Ice Chips & Canoe Quips

Youth Mountain Bike wrapper!

Ben Quackenbush and his enthusiastic coaches for the Youth Mountain Biking program had their season ending event this past weekend. Over the course of the training, participants had weekly training sessions followed by a fun race. This past Sunday the Senior winner of this week’s race was Greyson Case while the Junior winner was Xavier Coleman.

Then they had a points count for our overall race series over May and June. The Senior aggregate winners were; in first,  Bradley Slaght and there was a tie for 2nd between Greyson Case and Tobias Madigral.

The Junior tally had Xavier Coleman in 1st, Nathan Quackenbush 2nd and 3rd, Isaac Quackenbush, who was also awarded the most improved rider over the series.

The program was a huge success with 20-plus kids participating. The crew will still be meeting occasionally for some fun social rides over the summer. People can follow Manitoulin Mountain Biking on Facebook if they want to keep up on their plans.

Junior Anglers unite!

Youth 17 and under can register for free to enter the next catch and release two-bass derby on July 10. The fun goes from 9 am to 3 pm with the weigh-in station at the Prairie Point Docks at the northern edge of Wiikwemkoong. Points will be awarded for the prize giveaways after their final derby. The event is a joint effort between the Wiikwemkoong Anglers and the Waasa Naabin Community Youth Services Centre. For more information and/or to register call 705-282-7384 or visit the Anglers Facebook page.

The Ultimate opportunity

There is the annual Ultimate (Frisbee football type game) down at Low Island Park again this summer on Tuesday nights at 7 pm. The fun starts with whoever is there each week, teams are made and games are played until dark or as long as you can hold out. The group is super friendly and semi-organized for those 12+. Check out Manitoulin Ultimate on Facebook.

Paul Williams Men’s Fastball and Ladies Slo-Pitch Memorial 2022

The annual tournament honouring Paul Williams baa is back for fun and funds starting on July 22. For the fastball tournament, organizer Gerard Bainbomcowai is looking for the first eight teams to pay their entry fee of $650. He kindly reminds captains that, “new teams entering will be accepted but your spot isn’t saved till payment is received! Payments must be received to save your spot or it could be given away if another team pays before you do!”

The tournament format states that if there are only six teams they will have three games guaranteed. With a full slate of eight the schedule will be a double knock-out.

There is some substantial prize money to be won as well. The champions will receive $5,000 while the runners-up will cash out with $1,300.

In the Paul Williams Ladies Slo-Pitch he is looking for six teams to put up their $500 entry fee. The prize money has yet to be decided and will depend on registration before announcing the prize pot for the Champions and Runners-Up.

Gerard is ahead of the game already and has the umps booked and their rooms paid for. All teams must be ready to play July 22 at 5 pm and all games will be made by spinning the wheel. You can contact Gerry on Facebook or search up Paul Williams Men’s Fastball and Ladies Slo-Pitch Memorial 2022!

Familiar face in stripes!

Dustin McCrank, a favourite target of local Manitoulin Wild fans back in the day, can now be seen officiating at the Memorial Cup out east in Saint John, New Brunswick. Dustin played for the NOJHL’s North Bay Skyhawks and was a large and boisterous player and not a stranger to fisticuffs. Isn’t it fitting that he is now the one separating players with disagreements?

Dustin has done very well in his career as a lineman. McCrank is working his third Memorial Cup after previously doing so in 2014 in London and 2017 in Windsor. The Guelph native recently completed his 13th OHL season and also officiated men’s hockey at the 2022 Olympic Winter Games in Beijing this past winter. Today (June 29) is the championship game between the host, ‎the Saint John Sea Dogs and their familiar QJMHL rival, the ‎Shawinigan Cataractes.

Poor Stanley!

The Stanley Cup has to be one of the most or the most revered trophies in all of professional sports. Perhaps because it is so difficult to win but additionally, I am sure that there is a long-standing tradition of players being able to have the Cup for one day and players want to make the most of it.

Stanley’s mug has been dropped in a fire, thanks 1962 Leafs! The 1924 Montreal team left it lonesome on the roadside after their bus broke down. At least two babies have used it as a makeshift toilet and there are too many pool party pictures to deny it has had some excitement. Even Randy Carlisle’s day with it in Rockville back in 2007 has stories behind it. I did see a picture of a horse munching on grain out of it.

So, after the Avalanche won the Cup this past Sunday it is no surprise that it had an accident and not even five minutes after gathering for the requisite team picture. Nicholas Aube-Kubel was trying to gracefully slide into the heap of players when he slipped and Stanley hit the ice hard causing a noticeable dent. It won’t be the first and last trip to the repair shop. Be careful out there, Stanley, you are in for a wild ride.

A good sport is good for sports