept them three straight in the league final just weeks earlier.

Now the Contacts have a while to prepare for the Telus Cup.  It doesn't get going until April 23rd in Leduc, Alberta so they'll have plenty of time to rest up and get ready to skate with the best Midget AAA teams Canada has to offer.

For a more detailed look at the game, check out this article in the Brandon Sun.