Sports News Archives for 2021-01

SHA Return To Play Update

The Saskatchewan Hockey Association announced that after the public health restrictions were extended for two weeks, they met with the government’s Business Response Team and announced that there will be no consideration of return to play (games) for at least four weeks and that return to game play is unlikely to happen before the end of March.

 

The current state of “training” with 8 players that are under the age of 18 will continue.

 

Sask Hockey also says they are currently reviewing the state of the game and intend on conducting meetings with each Zone hockey organization in the province plus all other Minor, Female and Senior leagues within the next two weeks.

 

For more information contact the Saskatchewan Hockey Association or go online to www.sha.sk.ca

City Of Flin Flon Adding Rec Programs

The City Of Flin Flon wants to make sure that you and your family stay active during Covid 19 and are now offering lots of activities and programs to kick off 2021.

 

The city is partnering up with instructors and  talented people and groups through a project which was  secured through Safe At Manitoba Grant.

 

You and your family will be able to participate from the comfort of your very own living room.

 

This will all be done virtually and some of the programs being offered include Yoga, Meditation, Dance, Senior Exercises, nutritional information, crafts and more.

 

You will be able to follow along on the City Of Flin Flon facebook page. You can also subscribe to the City Of Flin Flon You Tube Channel.

Bill Chow Comments On Funding From Sask Govt

The SJHL President, Bill Chow was our guest yesterday on the Norman Sportsline Program to discuss the funding coming from the Saskatchewan gov't.

 

This past Friday the Saskatchewan gov't confirmed that they would be giving the SJHL, one million dollars to help off set some costs due to Covid 19.

 

Chow confirmed that the money would be split up amongst the league's 12 teams including the Flin Flon Bombers.

 

We also discussed what the league was doing in preparation if they in fact do get back on the ice this season.

 

You can hear yesterday's complete interview here: https://soundcloud.com/102-9-cfar-podcasts

Hockey Manitoba Return To Play

The Province Of Manitoba and Manitoba Health are considering reducing certain Covid -19 restrictions on indoor recreation facilities so Hockey Manitoba has made the following release.

 

Should the resumption of organized sports be permitted in any Region in Manitoba, Minor Hockey Associations, Leagues, and Teams will require approval from Hockey Manitoba to Return to Play and will be required to spend at least 10 days in Phase 2 of the Hockey Manitoba Return to Play plan.

 

Phase 2 consists of on-ice skill development (non-contact), drills, and team tactics but no regular season competition (games) or exhibition games will be permitted, rather teams should plan safe practices to welcome players back to the ice.  No Regions, Minor Hockey Associations, Leagues, or Teams residing in Provincial Response Level: Critical (Red) will be permitted to participate in any hockey programming.

 

It is important that Hockey Manitoba stresses that Public Health orders must be adhered to once hockey programming is permitted to resume.  In order to ensure that the game is set up for a successful return, the compliance and support of all members is paramount, required, and not an option.

 

Physical distancing, mask wearing, proper hygiene, and screening are necessary steps that must be practiced in order to return to hockey safely and will assist in reducing the risk to the hockey community.

 

Thank you to all of our Regions, Minor Hockey Associations, Leagues, Hockey Canada Accredited Schools, facilities, players, coaches, officials, and volunteers across the province for their patience and for working together during these difficult times to ensure the health and safety of all members.

Manitoba Midget Triple A League Update

Even though Code red restrictions continue in our province due to Covid 19, the Manitoba Midget Triple A League is not throwing in the towel.

 

The Manitoba Midget Triple A website is confirming that they are committed to restarting the season as soon as they get the go ahead from the Manitoba Gov't.

 

The plan is to get all the league facilities open with players able to practise 10 to 14 days before resarting the season.

 

League President, Levi Taylor says they would extend the season and playoffs could possibly run into May.

 

When the league suspended play, the Norman Northstars had just been shut-out by the Yellowhead Chiefs, 6 to 0 on November the 8th.

 

Norman bagan the campaign at 0-6 and due to Covid had played all their games at the C.A.Nesbitt Arena. They were supposed to hit the road for the first time the following weekend , heading to Swan River to face the Parkland Rangers.

Collin Scores First NCAA Goal

Saturday, January the 16th is a day that former Flin Flon Bomber sniper, Cystopher Collin will never forget.

 

Collin, suiting up for the Bowling Green Falcons scored his first NCAA goal in his team's 5 to 1 win against Northern Michigan.

 

Collin scored the Falcons second goal in the second period on Saturday whewn he jumped on a loose puck in front of the Michigan net. Collin now has three points in 4 games.

 

Bowling Green continues to be one of the top team's in their conference at 13-2 and will return to the ice this Thursday when they travel to Bemidji State.

