Ice Chips to Canoe Quips – Dec 22-14

Manitoulin Minor Hockey Spotlight!

In the MMHA Spotlight this week are the Manitowaning Wolves Peewee team. This Wolves’ squad is all about team play and positivity! They started out their season with straight losses but they pulled together this past Saturday against Little Current and came away with a 5-2 victory! Another great trait of this team is their work ethic at practices, which will serve them well as the season stretches out. Finally, a record many NHL clubs would love to boast, the Wolves are now sporting three games of penalty free hockey. Way to go team! Keep up the hard work. Congratulations to players: Aaron Leeson, Dennis Gulyas, Hunter McDermid, Jessica Elliott, Skye Setterington, Mya Otosquaiob, Margaux Eshkibok, Drake Trudeau, Chris White, Steven White and Chloe Peltier. Their staff includes: Dwayne Elliott coach, Trevor Leeson assistant coach, Rob Cranston assistant coach, Trish Leeson trainer and Christine Gulyas manager.

Coaches and managers can send their team information to the email address below to recognize their team for the good things they are doing, in future columns.

Mustang minute

The Manitoulin Mustang boys lost a heartbreaker at home last week against a tough Confederation club. With goals from Parker Dickinson and Matt Craig (helpers by Tait Wallace, Brett Varey, Justice Corbiere and even netminder Jordan Cristo) the Mustangs were leading 2 – 1 going into the third. Unfortunately, the home side couldn’t stop the charging visitors and dropped a 3-2 decision. Confed is holding down second spot while Manitoulin drops down into 5th. With the league splitting into two divisions in the New Year the Mustangs will be put to the test in every match as they fight for a favorable playoff position. Their next home game is Friday, January 9th at 7 PM in Little Current against St. Benedicts.

2014: A sad year for Wikwemikong sports

As this year draws to a close it always inspires reflection on the past 12 months. In that time, Wikwemikong has taken a big hit to their sports community due to an inordinate sports minded people passing. My father, having a strong connection to the community, has noticed many vacuums in the athletic structure of Manitoulin’s largest community. The latest to suddenly pass is 61-year-old Lester Manitowabi, a businessman as well as former Wikwemikong Thunderbird stalwart. Lester was a smooth skating, fine passing player with a Thunderbird senior squad that won the majority of its games from the 1970s through the 80s.

He was the son of iconic entrepreneur Andrew Manitowabi and wife Josephine. He has currently been a partner in the vast family business and an integral part of day to day operations. A friendly, humorous gentleman he will be sadly missed by his employees who he treated with kindness and respect.

Earlier this year, the passing of Wikwemikong’s Eric Corbiere created a silent spot in venues from ball, to lacrosse, to running and finally to hockey, his special love. The cry of, “Go Wiky boys, go: Go all the way, never quit” was familiar to many in the arenas of Manitoulin, Sudbury, the Sault and North Bay and even other communities around the province would have hear the refrain.

Eric, along with his wife Rita, are heirs to a long line of Peltier, Cheechoo and Wabuno athletes: from Memorial Cup champion, Gerard Peltier to Wabuno grandchildren playing “AAA” hockey in Sudbury. He is missed by many but his words still echo in arenas across the north.

Joseph Kanasawe of Buzwah/Wikwemikong and long-time Toronto resident passed prematurely a few months ago. Joe is still known as a tremendous cross-country runner in the 1970s. One of Wikwemikong’s first recognized long distance athletes, Joe had an indomitable spirit which allowed him to ‘grind’ out many amazing runs despite pain and fatigue.

Randy Trudeau, a well-known artist, was also an important member of a number of Wikwemikong hockey and ball teams including a youngster on the erstwhile Manitowaning Federals of the 70s – 80s Sportsmen League entry. A friendly, outgoing fellow with a terrific sense of humour was always a positive smiling personage in any sports dressing room.

Marie Eshkawkogan was not only a huge sports fan and supporter, she was also mother to a long line of sports figures. Among her sons, Michael (an outstanding cross-country runner in the 70s). Mark (a hockey and running and cooking aficionado), Jeff (a tremendous runner and event organizer) and Peter (a wonderful hockey player who garnered OHL attention on top of being a long distance, power runner).

Marie, a terrific chef in her own right, worked for and with the little children of her home community. She is well known and respected by those children, many of them now adults. A wonderful lady, she will be missed by many. Condolences to the family and friends of these revered community members.

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