Registration weekend was like any other this year. Players signed up for the coming season and took part in a scrimmage as is customary, but we were also left with a huge void to as we returned to Sunny View School this fall. Last season’s MVP Dianne Trottier was killed in a hit-and-run while working in Fredericton, N.B. over the summer. A moment of silence was held during registration day and Don Barrie spoke to those in attendance about his memories of Dianne. Some significant roster shuffling took place prior to the start of the season in an effort to balance the teams entering the league’s third year. A few more mid-season trades have been made, with clubs now appearing set for the stretch run.
The Storm won their first seven games of the year and led the standings by seven points with a 9-3 mark, entering the Christmas break. However, the two-time defending champion Vikings, remain the team to beat.
It was a draft year for the juniors, and on registration day, coaches gathered around and divided up the rosters, not knowing which team they would get. Mike Iacovone and Eli Shupak, co-coaches of the Bulldogs, and new to the league this season, seem to have fared the best of the lot, judging by the first 10 games. The Bulldogs won their first eight games and had a three-game lead over the Kings at the break. Sean Celsie, in his first year as co-coach of the Mustangs, is still looking to pick up his first W. Despite not having a player in the top three in league scoring, the Bulldogs have proven to be a well-rounded team thus far. Wei-Jiet Goh leads with 24 goals and eight assists, Cole Mellows is having a breakthrough campaign with 14 goals and nine assists, while Alex McLean has 10 goals and nine assists, including a hat trick against the Lake Raiders on Dec. 13, his 16th birthday. Ilish Chan has been outstanding all year as the league’s best goalie. The junior league had a pizza party after its games on Dec. 13 and we also sang Alex happy birthday before digging into the cake. Don Barrie and the Mustangs’ Michael Robinson each had their number called in a drawing and took home a fruitcake for the holidays.
Hockey Day in Canada
CBC will feature a segment on the TPWHL when it airs its annual Hockey Day in Canada on Jan. 30. A film crew was at Sunny View last month to shoot some games and interview a number of people involved with the league. The Kings and Bulldogs put on a classic display of what wheelchair hockey is all about that afternoon and the kids involved in that game should be very proud of themselves for putting on for such a great show. An exhibition game featuring players from the Senior league followed.
The second annual fundraiser and silent auction took place in October at Spirale’s Banquet Hall and was a resounding success, raising $10,000 for the league. This money will most certainly help to cover the big expense of hosting the Power Hockey Cup in August. A sit-down meal this year was enjoyed by those in attendance, who were once again entertained by Brian Roman. Tara Gibson went home with over $500 as the winner of the 50-50 draw. The CBC was proud to present a new trophy to the league in memory of Dianne Trottier, which will be awarded annually to the player contributing the most to the TPWHL outside of hockey. Dianne was a lineup producer with CBC News World, prior to her tragic death in August.
The TPWHL is excited to be hosting the 2010 North American Power Hockey Cup. For the first time in our league’s short history, we will able to showcase our hockey talent in Toronto.
From Friday, Aug. 6 through Monday, Aug. 9, Ryerson University will be home to teams from Michigan, Calgary, Minnesota, North Carolina, Ottawa, and our very own Toronto Lake Raiders, competing for power hockey supremacy!
Lake Raiders coach Carl Lavoie has held a number of practices over the season’s first three months and is expected to name his final 10-12 player roster in the coming weeks.
We hope to see you out at the tournament supporting our team and our sport.