HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS

With Dave Makela

 

For Release: December 9th, 1999

 

This week's column is all hockey, and after the naming of Wayne Gretzky as the Sports Illustrated hockey player of the century last week to get us all in the mood - why not?

For the first time in its five-year history, girls' hockey convener Pauline Therrien of Lo-Ellen Park was very pleased to release a twelve-team schedule for the annual S.D.S.S.A.A. Invitational last week (attached). The 1999 event, exclusively a local affair, is hosted each year as a means to promote the league and represents a tournament opportunity to players who might not have had such an experience in their careers up until now.

There are a few unique features of the tournament which add to the overall fun of the event, and also contribute a little something to underprivileged teens at the same time.

Teams receive a point for each period won during the round robin portion of the tournament, half a point for each period tied and two points for each game won. This system keeps every team in every period of every game, and makes virtually all outcomes significant.

If you're looking for some information about an admission fee, you need look no further than your pantry. Parents and fans are requested to bring three cans of food as payment for their entry, which will then be donated to a local charity. Players and team staff members are requested to do the same, so each year a significant amount of food is donated. If the food items are not available, cash donations will be welcomed and used to purchase care packages and a turkey for teenagers who have no place to go on Christmas day. A great idea, don't you think?

The event begins at 8am tomorrow in the Countryside and Carmichael Arenas. To find out more about the tournament draw, log on to the S.D.S.S.A.A. web page at www.rainbow.edu.on.ca/sdssaa, scroll down to the "Updates and Add-Ons" section and click on Girls' Hockey Tournament Schedule.

The buzz on the boys' side of the high school hockey scene is best expressed in the form of a question: How about "da Bears"?

I'm referring to the St. Benedict Catholic Secondary School Bears of course, who in their inaugural season have amassed a near perfect 5-0-1 record to this point in the season, holding down a solid second spot position in league standings just behind those always powerful St. Charles Cardinals.

No one, and I mean no one, was predicting the level of success that the Bears have enjoyed thus far, least of all their coaches, Rob Zanatta and Paul Bedard. Says Zanatta, "Even I didn't think we'd fare this well in just our first year, but our boys are working hard and trying to prove they'll be a solid entry in this league."

Solid would be a slight understatement. Don't worry about it guys - we're signing you up for the next twenty years!

The challenges get tougher for the Bears in the next few weeks of the schedule - they play this afternoon against the always tough Lasalle Lancers at 3:30pm in the Countryside Arena. Then, one week from the next day on Friday, December 17th, the Bears will face their English Catholic School counterparts from St. Charles in a much anticipated match-up at the Carmichael Arena. Puck drops for this one at 9pm.

Another key match-up for the league will take place on Saturday, when the Lancers face-off against the Notre Dame Alouettes at the Cambrian Arena. The Alouettes are making a late charge for the final spot in Division A (the league will split after Christmas), and a win over the Lancers will place fifth place within reach. Game time is 8pm.

Still with the boys', the Lively Hawks will face a stiff challenge of a different sort next Thursday, December 16th, at the Walden Arena.

There won't be any medals or trophies on the line for this game, just pride.

The Hawks will face the "boys in blue", the Sudbury Regional Police hockey team, with proceeds donated to the Walden Help Centre. Puck drops at 8:00pm and the admission fee is only $2.00.

 


 

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