Ice Chips & Canoe Quips

Northern Ontario curling playdown success

Congratulations to the Chandler brothers who had a winning four and three record at last week’s Northern Ontario playdowns to determine who will represent the North at the 2020 Canadian Brier. Jordan and Kyle Chandler actually needed to play a tie-breaker game to see who would advance to the semi-finals against former Manitoulin resident, Sandy MacEwan. 

Congratulations guys, get them next year!

Jet-setting hockey opportunity!

Zagassage Toulouse, a M’Chigeeng-based athlete who skates with the Manitoulin Panthers will once again be showcasing her skills on a larger stage than the Nickel District League. Zee, as she is also known, is off to play in Budapest, Hungary from April 16-26! She will be playing with a 2006 team although she wasn’t born until 2007. She also accepted a position to play on a 2007 Pro Hockey Elite playing in Edmonton this July in the War for the Roses and with the Women’s Hockey Academy 2007 team playing in Niagara Falls May 22-24. Next season, she will be transitioning back to girls’ rep hockey for her Bantam year. Keep up all your hard work, Zee and success will follow.

Winterfest winners

Congratulations to the winners of the three-division Winterfest Weekend hockey tournament hosted by the Little Current Lions last weekend.

For the sixth year in a row, Wiikwemkoong’s Urban Legends, headed by Urban Peltier, took the Oldtimers title in a showdown against an Espanola team captained by Paul Kallioinen while the Bardown Beauts, led by Jessica Aguonie, were the Women’s division victors beating out last year’s title champs the Frosty Beavers, ably captained by Beth Armstrong.

The Sportsmen B division was won by the Espanola Eskimos, captained by Justin Nicholson, taking out the North Shore Degenerates, led by Thomas Hayden, on Sunday afternoon while the coveted Sportsmen A title was regained by Logan Bayer’s Mindy Lakers over last year’s champs, the LC Bucks, headed by Dustin Varey in a fast-paced edge-of-your-seat game.

Minor midget play junior!

Congratulations to Wiikwemkoong’s Carson Shawana who has been called up to play with the Espanola Express Jr. A team. The stalwart defenceman did not look out of place skating with guys up to five years his senior. The Express coach was impressed with Carson’s play and expects to use him more as the season progresses. 

Education versus sport or because of sports? 

One remarkable record was broke at this past Sunday’s Super Bowl and it was accomplished by a Canadian to boot. Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, a McGill University graduate, became the first medical doctor to play in the National Football League’s championship game. Icing on his cake was that he played for the winning Kansas City Chiefs side! 

The rarity of such an occurrence is often as a result of the belief that you must make a choice between athletics and schooling. However, with the right guidance, athletes can take the valuable lessons and strengths earned through training and competition and use them to their benefit when applied to their education. 

The teachings of sports are too numerous to examine here. The more obvious of course would be dedication, teamwork, goal setting and following instructions. One of the less tangible but essential skills needed in sports and education is the ability to fail. Of course failure is as easy as falling off a log but it is what effective athletes are able to do that separates them from the pack.

Successful students and competitors alike have the uncanny ability to first, not be afraid to fail, and then reflect on their mistakes, evaluate and plan how to prevent them and finally be able to put it behind you and move on. My Dad coached my brother Wade, a netminder for the Panthers for many years. His advice to him after he allowed a goal was that there was no time for beating yourself up but to “get a shut-out from here.” 

My anecdotal observations as an educator are that far too many students are terrified to be wrong. This can have several results. One is that an individual does not take enough of a risk to push themselves to their potential and are content with “okay.” A more insidious outcome is when a student maligns the “try-hards” then laughs off their own flop with a flippant, “well, I wasn’t trying anyways!”

A postscript to the Kansas City win has a regional connection. North Bay’s Ryan Hunter was dressed and sitting on the sidelines with his Chiefs’ teammates but did not see any game-time. A back-up for fellow Canadian Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, who had a strong game, meant Ryan kept his front row seat. However, Hunter is another great example of perseverance. During a league game this season, Ryan made a mistake that caused coaches demote him to the practice squad. Undeterred, he trained even harder, and was eventually brought back to the team. 

Always try hard everyone and expect that you will make mistakes. Just have the strength to learn from them.

A good sport is good for sports