Tag Archives: HEO

Junior C hockey league proposes non-contact season

The National Capital Junior Hockey League (the region’s junior ‘C’ loop) has proposed a 2020-21 season with non-contact play, in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and related restrictions.

In its November 2 announcement, the NCJHL stated it is “in the process of submitting a plan to HEO to allow NCJHL to play hockey again for this season.” HEO (Hockey Eastern Ontario) is the sports governing body in this region, operating as a branch of Hockey Canada.

The plan requires all clubs to commit to play that will feature no body contact, which is expected to result in “extremely fast hockey.”

“NCJHL is working with HEO to provide a safe environment for all to play in and for fans to watch from.”

Current COVID-19 restrictions set by the provincial government and enforced by local health authorities allow only limited hockey, currently with no games and no body contact. Teams are allowed modified scrimmages, with clubs in bubbles or paired. For example, Hawkesbury’s junior ‘A’ team is paired with the squad from Rockland for non-contact scrimmages.

The 10-team NCJHL’s closest teams, geographically, are the Vankleek Hill Cougars (last season’s East Division regular-season champion) and the North Dundas Rockets, based in Chesterville. The NCJHL was established in 1968, formerly known as the Eastern Ontario Junior C Hockey League.

Last year’s play was stopped in March, with playoffs underway, due to Hockey Canada orders related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Vrbetic amongst HEO players named to NHL’s watch list

Dunvegan’s Joe Vrbetic, a goaltender with the North Bay Battalion of the OHL, is amongst hockey prospects on a new list from NHL Central Scouting.

The 18-year-old became the Battalion’s primary backstop last season, manning the hemp hut for 42 games in what ended up being a shortened season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 6ft. 6 in., 181 lb. athlete came up through the Eastern Ontario Wild ‘AAA’ program, before moving to Toronto to play a season in the GTHL.

Amongst his achievements, Vrbetic was a member of the HEO championship Wild team in the 2015-16 season, when he was also recorded a league best 1.79 goals against average.

In the 2018-19 season, as a member of the NOJHL Powassan Voodoos, he had a league best save percentage of .928.

Last year, he was named to the OHL’s second rookie all-start team.

Vrbetic was drafted into the OHL in 2018 by the Battalion, selected 31st overall. He is eligible for the NHL draft in 2021.

Other HEO alumni named to the NHL’s watch list include Mason McTavish, Roman Schmidt, Brandt Clarke, Isaac Enright, Ranvir Gill-Shane, and Connor Lockhart.

Vrbetic is given a ‘B’ rating by NHL Central Scouting, which means he’s listed as a second or third-round draft candidate in 2021.

Vrbetic graphic
(OHL North Bay Battalion graphic)
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HEO commits to continuation of modified minor hockey program for fall 2020

You may have heard last week that the Greater Toronto Hockey League (GTHL), arguable Canada’s top minor hockey league, pulled the plug on all activities this fall, suspending programming until January 2021. However, that announcement is league-specific and does not apply locally, as Hockey Eastern Ontario has reiterated that programming, already modified, under its jurisdiction will continue this fall.

Hockey Eastern Ontario letter, dated 5 October 2020

As it stands, local minor hockey organizations, such as those in Alexandria and Char-Lan, are already operating under a heavily modified system due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to strict health and safety protocols, no games are permitted in an effort to limit player contact.

The focus of fall programming is on training and development, with the hope that game play may resume come January.

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Tighter COVID-19 rules to impact sports in Ottawa, Toronto

The so-called hot spots for COVID-19 cases – Ottawa, Toronto, and Peel Region – have seen a number of new restrictions imposed by the provincial government. The new rules affect many aspects of society, including sports, which now will be prohibited from any scrimmages, limited only to training with physical distancing.

Ontario government logo

From the Ford government announcement… “In consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, the Public Health Measures Table, and local medical officers of health and other health experts, the Ontario government is introducing additional targeted public health measures in the Ottawa, Peel, and Toronto public health unit regions. These modified Stage 2 restrictions will be for a minimum of 28 days and reviewed on an ongoing basis.”

The new rules, for these regions, will take effect on Saturday, October 10, at 12:01 a.m.

In terms of sports, the rules state, “Limiting team sports to training sessions (no games or scrimmages).”

These three regions will also see social gathering numbers reduced to 10 indoors and 25 outdoors, along with the closure of bars/restaurants for indoor service, gyms and fitness centres, gaming establishments, cinemas, performing arts centres, spectator areas at racing facilities, and more.

For the full details, please see the government press release here.

These new measures do not, at this time, apply to our region, remains in the government’s Stage 3 plan.

Earlier this week, MPP Lisa MacLeod, Ontario’s minister of heritage, sport, tourism, and culture industries, was quoted in a CBC News story about the provincial government’s plans for hockey, specifically the top junior league, the OHL. In the piece, MacLeod was quoted as stating that the OHL will have to “remove physical contact, including bodychecking, if it’s to have a 2020-21 season.”

According to MacLeod, as quoted in the story, the OHL is not interested in playing under a bubble format as the NHL did for its 2020 playoffs. The OHL had already delayed the new season, tentatively aiming for a December 1 start (unlike Quebec’s major junior hockey league which began regular play this month and has experienced COVID-19 positive cases).

