Fort set to host SIJHL all-star weekend

FORT FRANCES—Fort Frances will host the SIJHL’s best and brightest this weekend as six representatives from all seven teams will participate in the annual all-star game.
In addition to the game between Team Regional and Team Thunder Bay on Saturday (Feb. 2) at 3:15 p.m., a skills competition featuring the league’s all-stars will run Friday at 7:30 p.m.
“We’re trying to showcase a first-class event,” said Larry Patrick, one of the co-chairs of the all-star weekend. “We always try to stage a good show here . . . it’s just the nature of how the Sabres run.”
The main focus of the weekend will be Saturday’s all-star game, in which players from across the SIJHL will team up for bragging rights.
They will be split up into Team Regional, coached by Randy Lulashnyk of the Dryden Ice Dogs, and Team Thunder Bay, helmed by Todd Howarth of the Fort William North Stars.
Dryden, the Fort Frances Jr. Sabres, and Schreiber Diesels will make up Team Regional while Fort William, the Thunder Bay Bearcats, and Thunder Bay Bulldogs will compose Team Thunder Bay.
The seventh team in the league, the Marathon Renegades, will have three players on each team.
Nine of the league’s 10 top scorers will play in Saturday’s game, along with defenceman points leader Brad Pawlowski and save percentage leader Josh Mrakic (both of the Bearcats).
Representatives were selected by their respective teams.
“We’re hoping to showcase all [the league’s] players,” Sabres’ vice-president Nancy Gardiman said.
Kicking off the weekend will be the skills competition Friday night, made up of events testing the league’s fastest skater, best rapid-fire shooter and target shooter, and hardest shot.
There also will be a breakaway competition (an event for players to show off their most creative shootout move), an obstacle race, and a “Roenick dance” event (where players can make like NHL veteran Jeremy Roenick and show off their best celebration dance).
The skills competition will be capped by a short 3-on-3 game.
The SIJHL event is based on the NHL’s all-star weekend with a few tweaks, some of which Patrick said were done at the suggestion of Sabres’ coach Wayne Strachan.
“We had some idea from what had gone on before in other SIJHL skills competitions, so we had a starting base,” Patrick noted. “[Strachan] just basically gave us some ideas of how to do things and what to do, and he’s going to help us through the dry run.
“He had input in helping us format it, if you will.
“He’s got lots of good ideas, eh, Wayne,” added Patrick. “Especially hockey ideas.”
< *c>The rosters
Representing Fort Frances on Team Regional will be Alessio Tomassetti, Quinn Amiel, Mike Ainsworth, Mario Boivin, Mike Parisien, and Ryan Faragher.
Dryden’s representatives are Drew Heinen, Rowen Bruetsch, Colin McIntosh, Marlon Gardner, Nicolas Doiron, and Graeme Harrington while Colin Wise, Tyler Dixon, Jared Saunders, Jason Plicz, Reilly Miller, and Matt Kernick will suit up from Schreiber.
Representing Marathon on Team Regional are Tyler Campbell, Mike Spearing, and Alex Falardeau.
Team Thunder Bay will feature Ryan Magill, Travis Jaspers, Sean Bassingthwaite, Zacharie Fontaine, Nathanial Vail, and Michael Bannon from Fort William.
Representing the Bulldogs will be Ryan Sambray, David Dawd, Drew Childs, John Prodaniuk, Mike Thibert, and Drew Strandberg, with Randy MacIntyre, Travis Lesarge, Jeff Manryk, Delaney Michano, Brad Pawlowski, and Josh Mrakic suiting up from the Bearcats.
Representing Marathon on Team Thunder Bay will be Troy Paquette, J-C LIerette, and Jared Bruyere.
(Fort Frances Times)