Funding Coming For SJHL Teams

The Saskatchewan government is giving $4 million to help junior hockey leagues and teams that have had their play interrupted by provincial health restrictions.

 

It says it will send $1 million to support the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League and $600,000 will go to each of the province's five Western Hockey League teams.

 

" The SJHL which consists of community owned teams has been in  a state of uncertainty due to COVID-19, during the past several months" said SJHL President Bill Chow. " The financial  support that has been  provided by the Saskatchewan Government creates a more positive outlook for our teams."

 

 

The Ministry of Trade and Export Development says the cash will help them cover revenue losses and ensure teams survive the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Under the province's public health order, athletes who are 18 and younger can practise or train in small groups, but team sports are banned.

 

The SJHL suspended its season in late November after the ban was announced, and says a return to play likely won't be decided until after today.

 

The WHL has said it was committed to playing a 2020-21 season, but potential start dates were undecided.

 

 

 

Saskatchewan Cancels Provincial Curling Championships

Saskatchewan has officially cancelled it's Provincial Curling Championships due to the Covid 19 pandemic.

 

Matt Dunstone will represent the province at the Tim Hortons Brier and Sherry Anderson will skip the Saskatchewan team  at the Scottie Tournament Of Hearts.

 

The National Championships will take place in a so called bubble at Calgary's Markin MacPhail Centre. The Scitties at the Canada Olympic Park venue in late April.

 

Curlsask made it's team selections based on performance over a two season window rather than the 2020 Championship results.

 

Dunstone, who won last year's provincial title, is the highest ranked team from Saskatchewan in the Canadian rankings at no.7.

 

Anderson is 14th in National rankings. Tenth ranked Robyn Silvernagle represented Saskatchewan at the Scotties last year but only has two returning members from that team, one short of the required minimum.

 

WHL Reschedules Bantam Draft

 The Western Hockey League issued a press release saying the 2021 WHL Draft, previously referred to as the WHL Bantam Draft, has been rescheduled and will be conducted in December 2021.

 

The WHL Draft was originally scheduled to take place in May 2021.

 

“Moving the 2021 WHL Draft from May to December allows additional time for players in the 2006 age group to be evaluated following a challenging season due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” commented WHL Commissioner Ron Robison. “We anticipate minor hockey leagues and tournaments will be fully operational in the fall, which will allow players to compete at a high level once again.”

 

The WHL also announced  that the 2021 WHL Cup is tentatively scheduled to be held in October 2021, featuring WHL Draft-eligible players, providing another opportunity for eligible players to showcase their talents to WHL scouts in advance of the 2021 WHL Draft. The 2021 WHL Cup will feature Under-16 teams from each of Canada’s four Western branches – BC Hockey, Hockey Alberta, the Saskatchewan Hockey Association, and Hockey Manitoba – competing for U-16 supremacy in Western Canada. The 2020 WHL Cup, which was scheduled to be held in October 2020 was cancelled due to the pandemic.

 

Players eligible for the 2021 WHL Draft will be 2006-born players who reside in Alberta, B.C., Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Northwest Territories, Yukon, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.

 

 

Virtual SJHL Showcase

With Covid numbers remaining high in Saskatchewan, the SJHL has decided to bring back their twitch stream and present an SJHL Virtual Showcase.

 

The last weekend in January has seen the best of the SJHL take on the best of the MJHL the past couple of years and unfortunately  like a lot of other sporting events, Covid has wiped out this event.

 

The SJHL still wants to showcase all their top stars to the best fans in the country and will deliver the next best thing.

 

This will be the first of it's kind 4 team tournament which will see the SJHL'S best and brightest face off on PS4.

 

The league will have broadcasters and musical experiences add to the excitement with an action packed audience.

 

Tune in to twitch.tv/sjhlhockey on January the 29th and 30th for lots of fun and games.

Hockey Manitoba Update

Based On Friday's announcement by the Province, current health restrictions will continue until January the 22nd. Hockey teams and individuals across the Province will be ineligible to take part in any hockey programming.

 

Although the start of the season in still uncertain, Hockey Manitoba remains optimistik that they will be back on the ice in the near future. They are also prepared to ensure their members and all the communities have a safe return to the game.

 

 

Norman Referees Get Recognition

Hockey Manitoba recently recognized the most deserved officials from across the province with each region receiving awards.

 

Hockey Manitoba's regional award winners are proudly sponsored by the Manitoba Hockey Hall Of Fame.

 

Here are this year's Norman winners.

 

Most Promising

Matthew Baker

The Pas Minor Hockey Association

 

Years Officiating: 2

 

Leagues: U9, U11

 

Most Improved

Preston Sinclair

Opaskwayak Cree Nation Minor Hockey Association

 

Years Officiating: 5

 

Leagues: KJHL, Senior Hockey

 

Most Deserving

Ernie Foster

The Pas Minor Hockey Association

 

Years Officiating: 43

 

Leagues: Various levels of minor hockey

 

 

 

 

Justin Lies Looking Forward To Getting Back On The Ice.

