Tag Archives: schedule

Video humour: we miss hockey

As the COVID-19 pandemic drags on, many Canadians hunger for some normalcy, hoping for the return of hockey.

Some leagues have taken tentative steps to resumption, such as the QMJHL which began regular-season play earlier this month only to see much of the league forced to shut down due to COVID-19 outbreaks on teams and provincial government orders in some parts of the province. Other leagues, such as the CCHL and EOJHL have tried scrimmages, allowing each club to partner with one other in non-contact play. Elite minor hockey went the route of bubbles, but again with no contact, while local minor hockey programs have focused on training and development.

All this leaves the fan wanting more.

So how about a little hockey humour courtesy of TSN?

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2020 in a video: 😂 ••• 🎥: @heybarber

A post shared by TSN (@tsn_official) on

Or what about a hockey movie? Bleacher Report compiled a list of “must-see” movies for the hockey fan. You can check it out here. What do you think? Is there a film missing?

Fans (as well as players, coached, etc.) have to remain hopeful that hockey will return eventually to rinks near and far, hopefully sooner rather than later. Elite junior leagues currently appear to be targeting December or January re-starts, while the NHL is also looking at January 2021 to begin its next season.

Over in Europe, regular play has begun. For example, subscribers to DAZN can watch games from the KHL online.

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EOSHL expands to eight teams for upcoming season

Should a 2020-21 senior ‘A’ hockey season take place in our region, the Eastern Ontario Super Hockey League will have eight teams on the ice, up from four in its inaugural go-round last winter.

The newest club added, announced this week, is the Pontiac Comets, which will play out of Fort-Coulonge, Quebec. The team is owned by Danick Boisvert and Sebastien Bonnerot.

EOSHL logos
Eight teams now comprise the Eastern Ontario Super Hockey League – senior ‘A’

The Comets organization previously skated in the Quebec-based senior ‘A’ hockey league of which the Cornwall Prowlers were also a member before the creation in 2019 of the EOSHL.

League president Mitch Gagne describes the ownership duo as “two great leaders at the top of an established organization.”

In its first season of play, the EOSHL featured the Prowlers (winners of the championship), the Deseronto Bulldogs, the Maxville Millionaires, and the West Carleton Rivermen (regular-season champs and playoff runners-up).

The Millionaires were taken over by the league at the conclusion of the season, with new ownership subsequently found, as the Maxville team was renamed the Mustangs.

During the early stretch of the off-season, the league announced new entrants: the Glengarry Pipers (out of Alexandria), the Frontenac Phantoms (from Godfrey), and the Smiths Falls Rideaus.

Regarding play for a 2020-21 season, the league announcement says, “EOSHL owners have met a couple of times via video calls over the last month and are keeping optimistic about a shortened season to be played in the near future.”

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Curling clubs striving to hit the ice this fall, winter

Local curling clubs are working towards reopening this fall or winter in a challenging environment due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The Lancaster and District Curling Club set a goal of 80 full-time paid members registered by October 15. Club president James Doonan made the announcement to members via e-mail, with a post added to the LDCC Facebook page.

“The Board of the Lancaster District Curling Club has decided on a path forward for this season; our decision was made after reviewing the [member] survey results, the recommendations of the COVID committee, recommendations from the various curling associations at the federal and provincial level, and, finally, the Eastern Ontario Health Unit.”

The number of 80 full memberships was determined to offset start-up, ice installation, and operational costs at the club.

Should things get underway, a number of strict rules will be enacted to govern usage of the facility and game play.

  1. Masks will be required in all common areas such as the bar, washrooms, entry. Masks will not be mandatory on the ice once play has started but are encouraged throughout.
  2. The bar will be limited to 1 or 2 post-game drinks. Players must leave before the following
    game finishes as only two teams will be allowed upstairs at any one time. Masks are not required while drinking/eating.
  3. All equipment must be sanitized when you arrive at the club.
  4. Only players scheduled for a game on any given evening will be allowed in the club and only during the time approximately 15 minutes before the game.
  5. Every player will be required to sign in when they play and be subject to this information being shared with government authorities should they have to perform a contact trace exercise.
  6. We will no longer store equipment at the club. Brooms, shoes, slider/grippers, stabilizers, sticks will need to be taken home. The club is working on a plan to have low-cost purchase or rental units available for sticks and stabilizers.
  7. The Timbits and Junior programs run on the weekends will be suspended until further notice.

For further membership information, please see this link on the LDCC website.

In September, the Alexandria Curling Club held its annual general meeting virtually. The full video can be seen here and on their Facebook page.

Meanwhile, the Glengarry Curling Club in Maxville has taken the decision to remain closed until at least January 4, 2021.

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Glengarry Curling Club (Maxville) letter, dated 1 September 2020

The Cornwall Curling Centre is aiming for a November return to play.

Whenever curling resumes, there are sure to be alterations to the game. Check out this video for some examples.

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GSL officially nixes fall soccer

After a summer without soccer on pitches across the county, the Glengarry Soccer League announced its tentative plans for an indoor season to begin this fall, but that has now been nixed as well.

GSL logo

On September 23, the league issued a statement saying, “After reviewing the guidelines from OSA [Ontario Soccer Association] and the government, discussions with the EOHU [Eastern Ontario Health Unit], and monitoring the current situation with COVID-19 and the community, the GSL has decided not to run an indoor soccer league this fall.”

In some consolation, the statement adds, “We are going to reassess and consider having a shortened league come January.”

The GSL last saw action in early March, when the 2019-20 season came to an abrupt halt due to the COVID-19 pandemic. At the time, winter indoor soccer playoffs were underway. Initially, matches were postponed, with play subsequently cancelled and no champions declared.

