Ice Chips & Canoe Quips

NSSSA win!

Congratulations to the Manitoulin Mustangs cross-country team and their coach, Gerry Holliday, as they improved, even compared to their impressive performance at last week’s pre-NSSSA meet. The North Shore Secondary School Association’s championship took place on St. Joseph Island again, hosted by CASS. The Mustangs did not get a larger team but just ran harder. The same winners of last week, Sebastian Mara, Maren Kasunich and Brodie Pennie won again and the junior girls not only won again, but finished with a perfect first-, second-, third- and fourth-place finish. 

Congratulations to Maren, McKenzie Green, Annie Balfe and Morgan Green. The senior boys’ four finished once again in second place, thanks to Julian Wemigwans, Alan Wilkin, Jack Pennie and Landon Hare. Kudos as well to our other MSS runners who also ran hard and finished but still, didn’t have a team: Andrew Cooper, Ezra Diebolt, Patrick McCann and Orland Carter-O’Hearn. The team is running today against all of northern Ontario’s NOSSA competition on what must feel like their home course by now, back on St. Joseph Island.

‘Off their rock’ hockey

When you want to improve yourself in hockey it helps if you play against and with more talented players. Sometimes, it means you have to play off the Island and you have to be dedicated. You have to commit to practices and “home” games, which are likely two hours from your true home! It means doing your homework by the dome light in a vehicle and catching up on sleep in there too. It means putting up with the always-political nature of an import player trying to break the ranks of last year’s roster. 

The bonus is, if you can put up with all the hurdles, you will most likely be a better hockey player and more: you will inevitably have to become a better student. You will be more organized because you will not be able to procrastinate, for instance. You will need to become much better in social situations, not just to have the nerve to order fries at the snack bar but maybe talking to your coach about moving up onto that first line.

There are many obvious and intangible benefits. Best of luck to everyone and congratulations on your dedication. As in years’ past, there are many local players skating “away.” Here are just a few to start. If you know of others, please send me a note.

Mindemoya’s Delaney ‘Boogie’ Bridgeman and her Tier 1 U18 AA Sudbury Lady Wolves teammates were off to Stoney Creek for the showcase tournament October 14 to 18. The girls started out against the Waterloo Ravens and Boogie got her team going, stealing the puck and deking two defenders before scoring with a short-handed breakaway wrister. Her team then responded with four more and the Lady Wolves had a 5-2 win. The girls then carried the play but came up against a hot goalie and had to settle for a 1-1 tie versus Oakville. Penalty difficulties saw them drop their match against the Brampton Canadettes 4 – 1, and they lost a squeaker to the eventual tourney champs, the Durham West Lightning 1 – 0.  All in all, a great start to what looks to be an exciting season. Good luck, Lady Wolves!

Other Islanders William McComb and Corbin Best are now skating with the Copper Cliff U15 AA team. Greyson Brewer-Case and Kohyn Eshkawkogan are playing U14 AAA with the Nickel City Sons. Kohyn and his team have started the season this past week and are 3 and 0 so far. Kohyn started strong offensively and has five points in those three games. Greyson is playing very solid defence. Both guys will be playing in the Big Nickel AAA tournament in two weeks. (

Dane Gibeault, a great overall athlete, has always played ‘out,’ but in just the last couple of years he has been training to be a goaltender. He has improved so fast that he earned a spot with the Sudbury U15 A Timberwolves. His first league game was on Saturday.

The team had a tough start, going down 1-0 on an awkward tip-in and then 2-1 when a breakaway shot rang off a post and in. The team battled back, though, and they were tied 3-3 after 2. Dane held the opposition and the Timberwolves scored a pair to win 5 – 3.

Incidentally, Dane is also affiliated with Copper Cliff U15 AA and, with his trajectory in mind, surely he will get to goaltend for Island boys Corbin and William sooner than later! Good luck, everyone.

A good sport is good for sports.