Month: February 2011

2011 Canada Games: Now Available on a TV Near You

Photo Credit: 2011 Canada Games

Throughout the first week of the 2011 Canada Games records have been broken, underdogs have beaten the odds and those in attendence have been treated to good old East Coast hospitality.

Canada’s youth athletics has been on display for all those to see.

Well, sort of.

Despite the success thus far of the games, the lack of television coverage and access has been a consistent complaint from those unable to physically attend the events or those who are stuck relying on less than reliable webstreaming.

Now one week into the games, the powers at be are moving to rectify this issue and coverage has been dramatically expanded for the rest of the competition. In an email today, the Host Society released the following statement:

For week two of the Halifax 2011 Canada Games, all TSN and TSN2 Canada Games coverage will be available on Bell Aliant, Bell ExpressVu, Eastlink and Shaw Direct.

TSN coverage will be available on Bell Aliant in Atlantic Canada and to Eastlink digital subscribers in Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador. Bell ExpressVu and Shaw Direct satellite customers will now be able to access TSN2 coverage nationally.

Customers are asked to check their local listings for more details.

With a dramatic increase in access to the games, it remains to be seen whether those left in the dark will take advantage of the opportunity and tune in for the final week.

Henry is a contributor to Sportstream.ca and part of the Bill McLean Sports Show on 88.1 CKDU every Tuesday Mornings at 11. You can follow him on twitter at HenryWhitfield, where he live tweets his thoughts during each Mooseheads games

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X-Men Knock Tigers out of Playoffs

By: Henry Whitfield

(Photo Credit: Richard LaFortune)

With playoff hockey returning to the Dalhousie Memorial Arena this weekend, the Dalhousie Tigers faithful packed the house Saturday afternoon and watched their Tigers lose on a St. FX goal with just ten seconds left in the game.

It was a cruel way to end the series and knock the Tigers out of their first playoff appearance since 2004.

Goaltender Josh Disher stood on his head for much of the game and did his best to keep the home side in the game, playing shutout hockey for forty minutes.

The Tigers gave their fans plenty to cheer about early on, with Benjamin Brealt and Daniel Bartek both coming close in early moments but denied by solid goaltending from Joseph Perricone.

Brealt came closest to breaking the deadlock with a hard wrist shot that beat Perricone but denied by the post.

In the closing moments of the period Sean Donovan hit Brett Thebrege from behind and was sent to the box for hitting from behind and given an additional 10-minute misconduct.

The X-Men managed to kill off the penalty, but as their penalty expired the visitors were caught with too many men on the ice and ended up back on the penalty kill.

While Bartek and Brealt continued to create chances in the second period, it was Benoit Gervais that gave the Tigers the lead. The defensemen playing on the top forward line picked up a rebound in front and put it over a helpless Perricone.

The Tigers held a one goal lead going into the third period but found themselves on the penalty kill just a few minutes in.

Taking their chance, St. FX tied up the game after a pass by Kevin Undershute was deflected off of Brett Plouffe’s skate and past Disher.

The visiting side took the lead soon after when Undershute found a wide open Chris Hulit alone in front and he buried his goal into the open net.

However, the scrappy Tigers found a way back into the game with Bryce Swan in the box for tripping, Jacob Johnston crept in from the blue line and squeezed a second chance effort past Perricone and tied the game.

The fairy tale ending was not to be, with the X-Men calling a time out on an offensive zone face-off with just a few seconds left in the game.

Executing a perfect play, Jason Bast scored off the face-off win with just ten seconds left in the game. It was a crushing end to a spirited game and the Tigers can leave proud that they played one of their strongest games of the season.

Henry is a contributor to Sportstream.ca and part of the Bill McLean Sports Show on 88.1 CKDU every Tuesday Mornings at 11. You can follow him on twitter at HenryWhitfield, where he live tweets his thoughts during each Mooseheads games

 

Hat-trick Hero Books Tigers Into Playoff Hockey

Putting the Tigers on his back, Benjamin Breault scored a timely hat-trick and booked the Dalhousie Tigers Men’s Hockey team into the postseason for the first time since 2004.

