It was a proud hockey weekend for the Horner family in Vankleek Hill on two counts.

On Friday evening (January 6) 17-year-old defenseman Bradley Horner made his Major Junior A hockey debut, playing for the Ottawa 67s in their 4-1 win over the Niagara Ice Dogs. The following night (Saturday, January 8) his younger brother Cody Horner, a 16-year-old forward played his first Junior A game for the Hawkesbury Hawks in their 8-2 win over the Smiths Falls Bears. The two brothers are the sons of Amy and Marcus Horner, of Vankleek Hill.

Bradley Horner make his Major Junior A hockey debut with the Ottawa 67s on Friday, January 6. Photo: OHL website

Bradley, an ’05 prospect, wore number 5 for the 67s and had a good game in his Ontario Hockey League (OHL) debut, firing two shots on net and recording a +1 plus/minus rating. He played the first half of the 2023-2023 season with the Hawks, scoring two goals and nine assists in just 16 games and was just about to return from injury when the 67s came calling. Horner was selected 131st overall by the 67s in the 2021 Ontario Hockey League Priority Selection.

“Bradley is a strong skating, two-way defenseman, who has earned opportunities to play consistently and in important situations with Hawkesbury over the last 18 months,” said 67’s Assistant General Manager and Director of Scouting Jan Egert in announcing Horner’s signing in a press release. “We are excited that he has decided to continue his development with the 67’s.”

In Hawkesbury on Saturday, younger brother Cody, an ’06 prospect, was given a regular shift, as the Hawks build a solid lead over Smiths Falls in their 8-2 win. Wearing number 92, Cody played solidly and it was good experience for the young alternate.

Cody has been playing this season with the Hawks U18AAA team, where he has recorded six goals and five assists in 18 games. In 2021-2022 Cody had 11 goals and 15 assists in 29 games with the Casselman-Embrun Ice Dogs U16B squad.

I’ve had the chance to see both Brad and Cody play for the past several years and could not be more thrilled for them. Way to go boys!

Cougars finally rewarded for hard work

It was great to see the Vankleek Hill Cougars finally get rewarded for their hard work on Sunday evening (January 8) in their 8-1 win over the Morrisburg Lions.

As the statistician for the Cougars, I have almost worn out my fingers counting their shots on goal. But the scoring has not matched the number of shots fired on net.

In fairness, the team has faced some very hot goaltending in the past few games. On Saturday night, North Dundas Rockets goaltender Anton Moshchensky was the next best thing to placing a Plexiglas shield in front of the net.

Hopefully Sunday’s goal-scoring outburst is a sign of things to come for the Cougars.

Former Hawk Jeremy Tremblay on fire in BCHL

Forward Jeremy Tremblay, who played for the Hawkesbury Hawks in 2021-2022 and the first half of this season, has been on fire since joining the Cranbrook Bucks of the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL).

Tremblay was named last week as one of the BCHL’s Three Stars of the Week, after scoring four goals in two games, which were his first goals in the league. The 20-year-old potted his first in the league midway through the opening period of a road game against the Trail Smoke Eaters, then scored once again early in the second in an eventual 3-0 Bucks win. His goal stood up as the game-winner and he was named second star of the game.

The next night back home against Trail, Tremblay picked up right where he left off, scoring just 53 seconds into the game to give the Bucks an early lead. He bookended the scoring by getting his second of the game late in the third to make it a 5-2 final.

Since being acquired by the Bucks in a December 1 trade from the Hawks, the Orford, Québec, native has recorded five goals and two assists in just nine games.