With spring upon us and local sports fields drying up, the area’s football clubs would normally be running full steam ahead, preparing for their 2020 outdoor gridiron competitions.
However, as we all know, this is not a normal year.
Football, like all sports, remains in limbo due to the COVID-19 isolation requirements. The Cornwall Wildcats are doing their best to remain connected to players during this time, recently launching video workouts via the club’s Facebook page.
Owing to COVID-19 concerns and related closures, the Cornwall Speedway has announced that it will delay the revealing of its 2020 schedule until May 1, with the plan for summer racing to begin on May 17.
As previously reported on this website, the Cornwall Prowlers of the EOSHL were looking forward to celebrating their championship, with a pair of community events on March 21; however, due to COVID-19 concerns, those plans have now been postponed.
Football Canada, the nation’s oversight body for the gridiron game, yesterday issued a recommendation to leagues and clubs across the country to consider “suspension of practice or play until further notice.”
The Cornwall Wildcats had begun pre-season training camp for the OFC provincial team under new head coach Alex Labonte. As well, the club was running speed and agility training, along with NCAFA teams pre-season practices. All of these activities are suspended, effective March 13.
Labonte adds, “It’s a temporary stop, hopefully.” At the OFC level, players are being encouraged to work out on their own. The head coach is also looking at holding meetings online, via FaceTime.
The Glengarry Gaels football club hadn’t yet begun its spring activities, president Ian Parent noted in an online post. The focus currently is on player registration for the spring outdoor tackle season.
Recently, the local group from the OSGA 55+ held a bowling fundraiser at Nativity Lanes, in Cornwall.
Over 50 individuals participated in the event.
Organizer and bowling team captain Dan Youmelle has also planned a spaghetti supper fundraiser, to be held April 17, at the Army Navy Club, in Cornwall.
The District 8 team comprises captain Dan Youmelle, Sheila Youmelle, Frank St. Pierre, Huguette Lortie-Seguin, and William Pynenburg. They will be competing at the Canada Senior Games in Kamloops, B.C., in August.
Individuals wishing to support the group’s endeavour can purchase tickets for the spaghetti supper by contacting Dan Youmelle at 613-938-1930 or the Army Navy Club at 613-938-5020.
District 8 of the Ontario Senior Games Association encompasses Cornwall, Stormont-Dundas-Glengarry, Prescott-Russell, and Akwesasne.
North Glengarry mayor Jamie MacDonald tells me that “At this point, we are still open,” when asked about the township’s recreation facilities and widespread shuttering of sports leagues across the country, along with facilities where large numbers of people typically congregate, due to concerns over COVID-19. However, he adds, “We have suspended the March break camps.”
MacDonald goes on to say, “Well we are being guided by Dr. Paul [Roumeliotis, the Eastern Ontario Health Unit medical officer of health] … keep crowds under 250.”
Meanwhile, this afternoon, the township of South Glengarry announced in a press release that the municipality is “taking proactive measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. While the risk in South Glengarry remains low, the municipality is taking necessary steps to protect the health of residents. As such, recreation facilities and community centres will all be closed from Monday, March 16 to Monday, April 6.”
All events scheduled during this period will be either cancelled or postponed. The list of closed facilities in the south includes the Char-Lan Recreation Centre, Martintown Community Centre, Green Valley Community Centre, North Lancaster Community Centre, Paul Rozon Park building, and Jack Danaher Park building.
Facilities in Cornwall are also being closed: “In light of COVID-19, the City of Cornwall is taking necessary steps to protect the health of residents. As such, recreation facilities will be closed from Monday, March 16 to Sunday, April 5, inclusive. The Aquatic Centre is closed as of Friday, March 13 at 10:30 p.m.”
The EOHU states, “At the moment, the risk of contracting the COVID-19 virus is considered low. However, the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) continues to work with our partners at the regional, provincial and federal levels to monitor the situation, and is prepared to respond to any potential cases in our area should they occur.”
Fans of the Cornwall Prowlers should set aside March 21 in their calendars, as the team has announced a community skate, followed by a celebratory party, for that date, in recognition of the team capturing the inaugural Eastern Ontario Super Hockey League championship.
