Tag Archives: schedule

Junior A hockey league conducts virtual AGM as part of plans to return to play

The Central Canada Hockey League (junior ‘A’) held its Annual General Meeting on June 29, the first time it had been done via video conferencing, for the 12 clubs of the Eastern Ontario loop.

“While uncertainty remains, the return to play protocols developed by Hockey Eastern Ontario through our four local health units and the Canadian Junior Hockey League have allowed us to prepare for the upcoming weeks and months.

The CCHL will conduct its scheduled meeting on July 15, and at that time will confirm the start date and schedule length based on the most current information of the day.

We look forward to hitting the ice for training camp and our annual showcase when it is safe for players, officials and spectators to do so.

CCHL announcement following the 2020 Annual General Meeting

The 2019-20 came to an abrupt end in March, with the playoffs set to begin, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the mandated Hockey Canada shutdown.

The Hawkesbury Hawks (36-24-2-0) were scheduled to play the Smiths Falls Bear (33.24-3-2) in their opening-round playoff series, while the Cornwall Colts (21-35-1-5) didn’t qualify for post-season action.

The Hawks are hoping to open training camp later this month, in Ottawa. The club is also slated to host the 2021 Fred Page Cup (Eastern Canadian Championship), in May.

As for the Colts, information isn’t currently available.

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Sounds of silence: plug pulled on all GSL outdoor soccer for 2020

The latest announcement from the Glengarry Soccer League officially ended any prospect of a summer season of the beautiful game in the county, as the GSL has pulled the plug on play in all adult divisions.

The GSL had previously cancelled the minor (youth) season for summer 2020, but there was hope of some sort of adult season, perhaps later in the summer or early fall.

That prospect was ended with this June 22 announcement: “Unfortunately, there will be no GSL soccer this outdoor season. The GSL has made the difficult decision to cancel ALL divisions. This includes Senior, Tier 2, and Hearts (in addition to the previously cancelled minor division).”

The addition of the Hearts to the cancellation list refers to the competitive Glengarry Hearts minor teams that the county fields each year to compete in the East Region Soccer League. The ERSL has not cancelled its season, which, in a normal year, would have begun in mid-May and run through August, occasionally into September.

A GSL representative told me that the county league was waiting on word from the ERSL and/or the EODSA (the Eastern Ontario District Soccer Association, which is the region’s governing body for the sport), but none came, so the GSL acted, officially silencing soccer balls in Glengarry.

Meanwhile, Ontario Soccer and the EODSA has announced that clubs can begin phase 1 of the Return to Play plan.

Ontario Soccer notice
Ontario Soccer graphic

According to Ontario Soccer plan, phase 1 allows for a return to modified training. Restrictions include no contact and no league, exhibition, festival, or tournament matches.

Ontario Soccer notes that the organization “will determine timelines for each Phase in alignment with the Province of Ontario provincial health authorities involving government orders, restrictions, and guidelines.”

The ERSL has been working on a contingency plan to salvage a 2020 season, which now will not include any Glengarry Hearts teams. According to the current outline, “If we are not in Phase 3 of Ontario Soccer’s Return to Play Guidelines on or before July 31, 2020, the ERSL will cancel the 2020 outdoor season.”

The hope is that a 9-week season could start August 2, providing 10 to 12 games per team, and running through early October. This is what the ERSL bills as “our most extensive delay,” one of a number of scenarios within their contingency plan. Under this situation, divisions would be assigned two game days per week, Cup and Shield events would be cancelled, and there would be no two-week break in the schedule.

The Cornwall-based Seaway Valley Soccer Club also cancelled its 2020 outdoor season for house teams and the Coyotes (tournament play).

The Seaway Valley Blazers ERSL teams, which play out of Cornwall, are still registered to play in the region’s competitive league, should its season proceed at some point. Currently, the club is set to field boys teams at the U10, U11, U12, U13, U14, U15 (two squads), U16, U17, and U18 levels. On the girls side, expected teams are U10, U11, U12, U13, U14, U16, and U18 (two squads).

