Toronto, ON- U SPORTS competition may be on the shelf for the most part as the world fights against COVID-19, but that does not mean that things are not happening in Canadian university sport. Some exhibition games are happening, recruiting season is in full swing, and elite athletes take strides towards the Olympic games.
In the Wednesday Wrap, 49 Sports highlights headlines from the past week in U SPORTS.
U SPORTS Statement of Actions
U SPORTS, its member conferences and member schools put on several events through February’s Black History Month, and U SPORTS is taking steps to fight against systemic racism in North America.
On Monday, U SPORTS released their “Statement of Actions,” detailing processes and restructuring intended to create a more harmonious sporting environment in Canada.
Of the immediate changes, U SPORTS will rename its “Equity Committee to the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Committee to better reflect and be more representative of the work being done in 2021.”
That is just one of the six changes announced this week, while other, broader ideals will be implemented throughout Canadian university sport. While U SPORTS is working on this topic, individual conferences and independent organizations also take it upon themselves to make a difference.
MBB: ST. FX to play Coach K tribute game v. Acadia (Steve Konchalski)
After 46 years coaching the St.FX men’s basketball team, Steve Konchalski is stepping away from the sidelines and into retirement on May 1. Although university sport is on hold, and St.FX did not participate in any of the Nova Scotia exhibition season, the nine-time AUS champion will lead his team one last time on March 6 (7:30 AST) in a game against the Acadia Axemen.
It will be the first game for the X-Men since the 2020 AUS Playoffs and will be part of a month of celebrations surrounding Coach ‘K.” While fans are unable to attend the game, invited guests will be able to see him coach one last time; meanwhile, most people can tune in on austv.ca
The game will also be for the “Coach K Challenge Trophy,” a new award that will be awarded in a select game between the two schools on an annual basis moving forward. Kochalski played for the Axemen in the 1960s, leading them to a national championship in 1965, where he was awarded tournament MVP.
“Acadia University is honoured to participate in Coach K’s final game on the court named after him,” said Kevin Dickie, Acadia’s Executive Director of Athletics in a press release. “Steve is a national champion, hall of fame inductee and legend at Acadia. He was one of the early athletes that helped put our Axemen program on the national map.”
For more details, CLICK HERE.
MHKY: Brock alumnus nearing NHL debut for Vegas
162 players from U SPORTS have played in the National Hockey League, and former Brock Badger Logan Thompson is trying to be the next one. Thompson signed with the Vegas Golden Knights in the summer and recently had his first shot at the NHL lineup, taking part in warmups against the Anaheim Ducks. The Ducks also have a U SPORTS alumnus in their system in former University of Calgary Dino Kodie Curran.
After the game against the Ducks, Golden Knights Head Coach Pete DeBoer said, “It’s a great story, I was talking to him a little bit about his journey, playing in the Western league and then heading to Brock University, playing for a guy I know in Marty Williamson — He’s knocking on the door of an NHL start.”
Vegas loaned Thompson back to the AHL’s Henderson Silver Knights on Tuesday but could find his way back in the NHL as soon as later this week when the Golden Knights take on the Minnesota Wild.
University Sport’s return in New Brunswick
While the three Nova Scotia AUS schools of Acadia, Dalhousie and St. Mary’s had to shutter their exhibition season early, the next chance for university sport comes in another AUS area in New Brunswick.
The provincial government could potentially enter the “Yellow Zone” of COVID-19 restrictions by mid-March, which would allow for athletic competition to resume. Sources have told 49 Sports that if this is the case, games could begin as soon as March 15. UNB and St. Thomas University are reportedly interested in hosting games.
WHKY: U SPORTS alumni and coaches on Hockey Canada’s Training Camp Roster for IIHF World Championships
Hockey Canada announced a roster of 35 women’s hockey players who will attend a selection camp ahead of the 2021 IIHF Women’s World Championships in Nova Scotia. Former McGill Martlets Melodie Daoust and Ann-Sophie Bettez are included, while former University of Manitoba student-athlete Bridgette Lacquette also has a spot on the roster.
Ryerson men’s hockey assistant coach Kori Chevrie is an assistant coach, along with U of T’s Vicky Sunohara, the U SPORTS Women’s Hockey Coach of the Year in 2019-20. Joe Johnston, the interim Head Coach of the Dalhousie Tigers joins as a goaltending consultant.
Star player and McGill Martlets skills coach, Marie-Phillip Poulin is also included on the roster.
For more details, CLICK HERE.
WRESTLING: Concordia Alex Moore takes a step towards Tokyo
Concordia Stingers wrestler Alex Moore made headlines this week, defeating Brock’s Clayton Pie in a match that brings him one step closer to a Tokyo 2020 Olympic berth. With the win, the 23-year-old Montrealer earns a spot at May’s Olympic qualifying tournament in Bulgaria.
The Wednesday wrap-up will be available weekly, highlighting the biggest stories in U SPORTS from the last seven days. To keep up with men’s hockey recruits, make sure to follow us on Twitter @49SPORTNET.