Heading into the second season of the Eastern Ontario Super Hockey League, we now know that the region’s senior ‘A’ hockey loop will feature two new franchises, one of them based in Alexandria.
The Glengarry Pipers, as the club will be known, are owned by Ryan McLeod. Jamie Lavigne will serve as general manager and coach. Last season, he was an assistant coach with the championship-winning Cornwall Prowlers.
The Pipers will play out of the Glengarry Sports Palace (Billy Gebbie Arena), in Alexandria.
Lavigne tells me that he has received confirmation from the GSP that they can accommodate the team’s schedule. A future meeting will finalize the details.
The club will be looking for volunteers to help out with ticket sales, provide game-day security, and assist with other tasks to help make competitive senior ‘A’ hockey a success in Alexandria.
“This is my first year acting as a GM for a team so I’m nervous,” Lavigne admits, adding that he is “very confident that we will have a competitive team that will also draw in decent crowds.”
The GM notes that the EOSHL “showcases exceptional hockey,” drawing players with junior hockey experience through to the professional ranks in North America and internationally.
“This is top-calibre hockey, which I found out last year when I was the assistant coach with the championship Cornwall Prowlers. I was given a chance from general manager and head coach Mitch Gagne, and I’m forever grateful.” Lavigne stresses that he gained coaching experience along with an opportunity to learn the ins and outs of how a club at this level operates.
“I’m extremely excited for the season to approach and look forward to seeing the county (Glengarry) come together to support the team and continue to grow the great game.”
In addition to the Pipers, the EOSHL confirms that the North Frontenac Phantoms will join the league for the 2020-21 season. The club will play out of the North Frontenac Community Arena, in Godfrey. The Phantoms are owned and operated by Colton Distefano and his wife, Sydony.
As noted in a separate post, senior ‘A’ hockey will return to Maxville for a second season, under new ownership and with the club renamed the Mustangs.
While the boys competed at the separate Ontario championships, Glengarry’s mixed and girls rinks battled at EOSSAA, in Pembroke and Eganville.
The mixed team of Virginia Vander Byl (lead), Rowan McPherson (second), Abbey Lowe (third), and Matthew Bill (skip), coached by Lindsey Howes (coach), automatically qualified for EOSSAA, as there was no competition at the SD&G bonspiel. At the regional event, the Gaels nabbed bronze, in a four-team pool.
They started round-robin play at the Eganville Curling Club against Holy Cross Catholic School from Kemptville. GD got off to a slow start but came back in the 4th end to score a single, making the score 5-1. The Gaels stole a point in the 5th end, while Holy Cross took 3 in the 6th. The teams shook hands at this point, on a final 8-2 score.
Glengarry’s second game set the Gaels against St. Mary’s Catholic School from Brockville. This game had some great shots. GD opened the match with a 3. St. Mary’s scored 1 in the 2nd and 1 in the 3rd to tighten things up, but the Gaels responded with singles in the 4th and the 5th. St. Mary’s came back to score 2 in the 6th and 3 in the 7th to end the game with the win, 8-4.
In the third round-robin game, Glengarry tangled with Opeongo DHS from Douglas. It was a tough game, where the Gaels conceded after 6 ends, with a final score of 10-1.
Back in Eganville, Glengarry faced Holy Cross again, this time for the bronze medal. It was a back-and-forth game. HC opened with a single. Then GD scored 2 in the second and 1 in the 3rd. HC came back with 4 in the 4th end and 1 in the 5th. Glengarry scored 3 in the 6th to tie the game 6-6. HC was forced to 1 in the 7th, so GD had the hammer for the final end. With a nice draw to the 4-foot, the Gaels scored two for the bronze medal. The final score was 8-7.
Meanwhile, the girls, who were undefeated at the SD&G championships held in Cornwall and Morrisburg, competed at EOSSAA, which had two pools of four teams each.
Glengarry opened round-robin action at the Pembroke CC playing Opeongo High School from Douglas. The girls played a great game. GD scored 2 in the first end and a single in the second end. In the third end, OHS scored 1. In the 4th, the Gaels picked up 2 more, going on to add a single in 5th and 3 more in the 6th as the squad extended the lead to 9-1. OHS took 2 in the 7th, and GD finished off the game with 2 more points, winning 11-3.
In their second game, Glengarry’s girls tangled with South Grenville DHS from Prescott. This was a closer contest. GD scored a single in the first, and SG took singles in the 2nd and 3rd. The Gaels came back with 2 points in the 4th, while Prescott nabbed 3 in the 5th. GD rebounded to score 4 in the 6th, and SG took 1 in the 7th. The score was 7-6 for GD coming home with hammer. The Gaels clinched the victory, scoring 2 in the final end to win 9-6.
Their third round-robin game saw the Gaels play Notre Dame Catholic High School from Carleton Place, in Eganville. This was a back-and-forth game. GD made some great shots to tie the game in the 8th end (7-7) and force an extra end. Notre Dame came through to score one with the hammer to hand Glengarry its first loss.
In their semifinal, GD struggled to find their weight and readjust to conditions back in Pembroke. The Gaels lost to North Dundas, in a rematch of the SDG final, with a final score of 8-2 after 6 ends.
Still on the ice in Pembroke to close out the bonspiel, the Gaels had a rematch with Notre Dame. GD opened the scoring with a single. ND scored 2 in the 2nd to take the lead, but Glengarry replied with 2 in 3rd. ND got a single in the 4th to tie the game 3-3. GD scored one in the 5th to take a brief lead until the ND skip made a beautiful tap on her last shot in the 6th to score 5 points. GD scored a single in the 7th to bring the score to 8-5.
