DARRYL KNIGHT The Standard
The Port Perry MoJacks maintained a perfect record, through the first two weeks of the Provincial Junior Hockey League (PJHL) season, with a pair of rivalry match-up victories over the weekend.
The MoJacks opened the weekend with a hard-fought 3-2 victory on the road in Uxbridge, in a ‘Battle of North Durham’ against the arch-rival Bruins, and followed it up with an identical result on Sunday afternoon in Port Perry, skating to a 3-2 win over the Clarington Eagles.
With the Bruins celebrating their 40th Anniversary this season, the MoJacks played the role of spoiler on opening night in Uxbridge on Friday, Sept. 23rd, which was marked by the familiar intensity that fans have come to expect from the two teams over the past four decades.
First period goals by Dan Harris and Brady Martin pushed the MoJacks to a 2-0 lead. However, the Bruins would regroup in the second period, with added urgency in the offensive zone, with goals from Cristian Giorgio and Simon Feig squaring things up on the scoreboard 2-2, through 40 minutes of action.
The teams would trade chances in the early stages of the third period, before Mitch Gustavsen took advantage of an awkward bounce to put the MoJacks back in the lead. The Bruins would battle back throughout the third, only to be continually denied by the MoJacks’ defence and goaltender Blake Shaw, including a frantic finish, with Jake Joosten summoned to the Bruins’ bench in favour of an extra attacker.
Following the game, Bruins head coach Tim Evans noted the back-and-forth nature of the game, and the numerous close calls for both teams, as well as the way his team has adapted to the style preferred by the new coach and his staff.
“I’m disappointed because it’s a loss to Port Perry,” Evans told The Standard. “But, I’m not disappointed because the game could’ve gone either way. I think we’re starting to play our system well and we’re trying to get everyone involved and give them a shot and boost our confidence with a really balanced club.”
The MoJacks were back in action at Scugog Arena, on Sunday, Sept. 25th, as they hoisted the 2016 Cougar Cup championship banner to the rafters, prior to their match-up with the Eagles, who were eliminated in five games by Port Perry in last year’s league championship series.
Gustavsen continued his strong weekend, as he scored the game’s opening goal just over four minutes into the action. Less than four minutes later, Cole Murray doubled the MoJacks’ advantage on a power play marker, assisted by Martin and Chris Polito.
The Eagles came out soaring in the second period, and notched two goals to tie the game, heading into the third period. Murray would net his second power play goal of the afternoon, near the midpoint of the period, on a great feed from Lucas Berkers, to put Port Perry ahead for good, as Shaw slammed the door on a Clarington comeback.
New MoJacks head coach Tom Boyle noted that the solid core of veterans returning from last season’s championship squad, the veteran Brady Martin joining the team from the perennial provincial powerhouse Alliston Hornets, as well as returning assistant coach Ken Cain, has been a big boost for his adjustment to the league.
“It’s been nice to have the vets and guys that have had that championship experience, to help set the tone for our club early in the season, and I lean on Ken quite a bit for his experience around this league” commented Boyle. “This year, MoJacks fans are going to see an upbeat offence with quick transitions, that’ll push the pace and play aggressive on the puck.”
Meanwhile, the Little Britain Merchants came up just short in their lone weekend match-up, dropping a 3-1 decision to the North Kawartha Knights, in Apsley on Saturday night. Hayden Long had the lone goal for the Merchants, and Billy Finney and Riley Young were credited with assists.
After a Tuesday night match-up in Lakefield against the Chiefs, the Merchants return to Little Britain on Saturday, Oct. 1st, for their home opener at 7:30 p.m., when they square off against the Georgina Ice.
The Bruins face a tough test this week, travelling to Bowmanville on Thursday night to face-off against the Eagles, before heading back to Uxbridge for a Friday night tilt against Lakefield. The action gets underway at 7:45 p.m.
A busy weekend for the MoJacks sees Port Perry make the trek to Apsley on Saturday night to joust with the Knights, heading back home on Sunday, Oct. 2nd, for a 2:25 a.m. matinee against Lakefield, and then making the trip to the shores of the Ottanabee River on Tuesday night for a return match-up against the Chiefs.
CRAIG SCHROTER Special to The Standard
A Dayton Kent goal, midway through the third period, paired with a couple from Cam Robinson, helped earn the Lindsay Muskies their first point of the season, in a 4-3 overtime loss in Whitby Sunday afternoon.
The scoring in this one didn’t start until the second period, when just 35 seconds in, Nick Sirizzotta put Whitby on the board from Nic Coric, and Scott Kirton. The Muskies rallied though, and tied the game quickly, when Robinson scored his first of the season at 1:51, with the lone assist going to Beraydon Leeking.
