Fiddler's Facts: Conflicting schedules

Fred MacDonald
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UPEI Panthers, P.E.I. Rocket are at home tonight at the same time

The UPEI hockey Panthers and the P.E.I. Rocket each completes the second of two weekend games tonight at the same time about five minutes apart here in Charlottetown.

I can see this type of scheduling occur in places like Toronto, New York or Los Angeles where the population is so great and the distance between competing teams does not play a factor but not in a little place like Charlottetown. I don’t know what has to be done to prevent it from happening, but for P.E.I. hockey fans and the financial health of both clubs, let’s hope those running these teams can meet and try to resolve this issue.

Regardless, here’s what’s happening tonight.

The Panthers meet Dalhousie at 7 p.m.

In my view, the Panthers need some scoring help if they are to finish among the top four in the toughest university league in the country.

The seventh-place Tigers blanked the Panthers 3-0 three weeks ago. Goaltender Bobby Nadeau, who starred here with the P.E.I. Rocket, guards the pipes for Dal and that tells me we should see terrific goaltending tonight as either Mavric Parks or Wayne Savage get the call for UPEI.

On the Quebec major junior front, the Rocket entertains Val-d’or at 7 p.m.  at the Civic Centre and it’s a chance to see the league’s two top scorers. Rocket Josh Currie and Ben Duffy led the Q in scoring heading into last night’s game.

This is the same league that features future NHL stars like Nathan MacKinnon, Jonathan Huberdeau and Mikhail Grigorenko. Let’s get out and support Currie, Duffy and the rest of the Rocket.

At the track

Live harness racing continues this afternoon at 1 p.m. and again Sunday afternoon at Red Shores Charlottetown.

This afternoon is Horsemen’s Day with the climax of the day being the E. Frank Duck Acorn drivers’ championship where eight of the 12 races will be devoted to the competition.

The nine competing drivers are Ken Arsenault, Marc Campbell, Gary Chappell, Mike Stevenson, Ron Matheson, Danny MacDonald, John Holmes, Jason Hughes and Willie Murphy. Sundy afternoon, the $1,700 feature goes in Race 12 and it includes, from the rail out, Life Savior, Rymar Chief, Narragansett, Allbentouttashape, Dreamfair Vandamn, Big League, Every Day, Brief Bliss, and Doll R General.

In Ontario, there is still much uncertainty with the race game. Former Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty didn’t mind gutting the harness racing industry in the province and tossing tens of thousands out of work, but the stench coming from the province gets worse.

The Ontario Lottery Commission released figures this past week suggesting bingo operators will share more than $893 million, which is significantly more than the $345 million the horse racing industry received from its share of the of the Slots at Racetracks contract. Does it really surprise anyone that former Liberal Party of Canada’s revenue chairman Larry Tanenbaum, who controls 25 per cent of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, owns three of the bingo halls which will offer expanded electric bingo?

Since McGuinty took office in 2003, he has added $110 billion over and above budget to Ontario’s debt with such ludicrous and outrageous programs like E-health, green energy, ORNGE and all-day kindergarten. As for the OLC’s figures, showing any benefits to the province, it’s typical political spin and as believable as all the kings men putting Humpty Dumpty back again.

Tignish horse owner Casey Gavin continues to add to his standard bred holdings as he collared the wellbred mare Always An Art for $12,000 at last week’s Harrisburg Sale.

No shortage of Island buyers including Alan Moore (a Mister Big filly) for $4000, Reg Macpherson (Western Ideal colt) for $27,000 and numerous breeders like Gary McGuigan, Earl Watts, the Collings family (Tom, Jason and Karen) and Bill and Brian Andrew and Brian MacPhee making purchases.

