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Shew's Views

About James Shewaga:

James Shewaga is the Brandon Sun’s sports editor.

  • Kaluzniak recalls Centennial Cup

    Gord Kaluzniak figures it was high time for his 1973-74 Selkirk Steelers to pass the torch to another Manitoba Junior Hockey League team. The Portage Terriers’ victory in the RBC Cup on Sunday ended a 41-year drought for the MJHL at the Canadian Junior A hockey championship. Kaluzniak and his brother Garry, both now Brandonites, were key players for the Steelers when they won the MJHL’s last national title.
  • Rockets simply found a way to win the final

    It’s hard to draw any encouragement from being on the wrong end of a playoff sweep. That’s why a remarkable Brandon  Wheat Kings’ campaign, one that included the Western Hockey League’s best regular-season record and a trip to the Ed Chynoweth Cup championship final, is hard to digest for those who have followed the team all season long.
  • Twenty-four years of memories to last a lifetime

    I first arrived in the Wheat City back in 1991, in time to watch the Brandon Wheat Kings struggle through a franchise-worst 11-win season. Twenty-four years later, as I write my final column for the Brandon Sun, the Wheat Kings go gunning for another 50-win season tonight.
  • Brandon by the numbers in a superb season

    Having clinched first place in the WHL’s Eastern Conference with eight games still to play, it has already been a season to remember for the Brandon Wheat Kings. And with the playoffs just around the corner — 20 days away, to be exact — here’s a look at some numbers of note as the Wheat Kings gear up to take a run at the league title:
  • Bobcats turn focus to 2016 nationals

    The Brandon University Bobcats are represented at CIS nationals this week, but limited to spectator status only. With BU’s women’s team set to host the 2016 CIS volleyball championship, Bobcat coaches and officials are scouting the men’s nationals in Saskatoon and women’s nationals in Toronto as they begin preparing to step into the national sports spotlight next year.
  • Injury kept Hawrysh from putting best foot forward

    Racing head-first downhill at 140 kilometres an hour on ice-covered tracks, Brandon’s Cassie Hawrysh is used to the twists and turns that the sport of skeleton offers. But the 30-year-old Canadian Olympic hopeful has had to endure her most challenging season yet, battling a frustrating foot injury, funding shortfalls and equipment issues to earn a third-place overall finish on the second-tier Intercontinental Cup tour that wrapped up last weekend in Calgary. For the Neelin high school graduate, the bronze-medal finish and a 28th ranking overall in the world were consolation prizes in a season that has tested her like never before.
  • Byfuglien big presence on Winnipeg blue-line

    All-star Dustin Byfuglien of the Winnipeg Jets leads a list of 15 former Brandon Wheat Kings and Westmanites who have played in the NHL this season. With teams hitting the midway point in the 82-game schedule this week, it’s time to take a look at how players with local connections are doing.
  • Wheat Kings have already made major moves this season

    Brandon Wheat Kings head coach/general manager Kelly McCrimmon hasn’t made this many moves since Brandon’s 2010 Memorial Cup season. The question is, with the WHL’s trade deadline just a day away, is McCrimmon finally done dealing?
  • Christmas wish list

    In the spirit of the season, with a visit from the jolly fat guy in the red suit a week away, it’s time to take a look at the Christmas wish list for some of our local teams: Brandon Wheat Kings: Good health. With an impressive 24-7-3-1 record and ranked fifth in the country, it’s been a fine first half of the season for head coach Kelly McCrimmon’s squad. The Wheat Kings have been the WHL’s best team this side of the Rockies, with the Kelowna Rockets arguably the best team in the country now with Winnipeg Jets’ first-round pick Josh Morrissey joining them after the world juniors. Blessed with some of the top young talent in the league, what the Wheat Kings need the most is to just get healthy. With forwards Jayce Hawryluk, Rihards Bukarts, John Quenneville, Jesse Gabrielle and Ty Lewis, and defencemen Ryan Pilon, Eric Roy and Kale Clague having all missed multiple games due to injuries, the Wheat Kings haven’t had a fully healthy roster available for a single game so far this season.
  • Grey Cup dream about to come true for one Brandonite

    No matter what happens on Sunday, a player from Brandon will get the chance to hoist the Grey Cup. Brandonites Landon Rice and Chris Bauman will be on opposite sidelines Sunday when the Calgary Stampeders and Hamilton Tiger-Cats clash in the 102nd Grey Cup game at BC Place Stadium and they are anxiously awaiting the CFL’s season finale.
  • Wheat Kings' NHL legacy continues to grow

