Ice Chips and Canoe Quips!

Canadian Gold

It’s not “local” but how can we not say “Congrats Canada” as our National Junior team earns the World Championship Gold Medal? 

For those that followed it, saw many rising young stars who will eventually be utilizing these same skills in the N.H.L. There were two Northern Ontario connections on the team. These included Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds Connor Timmins and Boris Katchouk. In addition, former North Bay Trapper, AAA Midget Colton Point had the backup goalie position. Point currently plays for Colgate University ECAC, Division one. Congrats and thanks for a great tournament. Sudbury’s Joe Drago, now president of Hockey Canada presented the medals.  Drago is a former coach of the Sudbury Wolves, Principal of Sudbury’s Lockerby High School.  Island residents may remember Drago and Island resident, Randy Carlyle running a hockey school for three years in the M’Chigeeng arena. Many Island hockey players from the late 1970’s will remember the school.  My two oldest boys attended for the three years and remember it fondly.

Hats off to Manitoulin Atom Panthers Coach, Kevin Eshkawkogan, his staff, players and parents for the best record in the Association. It’s a rebuilding year for the organization yet the Atoms carried out a heavy schedule already playing 27 games prior to New Years. Their record is 11 – 14 – 2 which includes a number of tough tournaments. Coach Eshkawkogan’s teams historically have improved as the year plays out. The atoms are currently on a two game winning streak having beaten Nickel City (Lively) Atoms 3-2 followed by a 5-2 victory over Sudbury Minor Atom AA Wolves. As we head into 2018, we wish all Panther teams, steady improvement and progress.

Panther genes powerful

Former Panther power forward, Matt Case (along with wife Leanne Maguire Case) has passed on his hockey genes to their 2 boys. One of their boys, Noah recently was a member of the Sault Ste. Marie Steel City Bantam AA Champions. He plays for Sault Sports Gold Rush. A hard-working plyer Noah (like his dad) is a leader on his Gold Rush squad.

Scarborough’s Conlan Sports saw Wikwemikong’s Aurora Ominki Enosse (Dad Lawrence Enosse) meet up with her former Sudbury Lady Wolves teammates in the Midget Championship final. In her final year of minor hockey, Aurora has been a force for her team the North York Storm. Although the Storm dropped their Championship year to Sudbury, Aurora not only picked up the Silver but also was voted her team’s M.V.P.

Manitoulin Minor Spotlight

There are a lot of close races in the Manitoulin Minor Hockey Association as of December 29th, 2017. In Novice, Mindemoya and M’Chigeeng are on top with 19 points each. Wikwemikong is close with 13 points. Atom standings have M’Chigeeng on top with 22 points. Gore Bay is next at 15 points. The Pee Wee race is fronted by Little Current’s 20 points. Manitowaning Wolves and Mindemoya Thunder follow with 16 counters. Gore Bay leads the Bantam Divisions with 17. Wikwemikong’ follows with 14. The oldest (Midget) age groups is topped by Gore Bay (15) followed closely by Little Current with 13.  Wikwemikong and Mindemoya are still close with 11 points apiece.

Of note is the 112 goals scored by the M’Chigeeng T-Birds, which doubles the goals of the next place team. Coaches of the high scoring Atoms are Bert Panamick, Christian Kaiser Fox with Diane Glasby as trainer and Jarielle Thomas as Manager.

In addition both Mindemoya and M’Chigeeng Novice have also shot by the 100 mark. Defensively, Mindemoya’s Novice are in a close race of their own having given up but 10 goals in 10 games! Coaches of this team are Darren Brown, Chris King and Reid Taylor. April Watson is Manager. Scoring is nice but defence wins games!

Panther Points

The Panthers Association announces the beginning of the second half of the season. There are 3 home games on January 7th at Nemi Recreation Centre: Pee Wee goes at 10am, Atoms at 2:30pm and Pee Wee again at 4pm.  The Atom Panthers also had some great press on sudburysports.com. Well-known sports journalist Randy Pascal reported this on their 5-2 triumph over the Sudbury AA Minor Atoms “Backstopped by a 20-save performance from goaltender Kallan Jones and sparked offensively by a two goal effort from Kohyn Eshkawkogan, the Manitoulin Atom “B” Panthers downed the Sudbury Minor Atom “AA” Wolves 5-2 Saturday morning at the Gerry McCrory Sports Complex…Gage Hughson, Corbin Best and Keannu Bisschops rounded out the scoring for the Panthers…” Thanks for the press coverage Randy.

Freeze Tournament, hot

Wiikwemkoong had a very successful hockey tournament over the holidays. There was great participation in 2 divisions, “sponge puck” and “open”. Congrats to the Wikwemikong Freeze on their Sponge Puck championship. The open runners-up included players, such as Lattrell Peltier, Ruby Trudeau, Carse Shawana, Brandon Corbiere, Aaron Recollet, Sioux Manitowabi, Austin Pangowish, Gord Wemigwans, Elijah Fox, Ken Kagige Jur., Gabe Trudeau, Mark Roy, Ronson Odjig, Amber Lewis and Drake Trudeau.

The open champions simply known as Team 8 included goalie, Dana Lewis, Grace Racicot, Stephanie Peltier, Landon Peltier, Lyle Baibomcowai, Jonas Aibens, Chase Assiniwe, Adrian Trudeau, Brandon P, Kyle B, Stewart Assiniwe, Dustin Lanktree, Dylan Francis, Alex Shigwadja, Shelly Trudeau, and M. Kohns. Organizer, Gerard Baibomcowai indicates that Dana Lewis played a great tournament in goal, being the first female to play that position in the open division.

Condolences

If you’ve been in the Wikwemikong Thunder Dome Arena over the past some 30 years you have no doubt seen “Big Red”, Rodney Neodagijig, longtime permanent timekeeper and announcer. Rodney passed away this past week (baa maa pii Rodney) at the age of 48. He was a big red-haired jolly fellow with a permanent smile on his face. Everyone who met him loved the kind man who kept all Wiikwemkoong hockey going with his technical skills. He will be missed. Condolences to his mother Marie and his siblings.

A good sport is good for sports. chipstoquips@gmail.com