Sports News Archives for 2020-12

Hockey Manitoba Offering Virtual Goalie Clinic

Hockey Manitoba will be offering a virtual Goaltending 1 Instructional Stream Clinic via zoom on Wednesday January the 6th between 6 and 8 pm.

 

Dan Ferguson who was the Flin Flon Bombers Goaltending Coach between 2016-19 and leads the goalie development at the Rink Training Centre will be the instructor.

 

The Goaltending Clinic is free to all coach's in Manitoba and you can register for the clinic at hockeymanitoba.ca.  

 

Registration will be limited to the first 50 participants.

 

There is also a link on the Flin Flon Minor Hockey website.

Billy Keane Talks About MJHL Re- Start

With 2021 just a few days away, a lot of people are wondering if we will get to see any hockey in various arena's across the country.

 

All junior leagues remain in shutdown mode and await the word from various Provincial govt's on when they can get up and running again.

 

The MJHL did have a press release on their web-site just before Christmas and the different steps they will be taking in getting back on the ice in 2021.

 

I caught up with the OCN Blizzard  bench boss, Billy Keane and how things are looking from an OCN perspective on returning to play and the state of their hockey club.

 

You can hear that interview here: https://soundcloud.com/102-9-cfar-podcasts

MJHL Looking Forward To Restart

The MJHL continue to prepare for 2021 and have developed a restart action plan when they get the word from the MB Government on when they can safely return.

 

The MJHL made a release on their web-site which will include the following guidelines.

 

Key Elements of Restart Action Plan:

 

Players / Staff to complete 14-day self-isolation period before participating in team activities.

 

Players / Staff to follow detailed travel procedures before reporting to the community / organization.

 

Teams to provide ten to fourteen day modified training period for Players / Staff once 14-day self-isolation phase has been completed in advance of resuming games.

 

All new players added to the roster would be required to complete 14-day self-isolation period before participating in any team activities.

 

Each team will play minimum two games a week against the same team and will play the same team minimum four times in a row over consecutive weekends.

 

Each team will only play teams from the same public health region, same division and/or of closest proximity based on regional restrictions at that time.

 

Each team will schedule games to be played during the weekend (Friday, Saturday and/or Sunday).

 

Regular Season will be extended until the end of April to allow for further schedule and game play flexibility.

 

Playoff format will be reviewed over the coming weeks.

 

The MJHL successfully returned to conducting on-ice activity in July and to date has completed over 60 games since game play began in late September.

 

OCN Blizzard Head Coach and GM, Billy Keane said they will continue to follow all the guidelines laid out by the MJHL and MB Gov't.

 

" We are going to rely on DR Brent's press conference on January the 8th and hopefully we move from code red to code orange and we can get back in our communities. Kevin Saurette and the governors have worked their tails off to get back to playing hockey. We will do our due diligence and follow all the protocols that continue to be laid out and make sure we adhere to the conditions and do our part to keep everybody safe."

 

Curling Manitoba Makes Some Tough Decisions

Manitoba Curling made the very difficult decision  to cancel the Scotties, Viterra and Dynasty Championships in Women's, Men's and Mixed Doubles which were to take place in 2021.

 

The Men's and Women's were slated  to take place in a bubble format in Selkirk, February the 2nd to the 7th at the Selkirk Rec Complex. The mixed doubles were going to take place at ST Vital the following week.

 

Manitoba is going in the same direction that Northern Ontario has in letting last year's Provincial Champions advance to the National's in Calgary.

 

Curl Manitoba Executive Director Craig Baker said it wasn't a fun decision to pull the pin on all three Provincial finals, and they did consult with all the athletes and Sport Manitoba on the decision.

 

Jason Gunnlaugson has excepted the birth in the Men's side while Jennifer Jones will represent the Ladies. Team Samagalski/Karwacki will be the entry for the Mixed Doubles Event.

 

 

 

 

MJHL Assists Childrens Hospitals

courtesy of mjhlhockey.ca

 

The Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL) is excited to partner with the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Manitoba (CHFM) this holiday season to help raise funds for life-saving equipment.

 

More specifically, donations will help purchase remote monitored beds. With the number of kids with serious conditions increasing all the time, this remote monitoring equipment is critically important.

