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Updated: 27 min 55 sec ago

Raiders nominated for WHL awards

3 hours 21 min ago
The Prince Albert Raiders were recognized for their performance over the course of the 2018-19 season Wednesday as the Western Hockey League announced their finalists for their year-end awards. Goaltender Ian Scott, who led the WHL in shutouts this season with eight, was the Eastern Conference Goaltender of the Year and will go up against the Everett Silvertips’ Dustin Wolf for the Del Wilson Trophy. Kenton Rein was a co-winner of the award in 1987 with Dean Cook of the Kamloops Blazers. Scott was also named to the Eastern Conference First All-Star team, where he was joined by forward Brett Leason. Defenceman and team captain Brayden Pachal was named to the Eastern Conference Second All-Star team. As a result of the Raiders’ Scotty Munro Memorial Trophy winning campaign, head coach Marc Habscheid and general manager Curtis Hunt received the Eastern Conference Coach and Executive of the Year awards respectively. Habscheid is now a finalist for the Dunc McCallum Memorial Trophy, which he won in 2003 as the head coach for the Kelowna Rockets. Michael Dyck of the Vancouver Giants is the other nominee for the award. Terry Simpson is the only Raiders bench boss to win the trophy, which he did in 1984 and 1986. Hunt has a chance to become the first Raiders general manager to win the Lloyd Saunders Memorial Trophy, as he’ll go up against Garry Davidson of the Everett Silvertips. The finalists for the league’s other major honours, which will be handed out at the year-end banquet on May 1 in Red Deer, are as follows:
  • Four Broncos Memorial Trophy (Player of the Year: Trey Fix-Wolansky (Edmonton) and Joachim Blichfeld (Portland)
  • Bill Hunter Memorial Trophy (Defenceman of the Year): Josh Brook (Moose Jaw) and Ty Smith (Spokane)
  • Jim Piggot Memorial Trophy (Rookie of the Year): Brayden Tracey (Moose Jaw) and Lassi Thomson (Kelowna)
  • Brad Hornung Trophy (Most Sportsmanlike Player): Justin Almeida (Moose Jaw) and Cody Glass (Portland)
The post Raiders nominated for WHL awards appeared first on Prince Albert Daily Herald.
Categories: Prince Albert News

Danielson honoured to be named Mintos head coach

3 hours 48 min ago
For Danton Danielson, the opportunity to lead the way behind the bench for the Prince Albert Mintos was one that he couldn’t pass up. “It’s a dream come true to be honest,” Danielson said on Friday after he was announced as the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League team’s new head coach for the 2019-20 season. “When I started to get into coaching 12 years ago, the Midget AAA league was a place that I aspired to be a coach in. The Mintos organization is one of the premier programs in Canada and I’m extremely excited to have the chance to have the chance to be a part of the team.” The 36-year-old Danielson is currently in his fourth season as a head coach for the Saskatoon Outlaws Bantam AA program, who are currently in the Saskatchewan AA Hockey League North Division final against the Martensville Marauders. “I think coaching is one of those things where you realize that it’s not for you once you start or you end up getting really into it, and I certainly fell into the latter category,” Danielson said. “After I started coaching in Martensville, fellow coach Colin Parenteau and I moved into Saskatoon and coached the Maniacs and Riverkings programs. Following that, I had the chance to move up and become a head coach with the Outlaws.” When asked what kind of style he likes his teams to have, Danielson prefers a puck possession game but is adaptable to whatever the situation calls for. “Skills and smarts come first, and while the size and physical parts of the game are very useful, it shouldn’t come at the expense of those first two aspects of the game,” Danielson said. “With that said, it really depends on the group of players that you have as you will need to play a style that fits best with them. “In general terms, I like to be aggressive offensively. The game has evolved from that bang and crash or dump and chase style to being a more skill oriented style and I’m certainly in favour of that approach.” Once the Outlaws season comes to an end, Danielson will officially join the Mintos program as the team prepares for their spring camp, which will take place from April 5-7 at the Art Hauser Centre. “After the announcement was made on Thursday, my first priority was to get in touch with the current players on the Mintos roster and introduce myself to them,” Danielson said. “I’m committed to finishing out the season on a strong note with the Outlaws. After that, my attention will start to turn with helping to get things ready for the spring camp and to also start to develop the coaching staff for next year.” The post Danielson honoured to be named Mintos head coach appeared first on Prince Albert Daily Herald.
Categories: Prince Albert News

Crusaders senior girls’ to play in 5A Consolation final at Hoopla

4 hours 29 min ago
Although they won’t return to Prince Albert with a medal from this year’s Hoopla event, the Carlton Crusaders senior girls’ basketball team will have a chance to end their season on a winning note. Following a 69-61 victory over the Swift Current Ardens on Friday afternoon, the Crusaders will play in the 5A consolation final at 9 a.m. Saturday at Centennial Collegiate in Saskatoon against the Regina O’Neill Titans. “The girls did a really good job of bouncing back today,” Crusaders coach Jenn Ferguson said. “It’s hard to do that sometimes after a tough loss in the quarter-final, but they really played hard against Swift Current.” The Crusaders quest for a medal ended Thursday night at Evan Hardy Collegiate as they dropped a 61-49 decision to the Holy Cross Crusaders of Saskatoon. “It was a great effort by both teams,” Ferguson said. “It was a physical game and the level of intensity from both teams was impressive. “The bounces went our way in the first half and then it went their way in the second half, but it was a closer game than the final margin might show. Each team had a scoring run and they just happened to have one at the end.” Emma Linsley had 19 points to lead the way for Holy Cross, while Gage Grassick put up 13 points for Carlton. Friday’s contest between the Crusaders and Ardens was a rematch of last Saturday’s rural regional final at Carlton, which the hosts won by a score of 75-53. “It was a little more low key than it was last week, but both teams played hard and they did the little things right,” Ferguson said. “When you get to a point where you know you aren’t going to play for a medal, you start to think about next year and give some more court time to the younger players. It’s important for them to have that experience so it’s not their first time on the court at Hoopla if they come back the following season.” Grassick led the way with 41 points for the Crusaders, while Mackenzie McIntyre had 17 points for the Ardens. Awaiting the Crusaders in their season finale is a Titans team that defeated the Regina Riffel Royals in a 54-35 affair Friday. “We played them earlier in the year and got the win, but we know that they will want to finish the season with a win, so it should be a really good game,” Ferguson said. “O’Neill is a bigger team that looks to try and score their points from the paint, so we’ll have to adjust our strategy for that.” The post Crusaders senior girls’ to play in 5A Consolation final at Hoopla appeared first on Prince Albert Daily Herald.
Categories: Prince Albert News

