Friday, January 29, 2010

Clash Is A Must-See For Me

I don't know how my good friend Kelly Remple thought of this idea, I don't know how much work he puts into it, but I do know Kelly has done something that is tremendous and that is organize the Trans-Canada Clash for a 3rd straight year. The rivalry might not be the same as it was years ago, but games between the Regina Pats and Moose Jaw Warriors are always something special.

When the first "Clash" happened in January of 2007, I thought this will be cool seeing the alumni of both teams go against one another. I had no idea what was about to happen. When I walked into the Civic Centre that Saturday afternoon, the place was full. The game turned out to be great---it was better than great. Moose Jaw led the game 8-5 going into the 3rd period. I was watching the game with Rob Vanstone and just after the 3rd period started, I looked at him and said "Is it just me or have the Pats turned the intensity up?". He responded by saying he thought the Pats had shortened up their bench. They had! Regina stormed back to win the game by a count of 10-9. After the game, I went into both dressing rooms. You would think both teams had been involved in the Memorial Cup final. The Pat players were celebrating---many of them still wearing the jersey they once wore so proudly. In the other room, the Warriors were so quiet that you could hear a pin drop. It meant something to each and every one of those players who battled that Saturday afternoon. The game that night between the Pats and Warriors paled in comparison and many in the crowd that night were still buzzing about what they had seen earlier that day.

Fast forward to 2008. (picture courtesy

That was the Brandt Centre on what was the coldest Saturday of the winter. Where as you could easily pack the Civic Centre, this was the Brandt Centre. Regina had bought into this event just as much as Moose Jaw had and they wanted to be there to see the players of yesteryear including Theoren Fleury. Theo just about got into a scrap with Doug Trapp that afternoon as the Pats alumni once again squeaked out a one goal victory.

Clash 3 goes tomorrow and the headliners are Mike Sillinger and Jamie Heward. The recently retired NHL'ers will join Frank Kovacs as the Pats reunite "The Pup Line". I remember going to games at the Dome and watching these three 16 year olds light it up. Kovacs saying after the first Clash that he e-mailed both of his former linemates to say what a great time it was and that they had to play when the chance first came around. That chance comes tomorrow and once again the game will be sold out.

There's no way I'm missing this. In fact, I will do play-by-play of the game along with Dustin Dion of Country 100 in Moose Jaw for Sasktel Max. It will be on local on demand by Wednesday I am told. Thus, if you are a Pats or Warriors fan and you aren't making the trip to the Civic Centre, you can catch it if you are a Max subscriber.

If you are going and tomorrow is your first Clash, your expectations will be met and then some. That is a promise. I would love to see a game of this magnitude one day featuring NHL'ers from both teams that played in this rivalry(Brad Stuart, Josh Harding, Jeff Friesen, Dustin Boyd, Troy Brouwer, Ryan Smyth, etc. etc.) Alas, that day will probably never happen for a variety of reasons but seeing guys that I grew up watching in both buildings will be a blast from the past.

By the way, where are Dustin Slade and Sean O'Connor?


Anonymous said...

This is more than a hockey game. Its a trip down memory lane. I was at the first one and I was amazed at how much effort both teams gave. I expect the same tomorrow.


Anonymous said...

Whenever there is a buzz in the rink before faceoff, you know you are in for something. That's the way its been the last two years. I would think it would be the same way tomorrow.