All posts by Sean Bray

Alexandria Glens hold training camp in Hawkesbury

The Alexandria Glens held their 2020-21 training camp in Hawkesbury over the weekend, as head coach Carl Robillard put his signees and prospects through their paces.

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Skaters on the ice at the Alexandria Glens training camp. (photo courtesy of Alexandria Glens)

General manger Derick Viau tells me there was a solid turnout of 52 hockey players at the September 18-20 camp, held at the Robert Hartley Sports Complex.

Following the conclusion of the sessions, Robillard took to Twitter, posting, “Well, that concludes our 2020-2021 training camp. What an incredible turn out and battles at every positions. Very hard decisions made with more to come. Glens Fans … get ready to cheer on a very fast and talented hockey team. Cannot wait to get this started.”

This season marks Robillard’s first as the Glens bench boss. He is also head coach of the Eastern Ontario Wild ‘AAA’ U15 (formerly called major bantam) team.

For more on Alexandria’s junior ‘B’ team, see this previous post. I also have a story about the Wild here.

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Junior B Rebels announce player signings as training camp gets going

The Char-Lan Rebels of the EOJHL opened training camp recently in Finch, with ice unavailable at the team’s home rink in Williamstown. Meanwhile, off the ice, the club was busy signing players for the upcoming (hopefully) season.

A local teen, Andrew Dixon, has committed to the Rebs for the 2020-21 campaign. The 18-year-old forward is a product of the Seaway Valley Rapids ‘AA’ program and was a strong contributor to the squad at Char-Lan High School.

Another signing was Brant Woodside. The 20-year-old has been attending the University of Ottawa the past two years, following stints with the CCHL Cornwall Colts and the U18 Colts. During the 2016-17 season, he captured the HEO championship with his Colts squad.

Woodside was drafted into the CCHL in 2015, 32nd overall by Cumberland Grads.

Char-Lan dropped the puck on its 2020-21 training camp on September 10 in Finch before moving on to sessions in Cornwall. The team is scheduled to hit the ice in Williamstown this week. For more, see this previous Rebels story.

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Youth flag football kicks off in Cornwall

In the absence of fall tackle football, the Cornwall Wildcats are fielding a flag football at Joe St. Denis Field.

The action kicked off last weekend, first with the midget-aged program, and then on Sunday with the other youth levels.

September 13 results saw Mosquito Team 2 beat Mosquito Team 1 with a 49-14 effort, while Mosquito 3 and 4 played to a 28-28 tie. This level includes players with birth years of 2009, 2010, and 2011.

At the peewee level (DOB 2007, 2008), Team 1 blanked Team 2 on a 35-0 score. The other game saw Team 3 overpower Team 1 by a 42-28 margin.

Bantam 2 beat Bantam 1 on a 14-7 score, and Bantam 3 shut out Bantam 4 with a 21-0 effort.

Here are some photos shared on the Cornwall Minor Football Association Facebook page.

September 20 results

Mosquito 3 versus Mosquito 1: 21-14
Mosquito 4 versus Mosquito 2: 28-7
Peewee 1 versus Peewee 3: 42-21
Peewee 2 versus Peewee 3: 7-7
Bantam 3 versus Bantam 1: 28-7
Bantam 4 versus Bantam 2: 28-7

Play continues next weekend, with the midget players on the gridiron on Friday evening, while the other levels play Sunday.

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Junior C hockey league hopeful for season start December 1

The region’s junior ‘C’ hockey league, the National Capital Junior Hockey League, is hoping to be able to drop the puck on a new season, beginning December 1.

NCJHL logo

Last season came to an abrupt stop on March 12, with playoffs underway. Initially a suspension, the 2019-20 season was officially cancelled on March 14.

The Vankleek Hill Cougars were East Division regular-season champions.

Planning for a 2020-21 season has been underway for some time. Representatives of the 10 teams of the NCJHL met on August 17, with all “teams expressing their intention to continue active participation in the league.”

As noted by the league, current provincial health restrictions imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic limit hockey to 4-on-4 play with no contact, “with strict rules relating to physical distancing, maximum number of players on the ice as well as how many people are able to attend games.”

