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SPORTS CHAT EXTRA: Cape Breton to host another national tournament?

Canada Soccer is expected to announce in the months to come that Cape Breton will host the 2024 Toyota National Under-17 Championships. CONTRIBUTED • CANADA SOCCER
Canada Soccer is expected to announce in the months to come that Cape Breton will host the 2024 Toyota National Under-17 Championships. CONTRIBUTED • CANADA SOCCER

Cape Bretoners part of Lumberjacks ownership, Smith steps down, former Eagle news and more

In recent years, Cape Breton Island has become a hotbed for hosting national sporting events and it looks like another tournament is on its way.

The Cape Breton Post has learned the Canada Soccer Toyota National Championships will be held in Cape Breton in 2024.

The under-17 male and female tournaments are scheduled for Oct. 9-14, 2024.

The games are expected to be played at the Cape Breton Health Recreation Complex at Cape Breton University, Open Hearth Park in Sydney and the Francis MacKinnon Memorial Field, the new state-of-the-art artificial facility in New Waterford.

Approximately 500 athletes, as well as 40-60 officials and event staff, are expected to arrive in Cape Breton for the tournament. This doesn’t include players' families.

Destination Cape Breton, in conjunction with other partners, was part of the bidding process for the national tournament.

When contacted by the Cape Breton Post this week, Destination Cape Breton CEO Terry Smith confirmed a bid was submitted but would not confirm that Cape Breton will host the event. He expects an announcement from Canada Soccer in the coming months.

It’s normal for tournament bidders not to release details before the national organization. One can argue it's part of any bidding process to keep things quiet. In this case, Canada Soccer will make the tournament official, but no date has been confirmed for an announcement.

This won’t be the first time Cape Breton has hosted Canada Soccer national events.

In 2012, the under-18 championships were held in Cape Breton. Nationals were also held on the island in 2009 (under-14), 2008 (under-16) and 2005 (under-18).

When officially announced, the tournament will mark the third soccer national event in four years for Cape Breton.

Cape Breton University will host the women’s U Sports nationals in November, while the men’s team is slated to host the event in 2023.

Although the dates for the Celtic Colours have not been announced for 2024, the under-17 tournament is likely to be right in the middle of the international festival. It’s something that should be considered if you’re planning on attending either event when it comes to accommodations.

NEW OWNERSHIP

The South Shore Lumberjacks will be staying in Bridgewater and will have Cape Breton representation as part of its ownership.

Brad Muise and Dave Hinkley, both originally from Cheticamp, as well as Tanya Hinkley of Pleasant Bay are part of the new ownership group of the Maritime Junior Hockey League team.

In total, the group consists of 13 people including Ross Shatford, Tanya Shatford, Yvette MacKinnon, Kevin Veinott, Heather Veinott, Dave Brine, Yolanda King, Jayme Rhyno, Kory Rodenhiser and Kimberley Rodenhiser.

Several of the members are couples and will be represented as one vote of the seven voting members.

Dave and Tanya Hinkley are the parents of Acadie-Bathurst Titan defenceman Lane Hinkley, who was a first-round draft pick in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League last June.

The Hinkleys are the owners of True North Destinations in Pleasant Bay.

SMITH STEPS DOWN

Jimmy Smith has stepped down as the head coach of the Riverview Ravens high school hockey program.

The River Ryan product, who prior to joining the Ravens coached various levels of minor hockey, became the head coach of the team at the start of the 2017-18 Cape Breton High School Hockey League season.

Smith led the Ravens to three-straight Highland Region titles and had a 54-5-1-1 regular-season record over three-and-a-half years behind the bench.

During the Smith era, Riverview also won various tournaments and last year lost in the provincial final to the Charles P. Allen Cheetahs in Westville.

Jordan Moss, Dan Keough and Steve Jamael will remain part of the Ravens coaching staff. At press time, there was no word on Smith's replacement.

When contacted by the Cape Breton Post last week, Smith said this isn’t the end of his coaching career, however, he didn’t say what’s next.

HIGH SCHOOL HOCKEY

Sticking with the Cape Breton High School Hockey league, don’t expect any games before Thursday.

In a notice posted on its website, the league says no games will be played earlier than Jan. 28 due to the upcoming high school exam week.

The league hasn’t played a game in more than two months after the Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation paused sports in November due to COVID-19 restrictions.

As of press deadline, holiday restrictions remained in place until at least Sunday at 11:59 p.m. (Editor's note: the restriction on teams playing games has been lifted starting on Monday).

The Cape Breton league says a modified schedule will be released when sports are reopened at the high school level.

