Panthers, Raiders clash in opener
Fans of the Port Hope Panthers and Napanee Raiders won’t have to wait long to see the top two local junior C teams over the past three seasons clash head to head this season.
The Panthers, who are the threetime defending local pennant winners and playoff champions and who have made three consecutive trips to the provincial junior C final, will travel to Napanee on Friday night to take on a team that has finished behind them three straight years in league standings and also been the division’s playoff runner-up the same number of times.
Game time for the opening game of the Provincial Junior Hockey League Tod Division season is 7:30 p.m..
On Saturday night, three other teams will raise the curtain on their 40-game seasons, with the Amherstview Jets hosting the Gananoque Islanders at 7:30 p.m. at and the Campbellford Rebels travelling to Port Hope for a 7:30 p.m. game against the Panthers.
Gananoque hosts Napanee at 7 p.m. and the Picton Pirates travel to Amherstview for a 7:30 p.m. date with the Jets on Sunday night to round out opening weekend play.
The Panthers have won a total of 100 regular-season games over their past three pennant campaigns — to go along with just 16 losses and three ties — before advancing through the playoffs to the Schmalz Cup final, only to lose three straight times.
Port Hope posted a franchise-best record of 35-3-1 for 71 points as it ran away with the Tod Division pennant last season, finishing 18 points ahead of the Raiders (26-12-1 for 53 points), who collected their most points over their three-year runner-up run.
Gananoque (21-18-1) finished 10 points behind the Raiders while Picton claimed the last playoff spot with 41 points (20-19-1).
Missing the playoffs last year were Amherstview (12-25-1 for 25 points) and Campbellford (0-37-1 for a single point).
Memorial tournament a girls basketball warm-up
Twelve senior girls basketball teams will take to the court Friday in the 10th Taylor Allan Memorial Tournament.
La Salle is hosting the two-day tournament, which is run in honour of Allan, a student athlete who died in 2008 from arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy.
The host Black Knights are one of six teams from the Kingston Area Secondary Schools Athletic Association playing.
La Salle and the Loyalist Lancers are in Pool A, the Sydenham Golden Eagles are in Pool B, the Bayridge Blazers and Frontenac Falcons are in Pool C, and the Regiopolis-Notre Dame Panthers are in Pool D.
Courts at La Salle and Frontenac will be in play Friday and Saturday.
Regiopolis opens tournament play at noon against Arnprior, while La Salle plays Loyalist at 1:20 p.m.
The first game at Frontenac is between Bayridge and the Falcons.
The tournament is set up with three tier championships, all with their finals at La Salle. The teams that top their pools will meet in Saturday’s 1 and 2:30 p.m. semifinals for the Tier 1 championship. The final is at 5:30 p.m.
Second-place teams from pool play meet in Tier II semifinals and the remaining teams are in Tier III semifinals.
The tournament serves as a warmup to the KASSAA girls basketball season, which begins Tuesday with three senior games.
The junior girls division of the Taylor Allan Memorial will be played next weekend.