Police investigating homicide of two-year-old

8 hours 14 min ago
The death of a two-year-old found at a downtown apartment building Wednesday has been ruled a homicide. On March 20, just after noon, police and paramedics responded to a call at a downtown apartment building where a two-year-old was reported to be unconscious. The child was transported to the Victoria Hospital and later died. An autopsy was conducted on March 21 and the death is now considered a homicide. The Prince Albert Police Service criminal investigations division and the forensic identification section are actively investigating this incident, working with the coroner’s office to investigate the death fully. The homicide is Prince Albert’s third of 2019. The post Police investigating homicide of two-year-old appeared first on Prince Albert Daily Herald.
Categories: Prince Albert News

<p>One of the first big, breaking

14 hours 18 min ago
One of the first big, breaking national stories I ever covered involved the Cold Lake Mosque. A mainstay of Main Street in that Alberta city, someone had scribbled “go home” and “Canada” on the side of the building and thrown rocks through the window. As word spread, as it tends to do in small communities, everyone who could come by to lend a hand in the cleanup, helping to repair the building and comfort their neighbours. People joined hands and sang O Canada. Cards, flowers and gifts were dropped off with messages like “you are welcome here” and “this is your home.” It’s a similar sentiment to the one that played out at the Prince Albert Masjid Wednesday night, as people of multiple faith and cultural backgrounds joined together in solidarity to remember the victims of the mosque shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand and to show support of their Muslim neighbours. Unfortunately, that shine of hope lasted only one day. I received an email in my inbox from Facebook yesterday afternoon. Every time somebody comments on a story, I get an email. It helps me watch for any comments that would be considered vulgar or inappropriate. There are certain things we cannot let stand. The comment consisted of five words: “Go back to your country.” I immediately opened Facebook and removed it. It wasn’t the only racist message the Herald received Thursday. Someone else opened their email to find a message expressing the racist trope that First Nations people do nothing but “sit around and collect money from the taxpayers. “She is actually going to get a job and work at it? How unusual,” this person wrote. We were unimpressed. Thursday was the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. If the sentiments we saw Thursday were any indication, we have much further to go. According to Statistics Canada data from the 2016 census, Indigenous people make up close to 40 per cent of Prince Albert’s population. Newcomers to Canada make up another eight per cent. These are our neighbours. They shop in our stores, pay taxes, own businesses, employ people, raise their kids, and bring us their culture through food and ceremony, making Prince Albert a richer place. To see these sentiments expressed, especially on a day set aside to eradicate discrimination based on race is nothing short of disgusting. More must be done. I don’t mean government intervention. I don’t see value in bureaucrats or politicians policing what is said. I mean more must be done in our own lives. When we see someone being racist, or when politicians continue to push the delusion that racism doesn’t exist anymore, it is our job to call them out. When someone in a position of power fails to denounce racist sentiments, signs, symbols, comments or actions, it is our job to call them out. What we can’t do is stay silent. We can’t accept the status quo. What we can do is seek to educate ourselves, learn more about the diverse cultures around us, and work to build understanding, and yes, hope. I do believe things are getting better. But we can’t let our guard down. So get to know your neighbours. Take the time to learn more about all the people who call Prince Albert home. Yesterday may have been the day to eliminate racial discrimination, but that doesn’t mean today we can just move on and forget how to love. Peter Lozinski is the editor of the Prince Albert Daily Herald The post appeared first on Prince Albert Daily Herald.
Categories: Prince Albert News

<p>A number of Prince Albert businesses

Thu, 03/21/2019 - 20:27
A number of Prince Albert businesses and organizations were recognized for their accomplishments and for giving back to the community Thursday as the Prince Albert and District Chamber of Commerce announced the finalists for the 2019 Samuel McLeod Business Awards. Over 100 nominations sent in and 60 applications filled out. The applications were judged by a panel to determine who would best qualify for the awards. Seeing so much participation is a good sign, said chamber CEO, Elise Hildebrandt. “There’s a lot to be proud of,” she said. “Judges said ‘you have some good companies in Prince Albert. Find a way to celebrate them.’” And celebrate they will. The shortlisted companies were each given a piece of art Thursday. The winners will be named at the annual Samuel McLeod Business Awards Gala, set for April 18 at the Ches Leach Lounge. “Each of those companies has got a story. They’re growing, they’re innovative, and they’re finding new ways of doing different things and bringing new features to our community. Anything that helps our community look awesome is a good thing.” Thursday’s luncheon also served as a chance to honour the 2019 Legacy Award recipient, Roses Stewart. Stewart spoke about her business journey and gave advice to the next generation of business owners. She also spoke about the importance of recognizing successful businesses in the community. “It’s hard work and it takes a lot of dedication,” she said “It doesn’t stop when you get your financing and you’ve been through your first year. The challenges go on and on. “It’s a huge contribution that improves the quality of life in a place like Prince Albert. All of them should be and have been thanked.” One of the new businesses up for an award is Paved to Pines. The company, started by friends who met playing hockey in BC, converts vans, motorhomes, school buses and ambulances into custom designs that can include solar power and reclaimed materials. The business also rents out custom campervans for others to enjoy. “It’s super exciting (to be nominated). We’re fairly new to the P.A. community” said Steven Glass, who is up for young entrepreneur of the year. “Being recognized this early is really promising going into our first big summer with our rental fleet and build lineup.” Glass said that having support from other small businesses and from the community as a whole is vital. “It makes everything easier for us, helping us with where to go and who to turn to when we have problems. We learned really early how exciting and nice it is to have … support. When you have the support of the whole community, it’s awesome.” Nominated businesses: Business transformation: East Hill Esso North Country Spa TJ’s Pizza Community involvement:Junior Men’s Softball World ChampionshipLake Country Co-op Northern Lights Casino Customer service My Place Catering Pet Planet Trudel Auto Body Female business leader of the year:Bernadette Lavoie & Lindsey Rask – North Country SpaCorinne Penner – Pet PlanetMarlyn Philips-Leson – Now Grant Thornton formerly Grayling Consulting Male business leader of the year:Dan Yungwirth – Miller ContractingJeff Stumpf – PA Alarms Marketing:Calypso BayPaintball ParadiseJunior Men’s Softball World Championship New venture:Oh Pair ShoesPA Wand WashPaved to Pines Non-profit organization:Habitat for HumanityKIN EnterprisesVictoria Hospital Foundation Young Entrepreneur:Ali Mysiorek – The Foggy LemonLukas Werner – Access TireSteven Glass – Paved to Pines Business of the Year:Lake Country Co-opNorth Country SpaNorthern Lights Casino Legacy Award winner:Roses Stewart The post appeared first on Prince Albert Daily Herald.
Categories: Prince Albert News

