Ice Chips & Canoe Quips

Athletes at Athletics Ontario

Congratulations to three of Manitoulin’s elite runners who recently capped their season at the Athletics Ontario Cross Country meet in Kingston. Coach Gerry Holliday worked to have his three athletes reach their peak for the end of their seasons and they definitely did. M’Chigeeng’s Maren Kasunich left no doubt that her amazing OFSAA performance was not a fluke by repeating with a bronze medal in the U16 event! The speedster ripped up the course with a pace of 3:37 minutes per kilometre! 

In the U16 boys’ race it was the Manitowaning based duo, Brodie Pennie and Xavi Mara, who took the starting line. Brodie had a torrid pace of 6:27 minutes per kilometre to cross the line in 17th place. Teammate Xavi, who just turned 14, proved he can handle the big boys and work on his personal best speed by staying under 4:00 minutes per kilometre. Congratulations to all four, including Coach Holliday, on a great season of growth and learning. 

Off their rock hockey

Mindemoya’s Jack Bridgeman and his U13 AA Nickel City Junior Sons (NCJS) teammates were off to Orangeville this past weekend to participate in the 2021 Fall Classic. Ranked as the number 57 team going in, the side knew they were in for a battle, as they opened against the second-ranked Orangeville Flyers. NCJS quickly saw why the home side is ranked as second in the province as the Flyers leapt out to a quick three-goal spurt before rolling to a 9-3 drubbing.  The NCJS side bounced back with a 1-1 tie against the 17th-ranked Caledon before finishing out the round robin with a 5-2 win over 68th-ranked TNT.  That put then into a rematch in the semis against Caledon. The evenly matched teams battled at 0-0 right down to the buzzer, when Jack scored with 1.3 seconds (according to fans) remaining. After initially signaling the goal as good, the ref recanted and sent the teams into overtime. In the extra session, Jack again scored, earning the unlikely achievement of scoring two goals in a 1-0 game! Off to the finals against the formidable hometown Orangeville team, NCJS were once again in tough and fell 6-1, though their dedicated performance was enough for a well-earned silver.

The Sudbury Lady Wolves (SLW) U18 AA Tier 1 team featuring Mindemoya’s Delaney Bridgeman were down in Schomberg over the weekend for a two-game set against the King Royals. The SLW team have had a challenging time scoring goals this season, repeatedly dominating their opponents only to fall when the opposition scores on one or two of their scant chances. It was looking like a repeat in game one as the puck rarely left the Kings’ zone, but the Lady Wolves couldn’t buy a goal. Finally, in the third period, a shot from the point hit the goalie’s stick with enough force to go under and dribble through the five-hole, just rolling over the goal line. The Wolves followed up with a slapper from the point that hit a Wolves player in the butt and bounced in, and the girls skated to a well-deserved, if ugly, goal-led 2-0 win. On Sunday, the same scenario played out, with the Sudbury side dominating play. They were playing with a narrow third-period 1-0 lead, thanks to another ugly deflection ‘own goal’, that evaporated when the Royals scored on their fifth shot of the game. It was looking bleak for the Wolves when winger Sierra Boyuk broke free with a nifty toe drag move around the last defensive player and snapped a wrister, top shelf for a 2-1 lead. An empty netter settled it at a 3-1 win and the SLW side had a well-deserved Schomberg sweep.

A good sport is good for sports.