Big test for puck Pan­thers

UPEI host­ing St. FX tonight; Char­lot­te­town Is­lan­ders knock off Monc­ton in QMJHL show­down

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - SPORTS - Fred Mac­Don­ald Fred Mac­Don­ald’s col­umn ap­pears ev­ery Sat­ur­day in The Guardian. He can be reached at fid­dlers­facts@hot­mail.com.

It’s been an ex­cit­ing few days for lo­cal hockey fans as the Char­lot­te­town Is­lan­ders of the Que­bec Ma­jor Ju­nior Hockey League knocked off first­place Monc­ton 5-4 on Thurs­day night and it con­tin­ues tonight when the sur­pris­ing UPEI Pan­thers tan­gle with sec­ond-place St. FX at 7 p.m. at MacLauch­lan Arena in At­lantic Univer­sity Sport ac­tion.

Pan­thers head coach For­bie MacPher­son has put to­gether a com­pet­i­tive and en­ter­tain­ing club again this year and it seems no mat­ter how many play­ers he loses via grad­u­a­tion, his team is still in a high play­off hunt.

Kameron Kielly was tied for the con­fer­ence lead in scor­ing head­ing into Fri­day’s ac­tion while Gabe Guertler was tied for eighth. Filip Ryd­strom had six goals in seven games af­ter a great ca­reer with the Is­lan­ders, de­fence­man Doug Blais­dell has nine points in 10 games and the Pan­thers should give the vis­i­tors a stiff test. I don’t ex­pect the Pan­thers to beat St. FX tonight, but, then again, I didn’t ex­pect them to be 5-5 af­ter 10 games this sea­son.

Bas­ket­ball

The Is­land Storm ap­pears to have the most tal­ented club it has ever had if the in­trasquad games are any in­di­ca­tion. For­mer Mem­phis Griz­zlies for­ward Samp­son Carter, Drew League stand­out Rob­bie Robin­son, ex-Michi­gan State cap­tain Rus­sell Byrd, pure shooter Tyler Scott and flashy guard Jer­rell Tate sug­gest this club is loaded. The Storm’s big man, Carl Hall, will not be here un­til early De­cem­ber but I’m cer­tain this cast will do well in his ab­sence.

The Storm con­clude a twogame ex­hi­bi­tion swing through Prince County tonight at 7 p.m. at Kens­ing­ton In­ter­me­di­ate-Se­nior High School against a tour­ing pro club from New Jersey, so take

in this game. All pro­ceeds go to­wards school ac­tiv­i­ties. The Storm opens the reg­u­lar sea­son Fri­day at 7 p.m. at Eastlink Cen­tre against the Cape Bre­ton High­landers. This team is tal­ented, so let’s hope they can put it to­gether for open­ing night.

Con­do­lences

It’s been an­other tough week for the sport­ing com­mu­nity as we’ve en­dured the pass­ing of our friend Ge­orge Brookins, who in the past 40 years has lugged more sports teams from Char­lot­te­town and Sum­mer­side to var­i­ous re­gional

and na­tional tour­na­ments via Trius Tours than any­body and many times with as­sis­tance from his own pocket.

He was a horse owner and sup­ported young drivers like Marc Camp­bell and Corey MacPher­son when they started out in the race game. He es­pe­cially liked to tell sto­ries about his dad’s 1947 Mar­itime cham­pion Squire Hanover. For the past 35 years, Ge­orge picked up vet­er­ans free of charge and took them to Re­mem­brance Day ser­vices in Char­lot­te­town on Nov. 11.

El­win Cor­bett is an­other that

I’ll cer­tainly miss as he played old­timers hockey right up un­til a few years ago when ill health forced him onto the side­lines. He was a great per­son, who en­joyed telling old­timers hockey fol­low­ers how dan­ger­ous it was to be on the same line with Gor­don Tweedy. El­win will be missed.

My con­do­lences to all con­nected to th­ese two gen­tle­men.

CFL

On the foot­ball front, the CFL play­offs get un­der­way this week­end with the Bri­tish Columbia Li­ons un­der Wally Buono vis­it­ing

the Hamil­ton Tiger-Cats in the Steel City.

This could be Buono’s fi­nal game as head coach of the B.C. club and it would mark the end of his 47-con­sec­u­tive year re­la­tion­ship with the CFL as a player and coach. The win­ner of this game plays Ot­tawa Nov. 18 in Ot­tawa. In the West semi­fi­nal, also Sun­day, Win­nipeg trav­els to Saskatchewan with the win­ner trav­el­ling to Cal­gary the fol­low­ing week for the West fi­nal.

Har­ness rac­ing

Live har­ness rac­ing con­tin­ues this af­ter­noon at 12:30 p.m. with a 13-dash card.

The $2,350 open mares class goes in Race 12 and it in­cludes the likes of Pretty n dan­ger­ous, Col­lec­tive Wis­dom, Driv­ing the dragon and six oth­ers. There’s also a great Sun­day card, be­gin­ning at 2 p.m., and the $2,650 top class has, from the rail out, Rockin Indy, Three Truths, Sock It Away, Roll with it harry, Win­ter Blast and Czar Seel­ster.

The an­nual Harrisburg Year­ling and Mixed Sale this week broke all pre­vi­ous records for both gross and aver­age. Ian Smith, El­dred Ni­chol­son-James Gor­man, Wayne MacRae, Kevin Har­vey, Souris na­tive Al­lan Mac­Don­ald all bought year­lings. An­thony Mac­Don­ald’s The Sta­ble bought 11 ba­bies and added three more from breed­ers to push his Harrisburg to­tal to 14, and his On­tario base to 70 year­lings. Tal­ented vet­eran horse­man Mario Bail­largeon has joined the Sta­ble.Ca and this knowl­edge­able horse­man will be a great as­set in work­ing with the ba­bies.

At Plain­ridge, Mass., Fred­die was third in 1:55 in the $8,200 trot for driver Mike Steven­son. At Mo­hawk tonight, Easy Lover Hanover and Nova Sco­tia-owned Rockin in Heaven look like the best in the eight-horse $30,000 top class. Lin­coln James (An­thony Mac­Don­ald) has the 10-hole in a $15,000 con­di­tioned pace. At Yonkers tonight, Great Vin­tage (Mark Mac­Don­ald) has the rail in the $44,000 open against Ron Burke’s I’m Some Grad­u­ate (Ge­orge Bren­nan) and four oth­ers.

JA­SON MAL­LOY/THE GUARDIAN

Char­lot­te­town Is­lan­ders as­sis­tant cap­tain Keith Get­son shields the puck from Monc­ton Wild­cats cen­tre Ja­cob Stew­art while com­ing around the back of the net Thurs­day dur­ing Que­bec Ma­jor Ju­nior Hockey League ac­tion at the Eastlink Cen­tre.

Kielly

Guertler

Ryd­strom

Blais­dell

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