Mintos name new head coach

Thu, 03/21/2019 - 19:02
The Prince Albert Mintos knew who they wanted to bring in as their new head coach as soon as they finished their interview with him. The Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League team announced on Thursday evening that Danton Danielson of the Saskatoon Outlaws Bantam AA program would be coming in to serve as their bench boss for the 2019-20 season. “We had a hiring committee that had interviews with our top four candidates from the 14 that applied for the job,” Mintos team manager Don Fauchoux said. “When we finished speaking with Danton, he really stood out and we all knew that we wanted to give him this opportunity.” Danielson, who has been involved as a coach with the Saskatoon Minor Hockey Association since 2008, has helped the Outlaws reach the North Division final in the Saskatchewan Bantam AA Hockey League as they currently trail Martensville Marauders 1-0 ahead of Game 2 in Saskatoon Friday night. “We got good reports on him from our contacts in the Western Hockey League, Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League and the Saskatchewan Hockey Association,” Fauchoux said.  “Danton’s a real go-getter and he’s really excited about taking our team to the next level.” Following the conclusion of the Outlaws season, Danielson will join the team on a full-time basis. He’s expected to be at the Art Hauser Centre for the Mintos’ spring camp, which will run from April 5-7. In other news, Mintos’ captain and defenceman Alex Ozar was named to the SMAAAHL’s second all-star team Thursday as the league announced their 2018-19 awards recipients. Prince Albert Raiders prospects and Saskatoon Blazers teammates Cole Nagy and Nolan Allan both made the first all-star team, with Allan also being named as the league’s top defenceman. Tisdale Trojans blueliner Landon Kosior, who has attended the last two Raiders training camps, was named as the Adam Herold Award recipient that goes to the league’s best defensive defenceman. Cole Sillinger of the Regina Pat Canadians, who led the league in scoring with 76 points, received the top forward, rookie of the year and most valuable player awards. Tanner Martin of the Trojans took home the top netminder accolade. The best-of-five league final will be between the third seeded Blazers and the fourth ranked Notre Dame Hounds, with the series getting underway in Saskatoon Saturday. The winner will advance to the Telus Cup West Regional tournament, which will be hosted by the Trojans from April 4 to 7 and will see the winner head to the national championship in Thunder Bay, Ont. The post Mintos name new head coach appeared first on Prince Albert Daily Herald.
Categories: Prince Albert News

Raiders and Rebels ready to go

Thu, 03/21/2019 - 17:44
The Prince Albert Raiders are experiencing a role reversal heading into the 2019 Western Hockey League playoffs. A year after they nabbed the final seed in the Eastern Conference and pushed the top-ranked Moose Jaw Warriors to seven games, the Raiders enter the post-season as the Scotty Munro Memorial Trophy holders as the best team in the regular season and have already experienced strong efforts from their opponents over the second half of the campaign. “We had a pretty good idea after Christmas that would be finishing near the top of the standings points wise, so to have everyone gunning to beat us is something that helped us quite a bit,” Raiders head coach Marc Habscheid said. “We’ve had a few games where there have been some lulls, which is normal, but the guys have played well for the most part and we’ve navigated through guys being away at the World Juniors or being sidelined due to injuries.” Awaiting them in the first round, which gets underway Friday at the Art Hauser Center at 7 p.m., is a Red Deer Rebels side that gave the Raiders everything they could handle in the regular season. “We know that we can play with them but it comes down to us being better at the little things,” Rebels forward and captain Reese Johnson told Byron Hackett of the Red Deer Advocate. “The Raiders have all four lines going for them and they are structured well to play a good team game. That doesn’t mean that we can’t do the same thing, but we need to be playing at our best against them.” Although the Rebels will enter the playoffs having lost their last four games and they lost the season series by a 3-1 margin, all of their matchups with the Raiders were decided by a single goal. “Red Deer is a hard working team and they have some good systems,” Raiders forward Parker Kelly said. “It’s a good test for us and we’re excited to play them, especially as we started to get a bit of a rivalry going with how close our season series was.” Despite the fact that the Raiders already knew that they would enter the playoffs as the top seed in the East Division for quite some time, the team has spent the last 10 games of the regular season getting into the right mindset ahead of the post-season. “We’ve had a list of 10 points in our locker room that we’ve been working on here lately and we’ve done a good job of focusing on those things,” Kelly said. “A lot of it has to do with focusing on the finer details of the game and what we need to do going into the playoffs. There’s obviously some pressure with comes with being the top seed, but we’re all looking forward to the challenge and we’re excited for what is hopefully a long journey.” On the health side of things, Dante Hannoun and Justin Nachbaur both missed the final games of the regular season due to injuries, but the Raiders forwards are nearing a return to action according to Habscheid. Meanwhile, the Rebels will be without their top blueliner and Washington Capitals prospect Alexander Alexeyev for the series, as he’s been sidelined with a knee injury since a collision with the Brandon Wheat Kings’ Ben McCartney on March 9. “Whenever you lose a guy that plays 30 minutes a night, it certainly changes things a bit no matter what level of hockey you are playing,” Rebels general manager and head coach Brent Sutter told Byron Hackett of the Red Deer Advocate. “With that being said, it does give other guys the chance to rise up and take advantage of their opportunity. It’s not just the defence though that needs to step up. The whole team has to be good come playoff time.” The two sides will play again Saturday at the Art Hauser Centre, with the next two games taking place in Red Deer on Tuesday and Wednesday. If needed, a fifth game would be held in Prince Albert next Friday and game six would take place at the Westerner Park Centrium on Sunday, March 31. A seventh and deciding contest, if required, is slated for Tuesday, April 2 at the Art Hauser Centre. Each matchup will start at 7 p.m., except for Game 6 in Red Deer, which would get underway at 2 p.m. The post Raiders and Rebels ready to go appeared first on Prince Albert Daily Herald.
Categories: Prince Albert News

