Ice Chips and Canoe Quips

Panthers’ Wrap

All four Manitoulin Panthers’ teams ended their league play this past weekend as they played in their respective Nickel District League playoffs. Panther’s president Craig Abotossaway in reflecting over the past weekend and season was quite impressed how our teams “represented the Manitoulin Panthers organization. Although Manitoulin is classified as a B centre for hockey registration, so many of our teams did well against A and AA classified teams from Sudbury.”

Especially when you consider that the Atom team won their division I Championship (a first ever accolade for a Panther Atom squad!), against a AA team and the bantam team went into overtime in the B Championship against a AA team, the future looks bright for the health of the organization.

Here is a quick season and playoff rundown from the president:

The Novice played their season in an open Novice Division with 6 teams finishing in 6th place. We have not had a Novice team in a long time and they proved to be very competitive all season and we hope to see this division continue for next season.  This team lost in the B Championship Sunday to Nickel City Devils.

The Atoms played their season in Division I (which is the highest in the NDMHL) with four teams for their season and finished in 2nd place. The Atom team won their playoffs on Sunday, with a 2-1 round robin record, and defeating the Nickel City Minor AA Jr Sons, who was the only team to beat them in the round robin.  Incidentally, Manitoulin beat the league’s 1st place Lady Wolves 8-2 in the round robin!

The Peewee’s played in an 11 team open division season, finishing 4th overall. For the playoffs, we were put in division 1 with 6 teams and finished 3rd in the round robin.  We lost in the semi-final game to the eventual league champs: Elliot Lake.

The Bantams played their season in Division II with 5 teams, finishing in 4th place. The squad however earned 3rd in the playoff round robin. Playing for the B Championship on Sunday, they unfortunately lost in overtime to the West Ferris Minor AA.

Panther plea!

With not even time for the ‘hockey stink’ to dissipate, all young prospects for the 2015 – 2016, Panthers’ teams are asked to get into try-out mode right away! After such a positive season for our local rep teams this season it is important to build on the success of this season and have an even better result in 2015 – 16. If Manitoulin can recruit their best in every division we are hard to beat despite our B designation. Their program offers an experience second to none as many a veteran Panther will attest.

Tryouts will start on Monday, April 13 but the whole timetable is on their website at A reminder that the schedule also includes an all-important “interest skate” for all midget aged players who are contemplating playing for the big cats for this coming season.

Eagles at RDSB Tournament

On March 26 the Intermediate Basketball team from Central Manitoulin Public School took part in the Rainbow District School Boards annual Intermediate Girls’ Basketball tournament at Northeastern Elementary School. Although the girls lost their preliminary games, they played very well as a team, executing their plays and skills with precision, and keeping the spectators on the edges of their seats! The girls demonstrated great sportsmanship and made all fans in attendance, very proud. The team consisted of Amber Wahl, Hailey Prior, Marjorie Scott, Avery Sheppard, Jary White, Maddy Niven, Abby Dewar, Morgan Wall-Varey, Holly Sagle, Leah Carrick and Trinity Leeson, who was not able to attend, but has been a key member on our team. CMPS teacher and coach Christa King would like to thank all of the parent volunteers who came out to drive and supervise, as well as Chris King, who dedicated much of his time and knowledge throughout the season.

Island Soccer registrations open!

Although the Island Soccer league has had early registrations in a number of communities in the last week but there is still time if you would like to get your child entered into the best deal in team sports. If you search Island Soccer on Facebook you can still find a registration form and additional information. For $50 for a single player and discounts for each sibling you can’t beat the price for a full kit and a soccer ball. There is a late registration fee of $70 after April 19th so get yours in right away!

Spring basketball anyone?

The Manitoulin Basketball Association, having a successful winter session on Saturdays has started a new program that will begins tomorrow! Starting April 2 at Lakeview School in M’Chigeeng, the club will run for eight weeks until the end of May. This opportunity is open to boys and girls every Thursday evening from 6:30 – 7:30 for ages 7 – 10 and the 11 – 14 year olds hit the court at 7:30. The cost for the duration is $90.40 and includes a T-shirt and ball to keep. For more information and to download the registration form find the Manitoulin Basketball Association on Facebook.

Espanola Laidley’s Tigers fall to Kingston

Little Current’s Michael Laidley, captain of the OJHL Aurora Tigers, went to the seventh game against the Kingston Voyageurs in their playoffs but couldn’t make it through to the next round. The youngster finishes his junior career but is about to start his new opportunity, having earned a scholarship to the Ivy League’s St. Lawrence University this coming fall. Before then the durable two-way forward has also been garnering interest from the Los Angeles Kings’ organization and has been offered training options and the possibility of attending their rookie camp. Good luck Michael.

Espanola/Manitoulin minor midgets win at Ajax

Hats off to the Espanola minor midget Eagles who just won the Ajax Minor Midget tournament to complete a very successful season including a stellar, 39-5-5 record. The team and their strong local contingent ended up meeting a couple of teams in the tournament that they played all season in their league in Sudbury but just continued their winning ways and took home the trophy. Congratulations to, Kennedy Parks, Patrick Snowdon, Carter Mitroff, Nathan Debassige, Theron McGregor, Kristen McGregor, Fred Diebel, Graeme Sellinger, Mike Megwanabe, Nathan Gionette, Noah Moreau, Miles Sutherland, coach Ray Moreau, assistant coaches Steve Snowdon and Tyler Mitroff as well as trainer Peter Diebel.