Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Bales Details

An extra-long Easter holiday weekend has concluded and that means it's time for the second edition of Bales Details! What a beautiful weekend it was despite some wrinkles in the climate and could it have been more busy in the world of sport? I guess it could have, but my schedule certainly was full of games from rugby to hockey playoffs. 

On Good Friday, the WHL playoff series between the Swift Current Broncos and the Regina Pats shifted back to Regina for game five after the Pats staved off elimination last Tuesday night in Broncoville. The Pats managed to eek out a 3-2 victory that night to send the series back west. The next tilt, on Saturday night at the Swift Current iPlex, ended in more convincing fashion for the Pats with a 5-3 score-line much to the chagrin of the dedicated Broncos fans. Game seven would be needed as the teams were deadlocked at three wins each. I'd describe how the tilt played out, but instead, I'll let the WHL's best radio play-by-play man Phil "the Thrill" Andrews describe the details with highlights here. Regina is extremely fortunate to have both Access Communications and 620 CKRM radio station covering our Pats and our football teams!

Rugby. Not one of Canada's favourite sports traditionally, but all-the-same a sport that has made gains with Canadian sports fans after the 7's (seven players on each side playing seven minute halves) was thrust into the spotlight at the Rio Olympics. Canada fared well at the games on the women's side earning a bronze medal, but failed to even qualify for the tournament on the men's side. Fast forward to this weekend at the Singapore Sevens where the Canadian men (including Centre, John Moonlight, and fly-half, Nathan Hirayama) took out three top sides en route to their first championship in the sport. The young squad showed that this could be the first of many for the Canucks. If you haven't watched sevens, you are missing out. Get on it! Highlights and photos here.

The NBA playoffs fired up on Saturday with Canada's team, the Toronto Raptors, losing game one of their series for the billionth time. I guess it's not how they play in game one that matters. That's a sentiment I'm sure they'll embrace going into game two on TSN. I still think it's Raptors in five or six games maximum. I won't go around the horn but I will mention that Boston Celtics guard Isiah Thomas and his teammates were clearly hampered by emotion in their first game against the Chicago Bulls. That's because news broke that Thomas' sister Chyna Thomas was killed in a single-car motor vehicle accident the night before. I expect them to be lifted by her spirit, and able to do some things they might not have otherwise, for the remainder of these NBA playoffs.

Just a quick shutout to two former Saskatchewan Roughriders, Khalif Mitchell and Korey Williams. Both currently play for the perennially dominant Sioux Falls Storm football team in the Indoor Football League. You can watch these men (or any of the IFL players/teams) go to work on Facebook/YouTube on game days thanks to a brilliant broadcasting strategy set-forth by the IFL. Who needs the big networks anymore!?! I have a lot of fun watching and I think most CFL fans would too.

A mucky final round took the pride of Weyburn, Graham DeLaet out of contention at the PGA's RBC Heritage tournament on Sunday. He finished in sixth place despite a stellar first three rounds that saw him at the top of the leader board more than once. Head here for final round highlights and the rest of the story.

The Toronto Bluejays just aren't worth talking about at this point as they continue to struggle and find themselves out of the MLB conversation with a 2-10 record thus far. I'll talk more about them if or when that changes. I hope they can get it together on Thursday for a friend of mine, Michelle B., who is in the Big Smoke for the game among other things.

The NHL playoffs are going pretty darn well for most Canadian teams. All but my Calgary Flames are ahead in their series on this side of the weekend. Most surprising are the Toronto Maple Leafs who, with some OT heroics, find themselves up 2-1 on the heavy favourite Washington Capitals who are the 2017 Presidents Trophy winners. How about those Nashville Predators??? Anyone who's like me, hates to see a perennial champion in any sport unless of course it's your team. The Chicago Blackhawks have been the most dominant team in the NHL's western conference over the last five-plus years and it's kind of nice to see Nashville slamming the 'Hawks backs up against the wall with a 3-0 lead in that series. That's it for today folks! 

TODAYS SHOUTOUT: A huge shoutout to those dealing with addictions and those who have found the strength to do something about it and re-build the path they are on in life! You know who you are. Also, on a completely different note, I'd like to express my condolences to Ryan, Brett and the LeBlond families upon the passing of their dad, Donald Gregory LeBlond. Rest in peace Greg, you inspired many.

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