St. Catharines Jr. B Athletics open playoffs this week

by Rod Mawhood

Team finished first overall in Ontario with 18-1-1 record. Photo Credit: Facebook/ St. Catharines Athletics  When the St. Catharines Jr. B Athletics open their playoff run Tuesday night, they’ll be playing a familiar foe. The Wallaceburg Red Devils. The Athletics finished first overall in the 30-team Junior B loop, while Wallaceburg was eighth in the […]

CEBL growth impressive

by Rod Mawhood

 League attendance up 41 per cent from 2023. Photo Credit: CEBL.  As the sixth season of the Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL) continues, the league’s growth is unprecedented.  The CEBL is Canada’s largest professional sports league with 10 teams, including the Niagara River Lions. The year-over-year ascension from the same time frame and number of […]

Port Colborne Paralympian is Paris bound

by Rod Mawhood

Emma Van Dyk says swimming changed her life. Photo Credit: Brock University.  There was a reason Emma Van Dyk started swimming.  Some two decades later, the pool is where she finds peace.  And that peace is sending the 21-year old to Paris, France and the 2024 Paralympic Games.  “I started swimming through therapy because when […]

Team also makes first trade of off-season. Pictured: Daniel Paille. Photo Credit: Niagara IceDogs.  The Niagara IceDogs announced the hiring of NHL veteran, Welland native and Stanley Cup Champion Daniel Paille as Assistant Coach. Paille joins head coach Ben Boudreau behind the bench. “Michele and I are excited to welcome Dan to our organization,” said […]

Montreal Canadians were last team to win in 1993. Pictured: Edmonton Oilers Captain Connor McDavid. Photo Credit: Connor McDavid/X. It’s hard to believe that the Montreal Canadiens, featuring St. Catharines native Brian Bellows, were the last Canadian team to win the NHL Stanley Cup back in 1993. The Edmonton Oilers will try and win their […]

Longtime Director of Recreation at Brock University set to retire

by Rod Mawhood

Karen McAllister-Kenny was with Brock for more than 40 years. Photo Credit: Brock Badgers Not many people can say they turned a six-month contract position into a four-plus decade occupation, but Karen McAllister-Kenny certainly can. On Friday, after 40-years at and with Brock University, McAllister-Kenny will call it a career. And while McAllister-Kenny will retire […]

Fort Erie Race Track 2024 season begins today

by Rod Mawhood

Coming off a successful 2023 race season, track officials are looking forward to 2024. Photo Credit: Facebook/Fort Erie Race Track.  “They’re at the post, and they’re off.” It’s seven words horse racing fans have been hearing in and from Fort Erie since 1897. Yes, the 2024 horse racing season opens Tuesday afternoon at historic Fort […]

Record number of NBA experienced players on CEBL rosters

by Rod Mawhood

Niagara River Lions open their season on the road Friday night. Photo credit: CEBL. The Niagara River Lions tip-off their regular season Friday night in Brampton, as part of the 10-team Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL) which began its season earlier this week, a look at the player breakdown across the league is very impressive. […]

St. Catharines Jr. A Athletics host Toronto Beaches at Canada Games Park. Photo Credit: Facebook/ St. Catharines Athletics  Niagara’s oldest sporting franchise opened its 2024 season with a win. The St. Catharines Jr. A Athletics lacrosse club, established in 1877, beat the Brampton Excelsiors 11-9 last Friday night and are set for their home opener […]

St. Catharines Athlete and Sportsperson of the Year named

by Rod Mawhood

Alexa Vasko and Pat Sullivan honoured at City Hall. Photo Supplied One is now part of women’s pro sports history, and the other has dozens of championships to his name. Alexa Vasko, current member of the Professional Women’s Hockey League – Toronto franchise, was named St. Catharines Athlete of the Year, while Pat Sullivan, former […]

Port Colborne set to host Canadian Para Hockey Championship

by Rod Mawhood

Matteo Pellizzari (left), Mitchell Garrett and Brendon Hurst. Photo Credit: Hockey Canada   Tim Dool says “seeing is believing.” That’s how Dool describes Para Hockey, and that’s why it’s no surprise the Niagara native is the Chair of the organizing committee for this week’s Canadian Para Hockey Championship in Port Colborne. “My love for the sport […]

Both of Niagara’s post-secondary institutions made significant coaching announcements this week. Photo Credit: Brock University. Pictured: Brock Badgers Volleyball Coach Ian Eibbitt.  In Welland, a former player, turned assistant coach, is now the head coach of the Niagara College Knights Men’s Basketball team.  Lequan Hylton officially took over this week from Phil Mosley, who will […]

Round Two in the NHL and NBA Playoffs underway

by Rod Mawhood

A pair of players with local connections still vying for Lord Stanley’s mug. Pictured: Dallas Stars winger Jason Robertson. Photo Credit: Jason Robertson/X.  Toronto Maple Leafs fans are left wondering again what could have been. Changes will be coming in Leafs land, that’s for sure.  Elsewhere, the defending Stanley Cup Champion, the Vegas Golden Knights, […]

2024 World Rowing Championships celebrate Niagara Rowing Champions

by Rod Mawhood

 “Oars & Encore: A Celebration of Niagara’s Rowing Community.” Photo Supplied. As the Niagara Region prepares to host the 2024 World Rowing Championships, the organizing committee behind the event is hosting “Oars & Encore: A Celebration of Niagara’s Rowing Community,” a special evening combining a concert headlined by acclaimed Canadian musician Steven Page with a […]

Chris Van Zeyl hangs up his cleats after illustrious career

by Rod Mawhood

Fonthill native played more than 15 seasons in the CFL and won two Grey Cups. Pictured: Chris Van Zeyl. Photo Credit: Chris Van Zeyl/X.  After more than 15 seasons in the Canadian Football League (CFL), including two Grey Cup Championships, numerous all-star nods and the league’s top lineman award in 2019, Chris Van Zeyl announced […]

Remembering Bob Cole

by Rod Mawhood

Legendary play-by-play announcer was voice of Hockey Night in Canada for 50 years. Photo Credit: NHL/X.  Today’s sports piece in The Niagara Independent wasn’t going to be about hockey at all.  But when the news broke Thursday afternoon that Bob Cole had passed, this piece had to be written. When this author thinks of hockey […]

NHL and NBA playoffs underway

by Rod Mawhood

Four Canadian teams on the ice in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, while double-digit Canadians playing in the NBA post-season. Pictured: Toronto Maple Leafs Captain John Tavares. Photo Credit: Toronto Maple Leafs/X.  It’s a good time to be a sports fan.  And perhaps a nerve-wracking, anxious, time if you’re a Toronto Maple Leafs fan. If hockey’s […]

River Lions and CEBL continue U Sports partnership

by Rod Mawhood

Niagara names first ever Canadian college player as well. Pictured: Luka Syllas. Photo Credit: Queen’s Gaels.  The Niagara River Lions of the Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL) recently announced their three selections in the 2024 CEBL Draft, including Jordan Tchuente of Brock University in St. Catharines, Luka Syllas from Queen’s University in Kingston and the […]

Niagara IceDogs select 18 players over 15 rounds during two-day OHL Draft

by Rod Mawhood

Braidy Wassilyn, who played this past season with the U16 AAA Markham Majors in the GTHL, was drafted fourth overall after recording 31 goals and 31 assists for 62 points. Pictured: Braidy Wassilyn. Photo Credit: Niagara IceDogs/X. The Niagara IceDogs made a total of 18 selections over the two-day 2024 Ontario Hockey League Priority Selection […]

Final days of NHL and NBA regular seasons

by Rod Mawhood

The Maple Leafs are the hottest Canadian team heading into the final week of the regular season Photo Credit: Maple Leafs/X As the regular seasons wind down for both the National Hockey League and National Basketball Association, The Niagara Independent looks ahead at where things stand now, and what may play out in the postseason […]

Cal Clutterbuck named Welland Sportsperson of the Year

by Rod Mawhood

NHL all-time hits leader proudly calls the Rose City home. Pictured: Cal Clutterbuck. Photo Credit: New York Islanders.  He received the call about a month ago from his father to tell him he was being named the Welland Sportsperson of the Year.  Friday night at Casa Dante in Welland, Cal Clutterbuck’s father, Tim, accepted the […]

Niagara River Lions sign two more Canadians

by Rod Mawhood

The River Lions open their 2024 season on May 24 on the road beginning a home-and-home against the Brampton Honey Badgers. Pictured: New Niagara River Lion Aaryn Rai. Photo Credit: Aaryn Rai/X.  After announcing the return of their top four scorers from last season, the Niagara River Lions continue to bolster their roster heading into […]

Welland Jackfish set to defend IBL title

by Rod Mawhood

Team releases its 2024 promotional schedule. Photo Credit: Welland Jackfish/Facebook.   There’s a reason Ryan Harrison calls himself the Director of Fun. Sure, he’s also the majority owner and President of the Welland Jackfish, but he’s promised – and delivered – on bringing more than baseball to the Rose City and the Niagara Region as […]

Mike Strange elected into Canadian Amateur Boxing Hall of Fame

by Rod Mawhood

Niagara Falls city councillor only Canadian boxer ever to appear in three Olympics. Pictured: Mike Strange and Mike Sommers. Photo Supplied Mike Strange knew he would get emotional last Saturday night.  Sure, the now 53-year-old Niagara Falls native and city councillor had been inducted into Boxing Hall of Fames before, but Saturday night was different.  […]

Remembering Gord Singleton

by Rod Mawhood

Canada’s first track cycling world champion was a Niagara Falls native. Pictured: Gord Singleton. Photo Credit: Library and Achieves Canada.  A legend. He put Canadian cycling on the map. The fastest man on wheels.  Just a few of the many words uttered in the past about Niagara Falls native, and World Champion, Gord Singleton who […]

Golf Ontario Manager of Junior High Performance is a Niagara native

by Rod Mawhood

Alexandra Taylor calls Port Robinson home. Pictured: Team Ontario at the 24th Can-Am Matches in South Carolina. Photo Credit: Golf Ontario. She’s a proud Port Robinson native. Not Thorold or Allanburg, but Port Robinson.  It was just a few months ago that Alexandra Taylor was appointed as the Manager of Junior Performance by Golf Ontario. […]

A dream becomes reality for Special Olympian

by Rod Mawhood

Mikey Rocco’s Golf Fore All Abilities has arrived. Photo supplied.  It was a dream that has become reality for Mikey (Rocco) DiRaddo.  The 33-year-old Thorold native is a former Special Olympic Golfer and, in collaboration with local golf enthusiast Tony Haney, has brought Golf Fore All Abilities to fruition.  This reporter has had the grateful […]

River Lions announce two more returnees

by Rod Mawhood

The Niagara River Lions continue to prepare for their 2024 season and May tipoff. Pictured: Forward T.J. Lall. Photo Credit: CEBL.   The Region’s only pro basketball team announced the return of 6’6 forward, T.J. Lall and 6’1 guard, Kimbal Makenzie, both returning to the team for a second consecutive year. Lall, a 27 year-old […]

Manic Monday as NFL free agency hits

by Rod Mawhood

Needless to say, the news came fast and furious on Monday. Pictured: Bills guard David Edwards. Photo Credit: Matt Durisko/AP.  While many in these parts are familiar with NHL (National Hockey League) Free Agent Frenzy, the National Football League (NFL) stole the show Monday.  First things first. Even though the legal contract negotiating window for […]

The Fort Erie Meteors placed second in the seven-team Golden Horseshoe Conference and will play the seventh-seeded Port Colborne Sailors beginning Saturday night in Fort Erie. Photo Credit: Facebook/Fort Erie Meteors.    Three best-of-seven playoff series featuring five Niagara-based Junior B teams begin this week.  The Fort Erie Meteors placed second in the seven-team Golden […]

PGA Tour golfer has connections to Niagara – and it’s not through golf

by Rod Mawhood

Taylor Pendrith isn’t the only athlete’s name featured at Pillitteri. Sprinter Andre De Grasse, swimmer Kylie Masse and equestrian Amy Miller also have their own wines. Photo Credit: Pillitteri Estates Winery.    Yes, your eyes and ears aren’t deceiving you.  You did see golfers on the links, or hear ‘fore’ in the distance this past […]

The River Lions tip off their season at the end of May. Pictured: Khalil Ahmad. Photo Credit: CEBL.   The Niagara River Lions have announced the re-signing of all four of their top scorers from last season, as Khalil Ahmad, Jahvon Blair, Eddie Ekiyor and Antonio ‘A.J.’ Davis will return for the 2024 Canadian Elite […]

Niagara Region hockey update across leagues

by Rod Mawhood

It’s the final week of regular season for local Jr. A. and Jr. B hockey teams; Jr. C play-ins begin this week; and the last month of OHL regular season gets underway. Pictured: Niagara IceDog players. Photo Credit: Meridian Centre.  The Niagara IceDogs, who play out of the Ontario Hockey League, are officially in the […]

Super Saturday coming up for the Brock Badgers

by Rod Mawhood

Badgers will play four home games on campus Saturday. Photo Credit: Brock Badgers Athletics/Stephen Leithwood.   If you’ve never checked out a Brock University sporting event, Saturday may be the best day to do it.  Over a six-hour span, four different Badgers teams will be competing in playoff games on campus at Brock U.  First […]