Coming off a game that he and line-mate Shea Kewin combined for a 10-point night, the high-flying forward picked up where he left off beating the UPEI Panthers 5 – 2 in front of an excited crowd.

With a number of Panthers players out suspended, the Tigers were in position to push for the final playoff spot against Moncton and came out skating hard.

Breault set-up Daniel Bartek halfway through the first, but the skilled European alone in front couldn’t put the backhand past Panthers net-minder.

The Panthers though were the first to break the deadlock, with Jacob Johnston in the penalty box, Chad Locke scored on a puck that just dribbled through Bobby Nadeau.

With just three minutes left in the first period, Breault stepped up with a big goal and tied the game, giving the Tigers momentum back and the home side were unlucky not to take the lead on a late flurry of pressure.

Just twenty-three seconds into the second period Panthers top scorer Matt Carter broke in and snapped a shot past Nadeau, catching the Tigers defence flat-footed and out of position.

But the scrappy Tigers were not done there, Breault slapped a powerful shot through traffic to tie the game back up.

A few minutes later the home team found themselves with a two-man advantage, but doing it the hardway the Tigers found themselves scrambling around and unable to take advantage but as the powerplay expired, Pierre-Alexandre Vandall made his mark.

The Quebec native showcased his skill with an inch perfect tip in front on a Justin Javorek shot, clearly overjoyed with the goal the Tigers took a 3-2 lead.

Taking a lead into the third period, the Tigers came out fired-up in the final frame with a few big hits and clearly buoyed by the news that St. FX were beating Moncton, the other team battling for the final playoff spot.

Nadeau made a number of big saves in the final period and the Breault finished off his hat-trick, allowing Tigers Head Coach Pete Belliveau a chance to enjoy playoff success a team that is still rebuilding.

The Tigers host the UNB Varsity Reds in their final regular season game tonight at the Dalhousie Memorial Arena, puck drops at 7:30pm but for Tigers fans it is the first time in a while that they can look forward to playoff hockey.

Henry is a contributor to Sportstream.ca and part of the Bill McLean Sports Show on 88.1 CKDU every Tuesday Mornings at 11. You can follow him on twitter atHenryWhitfield, where he live tweets his thoughts during each Mooseheads games

Mooseheads Look to Keep Momentum Going

Young Herd reaping rewards of hard-work

By: Henry Whitfield

Photo Credit: Richard Lafortune

The Halifax Mooseheads have finally found a rhythm knocking off Baie-Comeau Drakkar, PEI Rockets and Drummondville over their last four games, barely losing a close decision to the Moncton Wildcats.

Unfortunately for the Herd that momentum will be hard to keep going, tonight they welcome the top team in the country to the Metro Center. The Saint John Sea Dogs have been head and shoulders above every team this season, currently on an eight game winning streak and fresh off an 11 – 2 dismantling of the Wildcats.

The Sea Dogs also boast an abundance of talent with Jonathan Huberdeau, Zach Phillips and Michael Kirkpatrick leading the way with a combined 212 points between them so far this season.

Meanwhile, the disappointing Mooseheads are warming up and finally showing signs of life in a season full of more downs than ups.

Captain Travis Randall and veteran Gerard Grant have started to show up, complimenting the always hard working Charles Bety to give this young Herd leadership and direction.

Terenzio has been strong in net for the Moose

The goaltending combination of Anthony Terenzio and Piche have given the Mooseheads a chance to win games, making big saves when it counts and making up for defensive mistakes that are common in a young team.

A very young defensive core has also found its game, The big surprise has been young German Konrad Abeltshauser, who has found his slap-shot and is showing his true potential over the last dozen games. The always consistent Steve Gillard continues to impress and even Sawyer Hannay has started to pick up his game.

Highly touted Martin Frk has cooled off a bit, but Carl Gelinas has refound his scoring touch and Summerside, PEI native Darcy Ashley has become a fan favourite with his exciting play and goal scoring ability.

Gelinas has found his scoring touch, netting twice against the Volts

It has been the overall teamwork and hard skating that has led to the Herd’s recent success, finding it’s legs in the third period which has been non-existant all season. Usually a team ready to roll over in the third, this team has been battling for a full sixty minutes and working for points.

