MSS boys’ hockey team ready for the season

Strong female goalie joins the “boys’ club” for 2018-2019 season

M’CHIGEENG—The players of the Manitoulin Secondary School (MSS) boys’ hockey team are ready to start playing games during their regular season as the exhibition period draws to a close.

“We’ve played two exhibition games together; they’re all really coming together so far,” said Jordan Smith, assistant coach of the boys’ team. “The future is bright for this team. We’ve got lots of young guys.”

Head coach Steve Doane said his defense is both new and young, but the players are quick on their feet. One of the new players is goalie Jenelle Manitowabi, originally from Lac Seul First Nation. Jenelle is a promising goalie with an impressive record and Mr. Doane said he is excited about her potential.

“At first I was trying out with the girls’ team and was going to the first few games,” said Jenelle. “Half the reason I play sports is to be challenged—it wasn’t really challenging and wasn’t what I was looking for. I watched the boys’ tryout and realized they weren’t far from my skill level. I asked Steve Doane if I could try out and it went from there.”

This year’s team has a number of rookies, denoted with an (R): Lucas Abotossaway (R), Connor Bellmore, Johnny Bushey (R), Maverick Bushey (R), Keegan Clarke, Ethan Corbiere, Shannon Debassige (R), Adam Goodfellow (R), Todd Gordon (R), Noah Hare (R), Jenelle Manitowabi (R), Jayden Little, Ben Marshall, Nyron Panamick (R), Zack Paul, Matthew Redmond, Josh Robinson, Boston Thibault, Eric Varey (R) and Jalen Waindubence (R).

The boys’ team is coached by Mr. Doane, with support from assistant coach Mr. Smith and trainers Ethan Closs and Jeffrey Panamic.

“They seem like they’re going to be a close group and they seem like they enjoy practice, with a really good commitment so far and dedication,” Mr. Doane said.

Mr. Doane said the team should be able to come together well.

“We have a good group that are responsive and willing to listen and learn—you can learn neat things and progress as a team. Sometimes you have lots of talent but the guys are not willing to put in the time and be patient to get on the same page,” said Mr. Doane.

Mr. Doane said his goal is to get into the top four teams of the league and, ideally, either second or third place.

“Last year we won the B championship and we want to challenge for the A this year. I think we have the team to do that, but time will tell,” said Mr. Doane.

The regular season starts November 9 and the Mustangs’ last game is December 12. Home games at the Northeast Town (NEMI) recreation centre will be on November 9, 14, 23 and 29 and December 12.