The fifth annual Canada Day Mixed Slo-Pitch Tournament in support of the Alzheimer Society of Cornwall and District is happening on Saturday, July 2, from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the ball diamond at the Vankleek Hill Community Centre.

Returning after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s tournament will have nine teams battle it out for the coveted Champlain Cup. The tournament and activities around it is a free, family-friendly event, with play structures, a splash pad, inflatables, a canteen, and a barbecue on site. The event will also celebrate Canada Day in Vankleek Hill with a fundraiser on the evening of Friday, July 1, at the Windsor Tavern.

It will be a beautiful weekend and a great way to spend a Saturday outdoors watching your friends and neighbours playing ball. More information on the tournament can be found on Facebook though this link

Eastern Ontario Wild add Austin Gaspar to coaching staff

The Eastern Ontario Wild have announced that Austin Gaspar has accepted the position of Assistant Coach with the Wild’s U14 Team under Head Coach Chris Martin. Gaspar has been an assistant coach at the U15 Rep. B level and more recently at The U16 AA level.

An Eastern Ontario Cobras alumni, Gaspar went on to play Prep School Hockey for Le Sommet Faucons, and Junior A in Dryden, Ontario, and Slave Lake, Alberta. He is an on-ice skills instructor with HandMade Hockey, under the guidance of Ryan Hand.

Host Saint John Sea Dogs will face Hamilton Bulldogs in Memorial Cup final

The Saint John Sea Dogs have made it to the final game as host of the 2022 Memorial Cup to decide Major Junior A supremacy.

The Sea Dogs scored five unanswered goals for a comeback 5-3 victory over the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) champion Shawinigan Cataractes at their hometown Harbour Station Arena on Saturday, June 25. On Wednesday, June 29, Saint John will face the Hamilton Bulldogs, who knocked off the Shawinigan Cararactes 4-3 in overtime on Monday (June 27).

Saint John has overcome adversity during the post season. The team finished the 2021-2022 regular season in third place in the QMJHL’s Eastern Conference, before losing in the first round of the playoffs and had to wait a month to play again at the Memorial Cup. The team fired its head coach after the first-round playoff loss and brought in Gardiner MacDougall to coach the Sea Dogs just prior to the Memorial Cup tournament.

The Sea Dogs have been the biggest surprise of the Memorial Cup, but not far behind was the early elimination of pre-tournament favourites, the Edmonton Oil Kings. Edmonton was bounced after winning only one game during the round-robin portion of the tournament.

NHL draft July 7 to 8 at Bell Centre

The 2022 Upper Deck National Hockey League (NHL) draft will be held at the Bell Centre in Montreal next week, from July 7 to 8 – fitting since the Montreal Canadiens have the top selection this year.

Kingston Frontenacs centre Shane Wright is the consensus top player in the draft and is widely expected to be taken first by the Canadiens. This season the 6’1”, 187-pound Wright scored 32 goals and added 62 assists in 63 games played, finishing eight in Ontario Hockey League (OHL) scoring – below expectations for a player who had 39 goals in his rookie season as a 16-year-old in 2019-2020. Despite that, Wright’s size and two-way game mean it would be a huge surprise if Montreal does not call his name first.

Other options for the Canadiens with the first pick include 18-year-old 6’4” Slovakian forward Juraj Slafkovsky, who weighs in at 218 pounds and can play either wing. Slalfkovsky’s size makes him a very tempting pick and his seven goals in seven games at the 2022 Winter Olympic Games helped Slovakia to the bronze medal and marked him as one of the top forwards in the tournament, despite being only 17 at the time.

If they opt to bolster their blueline, Montreal could go with another Slovakian, rearguard Simon Nemec, who was also a standout performer at the 2022 Winter Olympics. He has the size – at 6”1′ and 187 pounds – and the skill to be a solid anchor on the Habs blueline for years to come.