2019 WHL Playoff Preview: The First Round

Thu, 03/21/2019 - 13:15
After six months of regular season contests, the real fun is about to begin in the Western Hockey League as 16 teams look to capture the Ed Chynoweth Cup and earn a spot at this year’s Memorial Cup in Halifax. Ahead of Friday’s curtain-raisers (or Saturday in the case of the Medicine Hat and Edmonton series) here is a breakdown of each matchup and some sure to be wrong picks by yours truly. East Division (Byron Hackett/Red Deer Advocate) Prince Albert Raiders vs. Red Deer Rebels Last Playoff Meeting: 2013 First Round (Red Deer Won 4-0 – Only Playoff Meeting to Date – Also met in a tiebreaker game in 2014 that Prince Albert won 5-3) Season Series: Prince Albert 3-1 (Prince Albert outscored Red Deer 11-9) Season Series Scoring Leader Prince Albert – Brett Leason – 6 points (Noah Gregor and Sergei Sapego each had 4 points) Red Deer – Brandon Hagel and Chris Douglas – 3 points (Austin Schelleberg had 3 points in two games prior to being traded to Kootenay) Season Series Goaltending Leader Prince Albert – Ian Scott – 3-1 record with a 2.22 goals against average and a .914 save percentage Red Deer – Ethan Anders – 1-2 record with a 2.79 goals against average and a .930 save percentage (Byron Fancy had an 0-1 record with a 1.23 goals against average and a .944 save percentage) Prediction: Prince Albert in five I originally had this series going six games, but with Washington Capitals prospect Alexander Alexeyev not expected to be on the Rebels blueline due to a knee injury, that changes things quite a bit. With that said, I expect this series to be a close one. Of the teams that the Raiders could have faced in the opening round, the Rebels present the toughest test. (Steve Hiscock) Saskatoon Blades vs. Moose Jaw Warriors Last Playoff Meeting: 2003 First Round (Moose Jaw won 4-2 – Only Playoff Meeting to Date – Also Met in a East First Round Round-Robin Format in 1986) Season Series: Saskatoon 5-1 (Saskatoon outscored Moose Jaw 27-14) Season Series Scoring Leader Moose Jaw – Tristin Langan – 9 points (Justin Almeida had 7 points) Saskatoon – Max Gerlach – 8 points (Gary Haden and Kirby Dach each had 7 points) Season Series Goaltending Leader Saskatoon – Nolan Maier – 3-1 record with a 2.26 goals against average and a .907 save percentage (Dorrin Luding had a 2-0 record with a .912 save percentage) Moose Jaw – Brodan Salmond – 1-4 record with a 4.30 goals against average and a .883 save percentage (Adam Evanoff had a 0-1 record with a 4.06 goals against average and a .900 save percentage) Prediction: Saskatoon in six I was actually leaning towards Moose Jaw with how well they’ve played against the Raiders this year, but I changed my mind once I saw how the season series went. At any rate, this should be a close matchup. The Warriors top line of Justin Almeida, Tristin Langan and Brayden Tracey is impressive, as are their top two blueliners in Josh Brook and Jett Woo. The Blades have more depth, but how they handle the post-season is the biggest question mark as the team hasn’t been there since 2013. Central Division (Randy Feere) Edmonton Oil Kings vs. Medicine Hat Tigers Last Playoff Meeting: 2014 Semi-Final (Edmonton won 4-1 – Edmonton also won their other playoff meeting 4-0 in the 2013 Quarter-Final – They also met in a tiebreaker game in 2016 that Edmonton won 6-4) Season Series: Edmonton 5-1 (Edmonton outscored Medicine Hat 21-12) Season Series Scoring Leader Edmonton – Trey Fix-Wolansky and Vince Loschiavo – 6 Points (Vladimir Alistrov and Ethan Cap had 5 points each – Brett Kemp had 5 points in two games before being traded to Medicine Hat) Medicine Hat – Ryan Chyzowski – 5 Points (James Hamblin and Linus Nassen had four points each) Season Series Goaltending Leader Edmonton – Dylan Myskiw – 5-1 record with a 1.79 GAA and a .940 save percentage Medicine Hat – Mads Sogaard – 0-4 record with a 3.47 GAA and a .909 save percentage (Jordan Hollett had a 1-1 record with a 2.71 GAA and a .913 save percentage) Prediction: Edmonton in four Medicine Hat has some weapons but it’s hard to see them on the same level as the Oil Kings, especially with the fact that Edmonton has won their last 11 games. Mads Sogaard might steal a game though. (Candice Ward) Lethbridge Hurricanes vs. Calgary Hitmen Last Playoff Meeting: 2009 Quarter-Final (Calgary won 4-0 – Lethbridge last defeated Calgary 4-0 in the 2008 Semi-Final) Season Series: Lethbridge 5-1 (Lethbridge outscored Calgary 35- 24) Season Series Scoring Leader Lethbridge – Jordy Bellerive – 13 points (Jake Elmer had 10 points) Calgary – Mark Kastelic – 9 points (Kaden Elder, Jake Kryski and Vladislav Yeryomenko had 6 points each) Season Series Goaltending Leader Lethbridge – Carl Tetachuk – 3-1 record with a 3.66 GAA and a .887 save percentage (Reece Klassen had a 2-0 record with a 4.64 GAA and a .867 save percentage before being traded to Spokane) Calgary – Jack McNaughton – 1-2 record with a 5.16 GAA and a .838 save percentage (Carl Stankowski was 0-3 with a 7.10 GAA and a .756 save percentage) Prediction: Lethbridge in five The Hitmen aren’t a bad team but the firepower that the Hurricanes have is scary. The tide may turn