Karaoke, hockey find the connection

I would like to preface things with some non-sports material.
I know, I know. I’m overstepping my boundaries. But bear with me. I’ll think of a lead-in soon enough.
Firstly, if you ever get a chance, take a nice road trip by yourself.
All you really need is a heavy-caffeine drink, a full tank of gas, a pile of your favourite CDs, and you’re ready to go. During my drives to and from Thunder Bay, I think I’ve improved on my karaoke skills tenfold.
Dare I say it: car karaoke is more fun than being tempted to take that turn into Shabaqua or that pizza place in the middle of nowhere. So give it a go. Trust me, it will all pay off during your office or family Christmas party.
My favourite track on this particular Monday drive was “Have you ever seen the rain?” by Creedence Clearwater Revival. It was fitting, really, as it rained plenty after I turned onto Highway 11 heading back to Fort Frances on Monday night.
To wit, my lead-in: I wanna know have you ever seen local junior ‘A’ hockey? Well, it’s coming down this Friday.
After all the talk about team fees and two-fight rules, the concern over what zones teams can scout where, the hiring and exodus of Mike Allison as head coach, and the solid performances on the road, the Borderland Thunder of the SIJHL are ready to hit the ice here for their home-opener against the Thunder Bay Bulldogs.
The most important thing here is that my run as sole provider of images of the team now ends (remember, I said “sole” provider, don’t go cancelling your subscription). There’s been a lot of questions regarding this team and this league, and for those who ask, I can only answer with one solution.
Attend a game.
This isn’t coming from me because I’m some hometown booster. The only way to judge something is to experience it firsthand. If there’s anything I’ve learned in my years growing up
in Thunder Bay, it’s that their baseball or hockey teams folded or moved because nobody gave them a chance.
If you get tripped up at the gate, you’ll never get a chance to run the race.
Now obviously winning is important at this level. All these SIJHL players certainly are looking to make their mark as an individual and as a team. Sure, the glamour of major junior hockey isn’t there, but tenacity–in all the teams–sure is.
That’s all I’ll say on the on-ice product. I won’t tell you what kind of hockey I’ve seen in my travels to Thunder Bay, or whether I liked it or not, or try to sway your opinion of the team before they even drop the puck this Friday.
That’s not my job. You’ll be the ultimate judge soon enough–just attend a game.
However, it is my job to bring you shoutouts–and give you a lesson on how to avoid road kill on a rainy day. Stay tuned.
• • •
A new women’s pick-up basketball league is looking to start up Oct. 16. They played a few games last year but are hoping to make it a weekly tradition this time around.
Warm-ups start at 7:30 p.m. at St. Michael’s School gym, followed by games at 8. Rec director Megan Ross said to check out the info board at the Memorial Sports Centre for more details.
• • •
Rustyn Dolyny of Fort Frances signed on with the Muskegon Fury of the United Hockey League last week. The 24-year-old captained the Michigan State Spartans and led that team in scoring last season.
• • •
Local angler Jeff Steinke will be the topic of an article on muskie masters in a future issue of “Ontario Outdoors.”
Thunder Bay Chronicle Journal outdoors columnist Gord Ellis and a photographer will come to the district at the end of the month and feature him as one of the provinces’ expert muskie anglers.
Steinke himself is an established columnist, his name gracing several angling magazines, most recently “Inside Line,” an on-line publication based out of Arizona.
He fished with David Hyatt at the 2001 Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championships.

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