Glengarry ended its run with a fourth-place EOSSAA result.
The Glengarry Trails system remains open during the COVID-19 pandemic, offering an opportunity for you to get some exercise and fresh air during this anxious time.
Four trails collectively cover 13 km through North Glengarry forests, west of Alexandria. Normal spring conditions prevail, so walked should be prepared for varying surfaces, including soft snow, ice, mud, puddles, and flooding.
Access points include the west end of Lochiel Street in Alexandria, County Road 43 just west of the hospital, County Road 45 and Marcoux Road south of County Road 43, and Kenyon Dam Road.
For more information on the trails and current conditions, check out the group’s website and Facebook page.
Note, the Annual General Meeting has been postponed to April 23.
Due to COVID-19 concerns and a Hockey Canada directive to cease all hockey-related activities, as well as an order by the Eastern Ontario Health Unit to close community and recreation facilities, the Alexandria Glens of the CCHL2 have deferred their board meeting, scheduled for March 25.
At this time of uncertainty in the sports world and otherwise, a new date for the meeting has not been set.
Alexandria’s Kieran Craig is back home with his family now, as COVID-19 concerns have forced a pause in the QMJHL season.
The 19-year-old forward is in his second campaign with the Gatineau Olympiques. At the stoppage in play, Craig had 48 points (22 goals, 26 assists) in 64 games. Among his tallies, he’s notched 6 game-winning goals.
While he’s having a great season, his team is mired in the basement of the Western Conference, on a record of 22 wins, 37 regulation time losses, and 5 overtime defeats. The Olympiques had four regular-season games remaining in their schedule.
Avec les chances très minimes de revoir la saison de la LHJMQ recommencer.. Partisans des @LesOlympiques, qui est votre joueur de l'année?
On the season disruption, Craig tells me, “we are pretty much staying home and trying to be safe. What I’ve been told is that the team will update us as soon as they have heard something regarding our season.”
Gatineau’s last game, on March 8, went into the books as a 5-4 shootout win over Blainville-Boisbriand. Craig contributed 2 assists and notched the shootout winner.
The official notice of suspension of league play came down March 12 from the Canadian Hockey League, the body that oversees major junior hockey in Canada.
“The Canadian Hockey League and its three regional leagues, the Ontario Hockey League, Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, and Western Hockey League, take the health and safety of our players, fans, volunteers, staff, and general public very seriously. CHL President Dan MacKenzie with Commissioners David Branch, Gilles Courteau, and Ron Robison have been monitoring the situation in regards to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) including what local, provincial, and federal health agencies have recommended. Following consultation with medical professionals and meetings today among the CHL Executive Council, and regional league Board of Governors, the CHL announces that the balance of the 2019-20 season and all hockey activity shall be paused immediately until further notice.”
The Glengarry Soccer League’s indoor season has been suspended, effective March 13, says Tammy MacSweyn, GSL vice-president.
The lone match on the docket tonight was the last senior men’s regular-season game featuring the Barflies and McCrimmon. Nothing was scheduled for the March Break (next week), with GSL action originally booked to resume March 22. However, that is now in limbo.
MacSweyn explains that the league is following the direction of Ontario Soccer, which announced last night, “Ontario Soccer has made the difficult decision to immediately suspend all sanctioned soccer activities in the province until further notice.” This includes “all competitions, training, coach and match official education, and team-building activities.”
The Friends of Glengarry Trails Association has scheduled its annual general meeting for Thursday, March 26, starting at 7 p.m. New general members and board members are welcome.
Note/update: AGM has been postponed to April 23.
Board member Patricia Kerr, in a post to the organization’s Facebook page, noted all are invited to attend the meeting, which will be held at The Georgian House Restaurant, 148 Main Street, in Alexandria.
“We invite you to consider being on the Board of Directors of this vital community organization that develops, maintains, and promotes our safe public trails system for outdoor walking, biking, and skiing trails in the Alexandria area,” Kerr added.
“Please consider this opportunity to make a difference in your community by serving as a board member. Being on the Board of Directors contributes to the broader community in so many ways, making possible a safe, public trail system near Alexandria, that supports outdoor recreation, tourism, environmental education, nature connection, and natural heritage in our local area.”
Among items on the agenda for the AGM are a report on the new boardwalk that was installed last fall (accessible from the Lochiel Street entrance to the trails), a report on the StoryWalk Project, the annual financial report, and the annual election of Board of Directors. (Several positions are open for 1-year and 2-year terms.) There will also be a 30-minute presentation on trails of Cuba.
Current members may vote at the AGM, join committees, and stand for election as board members.
Thursday evening soccer at the dome in Alexandria has been cancelled by the Glengarry Soccer League, with all matches moved to Friday night as a result of today’s snowstorm and poor road conditions.
The U11 co-ed division will kick off Friday night play with a match between Team USA and Team Netherlands, starting at 5:30 p.m.
The 6:30 p.m. game will feature U18 boys action, as Team England and Team Canada battle.
Then it will be senior men’s division play. Alexandria FC and McCrimmon are booked for the 7:30 p.m. slot, while the Barflies and Glen Sandfield are set for 8:30 p.m. play.
Alexandria FC and the Barflies remain in a battle for the top of the table as regular-season play winds down, with McCrimmon and Glen Sanfield third and fourth, respectively. The Young Gunners round out the standings.
The regular season in the senior men’s division is set to conclude on March 13, with semifinals for the top four teams booked for March 26.