in goal with two rookie netminders, but I’ve really liked what I’ve seen out of Tetachuk so far this season. This will be a great learning lesson for Calgary though, as they should be one of the teams to watch come next season. B.C. Division (Ric Fedyck) Vancouver Giants vs. Seattle Thunderbirds Last Playoff Meeting: 2007 Quarter-Final (Vancouver won 4-1 – Only Playoff Meeting to Date) Season Series: Tied 2-2 (Both teams scored 11 goals) Season Series Scoring Leader Vancouver – Davis Koch – 5 points (Lukas Svejkovsky had 4 points) Seattle – Matthew Wedman, Dillon Hamaliuk and Nolan Volcan – 4 points (Jake Lee had 3 points) Season Series Goaltending Leader Vancouver – David Tendeck – 1-2 record with a 2.90 GAA and a .910 save percentage (Trent Miner had a 1-0 record with a 1.92 GAA and a .919 save percentage) Seattle – Roddy Ross – 0-1 record with a 7.37 GAA and a .706 save percentage in 40 minutes of work (Cole Schwebius had a 0.00 GAA and a 1.000 save percentage in 20 minutes of work – Liam Hughes was 2-1 with a 2.03 GAA and a .948 save percentage before being traded to Lethbridge) Prediction: Vancouver in five Seattle has done a great job to reach this point and Roddy Ross’ play since coming over the AJHL has been nothing short of fantastic. However, the Giants have seemingly been getting stronger as the year has gone on and should continue that upward trajectory in the playoffs. The biggest question for Vancouver might be if they continue split time with David Tendeck and Trent Miner or if they lean on just one netminder as the playoffs get rolling. (Allan Douglas) Victoria Royals vs. Kamloops Blazers Last Playoff Meeting: 2013 First Round (Kamloops 4-2 – Kamloops also won their other playoff meeting 4-0 in the 2012 First Round) Season Series: Victoria 5-4 (Kamloops outscored Victoria 30-25) Season Series Scoring Leader Victoria – Scott Walford – 9 points (Igor Martynov had 7 points) Kamloops – Jermaine Loewen – 11 points (Connor Zary and Orrin Centazzo had 8 points) Season Series Goaltending Leader Victoria – Griffin Outhouse – 5-0 record with a 2.10 GAA and a .936 save percentage (Brock Gould was 0-4 with a 5.09 GAA and a .838 save percentage) Kamloops – Dylan Ferguson – 2-4 record with a 3.35 GAA and a .901 save percentage (Dylan Garand was 2-1 with a 1.34 GAA and a .938 save percentage) Prediction: Kamloops in six The last two games between the two teams saw the Blazers pick up 6-1 and 8-0 victories, but the rest of the matchups were far closer. The Royals do have Griffin Outhouse in goal, who can single handily steal a series, but the Blazers are coming in white hot and probably have more weapons on their roster. It’s hard to bet against them after they caught the Kelowna Rockets and won the tiebreaker game Tuesday.   U.S. Division (Judy Simpson/Tri-City Americans) Everett Silvertips vs. Tri-City Americans Last Playoff Meeting: 2018 Semi-Final (Everett won 4-2 – Tri-City last defeated Everett 4-0 in the 2011 First Round) Season Series: Everett 5-3 (Everett outscored Tri-City 21-15) Season Series Scoring Leader Everett – Connor Dewar – 10 points (Bryce Kindopp had 8 points) Season Series Goaltending Leader Tri-City – Parker AuCoin and Nolan Yaremko – 6 points (Sasha Mutala and Kyle Olson each had 5 points) Everett – Dustin Wolf – 5-3 record with a 1.78 GAA and a .930 save percentage (Max Palaga played a whole five minutes) Tri-City – Beck Warm – 3-5 record with a 2.41 GAA and a .941 save percentage Prediction: Everett in 5 Beck Warm has a chance to help his team get a win or two with how he’s played in net this season, but the Silvertips are just too strong at the moment. This one could end quickly if Everett’s firing on all cylinders, especially if Riley Sutter ends up back in the lineup along the way. (Ben Ludeman/Portland Winterhawks) Spokane Chiefs vs. Portland Winterhawks Last Playoff Meeting: 2018 First Round (Portland won 4-3 – Spokane last defeated Portland 4-3 in the 2003 First Round) Season Series: Tied 3-3 (Spokane outscored Portland 29-27) Season Series Scoring Leader Portland – Joachim Blichfeld – 12 points (Reece Newkirk had 7 points – Cody Glass had 3 points in two games) Spokane – Riley Woods – 14 points (Adam Beckman, Filip Kral, Jake McGrew and Nolan Reid had 7 points each) Season Series Goaltending Leader Portland – Joel Hofer – 1-2 with a 5.57 GAA and a .857 save percentage (Shane Farkas was 1-0 with a 4.56 GAA and a .833 save percentage) Spokane – Bailey Brkin – 3-1 with a 3.94 GAA and a .900 save percentage Prediction: Portland in 7 This is without a doubt the best first round matchup in the Canadian Hockey League and easily the toughest one to pick out of the eight series in the WHL. Each team has a number of great players and I expect this series to go down to the wire. In the end, the news that Cody Glass could return on a full-time basis to the Winterhawks lineup has me picking Portland, even though I had Spokane as one of my league finalists. Granted, I didn’t have these two squaring off in their first playoff series, but such is the wacky world of junior hockey. The post 2019 WHL Playoff Preview: The First Round appeared first on Prince Albert Daily Herald.
Categories: Prince Albert News

