UPEI goaltending tandem of Parks and Savage the best in the country
The UPEI hockey Panthers host the St. Thomas Tommies Saturday in Atlantic University Sport men’s hockey action at 7 p.m. MacLauchlan Arena.
This is no easy game as the Fredericton-based club is 2-2 on the season having swept Dalhousie 3-1 and 7-2, the same Tiger club that outplayed the Panthers in losing 2-1 here Oct. 25.
Cornwall’s Randy Cameron is the playmaker on the Tommies’ top line with sniper Brendan Childerley and the former Quebec major junior standout would like nothing better than to score right here on the Island against the fourth-ranked team in the nation.
The Panthers (3-1) have the best goaltending in the country in Mavric Parks and Wayne Savage. It is without a doubt the best goaltending in the school’s history.
All-out hustle and tenacious forechecking combined with toughness and attention to responsibility in their own end are Panthers trademarks. These team characteristics, plus all-star play in the net every game, and it’s not hard to realize why this Panthers club is tough to play against whether here or on the road.
In the early going, freshmen Brock Beukeboom and Derek Ryckman have adjusted nicely to the conference’s fast play and it will be interesting to see how they develop. The six-foot-two Beukeboom is the son of rugged 12-year NHL veteran Jeff Beukeboom, who played with the Edmonton Oilers and New York Rangers. Although he’s not as big as daddy, who was six-foot-five, he is more mobile with plenty of upside.
Ryckman, at six-foot-four, is a graduate of the Western Hockey League and at this point appears to be a great addition to the UPEI blue-line.
The Panthers have been drawing a full house every night, so I’d advise getting there early.
Game time is 7 p.m. sharp.
The first professional basketball game ever played in Charlottetown goes Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Eastlink Centre when the Island Storm entertains Saint John Mill Rats.
The Storm, who battled London in last year’s National Basketball League final, looked impressive in trouncing the Halifax Rainmen 99-88 Oct. 27 in Halifax. The Storm also host Moncton Miracles Sunday at 2 p.m. in the second game of their opening week homestand.
This is an extremely talented team, fast and quick, and if you’re a sports fan you will want to see this team in action.
Two players who have gotten my attention are Antoine Tisby, a six-foot-eight centre from Kansas City and six-foot-four Greg Plummer from Brooklyn, N.Y. And let’s not forget Charlottetown’s own six-foot-nine Doug McKinney, a graduate of the Island high school league, who chipped in 12 points in one of the recent exhibition games.
If you want to be entertained, and you love basketball, this game is for you.
Congrats to the Boston Red Sox and to their thousands of fans right here on Prince Edward Island for their spirited World Series win over St Louis Cardinals.
Dr. Bob Lund, head of the Island chapter of the Bosox fan club, and his longstanding members like Bill Smith, Reg Affleck, George Larter, George Weatherbie, Michael O’Grady, brother Sandy and our own Finance Minister Wes Sheridan are all smiles. Sheridan even took some of the folding stuff from Yankees fan Ian (Tex) MacDonald.
For New York fans, seeing the Red Sox victory party is just too hard to take.
Live harness racing continues Saturday at the Charlottetown track but note the change to afternoon racing with a 1 p.m. post time.
It’s a great looking card with the $2,400 top class featuring horses like Nobestbfor, Leading Candidate, Narragansett, Mach In the Sand, Big League, Balanchine and Touch of Lightning. There’s also the $2,200 open mares headed by the Neal and Jonah Moase-owned Dirt Track Momma and five others.
The local harness racing game lost one of its biggest supporters with the passing earlier this week of Errol MacEachern, who lived just down from the racetrack on Kensington Road.
Errol was an associate judge at the track for many years, serving with presiding judge Reg Arsenault and associate judge Steve MacDonald. This trio was without a doubt the finest set of judges stand officials ever at the city track.
A regular at the track as a fan, MacEachern was a gentleman, both on and off the track. I’ll miss him and so will harness racing. My condolences to all connected to this classy guy.
The local Horsemen’s Bowling League is in full swing on Monday night’s at the Murphy’s Community Centre and Ron Matheson’s team appears to be the team to beat in the league.
Matheson’s team, which includes ex-hockey referee Brian Carragher and Mr. Bowling himself, Ricky Burns, blanked Jim Kennedy’s team 3-0 this past week. Some of the ex-great athletes in this league include Major League Baseball pitcher Vern Handrahan, multiple sports (baseball, fastball, hockey, basketball) standout Emmett Ellsworth and Charlottetown basketball and baseball great from the 1960s Ken Squarebriggs.
Wally MacInnis, who competed with Squarebriggs as a kid in various sports, is new to the league and getting bowling tips from his old rival.
Squares says, “I’ve taken him under my wing and am working on his the bowling technique.”
Island harness racing fans were saddened to learn this week of the passing of former trainer-driver Garth Schurman, who was based out of Summerside. A gentleman always. To his son Rocky, who is a regular on the Summerside Raceway, and all connected, my condolences.
The big boys on the U.S. circuit, Foiled Again, Pet Rock, Bolt the Duer, Sweet Lou and the other aged pacers, went at it last night at Hoosier Park in the $287,000 Hoosier Park Pacing Derby.
Saturday, the simulcast action comes from Woodbine and Yonkers.
Of course, lets not forget the thoroughbred Breeders Crown races from Santa Anita with all the best runners in the world. Action available during Saturday afternoon’s live racing card.
The NFL heads into Week 9 and the Kansas City Chiefs remain undefeated. The Chiefs (8-0) got a scare last week against the Cleveland Browns, winning 23-17 and this week they visit the tough Buffalo Bills (3-5). The spread is three points and it is about the only time you can bet this club, which is content on sitting on a three-point lead. Take the points and bet the Chiefs
New Orleans Saints (6-1) at New York Jets (4-4) – The Jets passing defence was exposed last week in a 49-9 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. Sunday they play Drew Brees in a game where a repeat of the Jets debacle is a possibility. The spread is six points, if you like the visiting Saints and I really do. You should too.
Philadelphia Eagles (3-5) at Oakland Raiders (3-4) – The Eagles lost Michael Vick last week and they looked terrible in losing to the New York Giants. The Raiders won at home 21-18 over the Pittsburgh Steelers but generated just 35 yards of total offence in the second half. The Eagles are not the Steelers defensively, so look for more from the Raiders, like a touchdown win. Besides, it’s about time Raiders back Darren McFadden had a 100-yard plus game. The home team gives up 2.5 points.
Atlanta (2-5) at Carolina
(4-3) – A loss will just about end Atlanta‘s playoff hopes. The Panthers have been razor sharp of late under Cam Newton. Carolina also has the NFL’s third best defence and face a battered Atlanta team devoid of most its key offensive weapons. You don’t need Sherlock Holmes or The Sports Prophet to get this one right, Carolina wins by at least a TD. As always, pay the mortgage first, the picks are for fun.
Fred MacDonald’s column appears every
Saturday in The Guardian. To comment,