Bruins take three of four points on weekend
by Roger Varley
In two of their best games so far in the 2014-15 season, the Uxbridge Bruins came away with three of a possible four points after losing a shoot-out to the Port Perry MoJacks on Friday and clobbering the Clarington Eagles 5-1 on Sunday.
In addition to seeing strong performances from every player on the team, the Bruins also had Shane Smith return to the line-up after a lengthy absence and saw newcomer Todd Winder make his mark with two goals. Uxbridge-born Winder was recently signed by the Bruins after playing Junior hockey on Aurora.
Friday's tilt with the MoJacks saw superb non-stop action between the two rivals, with only about two stoppages of play in the first 10 minutes and only two penalties in the first period, one of them debatable. That came when Tyson Eastgate was given a two-minute minor and a game misconduct for checking from behind. Both teams had several good scoring opportunities and Bruins goalie Brandon Francey pulled off an amazing save in the dying minutes when he dived across the crease to block the puck. It was so close, the MoJacks believed they had scored.
Six minutes into the second period, Marco Mastrangelo put the Bruins ahead when he bounced the puck into the net off the underside of the crossbar. Mastrangelo picked up the puck when a MoJacks defenceman tried to clear it past him but hit him in the chest. Despite that, the officials gave assists to Jarrett Smith and Jordan Nesbitt. Three minutes later, Winder scored his first as a Bruin, finishing off a great passing play with Patrick Bolahood and Shane Smith. Then defenceman Connor Evans picked up the puck in his own end, carried it the length of the ice and fired a close-in shot but the referee ruled it no goal. As the period wound down, the Bruins found themselves two men short for 49 seconds. They handled the two-man disadvantage well, but with only two seconds left in the period Port Perry scored on Francey.
The MoJacks scored another power-play marker midway through the third, tying the game and eventually sending it into a scoreless overtime period.
In the shootout, Port Perry's first shooter, Lucas Berkers, beat Francey cleanly, while Uxbridge's shooters - Dylan Locke, Mastrangelo and Winder - all missed.
In Clarington on Sunday, fans were again treated to good, fast-paced hockey, marred only by the referee's exuberance in handing out minor penalties.
Mastrangelo once again started the Bruins off, scoring an unassisted goal midway through the first period when his hard shot hit the glass behind the net, bounced off, hit the goalie in the back and dropped into the net.
Eastgate made it 2-0 early in the second with a high shot over the goalie's shoulder. Carter Vahey received an assist. With two minutes left in the period, Eastgate scored his second of the night, assisted by Alex Williamson and Evans.
The Eagles scored their lone goal on a power play midway through the third, but Winder quickly regained the three-goal lead with a power-play goal, assisted by Matt Pollard and Locke. Evans rounded out the scoring with yet another power-play goal as he period wound down. The assist went to Eastgate.
Coach Geoff Hodgkinson said later he had chosen Winder to take part in Friday's shoot-out "to get him comfortable, to let him know we're behind him."
Asked about the Bruins' performances in both games, the coach said his charges are "getting the message that it's effort, night in and night out. In the last three games, the boys have given honest effort."
The Bruins play a home-and-away series with the Georgina Ice this weekend before travelling to Lakefield to meet the Chiefs on Tuesday.
Bear pause: On Dec. 12, the Bruins will be hosting their first Teddy Bear toss in an effort to collect Teddy Bears for the Christmas Toy Drive. After the Bruins score their first goal of the game, the team is encouraging its fans to throw new Teddy Bears wrapped in clear plastic bags onto the ice surface.
Here Comes Santa!
by Nique Therrien
It’s that time of year again! The snow is falling, the winds are coming and sleigh bells are being heard! That's right! This Saturday, November 22, Uxbridge will be holding its annual Santa Claus parade. Where children, teens, and adults alike can come and join in the holiday festivities.
This year, the Uxbridge Tigers will be joining the parade as well. The USS Tiger Tunes Pep band will be marching and performing merry Christmas tunes into the streets of Uxbridge! This is the same band that was featured last week in The Cosmos for having played at the Toronto Argonauts final home game at the Rogers Centre.