Saskatchewan Muslims and local church leaders see hope in midst of loss following New Zealand mosque attacks

Wed, 03/20/2019 - 22:14
Imam Irshad Unia’s first thought when he heard about the March 15 shooting at two mosques in New Zealand was, ‘why?’ The young imam at the Prince Albert Muslim Association Mosque was shocked by news that one gunman had killed 50 people and left dozens wounded at mosques in the city of Christchurch. However, Unia is taking the shooting as a chance to reach out rather than lash out. “It was a lesson that we should spread more love and be more open about our religion (and) to let people know who we actually really are,” he explained. Part of that outreach took place Wednesday evening. Unia and other members of the city’s Muslim community gathered with local civic and religious leaders at the Prince Albert mosque for a time of healing, reflection and prayer for the families who lost loved ones. Unia said the shooting in New Zealand has the potential to create further conflict. However, he’s confident that if Muslims and non-Muslims can get together and talk at events like this one, those conflicts will never happen. “This gathering was so we can get all the community—different faiths, different groups—to show that we are all united on one front,” he said. “It is to create love and unity amongst our people…. We just need to be more open, more united, talk to more people, get to know one another and spread the message of love.” Unia’s opinion is a common one among Saskatchewan Muslims. Imam Ilyas Isidyot drove up from Saskatoon for Wednesday’s vigil. Like his counterpart in Prince Albert, Isidyot was shocked when he heard about the shooting, but also driven to create connections rather than division. “I believe that we are social beings,” he said. “We need to create lots of social events where people come sit by you, listen to who you are, where you are from, what you do. A great introduction can be made like that while we are breaking bread together, and that can create a lot of harmony and piece.” Isidyot has spent almost 22 years as an Imam in Saskatchewan. During that time he said he’s never had problems with negative or prejudicial comments, even though his family often goes out in their traditional dress. He also said his email account was overflowing with condolence messages from leaders across all faiths following the attack. Isidyot said it’s vital that people avoid judging entire communities by the actions of one individual. Despite the pain, he’s positive things are getting better, and will continue to get better in the future. “For our community, we do have a lot of hope,” he said. “Look at this crowd for one little short-notice (event) in the community of Prince Albert. Don’t you see hope is there?” Isidyot was one of several speakers at Wednesday’s vigil. Other speakers included Prince Albert Chief of Police Jon Bergen, as well as Prince Albert city councillor Dennis Ogrodnick. Leaders from many of Prince Albert’s churches were also in attendance to offer condolences and support to the city’s Muslim community.  A few, like Grace Mennonite Church minister Ed Olfert, also took the opportunity to address the crowd. Afterwards, Olfert said it was important to come because Prince Albert residents have to stand together, regardless of what their religious beliefs are. “We’re all a community,” he said. “That means we stand here in good times and certainly in hard times.” Olfert found the mosque shootings particularly shocking because of where they happened. His wife’s brother and family live in New Zealand, and he always viewed the country as a calm and safe place. As a pastor, Olfert said people of all faiths need to double down on their efforts to create peace. Like Isidyot, he’s hopeful about the future, and determined to leave the world better than it was when he entered it. “Within the larger community that surrounds my church, there’s ignorance and fear there, and in part that inspires me because I can name that, I can call it out and I can help lead people past that,” he said. “I love the opportunity.” The post Saskatchewan Muslims and local church leaders see hope in midst of loss following New Zealand mosque attacks appeared first on Prince Albert Daily Herald.
Categories: Prince Albert News

