HomeSportsSports – Feb. 1

Sports – Feb. 1

Sports – Feb. 1

37th Lush Curling: Elmvale

First Place winners at 37th Lush Curling event. Jamie Healy, Cindy Schutt, Sue Patton and Paul Archer.

Second place winners, John Degroot, Leslie Stroud, Chris Leonard,  and Brad Greenlaw.


2024 “Not The Scotties” Bonspiel, Elmvale Curling Club – By Sue Henry

The Women’s Afternoon Leagues held their annual bonspiel on Saturday, January 13. The theme this year was “Pink at the Rink” and all the participating teams were very creative in their interpretation.


Honouring the Canadian Military Members Who Played Hockey

By Patrick Townes

The Canadian Hockey League’s Memorial Cup, established in 1919, holds a storied history as one of Canadian junior hockey’s most prestigious trophies. Initially created to honour the Canadian military members who played hockey who lost their lives in World War I, the tournament has evolved into a symbol of excellence and achievement in junior hockey.  The inaugural Memorial Cup took place in 1919, featuring teams from the Ontario Hockey Association and the Pacific Coast Hockey Association. The University of Toronto Schools emerged as the first champions, setting the stage for decades of intense competition.

Over the years, the format and participating leagues changed, reflecting the growth and development of junior hockey in Canada. The Memorial Cup eventually became the championship for the Canadian Hockey League, which comprises the Western Hockey League, Ontario Hockey League, and the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.  Notable moments in Memorial Cup history include the introduction of round-robin play in the 1970’s, allowing multiple teams to compete for the coveted trophy. The tournament’s prestige skyrocketed, attracting attention from scouts and fans alike.

In 2005, the Memorial Cup adopted a new format, featuring a host team and representatives from each of the three member leagues. This change aimed to provide a fair and balanced opportunity for teams across the Canadian Hockey League to compete on equal footing.  In 2024, the Memorial Cup will have a distant yet local flavour.  This year’s host of the event is the Saginaw Spirit who are currently toe to toe with the London Knights for the top spot in the league.  At the lead of the organization is Elmvale native Dave Drinkill who has served as the General Manager in Saginaw since 2015.  When previous articles surfaced in the newspaper, Drinkill and his teams vied to win first the Ontario Hockey League championship and then the coveted Memorial Cup.  Disappointment occurred when the Spirit were tops in the league prior to the cancellation of playoffs and the Memorial Cup at the onset of Covid.  Cole Perfetti was a member of these teams who was drafted 10th overall in 2020 and now plays for the Winnipeg Jets.  The team has restructured and now is in a position at the top of the Canadian Hockey League rankings with the goal to win the league.

Drinkill and the Spirit’s focus is on winning the Ontario Hockey League, with the Memorial Cup looming in the background.  A tremendous amount of work and preparing went into bidding for the huge event which has never been held south of the border in the United States of America.  Drinkill, along with ownership and staff submitted their bid and were successful, on the promise of delivering an amazing event and arena improvements to showcase what the community of Saginaw has to offer visitors and hockey fans.

Excitement is building locally and within Elmvale, where the Spirit are scheduled to visit the Elmvale Community Area on Wednesday, February 14th for a practice and autograph session.  This event starts at 6:00 pm and the team practice will last an hour before the players head upstairs so all fans can get autographs from these young up-and-coming stars.  The price of admission to this event is a non- perishable food item for the Elmvale Food Bank.  The Elmvale Food Bank welcomes all donations, however supplies are running low on the following: jello mix, cream corn, cream of mushroom and chicken soup, canned meat, pasta and fruit.  Drinkill’s mother Jan is a volunteer and big part of the Food Bank and what it offers the community.  Jan and father Rick were thrilled when they heard that the Spirit were making the trip to Elmvale.  They see this as a great opportunity for Dave to give something back to the area, a community that has played such an important role in his life.  Further details of the event can be found on the Elmvale Minor Hockey website and Facebook page.  There is also an ongoing fundraiser where the organization is selling tickets for the next day when the Spirit visit the Barrie Colts, scheduled for Thursday, February 15th at 7:00 pm.  Please contact carolynshank_102@hotmail.com for tickets and details.

