Ice Chips and Canoe Quips

Bionic-like, Biathlete conquers!

Hats off to Ice Lake’s Mackenzie Turner on finishing first in the North American Biathlon Cup Series. I know there more of a few Manitoulin sharp-shooters out there that think that they could place a precise rifle shot after the old buck-fever rears its ugly head but picture having to take many of those all-important shots after kilometers of one of the most grueling challenges (cross-country skiing) humans put themselves through. Competitions were held in both Canada and the U.S.A. Keep up the hard work, Mackenzie!

Panther Points

Congratulations to the 2016-17 Manitoulin Panthers Association on a great season. The overall record was 89-42-12 with the Peewees winning there and NDHL division. Every team improved as the season progressed. Thanks to head coaches Kevin Eshkawkogan (Atoms); Jason Hughson (Peewees) and Craig Abbotosaway (Bantams). The first two coaches will return for the 2017-18 season while the Bantams will be taken over by Steve Campbell.

Kudos as well must also go out to the executive, under the leadership of Mr. Abotossaway. The members include Fawn Bridgeman, Keven Eskawkogan, Jackie Hubburd, James Panamick, Allison Brewer, Virginia Dubois, Heather Hall, Marj Moody and Kevin Smith.

Other coaching staff were: Shawn Dubois, Carl Halverson, Tanya Hughson, James Panamick, Virginia Dubois, Jackie Hubbard, Franklin Paibomsai and Scott Stephens. Congrats and thanks to all volunteers.

AAA Playoffs

Braeden Case and his AAA Nickel Capital Wolves posted a 2-2-2 record in the round-robin portion of the all-Ontario Central Region Championships this past week in their hometown of Sudbury. Unfortunately they fell to arch-rivals the North Bay Trappers in the bronze medal game to earn fourth place. Case was a force on defense for the Wolves who defeated Cornwall, North Bay (in the round-robin as well as in the NOHA Championship) and tied Oakville and the Mississauga Rebels (the eventual Gold medal champions). Mississauga downed the Windsor Spitfire 4–0 in the title game. It was an impressive week for the Wolves, highlighted by their 2-2 tie with the regional champion Rebels.

Elementary Basketball

Last week the Central Manitoulin Public School Girls basketball team headed to Sudbury to represent CMPS at the RDSB Basketball Championships. The girls showed excellent sportsmanship by demonstrating positive attitudes, even when facing adversity. The girls played a very tough first game against Algonquin Public School, losing only by two baskets. The girls then went on to win their second game 28-14 against Chelmsford Public School, and finally, losing their third game against Princess Anne Public School putting them out of the semi-finals. The team played extraordinarily well, especially considering that they are competing against schools who have twice or three times as many students, proving that Manitoulin Island athletes are absolutely top notch! Christa and Chris King would like to thank all of the girls for coming out and participating this weekend and working so hard this year to improve. Congratulations to the team including: Hailey McGillis-Prior, Haylee Cress, Regan Hutchinson, Leah Spry, Zoe Redmond, Laura Orford, Chloe Peltier, Ava Assinewai, Annie Balfe, Delaney Bridgeman, Jordan Graham and Nikki Cress.

Provincial volleyball

There was an Ontario Native Volleyball Invitational Tournament held in Sault Ste. Marie this past weekend. Wikwemikong sent two male and one female as well as one Whitefish River squad. Despite a good 6-4 record the Wikwemikong girls were eliminated. Meanwhile the two boys’ squads met in the bronze medal game. Therefore the Wikwemikong boys earned the bronze medals! Kudos to coach Deanna Debassige who is also a coach with Team Ontario. The event also acted as a tryout for the eventual team Ontario team. Hopefully there will some local players finding their way onto those squads.

3 on 3 hockey this weekend!

A reminder to head on over to the NEMI Recreation Complex this weekend to take on the inaugural 3 on 3 action founded by the Manitoulin Tourism Association. On top of the entertaining 3 on 3 format there will also be a skills’ competition. Kudos to Shelba Millette and Greg Lockeyer for organizing this great event.

Wild alumni shines

A huge congratulations to former Manitoulin Wild goaltender Jay Punsky (2003-04) who just advanced up a league! Recently named Coach of the Year with the NA3EHL as head Coach of the Cape Cod Islanders he just signed last week to jump up a level to the U.S.H.L.! The elite league’s Boston Bandits will have Punsky as their bench boss for the 2017-2018 season. Congrats Jay you are a class act.

Local sniper snapped up to Ontario Aboriginal squad

Greg Trudeau-Paquet has been selected to the Ontario Aboriginal Hockey Team. He will soon be off to British Columbia for the National Championships. Greg who was a high-scoring rookie in the NOJHL this year despite being of Midget age will also skate in two elite prospects tournaments. 1St up is the Ontario Prospect Cup in Kingston as well as the Midget “AAA” Prospect Cup in Niagara. Best wishes, Greg.

Wikwemikong athletes shine

Aurora Ominika-Enosse, who is a very well rounded sports aficionado from Wikwemikong, not only skates for the North York Lady Storm but is also a member of the Wikwemikong Ladies’ Volleyball team.

Kudos as well to Sam Manitowabi (former Wiky Hawk) for his continuing work the hockey youth in the Lac Seul area.

Holy Ball Tournament, Batman!

One of Wikwemikong’s sports enthusiasts, Gerard Baibomcowai, is creating a new event for Island ball players. The “Friday Massacre, Diehard Slo-pitch Tournament is scheduled for Friday, April 14 at 7 am. Gerard reports that he is looking for 4 diehard co-ed teams, meaning five guys, five women on the field at all times. He’s looking for those fun loving, enthusiastic, but tough ballplayers. Contact Gerard on Facebook.