With the EOSHL finals tied at a game apiece following the first weekend of competition, the title was decided in game three, played in Ottawa, where the Prowlers prevailed 7-5.
The March 6 contest saw Cornwall open with a 4-0 lead, which held at the end of the first period. Marc Andre Labelle, Tristan Perreault-Gagnon, Jeff Clarke, and Kenny Neil were the marksmen, with assists from Gabriel Veilleux, Devon Burns, Dylan Stacey, Labelle, Charles Landry, and Storm Adams.
West Carleton got two back in the second stanza, before Perreault-Gagnon scored again, set up by Veilleux and Jesse Fontaine. The Rivermen added another in the frame, making it a 5-3 game.
The hosts drew even in the third period.
Neil notched what would end up being the game-winner at the 3:38 mark, assisted by James Kirkwood and Adams. Labelle iced the victory with an unassisted shorthanded marker inside the final minute of play.
Here’s a video of the final few minutes of the game.
Goaltender Frederic Roy, with 36 saves, backstopped the victory and was named playoff MVP.
“It was a big team win, very happy that we came together as a team to bounce back from our last game and win the championship.”
Following two years out of hockey, 27-year-old defenceman Jacob Dawson was lured back to playing, joining the Prowlers for their inaugural EOSHL campaign. He previously skated with the Cornwall Nationals of the FHL, in the 2016-17 season, and before that at the junior ‘A’ level in La Tuque, Quebec, following two seasons with the junior ‘B’ Char-Lan Rebels.
On the Prowlers’ triumph, Dawson admits to feeling pretty good, adding that he is “glad my family was able to make it up to watch the game.”
The championship series saw each of the three road games won by the road team. Top-seeded West Carleton hosted games one and three, which the Prowlers won, 7-6 and 7-5. The Rivermen prevailed in Cornwall, 6-2. Photos from that game can be viewed here.
On Saturday, March 21, the team invites its fans to join players on the ice for a skate at Cornwall’s multi-sport complex, located at 800 Seventh Street West. The skate with players will run from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Afterwards, beginning at 8 p.m., the Prowlers will have a celebratory party at Kelsey’s, 960 Brookdale Avenue.
The 2020 edition of the Bishop Cup rivalry hockey game between the Holy Trinity Falcons and St. Joseph’s Panthers is scheduled for Wednesday, March 11, in Cornwall.
HT is coming off a league season that saw the team finish fourth, on a 4-3-1 record, qualifying for the SDGAA playoffs, where the Falcons dropped their semifinal 3-0 to the Panthers.
Meanwhile, St. Joseph’s (7-1-0) won the SD&G championship, qualifying for EOSSAA. At the March 10 tournament in Arnprior, the Panthers skated to a tie and a loss in round-robin play, failing to reach the championship game.
More details on the Bishop Cup can be found on the Facebook event page here. The game is held in support of the St. Vincent de Paul Society (Cornwall). Admission is $2.
The Cornwall Typhoons midget ‘AA’ girls hockey team, which skates in the Ottawa District Women’s Hockey Association, recently concluded its four-game playoff run, on a 1-1 tie with the Nepean Wildcats.
Karyanne Lalonde notched Cornwall’s only goal, scored in the third period, as the Typhoons rallied to draw even with the Wildcats. Anna Henderson and Sierra Woodside had the assists.
Their earlier round-robin playoff results, from February, included a 4-3 win over the Ottawa Lady 67s, a 3-0 loss to the Gloucester Cumberland Lady Grads, and a 4-2 defeat by the Ottawa Senators.
Kennedy Kirkby led the Typhoons in playoff scoring, with 3 goals and 2 assists. Henderson had 4 points, for second place, followed by Anabelle Ferland, with 2. Lalonde, Elizabeth Beiersdorfer, Gracie Leroux, Woodside, and Elly Gamble all finished with 1 point each.
Goaltender Olivia Salmon played three of the playoff contests, recording a 2.67 goals-against average, while Vanessa Campeau backstopped one game (3.00 GAA).
During the 20-game regular season, Cornwall finished in the middle of the pack of the five-team league, with 8 wins, 7 losses, and 5 ties.