Just under two minutes later though, the Fury regained the lead, with a goal by Ryan Taylor from Ryan Heeps, and Luke Keenan at 3:40, then at 7:29 Liam Robertson made it 3-1 Whitby, on a goal set up by Shane Bull, and Shelby Rienstra. However, a powerplay goal, Robinson’s second of the game, got the Fish within one, at 12:01, from Cole Robbins.
There was only one goal in the third, and it was a big one, as far as the Muskies were concerned. Dayton Kent’s first of the season, at 13:53 on a powerplay, would eventually send the game to overtime, earning the Muskies their first point of the young season.
In overtime, it was Taylor’s second of the game that would send the hometown fans home happy in Whitby, as he scored with 10 seconds left in the first overtime from Zack Fisher, and Justin Brand.
Rock Boynton took the loss in goal for the Muskies, while Tyler Caruana picked up the win for Whitby.
A couple of bright spots for the Muskies, other than picking up the point, were that the team went 2 for 2 on the powerplay, while only being short handed once in the contest.
The week ahead is a busy one for the Fish, with a couple of games south of the border. Monday afternoon they take on the Georgetown Raiders at 5:30, then Tuesday they face the Milton Ice Hawks. Both games are in Buffalo as part of the Governor’s Showcase. Friday night they return home to host the Toronto Patriots.
SCUGOG: For the second year, the local community will gather for a 24 hour street hockey tournament and skills challenge, in memory of Tyler Hanson, this Saturday, Oct. 1st.
The event will begin with a pancake breakfast held at the Scugog Community Recreation Centre, located at 1655 Reach St. in Port Perry, from 7 a.m. until 11 a.m.
At 10 a.m., a new mini-stick arena will officially be unveiled.
Craig Belfry, Scugog’s Director of Community Services, told Councillors, at a meeting on Monday Sept. 19th, that the original plan was to have a “very modest” mini stick area, however, two large donations changed their plans.
Port Perry Minor Hockey donated $7,100 towards the project and MTC Factory Outlet, the company Tyler’s father, Troy Hanson, works for, donated $10,000.
Mr. Belfry said the arena will be located in the east lobby of Pad 2, where the pop machines once were. The rink will be 16 feet long and 12 feet wide, and will look like a regular hockey arena. Tyler Hanson’s number 28 will be the centre ice logo.
“We expect it to be very busy with kids in there having a lot of fun,” Mr. Belfry said.
Mayor Tom Rowett said this project will give the traveling minor hockey players something to be envious of.
“I think it is appropriate for recognition of Tyler’s legacy,” Mayor Rowett said.
The street hockey tournament, itself, will start at noon this Saturday, at Vos Independent, and will run until Sunday, Oct. 2nd, at noon.
The cost of participating in the tournament is $150 per team, consisting of 11 players. All proceeds will go to the SickKids Foundation's Kicks Fund for the PACT Unit.
Registration will start at 9 a.m. at Vos’. The day’s festivities will also include a silent auction and a raffle. 'Community Living' will be running a hot dog cart, for those who are hungry and would like to purchase some food.
DAN CEARNS The Standard
SCUGOG: Four more members will be inducted to the Scugog Sports Hall of Fame, during the 10th annual ceremony being held in November.
The 2016 inductees will include; builder Dave Dalton, marathon canoe racers Paula Zekl and Heather Cirone, as well as the OMHA 1975-76 Midget “C” Toyota Wheels All Ontario Champions.
The ceremony will be held on Thursday, Nov. 10th, with doors opening at 6 p.m., in the Scugog Arena.
The keynote speaker for the annual event will be Hockey Night in Canada commentator and author Brian McFarlane.
The community is also invited to visit the Sports Hall of Fame area in the Scugog Shores Heritage Centre and Archives.
Check out The Standard, in the near future, for more stories on the induction class of 2016.
DARRYL KNIGHT Special To The Standard
NORTH DURHAM: Local junior hockey teams opened the 2016-17 season on a winning note, with the Uxbridge Bruins, Port Perry MoJacks and Little Britain Merchants combining for an undefeated slate of weekend action.
Junior ‘C’ hockey underwent a transformative offseason, marked by rebranding of the province’s eight individual leagues under one banner, as the new Provincial Junior Hockey League. As a result, the former Central Ontario Junior Hockey League (COJHL) is now known as the Eastern Conference’s Orr Division.
In Keswick, on Friday, Sept. 16th, under the leadership of new head coach, Tim Evans, and newly appointed captain, Brady Baker, the Uxbridge Bruins squared off against the Georgina Ice in the first game ever of the new Orr Division, with Uxbridge sealing a 6-4 win, after Derek Dolan’s second of the night, into an empty net with just 28 seconds remaining.