Through the summer, other GSL programs were delayed and later cancelled, including all youth and adult outdoor soccer, as well as the competitive regional Glengarry Hearts teams that compete in the Ottawa-based ERSL.

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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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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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CCHL aims for October 1 return to play

The region’s junior ‘A’ hockey league is aiming to begin its 2020-21 season on October 1, pending approval of its return-to-play plan by local health authorities.

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In a media statement issued September 4, the commissioner of the Central Canada Hockey League (CCHL), Kevin Abrams, announced that his league, using the Hockey Eastern Ontario return-to-play plan as a guide, has been working with “four regional health units and ten municipalities through our twelve member teams” to formulate a path forward for hockey to resume.

The plan includes “modified play in pre-season” to begin October 1 for all teams, including the Hawkesbury Hawks and Cornwall Colts.

“In these uniquely challenging times, I must thank our member teams, the players and parents participating in the current programs, as well as the HEO RTP Task Team, the HEO Board and Staff, and the 4 local health units and facilities in the 10 municipalities that are home to the CCHL, for their support and patience as we work through these unprecedented times together.”

Kevin Abrams, commissioner of the CCHL

The 2019-20 CCHL season was abruptly halted in March, following instructions from Hockey Canada to suspend play due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The league had just begun its playoffs, which included the Hawks, the second-place team from the Yzerman Division. The Colts didn’t qualify for the post-season, ending the campaign fifth in the division.

In preparation for the hoped puck drop on a new season, teams are spending this month engaged in training, skills development, and evaluation. Upon approval of the CCHL plan for the pre-season, Abrams will “submit a similar proposal for the commencement of the CCHL regular season in the ensuing weeks.”

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Alexandria Curling Club requests input on return-to-play plans

As other local clubs have, the Alexandria Curling Club is looking for input from members on return-to-play plans for the coming season.

The club has an online survey available here.

The survey includes questions about what would encourage you to return to curling this year and what protocols should be in place to mitigate risks associated with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Club executive intend to use the feedback to facilitate their planning. Further to that, the club’s annual general meeting is scheduled for Sunday, September 13, with limited in-person seating available (by prior arrangement with president Duncan Ferguson). The meeting will also be available for online participation.

For more information, please see their Facebook page here.

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AAA hockey focuses on development, as league play remains on hold

It may be summer, but some hockey players returned to the ice this month, including members of the Eastern Ontario Wild ‘AAA’ organization, which has been holding development sessions as league play remains uncertain.

hockey training
The major bantam ‘AAA’ Eastern Ontario Wild are holding on-ice training sessions, under the direction of head coach Carl Robillard (Yes, he is also head coach of the junior ‘B’ Alexandria Glens).

Under current Hockey Canada guidelines and health authority restrictions, Eastern Ontario’s ‘AAA’ hockey league is allowing clubs to conduct “conditioning and development sessions throughout August [to conclude] with an invitation to 17-22 players per age group to form a bubble starting in September.”

According to the plan for the Eastern Ontario Wild club, “This bubble will then continue development until such time as HEO (and other authorities having jurisdiction) allow five-on-five traditional programming. The range of 17-22 participants is based on the maximum allowable on-ice participants in the various facilities in HEO territory. The E.O. Wild does not have the capacity to develop more players per level due to facility restrictions and availability of ice in the region.”

The objective of the bubble program will be to focus on continued development of players this fall until such time as regular game play is permitted.

The Wild ices teams at the major bantam (now officially being called U15), minor bantam (U14), and major peewee (U13). Coaches, respectively, are Carl Robillard, Chris Martin, and Dave Byrne. The club draws players from Cornwall, Akwesasne, Glengarry, Prescott-Russell, Cumberland, and Russell.

Moving forward, the club aims to hold, once traditional programming is permitted to resume, “a coordinated tryout open to all players, including those not part of the player E.O. Wild bubbles, to create our rostered teams.”

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Jr. ‘A’ Hawks hold training camp, announce new goalie signing

Fresh off last weekend’s 2020-21 season training camp in Hawkesbury, the Hawks have announced the signing of a new goaltender.

Dominic Lamarche
Dominic Lamarche has joined Hawkesbury’s junior ‘A’ hockey team as an assistant coach. (submitted photo)

The club inked 20-year-old Kirkland native Thomas Gale, who was recently named NCDC goaltender of the year for the 2019-20 season. The backstop is also an NCAA Division 1 commit, slated to play at Holy Cross (Worcester, Massachusetts) starting with the 2021-22 season.

With the Boston Jr. Bruins last winter, the netminder posted a 2.38 goals-against average on 41 games.

The Hawks also recently announced an addition to their coaching crew, as Dominic Lamarche joined the club in the capacity of an assistant coach.

A local businessman, Lamarche has been coaching for the past seven years and formerly played in the CCHL. He’s a Hawks alumnus.

Rick Dorval returns as head coach and general manager.

On his signing of goaltender Gale, Dorval says, “I’ve been tracking Tommy for two years now. The way he reads puck coming off the opponent’s sticks [and] the way he plays the puck are beyond his years. Furthermore, his compete level will bring some leadership to this group. The opportunity to bring in a goalie with this experience and ability for the Fred Page Cup is going to be a big push for our program.”

It’s been tough for the squad to get back on the ice this summer, due to the COVID-19 situation. The club’s development camp was scrapped, while training camp was delayed until last weekend, operating under current Hockey Canada and health authority restrictions.

While teams across the region’s junior ‘A’ league have been busy with behind-the-scenes preparations and training camps, there remains uncertainty as to when/if the puck will actually drop on the 2020-21 campaign. At last check, the CCHL was looking at an October start, delaying its opening by a month. Currently, Hockey Canada guidelines and health authority regulations bar any inter-club play.

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