Mr. David will be leading the band of students from all grades and teachers as they play out for all the people who will be coming out to watch!
Tiger Tunes is a band that was started this year by Principal David to bring in some fun, dancy tunes. They will be sporting bright, yellow jackets with the words “Tiger Tunes” on the back.
One of the clarinet players, a Grade 10, plays in Tiger Tunes. Tori Mathews really enjoys Tiger Tunes!
“Tiger Tunes is great, it's a lot of fun! It's not my first time in the parade, though, but I’m excited to be in the parade for Tiger Tunes. I think it will be a lot of fun. I really like playing with the teachers. They are all very talented and have something to teach us about music and our instruments!”
Every year the Santa Claus Parade is a huge hit with the entire town. Withe many generous sponsors, and amazing floats, lots of holiday music blasting and cheer being spread around the season, it’s hard not to enjoy yourself.
That’s just the beginning of spreading the Christmas cheer, though. The USS Christmas Concert will be held on December 3, and all the bands will come and plays some festive music for people to enjoy.
The parade this Saturday is sure to be a blast and everyone is welcome to come and enjoy the great floats, and the Tiger Tunes band! This weather predicts that it’s going to be chilly, though, so make sure to wearbring warm clothing!
Tiger Tunes is sure to participate in loads of other amazing events and they are still looking for new members, feel free to join!
Thanks, and as always, have an amazing week, Tigers!
Township to province: "Explain yourself!"
Members of council were angry at the province yet again Monday after receiving two letters from the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs denying Uxbridge's two applications for project funding under government programs. One of the projects involved is the Brock Street Culvert, which will cost millions of dollars to replace.
Uxbridge had applied for funding under the ministry's Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund and the Building Canada Fund-Small Communities Fund.
What incensed Mayor Gerri Lynn O'Connor and the councillors most was the fact that one of the letters cited Uxbridge residents' relative financial well-being as part of the reason for denial. It read in part: "Economic conditions and fiscal situations were assessed using a combination of total weighted property assessment per household; median household income; average of net financial assets less total liabilities per household; average total residential property taxes, user fees and service charges per household as a percentage of median household income." The letter said other applicants to the fund had "more challenging economic conditions."
Councillor Pat Molloy, chair of the finance committee, said council should consider posting the two letters in the local newspapers.
"The public should be mad at the province," he said. We're being denied because we're fiscally responsible."
Regional Councillor Jack Ballinger used the same argument, saying the province's decision should not be based on income.
"This is unfair. We're being penalized for being good stewards of our own money."
Councillor Gordon Highet said that if council does not react to the decisions "we're just going to lie down and take it."
Mayor O'Connor said residents' income should have no bearing on the ministry's decision. The mayor said the denials could cost Uxbridge about $180,000. She pointed out that Uxbridge had not even asked for funding yet, but had merely entered a letter of intent to apply for funding. The letter didn't even get past that stage even though, as the mayor explained, she met in July with Peter Braid, federal Parliamentary Secretary for Infrastructure and Communities, who told her the two projects for which Uxbridge sought funding were exactly the type of projects that should receive support.
Council agreed to send a letter to the Minister of Agriculture for an explanation.
Stop sign stays:
Heinz Nitschke, Uxbridge's perennial fighter of four-way stop signs, lost his most recent bid to have a four-way stop removed.
Council received a letter from Mr. Nitschke and a petition signed by 22 people asking for removal of the four-way stop at Centre Street and Bolton Drive. They claimed the stop signs do nothing to enhance safety, cause additional air pollution and serve no useful purpose.
However, Regional Councillor Ballinger, who noted he lives on Centre street, said removal of the stop signs would eliminate all stops on Centre Street between Brock Street and Ball Road. He said that could lead to speeding along the entire stretch.
A motion to conduct a traffic count at the intersection was defeated and the letter and petition were merely received for information, which means no action will be taken.
Jim Hunt, a merchant navy veteran, is honoured during a ceremonial face-off at the annual Uxbridge Oilies' Remembrance Day tournament. He's joined by the women's team captains and (l-r) referees Bob Boake and Owen Heise, as well as Brian Corcoran and a Uxbridge Legion Pipe and Drum piper.