Former NHL stars return to assist Niagara’s only rehab hospital

by Rod Mawhood

Thirteen teams, and over 200 players are expected to hit the ice at the Gale Centre in Niagara Falls on Friday, after Thursday’s night draft in which players and teams involved try and outbid each other for the right to draft their favorite former NHLer. Pictured: Wendel Clark. Photo Credit: NHL.com.    Thirteen former NHL […]

The Blue Jays first spring training game is Feb. 24 against the Philadelphia Phillies, while their regular season opener is March 28 in Tampa Bay against the Rays. Pictured is Blue Jays Vice President Andrew Tinnish. Photo Credit: The Canadian Press/Chris Young.   It’s a rite of passage to spring.  Major League Baseball Spring Training.  […]

St. Catharines Mayor Mat Siscoe, who was at the bid presentation Sunday offered this: “The upcoming 2025 Minto Cup presents another exciting opportunity to highlight the hospitality and hosting excellence of St. Catharines.”   The Ontario Junior Lacrosse League (@TheOJLL) and St. Catharines Athletics, in collaboration with Sport Niagara and the City of St. Catharines, […]

Super Bowl 58 preview: Kansas City meets San Francisco Sunday night

by Rod Mawhood

It’s Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce and defending champion Kansas City taking on Brock Purdy, Christian McCaffery, George Kittle and the San Francisco 49ers in the 58th edition of the Super Bowl, Sunday night from Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada. Photo Credit: Ethan Miller/Getty Images.    It’s hard to know what conversation is bigger surrounding […]

Brock graduate makes PWHL debut

by Rod Mawhood

Despite the gold medals and representing Canada, Bach calls making her PWHL debut the highlight of her career thus far. Pictured: Victoria Bach. Photo Credit: PWHL Toronto on X.    It was a long awaited and much-anticipated women’s professional hockey debut for Victoria Bach.  The recent Brock University graduate had been waiting her whole life […]

NBA takes centre stage as NHL enters All-Star break

by Rod Mawhood

Just past the halfway mark of the 82-game regular season, the Boston Celtics are the clear leader in the Eastern Conference, but the West is a tossup, with five teams all within five games vying for the Conference’s top spot. Pictured is Canadian R.J. Barrett, now a Toronto Raptor. Photo Credit: CP/Chris Young.    The […]

The Niagara River Lions are set to tip-off their sixth season in the Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL) and have announced their 20-game 2024 season schedule. Pictured: Antonio “AJ” Davis. Photo Credit: CEBL.    The roar returns in 2024.  The Niagara River Lions are set to tip-off their sixth season in the Canadian Elite Basketball […]

“Wide right” rears its ugly head again for the Bills and their fans

by Rod Mawhood

Thirty-two years and 359 days after Scott Norwood missed a 47-yard field goal – wide right – that would have lifted the Buffalo Bills to their first ever Super Bowl, Tyler Bass missed a 44-yard attempt late in the fourth quarter that would have tied the game against Kansas City in Sunday’s AFC Division Round […]

Welland Jackfish unveil 2024 “Year of the FINatic” schedule

by Rod Mawhood

The 2024 campaign will feature nine Thursday home games, 10 Saturdays, one Sunday and one Monday throughout the summer. Photo Credit: Welland Jackfish.    Their motto since they arrived in the Rose City was “Fans First Fun Always.” That’s why it’s not a surprise the Welland Jackfish have officially released their 2024 schedule calling the […]

Brock Badgers wrestler and St. Catharines native dubbed future Olympian

by Rod Mawhood

St. Catharines native and Brock Badgers wrestler Mia Friesen has been awarded funding and an accelerated path to the Olympics after impressing scouts at the RBC Training Ground national final. Photo credit: Kate Dockeray   Her coach calls her a rare athlete. St. Catharines native and Brock Badgers wrestler Mia Friesen has been awarded funding […]

Canadian Para Hockey Championships Port Colborne bound

by Rod Mawhood

The best para hockey players from across Canada will descend on the Vale Health and Wellness Centre from May 16 to 19 of this year. Photo Credit: Sledge Team Ontario.   The National Para Hockey Championships are heading to Port Colborne. The best para hockey players from across Canada will descend on the Vale Health […]

Juventus Niagara has arrived: Niagara United teams up with Juventus Academy

by Rod Mawhood

Juventus recently formed a partnership with the Niagara United Soccer Club to help grow and promote the beautiful game. Among those pictured include Tony Carbonara (second from left) and Sebastian Giovinco (centre). Photo Credit: Niagara United Soccer Club.   When you think of international soccer you think of Liverpool or Manchester United in England, Barcelona […]

St. Catharines set to welcome the rowing world in 2024

by Rod Mawhood

Delegates at the World Rowing Congress voted overwhelmingly in support of the St. Catharines’ bid. Photo Credit: World Rowing. St. Catharines will play host to a number of sporting events in 2024, but the World Rowing Championships will surely be the biggest of them all.  It’s hard to believe that the Garden City was awarded […]

Niagara IceDogs enter New Year at the halfway point of OHL season

by Rod Mawhood

The Niagara IceDogs, led by coach Ben Boudreau, reflect on a challenging season marked by injuries but show promise as they gear up for the 2024 NHL Draft. Photo credit: Meridian Centre The Niagara IceDogs began their unofficial second half of the season Thursday night in Owen Sound. St. Catharines native Ben Boudreau officially took […]

Fort Erie Meteors stand out in the competitive Golden Horseshoe Conference of Niagara’s Junior Hockey League, led by Head Coach Nik Passero, while local rivals vie for top positions midway through the season. Photo credit: Facebook/Fort Erie Meteors   It’s the unofficial halfway point of the season for many hockey teams across Niagara, including the […]

Jackfish sign 10-year lease with City of Welland

by Rod Mawhood

The Welland Jackfish sign a 10-year lease extension with Welland Stadium, solidifying their home base until 2033. The agreement follows city approval and promises upgrades, player signings, and heightened fan experiences for the upcoming 2024 baseball season. Photo Credit: Facebook/Welland Jackfish The Welland Jackfish and City of Welland have agreed to terms on a new […]

Brock Badgers and Niagara College Knights at the holiday break

by Rod Mawhood

Niagara College Knights’ basketball and volleyball teams exhibit promise in the athletic season, while Brock University dominates in volleyball and wrestling, culminating a strong sporting year in the Niagara Region. Photo Credit: Niagara College Knights   It’s a much needed holiday break for most of the 12-hundred plus student athletes that call the Niagara Region […]

Coaching concerns across the province

by Rod Mawhood

Findings from the report suggest a concerning lack of required education for coaches in Ontario, with only 58% mandated to undergo training before working with athletes. Photo Credit: Pexels   Coaches Association of Ontario report finds coaches play a vital role in sport, but only half are trained Is your son or daughter’s coach properly […]

Standard Basketball Tournament celebrates 60 years

by Rod Mawhood

St. Catharines High School Basketball Tournament honours its 60th anniversary with an all-star reunion and an all-time team selection. Photo Credit: Pexels   Sixty years in the making. The Standard High School Basketball Tournament celebrated its 60th Anniversary this week with the finals set for Friday at the St. Catharines Collegiate. The basketball on the […]

Toronto Maple Leafs and Buffalo Sabres at the quarter pole of NHL season

by Rod Mawhood

Dylan Cozens’ remarks spotlight Buffalo’s lack of grit as the Sabres lack consistency in play. Photo Credit: Facebook/Hockey Feed   The 82-game, per team, National Hockey League schedule has reached the quarter pole. We’ll feature the two teams closest to us here in Niagara. First, the Toronto Maple Leafs, and it’s the same three storylines, […]

St. Catharines awarded 2024 Canadian Mixed Curling Championship

by Rod Mawhood

Curling Canada selects St. Catharines, Ontario, as the host city for the 2024 Canadian Mixed Curling Championship, setting the stage for a spectacular showcase of talent at the St. Catharines Golf & Curling Club. Photo: Facebook/Curling Championship   The Canadian Mixed Curling Championship is returning to Ontario for the first time in eight years in […]

Buffalo Sabres trying to reconnect with their fans in the Niagara Region…

by Rod Mawhood

Matt Ellis former Sabres player, current Assistant Coach and Welland native on the ice for practice. Photo: Facebook/Buffalo Sabres   The Buffalo Sabres have a longstanding connection with the Niagara Region. Despite many Toronto Maple Leafs calling Niagara home, the Sabres have a larger season-ticket base from the Region and are obviously closer geographically. Over […]

Welland Jackfish to Host 2024 IBL All-Star Showdown

by Rod Mawhood

Welland Jackfish Announce 2024 IBL All-Star Showdown: Expect Unprecedented Entertainment and Thrills. Photo Credit: Facebook/Welland Jackfish   Welland Jackfish to Host 2024 IBL All-Star Showdown Fresh off their 2023 Intercounty Baseball League (IBL) Championship season, the Welland Jackfish have been awarded the 2024 IBL All-Star Showdown. The event in the Rose City will be the […]

Canada’s Men’s National Basketball Team to hoop it up in St. Catharines

by Rod Mawhood

Canada Basketball and the CEBL Niagara River Lions team up. Photo Credit: Facebook/InvestinSTC   Canada Basketball, in partnership with the Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL), has announced that the Senior Men’s National Team will return home in February to St. Catharines as Canada opens the FIBA Men’s AmeriCup 2025 Qualifiers. Canada will face Nicaragua on […]

St. Catharines Sports Hall of Fame welcomes five new members this week

by Rod Mawhood

St. Catharines Sports Hall of Fame to honour five new inductees at a free event in Meridian Centre on Wednesday. Photo Credit: City of Catharines   Free event at Meridian Centre takes place Wednesday The St. Catharines Sports Hall of Fame will enshrine five new inductees Wednesday night inside its home at the Meridian Centre […]

Pelham native relishes World Series victory

by Rod Mawhood

Former Brock Badger and Welland Jackfish Player, Ryan Bench, celebrates World Series victory with the Texas Rangers after a remarkable journey. Photo Supplied   Ryan Bench is a former Brock Badger and Welland Jackfish It all started for Ryan Bench in January of 2022. Some 22 months later, the Pelham native and former Brock Badger […]

NFL regular season officially reaches halfway mark

by Rod Mawhood

Photo Credit: Facebook/Buffalo Bills   As of today if anyone tells you they know who’ll win the Super Bowl, simply put they’re lying. If there’s one thing we’ve learned after nine weeks of the National Football League (NFL) regular season it’s that parity reigns supreme. We’re officially at the halfway mark, and there are no […]

CFL playoffs kick off Saturday

by Rod Mawhood

CFL players make their 2023 Grey Cup predictions, leaning toward Winnipeg vs. Toronto in the Grey Cup. Photo Credit: Facebook/CFL   Two local kickers break it all down The calendar has officially flipped to November, which means one thing when it comes to football on this side of the border – It’s Canadian Football League […]

A big October leads into ReuKnighted at Niagara College

by Rod Mawhood

Niagara College celebrates major sponsorship and largest fall graduating class, leading to ReuKnighted alumni event. Photo Credit: Niagara College/Facebook   Niagara College continues to grow and prosper.  Look no further than two big announcements made by the college last week – all leading into an alumni event this week.  First it was Simplii Financial sponsoring […]

Happenchance leads to rowing scholarship

by Rod Mawhood

From basketball dreams to rowing Success: Grimsby’s Michael Gore earns scholarship at Syracuse University. Photo supplied by the Gore family.   Grimsby’s Michael Gore is Syracuse bound Something he originally said he “didn’t want to go to” has paid off big-time for Grimsby’s Michael Gore. “It’s definitely been a whirlwind of events over the past […]

A grand repeat?

by Rod Mawhood

Local curling fans sure hope the Grand Slam of Curling returns to Niagara Falls. Pictured: Canada’s Team Jones celebrates its victory in the women’s final. Photo credit: Grand Slam of Curling/Anil Mungal   Local curling fans roared in unison when Jennifer Jones won her 10th Grand Slam of Curling event Sunday at the Gale Centre […]

Grand Slam of Curling living up to the hype

by Rod Mawhood

Niagara Falls event features curlers from across the globe. Photo credit: Bruno Campagiorni    Driving through the parking lot of the Gale Centre in Niagara Falls says it all.  License plates from Quebec, Manitoba, Alaska, Oregon – and that’s just the curling fans that have driven to this week’s Hearing Life Grand Slam of Curling. […]

Curling world will call Niagara Falls home this week

by Rod Mawhood

Over 200 of the world’s best curlers slide into the Gale Centre, including Alberta’s Brendan Bottcher (pictured). Photo credit: Grand Slam of Curling/Anil Mungal   It all begins today, and will run until Sunday. The Grand Slam of Curling season, featuring the world’s top curlers, take to the ice at the Gale Centre in Niagara […]

Puck has dropped on NHL regular season

by Rod Mawhood

Every Canadian team has hit the ice in 2023. Photo credit: Twitter/Toronto Maple Leafs   If Wednesday night’s home and season opener was any indication, Toronto Maple Leafs fans could be in for another roller-coaster season.  The Maple Leafs battled back to beat the Montreal Canadiens 6-5 in a shootout.  Sure, Auston Matthews notched the […]

Zac Rinaldo hangs up his skates for a clipboard

by Rod Mawhood

Former NHLer is now head coach of the Pelham Panthers. Photo credit: Sportsnet   His National Hockey League (NHL) playing career spanned five different organizations, over 393 games, and didn’t end until the 2020-21 season when he hung up his skates after playing with the Calgary Flames.  Zac Rinaldo’s NHL playing days began in Philadelphia […]

