It will be a great weekend in Kensington for all those associated with the Kensington, P.E.I.-Bedford, Que., Peewee Friendship Hockey Exchange, both past and present.
This is the 50th year for this great event, and those community leaders, who have made this what it is, should be very proud of what it has become.
So many good things come out of a hockey exchange trip like this, one wonders why more hockey associations do not do the same?
Friendships are made, sportsmanship at its best and lots of stories from the past are just a few of those good things that make events like this so worthwhile. It was very interesting to read the story of the founding fathers in Thursday’s Journal Pioneer of how this exchange got started in 1969.
Not much happened in Kensington in those days that the late Eric Jessome didn’t have a hand in. He, along with the late Raeburn Orr and Alec Chessman, have created one of the most anticipated yearly events in Kensington.
To all those associated with this year’s event, as well as all the past volunteers, congratulations on 50 years and on your Guinness World Record on becoming the longest-running hockey exchange in the world.
As they say in sports, his stock is on the rise. In Noah Dobson’s case, it is rising quickly.
The just-turned-18-year-old defenceman from Summerside has shot up the rankings to the eighth-ranked prospect in junior hockey, according to NHL Central Scouting.
The six-foot-three, 178-pound Acadie-Bathurst Titan blue-liner is averaging just over a point a game in this his second year in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
Forty-seven points in 46 games is impressive, and good right-handed-shooting defencemen are hard to come by in the NHL, and even more so if they can put up the points as Dobson has done.
Dobson, along with 39 other top prospects from the Canadian Hockey League, took part in a prospects combine this week in Guelph, Ont. Dobson led the way after a series of on-ice testing drills that involved 10 different categories. He appears to have what it takes to play in the NHL, and it will not be a surprise if he continues his climb up the rankings before the NHL Entry Draft in June.
Dobson and the Titan have two more regular-season games in Charlottetown this year on Feb. 27 and March 16.
Dominik Tmej has put up some very impressive numbers for the Summerside D. Alex MacDonald Ford Western Capitals since his arrival before Christmas. He has a 12-1 (won-lost) record, a 1.89 goals-against average and has allowed only 25 goals in the 14 games he has appeared in. Throw in a .944 save percentage and five shutouts, and we are seeing numbers put up that are very rare – if ever seen in junior hockey.
The 18-year-old Tmej, who was born in the Czech Republic and moved to Florida at the age of 13, spent the first part of the year with the Acadie-Bathurst Titan, before being acquired by the Caps. Any team has to have real good goaltending to have success, and the Caps certainly have that.
It is the annual waste of time weekend in the NHL with the all-star game in Tampa Bay.
A look at the standings shows there are eight of the 31 teams that have very little chance at making the playoffs, and will likely be sellers before the Feb. 26 trade deadline.
In the Eastern Conference, Detroit, Montreal, Florida, Ottawa and Buffalo will miss the playoffs. The same can be said for Edmonton, Vancouver and Arizona in the Western Conference.
All are 10 or more points out of the playoff picture, and going nowhere. Fans of those teams may as well jump on the Vegas Golden Knights’ bandwagon.
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.