FIDDLER'S FACTS: Local weekend games include hockey and hoops

Jason Malloy
Published on January 9, 2016

Charlottetown Islanders forward Daniel Sprong, left, and UPEI Panthers forward Cole MacMillan will play games Saturday at the Eastlink Centre as part of the hockey day in P.E.I.

©Jason Malloy/The Guardian

Charlottetown Islanders play a rare 3 p.m. game today with Rimouski in town as part of Hockey Day in P.E.I.

Sports fans across the Island are in for a special weekend, especially for puck and hoop fans.

The Charlottetown Islanders play a rare 3 p.m. game today with Rimouski in town as part of Hockey Day in P.E.I., which includes the Charlottetown peewee AA Abbies in action at 1 p.m.

Popular wrestler Kowboy Mike Hughes and the stars of Red Rock Wrestling are part of the entertainment as they strut their stuff at 5:45 p.m. in the trade centre.

The UPEI Panthers invade the Eastlink Centre at 7 p.m. to tangle with the Dalhousie Tigers in university men’s hockey play.

The NBA is making a rare official visit to Charlottetown as ex-Toronto Raptors star Jerome (Junkyard Dog) Williams will be here as part of the 14-city NBA tour, which includes a three-point contest and a dunk competition today at 3 and 6 p.m. at UPEI.

The NBA Cares nationwide tour has clinics, competitions in 14 Canadian cities and it’s a chance for some players to win an all-expenses-paid trip to the NBA all-star game in Toronto.

Tonight, Saint Mary’s plays UPEI at 6 (women) and 8 (men) p.m. in important university action.

The Island Storm (2-3) plays the Saint John Mill Rats (3-2) here Sunday at 2 p.m. at Eastlink Centre in National Basketball League of Canada action. The teams play tonight in Saint John, N.B.

The Mill Rats lost a 108-105 thriller to the Storm last week, so they’ll be looking to even the score.

The Storm provides tremendous entertainment and with popular returnees like Mike Martin, Nick Evans, Billy Rush and Rashad Whack, plus newcomers like guards Malcolm Grant and Gary Gibson and forwards Brent Jennings and Brian Addison.


Mike (Gavin) Duffy may not be a name familiar with a great many sports fans but for those of us who grew up with him and enjoyed his companionship, he was not hard to like.

He had his moments in the sports scene and was a top minor hockey player in his day, playing on the Birchwood school team with childhood friend Barry Doyle in the early 1960s. Mike often said with a smile he knew his buddy Doyle, now a retired Ontario police officer, would make it as a traffic cop as that’s the way he played defence.

Duffy also covered the outfield with BIS and the Sportsman’s Club in the old city fastball league. He was without a doubt the most passionate of Toronto Maple Leafs fans.

Sadly, he passed away suddenly New Year’s Day. My condolences to his sons Shaughn and Tony, brothers Roger, Jimmy, Richard, Mary, Virginia, Cathy and all connected to this gentleman.

Harness racing

Live harness racing continues today at 12:30 p.m. at the city track with a 14-dash card. The $2,350 open mares goes in Race 11 with Brian and Lillian Ladner’s Best Risque and Sam on the outside in the six-horse field.

The harness racing community is deeply saddened by the terrible fire at Classy Lane in Ontario that claimed 43 horses. I heard top trainer Ben Wallace speaking and he was devastated with the loss of his entire stable.

Yonkers is back in action after a two-week break and the top class tonight goes for $24,000 with Aslan, the favourite.

The Meadowlands gets underway at 6:35 p.m. as Better Than You and Doctor Butch tangle in the $25,000 preferred class.

Local owner Don MacRae took two to Ontario this past week and Silverhill Blaze, who won here in 1:59 two weeks ago, is in action this weekend at Woodbine.

At Pompano, Arthur Blue Chip (Wally Hennessey) was beaten by a nose in Sunday’s $12,000 open pace by Bluehourpower in 1:51:2.


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

The Prophet’s football picks

One of the most exciting weekends in pro football is upon as the wild cards games go today and Sunday.

Kansas City Chief (11-5) at Houston Texans (9-7) – This should be a low-scoring game. Both teams got off to poor starts but both have been hot of late. Chiefs QB Alex Smith does not turn the ball over and in my view that’s the difference. Chiefs are three-point favourites and they’ll cover.

Pittsburgh Steelers (10-6) at Cincinnati Bengals (12-4) – The teams split two contests this season and it’s an even-money game, but the Steelers in the last two games lost to lowly Baltimore and struggled in a modest win against Cleveland. If the Bengals are ever to win a playoff game, this is it, especially against the Steelers without DeAngelo Williams. Besides Bengals QB Andy Dalton is back.

Seattle Seahawks (10-6) at Minnesota Vikings (11-5) – Seattle mauled Minnesota 38-7 a month ago. The Seahawks get powerful runner Marshawn Lynch back and QB Russell Wilson is red-hot. Seattle wins in a rout and covers the five-point spread.

Green Bay Packers (10-6) at Washington Redskins (9-7) – In another even-money game, the Packers are 4-6 in their last 10 games and QB Aaron Rodgers has been clobbered. The Skins are not great but they’ve won four straight and their form suggests they’ll beat a sagging Green Bay club.