Many questions surround Blue Jays early playoff exit

by Rod Mawhood

Toronto scored a mere one run across 18 innings versus Minnesota. Photo credit: AP/Abbie Parr   The aftermath of the Toronto Blue Jays playoff exit will likely be felt for weeks, if not in the months ahead.  The Blue Jays scored one measly run in 18 innings against the Minnesota Twins, who swept the best […]

Blue Jays Wild Card Playoff run begins Tuesday

by Rod Mawhood

Jays set to take on the Minnesota Twins. Kevin Gausman starts game 1 for Toronto. Photo credit: Getty Images/Cole Burston   It took 161 of their 162-game schedule to qualify for the postseason, but the Toronto Blue Jays will try to win their first playoff game since 2016 when they begin a best of three-game […]

Niagara IceDogs regular season begins Friday night

by Rod Mawhood

Twelve new players make up the IceDogs roster. Photo credit: Meridian Centre   Puck drop on the Niagara IceDogs 2023-24 season happens Friday evening in London. A night later, the IceDogs welcome the perennial powerhouse Knights back to Meridian Centre in downtown St. Catharines to complete the home and home. It’s certainly not an easy […]

St. Catharines Fire Department makes history at National FireFit Championships

by Rod Mawhood

Two teams from the Garden City made the relay final.     The St. Catharines Fire Department made history at the National FireFit Championships earlier this month in Sarnia.  For the first time in the history of the relay event, one city had two teams in the final.  “The weekend was great from an individual standpoint, […]

NHL training camps underway

by Rod Mawhood

Maple Leafs and Sabres began on-ice practicing Thursday. Photo credit: Facebook/Buffalo Sabres   Physicals Wednesday, on-ice practicing Thursday. NHL training camps are officially underway.  We’ll concentrate on the two closest teams to Niagara, of course the Buffalo Sabres and the Toronto Maple Leafs.  Of the two clubs, the Maple Leafs made the most significant changes […]

Jackfish crowned IBL Champs

by Rod Mawhood

Franchise deemed ‘model’ after just four seasons in Welland. Photo credit: Facebook/Welland Jackfish   After just four years in existence, the Welland Jackfish have been crowned Intercounty Baseball League (IBL) Dominico Cup champions.  The Jackfish battled back from two games down to win four straight and beat the Barrie Baycats, including Saturday’s series clinching, emphatic, […]

It’s all about Hope in Motion this Saturday

by Rod Mawhood

Hotel Dieu Shaver Hospital (pictured) holding fundraiser at Canada Games Park. Photo credit: Hotel Dieu Shaver   Almost a month to the day after the province announced it was investing $2.5 million dollars into the Hotel Dieu Shaver Hospital, the Niagara Region’s only rehabilitation and complex care hospital will be holding a fundraiser this Saturday […]

Puck drops on local Junior B hockey season this week

by Rod Mawhood

Five Niagara based teams compete in the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League, including the Fort Erie Meteors (pictured). Photo credit: Facebook/Fort Erie Meteors   There’s one less Niagara based team in 2023, but the puck drops on the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League (GOJHL) regular season this week.  After the Niagara Falls Canucks made the […]

Mike Strange (right) and Victor Pietrangelo (left) set to arrive at Oakes Park on Saturday. Photo credit: Mike Strange   Bee stings, mosquito bites, numerous falls, and several pairs of shoes later – and their latest battle, shin splints – Mike Strange and Victor Pietrangelo, down dozens of pounds, end their ‘Epic Run’ for childhood […]

NFL regular season kicks off Thursday night

by Rod Mawhood

 Is it finally Buffalo’s year? Photo credit: USA-Today Sports/Mark Konezny   Let the hype begin.  The chatter, the office pools, the trash-talking – it all starts this week.  Can Kansas City repeat as Super Bowl champions? Will Philadelphia get back to the big game? Is it finally Buffalo’s year? Three questions that will soon be […]

Paille finding his way as NCAA coach

by Rod Mawhood

Former Stanley Cup Champion and Welland native now an assistant at Canisius in Buffalo. Photo credit: Canisius Athletics   Dan Paille has taken his NHL Stanley Cup winning playing days to coaching.  After two seasons as a volunteer with the NCAA Division 1 Canisius Golden Griffins, the 39-year-old Welland native has been hired on full-time […]

Niagara Falls included as part of Hamilton’s Grey Cup Festival

by Rod Mawhood

City will host CFL Awards before the big game. Pictured is Mayor of Niagara Falls Jim Diodati (right) and Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport Neil Lumsden at a preview event for the festival earlier this month. Photo credit: Facebook/Jim Diodati   Canada’s biggest football game in 2023 will be played in Hamilton, but the […]

Brock Badgers men’s and women’s hockey teams add impressive recruits

by Rod Mawhood

Photo credit: Brock Athletics/Stephen Leithwood   While the upcoming Labour Day weekend is move-in day for most Brock University students, Badger varsity athletes have already arrived in Niagara to begin training for their respective upcoming seasons. Look no further than the men’s and women’s hockey teams, including a brother and sister act from Hamilton in […]

Jackfish begin playoff run Thursday night at home

by Rod Mawhood

The Brantford Red Sox will provide the opposition in best of five series. Photo credit: Facebook/Welland Jackfish   The Welland Jackfish completed their second straight 31-win Intercounty Baseball League (IBL) season with an emphatic 18-5 victory over the Hamilton Cardinals Sunday afternoon in the Steel City.  “Back-to-back thirty-plus win seasons, pretty remarkable, and this year […]

 ‘Epic run’ continues for Councillors Mike Strange (left) and Victor Pietrangelo (right). Photo credit: BoxRun   They’ve run together many times in the past. But 2023 is different for Niagara Falls City Councillors Mike Strange and Victor Pietrangelo.  The latter is finally able to join the former Canadian Olympian for an entire journey – all […]

Jackfish clinch first pennant in franchise history as regular season champions

by Rod Mawhood

IBL playoffs begin next week. Photo credit: Welland Jackfish   History was made Sunday evening in Barrie. The Welland Jackfish were crowned regular season champions, clinching their first Intercounty Baseball League pennant in franchise history, with an 8-4 victory over the Barrie Baycats. With three games left in the regular season the Jackfish sit at […]

Sport Niagara officially launches

by Rod Mawhood

Legacy is the goal as Canada Games Host Society partners with Niagara Community Foundation. Pictured are Doug Hamilton (middle) and Bryan Rose (right). Photo credit: Sport Niagara   As was the hope, the Niagara Canada Summer Games will live on in legacy long past the 2022 celebration that brought thousands to the region. In August […]

Grand Slam of Curling just over two months away

by Rod Mawhood

One of the largest curling events in the world hits Niagara in October. Photo credit: Facebook/Grand Slam of Curling   The countdown continues.  Seventy days and counting.  One of the largest televised curling events in the world is about to hit the Honeymoon Capital. The Hearing Life Tour Challenge/Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling takes place […]

Team dropped 0-4 match to the Aussies Monday, eliminating them from the 2023 tournament. Photo credit: Sportsnet   Defending Olympic gold medalists.  Currently ranked seventh in the world.  And now done at the World Cup after a 4-0 loss to co-host Australia on Monday. Canada played one good half in Australia. 45 minutes. That’s it.  […]

River Lions give back to Niagara while preparing for CEBL playoffs

by Rod Mawhood

For the second year in a row, the team took part in its ‘Mesh Refresh’ initiative. Photo credit: Twitter/Niagara River Lions   The Niagara River Lions play their final regular season home game, before returning to the playoffs, Friday night at Meridian Centre in downtown St. Catharines.  The Montreal Alliance will provide the opposition.  However, […]

Grimsby goaltender one-step closer to living his NHL dream

by Rod Mawhood

Nathaniel Day drafted by the Edmonton Oilers. Photo credit: OHL/Natalie Shaver   It’s been a busy few weeks for Nathaniel Day. After being drafted by the Edmonton Oilers in the sixth round, 184th overall, of the 2023 NHL Entry Draft in Nashville, Tennessee, the Oilers flew out Day for a week in the Alberta capital […]

Thorold’s Jordyn Wheeler (left) and St. Catharines native Quinten Ethier (right) recently returned from Mexico after playing for the red and white in FIBA U16 Americas. Photo credit: Canada Basketball   As the sport of basketball continues to grow exponentially in Canada, two Niagara teenagers are living proof of that. Jordyn Wheeler, who calls Thorold […]

Niagara Falls Canucks make move to Jr. A OJHL

by Rod Mawhood

Team had been playing Jr. B for 52 years. Photo credit: Niagara Falls Canucks   The Niagara Falls ‘Jr. B’ Canucks are no more. After playing for 52 years under the Jr. B hockey umbrella, including most recently with the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League (GOJHL), the Canucks are moving up and joining the Jr. […]

Can the real Toronto Blue Jays please stand up?

by Rod Mawhood

No fewer than five Blue Jays named MLB all-stars, including Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (pictured). Photo credit: ESPN   Most years there’s only one night off of the sports calendar for the four major North American sports.  The Big 4 include the National Football League (NFL), National Hockey League (NHL), Major League Baseball (MLB) and National […]

St. Catharines native hired as Niagara IceDogs associate coach

by Rod Mawhood

Boudreau name well known locally. Photo credit: ECHL/Fort Wayne Komets   It’s a homecoming of sorts for Ben Boudreau.  The 38-year-old St. Catharines native, who has helped run the Golden Horseshoe Hockey School in the Garden City – started by his father Bruce – for decades has been hired by the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) […]

Opening of NHL and NBA ‘Free Agent Frenzy’ lives up to the hype

by Rod Mawhood

Maple Leafs add grit, Sabres shore up their defense, Raptors lose FVV. Pictured is Tyler Bertuzzi. Photo credit: AP/Michael Dwyer   Canada’s self-proclaimed sports network dedicates an entire day of programming for it.  ‘TSN Hockey – NHL Free-Agent Frenzy’. Some years it fails to deliver, but 2023 it lived up to the hype – and […]

Welland’s Sabrina D’Angelo (pictured) is a goalkeeper for the red and white. Photo credit: Sky Sports   While discussion continues regarding funding for both the Canadian men’s and women’s national soccer teams, and the possibility of filing for bankruptcy, one thing is for sure – Welland’s Sabrina D’Angelo will once again be donning the red […]

FireFit 2023 hits St. Catharines this weekend

by Rod Mawhood

Seymour-Hannah Centre parking lot will host two-day event. Image from 2017 national competition. Photo credit: Facebook/FireFit Championships   It’s back.  For a second consecutive year FireFit has chosen the Garden City to bring its athletic, demanding, and entertaining show to the masses.  After a successful 2022 showing with 67 competitors running through a must-see course, […]

Scarborough’s Leonard Miller played for Fort Erie International Academy in 2022. Photo credit: Getty Images   Much like next week’s NHL Entry Draft everyone knows who will be selected first overall in this week’s NBA Draft. Connor Bedard in hockey will be taken by Chicago with the first overall pick in the NHL, while Victor […]

Dubas and Audibert honoured by Brock University, Niagara College

by Rod Mawhood

Niagara’s post-secondary institutions welcome back and recognize distinguished alumni. Pictured are President of Hockey Operations for the Pittsburgh Penguins Kyle Dubas (left) and broadcaster and analyst for the Miami Heat Amy Audibert (right). Photo credit: Brock University and NBA   Niagara has been a busy place this week with graduates from both of the region’s […]

The putt heard ‘round the country

by Rod Mawhood

Canada’s own Nick Taylor celebrates 72-foot bomb to claim Canadian Open on Sunday, June 11. Photo credit: PGA Tour   Where to start? I suppose after featuring PGA caddie, and former Niagara IceDog and pro hockey player, Mitchell Theoret last week, we’ll start with his quote on Nick Taylor’s incredible playoff victory at Oakdale Golf […]

Golf world a buzz over merger as RBC Canadian Open tees off

by Rod Mawhood

Former Niagara IceDogs turned pro PGA caddie Mitchell Theoret (pictured, left, alongside Taylor Pendrith) weighs in. Photo credit: AP/Timothy Easley    The news broke late morning Tuesday, and the discussion and narrative continues days later.  After a year of bickering and drama fit for the hallway of high school, the PGA Tour and Saudi Arabia-based […]

Starting point-guard for the River Lions and reigning CEBL Most Valuable Player Khalil Ahmad. Photo credit: CEBL   Perhaps CEBL analyst and former Niagara River Lions head coach Joe Raso said it best minutes after the River Lions hammered the Saskatchewan Rattlers 116-74 in their 2023 home opener. “You know what that was? That was […]

Stanley Cup Final features pair of former Niagara IceDogs captains

by Rod Mawhood

Pietrangelo of Vegas (pictured) and Verhaeghe of Florida will battle for Lord Stanley’s Mug. Photo credit: NHL   While most of the Stanley Cup Final discussion has centred around the Cinderella Florida Panthers, and the play of goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky and Matthew Tkachuk, there are a ton of other story lines including one here in […]

Sir Winston Churchill Bulldogs rowing for more than medals

by Rod Mawhood

Pictured is Arden White (front) with his doubles partner Levi Patterson-Raby, alongside Arden’s older brother and Bulldogs coach Austin. Photo credit: Steve Smith   When the 50-plus Sir Winston Churchill Bulldogs rowers take to the water later this week on Martindale Pond in Port Dalhousie for the Canadian Secondary Schools Rowing Association (CSSRA) Regatta they’ll […]

