The Vankleek Hill Cougars will be looking to rebound this week, with two home games scheduled after a tough two weeks on the road.

On Saturday, Vankleek Hill is home at The Bob to face the Almonte Inferno (8-17-2-2) in a 7:30 p.m. start. The Inferno named a new head coach this week and they will be motivated. Jamie Axford has 30-plus years of coaching, including with the Rideau-St-Lawrence Kings, Athens Aeros and most recently the Smiths Falls Rideaus.

It was announced on Tuesday that Vankleek Hill (14-11-1-2) will also host the league-leading South Grenville Rangers (22-4-2-0) at the Robert Hartley Sports Complex in Hawkesbury this Sunday, February 5, to make up for a game that was postponed earlier in the season. Game time is 2:30 p.m.

Including the rescheduled game against South Grenville, the Cougars will have six games scheduled for the month of February, five of which are at home.

Vankleek Hill goes 1-2 in road games

The Cougars won one game and lost two in the team’s two weeks on the road. With a number of players having exams scheduled in January, Vankleek Hill was shorthanded at all three of its recent road games.

Saturday, January 28, in Morrisburg, was the same story, as the Cougars fell 7-5 to the Lions, after taking a 4-3 lead into the third period. Morrisburg scored four times in the third against a tired Vankleek Hill team that had only 14 players in front of netminder Frederick Duroucher-Bourdon.

Eric Skyba potted two goals for Vankleek Hill in the contest, while Brenden Easterbrook, Thomas Kelly and Maxime Laliberte added singles.

Vankleek Hill and the St-Isidore Eagles were supposed to battle it out for fifth place in the National Capital Junior Hockey League last Sunday (January 29) in St-Isidore, but the game was postponed due to the snowstorm.

The Eagles moved a point ahead of Vankleek Hill in the battle for fifth with their 8-5 win over the North Dundas Rockets on Saturday (January 29). St-Isidore (15-9-1-1) is now one point ahead of the Cougars (14-11-1-2). The Eagles have two games in hand.

Eastern Ontario Wild U12 AAA win in Oakville

Players and coaches from the Eastern Ontario Wild U12 AAA celebrate their win at the Oakville Rangers Winter Classic Tournament. Photo: Hockey Eastern Ontario

The Eastern Ontario Wild U12 AAA team has won another championship!

The Wild U12 went undefeated in the Oakville Rangers Winter Classic Tournament, posting a 5-0-1 record to take home the U12 AAA Championship. The tournament was held in Oakville, Ontario, from January 20 to 22.

The Wild beat the hometown Oakville Rangers 2-1 in overtime of the semi-final match between the two teams. The Wild then went on to face the Toronto Young Nationals in the finals on January 24, where they also won 2-1 in overtime. The Wild had to beat three teams ranked in the top 10 in Ontario to claim victory.

January was a great month for the Wild U12 AAA. The team also won the Bell Capital Cup in Ottawa earlier in the month.

Hawks’ Pelekos named as CCM Hockey Player of the Week

Hawkesbury Hawks goaltender Dimitri Pelekos has been named as the Central Canada Hockey League’s (CCHL) Week 16 CCM Hockey Player of the Week.

Hawks netminder Dimitri Pelekos was named the CCHL’s Week 16 CCM Hockey Player of the Week. Photo: Reid Masson

The 2003-born Saint-Eugène native posted a 2-0-0 record, with a 2.40 goals against average (GAA), and a .937 save percentage (SV%), as he stopped 74 of the 79 shots he faced.

Pelekos began the week with a 52-save victory on Friday, January 20, against Cornwall, before making 22 saves on Sunday, January 22, versus Carleton Place. On the season, Pelekos is 12-7-3-1 with a 3.05 GAA and .915 SV%.

Antoine Dorion of the Hawks received an honourable mention for the week’s award, along with Colin Vassallo (Pembroke Lumber Kings), Brayden Bowen (Cornwall Colts), and Sami Molu (Brockville Braves).