2018-19 WHL Season Review: The Non-Playoff Teams

Wed, 03/20/2019 - 21:16
This is the first in a six-part series that will run over the course of the next two months as the 2018-19 Western Hockey League campaign comes to a close. As each of the 22 teams wrap up their campaigns, we’ll look back at how their years went, how wrong Daily Herald sports reporter Lucas Punkari was in his assessments of each club and what the future holds for them. Ethan Regnier (Lucas Punkari/Prince Albert Daily Herald) Swift Current Broncos (11-51-4-2 – 6th in the East Division – Missed the Playoffs for the First Time Since 2016) What I Predicted: Best Case Scenario With the experience of last year’s championship run, the veteran players are able to step up their games and Joel Hofer develops into a top-end starter. They won’t be a division threat, but their hard-working attitude propels them into the playoffs as a wild card. Worst Case Scenario With little assets to get any major pieces for the rebuild, the bottom completely falls out for the defending champions. Not only do they miss the playoffs, but they also miss out on the Matthew Savoie sweepstakes as their first round pick belongs to the Prince George Cougars after the Josh Anderson trade. What Actually Happened: Head Coach and Director of Hockey Operations Dean Brockman was able to restock the asset drawer with a bevy of picks and prospects for anything that could move. The Broncos competed hard, but there were many rough nights along the way as they lacked the high-level elite players that are needed to be a true threat. What Lies Ahead: Although they didn’t have a chance in the race for Savoie, the Broncos will have the first pick in the Canadian Hockey League’s Import Draft in June and can bring in a piece to help with the rebuild. It’s still a very young roster, but with the likes of Ben King, Carter Chorney, Joona Kivineimi and Alex Moar coming back for their second go-arounds, along with veterans Ethan Regnier and Connor Horning, the Broncos could be one of the most intriguing teams in the league. The team is also slated to return to the Central Division for the first time since the 2005-06 campaign with the move of the Kootenay Ice to Winnipeg, which could make the next couple of seasons very interesting as they look to move back up the standings with a different set of competitors around them. Peyton Krebs (Cranbrook Daily Townsman) Kootenay Ice (12-45-7-3 – 6th in the Central Division – Missed the Playoffs for the Fourth Straight Season) What I Predicted: Best Case Scenario Thanks in large part to the dynamic duo of Peyton Krebs and Connor McClennon, the Ice return to the playoffs for the first time since 2015 and set the stage for a possible division title run in 2020. Worst Case Scenario A sub-par defence results in the Ice missing out on the playoffs for a fourth straight year. Something has to give and it ends up being with the coaching staff. What Actually Happened: This team fell right off a cliff. Other than Krebs, it was a shocking drop-off from the Ice franchise after the promise they showed a year ago as they ended up dressing 44 players over the course of the year. They also bid Cranbrook adieu as they will move to Winnipeg for the start of next season. What Lies Ahead: Besides the move to Manitoba’s capital and a shift to the East Division, there’s still a ton of questions about how the Ice are going to be come next season, especially with their overall depth. The likes of Krebs, McClennon and incoming rookie blueliner Carson Lambos are certainly worth watching, but their play on the back end needs to improve dramatically if they want to compete for a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference and end a four-season playoff drought that is now the longest in the CHL. The Ice also have the first overall pick in May’s Bantam Draft following Wednesday’s lottery, which gives them the chance to add Savoie to their system. However, he committed to the NCAA’s Denver Pioneers on Monday after reportedly not being granted exceptional status by Hockey Canada, which makes things extremely interesting at the top of the draft board. Austin Pratt (Troy Fleece/Regina Leader-Post) Regina Pats (19-45-1-3 – 5th in the East Division – Missed the Playoffs for the First Time Since 2013) What I Predicted: Best Case Scenario Max Paddock continues to develop as a starter and the assets gained from dealing Nick Henry or Jake Leschsyhyn moves the Pats into a wildcard slot. Worst Case Scenario With the new rules curtailing the amount of youngsters that can be traded in the league, the Pats are unable to add as many assets as they would like and they fall to the bottom of the standings. They then miss out on getting uber-prospect Matthew Savoie in the draft as they dealt their first round pick to the Saskatoon Blades for Libor Hajek. What Actually Happened: Like the Broncos, the Pats got off to a rough start and traded off the likes of Henry, Leschyshyn and Aaron Hyman to get assets back. They got a number of picks to help with the rebuild, but no super high-end young talent to help bridge the gap. What Lies Ahead: Austin Pratt will be back for an overage campaign, and the likes of Ty Kolle and Sergei Alkhimov could step up on offence, but it seems like another long campaign is in the offing. Paddock will return for his third season and he could prove to be a major piece for a team if they are looking for a goaltender with Memorial Cup experience. Vladislav Mikhalchuk (James Doyle/Prince George Citizen) Prince George Cougars (19-41-5-3 – 5th in the BC Division – Missed the Playoffs for the Second Straight Season) What I Predicted: Best Case Scenario With the younger talent getting a chance to shine, the Cougars surprise many during the course of the season and contend for a playoff spot. They also end up landing hyped prospect Matthew Savoie in the WHL Draft, as they own Swift Current’s first round pick from the Josh Anderson trade at last year’s deadline. Worst Case Scenario It’s still another long campaign for the Cougars as they remain at the bottom of the Western Conference standings and continue to rebuild with general manager Mark Lamb now coaching the team after head coach Richard Matvichuk is canned. To make matters worse, they end up missing out on winning the WHL Draft Lottery. What Actually Happened: Matvichuk ended up being replaced by Lamb in early February as the team was mired in a losing streak that lasted 17 games. It was yet another rough season for the club as they scored a franchise record-low total of 152 goals, but it could have been worse if it wasn’t for the play of draft eligible netminder Taylor Gauthier. What Lies Ahead: The most pressing need is a new bench boss to try and lead the Cougars to their first playoff series win since 2007, which could end up being the longest drought in the CHL if the Prince Albert Raiders defeat the Red Deer Rebels in the first round. As for the roster, the Cougars are in an interesting spot. The defence looks really solid, especially with Cole Moberg leading the way, and Gauthier should get better in his third campaign in goal. With that said, the offence will need to step up big time if they want to return to the post-season. Although they didn’t win the draft lottery, the Cougars do have the second and fourth overall pick in May, so the future does look bright in that sense. Kyle Topping (Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze) Kelowna Rockets (28-32-6-2 – 4th in the BC Division – Lost 5-1 to Kamloops in a Tiebreaker Game – Missed the Playoffs for the First Time since 2007) What I Predicted: Best Case Scenario With new faces taking over the roles left by the graduating veterans, the Rockets once again are the class of the BC Division and set themselves up for another playoff run ahead of being the hosts for the 2020 Memorial Cup. Worst Case Scenario In addition to not getting the Memorial Cup hosting gig, the Rockets slide in the standings as they come to grips with so many key weapons moving on. They still make the playoffs, but aren’t anywhere near a major contender. What Actually Happened: A slow start led to Adam Foote replacing Jason Smith as head coach, but they were able to claw their way back into the playoff picture. In the end though, they were unable to hold off a red-hot Kamloops Blazers side and a couple of minutes of madness during a third period power play led to a 5-1 loss in the tiebreaker game Tuesday. As a result, the Rockets missed out on the playoffs for just the second time since moving to Kelowna and have also become the first team to miss out on the post-season the year before hosting the Memorial Cup. What Lies Ahead: The Rockets are now preparing to host the Memorial Cup for the second time in franchise history and will do so with a solid forward core that’s headlined by Nolan Foote, Leif Mattson and Kyle Topping. Although he had a tough result on Tuesday, Roman Basran is a solid young netminder and should get a chance to take the ball and run with it at the start of the campaign. However, with all three of their overagers being blueliners, the defensive depth after Lassi Thomson and Kaedan Korczak does leave a bit to be desired. A move or two will probably be done to strengthen that part of the team before the season gets underway. Stellio Mattheos (Brandon Wheat Kings) Brandon Wheat Kings (31-29-4-4 – 4th in East Division – Missed the Playoffs for the First Time since 2013) What I Predicted: Best Case Scenario Erik Brannstrom arrives to become the top first year import in the league, the offence gets contributions from all over and the Wheat Kings make a run at the conference title. Worst Case Scenario Brannstrom stays in the AHL and the defence has some rough nights. Ty Lewis turns pro, Stellio Mattheos gets dealt in January and the Wheat Kings have to wait another year before returning to the top of the East Division. What Actually Happened: Brannstrom and Lewis never showed up in Brandon for the 2018-19 campaign, which left two big holes on the depth chart. It was an up and down season as the Wheat Kings were nowhere near what was expected out of them when the year began. What Lies Ahead: Mattheos, who reportedly almost got traded to Everett at the deadline, has yet to sign with the Carolina Hurricanes. If he returns, that gives the Wheat Kings an exciting offence with Luka Burzan, Connor Gutenberg, Cole Reinhardt, Ben McCartney and Ridly Grieg all on the depth chart. Braeden Schneider should have another good campaign, along with overage blueliner Zach Wytinck, but the defensive depth is a question mark heading into next year. Plus, with Jiri Patera being a potential two-slot player if he doesn’t sign with the Vegas Golden Knights, the goaltending situation might not be solved until training camp. The post 2018-19 WHL Season Review: The Non-Playoff Teams appeared first on Prince Albert Daily Herald.
Categories: Prince Albert News