River Lions season tips off Friday in Montreal

by Rod Mawhood

Victor Raso (pictured) adds new title to his resume. Photo credit: CEBL The Niagara River Lions open their season Friday night in Montreal, and for head coach and general manager Victor Raso the goal for his club has never changed.  “I think our goal is to win the Eastern Conference and then win the league,” […]

St. Catharines Jr. A Athletics kick off season with victory

by Rod Mawhood

Home opener Wednesday. Photo credit: St. Catharines Jr. A Athletics   The St. Catharines Jr. A Athletics season opener was a winning one.  The Athletics traveled to Six Nations on Monday afternoon for the Arrows annual bread and cheese game, and prevailed 10-7 as Ethan Fisher scored four goals for the A’s. St. Catharines head coach […]

Sports betting just getting bigger

by Rod Mawhood

Online sports gambling in Ontario has exploded since single-event betting was legalized in the province last spring. Photo credit: Getty Images/Paul Ellis   Okay be honest, over the past few months how often have you uttered the words “wow, another sports betting commercial?” You literally can’t go a single commercial break during a Toronto Blue […]

Welland Jackfish hoping for big things in 2023

by Rod Mawhood

Franchise had busy off-season, adding 1,600 new seats to stadium and several new players to line-up. Team kicks off 2023 campaign this week. Image from May 2022. Photo credit: Welland Jackfish/Steven Ruddy   Upgrades to their lineup and stadium means expectations are high this season for the Welland Jackfish.  First pitch on the 2023 campaign […]

Blue Jays and MLB at the quarter pole

by Rod Mawhood

Toronto’s fifth starting pitcher Yusei Kikuchi (pictured) is a perfect 5-0 to kick off the season. Photo credit: Getty Images/G Fiume   While most all-around sports fans are engulfed in the NHL and NBA playoffs, it may be hard to believe, but the major league baseball (MLB) season is already a quarter over as of […]

GM suspended two seasons, team captain and netminder kicked out of OHL over unspecified incident. Full rundown of the evolving situation and what’s been said to date. Photo credit: OHL/Natalie Shaver   It was an interesting 48 hours recently for the Niagara IceDogs. It was late last Thursday afternoon, the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) and […]

Newest Niagara River Lion hails from England

by Rod Mawhood

Patrick Whelan talks basketball and the King’s upcoming coronation. Photo credit: British Basketball League   The Niagara River Lions have announced the signing of 6’5 guard, Patrick Whelan. The 26-year-old from Warrington, England will join the team for the 2023 Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL) campaign, filling the international roster spot that is required by […]

Carter Verhaeghe (pictured) was drafted into the NHL by his upcoming playoff opponent. Photo credit: NHL   It was midway through a recent sit-down interview with former Niagara IceDogs captain, now member of the National Hockey League (NHL) Anaheim Ducks, Ryan Strome that I asked a simple question: Who is the most underrated player in […]

NFL first round draft recap

by Rod Mawhood

Bills move up to select tight end Dalton Kincaid (pictured) with first round pick. Photo credit: Syracuse.com via Getty Images   Thirty-one players were selected in the first round of Thursday night’s National Football League (NFL) Draft from Kansas City, Missouri’s Union Station.  Three of the first four picks were quarterbacks.  Alabama’s Bryce Young went […]

Niagara IceDogs retool

by Rod Mawhood

Team makes 16 selections over two-day draft. Several local players drafted. Photo credit: Niagara IceDogs/Vivid Eye Photography   Rather than calling it a rebuild, Niagara IceDogs owner and general manager Darren DeDobbelaer called it a “retool.” After finishing the 2022-23 season last overall in the 20-team Ontario Hockey League (OHL), DeDobbelaer and the IceDogs brass […]

River Lions select Brock forward as part of U Sports selections

by Rod Mawhood

Pictured is Jordan Tchuente. Photo credit: Brock Badgers   The Niagara River Lions stayed close to home when they announced one of their two selections in the CEBL (Canadian Elite Basketball League) 2023 U SPORTS (Canadian University) Draft, selecting Jordan Tchuente of the Brock Badgers along with Aiden Warnholtz of Carleton University. The partnership between […]

Curling Canada announces majors changes

by Rod Mawhood

Tickets on sale and volunteers still needed for Pinty’s Grand Slam event coming to Niagara this fall. Photo credit: Facebook/Curling Canada    As plans for the Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling – coming to Niagara Falls in October – continue, Curling Canada has announced some major changes.  Canadian four-player curling teams looking to qualify for […]

NHL playoffs begin Monday night

by Rod Mawhood

Bruce Boudreau chimes in on the race to Lord Stanley. Toronto, Edmonton, and Winnipeg are Canadian representatives this post-season. Photo credit: NHL   Friday is the final day of the 82-game regular season for the 32 NHL teams.  The 16 teams that qualified for the postseason will begin competing for Lord Stanley’s mug Monday night.  […]

Niagara Falls Sports Hall of Famer previews NBA play-ins and playoffs

by Rod Mawhood

Amy Audibert (pictured) is now an analyst with the Miami Heat. Photo credit: Twitter/Amy Audibert   If the NBA ‘play-in’ format wasn’t intriguing enough, enter the Minnesota Timberwolves and this past Sunday.  To call it an epic meltdown might be a massive understatement.  First forward Jaden McDaniels broke his hand punching the wall in frustration […]

Brock University and Niagara College announce 2022-23 athletes of the year

by Rod Mawhood

Wrestling, rowing, soccer, and basketball athletes picked up the hardware. Pictured are Brock’s Stephen Harris and Mia Friesen. Photo credit: Brock University Athletics/Stephen Leithwood    The Brock University Badgers and Niagara College Knights have announced their 2022-23 athletes of the year.  A wrestler and rower from the Badgers, and a soccer and basketball player with […]

Weekend passes now on sale for Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling

by Rod Mawhood

Jennifer Jones (pictured, centre-left) can’t wait to curl in the Honeymoon City. Last week, representatives from the municipality, Sportsnet, and the Canadian curling community gathered in Niagara Falls to officially kick-off the countdown to October’s competition. Photo credit: Twitter/Jim Diodati   The hype is real.  Perhaps Olympic Gold Medalist, two-time World Champion and 16-time Grand […]

Niagara River Lions roster taking shape

by Rod Mawhood

Single game tickets now on sale. Pictured is Antonio “AJ” Davis. Photo Credit: CEBL    After announcing the signing of Canadian National Team member Phil Scrubb last week, the Niagara River Lions have announced they’ve inked 6’9 American forward Antonio “AJ” Davis.  The 28-year-old from Burford, Georgia will join the team for the 2023 Canadian […]

First pitch of Toronto Blue Jays regular season just hours away

by Rod Mawhood

Former Brock Badger, now Vice-President with the Blue Jays Andrew Tinnish (pictured) breaks down the 2023 season. Photo credit: The Canadian Press/Chris Young   Optimism is once again the word most often used when describing the Toronto Blue Jays 2023 season.  With first pitch on the new campaign set to fly Thursday afternoon from St. […]

Niagara Falls one of six cities chosen to host pre-tournament games. Photo credit: Getty Images/Derek Leung   With less than two weeks until puck drop at the 2023 International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) Women’s World Championship, Hockey Canada and the Ontario Women’s Hockey Association (OWHA) have unveiled the pre-tournament schedule and training camp locations for […]

CEBL continues to grow

by Rod Mawhood

TSN to air ‘Game of the Week’ plus playoffs. Photo credit: CEBL   To say the growth of the Canadian Elite Basketball League has been exponential would be a massive understatement.  For a league founded in 2017, that didn’t begin play until 2019, the CEBL is now the largest professional sports league in Canada.  And […]

Player and coach are part of defending Sutherland Cup Champion St. Catharines Jr. B Falcons. Photo credit: Twitter/GOJHL   They were supposed to be honoured Monday night at St. Catharines City Hall, but instead they’ll be playing Game 3 in their best of seven second round playoff series against the Caledonia Corvairs.  The duo are […]

Got your brackets ready?

by Rod Mawhood

March Madness tips off this week, with two local products participating in the iconic tournament. Former Ridley College Tiger Charles Bediako (pictured) plays for top ranked Alabama. Photo credit: Crimson Tide Photos/UA Athletics    You don’t have to be a basketball or sports fan, for that matter, to know these two words: March Madness.  Every March […]

Brock Badgers wrestlers continue to dominate the mat

by Rod Mawhood

This year’s U SPORTS championship banner marks the 21st in program history for the Badgers men’s wrestling team, more than double any other wrestling program across the country. Photo credit: Brock University Athletics/Brad Hamilton   If there’s one thing that’s for sure, it’s the success of the Brock Badgers wrestlers. The Brock Badgers men’s wrestling […]

Badgers are defending Quigley Cup Champions. Photo credit: Brock Athletics/Stephen Leithwood   And then there was one.  Only one team remains standing as the fall-winter sports schedule wraps up at both Brock University and Niagara College.  The Brock Badgers Women’s Volleyball team.  The Badgers, who are defending provincial champions, are off to their third straight […]

Local Jr. B hockey playoff preview

by Rod Mawhood

All four opening round series are underway for the six Niagara-based clubs. Photo credit: Twitter/Fort Erie Meteors   The Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League (GOJHL) is composed of three conferences and 24 teams.  Of those 24 teams six call Niagara home, and all are based in the Golden Horseshoe Conference.  The St. Catharines Falcons, Fort […]

Mike Nicholson (pictured) is believed to be the first black captain in Canadian university hockey history. Photo credit: Brock University    As the month of February, and Black History Month, wraps up, The Niagara Independent sports department reached out to three current Niagara based and related athletes and one former St. Catharines resident who has a […]

Grand Slam of Curling is Niagara bound

by Rod Mawhood

Niagara Falls Curling Club (pictured) will host the event in October. Photo credit: Facebook/Niagara Falls Curling Club   Over the years, so many leagues and teams have chosen Niagara Falls to highlight their particular sport.  Toronto Maple Leafs training camp, Red Bull Crashed Ice – just to name a couple.  Well now one of the […]

Brock Badgers and Niagara College Knights playoffs underway

by Rod Mawhood

On the court, the Brock women’s volleyball team enters the post-season ranked second in Canada after winning seven straight matches and finishing the regular season with an outstanding (18-2) record. Photo credit: Brock Badgers Athletics/Stephen Leithwood    Late February and early March usually mean one thing for the two post-secondary institutions that call Niagara home – […]

Welland Jackfish roster rounding into shape

by Rod Mawhood

MLB pitchers and catchers report to spring training as well. Photo credit: IBL/CJH Photography   It wasn’t only Monday’s sunshine and unseasonably mild temperatures across Niagara that made a lot of us think of spring. Major League Baseball (MLB) Pitchers and catchers also reported to their respective teams spring training locations across Florida and Arizona. […]

St. Catharines NFL free agent kicker breaks down the Super Bowl

by Rod Mawhood

Superstition comes into play for Lirim Hajrullahu. Photo credit: NurPhoto/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images   Patrick Mahomes and the perennial powerhouse Kansas City Chiefs, and Jalen Hurts and arguably the best team all season long in the Philadelphia Eagles. Welcome to Super Bowl 57.  For the first time in history two black quarterbacks will go […]

Brianne Jenner ready to return ‘home’

by Rod Mawhood

PWHPA plays at Meridian Centre Friday night. Photo credit: Team Canada   Brianne Jenner figures it’s been close to 20 years since she’s played in St. Catharines. One of the greatest women’s hockey players of all-time will return to the Garden City Friday night when the Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association (PWHPA) Showcase drops the […]

NHL All-Star break is here

by Rod Mawhood

Thorold’s Conor Timmins talks joining the Toronto Maple Leafs. Photo credit: USA TODAY Sports/Jerome Miron   With the National Hockey League (NHL) All-Star break officially upon us, it’s time to check in on the two closest teams to us here in Niagara. The Toronto Maple Leafs are sitting in a very comfortable third place overall […]

Bruce Boudreau loves Niagara

by Rod Mawhood

Embattled former NHL head coach talks his former home and more. Photo credit: Getty Images/Jeff Vinnick   A week after being let go by the Vancouver Canucks, Bruce Boudreau was still reflecting on all the emotions running through his mind. The man they call ‘Gabby’ joined the Niagara Sports Report on Newstalk 610 CKTB to […]

River Lions set for ninth season of pro basketball in Niagara

by Rod Mawhood

 The team’s 2023 home opener at Meridian Centre, in downtown St. Catharines, is June 3 against Saskatchewan. Photo credit: Facebook/Niagara River Lions   It’s hard to believe the Niagara River Lions are entering their ninth season.  The professional basketball franchise’s first four were under the National Basketball League of Canada brand, the last four in […]

Proud ‘Wellander’ becomes first ever Canadian to sign with Arsenal

by Rod Mawhood

Sabrina D’Angelo is also a member of the Canadian Women’s National team. Photo credit: Twitter/Arsenal Women   Just days after the Green Bay Packers signed Niagara Falls native Tyrell Ford, the region was once again on the world sports map when a self-proclaimed, and proud, “Wellander” became the first ever Canadian to sign with the […]

Niagara Falls native signs with NFL Green Bay Packers

by Rod Mawhood

Former AN Myer Marauder was with Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Pictured (left) alongside brother Tre. Photo credit: CFL   At the start of the 2022-23 National Football League season 22 Canadians were on active rosters. You can add another player to that list entering the 2023-24 campaign.  Yes, it’s been quite the few months for Tyrell […]