In racing this past week at Woodbine, Dan MacIsaac’s Catch the Dream won again, a $20,000 overnight race in 1:56:2. Mark and Anthony MacDonald posted huge wins last week. Mike MacDonald taking the $420,000 Messenger Stakes at Yonkers and Anthony taking the $300,000 Super Gold final with Mach Pride at Woodbine. At Georgian Downs last Sunday night, Tyler Moore posted four wins on the card all for trainer Rene Allard. Plenty of simulcast action at Yonkers, Woodbine, Georgian Downs, Western Fair and Flamboro which can be seen at Red Shores Charlottetown.

Pigskin Picks

The NFL heads into Week 11 and even at this late date, the Super Bowl appears to be a wide-open tournament. The teams that looked like a safe bet to go deep into the playoffs, most notably New York Giants, Atlanta and San Francisco, have looked vulnerable in recent weeks. There are also a number of teams battling injuries, including Pittsburgh, Baltimore and Green Bay, which makes any long-range projections extremely dangerous. And let’s not forget, Houston, New England, Denver and Chicago are very much in the Super Bowl picture at this point in time.

Fiddler’s form has been off the last two weeks, thus more study and analysis on games for this week. Here are five winners:

Cleveland (2-7) at Dallas (4-5): The Browns are rebuilding and have a nucleus of a good, young team and face a Cowboys team that has lost tough games to the Giants, Ravens and Falcons. Dallas has a soft schedule and are at home. Cowboys by a TD.

Tampa Bay (5-4) at Carolina (2-7): The Buccaneers are 4-1 in their last five and the Panthers are 1-4. Picking winners is all about form, and Tampa Bay is red hot. I love the visitors by at least three points.

Green Bay (6-3) at Detroit (4-5): The last two seasons, I cannot recall many teams with a .500 record the Lions have beaten. Only Seattle this year. The Lions don’t win too many meaningful games and they don’t get any bigger than this for Detroit. Coming off the bye week and even with injuries, Packers by at least a field goal.

Indianapolis (6-3) at New England (6-3): Rookie sensation Andrew Luck takes his surprising Colts into Gillette Stadium against Tom Brady. The Patriots were on their hands and knees and all out against a stubborn Buffalo Bills team last week and the defence sprung a few holes. The Vegas odds have the Pats as 9.5-point favourites. This could be the spread game you are looking for. The Pats will win, but not by 10 points.

San Diego (4-5) at Denver (6-3): I used to think the problem with the Chargers was head coach Norv Turner, but after watching I’m convinced it’s QB Phil Rivers. Too many interceptions and Rivers use of the pronoun “I” instead of “we” suggests that this guy thinks he is more important than his team. Denver QB Peyton Manning has quietly lifted his club into first place and this game could help clinch the AFC West. Bet Broncos by a TD.

Baltimore Ravens (7-2) at Pittsburgh Steelers (6-3): The Steelers will be without Ben Rothlisberger, one of the best quarterbacks in the game, and without Troy Polamalu, the best defensive player in the NFL. Nevertheless, the Steelers are at home and their newfound running game with Isaac Redman carrying the mail is tough to defend. The Ravens scored 55 points last week vs. Oakland. This is a game to watch, keep your money in your pocket. As always, pay the mortgage first, the picks are for fun.

Fred MacDonald’s column appears in

The Guardian each Friday. He can be

reached at

Organizations: Panthers 3, Ontario Lottery Commission, Civic Centre NHL Liberal Party of Canada New York Giants Ravens Pittsburgh Steelers Cowboys Buffalo Bills Chargers

Geographic location: Charlottetown, Toronto, New York Los Angeles Ontario Quebec Green Bay New England Denver Dallas Detroit Atlanta San Francisco Pittsburgh Baltimore Houston Chicago Cleveland TD.Tampa Bay Indianapolis Gillette Stadium San Diego

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Recent comments

  • tp
    November 17, 2012 - 20:38

    Scoring help to say the least. What a let down the Panther product is this year after being so entertaining last season. I've watched university hockey for many years, so I get the fact that player turnover happens each season. But so far this year, UPEI hockey is like watching paint dry.