The Charlottetown Gaudet’s Auto Body Islanders are at home this weekend for New Brunswick Senior baseball league games against the Saint John Alpines and Chatham Ironmen.
The Islanders (5-6) entertain Saint John Alpines (3-8) today at 1:30 p.m. at Memorial Field and have a doubleheader against the second-place Ironmen (6-2) Monday at 3 p.m., also at Memorial Field.
Jacob Beck, who tossed a brilliant two-hitter in his last home start, will start one of the three games for sure, but the Islanders’ rotation suggests it may be Monday as Mike Thompson is scheduled to go today. Regardless, the Islanders should be able to handle the Port City crew this afternoon.
The Islanders’ offence has been soft so far this season but once they have all of their players ready and healthy, that situation could change. Andrew MacNevin, Jeff Ellsworth and Alex Abbott are questionable for today but could play Monday, and their return would be a boost to the offence.
In the meantime, the Islanders’ mid-infield combination of shortstop Andrew Macdonald and second-sacker Dillon Doucette have been carrying the team. The addition of heavy hitting fastball star Ellsworth, who can play either right or centre field, to a lineup that includes Doucette, MacNevin and the reliable Sean Corcoran, should produce more runs when all hands are available.
The Islanders need at least two wins this weekend, but a sweep would keep the local club within striking distance of Chatham in the standings.
Let’s get out and support the Islanders today and Monday.
The Morell Sportsman’s Dinner, once one of the premier off-season events in the Maritimes for hockey and other assorted sports personalities, is all set for Saturday, July 14, and chair Don MacAdam promises this year’s event will be a dandy.
Boston Bruins star Adam MacQuaid, a key piece of the team’s defence and an Island boy, will be the feature attraction. If you’ve been following the NHL scene you should keep in mind the Bruins were not the same physically responsible club in their own end when McQuaid was not in the lineup. The last Bruins defenceman to speak at the dinner was Bobby Orr, and that wasn’t yesterday.
Some of the other greats that have been featured at the dinner include Rocket Richard, Gordie Howe, Red Storey, Jacques Demers, Billy MacMillan, Doug MacLean, Dick Irvin, Scott Russell and Ken Dryden, among others.
All proceeds go to help with renovations to the Morell rink. CBC’s Bruce Rainnie, whose book has now sold 3,000 copies and counting, will be emcee, and there’s nobody more gifted or knowledgeable in this role than Bruce. His wife, Kendra MacGillvary, will be there as well, performing and keeping Bruce in check.
There’s also an auction of sports related items and the colourful Rob Berry will keep this aspect of the evening rolling right along.
For ticket information, go to project2014.morell@
Two fine gentlemen
The Rev. Don McLennan may not be a name familiar to today’s sporting crowd, but in the 1960s and thereafter he was a familiar figure at hockey arenas and baseball diamonds across the Island.
In those days, Don (Sneakers) McLennan was a regular at Johnny’s Mayfair in Charlottetown verbally sparring with guys like Johnny Squarebriggs Sr. and Jr., Spy Ready, Chris Gallant, Charlie Ryan, Pius Callaghan, Bobby Lund, Ken MacDonald, Roger MacLeod and many others over the merits of any team or player.
The ‘hot stove league” at Johnny’s Mayfair was the place to be for the sporting crowd every day of the year.
Don passed away earlier this week, but he received a wonderful sendoff at Trinity United Church where his father had served as minister for two decades. It was a fitting tribute to a gentleman who looked after the spiritual needs of folks in the Morell-St. Peters area and for anyone that needed help.
To his wife Margaret, daughters Anne, Kathy, Christine and all those connected to this gentleman, my condolences.
The sports community also lost another gentleman last week with the passing of Frank Hughes after a long illness.
Frank was one of the best softball umpires ever developed in these parts and worked the plate in all of the major softball tournaments in Atlantic Canada, at the nationals, at world tournaments and at the Olympics. Frank was a first-class guy and a great family man.
To his wife Judy, sons Sean and Darrin and daughter Anna and all those connected with this gentleman, my condolences.
On soccer front
Fans are still buzzing over Italy’s 2-1 upset of Germany in Euro 2012 soccer semifinal play Thursday, setting up Sunday’s final against Spain.
Germany was supposed to have fielded its best team ever but, in the end, the old adage “that’s why they play the game” holds true.
On the local front, P.E.I. continues to excel at youth soccer.
At the Atlantic all-star championships this week, the P.E.I. under-15 boys beat New Brunswick 1-0 in Moncton to advance to the final against Nova Scotia. Jordon DeJong scored the Island goal while Jake Deighan starred defensively and keeper Hunter McTague earned the shutout.
Gotta love those Islanders.
Around the tracks
Live harness racing continues today at 6 p.m. at Red Shores Charlottetown with another action-packed, 12-dash card.
The $1,800 open trot has attracted a strong field with Dunmore Alpha, Napanee Seelster, Caliban Hanover and Julaire, Saulsbrook Balance entered in the eight-horse field.
The $2,500 open class has Aled Hanover, last week’s preferred winner, going against a tough field that includes Outlawpositivcharg, Windemere Express and others.
The July 1 card at Summerside Raceway starts at 1 p.m., and it’s the first test of the season for two-year- colts, fillies and trotters. It’s always a big day and if the weather is right, expect a huge crowd at SRW.
The three-year-olds, the glamour division for Atlantic Sire Stakes, go at Fredericton Raceway and as usual the July 1 card at the old Wilmot Downs will attract a great crowd.
The $300,000 Hempt Stake final for three-year- olds goes tonight at Pocono, Pa., where speedster Hurricane KingCole (p, 1:48:1) meets a tough field that includes Bolt the Duer (Mark MacDonald), who won last Saturday in 1:48:3.
In Ontario Gold Sires Stakes action Thursday night, brothers Anthony and James MacDonald posted impressive victories in the $40,000 eliminations for two-year-old fillies. Anthony won with It’s No Secret (by Badlands Hanover) in 1:54:3, while James won with Kims Royal Day (by Royal Mattjesty) in 1:55:2.
And speaking about Royal Mattjesty, that was quite a trip at the CDP Thursday night by Kingdome Come, another son of Royal Mattjesty. Owned by former hockey coach great Jack Hynes and trainer Evan Ford and handled cleverly by driver Mark Bradley, Kingdome Come stepped to a new lifetime mark of 1:56:2 , a big trip for the lightly raced sophomore pacer.
Fred MacDonald’s column appears in
The Guardian each Friday. He can be reached at email@example.com.