Crit­i­cal game

Fid­dler MacDon­ald says the Char­lot­te­town Is­lan­ders have played bet­ter lately but have to make up ground tonight against Cape Bre­ton.

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - FRONT PAGE - Fred MacDon­ald Fid­dler’s Facts Har­ness rac­ing Fred MacDon­ald’s col­umn ap­pears ev­ery Satur­day in The Guardian. He can be reached at fid­dlers­facts@hot­mail.com.

The Char­lot­te­town Is­lan­ders meet the Cape Bre­ton Scream­ing Ea­gles tonight at 7 p.m. at the Eastlink Cen­tre in an im­por­tant game with play­off im­pli­ca­tions.

It is the se­cond of two week­end games be­tween th­ese two clubs, and re­gard­less of what hap­pened Fri­day, this game is cru­cial. The Is­lan­ders trailed the Scream­ing Ea­gles by eight points with a game in hand be­fore Fri­day’s game. A split means the Is­lan­ders gain no ground on the Scream­ing Ea­gles for the eighth spot, which is im­por­tant since the top eight clubs have home-ice ad­van­tage in the open­ing play­off round.

The Is­lan­ders have played much bet­ter in re­cent weeks and the scor­ing has been com­ing from all lines. They’ve played bet­ter de­fen­sively too and, most im­por­tant of all, goal­tender Ma­son McDon­ald is liv­ing up to ex­pec­ta­tions.

Of lo­cal in­ter­est tonight, Scream­ing Ea­gles de­fence­man Dunc MacIn­tyre is the son of Char­lot­te­town’s Ann Ready, Spy’s daugh­ter, who is mar­ried to Dunc MacIn­tyre, the son of Syd­ney Mil­lion­aires great with the same name, who was an all­star left-winger in the Mar­itime Big Four in the early 1950s. Ann is the sis­ter of Mike Ready, an all-star de­fence­man with Char­lot­te­town se­nior teams in the late 1970s and 1980s.

Foot­ball

The Su­per Bowl be­tween the Carolina Pan­thers and Den­ver Bron­cos goes Sun­day, Feb. 7, but New Eng­land fans still think they should be there.

Bill Belichick’s de­ci­sion to not kick a field goal in the se­cond quar­ter of Sun­day’s game with Den­ver, while fourth-and-one at the Bron­cos 20, was al­most as stupid as Pete Car­roll’s play call for a pass while first-and-goal at the New Eng­land one-yard line in last year’s Su­per Bowl.

I had a brief chat last week with Char­lie Cooke of Cooke In­sur­ance and he told me he was at an in­sur­ance meet­ing in New Or­leans 50 years ago and had a box for the first Su­per Bowl, but de­cided to pass on the game.

Char­lie’s cur­rent le­gal ad­vi­sor Jim Revell, a quar­ter­back in his younger days, al­most broke out in tears when I told him what Char­lie had done. By the way, the Sports Prophet’s an­nual Su­per Bowl poll goes here next Satur­day.

The fi­nal live har­ness rac­ing card goes to­day at 12:30 p.m. at Red Shores at the Char­lot­te­town Driv­ing Park.

I talked to Lee Drake last week and he re­minded me he will be mak­ing the draw to­day af­ter Race 10 for the Red Shores Old Home Week and/or Gov­er­nors Plate ta­ble pack­age in sup­port of the Classy Lane Re­lief Fund. There’s plenty of time to get in on the draw, so let’s help.

Con­do­lences to Paul Strain, one of our lo­cal hand­i­cap­ping ex­perts, and all con­nected on the pass­ing of his dad Frank, who was a top goal­tender and played with the Char­lot­te­town Is­lan­ders of the 1950-51 Mar­itime Big Four. Frank was also an avid fish­er­man and out­doors­man.

Stan­dard­bred Canada’s web­site fea­tured a big ar­ti­cle on Frac­tional Own­er­ship via The Sta­ble, which was strongly en­dorsed by Greg Peck, one of the sharpest in­di­vid­u­als in he world of har­ness rac­ing.

As a re­sult, An­thony MacDon­ald has in­di­cated those who watch the Wood­bine fea­ture tonight on The Sta­ble and retweets or con­tacts him at an­thony@thestable.ca will be el­i­gi­ble for a draw and credit worth $300.

Is­land stand­out colt Proven De­sire raced great last week at Wood­bine, closed in a fast 27:2 last panel for third in the tough $22,00 race for driver James MacDon­ald and co-own­ers Blair Hansen, Megan:MacDon­ald and Jack Mal­lard. James is not driv­ing tonight as he’s in Monc­ton this week for the bap­tism of Shawn Hughes baby.

JA­SON MAL­LOY/THE GUARDIAN

De­fence­man Alexis Vanier fires a shot on goal dur­ing Thurs­day’s Char­lot­te­town Is­lan­ders prac­tice.

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