Ice Chips and Canoe Quips – November 18-20

Little NHL on hiatus for 2021

The organizers of the Little Native Hockey League have announced that they have decided it will be cancelled next March due to the COVID–19 pandemic.

Executive president Marian Jacko says a survey was sent out to officials across Ontario to see what they wanted to do. Jacko says that they received 120 responses with most asking it to be postponed or cancelled for another year. Jacko adds the organization will continue the organizational process to prepare for 2022.

The provincial tournament had grown so large it had well over 200 teams taking part in some 20 venues in the Mississauga area of the Greater Toronto Area.

Multi-sport athlete has to choose between scholarships!

Jayden Jackson, with strong Wiikwemkoong roots, has had offers from two US colleges for basketball and football programs! Jayden is the son of ‘Dig’ (Digwageehns) Fox, born and raised there, and grandson of Alex and Poky Fox, well known in the community as well.

Jayden, who plays in addition to those focus sports, is also impressive in volleyball and lacrosse among others. The currently high school-aged athlete has offers from his home state college, Wisconsin, for football and South Alabama for basketball. His high school coaches have nothing but accolades for the youngster, such as, “phenomenal kid;” “lead by example player;” “best work ethics I have ever seen;” etc.” Best of luck, Jayden!

Hockey community mourns loss of a young player

‘AAA’ U-13 North Bay Trappers player Noah Dugas recently passed away. The youngster, who suffered from a blood clot that had him paralyzed and only able to communicate with his eye movements, has died from another stroke. The North Bay phenom became the focus of many big names from the larger community that rallied behind Noah after his initial, debilitating condition.

The support came from far and wide from hockey people like Nick Foligno, Doug Gilmour, Don Cherry and Auston Matthews among others to country music star Corey Marks and even iconic wrestler John Cena who all took some time to wish Noah well.

Where are they now?

It was great to see a picture that was a “throwback from the mid-80s” by poster and Coach Greg Lockeyer. The team of eight peewees were known as the Manitoulin Peewee Islanders or the ‘Nuggets!’ Before there was a Panthers’ organization there was the Manitoulin Dolomite Bantams and the Peewee Nuggets. The crew played in the old North Shore League and were a dominant force despite their diminutive size and numbers.

Greg’s post featured the team sitting behind four undetermined large trophies, although one is purported to have been Coach of the Year. One of the team’s claim to fame was playing in the NOHA Play-downs in Mattawa who narrowly lost in the finals to the home team but we were the fan favourites due to their small team.

Remembering fondly the Nuggets: Drew Fowlie, Scott Leblanc, Nick Rizzuto, John Mitchell, Brad Bond, Ryan Dryden, Steve Pearson, Jeff Green, Steven Cady and Coaches Greg Lockeyer and the late Ted Dryden.

Hockey Icon dies at 97

Howie Meeker, a Calder Trophy winner (as the NHL rookie of the year) and four-time Stanley Cup champion with the Toronto Maple Leafs who was also known by later generations of fans as an analyst on Hockey Night in Canada died last week.

On top of those accolades, Mr. Meeker was a veteran of World War II and was seriously injured by a grenade but recovered completely to play hockey. He was a huge supporter of the Special Olympics for over 40 years and hosted many charity events to raise money and awareness for this important cause. Howie was even a Member of Parliament when he played for the Leafs and then went on to coach the ‘Buds.’ He is in the Hockey Hall of Fame and a member of the Order of Canada. Incidentally, Howie was related to Manitoulin’s own Mike Meeker, himself a former NHL player.

A good sport is good for sports.