Ice Chips & Canoe Quips

Manitoulin’s Sudbury Lady Wolf

Mindemoya’s Delaney Bridgeman and her Sudbury Lady Wolves AA Bantam teammates travelled to Toronto this past weekend for some exhibition tune up games prior to next week’s provincial championships in Brampton. The girls defeated the Scarborough Sharks 2 – 0 on Saturday, then earned a split on Sunday, losing a tightly contested morning match 2 – 1 to Toronto’s Leeside Wildcats before turning it around in the afternoon to handle the Vaughn Flames 2 – 0. The girls face the nationally number 34th ranked Kingston Ice Wolves, the number four Oakville Hornets and number 11 Ottawa Lady 67s in provincial pool play next week, with hopes of finishing in the top 12 of 24 teams to earn a spot in the qualifying round. Go ‘Boogie,’ go!

2019 Indigenous Games!

Congratulations to the 2019 Manitoulin Games that were held at the Four Directions Complex in Aundek Omni Kaning this past Thursday. The event, hosted by M’Chigeeng based Kenjgewin Teg and their facilitator, Steven Pruchnicki. Steve had previously trained, Island–wide, teachers and students in these sometime lost skills and games. 

The day featured the games: snow snakes, shinny (and no, not our usual idea of the hockey feel idea of shinny; this shinny uses short, three foot cedar sticks and a central post for a net), pole push (a reverse idea on our usual tug-of-war in which teams push each other out of a zone instead of pulling them out of it). Finally, the snow-show relay event required teammates to complete a snowshoe relay and had to deftly remove and quickly reinstall this amazing invention.  

Austin looks to P.B. this season!

A huge ‘hats off’ to Evansville’s Austin Featherstone who has no shortage of accolades already at this stage in his young career, yet looks to improve upon his body of work. Austin, who won the 400m at the 2011 World Special Olympics’ in Athens, Greece and currently has a personal best in the five kilometre range with an impressive 17 minutes clocking, yet still wants to improve. 

Austin has been diligently training this spring to peak with a P.B. in the 5,000 and 10,000m distances during this upcoming track season. As we all have, Austin has had some trials and tribulations with our early Manitoulin winter and late spring. Austin, unlike most of us however, is concerned that he has not been able train on his usual landmarks near his home and has had to resort to indoor treadmill training. 

The youngster is certainly not discouraged and only wants to use his situation as another challenge to overcome and also bring up his fitness to the level where he can lower his already impressive personal record, even lower! Keep up the great preparations, Austin. It will happen!

Former Panther, next Gen!

Ben Swihart recently was named to the Indiana All State Academic team. He lives in Valparaiso and anchors the defence for the Valpo Vikings in the Michiana two-state league. It is tier one high school hockey. Ben is the son of Larry “Chip” Swihart and a member of the original Manitoulin midget Panthers who were runners-up at the International Silver Stick Finalists in Sarnia in 1987. Ben thanks his Dad (who is an assistant coach with the Vikings and his mother (Candace) for their support over the years.

Tears for the CWHL

This week, the 12-year-old Canadian Women’s Hockey League has announced that the league is not financially sustainable and is therefore a non-entity in an all-too-soon May 1 deadline. Although there is still a professional women’s league (the N.W.H.L. American-based league that also boasts Wiikwemkoong’s Kelly Babstock who started out with the Connecticut Whale in the league and recently signed with the Buffalo Beauts). However, it is definitely sad that today’s female youngsters have one less option. Keep up all the hard work, Manitoulin players, hopefully there will be another aim for today’s players such as just several of our local skaters: Zaagaasge Toulouse, Delaney Bridgeman and Tori Trudeau etc.

A good sport is good for sports