Training for Match Officials

Registration for online training of match officials continues through to July 3. Clinics are expected to be run in August, assuming sufficient numbers sign up.

The GSL’s minor referee-in-chief, Matthew Houlzet, notes, “All learning is completed online and will certify you to referee and line games for U12 and older.”

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South Glengarry officially shutters all rec facilities, programs through the summer

It’s official: sports and recreation facilities, along with all programming, will be shuttered through the end of the summer in the township of South Glengarry.

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The closure means that all township-organized sports leagues, summer camps, and recreation programs are cancelled through to September 1. As well, facilities are closed and will not be accepting bookings.

The township’s notice indicated they had received 1000 registrations to date for various programs.

From the announcement…

“Township staff relied on guidance from the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU), which ensures municipalities are meeting, or exceeding, the orders issued by the Province of Ontario. The Township’s summer camp and programs, as originally planned, would not presently meet COVID-19 prevention and control measures for physical distancing requirements, participant ratios, and access to facilities,” explained Rick Ladouceur, director of recreation and facilities with the Township of South Glengarry.

May 28, 2020 statement from the Township of South Glengarry

Refunds will be issued to those who had already paid for programming.

The township notes that while organized programming has been cancelled, outdoor facilities are open and available for use, with some restrictions.

Trails, tennis courts, soccer fields, and ball diamonds are open, though residents are reminded to follow physical distancing guidelines set by the Eastern Ontario Health Unit and the Ford government.

Closed in the township are the splash pad in Williamstown, play structures, picnic areas, and all indoor facilities.

Taxpayers shouldn’t be expecting a positive impact to the township’s budget, though.

As Lachlan McDonald, South Glengarry’s treasurer and general manager of corporate services, explains to me that “we have deployed a lot of those resources to maintenance items, and with halls/facilities closed it is the optimal time to re-fresh – coat of paint, plaster holes, etc. The interesting thing, when thinking about soccer, is that despite no soccer/parks, we are still keeping the grass cut.”

As well, full staff continue to work, though have been “deployed somewhat differently.”

Budget-wise, the recreation and facilities line went from $1,428,030 in 2019 to $1,759,800 for 2020. McDonald adds, “I’m hoping some of the efficiencies found during these times of austerity will have an afterglow in budget 2021 and onward.”

North Glengarry and Cornwall

In Cornwall, recreation programs remain suspended. As for facilities, the city has closed the aquatic centre, the multi-sport complex, the civic complex, the BMX track in Guindon Park, play structures, picnic areas, the outdoor gym, splash pads, and outdoor pools.

Meanwhile, outdoor recreational facilities, such as fields, ball diamonds, the skatepark, and tennis courts, are “open for low-contact, single-competitor sports. No team play is permitted. Clubhouses and change rooms remain closed.”

Some of the the city’s public washrooms at recreational areas are open, though.

Also open are Marina 200, boat launches, and trails.

North Glengarry continues to follow recommendations from the Ontario government, mayor Jamie MacDonald tells me. The township hasn’t made any decisions regarding the summer, as of yet, though.

As the North Glengarry website notes, “At this time playground equipment and bathrooms remain closed until further notice. Users are asked to respect Public Health safety recommendations while using any park installations.”

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Racing to return to Cornwall Motor Speedway in June, without spectators

Originally scheduled to begin last Sunday, the green flag is now set to fly on the 2020 season at the Cornwall Motor Speedway on June 6, though the event will be for drivers and race teams only. No spectators will be permitted.

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All of this, of course, is due to ongoing health concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Speedway and stock car drivers have been impacted, just as other sports and events have.

The June 6 event, billed as “Back To The Track 50” will run on Saturday, June 6, with 50 laps for both Modified and Sportsman classes. Due to current Ontario government guidelines, no spectators will be permitted to attend. Race fans can take in the action online, via the 360nitro.tv platform (purchase required).