 

“Manitobans continue to amaze us with their incredible support, despite a challenging year,” said Stefano Grande, president and CEO, Children’s Hospital Foundation of Manitoba. “We are thrilled to partner with the Manitoba Junior Hockey League to help make anything possible for sick and injured kids.”

 

Throughout December and in early January, the MJHL will encourage the public to gift a special t-shirt or sweatshirt this holiday season that will see one hundred percent of proceeds donated back to the Hospital Foundation.

 

“We are excited to support this amazing and very important initiative led by the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Manitoba,” shared MJHL Commissioner, Kevin Saurette. “Every little bit we can do during these difficult times will help make a critical difference in the lives of sick children and their families in Manitoba.”

 

Purchase your MJHL x CHFM apparel here to help make a difference this holiday season.

You can also make donations through the CHFM website by clicking here and following the instructions provided.

Nominate A Manitoba Coach

This year's Manitoba Coaching Awards will look a little different. Instead of looking at coach's based on their success this past year, Sport Manitoba will be looking at their  entire coaching careers.

 

Here are the different categories

 

MAJOR AWARD CATEGORIES

 

Active Start/Fundamentals Athletes - Vince Leah Award

Individuals who coach grassroots athletes of any age.  The coaching environment at this level is primarily non-competitive, with an emphasis on participation and having fun.

 

Learn to Train Athletes – The Konica Minolta - Dr. Jack Hunt Award

 

Coaches who are responsible for athletes developing competitive skills and preparing for competition (i.e. regional or provincial)

 

Train to Train Athlete – The Janet Arnott Award

 

Coaches who are responsible for athletes who compete at the Canada Games

 

Train to Compete-Train to Win Athletes - Peter Williamson Award

 

Coaches who primarily work with High performance athletes that compete at the national or international level.

 

School System Athletes - Peter Dick Award

 

These coaches are in the school system who coach as an extra-curricular activity. This award is open to those individuals who coach at all grade levels from elementary through middle years and high school. 

 

Active for Life – Global News

Coaches who are responsible for athletes who focus on achieving on health and fitness for life.

 

So if you know of a deserving coach you can nominate them today at sportmanitoba.ca.

 

The winners will be announced on April the 6th,2021.

WHL Postpones Season Indefinitely

The Western Hockey League is pushing back the start of its season indefinitely due to uncertainty around the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

The league announced the news in a statement yesterday, saying it is not in a position to start the season as planned on Jan. 8 due to current public health restrictions across Western Canada and the Pacific Northwest U.S.

 

The WHL is comprised of 22 teams spanning four provinces and two states, and the league says it has been working with the various health authorities to create protocols necessary for protecting players, staff, officials and fans during the pandemic.

 

The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League was the only one of the three Canadian major junior leagues to open play around its normal start date, beginning its season in October.

 

COVID-19 outbreaks among several teams forced the QMJHL to postpone games and public health restrictions saw the league create a “bubble” in Quebec City before the league put the season on hold at the end of November.

 

The Ontario Hockey League plans to begin its season in early February.

FF Ski Club Update

The Flin Flon Ski Club have been working very hard on getting the trails in good working shape.  Most trails are open but do have a few rough patches, so you need to be careful.

 

The 2.3 km Valley trail has lights, so you can ski after work til 10 PM. With the snow in the forecast this week, the trails should be in excellent shape.

 

A big thank you go's out to club member Darrell Janzen who has created an app for the trails on trailforks. Just go to flinflonskiclub.com to download the app. This will allow you to see a map of the trail you are on, show you where you are on the trail and get reports on different conditions.

 

If you are looking to stay active over the Christmas break, the Ski Club will be waving fees starting this Friday, til January the 3rd. They are hoping that you take advantage of this great offer and get outdoors and stay healthy.

 

You can bring your dogs but use the Carlilse trail along the company road and not the trails by the chalet. Walkers can use the boardwalk or roads and please avoid walking on the ski trails.

Manitoba Summer Games Cancelled

Sport Manitoba and the Dauphin Host Society have cancelled the 2021 Manitoba Summer Games which were supposed to take place in July of 2021.

 

Earlier this year they made the decision to postpone the games til July but with the recent increase of cases of Covid 19, the Provincial Sport Organizations decided this was best.

 

Sport Manitoba will now work with all the game partners to prepare for a new games date.Sport Manitoba, the Dauphin Host Society and the City Of Dauphin made the decision based on the safety of Manitobans and to help reduce the spread of Covid 19.