NFL Wildcard Weekend was wild

by Rod Mawhood

Former Bills kicker and Niagara-on-the-Lake resident weighs in on playoffs. Photo credit: USA Today/Bills Wire   Steve Christie is still considered by many as not only the best Buffalo Bills kicker in franchise history, but also one of the best kickers in NFL history.  Christie has connected on nine field goals in overtime, an NFL […]

IceDogs make more trades on deadline day, name new assistants

by Rod Mawhood

Daniel Michaud (left) and Gerard Keane (right) fill out the IceDogs’ on-ice leadership team. Niagara sits in last place at the halfway point of the season. Photo credit: Niagara IceDogs   As the Niagara IceDogs prepare their official Memorial Cup bid to the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), owner and general manager Darren DeDobbelaer swung two more […]

NFL Wildcard match-ups set

by Rod Mawhood

Two games Saturday, three games Sunday and one game on Monday. Bills take on Miami Sunday at 1:00pm. Photo credit: Getty Images/Michael Reaves   NFL Wildcard weekend is set.  First, let’s discuss how we got there, because the 2022-23 season was certainly not a normal one. We witnessed three ties.  The defending Super Bowl Champion Los […]

The day the NFL stopped

by Rod Mawhood

Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin showing ‘remarkable improvement’. Photo credit: Getty Images/Dylan Buell   Let’s be honest, the National Football League (NFL) has a reputation for playing through the toughest conditions, wind, rain, and even blizzards have never stopped play. But that all changed Monday night in Cincinnati, Ohio when tragedy struck as Buffalo Bills […]

Another Connor taking the hockey world by storm

by Rod Mawhood

Canada rebounds from opening game loss as Bedard (pictured) emerges as phenom at World Juniors. Photo credit: The Canadian Press/Darren Calabrese   As the calendar turned to 2023, the holiday tradition continued. The World Junior Hockey Championships. For many people and their families, it’s truly the only time they watch hockey throughout the year.  And […]

2022 Niagara Sports Year in Review

by Rod Mawhood

Highlighted by the Canada Summer Games in August, 2022 was a big year in Niagara sports, for athletes, coaches, organizers, and spectators alike. Photo credit: Canada Summer Games/Anil Mungal    As we say bid adieu to 2022, and usher in 2023, The Niagara Independent would like to look back and highlight the year that was […]

NFL playoff picture taking shape

by Rod Mawhood

Buffalo Bills star quarterback Josh Allen (17) in action against the Chicago Bears on Christmas Eve. Allen led the Bills to a convincing 35-13 win over the Bears Saturday, and in the process helped the team secure its third-consecutive AFC East divisional title and keep the hometown squad atop the conference. Photo credit: AP/Charles Rex […]

Local junior hockey teams at the holiday break

by Rod Mawhood

Last year’s GOJHL championship squad from St. Catharines currently sits atop the Golden Horseshoe Conference. The Fort Erie Meteors (pictured) are in third and lead the conference in offence, with 131 goals on the season. Photo credit: Facebook/Fort Erie Meteors   The holiday break can’t come soon enough for some local junior hockey teams, while […]

Epic Argentina victory at World Cup

by Rod Mawhood

Canada drops 12 places in rankings. Photo credit: Getty Images   It was called the best World Cup final ever. Some say the best sporting event ever. Be honest. Did you watch the 2022 World Cup? Or at least the highlights? Soccer’s biggest event lived up to the hype and then some, as Argentina knocked […]

PWHPA Showcase coming to Niagara

by Rod Mawhood

St. Catharines born Alexa Vasko (pictured, second from right) to play at Meridian Centre. Photo credit: Hockey Canada   The Niagara IceDogs and Ontario Hockey League (OHL) announced that they are partnering with the Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association (PWHPA) to bring some of the best women’s hockey talent in the world, including a total […]

And then there were four

by Rod Mawhood

Semi-finals set at World Cup. Photo credit: Reuters/Matthew Childs   If you had Argentina, Croatia, France and Morocco as your final four at the World Cup you’re likely lying.  That’s right, two of the final four teams came out of Canada’s Group F. Belgium, who entered the tournament ranked second in the World, was the […]

Local content working the World Cup

by Rod Mawhood

Former Brock Badger is Logistics Site Manager in Qatar. Supplied photo.    Tyler Harrison has quickly taken his love of baseball to the soccer pitch. The former Brock Badger baseball player, and Sports Management student, has been in Qatar since last year preparing for and working the 2022 World Cup.  Harrison was actually working for […]

Another Niagara native set to make Maple Leafs debut

by Rod Mawhood

Thorold’s Conor Timmins joins Niagara Falls’ Mac Hollowell (pictured) in Toronto. Photo credit: The Hockey Writers/Jess Starr   It’s been quite the few weeks for Toronto Maple Leafs fans from Niagara, and a couple of select families.  After Niagara Falls native, and blueliner, Mac Hollowell made his debut for the blue and white on November […]

Niagara IceDogs officially in the running for hosting 2024 Memorial Cup

by Rod Mawhood

With the capacity, proper accommodations in place, and collective will, St. Catharines seems like the natural front-runner in the four-city race. Pictured is inside the Meridian Centre. Photo credit: Facebook/Meridian Centre   The Canadian Hockey League (CHL) made it official on Wednesday, naming the Niagara IceDogs one of four finalists to host the 2024 Memorial […]

World Cup officially kicks off

by Rod Mawhood

Three Niagara soccer aficionados offer their thoughts and picks. Pictured Canadian players celebrate after beating the U.S. 2-0 in a qualifier back in January at Hamilton’s Tim Hortons Field. Photo credit: Twitter/Canada Soccer   The world’s biggest soccer event officially kicked off on Sunday from Qatar. The 2022 World Cup saw the host nation drop […]

Pair of Niagara natives playing in Grey Cup

by Rod Mawhood

Welland’s Johnny Augustine (pictured) and Tyrell Ford both play for Blue Bombers. The championship game takes place between Winnipeg and Toronto this Sunday in Regina, Saskatchewan. Photo credit: The Canadian Press/Jason Franson   Two interesting story lines highlight this Sunday’s 109th Grey Cup when the champions of the east, the Toronto Argonauts, meet the best […]

From bench to backroom, Niagara well represented in the NHL

by Rod Mawhood

Arizona Coyotes GM has called St. Catharines home since 1996. Photo credit: AP   Over the years, The Niagara Independent has featured NHL players and coaches that call the region home, but Niagara’s reach in the top professional hockey league in the world goes far beyond the ice and the bench.  From scouts to trainers, […]

Niagara Falls native takes her talents to South Beach

by Rod Mawhood

Amy Audibert now a member of the Miami Heat broadcast team. Pictured Audibert stands with legendary broadcaster Jason Jackson. Photo credit: Twitter/Amy Audibert   If there was a spokesperson for hard work paying off Amy Audibert would be it.  The Niagara Falls native has gone from playing NCAA basketball at the University of Miami, to […]

NFL season at the halfway mark

by Rod Mawhood

Buffalo and Kansas City tops in the AFC, Philadelphia in the NFC. Despite recent loss and injury issues, Bills, led by star quarterback Josh Allen (pictured), still favoured to represent the AFC in this year’s Super Bowl. Photo credit: USA TODAY Sports/Robert Deutsch   As the National Football League officially hits the halfway point of […]

Niagara College Women’s Soccer team makes history

by Rod Mawhood

 Over the weekend, the 2022 squad took home NC’s first-ever OCAA soccer medal. Photo credit: Niagara Knights   For the first time in school history Niagara College has medaled in the sport of soccer at the provincial level. The Knights downed the host Durham College Lords 3-2 to capture bronze at the Ontario Colleges Athletic […]

World Series preview

by Rod Mawhood

Only one Canadian involved in best of seven set. Phillies manager Ron Thomson (pictured), from southwestern Ontario, will try to win his sixth career championship ring against powerhouse Houston.     The 118th edition of the World Series is definitely living up to its moniker.  The Houston Astros roster features players from six different countries. The […]

Niagara-based professional basketball league continues to grow

by Rod Mawhood

The Canadian Elite Basketball League, headquartered in Niagara, has expanded into Canada’s third largest city. The new Calgary Surge franchise was unveiled this week. Usman Tahir Jutt (left) and Jason Ribeiro (right) are credited with bringing pro basketball to Calgary. Photo credit: LiveWire Calgary/Aryn Toombs   It might just be the best kept secret in […]

NBA season tips Tuesday, Raptors open Wednesday

by Rod Mawhood

Raps looking to “grow and make a jump” this season. Photo credit: USA Today Sports/John E. Sokolowski   The National Basketball Association tips off its 2022-23 season Tuesday night.  The Toronto Raptors begin their regular season Wednesday night at home against the Cleveland Cavaliers. After a (48-34) record last season, good for fifth place in […]

Girls Sports Day in Welland’ goes Saturday

by Rod Mawhood

The six-sport, all-day event is free for all girls aged six to 12. It takes places at the brand-new Empire Sportsplex in Welland (pictured). Photo credit: City of Welland   Michele O’Keefe hasn’t left a stone unturned, or should I say a ball out of play, for this Saturday’s ‘Girls Sports Day in Welland.’ The […]

Leafs and Sabres set to kick off respective NHL campaigns this week

by Rod Mawhood

The regular season officially begins tonight, with the semi-local Toronto Maple Leafs and Buffalo Sabres starting off their seasons on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively. Photo credit: NHL   The clock continues to tick on the Toronto Maple Leafs window to succeed, while the rebuild (again) is underway in the Queen City bringing optimism to the […]

Ludzik to be honoured at Niagara Falls Canucks game

by Rod Mawhood

The Steve Ludzik Press Box will be unveiled Friday night before puck drop.    It’s hard to put into words just how much Steve Ludzik has given to Niagara Falls, and the Region of Niagara as a whole. ‘Ludzy’, as he’s affectionately known, is the man behind the Steve Ludzik Parkinson’s Clinic, and the reason […]

Varsity sports well underway at both of Niagara’s post-secondary schools.    It’s called the Big 4 when it comes to ‘major sports’ in North America. The National Football League (NFL), National Basketball Association (NBA), Major League Baseball (MLB) and National Hockey League (NHL) – and right now they’re all underway in some way, shape, or […]

Caleb Smith continues to grow the game of rugby in Niagara and beyond

by Rod Mawhood

For the DSBN elementary school teacher, rugby is a passion that started over three decades ago. Photo credit: Facebook/Niagara Flag Rugby   “Grow the game.” It’s an expression we hear often as it pertains to sport, but for Caleb Smith he truly lives that when it comes to rugby.  For over 20 years, Smith has been […]

Niagara IceDogs set to start barking Thursday night

by Rod Mawhood

The rebuilt St. Catharines franchise kicks off its 2022-23 season against the Mississauga Steelheads at home at the Meridian Centre. Pictured is 2022 second round pick Kevin He. Photo credit: Niagara IceDogs   The puck drops on the Niagara IceDogs 2022-23 regular season Thursday night at home against the Mississauga Steelheads.  The IceDogs are coming […]

A celebration of golf in Niagara

by Rod Mawhood

Saturday is also the 73rd Champion of Champions at the St. Catharines Golf and Country Club (pictured). Photo credit: St. Catharines Golf and Country Club   After a three-year hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s time to celebrate the sport of golf in Niagara.  And there’s not too many people in the region that […]

Steel Blade Classic back for Brock Badgers and new head coach

by Rod Mawhood

Brock takes on Guelph Gryphons. A sword from War of 1812 will be awarded to winner. Game takes place this Friday, September 23. Photo credit: Brock University   Many people involved in the game of hockey will say ‘Canadian University hockey is the best kept secret in Canada.’ That includes this reporter, and the new […]

The sport of Cornhole is bigger than most think, including here in Niagara

by Rod Mawhood

Participants take part in the ever-increasingly popular throwing game. Photo credit: Mackinac Island   Many of us have tried it, but there’s more of us that don’t realize just how big the sport of Cornhole is becoming. It’s no longer a backyard, get the family together, recreational sport.  Leagues continue to form truly around the […]

Brianne Jenner continues to do Canada proud

by Rod Mawhood

Team Canada gold medal hero grew up in St. Catharines. Photo credit: Toronto Star/Dave Holland   Raise your hand if you didn’t know that the 2022 Canadian Olympic MVP and World Championship Gold Medal game hero Brianne Jenner grew up and played minor hockey in St. Catharines. That’s what I thought.  Don’t worry, you’re not […]

GOJHL/Golden Horseshoe Conference Preview

by Rod Mawhood

St. Catharines Jr. B Falcons look to repeat as Sutherland Cup Champions. Photo credit: Twitter/GOJHL   The puck dropped on the 2022-23 Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League season last night in Hamilton as the Kilty B’s hosted the defending Sutherland Cup Champion St. Catharines Falcons. Will the Falcons repeat? Can they repeat? That’s just two […]

All eyes on the Buffalo Bills as NFL season opens this week

by Rod Mawhood

Led by superstar quarterback Josh Allen (no. 17), the Bills are widely considered to be Super Bowl favourites this year. The team kick offs its 2022-23 campaign against the defending champions in LA this Thursday evening. Photo credit: USA TODAY Sports/Mark Konezny   Even during their four straight appearances in the Super Bowl in the […]

