In Kraft Hockeyville Contest
The Bedeque and Area Recreation Centre has been a big part of the Bedeque community for a long time.
© Ryan Cooke/Journal Pioneer
Dave MacDonald, along with Duane and Jessica MacDonald, have worked long and hard to keep the arena in Bedeque open this season. With the Kraft Hockeyville competition closing soon, they hope to get a late boost from the community to give them the funding they desperately need.
Whether it is winter sports, an auction sale or the long-running Dunk River Run in the summer, a lot of people have benefited from having the Recreation Centre in Bedeque.
As a former hockey parent, I always enjoyed games in Bedeque, and probably more so than any rink on this Island. The rink is a perfect size for minor hockey, and the warm room and rink fries are as good as anywhere.
A story in Monday's Journal Pioneer gave the public an idea of the hard financial times the rink has endured the last few years. It is great that a group of volunteers got the rink up and running this year, but, as the story indicated, big hearts and elbow grease can only go so far. They need money and that is where the public can help.
The volunteer group has entered the little rink in the Kraft Hockeyville Contest, where there is a chance to win a significant amount of money, which will go a long way in helping keep the rink open. People are encouraged to go online at krafthockeyville.cbc.ca and vote.
There will be 16 winners across the country, with the top two getting $100,000 each while the other 14 will be in line for either a $2,5000 or $50,000 prize. The overall winner will also get to host an NHL exhibition game this fall, and one would think that if Bedeque is the overall winner that game will be played in Summerside due to Eastlink Arena’s bigger ice surface and seating capacity.
That would be a bonus for all Islanders, and gives us more reason to help out our friends in Bedeque with a vote. Islanders always help out fellow Islanders, and it only takes a couple of minutes to go online and cast your ballot.
Whether they win one of the big prizes or one of the smaller ones, the money will go a long ways in helping to keep the rink open. Voting closes on Sunday, Feb. 9.
Good luck to everyone with this very worthwhile venture.
February signifies the start of playoff hockey across the Island, and the Razzy's P.E.I. Junior C Hockey League playoffs are the first to get underway. Two Prince County teams are involved in the opening best-of-five round, with Tignish meeting North River and the Summerside Source for Sports Capitals facing the Souris Hawks. Both Prince County teams hosted the series openers on Friday.
The other series has Sherwood and Belfast facing off. The three series winners will be joined by the powerful Southside Lynx in the next round. The regular-season-champion Lynx have a first-round bye after finishing with a very impressive record of 23-2-0-3 (won-lost-overtime/shootout losses).
The Island Junior Hockey League playoffs are a little over two weeks away. It looks like the Kensington Moase Plumbing and Heating Vipers are primed for another league championship based on their very impressive 22-4-0 record to date, but the Montague Maniacs may have a say in that before the dust settles.
Montague sits just four points back of the Vipers, and the two teams will clash at Community Gardens on Sunday at 7 p.m. This should be a great game as the Maniacs face an almost must-win situation if they hope to catch the Vipers.
The Maniacs had an opportunity to close to within two points as they hosted the Arsenault’s Fish Mart Western Red Wings on Friday night.
Sherwood sits in third place while the Wings looked destined for a fourth-place finish, but have to keep an eye on fifth-place Holland College, which has closed to within three points.
The UPEI Panthers are once again playoff-bound with only a week to go in Atlantic University Sport men’s hockey regular season. The Panthers have only three games remaining after Friday’s night's game in Moncton, and will host St. Thomas at MacLauchlan Arena in Charlottetown on Saturday at 7 p.m.
The Panthers close out their regular season at home next weekend against the Saint Mary's Huskies and St. Francis Xavier X-Men. Barring a major collapse, the Panthers should finish fourth and open at home against either the Huskies or the X-Men.
Both UNB and Acadia will have first-round byes.
Hopefully, one of these years, the Panthers may get hot and go on a run, but that is doubtful this year as inconsistency seems to plague the team. For example, last weekend, UPEI played on the road against Acadia, which had only two losses all year, and they beat the Axemen 5-2. They then go to Dalhousie the next night to face the lowly Tigers, who went into the game with only two wins, and sure enough the Panthers lost 7-3.
The Olympic Games are underway, and the excitement has been tempered somewhat with the thoughts of terrorism on the minds of many. Security is especially tight, with guards stationed every 10 to 15 metres along the roads leading to Sochi. This must give everyone a sense of security, but, at the same time, an uneasy feeling of what could happen.
These Games will cost a staggering $55 billion for Russia to host, and that is more than it cost to host all the previous Winter Games combined. One has to wonder with all the security issues and the costs to have them, are they really worth having, or at least in a place like Russia?
Canada is sending a contingent of 221 athletes.
February also signifies the start of Major League Baseball spring training. Pitchers and catchers are slated to report on Thursday, and full-team workouts are slated to begin on Feb. 17.
Have a great week!
Joe MacIntyre is a Summerside resident. His column will appear every second Saturday, with his next one scheduled for Feb. 22. Comments and suggestions can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.