Bruins rookie defenceman, Justin Aikins, scored the Orr Division’s first-ever goal, just over five minutes into the occasion, with assists credited to Jack Schnalzer and Ryan Miehm.
Goals from Patrick Bolahood and Damien Heinle early in the second period gave the Bruins a 3-0 advantage, before the Ice stormed back with three of their own in the last eight minutes of the middle frame, to knot the game 3-3 heading into the third period.
Dolan scored early in the third, but the Ice would roar back to tie the game once more, before Liam Timewell put Uxbridge ahead for good, with just under five minutes to play, and Dolan ultimately adding an insurance tally.
Saturday night the Bruins were back on the road, riding an outstanding performance by returning goaltender Jake Joosten, to a 3-1 victory in Apsley over the North Kawartha Knights. After spending two seasons as the team’s back-up, Joosten, a product of the Uxbridge Minor Hockey system, stopped 46 of the 47 shots fired his way, to pick up his second win in as many nights. Veterans also handled the scoring load for the Bruins, with Patrick Bolahood scoring twice, and with a single to Coby Gardner.
In Port Perry, on Sunday, Sept. 20th, the defending league champion Port Perry MoJacks opened their 44th season of junior hockey, with a dramatic 5-4 win over the Knights.
First period goals were brought by Konrad Piorkowski, Mitch Gustavsen and newly acquired veteran Brady Martin, putting the MoJacks ahead 3-1, before the Knights drew to within a goal in the second. Back between the pipes for Port Perry, 2015 league rookie of the year, Blake Shaw, made several sensational saves to keep the Knights at bay.
Ian Elkins’ first career goal restored a two goal lead for the MoJacks, until a power play marker by the Knights, with just over two minutes to play. However, a shorthanded goal by Piorkowski with 31 seconds remaining put the game out of reach, although the Knights would reply with a power play goal just eight seconds later, to bring a dramatic conclusion to Tom Boyle’s debut as head coach for the MoJacks.
Opening weekend for the Orr Division wrapped up in Sutton on Sunday afternoon, with the Little Britain Merchants needing overtime for a 5-4 win over the Ice.
Derek Risebrough notched his second of the night, just over six minutes into the extra frame, to put the Shopkeepers into the win column, after rallying from a third period deficit.
Jesse Craig, Jordan Sharpe and Kyle O’Donnell also scored for the Merchants, with Chadd Callaghan turning aside 36 shots for his first career win.
On Friday night the Bruins and their alumni will be celebrating their 40th anniversary, with a special pregame family tailgate festival, starting at 5:30 p.m., featuring live music from popular Uxbridge Band ‘Therapy Seekers’, as well as refreshments and giveaways. The home opener gets underway at 7:45 p.m., with the Port Perry MoJacks in town for the first ‘Battle of North Durham’ of the season.
The MoJacks head back home on Sunday, Sept. 25th, to wrap up a rivalry weekend with a 2:25 p.m. match-up against the Clarington Eagles.
The Merchants continue on the road as they visit Bowmanville on Thursday, Sept. 22nd, to tangle with the Eagles, before facing off against the Knights in Apsley on Saturday night.
KEM CEHAJIC Special To The Standard
NORTH DURHAM: The U14 Girls NDUFC team just finished up the most successful season in the club's history.
The girls focused on teamwork, success, fun, achievement, hard work, improvement, and honest play.
Their skills were challenged each game, as they played against teams a year older in the U15G YRSL division. They met and surpassed all expectations, becoming Tournament Champs, League Cup Champs, and finishing 2nd place in league play.
As the Silvermoon Masonry sponsored team's head coach, Epsom's Rob Magnante, has worked hard with the rest of his coaching staff, he had these words about the team...
"I'm extremely proud of the girls for their determination and perseverance; never giving up; always looking forward to next game and standing united as a team. I certainly couldn't ask for better group of girls. Thanks girls for such an amazing year".
Work well done, by the players, parents, and volunteers.
KEM CEHAJIC Special To The Standard
NORTH DURHAM: The 2016 outdoor has ended for most of our NDUFC teams, and it was a very successful campaign both on and off the field.
The U14G finished a terrific season by shutting out Darlington 2-0. Madison Morherniak and Emma Vandinther were the goal scorers, with another team shutout and 3 points in the bag, to secure second place in the division.
The U13G sit in third place but have three games in hand on the division leaders, as the team prepares for a busy September.
The Trading Post sponsored U16B had their annual end of season coaches/parents vs. kids mini-game on Sunday, and it was another highly contested affair. The final score was debatable, but the coaches made the final call of a 4-3 victory for the slow but wily older side.
Pizza and presentations followed, with everyone having a good time.