“Our main concern always has been, and will continue to be, the health safety of our players, staff, officials, and fans. We will continue to provide updated information as it becomes available.”

NCJHL announcement
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Bring Back the Royals remembers John Wensink

Maxville’s John Wensink skated for the Cornwall Royals of the QMJHL for three season in the early 1970s, before going on to play professionally, primarily in the NHL with the Boston Bruins.

John Wensink, with the Boston Bruins, challenges the bench of the Minnesota North Stars. (screen capture)
John Wensink, with the Boston Bruins, challenges the bench of the Minnesota North Stars. (screen capture)

The ‘Bring Back the Royals’ group is active on social media. If you are interested in following them, check out their Facebook group here.

Wensink, now 67, retired from pro hockey following the 1988-89 season, when he was a member of Team Netherlands.

His time in the NHL stretched over 8 years, as he suited up for 446 games. He was drafted in 1973, selected in round 7 by the St. Louis Blues, 104th overall.

In recent years, Wensink has focused on coaching, working the bench of minor hockey teams in St. Louis.

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North Glengarry announces reopening plans for arenas, recreation facilities, programs

The Township of North Glengarry is planning to gradually reopen sports and recreation facilities and resume recreation programming, beginning for most this month

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The arena at the Glengarry Sports Palace will be the first of the townships two rinks to see ice and usage. The target date to begin ice rentals is October 7.

As for the ice at the Maxville rink, that is being delayed until “ice demands increase… In the interim of the ice reopening at the Maxville & District Sports Complex, staff will be preparing activity spaces and enhanced programming on the arena floor for use by the public.”

The dome in Alexandria partially reopened on August 24 (track and tennis/pickleball courts). “At the present time users are required to arrive dressed for their activity and to bring their own personal equipment due to COVID-19 guidelines.”

Reservations can be made by e-mail to programcoordinator@northglengarry.ca

Parks continue to remain open, with green spaces and play equipment available for use.

Community halls across township are now open for rental, to a maximum of 50 attendees. For more information, send an e-mail to recreation@northglengarry.ca

Recreation programming, too, is gradually returning, starting with yoga at the Glengarry Sports Palace, set to begin October 5.

“During this gradual reopening period, the township will be working with individuals and various sports organizations that use these facilities to ensure that the Eastern Ontario Health Unit’s guidelines are being followed. The goal is to allow the public to have access to the township’s facilities in a controlled and safe manner. The township is confident that residents will abide by the Eastern Ontario Health Unit and the sports organizations’ directives; however, if violations are observed by staff, these may result in the closure of the facility for the day or for longer.

The safety of our residents is of the utmost importance for the Township. Play safe!

Township of North Glengarry media release

Complete information on facilities can be found on the township’s website here. Details on programs can be found here.

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Junior B Glens seek billet families, announce player signings

Would you have space to house a member of the Alexandria Glens junior ‘B’ hockey team for the 2020-21 season? If so, the team would like to hear from you, and you will be compensated for “opening up your home to our players.”

To express your interest or for further information, please contact the team’s general manager, Derick Viau, at info@alexandriaglens.com or via the Glens’ Facebook page.

As head coach Carl Robillard puts it, “Please support our community team and become an away-from-home family for these young athletes looking for an opportunity to develop and play the sport they love while working towards online school.”

On the player front, Viau recently announced two further signings.

Keyshawn Francis
Keyshawn Francis (submitted photos)

Gatineau’s Keyshawn Francis played with the LHPS École Mont-Bleu last season, notching 14 points in 21 games. The 18-year-old is a forward.

Another forward signed is Alexandre Saül. Hailing from Montreal, he skated for the USHS North Yarmouth Academy last winter. The 18-year-old checks in at 6 ft. 3 in., 190 lb. Last year, he scored 11 points in 33 games at the US prep school.

Looking ahead, the Glens have joined the Char-Lan Rebels in a golf tournament, set for September 12, in Lancaster.

The 2020-21 team camp is scheduled to run September 18-20, in Hawkesbury. “Attending a Main Camp is the first step in becoming a Glens player and competing in the EOJHL. Our coaching and scouting staff use these camps to evaluate new talent that will compete to join our team for the upcoming season and to build new relationships with future prospects.”