Diodati takes his baseball talents to Oregon

by Rod Mawhood

The AN Myer graduate spent the last three years at the University of Alabama. Photo credit: Twitter/Owen Diodati   It’s hard to believe that it’s been over three years since Owen Diodati was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays. The now 21-year-old decided to pursue his education first before becoming a professional baseball player and […]

New era of IceDogs hockey begins this week

by Rod Mawhood

Training camp takes place this Tuesday and Wednesday, with new owner Darren DeDobbelear excited to see the squad they can assemble. Photo credit: Twitter/Niagara IceDogs   A new era of Niagara IceDogs hockey begins this week with the opening of training camp.  For the first time since 2007, when the franchise relocated from Mississauga, the […]

Jackfish and Panthers meet in opening round of IBL playoffs

by Rod Mawhood

Welland finished the regular season tied for first. Photo credit: IBL   Despite finishing in a tie for first place overall in the Intercounty Baseball League (IBL) standings with a (31-11) record, the Welland Jackfish, due to tie breaking scenarios, were placed third and opened their first-round playoffs last night at home against the sixth-seeded […]

Doug Hamilton waiting to exhale

by Rod Mawhood

Chair of the Niagara Canada Summer Games has been at it since 2017. Pictured Hamilton (centre-left) receives the Key to the City from Mayor of St. Catharines Walter Sendzik (second from left), Niagara Regional Chair Jim Bradley (second from right), and St. Catharines regional and city councillors, Aug. 12, 2022. Photo credit: City of St. […]

Niagara kicks off second week of Canada Summer Games

by Rod Mawhood

Events continue at various venues around the region Tuesday. Games run until Sunday, August 21. Pictured Team Ontario celebrates taking gold in female box lacrosse. Photo credit: Facebook/Niagara 2022 Canada Summer Games   After off days on Sunday and Monday, action at the Niagara 2022 Canada Summer Games is set to restart Tuesday morning, with […]

Canada Summer Games delivers

by Rod Mawhood

St. Catharines native and Olympic gold medalist Kirsten Kit lights the opening ceremonies cauldron at Meridian Centre. Photo credit: Niagara 2022 Host Society    The first few days of the Niagara 2022 Canada Summer Games have delivered.  From Olympic Gold Medalist, coxie and St. Catharines native Kristen Kit having the honour of lighting the cauldron […]

Six to enter Hall of Honour ahead of Canada Summer Games

by Rod Mawhood

Inductees include Niagara natives Stacey Allaster, Michael Strange (pictured, left, receiving the games’ ceremonial torch), and the late Don Goodwin. The 2022 Canada Summer Games take place across various venues around Niagara from Aug. 6 to 21. Photo credit: Niagara 2022 Host Society   The Canada Games Council will induct six remarkable alumni into the […]

Golden Horseshoe Hockey School enters 40th year

by Rod Mawhood

Current Vancouver Canucks head coach Bruce Boudreau started school in 1982. Photo credit: Facebook/Golden Horseshoe Hockey School   Amazing to think that 40 years after Bruce Boudreau laced up his skates for the then St. Catharines Saints, and an idea was born, the Golden Horseshoe Hockey School is celebrating four decades in the Garden City.  […]

Mooradian making the most of her time working with MLB Tampa Bay Rays

by Rod Mawhood

 St. Catharines native is an Advance Scout. Supplied photo.    Analytics and metrics.  Two words the average baseball fan has heard, but do they understand them? St. Catharines native Katie Mooradian lives them. The 24-year-old is an Advance Scout with Major League Baseball’s (MLB) Tampa Bay Rays.  But to know Mooradian’s love of sports, and […]

Mia Friesen already leaving her mark on the sporting world

by Rod Mawhood

The 20-year-old multi-sport athlete hopes to represent Canada on the Olympic stage for wrestling someday soon. Photo credit: Brock University   Mia Friesen has finally made the proclamation.  Having excelled in multiple sports for many years, including being a two-sport athlete at Brock University in lacrosse and wrestling, Friesen left no doubt which she prefers […]

St. Catharines native wins his pro debut in Karate Combat

by Rod Mawhood

Rob Buxton (pictured, white paints) has represented Canada in the sport of kickboxing in the past. Photo credit: YouTube/Karate Combat   Boxing has been around for centuries, while modern mixed martial arts (MMA) competition – consolidated under a regulated set of rules in the form of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) – originated in 1993.  […]

River Lions sign Niagara product

by Rod Mawhood

St. Catharines native Abu Kigab (pictured playing for the Boise State Broncos) competes in his homecoming game at the Meridian Centre this Friday. Photo credit: Boise State Athletics   The Niagara River Lions made an historic announcement Monday. The River Lions signed 6’7 forward Abu Kigab of St. Catharines. Kijab becomes the first ever local, Niagara […]

NHL free agency 2022 begins

by Rod Mawhood

In a few early moves, Johnny Gaudreau departs Calgary for Columbus, while former Niagara IceDogs captain Ryan Strome (pictured) signs a five-year, $25 million deal with Anaheim Ducks. Photo credit: AP/Chris O’Meara   If you’re a fan of the Calgary Flames you may want to stop reading now. NHL free agency opened on Wednesday, and […]

New era of Niagara IceDogs hockey has begun

by Rod Mawhood

OHL board approved transfer of ownership of the team last week. Photo credit: Niagara IceDogs   For the first time since 2007 the Niagara IceDogs have new owners.  The Ontario Hockey League (OHL) has made it official, naming Brantford businessman Darren DeDobbelaer the new majority owner with the Great One, yes Wayne Gretzky, as a […]

St. Catharines man to run his fifth Ironman Triathlon

by Rod Mawhood

Kevin Vallier does it all while battling colitis. Supplied photo.  Take a deep breath. Think of this – all back-to-back – within a few hours. Swim two kilometres. Bike 90 kilometres. Then run 21 kilometres. It’s called an Ironman 70.3. St. Catharines resident Kevin Vallier will be taking part in his fifth Ironman Triathlon Sunday […]

The Prince captures lightweight crown is his hometown

by Rod Mawhood

Lucas Bahdi improves 12-0 as a pro. Supplied photo.    To win your first professional title is one thing, but to win it in your hometown brings it to a whole other level.  That was the case for Lucas Bahdi Saturday night at the Niagara Falls Convention Centre.  A sold out crowd watched ‘The Prince’ […]

‘The Prince’ fights for title in his hometown Saturday night

by Rod Mawhood

 Lucas Bahdi (pictured celebrating after a previous KO victory) brings his perfect 11-0 record into the fight. Photo credit: Falls Boys Promotions   Not many fighters get their first title fight in their hometown.  But not many fighters are Lucas ‘The Prince’ Bahdi.  The Niagara Falls native will put his perfect (11-0) record, with 11 […]

Port Colborne native Emma Koabel is Duke bound

by Rod Mawhood

The Niagara Prep product (pictured) just won silver for Team Canada in Argentina. Photo credit: Twitter/Emma Koabel   Last week no fewer than four Canadians were drafted into the National Basketball Association (NBA) including two in the top-10.  Andrew Nembhard, out of Gonzaga, was selected 31st overall by the Indiana Pacers.  Four short years ago, […]

FireFit arrives in St. Catharines this weekend

by Rod Mawhood

Hundreds of competitors will compete in the Garden City. Photo credit: Facebook/FireFit Championships    A new sporting spectacle of sorts arrives in the Garden City this weekend.  The 2022 St. Catharines FireFit Competition takes place Saturday and Sunday at the Seymour-Hannah Centre parking lot located on St. Paul Street West.  Captain Corey Miller, an 11-year […]

St. Catharines Jr. B Athletics open playoffs at home Friday night

by Rod Mawhood

A’s host Guelph in Best of 5 series. Photo credit: St. Catharines Jr. B Athletics   The Niagara Region’s oldest sporting franchise added a new club to its portfolio this season, and they’re about to embark on their first playoff run. The St. Catharines Jr. B Athletics Lacrosse Club is now part of the St. […]

St. Catharines fighter part of UFC card this Saturday

by Rod Mawhood

 Jasmine Jasudavicius (pictured) making her presence felt in the octagon. Photo credit: UFC   Her last name might not be easy to say, but Jasmine Jasudavicius continues to impress in the mixed martial arts (MMA) world.  After making her Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) debut, and winning via unanimous decision back in January, Jasudavicius (jazz-da-viss-ee-us is how […]

Annual DSBN Special Olympics set to go

by Rod Mawhood

Now in its 16th year, and back in-person following two years of virtual competition, the event gives student athletes the chance to test their mettle against participants from 70 schools around the region. Photo credit: Twitter/DSBN   What started as a few schools and a couple of dozen athletes is now 70 schools and 700 […]

CFL opening week underway, Ti-Cats set to start season this Saturday

by Rod Mawhood

Niagara native Anthony Federico (pictured back-turned, bottom left) trying to crack Hamilton line-up. Photo credit: Twitter/Hamilton Tiger-Cats   The Canadian Football League (CFL) off-season was definitely a turbulent one.  Many wondered if the league would be able to kick off its season on time as contract, labour and collective bargaining agreements took up most of […]

Canada Summer Games torch officially Niagara bound

by Rod Mawhood

The ceremonial flame left Ottawa Monday afternoon, exactly months before the start of the Niagara 2022 Canada Summer Games. The Games take place between August 6 and 21. Pictured is Canadian sprinter Sam Effah on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, June 6, 2022. Photo credit: Niagara Host Society   The Canada Summer Games torch has officially […]

Paul Coates continues to lead

by Rod Mawhood

St. Catharines Athletics president named Sportsperson of the Year. Photo credit: Facebook/St. Catharines Jr. A Athletics    For Paul Coates it’s all about giving back.  Years after his sons Dan and Spencer graduated from the St. Catharines Jr. A Athletics program, Coates continues to volunteer and serve as Athletics president.  Earlier this week, the now […]

Photo credit: Facebook/Fort Erie Race Track   There’s not too many people, places or things in Niagara that can say they’re celebrating 125 years. Fort Erie Race Track can.  The historic horse racing track opens its doors for the 2022 campaign Tuesday with a first call to the post at 4 pm. Opening Day will […]

Team advanced to championship for first time since 2012. Pictured is the soon-to-be decommissioned Jack Gatecliff Arena in St. Catharines. Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons   Perhaps it’s only fitting that an arena opened in 1938 will feature a championship game in its finale.  Jack Gatecliff Arena, formerly Garden City Arena, will play host to the […]

Fort Erie International Academy opening doors to students from Ukraine

by Rod Mawhood

The Central Avenue private school will bring in 20 students to start, providing free tuition and room and board. Photo credit: Twitter/Fort Erie International Academy    Since Russia’s unprovoked attack on Ukraine, millions of people from around the world, including thousands here in Niagara, have supported the Ukrainian people in some way.  The latest locally […]

Buffalo shooting tragedy too close to home for Buffalo Bandits goaltender

by Rod Mawhood

Matt Vinc (pictured) is one of four St. Catharines natives on team. Photo credit: Inside Lacrosse/ Sara Schmidle   Let’s be honest, as someone that grew up in Niagara, travelling over to the United States on one of our four border crossings is almost second nature. Sure the Covid pandemic halted that, but going on a […]

St. Catharines Roma Wolves add League 1 women’s team

by Rod Mawhood

Men’s team home opener is Friday night. Photo credit: Facebook/St. Catharines Roma Wolves   The St. Catharines Roma Wolves inaugural season in Men’s Premier League 1 Ontario was so successful that the club decided to expand and introduce a women’s premier team under their brand.  Roma Wolves League 1 Head of Operations Carmine Provenzano is […]

It’s a family thing for Badgers volleyball

by Rod Mawhood

KJ Robinson (right) signs a letter of intent to play for the Brock men’s volleyball team alongside brother Kersey, who currently plays for the Badgers, and parents Todd and Shelley. Photo credit: Brock Athletics   It’s all in the family for the Brock Badgers men’s volleyball team. Badgers head coach Matthew Ragogna announced his 2022 […]

Bruce Boudreau can’t wait to get ‘home’

by Rod Mawhood

Gabby talks Stanley Cup Playoffs, and his eagerness to return to Niagara. Photo credit: NHLI via Getty Images/Jeff Vinnick    Bruce Boudreau may have just finished one heck of a season behind the bench coaching the Vancouver Canucks, and is currently back where he resides in Pennsylvania, but he can’t wait to get ‘home.’ And […]

Athletics looking for more straight A’s on the floor

by Rod Mawhood

The St. Catharines Jr. A Athletics practice inside the brand new Canada Games Park. Photo credit: Facebook/St. Catharines Jr. A Athletics    After an off-season that saw the St. Catharines Athletics brand and organization grow, the Athletics flagship team is set to take to the floor at their new home next Wednesday night (May 11) […]

NHL playoff preview

by Rod Mawhood

Plenty of Niagara connections permeate the 2022 post-season, such as former Niagara IceDogs captain and current New York Ranger Ryan Strome (pictured). Photo credit: Associated Press/Jay LaPrete   You don’t have to like Sheldon Keefe’s words to describe the Toronto Maple Leafs first round NHL Playoff Series against the Tampa Bay Lightning, but it certainly […]

River Lions set to roar again

by Rod Mawhood

Season begins in less than a month. Pro hoops team arrived in Niagara in 2015. Photo credit: CEBL/Niagara River Lions   It’s hard to believe that the Niagara River Lions are entering their seventh season of entertaining basketball fans across the region. A lot has changed since 2015, including the league the River Lions play […]

