The youngest three Panthers teams played in the annual Sault Steel Blades tournament this past weekend. The Novice squad, playing in the Major Novice A division, drew a bit of a bad scheduling issue that required them to play at 9 am on Friday morning but, undeterred, the team managed a 3 – all tie with the Community First team, 2-2. In their second game the Novice team held Floreani O’Toole to a 4-0 shut-out. In game-3 the Panthers fought well against the local, Lion’s Club Major “A” side but could only hold them to a 4-1 tally. The young Cats were not able to move into the playoff round unfortunately. This weekend the youngest Panthers will compete in the Novice Silver Stick Tournament in Copper Cliff.
The Panther Atoms took their steadily improving squad to the Steel Blades tournament playing in the Atom minor A division. On Friday, the Atoms kept the game close against Team Sims but were shut out 3-0. Jared Toope was the team’s MVP and Aiden Case was the defensive player of the game. On Saturday morning the team doubled up the Legion, 4-2. Owen Leblanc had three points and was the game MVP, Drake Jacko had two points. Ava Assinewai and Carter McGregor each had a single point and Macie Setterington got the win between the pipes as steady, Brodie Pennie won top-defense of the match. In game No. 3 the Panthers drew their NDHL rivals, from Blind River. The local team however was caught off guard and couldn’t get anything past the B.R. netminder and his team ran up a 6 to 0 tally. Drake Jacko and Ava Assinewai were still the game’s MVP and defense award winners.
With the Panthers’ record and goal differential the team finished 4th after the round-robin and were slated against the top, Blind River side. The Panthers hung on strong all game, with a score of 2-1 right up until the last part of the game. An untimely penalty resulted in a successful, Blind River penalty shot but undeterred the Panthers retaliated with another goal. Hoping to make the championship round, the Panthers pulled out all of the stops including pulling their goalie for the last two minutes. As with the ‘classic’, Sport Centre, diversion, the Panthers could not get the tying goal, instead, allowing a security goal for Blind River and the game ended with a 4-2 final.
The team however, were not hanging their heads and in fact the coaching staff used the tiny, two goal differential to point out the huge improvement for the kids especially considering their minus-six result against B.R. the day before. When you consider that their goalie had a shut out in the 3 games before the Panther game the Atoms should be very proud of the two goals they did get. This on top of them also getting a ton of shots on net that game as well, bodes well for the rest of their season. Coach Brent Assinewai is also so proud of the team’s continuous development and surely the young squad will keep up their hard work and maintain their amazing growth.
The Peewee Panthers who toiled in the Major A division were able to advance to the finals thanks to an impressive 2-1-1 record in a tight, 10-team division. They began their campaign with an solid 2-2 tie with the Wawa Travelers then a dominating, 6-0 shut-out of the McDougal side in a late, 9 pm showdown. In game three the Panthers continued to impress as they allowed a single goal, but easily won 5 to 1 over Red Star. In the semi-finals they were edged by the Chapleau Huskies 4-2 who were the eventual tournament champions. Way to go Peewees!
Also playing peewee were the silver medal winning Wikwemikong Hawks! The local team charged through the Minor division taking a 2 and 1 record into the finals and winning their semi match 3-2 against the Elliot Lake No Frill squad. In the championship match the Hawks were pitted against the same team that handed their only “L” thus far that weekend, the Walden Carman Construction Crushers who edged them 6-4. In the gold medal tussle, Wikwemikong made it a great game and nearly brought home the gold but slipped into a 5-3 result to earn the silver. Congratulations to: Dustin Lavallee, Victoria Trudeau, Kelton Assinwe, Jonas Mejaki, Malakai Jacko, Taryn Peltier, Kenneth Kagige, Jeremiah Jacko, Latrell Peltier-Peltier, Julian Wemigwans, Raven Bolton-Pheasant and Maria Shawanda.
The Manitoulin Midget Panthers picked up a double-victory Sunday in M’Chigeeng. The Midget Reps downed the West Nipissing Sting by scores of 5-3 and 2-0 in front of a good crowd of on-lookers. Matt Oshkabewisens with 2 led the way, while Alex Martin backstopped the win. Theron McGregor, Logan Debassige and Ethan Corbiere picked up singles. Assists were added by Landon Peltier (2), Hunter Abotossaway (2) as well as James Scott, Jenmee Bondy, Nate Debassige and McGregor. The second game saw the shutout goaltending of Tyler Hughson stymie the Sting who play out of the Verner arena. Greg Doane scored the opening goal which held up for the entire game. Hunter Abbotassaway sped away in the dying seconds for an empty netter to crush West Nipissing hopes of tying it up. James Scott and Theron McGregor picked up assists on the game sealer. The Midget Panthers executed a good team game with constant effort and pressure on the puck. Ethan Corbiere handed out a number of solid hits to slow the opposition. The Panthers are playing a much-enhanced positional team game as the team continues to show good overall team improvement.
Interestingly, playing in goal for West Nipissing in the second game was Wikwemikong band member Evan Peltier (son of Gerard and Maxine). Peltier played a stellar game making many fine stops to hold Manitoulin to one goal prior to the empty-netter. It was a goaltender’s duel with young Hughson fashioning the shutout at the other end. Peltier, interestingly focusses being a lacrosse goalie playing for a number of teams around the province over the past few summers.
Congratulations to the Manitoulin Mustang girls’ volleyball teams during their weekend tournament over in Lively. The Senior team, under Coach Erin Rose, drove her freshly minted team to challenge in every one of their four matches but did not manage a win in the tourney. Congratulations to: Kristina Renwick, Nea Saunders, Jackie Cooper, Jessica Marshall, Lauren Rohn, Ali Cosby, Caleja Peltier-Rivers, Kennedy Lanktree, Brianna Callaghan, Honor Esquimaux and Hailey Leblanc. Also on the team but unable to attend the tournament were; Tori Slomke and Maddie Corbiere. The team’s next competition will be on December 15 when the Mustangs will host a NSSSA intramural tournament in M’Chigeeng. BTW: The Junior girls were also slated to play this week but Friday’s “snow day” postponed their first competition until at date to be announced later.
A good sport is good for sports.