Strict rules will be enforced for race teams, which will be limited in number to the driver and four support members. Up to 30 cars will take to the track in each of the two scheduled events.

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2020 edition of Williamstown Fair cancelled due to COVID-19

As the stream of COVID-19-related cancellations has mounted this year, it seemed inevitable that the county’s second-largest summer event (after the Glengarry Highland Games) would be disrupted, and this week the news became official: there will be no Williamstown Fair in 2020, at least not this summer.

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The official statement began, “With great regret, the St. Lawrence Valley Agricultural Society, organizer of Canada’s oldest annual fair, announces the postponement of the traditional 209th edition of the Williamstown Fair (August 7-8-9, 2020) due to the ongoing pandemic.”

The Maxville Fair, scheduled for late June, was cancelled back in April (see my story about this here), and the Glengarry Highland Games, the county’s biggest summer celebration, was nixed last month (story here).

Despite the slight relaxing of government and health regulations recently, conditions remain as such that the holding of large events this summer simply won’t be possible.

“In light of directives from the government and public health officials, we have taken this difficult decision. Our top priority is ensuring the health and safety of our volunteers, community partners, and fairgoers, and we thank the public for their understanding and support.”

Michael Seguin, president of the St. Lawrence Valley Agricultural Society

The Williamstown Fair is Glengarry County’s annual celebration of agriculture and more, with a number of sports events featured over the course of the three-day gathering. Among these over the years have been competitions of tug of war, Highland Games, beach volleyball, and farmer olympics. The Great Raisin River Footrace has also been associated with the Fair each summer, too, though a few years back its route was adjusted to remain on the south side of the river, using the Sir John Johnson Manor House as its base.

On the 2020 Fair, at this point, organizers are deeming the action a “postponement.” The statement notes that “the Fair Board is committed to celebrating the community and its agricultural heritage and will be looking at ways of holding an alternative fair later this year.”

“Generations of dedicated volunteers work tirelessly to organize this beloved annual event and the current situation is only one of the many challenges the Fair has faced since its inception in 1812.”

St. Lawrence Valley Agricultural Society

At this time, a final decision on holding the Great Raisin River Footrace has not yet been made. The organizers, Beyond 21, have stated that an official announcement will come in early June.

On April 5, the committee announced, “With the continued uncertainty of COVID-19, we have made the difficult decision to suspend registration for the 2020 Great Raisin River Footrace.” However, the race was and has not been cancelled, at least not yet. Officially, the run is slated for Sunday, August 9. This year will mark its 42nd edition.

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It’s official: no local soccer until at least July

The official word came down today from the province’s governing body of the beautiful game, as Ontario Soccer announced the continued suspension of all “in-person soccer events and activities” through to the end of June.

Locally, this affects the Glengarry Soccer League, Char-Lan Minor Soccer, as well as programs in Cornwall.

For its part, the GSL says it “will update our community on the status of our outdoor season after the GSL committee members meet to discuss.”

Typically, play would kick off in late May, with some divisions concluding by early August and others as late as mid-September. While a July-August season is not beyond the realm of possibilities (assuming that it would be permitted by Ontario Soccer), it would bring challenges, such as the impact of a compressed schedule, especially on divisions that include university-aged players who normally leave the region by late August.

Ontario Soccer

From the OSA announcement:

” Ontario Soccer, in consultation with Canada Soccer and governmental advisors, continues to monitor the most recent developments surrounding the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and are assessing operations and deciding cancellations and postponements on a month-to-month basis as the pandemic continues to unfold.

As a follow-up to the Ontario Soccer and Canada Soccer announcements of March 12 and March 13, as well as the Ontario Soccer announcements of March 24 and April 7, Ontario Soccer is announcing today that all sanctioned in-person soccer events and activities for the month of June have been cancelled or postponed.