Former Cape Breton Eagle Isiah Campbell was traded from the Drummondville Voltigeurs to the Shawinigan Cataractes earlier this week. JEREMY FRASER • CAPE BRETON POST
Former Cape Breton Eagle Isiah Campbell was traded from the Drummondville Voltigeurs to the Shawinigan Cataractes earlier this week. JEREMY FRASER • CAPE BRETON POST

FORMER EAGLE NEWS

It’s been a busy couple of weeks for former Cape Breton Eagles players.

Earlier this week, the Drummondville Voltigeurs traded former Eagle Isiah Campbell to the Shawinigan Cataractes for a fourth-round pick in 2021, originally belonging to Blainville-Boisbriand, and a third-round pick in 2023.

The 20-year-old played a season-and-a-half with the Eagles, before being traded to the Voltigeurs last season. He recorded 26 goals and 60 points in 63 games with Drummondville in 2019-20.

Meanwhile, forward Kyle Campbell has decided to leave the Tours team in France for personal reasons. The Lantz, N.S., product played professionally for the past three years in France. He played a season-and-a-half with the Eagles in 2011-12.

Forward Denis Kindl recently signed with HC Frydek-Minstek of the Czech Division 2 league. He’s since played three games with club and has two assists. The native of the Czech Republic played a season-and-a-half in Cape Breton in 2011-12.

Forward Cameron Darcy recently signed a one-year deal with the Binghamton Devils of the American Hockey League. The South Boston, Mass., native played last season with the San Antonio Rampage of the AHL, posting four goals and 18 points in 45 games. Darcy played a season-and-a-half with Cape Breton in 2013-14.

Defenceman Jérémy Beaudry recently signed with the Herning Blue Fox in Denmark for the 2020-21 season. The signing comes after the 27-year-old played five games with Amiens of Ligue Magnus in France, where he had three goals and seven points. Beaudry played one year with Cape Breton during the 2013-14 season.

Former Cape Breton Eagles head coach Marc-André Dumont may be a candidate for the ECHL's Trois-Rivières head coaching position, according to Stephane Leroux of RDS. JEREMY FRASER • CAPE BRETON POST
Former Cape Breton Eagles head coach Marc-André Dumont may be a candidate for the ECHL's Trois-Rivières head coaching position, according to Stephane Leroux of RDS. JEREMY FRASER • CAPE BRETON POST

NEW JOB FOR DUMONT?

What’s former Cape Breton Eagles head coach Marc-André Dumont up to these days?

Well, he hasn’t been back behind the bench since being fired by the Eagles in April 2019, however, that may soon change.

In a story by Stephane Leroux of RDS, Dumont may be considered for the head coaching position of the newly formed ECHL team in Trois-Rivières, Que.

During his seven years with the Eagles organization, Dumont guided the team to 219 wins and 219 losses in 438 regular-season games.

Under Dumont’s leadership, the Eagles made the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League playoffs six times, advancing as far as the quarter-finals three times.

Leroux also notes former NHLer and New Brunswick product Gordie Dwyer is another possible candidate for the ECHL club’s job.

Earlier this week, the Montreal Canadiens announced a three-year agreement that will see Trois-Rivières become the club’s ECHL affiliate, beginning in 2021-22 when the team joins the league.

SAD NEWS

The Post is saddened to hear the news of the passing of Alex Gilchrist of North Sydney. Gilchrist died at the Cape Breton Regional Hospital on Jan. 8 at age 87.

Gilchrist began his teaching career at Thompson High School and later became its principal, a position he held until 1976.

As a faculty adviser, he was part of the Thompson curling program, which won back-to-back provincial Headmaster School Curling championships in 1957 and 1958.

Team members included Allen Kenny, Paul Rice, George Rowe, Bill Youden and later Les Hare. The club was coached by George Chapman.

Gilchrist was also involved in various organizations and groups on the Northside including the Northern Yacht Club.

Thoughts and prayers are with Gilchrist’s family and friends, including children, Scott (Anne Boucher) Gilchrist and Cathy (Stephen) McGee.

ACHIEVEMENT ANNIVERSARIES

Here are this week’s Cape Breton high school sports championship anniversaries. Watch for more in next week’s edition.

35th Anniversary (1986):

• Strait Area Education Recreation Centre girls ‘AA’ volleyball provincial championship

• Margaree Forks girls ‘A’ volleyball provincial championship

30th Anniversary (1991)

• Margaree Forks boys ‘A’ basketball provincial championship

• École NDA boys ‘A’ hockey provincial championship

• Whycocomagh girls junior track and field provincial championship

• Cabot High School girls ‘A’ soccer provincial championship

• Riverview High School girls ‘AAA’ volleyball provincial championship.

Have a note of interest you would like to see appear in this weekly column? Send it to Jeremy at [email protected] along with a name and phone number for contact purposes.

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