Photo by Ted Barris
Tribute to a true hero - Geoffrey Leeming remembered
Pby Jack MacQuarrie
One Monday per month, except during the summer, Uxbridge Branch 170 of The Royal Canadian Legion hosts a special “Veterans' Afternoon” for any veterans of allied forces who are able to attend. In addition to the veterans attending, many other legion members and friends join them for an afternoon of socializing, a light lunch and occasional entertainment. In one corner of the room, adjacent to showcases containing wartime memorabilia, there is usually a group veterans seated around a large round table.
Many of this group also congregate around that table every Thursday afternoon. . There is no structure to the group, it has no name and there is no agenda. It's just a friendly group, mostly in the same age range, who served during World War II and other more recent conflicts. It was at one of these gatherings, some years ago, where I first met Geoffrey Leeming. In recent times, Geoff was the only member, still attending the group, to have landed on the Normandy beaches June 6, 1944. A few weeks ago, Geoff proudly showed us a number of awards commemorating his service on D-Day which he had just received. Although he had not yet received it, he had been informed that he would be receiving France's highest award, The Legion of Honour for his service. Sadly Geoff will not be with us to receive it. We lost him early Monday morning, November 10.
Conversations on these afternoons covered a broad spectrum from serious discussions of current events to the telling of jokes and hurling silly friendly insults at one another. One such gibe, that Geoff received, was ”how is it that you speak with a definite British accent when you have such a distinctive Chinese name as Lee Ming”? Such was the good-natured camaraderie of Thursday afternoons around the table which will be so missed with our loss of Geoff.
As one might expect, when there are six or eight men around the table, it is not uncommon for two or three conversations to be in progress simultaneously. At times this bothered Geoff, and he would call for some decorum. While Geoff never bestowed himself with the designation of Senior Knight or similar honorific, it frequently appeared as though he had assumed such a role when he called for order.
Usually little attention was paid to such requests for order. As a joke, one day he was handed a small gavel, which I had found in the Naval Club of Toronto as that club was about to vacate its old premises in downtown Toronto. The head of this gavel was a replica of a bottle of Guinness stout. Guinness just happened to be Geoff's preferred beverage at these gatherings. He immediately claimed this small gavel as his own, and was disappointed when it had to be returned.
Solution? Make a gavel for Geoff. So, many months ago, at a Thursday meeting, Geoff's empty Guinness can was whisked away to be incorporated into a special gavel.
Then, a hickory hammer handle was purchased. Since one of my addictions is procrastination, these languished in the “I must get around to it” department for many months. Finally, with the October Veterans' Afternoon looming, it was time to act. The gavel was constructed. Suitable stain on the handle, some filling in the can to give it some weight, a bit of final trim and the gavel was complete. Since it is bad form to strike a gavel on the table top, it was accompanied by a small dark oak panel with a gold name plate inscribed with “Geoffrey Leeming Guinness Gavel”.
Result? On Monday, October 20, at the Legion's monthly Veterans Day, Geoff was presented with his own Guinness Gavel. Geoff was now faced with the dilemma: keep it at home as a memento or at the Legion where he could bring order to the weekly gatherings. Geoff took his gavel home. Neither he nor his gavel were to return.
On another matter, a couple of years ago, quite by accident, we discovered that each of us had owned 1951 English Ford Prefect cars. It had been Geoff's very first car before he moved to Canada. As for mine, I still owned it. My Prefect had been languishing in a garage for a bit over 50 years, and Geoff asked me to get it and let him drive it. After that time, it would need many hours of tender loving care, and I had never found anyone with the skill or interest to rehabilitate this car. About six weeks ago, by sheer blind chance, I met a man who not only had the skill to do the necessary work, but was keen to do so. He would tow it to his shop and start work as soon as I was able to find the key. I didn't tell this to Geoff, it was to be a second surprise for him. As soon as it was in running condition and licenced, Geoff was to be the first passenger, and maybe even drive a Prefect again. As for my search for the key, I located it this past weekend. Less than twelve hours later, Geoff breathed his last. The restoration work on that car will now have very special meaning.