Moyse adds to legacy

Joe MacIntyre
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It has been quite a week at the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.

The Olympics are always great for fans, and even more so when a local athlete is competing. The gold-medal win by Summerside's Heather Moyse and her bobsleigh partner Kaillie Humphries has P.E.I. pretty excited and very proud.

Moyse has become a household name across the province, and her gold-medal win has certainly solidified her spot as one of the very best athletes this province has ever seen. Moyse is so likeable and such a positive person that she has gained legions of supporters across the province and, for that matter, right across the nation.

CBC does a great job of covering the Olympics on television, and the segment My Team, My Town had a real nice feature on Moyse the other night. One comes to realize just how much Moyse loves P.E.I., and all the support she gets here.

She has never forgotten where she comes from, and her thoughts about P.E.I. are so sincere. Her dedication, desire, commitment and results are an inspiration for many, and one can only guess what the future holds for Moyse.

She is such a gifted athlete, and Moyse says herself that she is now better than she has ever been. She is 35-years-old and Humphries is only 28, which would seem young enough for a possible return to the Olympics in four years in Korea. It is a long four years of training, but after winning gold in Vancouver and now Sochi, a three-peat in Korea may be very appealing to Moyse and Humphries.

Moyse returns home on Monday, and no doubt will have a very warm welcome when she arrives. She is an Olympic hero and inspiration for many, and deserves all the accolades that come her way.

Congratulations to Moyse, and I know that all of P.E.I. is very proud and appreciative of her efforts. 

Great hockey game

Hockey is Canada's national sport and there is nothing like a gold-medal game to unite a nation. That was the case on Thursday, when Canada pulled out a dramatic 3-2 come-from-behind win over their U.S. rivals.

Fans right across the nation were glued to their televisions watching a great game between two very evenly-matched teams. One has to be impressed with the talent and skill of these two teams, and it is always a good and hard-fought game when they meet.

One had to feel for that youthful American team, and in particular the way the overtime played out. The officiating was not very kind to the Americans, and in my opinion the two overtime penalties they received were of the cheap variety.

It was a tough way to lose, but at the same time great for Canada. As this is written, Canada is headed to the semifinals in men's hockey against the U.S., and hopefully the men can enjoy the same success as the women.

Curling

The Jennifer Jones and Rachel Homan rinks are the two best women's curling teams on the planet. Jones and her rink were brilliant in going undefeated in winning Olympic gold on Thursday.

Homan and her rink are coming off a Scotties Tournament of Hearts win a couple of weeks ago. What was so impressive was how well Homan and her rink played, going 11-0 (won-lost). Homan never once had to throw her final rock.

Both her rink and the Jones rink are at the top of their games, and would make for a great game if they were to meet this year. I am not quite sure if either or both will be in Summerside for the Players’ championship in April, but would it ever be a dream matchup if they were to meet.

Homan will represent Canada at the world championship being held this year in Saint John, N.B., beginning on March 15.  

Playoff hockey

Local playoff hockey is underway.

The UPEI Panthers took a 1-0 lead into Friday night’s Game 2 of the best-of-three quarter-final series in Atlantic University Sports men’s hockey action.

A Huskies’ win in Game 2 will force a third and deciding game at MacLauchlan Arena in Charlottetown on Sunday at 7 p.m. A Panthers’ win will send UPEI to the semifinals against either first-place UNB or Acadia.

Assuming third-place Moncton defeats sixth-place St. Francis Xavier in the quarter-final, that will set up a semifinal series between UPEI and UNB, which is coached by Bedeque native Gardiner MacDougall.

If that is the way things play out, it will be a tough task for the Panthers to beat the defending Canadian champions. With the lack of success that UPEI has had over the last number of years, a win over UNB is not very likely.

The Panthers last won the Atlantic University Sport crown in 1991, and really were the class of the league from the 1984-85 season right up until they won in 1991. They won four of seven titles in that time span, with their rivals from Moncton, the Blue Eagles, winning the other three. The Panthers have never won a national championship, but the AUS conference has won six of the last 10.

UNB won four of those while Saint Mary's and St. Francis Xavier have won the other two. If you are a betting person, I think your money would be safe with UNB making that No. 5 this year.

This column now goes every two weeks, so we will be back on March 8. Have a great couple of weeks!

Joe MacIntyre is a Summerside resident. His column appears every second Saturday. Comments and suggestions can be sent to j-mac@eastlink.ca.

Organizations: CBC, Panthers, Atlantic University Sports

Geographic location: Summerside, P.E.I., Canada Korea U.S. Vancouver Moncton Saint John Charlottetown Saint Mary

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