    From Hanlon to Hextall, Propp to Paddock, Fairbairn to Ferraro and McCrimmon to McCabe, the Brandon Wheat Kings have a long history of sending players to the NHL. And the new generation is poised to produce one of the largest classes of prospects in years. On Thursday, Wheat King standouts Ivan Provorov, Ryan Pilon, Jesse Gabrielle, Rihards Bukarts and Jordan Papirny were listed by Central Scouting as players to watch for the 2015 NHL draft, projected to join five Brandon teammates — Reid Duke (Minnesota Wild), Jayce Hawryluk (Florida Panthers), John Quenneville (New Jersey Devils), Peter Quenneville (Columbus Blue Jackets) and Eric Roy (Calgary Flames) — who are already NHL prospects.
  • Krzyzaniak impresses with Canadian women's team

    Some news, notes and quotes as Brandon gears up for the star-studded Remembrance Day clash between the WHL and Russian juniors on Tuesday at Westman Place: • It was great to see Neepawa’s Halli Krzyzaniak notch her first career point as a member of the national women’s hockey team on Wednesday night, assisting on the game-winning goal in Canada’s 3-2 comeback victory over the United States at the Four Nations Cup in Kamloops, B.C. “Yeah, it was really special,” said Krzyzaniak, whose team faces Finland in tonight’s semifinals. “It was a really good time to get your first point, that’s for sure, especially against the Americans in a tight game like that. … I was probably more thrilled that we scored, but being in on it was pretty great, too.” At the age of 19, Krzyzaniak is the youngest defenceman on the team and is on the fast track to being an Olympian one day.
  • Hawrysh staying on track despite skeleton setbacks

    She is ranked in the top 20 in the world and is the defending national champion, but Cassie Hawrysh will have to find a way to overcome a painful foot injury to get back on the Canadian skeleton team. The 30-year-old Brandon native begins the national championships and World Cup team trials on Saturday at Canada Olympic Park in Calgary. It’s the first of two weekends of competition as she looks to get back on track to chasing her dream of making it to the 2018 Winter Olympic Games.
  • Brandon exquisite on offence but defence needs work

    It’s time for a quick track of trends a dozen games into the season for the Brandon Wheat Kings: Offence: No problems here. With 66 goals scored in 12 games, the Wheat Kings (9-2-1-0) lead the WHL, averaging an impressive 5.5 goals per game. And that’s despite missing one of their top scorers, centre John Quenneville, for the past six games due to an upper-body injury. His return at some point on this road trip will provide yet another boost for Brandon, which also has forwards Reid Duke (two goals, five points in his last two games) and new captain Peter Quenneville (three goals, 11 points in his last six games) going now after slow starts to the season.
  • Shew's Views: Canada calls on Krzyzaniak for Four Nations Cup

    From a future Olympian to future bestsellers, there’s a lot of ground to cover this week. Let’s start with the pride of Neepawa: At the age of 19, Halli Krzyzaniak is continuing her remarkable rise with the national women’s hockey team program, with the Neepawa native named to the 23-player roster for next month’s Four Nations Cup. The 5-foot-9 defenceman — the Brandon Sun’s H.L. (Krug) Crawford award winner as southwestern Manitoba’s athlete of the year in 2013 — will join many of the best women’s hockey players in the world at the tournament in Kamloops from Nov. 4-8.
  • McCrimmon makes first big bold move of the year

    Kelly McCrimmon has never been shy about pulling off blockbuster trades. However, it isn’t often that he pulls the trigger on a major move this early in the season.
  • Six storylines for premiere performance

    The stars of the WHL come out to shine tonight —well, most of them, anyways. With a Sept. 19 start to the season — the earliest opening night since Sept. 18 in the 2009-10 season — most WHL teams will be missing some top players away at NHL training camps. The Brandon Wheat Kings are no exception, with three of their top six forwards — Jayce Hawryluk (Florida), John Quenneville (New Jersey) and Richard Nejezchleb (N.Y. Rangers) — missing for opening night. Interestingly, Brandon was without six players to open that 2009-10 season — Matt Calvert (Columbus), Brayden Schenn (Los Angeles), Scott Glennie (Dallas), Colby Robak (Florida), Toni Rajala (Edmonton) and Alexander Urbom (New Jersey).
  • Pre-season prognosticators set the bar high for Brandon