However, if the Moose are to have any chance at all against the highflying Sea Dogs then it will come down to staying out of the penalty box and staying focused for a full sixty minutes.

Sound simple?

Probably not.

Henry is a contributor to Sportstream.ca and part of the Bill McLean Sports Show on 88.1 CKDU every Tuesday Mornings at 11. You can follow him on twitter at HenryWhitfield, where he live tweets his thoughts during each Mooseheads games.

The Premier League Transfer Madness, Explained.

After a painfully slow start, Monday’s Premier League Transfer Deadline Day proved to the masses of football fans all over the world that English Football world has gone mad.

Here is the madness explained…

Aston Villa

US International Bradley on loan at Villa

 

The Villains made two transfers of note in this window, the first being the loan signing of USA midfielder Michael Bradley, an interesting signing and it will be interesting to see how he fits in at Villa.

He is a hard-working midfielder and I think he will compliment Villa’s other signing; the 24 million pound signing of Darren Bent from Sunderland. The second the Bent transfer
was announced people were talking of how crazy the deal was and that Bent isn’t worth that much and etc., however a goal on his debut against Man City which proved to be the winner says that was he was bought for, his undeniable goal scoring ability.

The only departure of note was new signing Stephen Ireland off to Newcastle, it has been well documented that he didn’t want to join Villa but rather than keep his head down he pouted and played poorly and has now found himself at Newcastle, maybe he’ll find his love for the game again.

Blackpool

Ian Holloway is most people’s man of the hour, his witty retorts and blunt opinions have brought something to the Premier League not seen since Jose Mourinho left for Italy, however the situation surrounding Charlie Adam brought into light Holloway’s resolve.

Following a number of bids from Villa and Birmingham, Liverpool made an offer and Adam in turn handed in a transfer request, however Holloway was unimpressed with Liverpool’s offer and he managed to keep his star player – just a day later, the Scott showed why he is so highly rated, putting in a man of the match effort against League Leaders Manchester United.

Holloway, then managed to add Adam Reid and James Beattie to his side on the final day of the window, signings which I believe will add to his already hard-working team and should keep them up if they play to their potential and recover their form.

Manchester City

27 Million Pound Man Dzeko excited to be at City

Only three changes at the blue half of Manchester this time round, with Strikers being the only players to move.

Out of favour Roque Santa-Cruz returned to Blackburn on loan and Emmanuel Adebayor headed overseas to Real Madrid.

Their big purchase was Edin Dzeko, brought in to replace the departed duo. Certainly an interesting move, Dzeko is a good player but so were Adebayor and Santa-Cruz, but the question will be how well he can adjust and he copes in the physical English league. If this edition works out, it appears Manchester City will be able to make a real push towards the top of the table.

Chelsea and Liverpool

I’ve grouped these two teams together because they managed to make transfer deadline day interesting.

With the revelation that Fernando Torres wanted to leave Liverpool after Chelsea had made a bid, it became apparent that he was joining the Blues and Liverpool needed to find a replacement, quickly.

Suarez took just 16 minutes to score on his LFC debut.

Their attentions turned to young Andy Carroll, the Newcastle striker and England international. After a day of drama it was announced that he would be joining fellow new signing Luis Suarez at Liverpool for a fee of 35 million pounds.

Crazy money in my opinion for an unproven striker, but a gamble Liverpool needed to make in order to replace the hole left by Torres, they do however finally have two good strikers with which to lead the line. Whether they can now turn Liverpool’s season around is going to be exciting over the next few months.

Chelsea meanwhile have a strike-force that is in transition, despite pairing Drogba and Torres up, their squad is on its last legs as its age begins to show with injuries to Lampard and Terry. The summer will be one of interesting developments, can Torres fire Chelsea to the top or will he be the lone star as the inevitable mass chop and change of the summer occurs.

As usual Arsenal and Manchester United sit quiet during the January transfer period.

The top two teams in the Premier League, happy with their squads and ready to fight to the end of the season.

One thing is for certain, an interesting end to the season lies ahead.

Tom Dobbyne throw’s his own spin on current sports affairs and offers satirical commentary on current events. Follow him @TomDobbyne or on Facebook as English Tom.