The Vankleek Hill Cougars are finally back on the ice this week.

The team has a practice scheduled on Wednesday, February 2, at 9 a.m. For the players and coaches, this will be their first time back on skates together since the league was shut down just before Christmas.

The Cougars will get back to regular season games this Saturday, February 5, against the North Dundas Rockets, in a game that starts at 7 p.m. at the Vankleek Hill Arena. The following day (Sunday, February 6), the Cougars will be in St-Isidore to face the Eagles in a battle for fifth place.

St-Isidore and Vankleek Hill will also meet in a rare Wednesday night game at the Vankleek Hill Arena on February 9. Game time is 8 p.m.

Cougars celebrate 30th anniversary

The Cougars will be welcoming some very special guests for the team’s first game back this Saturday evening at the Vankleek Hill Arena.

As part of its 30th anniversary celebrations, the team will honor the people responsible for forming the Vankleek Hill Cougars, with a special pre-game opening ceremony and face-off. Confirmed to attend are Joe Kelly, Garry Barton, Paul-Emile Duval and Ian MacRae. The team will also recognize John Chamberlain and John Kirby, who have passed away, and Charley Bernique, who is unable to attend.

Although they will not be in attendance formally, the Cougars will also pay tribute to all of the volunteers who helped put the team together 30 years ago.

Former Hawk McCarthy commits to York

York University and the Maritime Hockey League have both announced that Summerside Western Capitals forward Brendan McCarthy – a former Hawkesbury Hawks player – has committed to the York Lions for the 2022-23 season.

McCarthy is from Goulds, Newfoundland and was selected 32nd overall by the Amherst Ramblers in the 2017 MHL Entry Draft. After playing for Stanstead College, the Hawkesbury Hawks and the Charlottetown Islanders of the QMJHL, he was traded to Summerside in September of 2021. In 23 games this season McCarthy, who is 20 years old, has seven goals and 15 assists for Summerside.

I was fortunate enough to know Brendan when he was with the Hawks in 2019-20 and I think York is getting a great player for their team. Maybe I’m a bit biased, as he is my friend, but Brendan is a good guy and an excellent teammate.

Go get ’em buddy!

EO Wild AAA games slated for this week

The Eastern Ontario Wild AAA Hockey Association is also returning to action this week. This is high-level minor hockey and many of these kids will be forming our local Junior hockey teams of the future. Here’s a list of upcoming games so you can check out some of the action yourself.

On Saturday, February 5, from 5-7 p.m., the Titans U15 AAA will face Eastern Ontario Wild AAA U15 at the Casselman Arena. Sunday, February 6, will see the Eastern Ontario Wild AAA U15 against the Cyclones AAA U15 at Kemptville Arena from 4:30-6:30 p.m.

In U13 play, on Friday, February 4, from 8:00-9:30 p.m., the Gloucester Rangers U13 AA will play against the Eastern Ontario Cobras U13 AA at the Vankleek Hill Arena.

Known as Vankleek Hill’s Sports Authority, Mackenzie Hinton writes regular sports updates on his popular Facebook page. Mac is the statistician for the Vankleek Hill Cougars and Hawkesbury Hawks Junior hockey clubs. His column appears weekly in The Review.