The CBC News story about MacLeod and the OHL further indicated that the provincial government would require the OHL and all sports organizations in Ontario to remove close physical contact amongst players. Also complicating issues for the league is the fact two teams are located in current COVID-19 hot spots, while three other clubs play out of USA cities.

Regarding local junior hockey leagues, the EOJHL (junior ‘B’) has begin team-versus-team scrimmages without body contact, as has the CCHL (junior ‘A’), following the Hockey Eastern Ontario return-to-play policy and its high-performance league guidelines.

The so-called HEO Stage 3(a) allows “our players an opportunity to safely continue their development by participating in modified-for-COVID non-contact game play.” In addition to the CCHL and EOJHL, this applies to the HEO U18 ‘AAA’ and HEO Minor ‘AAA’ leagues.

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Hockey Eastern Ontario celebrates region’s minor teams

With the 2019-20 hockey season having been abruptly ended in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Hockey Eastern Ontario, our region’s governing body for the sport under Hockey Canada, has launched a project to celebrate local minor teams, by posting photos on its social media platforms.

On Monday, the NGS Braves atom ‘B’ squad was highlighted.

To follow the project, be sure to check out the HEO Facebook page and Twitter account.

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Internet offers numerous hockey skills videos, tricks to attempt

Hockey players missing the game can find plenty of entertainment, training ideas, and challenges to attempt online during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Check out this #HockeyAtHome challenge. Can you do this?

Or what about this one…

Maybe you are up to this challenge…

View this post on Instagram

Ideas ? – #hockeylife

A post shared by Andre-yuri Tsagogeorgas (@andreyuri_tsa) on

If skills development is more what you are looking for, Hockey Eastern Ontario is posting daily drills. Here’s a recent one.

For more of these, follow @HEOhockey on Twitter.

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Trio of NGS Braves plays in HEO all-star game

Three former NGS Braves minor hockey players suited up in the recent HEO ‘AA’ all-star game.

The boys – Jacob Nolan, Brennan Atkins, and Seamus Hardy – are members this season of the Seaway Valley Rapids ‘AA’ major midget team, which has a record of 10 wins, 7 losses, and 2 ties in the HEO Minor AA league, good for fourth place. Nolan is third in team scoring, with 14 points. Hardy has 12 points, Atkins 11.

The Rapids’ next game is slated for Sunday in Kanata (taking on the fifth-ranked Blazers) to wrap up the 2019 portion of their schedule. Looking ahead to the new year, Seaway Valley will play in Maxville on January 8 at 7:30 p.m., hosting the first-place Nepean Raiders

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Major and minor bantam Wild teams win Ottawa tourney

The major bantam and minor bantam ‘AAA’ Eastern Ontario Wild hockey teams won their respective divisions at recent tournaments in Ottawa.

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Handful of county players crack Wild hockey rosters

The 2019-20 editions of the Eastern Ontario Wild ‘AAA’ hockey teams include a handful of county boys, competing at the top level of hockey in the province.

On the major peewee squad, the county banner is carried by Martintown’s Chancey Novosad, a defenceman wearing number 5. The team also includes Reid Cunning (F, 9) from Vankleek Hill, Tristan Delisle (F, 41) from St. Andrew’s West, Dean Fawthrop (F, 15) from Cornwall, and Colton Rheaume (G, 29) from Cornwall.

Other players are Nicolas Addy, Samuel Bisaillon, Noah Lafleur, Myloh LaVecchia, Keagen Lindsay, Daryan Matthews, Maximus Patenaude, Oliver Plante, Joseph Pocrnic, Hunter Thompson, Parker Thompson, and Thisdelle.

hockey team
2019 Eastern Ontario Wild ‘AAA’ major peewee hockey team

At the minor bantam level, there are no team members who call the county home, but there is one Wild player from Cornwall. He’s forward Kaiden Pyke, number 24.

The rest of the roster is as follows: Cameron Bergeron, Matheason Cameron, Cody Cook, Justin-Samuel Fortin, Kaden Lafond, Zachary Leblanc, Charles Marleau, Vincent Martin, Nathan Nadeau, Jalen Najm, Damen Olson, Justin Ouellette, Damien Poulin, Tyler Smith, Sasha Thibodeau, Adam Walker, and Wyatt Warner.

The 2019-20 major bantams feature two Glengarry forwards: Glen Robertson’s Marc-Olivier McCarthy (37) and Glen Walter’s Ethan Montroy (11). The team also has Cornwall representation from Joe Vida (F, 89) and Vankleek Hill’s Bradley Horner (D, 51).

Rounding our the squad are Yanick Blanchard, Braxton D’alessio, Alexis Daviault, Joshua Esford, Hugo Gagne, Wyatt Kennedy, Jacob Knickle, Guillaume Labre, Jayson MacIntyre, Mathis Mainville, Maxime Mayer, Dylan McDougall, Daylen Moses, and Mathieu Paris.

All three teams compete in the Hockey Eastern Ontario Minor ‘AAA’ Hockey League, with play set to begin later this week.

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