Just a handful of days into 2021 and Covid 19 continues to be a major concern as we all try to forget 2020.

 

This global pandemic has taken many lives, destroyed a lot of economies and has done it's tole on people mentally across the globe.

 

Professional sports has found a way to push forward, but Covid has wiped out all amateur sports and Junior hockey right across the country. The World Junior Tournament with a few scares early , managed to pull off a great showing in Edmonton with no fans.

 

Where does that leave the 11 leagues in the CJHL?  It would be very difficult for any of these leagues to play with no fans, but that seems to be where we might be headed.

 

The SJHL did issue a press release last week  with a plan to carry on with approval from Saskatchewan Health and the Saskatchewan Gov't with all 12 teams seasons in limbo. 

 

The Flin Flon Bombers will also have to work with the Manitoba side being a border town and may have a real tough time getting back on the ice at all in 2021.

 

While we all sit back  and see what unfolds in the next few weeks I got to thinking about the 20 year old situation, how travel would work and if I would even be permitted to travel with the team if we get going again.

 

I also thought about young Justin Lies who, I have been following since I saw him play Bantam Triple A hockey. He stood out the very first time I watched him and wasn't surprised he got drafted by Vancouver in the WHL in the third round in 2018.

 

It is nice to see a local kid from Flin Flon get to play in arguibly the best junior league in the world and carry on the torch of so many local greats of the past.

 

Growing up in Flin Flon, Justin also dreamed of playing for his hometown Bombers and was given the chance with the Giants loaning him to Flin Flon with the WHL delaying the start of their season.

 

Lies did suit up for a few exhibition games and was in uniform for the home opener against Melfort in early November. Unfortunately the second wave of Covid hit and here we are today wondering when we will see hockey again.

 

I had a chance to interview Justin and get his perspective on how Covid has affected him and the others around him who have seen their careers hit a stand still.

 

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

 

Walleye Wars

The first big ice fishing event of 2021 is just one week away as Anglers Atlas will be presenting Walleye Wars no.4.

 

This will be the first time that Angers Atlas will hosting this event in the winter as the first three events all took place in the summer.

 

It starts January the 15th and go's til January the 31st and you can enter province wide.

 

Entry fee is $100.00 per angler and you can enter online by downloading the app mycatch.

 

You can enter right til 12:59 on January the 14th and will be limited to 150 anglers with over $12,000.00 in prizes.

SJHL Looking To Return in 2021

The Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League has issued a press release on their web-site as we are now officially into  2021.

 

Even though we are into a new year, Covid 19 is still out there and everybody is holding their breath as we try to return to normal life including playing hockey.

 

The SJHL will continue to work with the Saskatchewan Government and Saskatchewan Health in pursuit of their return to the ice.

 

The league is not expected to release anything official til after January the 15th and want to see what happens with the number of people hospitalized with Covid 19.

 

The SJHL still plans to finish up the regular season, play the playoffs and crown a league champion.

 

The Flin Flon Bombers remain in a very vulnerable position , being a border town and having to work with the Manitoba Government as well.

 

Manitoba is  in a Code Red and travel is still not recommended out of the province which means the Bombers may not be able to get back on the ice,even if the SJHL gets the Green light.

 

The Manitoba Government is expected to make an announcement on their current restrictions on Friday.

 

Matt Flodell the Bomber Captain says they are still holding out hope they can make a return this season. "  “It's been a learning experience for everyone on the team, the coaches and myself too. We’re kind of learning how to keep everyone's spirits up, even though we don't really know exactly what's going on every second of the day. In previous years, it's pretty simple - you show up at the rink every day and do what it takes to win, but this is definitely different,” .

 

 

Great Start To The New Year For Former Bombers

 

2021 is now underway and it was a great way to start the new year for a couple of former Bomber standouts in Donovan Houle and Crystopher Collin. 

 

Both are former snipers in the SJHL and are getting an opportunity to continue their careers in the NCAA.

 

Collin is playing with the Bowling Green Falcons and picked up his first point in a 6 to 1 win over Ferris State this past Saturday January the 2nd. Collin assisted on his team's fourth goal scored by Seth Fyten.

 

The Green Falcons are off to a great start with a record of 10-1 and are back on the ice this Thursday against Bemidji State.

 

 

Donovan Houle plays for the University of Maine and he collected his first ever point in the NCAA, with an assist in a 5 to 3 loss against the U of Mass Lowell last night.

 

Houle picked up his assist on his teams second goal scored by Ben Poisson.

 

The U of Maine is off to a slow start and are winless in their first three games. They will play the University Of Massachusetts once again tonight and are hoping to collect their first win of the year.

 

 

 

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