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Ellen Chapman coming full circle with Sweetheart tournament

Ellen Chapman of Cornwall played in the first Sweetheart female hockey tournament 12 years ago and returns this season as a tournament volunteer and as an assistant coach with the Mid-Isle Wildcats midget AAA team.
Ellen Chapman of Cornwall played in the first Sweetheart female hockey tournament 12 years ago and returns this season as a tournament volunteer and as an assistant coach with the Mid-Isle Wildcats midget AAA team. - Charles Reid

Cornwall native played in the first edition of the female hockey championship and is now returning this year as a volunteer and coach

CORNWALL, P.E.I. – The Sweetheart female hockey tournament is never far from Ellen Chapman’s heart.

Chapman played in the first Sweetheart 12 years ago as a peewee and finished her run in 2012 with the Mid-Isle Matrix midget AA squad.

And on the eve of the event, the 23-year-old Cornwall native has a few choice memories – one of which sticks out the most.

“It was in peewee in the first ever Sweetheart. It was a game at the APM Centre (in Cornwall) and I got a penalty shot. I’m convinced it was the first ever penalty shot in the Sweetheart,” said Chapman, who didn’t score on the chance. “It was just a shot and the goalie saved it, a blocker save, I think, but we won the game.”

This year’s Sweetheart, hosted by the North River Minor Hockey Association, runs Thursday through Sunday.

Ninety-three teams from Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and P.E.I. vie for titles in nine divisions from novice to midget AAA. Games are spread out in rinks in Crapaud, Borden-Carleton, Pownal, North Rustico, Bedeque, Cornwall and Simmons and Cody Banks arenas in Charlottetown.

It’s major undertaking requiring a skilled and dedicated volunteer crew. Chapman’s father Carl, a former Sweetheart co-chairman, introduced her to volunteering early so she understands what’s needed.

She’s volunteered before at the tourney, but after a year’s break returned this season to help load game results and statistics online, work the tourney’s Twitter account and help with team logistics.

And the timing was bang-on. Chapman’s on six-week placement at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Charlottetown as she completes the physio program at Dalhousie University in Halifax.

“I’ve always been around the tournament so I know all the hard work that goes into it. It was a chance to give back. And I love hockey so it doesn’t seem like a chore to do it,” Chapman said.

Also on Chapman’s plate for the Sweetheart is an assistant coaching gig with the Mid-Isle Wildcats midget AAA squad.

Mid-Isle leads the league standings with a 12-4-4 record, just one point ahead of the Western Wind.

Chapman is pumped about the team’s chances, especially since the Wildcats gave her another fond memory two years ago when she helped behind the bench.

“We made it to the finals. We lost, but we were excited the make to the final. Probably not quite as excited (as a player) but I have to say it was definitely close. (There was that) home team excitement and we wanted to do well in front of the home crowd.”

Chapman, who graduates in October, plays when she can with the UPEI Jr. Varsity team in the Island Women’s Hockey League.


Need to know

Schedule for the midget AAA division of the Sweetheart female hockey tournament Thursday through Sunday in P.E.I.

Teams

Division A – Mid-Isle Wildcats (P.E.I.), Newbridge Academy (Nova Scotia), Northern Lightning (Nova Scotia) and Central Storm (P.E.I.).

Division B – Western Wind (P.E.I.), Northern Subway Selects (Nova Scotia), Kings County (P.E.I.) and MacIntyre Chevy Panthers (Nova Scotia).

FRIDAY

(at Borden-Carleton)

7:15 p.m.

Western Wind vs. Northern Subway Selects

(at North Rustico)

7:40 p.m. - MacIntyre Chevy Panthers vs. Kings County

(at Cornwall)

8:10 p.m. - Newbridge Academy vs. Mid-Isle

(at Crapaud)

8:10 p.m. - Central vs. Northern Lightning

——

SATURDAY

(at Pownal)

1:50 p.m. - Mid-Isle vs. Central

3:20 p.m. - Northern vs. Newbridge Academy

(at Cody Banks Arena)

4:40 p.m. - Western vs. MacIntyre Chevy Panthers

(at Borden-Carleton)

4:45 p.m. - Northern Subway Selects vs. Kings County

9 p.m. - MacIntyre Chevy Panthers vs. Northern Subway Panthers

(at Cornwall)

7:40 p.m. - Newbridge Academy vs. Central

9:20 p.m. - Kings County vs. Western

(at Crapaud)

8:10 p.m. - Northern Lightning vs. Mid-Isle

——

SUNDAY

(at Cornwall)

10:20 a.m. - 2nd Division B vs. 1st Division A

4:30 p.m. - Championship game

(at Crapaud)

10:20 a.m. - 2nd Division A vs. 1st Division B

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