Ice Chips and Canoe Quips

Local runs marathon in Cali!

Christian Kaiser-Fox, 25, was already a veteran of the marathon, having seven or so under his belt before he competed in this weekend’s California International Marathon in Sacramento. Christian blew away his previous marathon personal record by some 40 minutes, finishing the 42.2-kilometre race in 3 hours and 11 minutes! 

The added bonus was that he was able to visit with Billy Mills, the 1964 Tokyo Olympics 10,000-metre gold medal winner. Mr. Mills, from the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, has become a prominent advocate of humanitarian causes and racial and social justice. He’s also a motivational speaker for Indigenous youth all over. Christian first made a connection with the legend during his work with the N’Swakamok Friendship Centre in Sudbury and then managed to catch up with him during his trip.

Christian is always up for a challenge and if it’s for a great cause, even more so. Not long ago he completed a 100-kilometre run for the Indian Residential School Survivors Society. “It was an incredible experience!” He gave his thanks to those friends and family that donated and supported him as well as the businesses that sponsored the run: Tucos Tacos Lounge, Manitoulin Physio Centre and Ziiz Creations.

Off their rock hockey

It was a busy weekend for many off-Island hockey players.  Mindemoya’s Jack Bridgeman and his Nickel City Junior Sons U13 AA squad were participating in the Silver Stick North Regional Tournament in Sudbury. After a disappointing round robin, the Jr. Sons drew the Scarborough Young Bruins in the quarter final. Despite outplaying the Bruins for most of the game, the Jr. Sons found themselves down 3 – 1, their lone marker from a top-shelf wrist shot from Jack in the second. With under five minutes remaining, Jack drew a tripping penalty and Jr. Sons teammate Tye Newton scored on the power play to make it 3 – 2. Just in time, Jack intercepted a Bruins break-out pass and deked the goalie to tie it 3 – 3, sending the game to a four-on-four extra session. In OT, Jr. Sons goalie Chloe Trudeau held the Bruins at bay as they swarmed the net in a push to end it early. When the Bruins played the puck back to their point, Jack rushed out, blocked the shot attempt, broke away clean and deposited the game winner hat-trick marker just 35 seconds in. 

In the semis, the Jr. Sons were up against the fourth-place team in the province, the eventual tournament winners, a disciplined and well-coached North York Knights team. A shortage of referees saw the tournament run with a two-man system, and missed calls were inevitable as the refs struggled to cover everything in this fast-paced matchup. The Jr. Sons had two seemingly good goals enter the net unseen by the officials and were waved off, added two posts and a crossbar to fall by a lopsided 5 – 0, a score that was not reflective of the game play.

Manitoulin Minor and former Panther players, Manitowaning’s William McComb and Gore Bay’s Corbin Best, were also participating at the Silver Stick, skating with their U15 AA Copper Cliff Reds. The Reds tied the Nickel City Jr. Sons 4 – 4 and the Marathon Northern Selects 2 – 2 but lost to the Mississauga Terriers 7 – 1 during round robin. They then faced off against the Vaughan Panthers in the quarter finals. In what was an extremely well-played match, the Copper Cliff side fell to a 4 – 1 loss in a tight, hard-fought game.

Meanwhile, Delaney Bridgeman and her Tier 1 AA U18 Sudbury Lady Wolves were in Brampton for the Two Nations College Prep tournament. The tourney featured 34 U18 teams coming from all over Canada, from Vancouver Island to Cape Breton. The SLW side opened with a 1 – 1 tie with British Columbia’s Thompson-Okanagan Lakers. Next up were Manitoba’s Eastman Selects, which the girls dispatched 4 – 0, including the game-winning marker on a breakaway top shelf beauty by Delaney. A subsequent 2 – 1 win over the North Halton Twisters left the SLW second in their division. 

In the quarter-final match-up with the Cornwall Royals, the SLW girls dominated play yet saw Cornwall score three goals on just seven shots. The Royals had a fourth count without a shot, when Sudbury’s side had the goalie pulled and a SLW Materia Land pass from behind the Royals’ goal line meant her captain, Aoife Mahaffy, in the high slot, hopped the stick and went all the way down for a full ice own goal making it a 4 – 1 final. Incidentally, the team also features Jacinta Eshkawkogan of Sagamok. 

Kohyn Eshkawkogan has been named captain of the Nickel City Sons U14 AAA team. He has been logging minutes with both the U14 and U15 Nickel City AAA teams and is making quite the impression. 

He has been selected to play on a 2022 Northern Ontario Prospects team made up of the top 2008-born players in Northern Ontario. In addition, he has been also invited to play in Prague and Nashville in 2022.

He, Little Current’s Grayson Case and their teammates are in second spot in the NOHL. More recently, they’ve been busy preparing to take on the number-one ranked team in Canada and number-two ranked team in the world: the U14 AAA Vaughan Kings. 

They will face off against Vaughan and other top U14 teams at the Vaughan Kings Classic this coming weekend. Supporters who want to see games live-streamed can join the Sons AAA 2008 Facebook group.

Petition against Northern hockey restrictions

On another AAA front, a Northern Ontario group has started a petition for free movement at the AAA level in Northern Ontario. The policies around this rule were originally put in place to increase parity in leagues but many see the rule as too restrictive. 

The group, Free Player Movement in the North, states, “The common standard in Ontario (i.e. GTHL & OMHA) is to allow players and parents the ability to choose where they wish to tryout, play, and spend their hard-earned money. Currently, players and their parents do not have the option in the North.” 

For more information and to support this initiative, people can visit: https://www.change.org/AAAFreePlayerMovementInTheNorth.

A good sport is good for sports. chipstoquips@gmail.com