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Shew's Views

About James Shewaga:

James Shewaga is the Brandon Sun’s sports editor.

  • Shame on Shanny for allowing hockey havoc

    Brendan Shanahan lost all credibility — not to mention any semblance of control of law and order in the game — on the opening night of this year’s NHL playoffs. And the results haven’t been pretty.
  • Moves didn't put Brandon over the top

    One thing you can say about Brandon Wheat Kings general manager Kelly McCrimmon this season: He wasn’t afraid to make big, bold moves to improve his team. In the end, however, McCrimmon’s moves — hiring former NHL coach Cory Clouston, acquiring top overager Darian Dziurzynski and landing 19-year-old NHL prospect Kevin Sundher — couldn’t help the Wheat Kings get past the hottest team in the WHL.
  • Is moving up fair week out of the question?

    Two weeks would make all the difference in the world for the Brandon Wheat Kings. And if the dates for the annual Royal Manitoba Winter Fair were moved up by just 14 days, it could be a win-win-win-win scenario for not only the Wheat Kings, the Keystone Centre, the City of Brandon, and possibly even the Winter Fair itself.
  • SHEW'S VIEWS: The long and winding road for Brandon

    It’s a task that will require the Wheat Kings to win a playoff series without playing a single game in Brandon. But so far, so good for the Wheat Kings.
  • Canada Games could be a big boost for Brandon

    Nothing comes for free, but the Canada Summer Games are about as good as it gets. Backed by generous federal and provincial government funding and national sponsorship dollars, the Canada Games are not only a major national sports spectacle, but also a huge financial windfall for any community lucky enough to host them.
  • Brandon team putting on a show in Saskatoon

    There were some doubters — mainly Winnipeggers suffering from a bad case of Perimeteritis — who questioned Rob Fowler’s ability to compete with the best at the Brier this week. But Fowler’s foursome from the Brandon Curling Club has certainly answered the naysayers, brushing aside some early shaky shots to post an impressive 8-3 record and clinch one of the four playoff spots at the Canadian men’s curling championship in Saskatoon.
  • Head shots still an issue despite WHL crackdown

    It appears the WHL’s new crackdown on head shots to limit concussions has yet to have the desired effect. While the league refuses to release the number of concussions suffered by players until the end of the season — totals hidden by the WHL’s nebulous new injury list that limits reporting to upper- or lower-body ailments only — commissioner Ron Robison admits the number of head injuries has remained roughly the same as last season.
  • Schedule sets up well for Brandon's playoff push

    With January’s struggles seemingly behind them, the Brandon Wheat Kings’ recent run has at least given them a real opportunity to climb the WHL standings and avoid a first-round playoff matchup with either the Central Division-leading Edmonton Oil Kings or the East Division-leading Moose Jaw Warriors. Now 7-1-0-1 in their last nine games — and 3-0-0-1 in their last four on home ice — the Wheat Kings (32-26-1-3) will play seven of their final 10 games at Westman Place, with their only three road dates all quick trips to Regina to face the Pats (32-23-5-1), who sit two points up on Brandon with a game in hand. Meanwhile, the sixth-place Saskatoon Blades (25-25-0-1) are just three points ahead of Brandon with a game in hand, giving the Wheat Kings a legitimate chance to make a move up the standings down the stretch.
  • Fowler puts Brandon back in the curling spotlight

    For years now, Brandon has been producing elite curling talent, but for a quarter of a century one thing eluded local teams — a provincial men’s title. On Sunday in Dauphin, Brandon’s Rob Fowler finally ended that 25-year drought when he skipped his Brandon Curling Club foursome of Allan Lyburn, Richard Daneault and Derek Samagalski to a 10-6 triumph over former Brandonite Mike McEwen to clinch the Safeway Championship title and a berth in this year’s Brier.
  • Top line leading way in Wheat Kings' revival

    Some news, notes and quotes, and the latest edition of the good, the bad and the ugly with the Brandon Wheat Kings: The good:
  • The BU gym: The House that Hemmings built

    After 47 years of hoops history, this weekend will mark the end of an era at Brandon University. When the Brandon Bobcats battle the Lethbridge Pronghorns on Saturday night, it will be the final university basketball game ever played in the storied history of the BU gymnasium. The venerable old building has been the site of many memorable moments and unforgettable players, a history told through the championship banners that signify 19 Great Plains Athletic Conference men’s basketball titles, one Canada West championship and four national titles.
  • Wheat Kings search for answers, BU searches for a coach

    How critical of a weekend is this for head coach Cory Clouston and the Brandon Wheat Kings? By Saturday night, the struggling Wheat Kings (24-23-1-2) could find themselves tied with the Red Deer Rebels for the eighth and final playoff spot in the WHL’s Eastern Conference, with Red Deer holding all the cards with three games in hand.
  • Time for Sundher to break out for Wheat Kings

    Observations and notations while wondering which team is having the tougher January, the Brandon Wheat Kings or the Winnipeg Jets? (Trick question: Both teams were 2-6 heading into Thursday night’s Jets game).
  • McCrimmon gambles on this season's success

    I don’t know if Kelly McCrimmon is a big fan of blackjack, poker or playing the slots, but he sure has bet heavily on his Brandon Wheat Kings this season. The Wheat Kings owner/ general manager has gone against the odds and gambled a sizeable chunk of the future of his club to land a pair of signed 19-year-old NHL prospects in new centreman Kevin Sundher and previously acquired goaltender Brandon Anderson, as well as 20-year-old power forward Darian Dziurzynski — the best player moved at this season’s Western Hockey League overage deadline.
  • Will McCrimmon double down, stand pat or fold?

