Especially for hockey, curling, basketball and softball fans
There is plenty to look forward to as far as the local sports calendar goes in 2013.
Hockey fans are anticipating the RBC Cup, which is being hosted by the City of Summerside at Eastlink Arena from May 11 to 19. The Summerside Western Capitals are the host team.
Fans are excited about this year's Caps’ team, which appears to be as good as any, and better than most, in the 11-team MHL (Maritime Junior Hockey League).
The next couple of weeks will be very interesting as Capitals general manager Pat McIver continues to tinker with his lineup leading to the Jan. 10 roster deadline. It should be a great playoff run for the Caps, who are looking to play the best hockey ever played at Eastlink Arena in the months of March, April and May.
The Summerside Storm look to be gearing up for a long playoff run in the National Basketball League of Canada.
There has been a lot of player movement lately by the Storm, and the team is certainly as good as any team in the four-team Atlantic Conference. Saint John, Moncton and Summerside all have nine wins while Halifax has eight. It is hard to get much closer than that!
The London Lightning continues to be the class of the league with 14 wins and only one loss. The good thing for the Storm is that they would not have to face London until the league final.
The Storm will continue to improve, and with their great fan support I will predict a Summerside and London final. Look for a packed and excited Eastlink Arena if that does happen.
Local curling fans also have a national championship to look forward to.
The Silver Fox Curling and Yacht Club will host to the 2013 Canadian senior curling championships from March 16 to 24. The best senior men's and women's curlers in the country will gather in Summerside in what should be a great event.
The Fox will host this event for a record third time since 2006.
On the softball field, P.E.I. is down to host two national championships in August.
The under-16 girls is to be hosted by O'Leary from Aug. 7 to 11, and beginning the next day the under-18 girls will be held in Charlottetown from Aug. 12 to 18.
I have always maintained that of all the national softball tournaments that Summerside has hosted over the years, the girls and women's were as good as any to watch, and provided more excitement than most.
There is plenty more to look forward to in 2013, but if you are a hockey, basketball, curling or softball fan, you have plenty to wet your appetite with in the coming year.
The Pepsi junior curling championships take place this coming week at the Cornwall Curling Club.
The 2013 provincials start on Wednesday, Jan. 2, and run until Sunday, Jan. 6. Seven men's and five women's teams will take part.
Three-time provincial women's champion Sarah Fullerton has graduated from the junior ranks, and defending men's champion Alex Matters has also moved on.
Three of Matters’ teammates from last year's team are back, including Christopher Gallant, Kyle Holland and Andrew Cameron. Taylor MacInnis replaces Matters, with Gallant skipping the team.
The men’s and women’s winners will advance to the M&M Meat Shops Canadian junior championships in Fort McMurray, Alta., from Feb. 2 to 10.
At one time Exhibition Park in Saint John was the most successful harness racing track in the Atlantic region. How times have changed.
Anyone who has seen the once-thriving track lately would agree that it does not look much like it used to during those thriving times of the 1970s and ‘80s. It was not uncommon in those days to have live wagers in the $ 100,000 range or more. Talk about a 30-year tumble.
An eight-dash card was held this past Boxing Day, with only 53 horses making up the entire card and a total of $7,150 in purse money up for grabs. The live wager was a paltry $4,850.
At the other end of the spectrum, there is little doubt that Red Shores Charlottetown is now the most successful track in our region. A 13-race card was held there on Boxing Day, with 150 horses entered and 30 of those did not get in. The live wager was nearly $30,000 at $29,785.
I guess all those associated with harness racing on P.E.I. have a lot to be thankful for.
I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a Happy New Year. I hope your year is filled with happiness, good health and prosperity, and I look forward to bringing you The Hot Corner in 2013.
Twenty-five years ago on Dec. 29, 1987, the Summerside Regent Leafs beat the Tignish Aces 6-5 in a thrilling Island Senior B Hockey League game at Cahill Stadium.
Tony Cummiskey, Gordie Rodgerson, Lloyd MacAusland, Danny Creelman, Dwayne MacNeill and Kent MacFarlane scored for the Leafs. Larry Gaudet, Doug LeClair, Glen Hardy, Willard Gallant and Gary McRae scored for the Aces.
Also on that date, the Borden Ramparts beat the O'Leary Maroons 6-3.
Blair Smith (3), Chris Reeves (2) and Terry Dougay scored for Borden. David Bernard, Allan Brown and Blair Phillips replied for the Maroons.
Have a great week!
Joe MacIntyre is a Summerside resident. His column appears every Saturday. Comments and suggestions can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.