Tryouts for the 2017 season will be begin on Sept 21st and run for a couple of weeks. U13G-Sept 24/25, U14G-start late Sept, U15G-Oct 1/2, U13B-Sept 22/27/29, U14/15B-Sept 21/26, U16/17B-Sept 22/27/29.
Times and locations will available on the club's website very soon, at (www.northdurhamunited.com), and you can contact the club with an email or send me one, at (email@example.com) if you have any questions.
As this is the final column of the year, I'd like to thank Dan Cearns, and the rest of the Standard, for giving me a chance to let our community know about how great all the kids playing for North Durham United Football Club are, and how hard they compete against the bigger soccer centers in the region.
Congratulations to all the players, coaches, managers and parents on a fun and successful season.
ROB DRAL The Standard
UXBRIDGE: An Alberta man is on a mission to make cycling safer for everyone. Edmund Aunger is embarking on a 12,500 km cross-country journey from Victoria, British Columbia, to Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, to raise awareness of the dangers cyclists face when riding the Trans Canada Trail.
Mr. Aunger’s wife, Elizabeth Sovis, was killed four years ago, in a tragic cycling accident. The trail took them off hard-packed gravel onto a two-lane roadway. Minutes later, Elizabeth was hit by a full-size van.
“She wanted to see a Trans Canada Trail that was a true greenway, not a motorized roadway,” said Mr. Aunger, in a press release. He dubbed his awareness campaign, “Ride the Trail for Elizabeth.”
The original plan for the Trans Canada Trail, when it was first released in 1992, was to get pedestrians and cyclists off dangerous roadways, away from motorized vehicles. “I have taken up her cause, and I am working to restore the trail’s original objectives,” said Mr. Aunger.
Recently, Mr. Aunger made his way through Uxbridge and met with Uxbridge Mayor, Gerri Lynn O’Connor. Mr. Aunger told The Standard, while he applauds the efforts of the mayor, he understands the commitment, the Township has to do what is best for the local community, which can sometimes be at odds with what is best Nationally.
Recently, a group of cyclists presented a plan to Uxbridge Council, outlining their desire to expand the current cycling trail, deeper into the heart of Uxbridge, to promote the town, and bring in more tourists. This cycling plan consists of more roadway trails, on busy high-speed roads. The group plans to educate the community, about the dangers of sharing trails with motorized vehicles, and wants to add more signs to highlight potential danger zones. “The Trans Canada Trail was originally meant for everyone, not just avid cyclists. They even wanted it to be wheelchair accessible,” said Mr. Aunger. He reiterates the trail should be separate from the road, and the public should not just accept this is the way it is.
One idea Mr. Aunger proposed, when speaking to The Standard, was to connect the Trans Canada Trail next to the railway system.
Mr. Aunger believes it is time for the Federal government to work with the Provinces to produce a united plan of action. “The Federal government needs to step in and work with the provinces and set certain standards for the trail, that must be followed, just like they did with the Trans Canada Highway,” said Mr. Aunger.
His cross-country journey has already garnered the support of one Senator and he hopes his campaign can draw more attention to the cause. “If the public wants to help, I urge them to contact their local MPP’s and let them know they want to see real changes to the Trans Canada Trail. I am the voice of the general population that wants to use the trail,” said Mr. Aunger.
Mr. Aunger was in Tweed, Ontario, when speaking to The Standard. You can follow up with him and learn more about his cause, at www.ridethetrail.ca.
KEM CEHAJIC Special to The Standard
NORTH DURHAM: With just a couple weeks left in the 2016 outdoor season, the NDUFC teams are doing their best to finish their campaigns off on winning notes.
The free-spirited U16 Boys team went to my old home town of Richmond Hill, and battled hard for a huge 2-1 victory.
Youngster Owen Collins opened the scoring with an incredible full volley from just outside the 18 yard box, the winner was slammed into the top of the net, off the foot of Utica native Liam Wilks.
Another courageous performance was had by keeper David Hoover, and despite not being at full percent, great effort and heart were shown by Gibson Baird and Ryan "Smiley" Cole.
The team sits in the middle of league standings, competing against the older clubs from Durham Region and beyond.
The boys have a tough match next Sunday, when they go up against the ultra skilled coaches and some of the parents, in the annual parent/kids game in Port Perry.
The U14 girls drew with Darlington 1-1, charging up the standings.
Ericka Vanhezewijk scored for the team, with the girls playing a very high tempo game and narrowly missing a winner.
The U8 boys and girls will be competing at the Fields of Uxbridge next Sunday, in a mini festival being hosted by the North Durham United Football Club. It should be a fun day for all kids and parents.
Tryouts for the 2017 outdoor soccer season will begin on the weekend of Sept 24th and running for a couple of weeks.
Check the club's website for dates, locations, and information, at northdurhamunited.com or contact me, at firstname.lastname@example.org