If you are looking to watch some exciting curling action on television, look no further than the Canadian Olympic Trials being held in Saskatoon. This is the paramount event that teams have been planning and playing towards for the last four years. Once this event is completed, teams will again begin shifting rosters to plan for the next four-year rotation for the next Olympics. The teams to look out for this week are Brad Gushue and Tracy Fleury. Both teams come in hot after the tour season and have seemed to weather the tricky ice conditions so far. To be brutally honest, it is nice to watch the odd game where the ice is a little tricky. Every shot is not automatic, as players have become accustomed to the perfect ice conditions to play on. They are almost spoiled with the ice conditions when considering all the available technology available to the ice technicians and event planners. You can sense the tension when you watch these games. Every shot is important, and it has players, coaches and fans holding their breath with each rock thrown.
In terms of local curling, after a two-year hiatus due to the Covid-19 virus, Elmvale has not been able to host the annual Global Controls Group Cash Spiel. This event is set to return in January 2022 and details are to be released shorty. Also, the Elmvale Curling Club is looking for more members to play in their leagues in January 2022. Visit their website or call 705-322-2371 before December 10th if you are interested in curling in the new year.
A group from Elmvale went to watch the Ontario senior curling playdowns hosted by the Midland Curling Club. Elmvale’s ice maker Bryan Wilson and his family coordinated and contributed to this successful event. Remember, if you are playing in these types of events, always be thoughtful and thankful to the people who coordinate and run them.
It is the volunteers who ensure these events can take place and often times it ends up being a thankless job. The effort of these people should not go unnoticed. One thing is for sure — even over the age of 50, there is definitely competitive curling going on in the Province. Event winners were veterans Brian Cochrane on the men’s side and Sherri Middaugh on the women’s side. Congratulations to the winners, the Wilsons and the Midland Curling Club volunteers.
More and more you are hearing on the television that the “brushers made that shot”. Brushing has become the key to curling with the advances in brush technology and research. Directional sweeping is now an accepted practice and has a huge impact on the game. At the highest levels, if you do not have good sweeping, you will not win.
A lot is being made of Alex Ovechkin’s pursuit of Wayne Gretzky’s goal record. In the comparisons as to who is the best hockey player of all time – Ovechkin, Crosby, Orr, Gretzky, Lemieux, Howe? — it is so hard to compare different eras in any sport. It is difficult to argue that Wayne Gretzky is not the best hockey player of all time based on the numbers, but there would be so many other factors to consider. Connor McDavid is doing amazing things that have never been seen in modern hockey. He is simply so fast and skilled. So who is better? – It is too tough to tell.
Robbie Ray of your Toronto Blue Jays was victorious in the Cy Young race. Also, Blue Jays Vlad Guerrero Jr. and Marcus Semien finished second and third respectively in the MVP race. Unfortunately for the Blue Jays, two of the three players are free agents and set to command huge pay days on the open market. Both players signed one-year deals with the Blue Jays and surely proved their worth.
Peewee Rep Hockey
By Jen Brewer, EMHA sponsorship
After a long drought of parents and players not even being able to think about weekend hockey tournaments, the Elmvale Coyotes Peewee Rep hockey team recently participated in the annual Rob Johnston Memorial tournament in Paris Ontario. The team and their families excitedly packed up their cars and headed out for this long overdue and highly anticipated Canadian tradition where hockey games and bonding go hand in hand.
Leading into the tournament, the Coyotes held undefeated status in their home division.
Friday night’s game saw them facing off against the Cumberland Junior Grads. Although the Coyotes were down four goals by the second period, the offensive lines worked hard to battle back, scoring three of their own, while the boys on the back end shut down any additional goals against. Final Score 4-3 Cumberland.
It was time to show that the boys in blue came to play, and the Coyotes did just that, showing unrelenting skill, speed and determination in Saturday’s game against the Delhi Rockets, where they swept all 3 periods and earned a well-deserved 8-1 win.
In the Coyotes final game, they ran into the eventual tournament champion, East Lambton Eagles, and bowed out 3-0 in a hard-fought game.
The Elmvale Coyotes Peewee Rep team showed true grit during this tournament, and played better each and every game, and never quit. They are promising to be a force to be reckoned with, as they continue to develop under the solid coaching of Ryen Oakes and Brian Anderson, along with Trainers Nathan Tschop McLaren and Mike Galvin. A nod to the hometown sponsor, Elmvale Home Hardware and Building Centre, for their ongoing generous support.