Bill to establish Truth and Reconciliation statutory holiday passes House

Wed, 03/20/2019 - 20:57
A bill proposed by a Saskatchewan MP to establish a national statutory holiday for truth and reconciliation has passed third reading. The bill, introduced by NDP MP Georgina Jolibois, passed its third House of Commons vote Wednesday. It was supported by the Liberals and the NDP. Conservative MPs voted against the bill. The bill will establish Sept. 30 as a national statutory holiday. The bill had originally proposed to make Indigenous peoples Day, June 21, a national holiday, but was changed in committee. Jolibois has said she supports the changes. “This is an important day for Reconciliation in Canada,” said Jolibois, who is the representative for Desthené-Missinipi-Churchill River. “After 151 years of pain and suffering inflicted on First Nations, Métis, and Inuit people, there will now be a time to reflect and to build relationships to strengthen the Canadian society.” Now, the bill has to make its way through the Senate before it can become law. Jolibois does not expect it will see much opposition. “With Justice Murray Sinclair who chaired the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in the Senate, I would expect this bill to go ahead without much opposition,” said Jolibois. Establishing a statutory holiday for truth and reconciliation was one of the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission report.  “I’m proud of the work we did to get this done,” Jolibois said. “We heard from many First Nations, Métis, and Inuit people across the country who wanted this done. This is a big day for all of us.” The post Bill to establish Truth and Reconciliation statutory holiday passes House appeared first on Prince Albert Daily Herald.
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Provincial budget includes operating surplus, capital debt

Wed, 03/20/2019 - 20:42
The Saskatchewan Party delivered on its promise of a balanced budget, presenting a document with a slim $34.4 million surplus Wednesday. The document also projects larger surpluses of $49 million, $72 million and $84 million for the next three fiscal years. Finance Minister Donna Harpauer stood up in the Legislative Assembly to present the 2019-20 budget at about 2:30 p.m. “This budget is the right balance for Saskatchewan,” Harpauer said Wednesday. “(It) provides an increase in support in almost every area.” The province is projecting an increase in both revenues and expenses but hasn’t planned any tax increases. The only tax changes are a new credit for volunteer firefighters and health first responders and the removal of some exemptions previously provided to the potash industry. The province said the increase in revenue is driven in part by stronger resource prices, as agriculture and potash are rebounding, while oil and gas are still dragging along. The removal of some of those potash exemptions combined with stronger prices is leading to a projection of a net increase of $117 million from the potash industry. That growth, Harpauer said, shows that those tax exemptions work. “When you do tax incentives that have a goal in mind, they should always be revisited periodically,” she said. “(This) was our time to ensure that Saskatchewan people were benefitting from what was their resource.” Other sources of the projected increase in revenue were attributed to tax revenue and Crown corporation earnings. Property and sales taxes are expected to bring in more money as the economy improves.  The province will benefit from the elimination of potash tax deductions that were limiting revenue from potash base payments. The province did not heed calls from the NDP and from the construction industry to back off a change that removed PST exemptions on construction contracts. The increase in expenses can be attributed to funding bumps for health, education and social services, as well as to higher debt servicing costs. While the province is projected to add $1.7 billion in debt from further investment in capital, its operating debt is not increasing this year. Saskatchewan will also retain the third-lowest debt-to-GDP ratio among Canadian provinces, with only BC and Alberta boasting lower percentages. The province is projecting real GDP growth of 2.2 per cent per year from 2020 until 2023. “The province’s economy is strengthening. Our province is growing,” Harpauer said. “The 2019-20 budget is our governments’ plan to … sustain needed investments in high-quality services for all of Saskatchewan’s people. The 2019-20 budget balances those investments with carefully managed spending and continues to develop a stable, sustainable revenue base without raising taxes.” Harpauer told reporters that the decision to spend increased revenue on more services as opposed to tax relief came from concerns raised by residents about the need for more services for mental health and addictions and the increase in children coming into the province’s care. She said that although the balance is slim, it should be well-insulated against potential risks. “Every single budget, we’re mindful of risk,” she said. “But we were fairly conservative in our projections in revenues, so we hope we will be able to manage any risk that occurs throughout the fiscal year.” While Harpauer preached balance, the NDP accused the ruling party of misleading the public as the debt is projected to increase through capital spending. They also said that education remains underfunded. “It isn’t a balanced budget because you see the debt increase by $1.8 billion, said NDP leader Ryan Meili. “If you look at how much we’re paying to service that debt, our interest rates have gone up. We’re at $700 million a year, 50 million more than last year. While it might be, by accounting standards, without an explicit deficit, we are seeing a big increase in our debt, set to be … $20,000 or more for each person in Saskatchewan.” Meili said that while education funding is higher than last year, he accused the Saskatchewan Party of failing to make up fully for funding cut in 2016. The NDP did welcome increased spending on mental health but called the supports “just a start” from where mental health spending should be in Saskatchewan. The post Provincial budget includes operating surplus, capital debt appeared first on Prince Albert Daily Herald.
Categories: Prince Albert News