This decision will affect the start of the early portion of the 2020 Outdoor Season for Local, Regional, District, Provincial, OASL, OPDL, and all other leagues across Ontario.”

Ontario Soccer statement, May 11

The statement adds, “For those who may be concerned about registering for the abridged outdoor season, Ontario Soccer is encouraging participants to do so now, so that Districts, Leagues, Clubs, and Academies can be fully prepared to kick off the Return to Play season when announced.”

To date, this is what our region’s clubs have been doing.

As well, the OSA encourages interested individuals to pursue online training for coaching or officiating matches, as these services continue. Ontario Soccer has also launched online information regarding the Game Leader program to promote the grassroots of the game. A good way to stay up-to-date is via the OSA’s Facebook page.

Canada Soccer has initiated a program called Canada Soccer Nation Inside. The website includes information and resources, fun activities for the kids, downloadable images, and links to various coaching and training sessions, as well as online webinars.

One item that caught my attention is the Referee’s Home Workout guide. (direct link to PDF download)

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In Williamstown, the township’s Char-Lan Minor Soccer program usually concludes in late July, prior to the long weekend and the Glengarry Highland Games in Maxville (which have been cancelled this year).

The association’s referee-in-chief, Nigel Carlisle in commenting on the status of this season commented in the CLMSA group, “At the moment, soccer has not been cancelled. Soccer will be postponed until we get the all clear from the government.”

Meanwhile, the Chadsey family, which has been very active in Glengarry soccer for many years, recently celebrated Bob’s birthday. One of his daughters, Navy, painted a watercolour for him, highlighting the family’s passion for the beautiful game, which includes a home-made soccer net on their property.

As Navy describes the painting, “The idea behind is it’s me and my siblings on my parents’ front lawn in our Laggan soccer jerseys. We all played for Laggan when we were young, and my dad coached all of our teams. It’s a watercolour painting with some black ink. It’s not from a photo that exists, just came from a sentimental idea!”

soccer artwork
Artwork painted by Navy Chadsey and the inspiration for the watercolour
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Alexandria Glens: reflecting on last season, looking forward to new campaign

With all that has been going on in the world of late, it seems as though the season for the Alexandria Glens concluded a lifetime ago. Officially, the team’s 2019-20 CCHL2 campaign ended on February 25, with a 5-1 victory on home ice over the Athens Aeros.

It was one of few bright spots on the season that saw the Glens win just 9 of 44 games. The squad lost 31 in regulation time and a further 4 in either overtime or a shootout.

Following the team’s final contest of the winter, I interviewed alternate captain Nico Pozzebon and first-year general manager Derick Viau.

As Viau notes, it was right back to business looking towards next season. Little did he and the players know at the time what was in store for them and us in the weeks that followed.

In mid-March, we learned of the passing of Mike (Michel) Depratto. He was key in saving the Glens a few years back, leading a group of individuals who established the club as a community not-for-profit entity.

“It is with a heavy heart that we have just learned of the passing of Mike Depratto. He was involved in keeping the Glens in the community and he was HEO’s current 1st VP. He will be truly missed in the Community of Alexandria and Hockey.”

Alexandria Glens statement, March 14

A Hockey Eastern Ontario note, attributed to minor president Gary Hopkins, probably summed it up best: Depratto’s “contributions to hockey in Eastern Ontario cannot be overstated, but more importantly he has been a friend and a mentor to many of us on a personal level. We will miss him.”

The unfolding of the COVID-19 pandemic altered plans for the Glens during the off-season as well, with the team having to cancel its annual team banquet and awards ceremony. Instead, award-winners were announced remotely.