Niagara golf season in full swing

by Rod Mawhood

 ‘Ladies Try Golf series’ is here too. Sawmill Golf Course in Fenwick. Photo credit: Facebook/Sawmill Golf Course   As the temperature, finally, begins to climb here in Niagara, golf courses across the Region continue to open their greens.  There are over 40 golf courses in Niagara, and most are now open for the 2022 season.  […]

Jackfish return to the diamond in 30 days

by Rod Mawhood

The team kicks off its expanded 42-game schedule at home in Welland against the Brantford Red Sox on May 19. Photo credit: Twitter/Welland Jackfish   One month today, two words baseball fans love to hear will be music to their ears in the Rose City: “Play ball!” The Welland Jackfish return for their third season […]

Niagara Sports Wall of Fame accepting nominations

by Rod Mawhood

  Committee (pictured, 2019) hoping to induct six new members in January of 2023. Gord Singleton located far right, back row of image. Photo credit: Niagara Sports Wall of Fame   The average Niagara native doesn’t know the name Gord Singleton.  Yet, he’s one of the biggest names to ever participate in the sport of […]

Raptors first round playoff opponent determined

by Rod Mawhood

 Dinos headed to the City of Brotherly Love for Game 1 Saturday. Photo credit: Getty Images/Mark Blinch   The Toronto Raptors likely won’t say it publicly, but they got the first round playoff opponent they wanted. The team was (3-1) against the Philadelphia 76ers this season. It’s hard to fathom that Toronto would want to […]

Niagara IceDogs head coach and general manager suspended

by Rod Mawhood

Team also fined $150,000.   To say it’s been an interesting week for the Niagara IceDogs would be a massive understatement.  Just hours after losing in Sudbury Tuesday night, and finding out they wouldn’t make the Ontario Hockey League playoffs for the first time since they arrived in Niagara back in 2007, the OHL issued […]

GOJHL playoffs set to go

by Rod Mawhood

All six Niagara based teams qualify for the postseason. Photo credit: Twitter/Fort Erie Meteors    It’s playoff time in the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League. A slightly shortened 48-game regular season ended Sunday night with all six Niagara based teams in the Golden Horseshoe Conference set for the post-season.  The St. Catharines Falcons were the […]

Ceremony is set for tonight. Photo credit: NHL/Buffalo Sabres    After 51 years behind the mic, 79-year-old Rick Jeanneret will have his name raised to the rafters at KeyBank Center in Buffalo, NY this evening (Friday, April 1). Jeanneret was born in St. Catharines, and still makes the commute to Buffalo from his home in […]

Badgers women’s basketball and men’s hockey both off to nationals as well. Photo credit: Brock Athletics/Mackenzie Gerry   The Brock Badgers men’s basketball team brought a packed Bob Davis Gymnasium to a frenzy Saturday afternoon. The Badgers won their first provincial title since 1992, defeating the Queen’s Gaels 95-75.  “We fight. Every day is about […]

Knights shine in 2021-22

by Rod Mawhood

Niagara College Athletics put together an incredible year at both the team and individual level. Amongst the many achievements was a bronze medal for women’s basketball at the provincial finals last week. Photo credit: Facebook/Niagara Knights   While the Brock University Badgers are garnering a lot of attention lately, and well deserved I might add, […]

Banner season for Brock Badgers

by Rod Mawhood

This past weekend, both the Brock Badgers women’s hockey team and women’s volleyball team (pictured) were crowned provincial champions. Photo credit: Brock Athletics   No fewer than five Brock Badgers teams are still standing. Can we call it March Madness, Canadian university style? In a span of 10 hours on Saturday, the Brock Badgers women’s […]

The Garden City native (bottom row, second from right) pictured with Canada’s gold medal-winning women’s eight rowing crew in Tokyo last August. Photo credit: Twitter/Team Canada   As a reporter sometimes stories just fall in your lap.  Sometimes you’ve got to dig, and sometimes you run into athletes like Kristen Kit.  The 33-year-old St. Catharines […]

Former Niagara IceDogs captain afflicted by ongoing conflict in Ukraine

by Rod Mawhood

Ivan Lodnia, who played two years in St. Catharines for the 2018/19 and 2019/20 seasons, is of Ukrainian heritage and still has family in the war-torn country. Photo credit: Twitter/Minnesota Wild    Quick question off the top.  How many current NHL players hail from Ukraine? The answer may shock many. Zero. Former Niagara IceDogs captain […]

Conflict in Ukraine enters the sporting world

by Rod Mawhood

Numerous organizations and athletes denounce Putin, with Russia facing bans from several international leagues. Alex Ovechkin (pictured with Putin in 2014) called for an end to the war in Ukraine. Photo credit: Reuters/Ria Novosti   You can’t go too far these days without reading about, hearing, or watching the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine. […]

Another gold medal, and MVP honours, for Brianne Jenner

by Rod Mawhood

Raised in St. Catharines, the hockey superstar (pictured, right) remembers her time in the city fondly. Photo credit: HHOF-IIHF Images/Andre Ringuette   The story, journey, and resume continues to grow for Brianne Jenner.  The gold medalist, and tournament MVP in Beijing, is coming off tying a women’s record for scoring the most goals in women’s […]

Canada captures 26 medals in Beijing

by Rod Mawhood

Tied for second most in the country’s history. Photo credit: Getty Images/Lars Baron via CBC   Many on Team Canada’s 2022 Olympic squad landed back on Canadian soil Monday, and with them brought an impressive 26 medals in tow.  The Red and White captured four gold, eight silver and 14 bronze medals at the Beijing […]

Former local major leaguer wants to continue to give back to youth

by Rod Mawhood

Scott Bullett talks spring training, as well as Black History Month.    As the Major League Baseball lockout continues, it was time to reach out to a former MLB player that calls Niagara home. Scott Bullett played parts of four seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates and Chicago Cubs back in the 1990s. Part of his […]

Sports teams in Niagara and across the province receive Valentine’s Day gift

by Rod Mawhood

Photo credit: Niagara IceDogs   It was music to many sporting franchises ears on Valentine’s Day.  On Monday, the Ontario government announced it will speed up the province’s reopening timeline.  In terms of sports, that means locally the Niagara IceDogs of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) and the six regional-based Junior B teams of the […]

The Super Bowl hits Hollywood

by Rod Mawhood

SoFi Stadium (pictured), home of the Los Angeles Rams, is just 11 miles south of Hollywood Hills. Photo credit: LA Rams   We’re just hours away from the biggest single sporting event in the world as the LA Rams clash with the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl 56.  Over 91-million viewers, world-wide, tuned into last year’s […]

Niagara River Lions season tickets on sale this week

by Rod Mawhood

Ticketholders will be able to enjoy an extended schedule this season, as the CEBL has expanded to 10 teams. Photo credit: Facebook/Niagara River Lions   The Niagara River Lions roar will be heard longer this year.  The River Lions, and the Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL), have announced their 2022 schedule. This season’s schedule has […]

Rempel relishes Paralympic experience

by Rod Mawhood

Paralympic medalist, author, keynote speaker, and Niagara native Kevin Rempel. Photo credit: Keynote Speakers Canada   As the Beijing Olympics officially begin Friday with the opening ceremonies, we continue to focus on Niagara athletes with connections to the games, past or present.  One such athlete is Vineland native, and former Paralympian, Kevin Rempel.  Everyone’s Olympic […]

Two ex-Niagara IceDogs, and one former Ridley College Tiger Beijing bound

by Rod Mawhood

Ho-Sang (left) and Jenner (right) for Canada; Smith for China.   “I can’t even describe it.” Those are the words of former Niagara IceDog Josh Ho-Sang after being named to Team Canada’s Olympic men’s hockey roster. “The fact that I was even on (Hockey Canada’s) radar means a lot to me, but I wouldn’t have […]

NHL at the halfway point

by Rod Mawhood

Former Niagara Falls Canuck and NHLer Keith Jones (pictured) breaks things down. Photo credit: NHL   Quick, raise your hand if you knew long-time NHLer Keith Jones was a former Niagara Falls Canuck. That’s what I thought. This reporter didn’t know Jones played in the Honeymoon Capital either.  Jones put up some fantastic numbers during […]

Final four set in NFL playoffs

by Rod Mawhood

Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen exits the field after a heartbreaking OT loss to the Kansas City Chiefs Sunday night. The Bills were the only underdog team not to win on Divisional weekend. Photo credit: Buffalo News/James P. McCoy   If you’re a Buffalo Bills fan, like many here in Niagara, your thought is likely […]

Raptors analyst talks team’s progress at midway point of season

by Rod Mawhood

Niagara Falls native, and Niagara College Broadcasting alum, Amy Audibert breaks things down. Photo credit: Niagara College/Robert Deak   The (21-21) Toronto Raptors officially reached the midway point of their season earlier this week.  The NBA, and its 30 teams, play 82-game schedules.  The 2021-22 campaign has been another interesting one for the Raptors, who […]

Smrek soars to NCAA MVP honours

by Rod Mawhood

The 6-foot-9 Welland native recently finished off her rookie season with the Wisconsin Badgers women’s volleyball team as a national champion. Photo credit: University of Wisconsin Badgers   To say Anna Smrek has the genes to be an impressive athlete would be a massive understatement.  And at just 18 years old. she’s already reached heights […]

GOJHL teams trying to navigate latest pause in play

by Rod Mawhood

For whatever reason, the GOJHL doesn’t qualify as an “elite” league under provincial guidelines. Photo credit: Pexels/Tony Schnagl   They’re ready to play, and wish they could be.  The latest COVID-19 restrictions meant that all six of the Niagara-based Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League (GOJHL) Golden Horseshoe Conference teams had their seasons paused for at […]

Bills win AFC East, Colts crash, and Raiders-Chargers produce instant classic

by Rod Mawhood

NFL Wild Card Weekend is set. Locally, the Buffalo Bills will host the New England Patriots on Saturday, Jan. 15 at 8:15 pm. It will be the two teams’ third meeting in just five weeks. Photo credit: AP/Steven Senne   The NFL is calling it ‘Super Wild Card Weekend.’ For the first time the league’s […]

Local sports paused, other than OHL Niagara IceDogs

by Rod Mawhood

Photo credit: Twitter/Niagara IceDogs   The latest COVID-19 protocols across the province have put a pause on local sports here in Niagara. Arenas and gym doors are locked, while minor hockey, basketball, volleyball and curling have had the rest of their seasons either postponed or canceled.  The Brock University Badgers and Niagara College Knights have […]

What NFL playoff picture looks like with one week to go in regular season

by Rod Mawhood

The Bills clinched a playoff berth Sunday with their win over the Falcons. If Buffalo beats the New York Jets on Jan. 9, the team wins the AFC East division for the second consecutive year. Photo credit: USA Today Sports/Mark Konezny   One week.  That’s all that remains in the 2021-22 NFL regular season. And […]

Niagara sports – year in review

by Rod Mawhood

St. Catharines’ Kristen Kit (bottom, second from right) winning Olympic gold with the women’s eight rowing crew was one of only several momentous sports accomplishments achieved by an athlete with a direct Niagara connection in 2021. Photo credit: Canadian Olympic Committee/Lean Hennel   It’s hard to believe that 2022 is here.  2021, despite its cancellations, […]

Former Niagara River Lion joins NBA defending-champion Milwaukee Bucks

by Rod Mawhood

CEBL continues to garner respect across the basketball world. Photo credit: Niagara River Lions   It was an early Christmas present for a former Niagara River Lion, and the organization. Two days before the holiday, the River Lions were thrilled to announce that Javin DeLaurier signed with the Milwaukee Bucks of the National Basketball League […]

‘Twas the night before Christmas – Niagara sports edition

by Rod Mawhood

  ‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the Niagara Region, not a sport was playing, not even on the TV at the Merritton Legion The stockings were hung by the Meridian Centre with care, In hopes that sports soon would be there. The children were nestled all snug in their River Lions beds […]

Covid wreaks havoc on sports – again

by Rod Mawhood

Calgary Flames head coach Darryl Sutter. The Flames franchise currently has over 30 members, including Sutter, in Covid protocol. The NHL, NBA, and NFL are all suffering case surges and havibg to postpone games due to the pandemic’s latest wave. Photo credit: NHL Perhaps it’s time to change the name Covid-19.  The average person doesn’t […]

Boxing and MMA highlight a big weekend in Niagara sport

by Rod Mawhood

Photo credit: Boxing Ontario   Fans of the sweet science and cage fighting will have their fill this weekend in Niagara. Boxing and Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) are front and centre in St. Catharines and Niagara Falls starting Friday evening. ‘Murphy’s Gloves’ is an annual fundraiser that supports youth initiatives at the St. Catharines Boxing […]

Overtime haunts CFL and NFL fans in Niagara

by Rod Mawhood

Hamilton Tiger-Cats quarterback Jeremiah Masoli (8) hugs linebacker Curtis Newton (44) after losing the 108th CFL Grey Cup at home in Hamilton to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers on Sunday, Dec. 12, 2021. The overtime loss came shortly after the Buffalo Bills suffered their own heartbreaking OT defeat at the hands of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers […]

Sport of curling continues to grow in Niagara

by Rod Mawhood

Participants enjoy a match at the Niagara Falls Curling Club (NFCC). Photo credit: Facebook/NFCC   Fresh off the Canadian Olympic Trials, in which Jennifer Jones and Brad Gushue earned the right to represent the Red and White in Beijing, the sport of curling continues to grow in Niagara. Stephen Fish is a coach, promoter, and […]