When asked about the upcoming practice in Elmvale, Drinkill’s main response was how proud he was at the opportunity for the team to visit Elmvale and skate in the same rink he has watched and played hockey in.  Both staff and players are overjoyed at the chance to support the community and put on a show for the local fans, Drinkill confirmed that the players know how much this means to him and are ready for a hard workout in order to prepare for the battle with the Colts the next day.

Drinkill highlighted the talented roster that this year’s edition of the Spirit have to offer, and there are many players to look at closely when they come to the Den.  Misa wears #77 for the Spirit and was granted exceptional player status in the Ontario Hockey League for the 2022-23 season, becoming the 8th player to be granted exceptional status, following Shane Wright who did it last.  He is eligible for the 2025 National Hockey League entry draft.  Alongside teammate Zayne Parekh, he won a gold medal representing Canada in the 2023 Hlinka Gretzky Cup in 2023.  Parekh wears #19 for the Spirit and is anticipated to be a top ten pick in the upcoming National Hockey League entry draft.  Drinkill remarked what a purely talented defenseman the team has in Zayne, and he puts his potential up there with the best.  He leads the team with 66 points and has tallied 22 goals in the season to date.  Owen Beck who wears #62 was brought over before the trade deadline from Peterborough and has played games with the Montreal Canadians.  Many others have played in the World Junior Tournament and you are encouraged to check out the Saginaw Spirit’s website for a full roster and player descriptions before the event.

The emotional resonance of the Memorial Cup remains palpable, honoring not only the sacrifice of those who served in World War I but also the dedication, skill, and passion of the junior hockey players who vie for the cup each year. As the tournament persists in shaping the future of Canadian hockey, the Memorial Cup stands as a testament to the enduring SPIRIT and legacy of the sport.  Although the team is still chasing the league championship and the Memorial Cup, the trophy will also be making the trip, and its journey will start at the Elmvale Legion Branch 262 on John Street around 3:00 pm on February 14th.

For those also looking to collect more information on the team, “Spirit Rising” is a video series following the team and there are four episodes that have been released so far.  Camera crews will be here in Elmvale taking footage for future episodes.  You can view these videos on the Ontario Hockey League app, website or on youtube.  Nothing would please the Spirit team, coaching staff and Drinkill himself than packing the Elmvale rink and showing support for such a great event.  Drinkill highlighted again what a great event this will be, and wanted to thank everyone in advance for attending and supporting the Elmvale Food Bank.


Wednesday Night Dart League Donates to Lions

By Linda Belcourt, Editor

Jan 27, 2024 – Elmvale- Every Wednesday in the winter a group of dart minded folks gather at the Elmvale Lions Hall to play a fun game of darts and to help to raise funds for the Lions Club that helps the whole community.  On Wed. Jan. 24 Rick Verhaegan, a dart club organizer hands over $250.00 cash to the Elmvale Lions Club. Each player donates at the start of each game. The bar proceeds also go to the Elmvale Lions Club.


Penetang Kings Win 3 of 4 Games

Submitted by Jamie Robillard, Penetang Kings

The Penetang Kings played four games between January 12 and January 20 winning three and solidifying their hold on fifth place in the North Carruthers Division of the Provincial Junior Hockey League play.

On Friday January 12th the Kings hosted the first place Alliston Hornets and dropped an 8-4 decision to the visitors.  Alliston led 2-1 after the first period and 7-4 heading into the third period. Kevin Pearson faced a total of 38 shots in the Penetang goal, many of them from point blank range, while the Kings only managed 26 shots on Alliston netminder Parker Barnard.  Scoring for Penetang was Tanner Thayer with two goals along with Carter Wilson and Cole Rumbolt with one each.  Assists were collected by Lars Derstroff (2), Thayer, Wilson, Isaak McGinnis, Nolin Derstroff and Owen Collins. Thayer was awarded the Aim Power Performance of the game.

On Sunday January 14th the Kings traveled to Caledon to meet the Golden Hawks and Carter Wilson led the charge, scoring three times and assisting on the three other Penetang goals in a 6-2 win. For his efforts, Wilson was awarded the Aim Power Performance of the game. Rounding out the Kings scoring were Collins, McGinnis and Lars Derstroff with assists going to Collins and Matthew Campbell with two each and singles from Lars Derstroff and Kaleb Seaman.  Sawyer Lammle turned aside 21 of the 23 shots fired this way in the Kings goal.