  • Most Improved Player: #17 Elijah Boisvert
  • Glens Manager’s Trophy for Top Scorer: #11 Nico Pozzebon
  • Glens Sportsmanship & Ability Award: #8 Zachary power and #16 Ryan Leonard
  • Glens Leadership Trophy: #11 Nico Pozzebon
  • Glens Best Defenceman: #21 Nicolas Ouellette and #12 Zachary Bigras
  • Ernest Bellefeuille Award: #28 Alexim Veilleux
  • President’s Trophy for MVP: #11 Nico Pozzebon

From the general manager’s perspective, his first foray into leading a junior ‘B’ hockey club was a whirlwind, with Viau telling me that he has nothing but pride for all the players who contributed to the Glens over the course of he 2019-20 season.

Looking Towards the 2020-21 Campaign

General manager Viau’s to-do list is a lengthy one. Initially, a spring skate for players and potential Glens was planned, but that had to be nixed due to the hockey shutdown.

Regardless, planning for the new season had to continue. Online recruitment for the team’s August (hopefully) camp has been set up on the Glens website and can be accessed here. The team invites hockey players ages 16 through 20 years old to sign up or contact the general manager (derick@alexandriaglens.com or at 613-360-0077) for more information. Payment of camp fees has been waived until further notice.

In terms of staff behind the bench, the Glens are looking for an equipment manager / trainer. Anyone interested should contact Viau.

Last year’s coaches – Marc Rousseau, Stephan Ouellette, and Marco Pozzebon – were slated to return for a second kick at the can, but the team has since parted ways with the trio. (See the updated story here.)

As things stand now, the Glens camp is scheduled to begin in late August, followed by the CCHL2 pre-season and regular season in September.

The hockey shutdown mandated by Hockey Canada in March curtailed the league’s 2019-20 playoffs in the second round, meaning there was no league champion declared.

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Spring youth tackle football season officially scrapped for 2020

This year’s spring season of community youth tackle football has been officially cancelled, as a result of health precautions in the fight with the COVID-19 virus.

The Cornwall Wildcats and Glengarry Gaels football clubs broke the news to their players and families, via social media.

Gaels club president Ian Parent stated, “Our spring program was due to start in the next few weeks, but the Ontario Football Alliance has suspended all activities for the month of May, forcing us to cancel our season.”

The club will be processing refunds in the coming weeks for anyone who had previously registered and paid.

Parent added in his announcement, “We will keep you informed of all further developments and are hopeful to be able to field our Varsity [high school] team in the fall. Keep an eye on our Facebook page for possible club events and fundraising activities.”

The Glengarry organization, based at GDHS in Alexandria, typically fields a spring team at each level, providing gridiron football for boys and girls aged 7 through 15.

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The announcement from the Cornwall Wildcats: “Our Seaway Valley Spring House League was due to start playing games in early May. Registration numbers have been strong, but the Ontario Football Alliance, which is the governing body of football in Ontario, has suspended all football activities in May. THIS NOW FORCES US TO CANCEL THE 2020 SPRING SEASON.”

“We are hopeful for a 2020 NCAFA season. Traditionally try-outs begin in late July, with the season starting third week of August. We will continue to look to Football Canada and Ontario Football Alliance for guidance on start dates.”

Cornwall Wildcats announcement

The Wildcats recommend that athletes “continue to be active and to stay in shape,” adding, “We will be back on the field at some point and we want to be ready! Thank you to CROSSFIT CORNWALL and coach KYLE LABELLE for his great workouts on social media.”

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Glengarry Highland Games cancelled for 2020

With scheduled summer 2020 Highland Games across the country being cancelled due to COVID-19, it came as little surprise that the plug was pulled on the Glengarry Highland Games in Maxville, as well.

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On April 22, the official word came down from Games president Eric Metcalfe, and the Glengarry Highland Games Organizing Committee: “What a wonderful world it would be if we could all be together and celebrate the 2020 Glengarry Highland Games on July 31st and August 1st. However, in light of the current public health crisis and with the deepest concern for all those who might be affected, we will not be presenting the 73rd edition of the Games this summer.”

