It’s been a great week of hockey accomplishments for individuals and teams with ties to Manitoulin.
Let’s start with the local Manitoulin rep program’s Manitoulin Panthers. Hats off to the Pee Wee Panthers who took the NOHL Division 2 title this past weekend. After dropping a 4-2 opener against Blind River in the playoffs tournament the Pee Wees roared back with 4 straight wins; 8-2 over Nickel City Jr. Sons; 5-2 over Nickel City North Stars; and in the semi-finals, a 4-3 win in overtime over the massive Nickel City Bruins. Then they came back up against the Nickel City Northstars who had eliminated Blind River in the other semi. With a great team effort they beat the Northstars by the same 5-2 score that they handed out in the round-robin. Congrats to coach Jason Hughson and staff, players and parents. Another trophy for the Panthers!
Meanwhile the Atom Panthers suffered some tough defeats in their Division II games. Elliot Lake downed them 5-2 in the opener and the Nickel City Devils edged them 4-3 in a game they needed to win. Then the youngest Panthers salvaged a tie in their final game 2-2 with the Sudbury Lady Wolves. The Atoms did not have as good a weekend as they did previously at their NOHS Tournament of Champions where they won a silver medal. However their season record going into the NOHL playoffs was 40-17 and 3 which pointed to a great year for these 9-10 year olds. Congrats to Coach Kevin Eshkawkogan and staff, players and parents.
Finally the Bantam Panthers under Coach Craig Abotossaway and staff finished off the Nickel City Flyers in the John Grignon (Consolation) final. The Bantams won 3 straight games by scores of 6-2, 5-1 and 2-1 to sweep the Flyers.
Triple A triumph!
Congrats to former Panther and Mustang player, Little Current’s Braedon Case as his Sudbury Nickel City Wolves AAA Midgets won the NOHA Great North Midget League title in stunning fashion over the talented North Bay Trappers.
Their League title also secured the a first in the Ontario’s Central Regional Championships which coincidentally and happily is to be played in Sudbury this week (March 27 to April 2) at the Gerry McCarthy Countryside Arena. The schedule is as follow for the Nickel Capital Wolves March 27 at 7:30 pm vs Windsor Jr Spitfires; March 28 at 7 pm vs Cornwall Colt; March 24 at 7 pm vs North Bay Trappers; March 30 at 7 pm vs Oakville Rangers; March 31, 3 pm vs Mississauga Rebels. Then the semi will be 1st vs 4th and 2nd vs 3rd on Saturday, April 1 with the consolations on Sunday, April 2
In another NOHA AAA clash with Island ties; the Nickel City Sons downed the Sault AAA Greyhounds 3 games to 2 in a 5 game series. Former Panther Billy Biederman and Manitowaning Soo product Owen Case went toe-to-toe in a close hard-fought series. Biederman’s Nickel City AAA Sons (Minor Pee Wee) prevailed winning 8-6 in the deciding game held at the Sault’s Essar Centre. Little Current’s Biederman proved his value in the Championship final, picking up 5 points (2 goals, 3 assists) in the 8-6 triumph. During the regular season the hard working Biederman had 50 points in 33 games (34 goals, 16 assists) to be ranked #2 in his league-wide birth-year. He is of course the subject of very many scouting reports throughout Ontario. Meanwhile, Owen Case just a minor had an impressive 22 points in 32 games in the AAA Minor Pee Wee League. Good luck, boys!
Another former Panther, Wikwemikong’s Carson Shawana was a solid defenseman for his Nickel City Sons Minor Pee Wee AAA squad. Carson pumped in 16 points in 33 games during league play.
Also playing in the NOHA AAA Major Pee Wee League was Aundeck Omni Kaning’s and former Panther Sam Assinewai. Sam popped in 15 goals and had 5 assists for 20 points in 32 games for his Sudbury Wolves Major Pee Wee.
In other hockey happenings, Seth Manitowabi continued his fine play for the Sudbury Nickel Bears. In his final regulation season game Seth finished off his Midget career with a hat trick to signify his value to the Bears. Then this past weekend, he led the Bears (along with Ryan Moggy (with Dad from Manitowaning)) to the championship title in the Valley East Renegades Tournament. The Bears pulled off a 3-2 final squeaker against the Valley East Midgets. Congrats guys and parents!
Hats off also to Caydence Webkamigad (mother, Colleen) for her hard work for the Sudbury Lady Midget Wolverines throughout the year and also in last week’s Kanata Rangers Tournament. They didn’t win the title but did win some games and competed hard.
Another Islander, Halli Debassige (mother Tanya), played in the same tourney as Caydence but arrived at the final game where they became Champions of the Ottawa/Kanata Tournament. Halli who plays goal for the Sudbury Crush, Lady Bantams was solid in leading the Crush to the gold.
You might recall Wahss (Peltier) Wabuno playing for the Panthers a few years back. She now has a son playing defense for the Copper Cliff Atoms Redmen. In recent games Copper Cliff triumphed 3-2 over the Sudbury Minor AA Wolves and 5-3 over the Major Atom AA. Young Wabano contributed 2 goals and 2 assists from his blue-line position (more of the Webkamigad/Peltier/Wabano) talent is on the horizon.
I neglected last week to mention the staff of the Island champion, Wikwemikong Bantam Hawks. This group was coached by Shelley Ann Trudeau, Albert (Jr.) Peltier, Dawn Wemigwans and Danville Shawana Trudeau.
Congratulations to Chris and Krista King of the CMPS Island Basketball Girls Champions. CMPS won the title in Sagamok also. The Little Current under Coach Ryan Crouch took the boys Island title.
3 on 3 opportunity!
Don’t forget to get out to the NEMI Recreation Centre April 6, 7, 8th to take in some great 3 on 3 Minor Hockey action. Twenty-five teams have been registered and there is also a fun exciting skills completion!
Valley East Renegade results
Three Manitoulin Minor hockey teams took in the Valley East Renegades House League Tournament this past weekend.
The Manitowaning Pee Wee Wolves won their quarter final 2-1 over Parry Sound but dropped to Capreol Hawks 3-1 in the semifinal.
The Wikwemikong Hawks Novice B beat the Copper Cliff Philadelphia 4-3 in the quarter final but dropped the semifinal to Copper Cliff Chicago
Advancing the furthest were the Mindemoya Thunder Sr. Tykes. The Thunder downed the Nickel City Crushers 5-4 in the semis and then lost a heartbreaker by a 6-5 count to the Chapleau Huskies.
It was an excellent tourney and all Island teams showed well. Great effort coaches, players and parents.