Fiddler's Facts: UPEI athletic review in full swing and needed

Published on June 21, 2014

The athletic review at UPEI is underway as Hermie MacNeill is meeting with various teams, coaches and players.

The review was triggered by the sudden resignation of highly regarded women’s basketball head coach Greg Gould and the ensuing fallout.

Mickey Fox, who starred at Saint Mary’s and was drafted in the NBA, told me he has the highest regard for Gould.

“He’s a great coach and he really cares about the athletes,” said Fox, who said he feels Gould’s resignation is a big loss for UPEI and Atlantic Canada’s basketball community.

Getting Gould back at UPEI is the best-case scenario for women’s basketball at UPEI. Let’s hope that happens.

Summer hockey

Hockey schools will soon be in full swing across the country and that means the nationally famous Alan Andrews Hockey School at the UPEI campus will be packed as usual.

Tignish is getting into the act and the folks up west have secured a number of terrific coaches and ex-players that should make their camp, July 7 to 12, at Credit Union Arena worth attending.

Head instructors are Dave Cameron, the assistant coach of the Ottawa Senators, and Jordan Knox, the ex-UPEI star who played pro in Europe last year.

Other instructors include Morgan Ellis of the Hamilton Bulldogs, Darcy Ashley, a standout with Halifax Mooseheads, Maritime junior stars Logan and Jason Smallman, and Sam Sweet of the UPEI women’s hockey Panthers.

All participants get 60 minutes of power skating per day in addition to the skill development drills that are featured at the major schools elsewhere. Call the Tignish recreation office at 902-882-2476 for more information.


Most Maritime hockey fans, especially followers of the great Charlottetown Junior Islanders of the late 1960s, will remember centre Dale Turner. Coach Jack Hynes added Turner, Gordie Gallant and Shermie White for the 1969 Eastern Canada Memorial Cup against Ottawa and the Quebec Remparts with Guy Lafleur, Jacques Richard and goalie Giles Milouche.

It was a thrilling series that has never been matched for talent and excitement and I doubt if it ever will. Sadly, Turner, the clever little centre, passed away in Moncton last Sunday from cancer.

Turner was little more than 140 pounds with his winter clothes on, but he played big and had terrific hands and understanding of the game. He later led Saint Mary’s to three national tournaments and starred with Moncton Hawks when they won the 1979 Hardy Cup.

I am sure a great many Islanders are saddened this morning. To all connected, our condolences.

Hockey pool

The annual Trent Birt Stanley Cup hockey pool resulted in a repeat winner as the team of Mark Carragher and Luke Beck finished first overall, Al Mackenzie finished second while Chris Chaisson and Jimmy Carragher closed fast for third-place money.

Round one leader Tex MacDonald and company faded badly due in large part to some of his high picks like Pavel Datsyuk, Brad Richards, Mike Richards and Thomas Vanek came up flat.

My good pal Jamie Kennedy had back surgery Thursday morning in Halifax and it looks like the colourful, former player and referee will be out of action for quite some time. We wish Jamie a speedy recovery.

The P.E.I. section of the New York Rangers fan club held its final meeting at one of the local watering holes and it was sombre affair.

Steve Gallant, Mike Kennedy, Bill Mulligan, Bob Drake, Jamie Diamond and Ron Hennessey vow the Rangers will be back again.

Basketball, golf

Let’s forget about hockey for a couple months and take a closer look at golf and men’s basketball.

On the local golf scene, Bruce Rainnie and yours truly, The Sports Prophet, handled the duo of Mickey Fox and Al MacLean (the producer of the Rick Mercer Show) with ease by six strokes early Wednesday morning in the two-man scramble at Crowbush. Bruce is far better than any of this group, but I can tell you the Sports Prophet more than held his own. As for Mickey and Al, better luck next time.

The UPEI men’s basketball fundraiser golf tournament is set for 1 p.m. Tuesday at Avondale. Registration is at 12:15 p.m. There are still spots available and room for a couple more teams at $500 or $125 per player. If you like to support the team, this is a perfect avenue. Call Tim Kendrick at 902-566-0562 or 902-388-1894.

Harness racing

Live racing continues tonight at 6 p.m. at Red Shores at the Charlottetown Driving Park and it’s a terrific 13-dash card with the $8,200 Cecil Ladner memorial and the finals of the Maritime Breeders for three-year-old pacing colts and fillies.

The Ladner memorial for aged pacers has the two best horses, Art of Illusion and All Turain, on the outside of the starting gate. Others from the rail out include Narragansett, Machinthesand, Schooner, Coral Snake, Astor and Perfect Escape. The Maritime Breeders for female pacing three-year-olds at $22,100 includes the likes of Elm Grove Inarush, Lovineveryminute, Pictonian Sareta, Sail Through and four others. The colt final goes for $18,900 and Dumas Walker will be hard to beat in this eight-horse field. He’ll get plenty of attention from Rancousy, Settlement Request and five others.

There’s a big card at Pocono Downs tonight, which can be seen here via simulcast. Captain Treacherous, Foiled Again, Sweet Lou and Bolt the Duer, who was an impressive 1:48.2 winner last Saturday for Mark MacDonald, will tangle in two eliminations.

At Mohawk tonight, the $28,000 feature has attracted a field of seven and it includes Lucan Hanover, J J Shark, Alexie Mattosie, Adversary Seelster, Ellis Park, Grin for Money and Sing For George (James MacDonald). James also has Play It Again Sam for Dr. Ian Moore in the $20,000 conditioned class.

Sam was a great second in 1:50 Monday night, charted in 1:50.2 as the Wayne Whebby and R G McGroup sophomore son of Shadow Play gets better with every start.

Also on Monday, another Moore-trainee Silverhill Shadow was second in 1:50.4 in an $18,000 overnight event. Silverhill is owned by Casey Gavin of Tignish.

Fred MacDonald's column appears in The Guardian each Saturday. He can be reached at