TISDALE — Nipawin’s Finley Radloff came to the Tisdale Trojans main camp with nothing guaranteed.
The son of Jennifer and Kevin Radloff not only earned a spot on the team, but Trojans head coach Dennis Kubat said he was one of the best players at camp. Since battling his way onto the Saskatchewan Male U18 AAA Hockey League team’s roster, Radloff has continued to develop his game.
“Finley has improved so much over the first couple of months, excited to watch him continue to progress,” Kubat said.
The 5-foot-6, 152-pound forward has an assist through eight games for his club.
“His speed is his biggest asset. He is learning to change speeds and be deceptive,” Kubat said. “He brings energy to the line up. He is a high energy guy.”
The 16-year-old is in his first U18 AAA season after playing in the North East U18 AA and U15 AA programs. Regarding making the jump up this season, Radloff said, “U18 AAA is faster, and you don’t have as much time with the puck.” He is having fun.
“I have enjoyed hanging out with all the guys and skating everyday,” he said.
Radloff and teammate Trey Penrod billet with Connie and Kevin Wutke. Radloff is not a newcomer to the billeting system. Before his family moved to Nipawin in 2012, they resided in Air Ronge and billeted players for the La Ronge Ice Wolves of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League. During the Radloffs’ time billeting players, the Ice Wolves won SJHL championships in 2010 and 2011.
“Growing up billeting influenced my love in hockey because I looked up to them and hoping one day I can play at that level,” Radloff said.
Martin Wins Bronze
Trojans defenceman Simon Martin helped Team Saskatchewan win the bronze medals on Sunday at the Western Hockey League Cup in Red Deer. Team Sask bested Manitoba, 3-2.
The WHL Cup pits the four western provinces against each other with rosters stocked with the top 2006-born players. These athletes are eligible for the 2021 WHL Prospects Draft, which will be held on Dec. 9. Many former WHL Cup participants have gone onto success in the event’s namesake and the NHL. Its alumni include Saskatchewan’s Ethan Bear of the Carolina Hurricanes, Matt Dumba of the Minnesota Wild, the Toronto Maple Leafs’ Morgan Rielly, and Nolan Patrick of the Vegas Golden Knights, to name a few.
In round robin play, Team Sask fell 8-1 to B.C., 5-4 in overtime to Team Alberta, and 3-2 to Manitoba. In the semifinals, Sask lost 9-2 to top-seeded Team B.C.
The Trojans have added 16-year-old forward Jared Burnett. The 5-foot-9, 150-pounder had four goals and seven points in three games this season for his hometown Warman Wildcats U18 AA squad. He also saw action in two games for the Warman U18 AAA team and now has played four games for Tisdale.
Doug Harms, the Warman U18 AA coach, said that Burnett has great hockey sense and is coachable. He praised the player’s hard and quick shot, his ability to make quick plays, and his great hands.
Due to injury, the Trojans have released 16-year-old forward Jack Bechard. He played in one game this season for the Trojans.
From the Trojans tailgate party earlier this season, $430 was donated to the Salvation Army. The team donated the funds from the retro jersey draw and the Co-op gave all of the proceeds from the barbecue.
The team hosted its Meet the Trojans night last weekend. It was an opportunity for the public to get to know the players. They introduced themselves and talked about their interests. Kubat said for the public, “it’s nice for them to see who these guys are.”
The Trojans last week
Saturday, Oct. 23 in Tisdale
Estevan 5, Tisdale 1
Trojans Scorer: Matty Healey
Bears Scorers: Blake Gutzke, Carter Tuplin, Cade Cole, Carson Birnie, Tucker Buhay
Goalies: Cody Wilson, Tisdale, 42 saves on 47 shots; Kaden Perron, Estevan, 29 on 30
Notes: The game was tied 1-1 after the first period. “Willie made some big saves early and kind of held the fort,” head coach Dennis Kubat said. “I really liked our first period. We started doing the things we’ve been preaching for the last month and a half here and it started to pay off in the first period.” The Bears scored twice in the second frame and two more in the third. Tisdale was 0-for-7 on the powerplay while Estevan was 1-for-5. Wilson was the home star.
Sunday, Oct. 24 in Tisdale
Estevan 6, Tisdale 3
Trojans Scorer: Parker Dunn (3)
Bears Scorers: Carson Birnie, Jase Konecsni, Cutter Knight, Cade Cole, Carter Onrait, Tucker Buhay
Goalies: Brady Kashuba, Tisdale, 30 saves on 35 shots; Jackson Miller, Estevan, 25 on 28
Notes: In each period, Estevan scored two goals and Tisdale one. On the powerplay, the Trojans were 2-for-7. Estevan was 1-for-5 with the man advantage. Dunn was the home star. Of him, head coach Dennis Kubat said, “He just does everything right. He competes hard. Competes hard in practice. Is always in the right position in the game.” Regarding Sunday’s goals, Kubat said, “it all starts with his habits at practice. Just his compete level every day at practice. Guys get rewarded when they put in the time away from game day and put in that extra effort at practice and in the gym.”
“We are making strides in the right direction. We just have to make sure we’re being consistent and playing with the structure and playing with the systems that we have to play to be successful. We are not a team that can rely on one or two or three guys. We have to play together.”
- Trojans head coach Dennis Kubat
The Tisdale Trojans (1-7-0-0) continue their homestand this week. They host the Notre Dame Hounds (6-1-0-1) on Saturday night and play the league-leading Regina Pat Canadians (9-0-0-1) on Sunday afternoon.