 

The City of Dauphin will now host the 2024 Manitoba Games sponsored by Manitoba Hydro in the summer of 2024.

Bomber Player Raffle

The Flin Flon Bombers are selling tickets on their annual player raffle.

 

There will be 20 prizes total and tickets are only $10.00, with the draw coming up on April the 4th,2021.

 

The grand prize is a Wings over Kississing Fishing Trip . Second prize is a AJ'S  Air Conditioning Package and Third, a Phantom Lake Golf Membership.

 

You can see the entire list of prizes at bombers.ca

 

You can contact Cole McCaig for an e-transfer at mccaig_cole@hotmail.com. 1-204-573-1236

Bombers Tearing It Up At The NCAA Level

The Flin Flon Bombers have been one of the most competitive teams in the SJHL over the last decade and pride themselves on getting players to the next level.

 

Flin Flon has 8 of their former players suiting up for NCAA schools this year and all carry the Bomber tradition proudly.

 

The list of players includes:

 

Eric Sinclair- University of Alaska/Anchorage- Sinclair only spent one year in a Bomber uniform but it was a memorable one in which he put up 46 points in 44 games and helped his team to the league final.

 

Cory Thomas- University Of Vermont- Thomas played two years with the Bombers and was better known for the way he played away from the puck than putting up numbers. He was so good defensively that he made the SJHL All Rookie Team in 2016.

 

Greyson Reitmeier- Michigan Tech- This was the steal of the century when he was Acquired from Melville for Brett Kit in 2015. Reitmeier put up 79 points in 58 games in his final year of 2017 including 28 goals.

 

Cade Kowalski- Ferris State- Kowalski's time with the Bombers was a short one but he became a real fan favorite at the Whitney Forum. Kowalski only played 21 games but put up a sizzling 27 points and added 11 in the playoffs.

 

Caleb Moretz- RIT- Moretz made his way to Flin Flon from Fairbanks Alaska and made an impact right off the hop with his great leadership which allowed him to be an assistant captain in his second season. He could also find the back of the net with 51 points in his final year of 2018-19.

 

Calvon Boots- RIT- Boots also came to Flin Flon from Fairbanks and suited up for 99 games in a Bomber uniform in solidifying him as one of the top defensemen in the league. Boots was named the top defenseman in the Sherwood Conference in 2019.

 

Crystopher Collin- Bowling Green- Collin was one of the most gifted offensive players to play for the Bombers in a long time. In two seasons, Collin amassed over 100 points including 44 goals and was a tremendous play maker.

 

Donovan Houle Villeneuve- University Of Maine- Houle might be the most exciting player I have ever watched at this level. Houle dressed for 155 games as a Bomber and never took a night off. He had his best year as a 20 year old in 2019-20 in which he collected 67 points in 46 games. Easily the fastest player in the league.

New Programs And Changes For FFMH

FFMHA has made some changes this season and one of them is introducing new programs and the offering of free equipment for new hockey players this season. 

 

FFMHA is fortunate enough to have a hard working board that has applied and received grants and funds from outside of registration fees to pay for these programs. They would like to take this opportunity to thank the following...

 

Northern Neighbours Foundation and the Moffat Family - Water Stations and both the Whitney Forum and the Sportex

 

Royal Bank Cup Fund - 100% of the equipment purchased for 5/6 year olds


Canadian Tire - Hockey Equipment


Flin Flon Neighbourhood Revitalization Corporation - On Ice training aids and equipment


RBC Learn To Skate Grant - Power Skating Program

 


 

Another Bomber Signs A Professional Deal

Former Flin Flon Bomber Captain, Tyson Empey has signed an  ECHL contract with the Rapid City Rush.

 

The Swift Current product played 4 seasons in Flin Flon and helped the team reach the Canalta Cup Final as a 20 year old.

 

Empey put up a total of 76 points in 184 career games with the Bombers and is the third player from the 2015-16 squad to earn an ECHL contract.

 

Joel Kocur and Alex Smith also signed ECHL deals.

The Best Is Still To Come For Donavan Houle

He is one of the most exciting and talented players to don a Bomber jersey in the team's rich history and the sky is the limit for Montreal's Donavan Houle Villenuve.

 

Houle played three years for the Maroon and White between 2017 and 2020 putting up 134 points in 155 games.