    Seven weeks ago, the Brandon Wheat Kings briefly moved into first place overall in the Western Hockey League. Today, the Wheat Kings have slipped all the way to the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
  • Westman girls ready to take on the world

    Five players in three world championship tournaments. Yes indeed, the Brandon Wheat Kings and the Westman region are well-represented in holiday hockey extravaganzas this year. Wheat King fans have been able to watch 19-year-old captain Mark Stone of Winnipeg light up the world juniors for Team Canada in Alberta, while also trying to catch a glimpse of 18-year-old rookie import Alessio Bertaggia suiting up for Switzerland. Meanwhile, 16-year-old rookie Wheat Kings defenceman Ayrton Nikkel of Kelowna, B.C., is currently playing for Team Pacific at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Ontario.
  • A healthy roster tops Wheat Kings' wish list

    With the jolly fat guy in the red suit getting ready for his big day, it’s time to check out some Christmas wish lists. We’ll start with the Brandon Wheat Kings, who entered the Christmas break with a 20-14-1-1 record after an up-and-down first half marked by some significant injuries that led to inconsistent lineups and some inconsistent efforts.
  • Stone keeps Wheat Kings' junior team tradition alive

    Great news for the Brandon Wheat Kings to be represented on the Canadian junior team for the fourth straight season. While playing without captain and league scoring leader Mark Stone won’t help the Wheat Kings in the WHL standings, it’s a great reward for a classy player. It also certainly doesn’t hurt the Wheat Kings’ reputation in hockey circles to have Stone follow in the footsteps of Brayden Schenn (2011 and 2010) and Keith Aulie (2009) by wearing Canada’s colours ...
  • Brandon duo shines on international stage

    Brandon Wheat Kings Mark Stone and Michael Ferland could soon be basking in the sports spotlight with Canada’s world junior hockey team, which opens its selection camp this weekend in Calgary. But there are a couple of young women from Brandon who deserve to share the headlines this week.
  • Thornborough latest local to wear Canada's colours

    Brandon’s Amanda Thornborough has travelled halfway around the world this week to the Middle East to become the latest Westman athlete to proudly wear Canada’s colours. The 21-year-old member of the Brandon Barbarians and CIS silver medallist St. FX University X-Women was asked to suit up for the national women’s development rugby team competing for Canada at the prestigious international sevens tournament in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
  • Scouting staff secret to Wheaties' success

    The first-round picks always get the headlines on draft day, but the Brandon Wheat Kings are again showing that it’s what you do later in the draft — and after the draft — that can make or break a WHL club. A quick look at the league leaders shows just how important the work of the Wheat Kings’ scouting staff — led by Al Macpherson — has been for general manager Kelly McCrimmon.
  • Wheat King observations and BUFA consternation

    It’s hard to argue with the success of the Brandon Wheat Kings so far this season. New head coach Cory Clouston has guided the club to a solid 14-6-1-1 record — one point out of first place overall in the WHL — while GM Kelly McCrimmon has bolstered his lineup by adding toughness and talent in acquiring power forward Darian Dziurzynski. The Wheat Kings lead the league in offence (93 goals), boast the best power play in the WHL (scoring at a 32.6 per cent clip) and are slowly improving their penalty killing (75.6 per cent) which has moved up from 20th to 15th in the league.
  • BUFA strikes out with Bobcats

    This is supposed to be one of the biggest weekends of the year for Brandon University Bobcats athletics. A rematch of last season’s national men’s volleyball final between the Bobcats and the Trinity Western Spartans, right here at the BU gym.
  • Tough times for Bobcats athletics and NHL fans

    The longest strike in Brandon University history has already had a negative effect on Bobcat athletics. While the Bobcats men’s and women’s volleyball teams are both off to 0-3 starts to the season while playing without head coaches Russ Paddock and Lee Carter, BU’s women’s basketball team took a huge hit when top American recruit Kate Helgeson quit the team and left school to transfer to Minot State. She cited the strike as the primary reason for her departure.
  • League punishment fails to make proper statement

    The Manitoba Junior Hockey League had an opportunity — most would say an obligation — to send a public message this week that hazing rituals will absolutely not be tolerated anymore. Their actions, however, came up woefully short.
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