Sports with Patrick Townes, Springwater & Area

What a weekend for sports! The Jays are in full swing, and one of the most historic golf events came to a close. Set a reminder in your calendar for next year to take the Friday off work and enjoy the “spring” weather and some great sports television.

As this article is being written, Brad Gushue’s rink holds a 4-3 lead after 5 ends against Sweden. Sweden has 3 hammers and Canada only has 2 hammers. Statistically they are behind the eight ball but I hope they can pull it out. It is amazing how close some of these curling games are based on the score, but the winning team is in complete control.

For example, a team may have no issue giving up 2 or 3 in the 9th end as long as they are tied coming home with the hammer. The hammer is power in the professional game.

The Thursday Night Curling League came to an end this weekend. It was great to get together at the rink for a league bonspiel, the first one really since Covid hit. The team skipped by Kevin Fleming and Tim Belcourt won the Dave Hummelink Memorial Trophy. They defeated the first ranked team Larry Fleming in the semi-final and then defeated the team skipped by Al Johnstone and Brian Lalonde in the final. The Fleming/Belcourt rink has won the trophy 5 out of 6 years.

The Blue Jays currently sit at 2-1. They are poised to win 95 games this year. They are a left-handed bat that can hit 4th or 5th in the lineup, and 1 pitcher away from being a dominant team. It is hard to appreciate this team when you are so close to them and you watch them every night. But believe the hype –  they are a young and electrifying team. It will be an exciting year.


Elmvale Coyotes Had an Amazing Season

This past weekend the U13 Rep team travelled to Aylmer for the year end tournament.  This was a 4 day tournament and was made up of 16 teams, meaning only one team from each bracket would advance to Championship Sunday.

Our bracket was made up of Twin Centers, Dunnville and Lambeth.

Thursday at 3 was our first game against an unknown Twin Centers team.  After a long drive, the boys got off to a slow start, but eventually took over the match and won going away 5-1.  The line of Spence, G and Jack-O paced the team with 4 goals and 7 points among them.  Bart also chipped in with a goal from the back end on a one-hopper!

Our next game was 9am Friday against Dunnville, another team we had yet to see this season.  The early game seemed to favour our guys as we got off to a quick start and never looked back, winning the game 7-1 with four goals coming in the third to seal it.  Chaser, Luk and Turbo did most of the damage for the Coyotes with four goals and 8 points among them.  Cars got in on the fun too with a snipe from the blue line.

Game 3 of the round robin was set to be our toughest so far.  This was a win or go home affair and we were going against Lambeth, a team who had beaten us earlier in the season 3-0 at a tournament in Paris.  The boys knew they would have to be at their best.  It was a very even contest with solid goaltending at both ends and strong defensive play.  Jack-O finally got us on the board early in the second on nice goal set up by Spence.  The lead was short lived though as Lambeth scored on a two man advantage late in period two.  The boys continued to push in the third and finally broke through late on a shot by Morgs from the point with traffic in front.  Lambeth came on hard after that and pushed for the equalizer with the goalie out, but Chopper, Noodle and Hallsy held them off in the final minute to preserve the victory and push the Coyotes into Sunday!

Needless to say, the boys celebrated that night and enjoyed the victory.  We knew Sunday would be tough, but with our first game at noon, the boys were able to get some well deserved rest after some early games Friday and Saturday.

Our opponent was decided late Saturday when Shelburne won out in their bracket.  The boys had played Shelburne earlier in the season and were able to come out on top, but Shelburne had been playing really well lately and had always given our guys fits with their hard working style.  Coach Bri reminded the boys that we had some success earlier against Shelburne with a down low cycle game and the line of Chopper, Noodle and Hallsy took that comment to heart, dominating down low and scoring 6 times while adding 3 assists in a 10-0 victory for the Coyotes.  Zoner added to the tally with a goal and an assist.

So the stage was set…..off to the finals against who else, but the home team Aylmer Flames.  A team who looked strong in their bracket and semi, winning 5-2 against a very good Mitchell team.