 

Houle always saved his best for the post season and delivered 21 points in 20 career games and no telling how many points he would of put up if this past playoff run wasn't cut short due to Covid 19.

 

The Bombers looked poised to win their first league championship since 1993 and Houle would of been an intrical part.

 

I will never forget going down to the Bomber locker room after the decision was made last March to scrap the rest of the playoffs and seeing the looks on all the players faces.

 

Donavan,  took it especially hard and actually broke down and cried in disappointment realizing his junior hockey career had come to an end.

 

Even though we won't get to see Houle in a Bomber uniform ever again, his career is a long way from being over.

 

Like so many Bombers the last few years, Houle will get a chance to play in the NCAA with the University of Maine. 

 

The Black Bears like everyone else in the hockey and sports world are waiting to get on the ice . Due to Covid 19, they are limited to just practising right now and Houle is chomping at the bit to get back into action.

 

I firmly believe with his amazing speed, not to mention great vision of the ice, I feel a professional career is not out of  question.

 

Even though  Houle is a tremendous offensive  hockey player, he is also a very good team-mate and was one of the most popular Bombers in the locker room his three seasons.

 

We caught up to Donavan from the University of Maine and he joined us on today's Norman Sportsline program. We touched on his great career in the SJHL and what the future may hold.

 

you can hear the interview here: https://soundcloud.com/102-9-cfar-podcasts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Manitoba Communities Receive Funding For Equipment

Even with Covid running rampant in our province, country and the world, there are still reasons to be optimistic in the sports world.

 

470 sets of new hockey equipment has been distributed to Minor Hockey Associations and Indigenous  groups in Manitoba courtesy of the NHL/NHLPA/ Hockey Canada/ Bauer Hockey Equipment Relief Program.

 

12 Minor Hockey Associations and two Indigenous groups did receive new equipment which will allow many young children to experience the game for the first time.

 

Northern Manitoba was in the mix, with both The Pas Minor Hockey and Thompson Minor Hockey receiving 25 new sets each.

 

About the Hockey Equipment Relief Program

 

The Hockey Equipment Relief Program is an equipment donation initiative which includes $2 million of hockey gear, with upwards of 7,000 sets to be distributed to families and communities in the seven Canadian NHL cities (Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal) and other regions across Canada.

 

In the distribution of this equipment, particular attention will be provided to support minority communities.

 

 

 

 

Changes Coming To Manitoba Curling

Covid 19 continues to rock the sports world, and curling in Manitoba is now going to have quite a different look if the sport is able to get back on the ice.

 

Curling Manitoba issued a press release yesterday about competitions for the rest of the year.

 

All competitions are now postponed for the rest of the year including the under 18 Provincial Competition which was supposed to take place over the Christmas break.

 

Curl Manitoba will continue to work Curling Canada on hosting a National competition for the Scotties, Brier and Mixed Doubles in the new year.

 

Regional qualifiers will take place in Selkirk between Feb 2nd to the 7th but the field will be cut down to 8 teams for the women and 16 for the men. The winner from both these events will represent Manitoba at the National event in Calgary .

 

Locally, the Flin Flon/Creighton Curling Club has not been able to get their season started and are hoping to get back on the ice in 2021. If Covid restrictions are lifted they would resume play and still hope to host the Men's and Ladies Bonspiels.

 

 

Interview With Alex Smith

Former Flin Flon Bomber, Alex Smith joined me yesterday on the Norman Sportsline Program to talk about his time in a Bomber uniform.

 

Smith has gone on to a very successful career after graduating with the Bombers including a 4 year stint with the Michigan Huskies of the NCAA,  and recently signing a contract with the Florida Everblades of the ECHL.

 

Smith, remembers his time in a Bomber uniform fondly and says it definately made him the player he is today. You can hear yesterday's interview here: https://soundcloud.com/102-9-cfar-podcasts

Hockey Manitoba Cancel's Provincials

Due to the current ongoing Covid 19 situation, Hockey Manitoba has made the decision to cancel all 2021 Manitoba Provincials.

 

The decision to cancel all Provincial Championships  has been made with the safety of all it's members and the different communities.

 

Each year 25 communities across the province host Provincial tournaments as approximately 250 teams and 4,000 players  compete for a chance to win a Provincial Championship.

 

There has been no word if the host cities from 2021 will be awarded to host in 2022.

 

more details can be found at hockeymanitoba.ca.

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