BARRY’S BAY – The MV Wolves will honour prior generations of hockey players in a ceremony at the final regular season home game Feb. 10.
MV Wolves general manager Liam Murray spent a lot of time researching senior hockey in the area during preparations for the launch of the Wolves’ inaugural season. He found a history dating back to the early days of the Stanley Cup as a trophy for amateur hockey, not professional.
The Wolves name, in particular, has a long history in Barry’s Bay and it was for that reason majority team owner chose the nickname for the team.
Murray said the original high school in town was built in the 1960s and a gym teacher named Joe Drago started a community hockey team called the MV Wolves. It was, “a way to connect the community and he was also very passionate about his Sudbury Wolves.” Drago was originally from Sudbury.
The team was popular in the region and brought together the communities of Barry’s Bay, Whitney, Madawaska, Palmer Rapids, Combermere, Killaloe and Round Lake. “There were people from all over the area playing on these junior teams,” at the old community arena, Murray explained. The old arena, he said, was located where the Valu-mart is currently.
The team played in a league against others from Renfrew, Petawawa and Deep River and other local communities.
When the team was being conceived, “Michael Summers was very adamant that we had to have it called the Wolves,” because of the connection to the past and as a way to pay homage to those prior teams. Michael Summers is the majority owner of the current Wolves team as well as head coach.
Dave Shulist played on some of those teams and has been helping organize the event for Feb. 10 and said more than 30 former players are returning for the game. He informed the Gazette that Drago will attend the game.
Murray said the team will have a special section in the stands for the alumni players to sit.
“What we’re looking to do is kind of a passing of the torch, as it were,” as part of the ceremony. The plan is for six of the former players – one for each position – to go onto the ice with six current Wolves and do a stick passing or exchange. Shulist confirmed they had six former players chosen for the ceremony.
The game Feb. 10 is a 6 p.m. start against the Frontenac Phantoms. The Wolves beat the Phantoms 6-1 on Jan. 21.
After the game, The Timber Line will be playing upstairs at the Paul J. Yakabuski Community Centre. Tickets for the show are $20 in advance or $25 at the door. Advance tickets can be purchased from the Wolves’ website at mvwolves.ca.
The playoff picture
The Wolves will play in the post-season against the Tweed Oil Kings in the first round. That is known. What seed they will draw is still unknown after play Sunday afternoon.
As we reported last week, the Oil Kings will receive a forfeit win due to the termination of the Centre Hastings Ice Miners franchise. Those two points put Tweed, effectively, two points behind MV with a game in hand going into play this week.
Friday night, the Phantoms beat the Oil Kings in overtime, giving a single point to Tweed putting them just one point behind the Wolves going into the Sunday afternoon game between MV and Tweed. Tweed defeated MV Sunday afternoon 7-2 putting them, effectively, one point up on MV going into play next weekend.
MV plays Saturday against Frontenac. Tweed plays Sunday at home against the second place Gananoque Islanders. If both teams win, in regulation or overtime, Tweed takes the fourth seed and home ice advantage in the first round of playoffs. If MV wins and Tweed loses, MV will take the fourth seed. If MV wins and Tweed loses in overtime, the teams would be tied with 22 points. If the first tiebreaker is head-to-head play, Tweed would take fourth place by virtue of its 2-0-2 record against MV.
Goal scorers Sunday for MV were Robert Lepine (Jared Steege, Kurtis Leclaire) and Josh Miller (Luigi Martone). Tweed outshot MV 31-30. Ethan Lapenskie started in goal for the Wolves, Sean Green took over at the start of the second period. There were 20 penalties assessed, including four fighting majors.