Sheer genius

It was all part of the master plan—really.
I was taken to task by some local hockey buffs for my prediction of the Thunder Bay KC Bulldogs upsetting the regular-season champion Borderland Thunder in six games in the SIJHL final.
Yet, nobody realized the cunning mentality behind making such a seemingly cutthroat move against the local heroes. It was never meant to disparage them—it was meant to inspire them.
Look at how effectively it worked. The Thunder, who could have rolled over and played dead with a Dudley Hewitt Cup berth already safely tucked away in their pocket, played like a team with something to prove.
The scorers scored, the checkers checked, and even some of the scorers checked. The defence alternated between kick-starting the offence and lambasting any foolhardy Bulldog forwards who thought they would have free rein in the Borderland zone.
Kevin Webb filled the role of Mr. Overtime. Kurt Hogard went from an 18-point scorer in the regular season to his team’s most productive offensive weapon. Dan Hoehne was spectacular when he had to be—and solid when he didn’t.
Everything fell into place, as I expected it would. By counting them out, I lit the championship fire deep within the competitive bellies of the purple-and-white ice warriors and paved the way for the Thunder’s first SIJHL title of hopefully many more to come.
So, not wanting to mess with success, I have saved the Thunder the unnecessary concern of mapping out strategies to hold their impending Dudley Hewitt Cup opposition in check.
How so? By rating them the second-longest shot (the Bulldogs would be the longest) to win the big prize and move on to the Royal Bank Cup in Charlottetown.
By doubting them again in print, certainly they wouldn’t want to disappoint the public by having my prediction come to pass. We might as well start planning the victory parade now.
Save your thanks, though. I’m far too humble to accept any of the credit.
And for those of you believing any of what has just been written, be advised I’m also putting the International Bridge here up for sale, as well. I’ll give you a great bargain, promise!
• • •
The registration deadline for parents to sign up their youngsters for the new Fort Frances Minor Baseball Association season is fast approaching.
All divisions need to be signed up by April 19 at 5 p.m. as the Little League teams are about to begin play in the next few weeks.
Those interested can register at Skates and Blades or Taggs Source for Sports. Anyone needing more information can contact Dave Sande at 274-7863 (h) or 274-9861 (w).
• • •
With another Fort Frances Women’s Volleyball League season put to bed, local court enthusiasts are trying to turn the community’s attention to a proposed mixed league this summer.
Organizer Connie Cuthbertson said the planned league, which has not yet been determined whether it will be indoor or outdoor, would provide a good avenue of recreation for those who love the sport, especially students coming home from university for the summer months.
With no men’s league in the community at present, the thought is that if enough male participants join the mixed league, the numbers will serve to motivate the men to create their own indoor league this fall.
Cuthbertson said if enough interest exists in starting a mixed league, the next step is to take the list of participants to the town’s recreation department and try to form the structure for a full-fledged league.
Those interested in joining the league can contact Cuthbertson after May 2 at 274-9224.
• • •
The Fort Frances Minor Hockey Association will hold its annual meeting and election of officers April 28 at 7:30 p.m. in the upstairs auditorium at the Memorial Sports Centre.
This is the only time of the year that any changes can be made to the association’s constitution. Anyone wishing to propose a change must contact president Lynn Kellar by the end of tomorrow.
If you are planning any sporting events, or have some sports-related information or scores, feel free to call me at 274-5373 ext. 237 or by e-mail at jpayeur@fortfrances.com

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