Ice Chips & Canoe Quips

Manitoulin Minor Hockey Spotlight!

In the MMHA Spotlight this week are the Mindemoya Thunder Atoms! This eager team played this past weekend in the Nickel Centre Winter Blast 2018 Hockey Tournament. For some of the Thunder team, this was their first hockey tournament experience! All players made improvements in their play throughout the weekend. Congratulations goes out to the team for playing their best hockey games yet! In net was Noah Thorpe who stopped over 130 shots in just three games. Strong defence was played by Mya Balfe, Erin Spry, Tessa McGillis-Prior, John Thirkill and Lucas Brown. Offensive players were Rylan Carrick, Grace Pennie, Danika Skippen, Karsten Powsey, Sable Powsey, Seth Verboom, Autumn Davy, Abbie Heins and Kohan Campbell. Coaches Jon Balfe, Ryan Prior and Darren Brown and Manager Allan Davy did a fantastic job helping the team reach their potential!

Please forward your MMHA team’s successes to for give recognition to all your team’s hard work, winning record or not!

Manitoulin gets shout-out at Raptors’ game!

The Toronto Raptors announcer Rick Devlin has been occasionally mentioning Canadian place-names when the Raps hit impressive three-point shots. I have heard him mention Pond Inlet from Nunavut and Fort Frances (Ontario) and more recently he called a beautiful C.J. Miles’ shot from beyond the arc with, “C.J. Miles all the way from Manitoulin Island!!!”

Rumour has it that Raptor super-fan Derek Debassige has been on a mission to have our home mentioned live at a game and may have sent an email or two!

Off their Rock hockey

This past weekend in Verner, the Nickel City Sons and the North Bay Trappers commenced the Northern Ontario Hockey Association (NOHA) Minor Bantam AAA best of 5 divisional title series. As the end of game 1 approached on Saturday, the NCS side, featuring locals Sam Assinewai, Liam Bridgeman and Carson Shawana, looked like they were going to ride out Noah Beaulne’s solid goaltending and Marco Vallilee’s 1st period tap in. The Trappers though, squeaked in the equalizer after pulling their goalie, and with 40 seconds remaining in the game and it was 1 – 1. The NCS’s game long, penalty trouble bled into the overtime, yet moments after killing their last trip to the box team captain, Scooter Rienguette potted the OT winner to make it a 2 -1 final and put NCS up 1 – 0 in the series.

In Game 2 on Sunday, with defensive teammate Wilson Farrow sitting-two for a hit-from-behind in game 1, Carson came through with one of his best outings of the season. Regularly jumping in on the rush, carrying the puck through the neutral zone and delivering several of his patented, punishing body checks on those who ventured down his defensive side, Carson was, as Pierre Maguire puts it, a ‘monster’ out there. Trailing 1 – 0 after 1 period, NCS rallied in the 2nd to tie as Matthew Vehkala’s wrister glanced off the NBT goalie’s shoulder and dropped in. Shortly thereafter, Scooter Rienguette banged in a rebound and NCS took the lead 2 – 1. As the Shawana lead defense stood tall and goalie Josh Stagg held the fort, the game was salted away with another rebound marker, this from call up Connor Heffern to make it 3 – 1 midway through the final frame. The 3 – 1 final saw the Sons one win away from the NOHA pennant with a 2 – 0 series lead.  Game 3 is next Saturday in Sturgeon Falls at 12:30, Game 4 if necessary on Sunday at 10 am.

In Sudbury District high school hockey Wiikwemkoong ex-pat, Tanner Webkamigad has been a stalwart on defense with his 11-0 St. Charles Cardinals. The Cards head into their post-season run on a great run. Meanwhile, Mindemoya’s Cole King has been a welcome addition to the Lasalle Lancers this year and made his presence known in a recent game against Espanola as he registered a hat-trick. Potting a goal for EHS was local skater, Miles Sutherland. Good luck in the finals, guys!

Hats off to Shelly Wemigwans and Gigi Wakegijig, members of the runners-up team in a Thessalon Tournament. The team donated their winnings to a local Olympic athlete. Good show!

A good sport is good for sports.