First held in 1948, the Games have taken place in Maxville each year since, regardless of “sweltering heat and pouring rain and other difficult conditions.” The committee notes that the “unprecedented cancellation reflects the gravity of the world’s situation right now.”

“As upsetting as cancelling this year’s Glengarry Highland Games is…it is very much the right thing to do. I also want to assure you that all the directors and committees will be working hard to produce a spectacular 2021 Games. We look forward to welcoming you back on July 30 and 31, 2021. Please keep checking out our website for updates.”

Eric Metcalfe, Games president

There is no doubt that the thousands of attendees, participants, and competitors who would otherwise be in Maxville this summer are as disappointed as those who had to make the difficult call to cancel.

Ron Graham, who competes in the masters division of the Scottish heavyweights, said he is “very disappointed” about the cancellation of the Maxville Games, adding, “they had to … [and I] understand why they did.”

The Apple Hil resident describes the Glengarry Highland Games as one of the biggest, with “people coming from Scotland, the United States, and all over Canada.” He notes that Montreal’s games, which traditionally follow the event in Maxville, has previously been cancelled too.

“All the athletes probably put on 20 – 30 lb from staying at home isolating.”

Ron Graham

One of the competitors in the open professional class is Jason Baines, who hails from Dalkeith. He told me, “Every single games has been cancelled, including my opener in South Carolina scheduled for April 4.” The athletes also lost the World Masters Championships, slated to be held in Ireland.

“All in all, it is disappointing seeing as I had been preparing for Worlds since late December,” he added. “The flipside is we will have an entire season to get healthy, improve technique, and cut more cabers.”

Another large Highland games festival usually held each summer in Ontario is the Fergus Scottish Festival, which would have celebrated its 75th anniversary this year. Scheduled for August 7-9, its cancellation was also announced this month.

As a result of the cancellation of various games, the Canadian Scottish Athletic Federation also nixed the Canadian Amateur Championships, which were slated to be part of the Campbell River Salmonfest Logger Sports Competitions and Highland Gathering, and the Canadian Open Championships, scheduled for the Montreal games.

As Baines puts it, “Right now we are crossing fingers that we can throw in September, in Calgary or Quebec City,” where Highland Games competitions are still on the schedule.

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Is the cancellation of the 2019-20 AHL season inevitable?

On April 27, TSN reported a story from the Associated Press indicating that the cancellation of the remainder of the 2019-20 American Hockey League season is likely.

Play was stopped On March 12, when the professional hockey association that serves as a feeder system to the NHL announced, “With the health and safety of our players, officials, staff, and fans of primary importance, the American Hockey League has announced the suspension of play until further notice, effective immediately, due to concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic. The AHL will continue to monitor developments and will provide updates on the 2019-20 season at the appropriate time.”

Initially, players were sent to their home team cities, if they weren’t already there. This included Green Valley’s Remi Elie, who plays for the Rochester Americans, farm club of the NHL Buffalo Sabres.

By March 16, the league’s advice to teams had changed, as players were encouraged to leave their teams, returning to their hometown. Clubs were asked to “facilitate the return of AHL players to their primary residences.”

The expectation at the time was that play would resume at some point, but no sooner than May.

At the stoppage, the Americans sat in second place of the North Division, 75 points on 62 games, with 14 regular-season games remaining.

The 25-year-old Elie recorded 13 points and 10 penalty minutes in 34 matches this season with the Rochester team.

According to the recent news story, it’s “quite likely the American Hockey League will cancel the remainder of its season because of the new coronavirus pandemic, though officially the AHL has stated no announcement is imminent. It is understood that the league has already moved on to planning for the 2020-21 campaign.

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Following the March stoppage of sports across North America, one league after the other announced cancellations of remaining action. At this point, the only leagues currently on pause are the AHL and NHL.

One summer league, the province’s junior ‘C’ lacrosse loop, has already pulled the plug on its 2020 campaign without having played a game.

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