Thursday January 18 again saw the Kings on the road, this time in Schomberg to face the Cougars.  Penetang opened the game strongly, building a 5-1 lead before finishing with a 5-4 victory over the fourth place Cougars.  Defenseman Carson Thayer and forward Seaman both scored twice to pace the Penetang offence.  Collins added a single tally along with two assists.  Rumbolt, Ashton Kirwin, and Lars Derstroff each had single assists for the Kings.  Lammle made 38 saves in the Penetang nets. The Aim Power Performance of the game went to Carson Thayer.

January 20 saw the Kings play a rare Saturday night home game when they hosted the sixth place Huntsville Otters. Penetang came out roaring in the tough hitting affair and scored a decisive 8-2 win.  Eight different Kings scored one goal each for Penetang:  McGinnis, Aiden MacDonald, Wilson, Collins, Campbell, Owen VanDusen, Carson Thayer and Kirwin.  Assists went to Wilson and Collins with three each, Harrison Holroyd with two and singles to VanDusen, Tanner Thayer, McGinnis, Ethan McCallum, and Lars Derstroff.  Once again Lammle stood tall in the Penetang net stopping 36 shots in the win.  Kirwin collected the Aim Power Performance of the game for Penetang.

For fans wanting to see the Kings at home their February schedule is as follows, Friday February 2nd vs Stayner, Friday the 9th vs Schomberg, Friday the 16th vs Caledon and Friday the 23rd vs Midland in the regular season finale.  All home games will be held at the Penetanguishene Memorial Community Centre.


Town of Wasaga Beach Scores Junior A Hockey Team

By Sandra Watts, Director of Strategic Communications, and Intergovernmental Affairs, sandra.watts@wasagabeach.com

Jan. 25, 2024 – Wasaga Beach – Inaugural Greater Metro Junior A Hockey League game scheduled for February 12th to celebrate: Bradford Bulls vs. the Meaford Knights

Wasaga Beach – The Town of Wasaga Beach is thrilled to announce that it is now home to a Greater Metro Hockey League (GMHL) Junior A hockey team.

Mayor Brian Smith made the announcement today on centre ice at the Town’s’ new twin-pad, NHL size Wasaga Stars Arena.

“We are excited to announce that the Town of Wasaga Beach is now the proud home of a yet-to-be-named Junior A hockey team. This team will be playing their home games out of the new Wasaga Stars Arena, right here at 544 River Road West in Wasaga Beach,” said Mayor Smith. “There’s amazing passion for hockey in the Wasaga Beach community. Our residents have wanted a local team to identify with for a long time, and Council made that a priority. Today, our passion and persistence has paid off.”

“Our new Junior A hockey team will provide opportunities for our community’s young players to develop their skills close to home, and it will help bring our community closer together as we watch, support and celebrate their hard work and success,” concluded Mayor Smith.

The yet-to-be-named Wasaga Beach GMHL Junior A hockey team was awarded to Brandon Billie, who is also the owner of the GMHL Bradford Bulls. He will be bringing in a coaching staff behind the bench with years of playing experience at the Pro and Junior levels.

“We’re excited to be here, and look forward to building a great team that the community can call their own,”” said team owner, Brandon Billie.

Inaugural GMHL game: February 12 at 7pm

To celebrate, the team’s owner in partnership with the Town of Wasaga Beach and Wasaga Beach Minor Hockey will host the Towns first GMHL hockey game at the new Wasaga Stars Arena on February 12 at 7pm, as part of the Town’s Breaking the Ice Festival.

This game will pit the Bradford Bulls against the Meaford Knights. 100 per cent of proceeds from ticket sales will go to support the Wasaga Beach Minor Hockey Association. Tickets are $10 and will be sold at the door. Wasaga Beach Minor Hockey players may enter free with an accompanying adult.

Here’s what happens next:

  • On February 12, 2024 the Town will launch a contest to help name Wasaga Beach’s new GMHL Junior A team. Stay tuned for details!
  • In spring 2024, a special prospects tournament will be organized where the coaching staff and general manager will be able to identify local players ready to take the jump to junior ‘A’ hockey when the team officially begins playing games next September.


The Town of Wasaga Beach aims to be a place where people come to create memories that will last a lifetime. The twin-pad arena and library project – together with other tourism and sport-related projects, including recruiting a Junior A hockey team to Wasaga Beach – supports this vision and Council’s priorities.

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