    At the risk of drawing the ire of Brandon Wheat Kings diehards, it’s a little early to plan the championship parade, despite what the CHL’s pre-season rankings might suggest. Just to be clear, the Wheat Kings are certainly a team on the rise with a talented group of 18 veterans and some of the most highly regarded rookie talent in the WHL. But plenty of things have to fall in place yet for the Wheat Kings to live up to the lofty ranking of No.3 in the country — and No.1 in the WHL — as the CHL’s panel of NHL scouts pegged Brandon in the first rankings of the season.
  • Onyshko will take on the world

    Serving up some news, notes and quotes as the Brandon Wheat Kings prepare to hit the ice for their first pre-season test tonight at Westman Place: • Brandon gymnast Isabela Onyshko is preparing to step into the international spotlight again for the biggest competition of her young career. Fresh off a pair of top-10 performances last month at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, the 16-year-old star of the Brandon Eagles Gymnastics Centre has now been selected to represent Canada at the world championships from Oct. 3-13 in Nanning, China. “I’m really excited,” she said during a break in training on Thursday. “It’s sort of surreal right now, it doesn’t feel like (being selected) actually happened, but I’m very happy.” Onyshko will head overseas on Sept. 20.
  • Plenty of questions for a promising Wheat King season

    As the Brandon Wheat Kings begin main camp today, we take a look at 10 questions for a team clearly on the rise: 1. How many 16-year-olds will make the cut? Brandon is blessed with some of the top blue-chip prospects in the league, including a bevy of 2013 WHL bantam draft picks led by centre Nolan Patrick (fourth overall), defenceman Kale Clague (sixth overall), centre Tanner Kaspick (25th overall) and forward Ty Lewis (47th overall). All four have a good chance to crack the lineup, although with as many as 12 forwards back, the competition for rookie roster spots up front will be intense. However, one thing head coach/general manager Kelly McCrimmon has always been known for is finding a way to make room for a young kid when he shows he’s ready to make the jump.
  • Wheat Kings set for competitive camp

    From the Wheat Kings to the worlds, it’s all about Wheat City connections this week: • We are just days away from what promises to be an extremely competitive camp for the Brandon Wheat Kings. With potentially 18 players back, roster spots will be at a premium this year, but you can certainly pencil into the lineup 16-year-old blue-chip prospects Nolan Patrick, Kale Clague and Brandonite Tanner Kaspick — three of the top 25 picks in the 2013 WHL bantam draft.
  • Westman athletes in the international spotlight

    From the Glasgow Games to Peru, Paris and Poland, Westman is well-represented on the world stage again this summer. Seven athletes from Brandon and Western Manitoba will take part in major international competitions, with a handful of hockey players also poised to represent our country in international exhibition action next month as some of our best and brightest step into the sports spotlight once again. Let’s take a look at some of the highlights:
  • Bauman, Idonije playing the waiting game

    While Landon Rice has answered the call, fellow Brandonites Chris Bauman and Israel Idonije are still waiting for the phone to ring. The latest Brandonite to make his mark in professional football, the 6-foot-6, 315-pound Rice has moved into the starting lineup on the Hamilton Tiger-Cats offensive line in his second season in the CFL.
  • Bring on the draft drama

    It won’t quite match the prime-time exposure of the 2009 NHL draft when Brandon Wheat Kings standouts Brayden Schenn and Scott Glennie were selected fifth and eighth overall, respectively, but this weekend’s NHL draft certainly has plenty to offer for local hockey fans. The Wheat Kings are expected to have at least three players picked in Philadelphia, with centre John Quenneville and right-winger Jayce Hawryluk of Roblin projected to go in the top three rounds, while big Czech winger Richard Nejezchleb is slated to be a mid-round pick. Latvian winger Rihards Bukarts and young netminder Jordan Papirny also appeared late on NHL Central Scouting’s final draft ranking list and are long-shot possibilities.
  • The end of an era

    For 40 years, he has been an icon on campus, a legendary coach with a remarkable record of achievement. But on August 31, after four decades at Brandon University, former Bobcats men’s basketball coach Jerry Hemmings will leave work for the last time. It’s the end of an era as Hemmings has officially tendered his resignation at the school that he led into the national sports spotlight with four Canadian university championship titles and a record 734 career coaching victories. Hemmings’ tenure as Bobcats basketball coach ended a decade ago, but he never left the game, filling the mentor role on campus as Coach Emeritus, doing colour commentary on Bobcat broadcasts, working as a physical education professor and helping out coaching in the high school ranks. But at the age of 66, after 40 years of service, Hemmings says it’s time.
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