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Spink twins commit to German pro hockey season

The 27-year-old Spink twins, Tyson and Tylor, have committed to playing the 2020-21 professional hockey season in Germany, as members of the Schwenninger Wild Wings, of the DEL (German elite league).

Last season, the men skated in Finland with the Ässät team. The season was stopped in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Spinks travelled back to Glengarry, following its subsequent cancellation.

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The Spinks bid adieu to Finland at the end of the 2019-20 season. (submitted photo)

Tyson, a 5 ft. 10 in., 185 lb. forward, notched 35 points in 50 games with Ässät, while Tylor, a centreman, counted 32 points in 52 matches.

Previously they both played in Sweden for two years, and prior to that skated in the ECHL and AHL, following stellar NCAA careers at Colgate University.

Their new club, from Schwenningen am Neckar in Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany, has a storied history, founded in 1904, is an original member of the Deutsche Eishockey Liga (DEL). The Wild Wings play in the Helios Arena, which has a capacity of 6,193, and the club’s colours are blue and white.

Niklas Sundblad, head coach of the Wild Wings, got familiar with the Spinks when he was involved with their Swedish team, Örebro.

He describes the hockey twins as “well-educated guys who are passionate about what they do. As twins, they have a kind of natural chemistry that they also bring on the ice. Coupled with their speed, they are an important addition to our team.” (translated from the German original)

To read the full story about the Spinks joining the Wild Wings, please see this webpage (in German).

On the signing, Tylor is quoted as saying, “It’s always good when you come to a new place and meet familiar faces. We know what Sunny [Niklas Sundblad] expects from us, and he knows what to expect from us. We will have the same attitude again, work hard, but still go on the ice with a smile and try to improve ourselves and with it the team.”

Tyson tells me that he and his brother plan to travel to Germany in mid-September to join their new team.

In an abbreviated 2019-20 season, the Wild Wings had a record of 14-32-3-3 through 52 games.

The Spinks are sons of Kathy and Kenton, of South Glengarry.

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GSL hoping for 2020-21 indoor season

This week, the Glengarry Soccer League announced that it is planning for a 2020-21 indoor season, the kick off sometime this fall.

Last winter’s indoor campaign came to an abrupt halt in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Initially a suspension, the season’s remaining action, including playoffs, was eventually cancelled. Subsequently, the GSL was forced to cancel summer outdoor minor soccer, summer outdoor adult soccer, and regional youth competitive soccer (Hearts teams).

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GSL announcement on Facebook

As of posting this story, the league’s website had not been updated, still displaying information to register for the now-cancelled summer outdoor season.

The GSL has been limited by health and safety guidelines imposed by the league’s sanctioning body, the Ontario Soccer Association.

Under the OSA outline, as of September 17, leagues are now permitted play within a region (We are part of the east region, EODSA), with modified games (e.g. no throw-ins, limited handling of the ball) and training. In the case of indoor soccer, per government guidelines, a maximum of 50 people can be in the facility at any one time.

For the full, updated OSA guidelines, please see this link.

As the GSL notes, Stay Tuned!

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Junior B Char-Lan Rebels set camp start for Thursday, announce captain

The 2020 training camp for the Char-Lan Rebels of the EOJHL is scheduled to begin on September 10, on the ice at the Finch arena.

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Prospective players are invited to pre-register online here.

The team invites “All 16- to 20-year-old players … to come try out.”

The opening training camp session is slated for Thursday, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in Finch. Workout number two is booked for Cornwall’s multi-sport complex, on September 17 (6:30 to 8 p.m.). Training will continue three days later, also in Cornwall (1 to 2:30 p.m.), with two further sessions planned for the Rebels’ home rink in Williamstown, on September 22 and 26 (times to be confirmed).

Jeff Carter serves as the team’s head coach.

On the player front, the club announced that Joseph Samson has committed to returning for the upcoming season and will serve as Char-Lan captain. He led last year’s squad, scoring 26 goals and 31 assists.

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Photo collage highlighting Char-Lan Rebels captain Joseph Samson. (Rebels photos)

On Saturday (September 12) the Rebels are joining with county cousins the Alexandria Glens for a golf tournament to be held at Lancaster’s Heritage Golf Club. For details, please see this previous story.

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