This game did not disappoint.  The action was fast and furious right from the start with great chances by both teams on strong team play.  Both goalies played fantastic turning away chance after chance.  The good guys finally broke through when G managed to slip one of the slowest goals of all time by the Alymer tender giving us a 1-0 lead and the all important first goal.  We were able to add to the lead later in the frame when Chopper fed a pass to G for the 2-0 lead.  It looked at that point like we might pull away, but Aylmer came on strong and we ran into some penalty trouble along the way.  We had chance after chance on their goalie with many in tight shots and he continued to turn us away.  Fortunately for us on the other end, Brax was doing the same and in the end, there was no further scoring.  The last 15 seconds elapsed, and the bench and crowd erupted.  The Coyotes had prevailed winning 5 straight games and earning a hard-fought tournament victory as gloves and sticks were tossed on the ice and the boys piled onto one another in celebration.  It was an absolutely amazing finish to a fantastic season.

While it is easy to mention the goal scorers, I would be remiss if I did not point out what I think were the two most important elements in the boys success this weekend:  team defense and goaltending.  Our defensive core made up of Bubba, Zoner, Jurts, Morgs, Cars and Bart played almost perfect hockey.  They were eyes on chest and strong on the net front coverage.  There were many solid tape to tape breakout passes which led to offense from the defense.  While their rugged style of play let to a number of penalties, it also kept teams off the scoreboard, and besides…..they have to get ready for next year. Our forwards were relentless on the back check and absolutely smothered our opponents.

The other key strength this weekend, which has been outstanding all season was our goaltending tandem made up of Huddy and Brax.  These two goalies combined for a 5-0 record and a GAA of 0.6 allowing only 3 goals in 5 games and posting two shutouts on Championship Sunday!!!  I truly believe our two goalies were the best in this tournament and the best in our loop.

Putting hockey aside, this tournament was the first road tournament we had attended since the easing of Covid restrictions and it was amazing.  The boys were all over the hotel, gathering in the hallways, the pool area and in the lobby, mask free and loving it.  We went to Fleetway on Friday for some arcade fun and bowling, had a couple team dinners and just overall made the most of a great opportunity.  The parents were able to have some fun as well, with a few hallway and boardroom meetings.

Congratulations Coyotes on an amazing season, finishing up with an overall record of 31-14-4 and a  12-1 record over your last 13 games, which included two tournament victories, and a couple wins versus a Barrie “A” team.  Pretty impressive.  Your coaching staff of Brian Anderson, Nathan Tschop Mclaren, Mike Galvin, Sherry Hall and I are all very proud of you.  And, of course, your parents are too….but they have to be!!!!

We would like to thank our sponsor Elmvale Home Hardware for supporting us this season!!!


Kempo Students Awarded Belts

COVID-19 lockdowns, restrictions and mandates over the last two years have not slowed the progress of students who train in the art of Shung Long Kempo.  8-year old Brody Thompson was awarded his Yellow Belt on March 28th and 9-year old Angus Adams his Orange Belt on March 29th.  Both students have been taking private lessons during the pandemic under the guidance of Sensei Martin Ladouceur, Master Instructor at Double Dragons Martial Arts Studio in Wyevale (705-322-6951).  With the recent lifting of restrictions and mandates, the private club has re-introduced group classes as of April 4th.  In the interest of the health and well-being of instructors, students and their families, masks and other safety protocols remain in place for the time being.

Brody has returned to group classes while Angus continues with private lessons twice a week.


Hillsdale Freestyle Skier Wins Gold at National Competition

Sixteen-year-old Thomas McEwen from Hillsdale recently competed at the Freestyle Canada Junior National Competition at the Calgary Olympic Park on March 22-28, 2022.

In slushy springtime conditions, Thomas was able to win the Gold medal in the U16 Slopestyle competition.  He had the highest score of the competition with a 94.6.

“I was happy to land a clean run and execute it the way I envisioned”, says McEwen. “My category definitely had the highest level of competition with some of the best athletes competing from across Canada.”

Thomas finished fourth in the Big Air competition the next day, missing the podium by only three tenths of a point.

“It has been a tough couple of years trying to progress and compete in my sport, thanks to the pandemic.  And my journey has not been without injury.  I’m proud that I could finish off my season on a high note.  I hope to get to more North American competitions next season, competing in both the US and Canada.  Thanks to my coaches Geoff Lovelace and Adam McIntaggart for getting me to this point”, states McEwen.

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