Two Niagara natives crowned Vanier Cup champions

by Rod Mawhood

 Valvano of St. Catharines (#29, seated front-centre), Andrews of Niagara Falls (#20, seated front-right) bring home Canadian university football championship as part of powerhouse Western Mustangs squad. Photo credit: Western Mustangs   There were two local players crowned Vanier Cup champions this past Saturday in Quebec City. Fifth year full back Antonio Valvano of St. […]

Brock Badgers enter holiday break in impressive fashion

by Rod Mawhood

It’s been an impressive return to sports for a number of Brock Badgers teams. Currently, no less than five of Brock’s sports programs are ranked in the Top-5 of the U Sports weekly rankings, including the women’s volleyball team (pictured). Photo credit: Brock Athletics   The global pandemic shutdown Badgers Athletics in March of 2020. Twenty […]

Photo credit: Pexels/Bk Aguilar    Signing up for or participating in sports may not be as easy as most would think, especially here in Niagara. That according to the Ontario Sport Network (OSN), which recently announced the launch of a new awareness campaign. ‘This is Your Sport’ highlights the importance of sport and recreation across […]

NHL at the quarter pole

by Rod Mawhood

Updating all local and IceDogs connections. Pictured is Carter Verhaeghe. The former Niagara IceDogs captain has an impressive six goals, 15 points in 19 games this season as part of the league-leading Florida Panthers. Photo credit: Icon Sportswire/Mark LoMoglio   By the end of this upcoming weekend, almost every NHL team will have played at […]

The Beautiful Game continues to grow, including here in Niagara

by Rod Mawhood

Canadian men’s national team has vaulted 40 spots in the world rankings over the past five years. Pictured Canada plays Mexico in wintry conditions with snowy sidelines in Edmonton last week. Photo credit: Boston Globe   It was a week ago tonight that Canada Soccer took another step forward in making history, winning 2-1 over […]

Pitcher Robbie Ray at Toronto’s Rogers Centre. Photo credit: Sportsnet    What a difference a year makes. Robbie Ray is about to become a rich man.  Not to say that his one-year $8-million dollar contract this past season was nothing to turn his nose up to, but Ray now has ‘Cy Young Award’ winner beside […]

World Series Champion started his baseball career in St. Catharines

by Rod Mawhood

Then-Atlanta Braves trainer Mike Frostad (left) comes off the field with Brian McCann (center) and manager Brian Snitker during a game against the Miami Marlins in April 2019. Photo credit: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution/John Amis   Twenty-six years after starting his professional baseball career in St. Catharines, Mike Frostad can now say he’s a World Series […]

Niagara River Lions head coach and general manager Victor Raso. The former CEBL Coach of the Year, along with co-general manager Antwi Atuahene, will return for another season after re-signing with the team earlier this week. Photo credit: CEBL    The Niagara River Lions have announced that head coach and general manager Victor Raso will […]

Ex-NHL goaltender and coach back providing guidance in Niagara

by Rod Mawhood

Long-time Detroit Red Wings goalie coach Jim Bedard offering instruction to attendees at a 2018 elite training camp in Rochester, NY. Photo credit: Twitter/Legacy Global Sports    Talk about full circle. He began coaching goaltenders in Niagara 27 years ago. Three Stanley Cups later, Jim Bedard is back in the region he calls home doing what […]

Eichel Vegas bound

by Rod Mawhood

Sabres had no choice but to deal disgruntled forward. Photo credit: Boston Globe   Finally. After a public feud that lasted eight months, he left the Buffalo Sabres no choice. Disgruntled forward, and former captain, Jack Eichel was dealt to the Vegas Golden Knights along with a 2023 third round draft pick for forwards Peyton […]

Sledge hockey league set to slide into Niagara

by Rod Mawhood

Grimsby, St. Catharines, Niagara Falls and Welland will all ice teams. Photo credit: Winnipeg Free Press/Ruth Bonneville   A new hockey league is set to take to the ice in Niagara. In fact, four municipalities will feature teams in the Niagara Sledge Hockey League.  All Niagara residents 13 or over, or 12 and under with […]

Ho-Sang feels ‘understood’ in Toronto

by Rod Mawhood

Former Niagara IceDog loves playing in his hometown. Pictured is Ho-Sang in pre-season action as a Maple Leaf before signing a deal with the team’s AHL affiliate earlier this month. Photo credit: Toronto Marlies   His play not only garnered the attention of the hockey world, but a few of his words also stood out.  […]

New era begins for Toronto Raptors

by Rod Mawhood

Raptors’ point guard Fred VanVleet. Many view the 27-year-old as Kyle Lowry’s natural successor and hope the sixth-year player can lead Toronto into the next era. Photo credit: AP/Mary Altaffer   The Toronto Raptors first regular season home game in Toronto in 600 days didn’t exactly go as planned. The Raptors tipped off their season […]

Coaching mentorship programs having big impact on pair of local athletes

by Rod Mawhood

Carley Blomberg in action as a Brock Badger. Blomberg is one of a pair of Niagara athletes to be recently awarded the opportunity to take part in a selective coaching mentorship program. Photo credit: Brock Athletics   Many athletes consider making the transition to coaching, but few do, or at least get the opportunity to […]

Two historic lacrosse organizations to merge

by Rod Mawhood

The St. Catharines Jr. A Athletics. The organization will merge with the city’s Jr. B lacrosse club, the St. Catharines Spartans. Photo credit: St. Catharines Athletics   Quick, name the oldest sporting franchise in Niagara? Give up? It dates back to 1877, believe it or not – it’s the St. Catharines Jr. A Athletics Lacrosse […]

NHL preview: four Niagara based players discuss their new teams, mental health

by Rod Mawhood

St. Catharines native Dougie Hamilton. After three seasons with the Carolina Hurricanes and an eventful free agency, Hamilton signed a seven-year, $63-million contract with the New Jersey Devils at the end of July. Photo credit: USA Today Sports/James Guillory   As the puck gets set to drop on another NHL season, four Niagara based players […]

Officials and Games mascot Shelly announce the 2022 torch relay program at Lock 3 beside the St. Catharines Museum and Welland Canals Centre, Oct. 6, 2021. Photo credit: Niagara 2022 Host Society   When you think of Niagara, what first comes to mind? Wineries. Yes.  The casinos. For sure.  But what about the Welland Canal? An engineering […]

IceDogs ready to bark in 2021

by Rod Mawhood

Niagara IceDogs in exhibition action against the Oshawa Generals at the Meridian Centre in St. Catharines, Sept. 20, 2021. Photo credit: Niagara IceDogs/Vivid Eye Photography   A month-long training camp that started with close to 70 players, dozens of cuts, and six exhibition games is in the books, as the Niagara IceDogs are set to […]

Pair of Niagara River Lions sign NBA contracts

by Rod Mawhood

Xavier Sneed in action as a Niagara River Lion. Sneed is one of two players from the St. Catharines-based basketball team to sign an NBA contract this week. Photo credit: CEBL/Matthew Winick   The Niagara River Lions have quickly garnered respect across the basketball world. The River Lions, who play out of the Canadian Elite […]

GOJHL hockey season underway

by Rod Mawhood

Six Niagara based teams make up eight-team Golden Horseshoe Conference. Pictured: the Welland Jr. Canadians get ready for the season earlier this month. Photo credit: Twitter/Welland Jr. Canadians   Frank Pietrangelo breathed a sigh of relief Friday night. The Niagara Falls Canucks were finally back on the ice, playing a real, meaningful game.  The current […]

Bills rebound in South Beach

by Rod Mawhood

Buffalo Bills star quarterback Josh Allen throws a pass against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021. Photo credit: USA Today Sports/Sam Navarro   The Buffalo Bills needed a bounce back win in Miami in Week 2, and that’s exactly what they got Sunday, dominating the Dolphins 35-0. The Bills, who dropped a 23-16 […]

High school sports back around the region

by Rod Mawhood

St. Catharines’ Governor Simcoe Secondary School football team in action against Greater Fort Erie Secondary School, Sept. 2018. Photo credit: Facebook/Governor Simcoe   It certainly seems longer than the 18-plus months it’s been, but a long-standing tradition has returned to Niagara-area high schools. Sports! The Covid-19 pandemic halted organized sports at all levels, including at […]

Canadian tennis has officially arrived

by Rod Mawhood

Montreal native Leylah Fernandez returns a shot during the women’s singles championship final at the US Open, Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021. Photo credit: USTA/Garrett Ellwood   A finals appearance in the women’s championship. A semi-final appearance in the men’s championship. And almost forgotten, and certainly not in the same conversation as the men’s and women’s […]

Jackfish host Baycats to begin playoff run

by Rod Mawhood

Welland Jackfish in action during the team’s inaugural season. Photo credit: Facebook/Welland Jackfish   As Welland Jackfish fans continue to flock to Welland Stadium in record numbers the team began its second playoff run, since arriving in the Rose City, last night at home against the Barrie Baycats.  The (15-15) Jackfish finished fourth in the seven […]

Bills the class of the AFC East once again

by Rod Mawhood

Buffalo Bills wide receiver Gabriel Davis (right) celebrates a touchdown with quarterback John Allen in the team’s final preseason game against the Green Bay Packers, Aug. 28, 2021. Photo credit: AP/Adrian Kraus   As the 101st NFL season is set to kickoff Thursday night in Tampa Bay, when the Dallas Cowboys visit the Buccaneers, we know […]

Hajrullahu still looking to find an NFL home

by Rod Mawhood

St. Catharines kicker Lirim Hajrullahu hoists the Grey Cup after scoring the championship-winning field goal as a Toronto Argonaut, Nov. 26, 2017. Photo credit: Alex D’Addese   The last 18 months have not been normal for all of us, but for St. Catharines’ Lirim Hajrullahu they’ve been downright daunting.  And perhaps Hajrullahu’s background has given […]

With season six weeks away, Niagara IceDogs begin training camp

by Rod Mawhood

Photo credit: Facebook/Niagara IceDogs   There’s been three words missing from local’s vocabulary the past almost 18 months: “Go Dogs Go!” Yes, the Niagara IceDogs last played a game, and hit the ice, at Meridian Centre in downtown St. Catharines on March 8, 2020.  However, that changed this week as the IceDogs opened training camp […]

2021 NLL Hall of Fame class has a real Niagara feel to it

by Rod Mawhood

 St. Catharines native Steve Toll during the final season of his playing career with the Edmonton Rush in 2012. Toll and friend and fellow St. Catharines native Pat McCready are both part of the National Lacrosse League Hall of Fame 2021 class. Photo credit: Twitter/Panther City Lacrosse Club   The 2021 National Lacrosse League (NLL) […]

River Lions look to roar into CEBL final

by Rod Mawhood

River Lions guard Xavier Sneed takes a shot against the Ottawa BlackJacks. Photo credit: CEBL/Matthew Winick The Niagara River Lions earned a bye into CEBL Championship Weekend in Edmonton, and after a 12-day layoff from game action will meet the Fraser Valley Bandits in the semi-final action this evening.  The (10-4) River Lions enter the […]

Niagara’s oldest sporting franchise adds another Ontario championship

by Rod Mawhood

The St. Catharines Jr. A Athletics after winning the 2021 Ontario Junior Lacrosse League (OJLL) championship earlier this month. Photo credit: OJLL/Nanticoke Photography The oldest sporting franchise in Niagara, and one of the oldest in the province, added another Ontario championship to its name. The St. Catharines Jr. A Athletics Lacrosse club, founded in 1877, […]

Niagara helps propel Canada to impressive medal showing at Tokyo Olympics

by Rod Mawhood

Canadian long-distance runner Mohammed Ahmed (left) with teammate Justyn Knight. Ahmed, who calls St. Catharines home, won silver in the men’s 5000m last week in Tokyo. Knight finished seventh. Photo credit: Twitter/CBC Olympics  It was an Olympics to remember, for more reasons than one. Despite declaring a state of emergency the week before the games […]

Niagara River Lions regular season wraps up this weekend

by Rod Mawhood

Team has already clinched a playoff berth. Photo credit: Niagara River Lions The Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL) was the first professional sports league in Canada to return to play during the pandemic with the 2020 CEBL Summer Series. Less than a year later, a shortened 2021 campaign is set to wrap up with fans […]

“Really proud to represent St. Catharines”

by Rod Mawhood

Garden City native Kristen Kit (bottom row, second from right). Kit and Canada’s women’s eight rowing crew captured gold in Tokyo last week. Photo credit: Twitter/Team Canada There’s no doubt the women have been the story for Canada at the Tokyo Olympics.  As of Monday evening, 13 of the 14 medals won by Canadians were […]

NHL free agent frenzy – Niagara edition

by Rod Mawhood

NHL forward Josh Ho-Sang in action with the New York Islanders. Ho-Sang is one of four former Niagara IceDogs to sign a new contract this week. The Toronto native penned a Professional Tryout deal with his hometown organization Wednesday. Photo credit: AP/Tony Gutierrez Over 70 National Hockey League (NHL) players signed new contracts this week, […]

Burkholder back in the Rose City

by Rod Mawhood

 Dave Burkholder. The veteran bench boss is set to take over the Welland Jr. Canadians. Photo credit: Twitter/Welland Jr. Canadians Life has truly come full circle for Dave Burkholder. The now 59-year-old – who grew up watching the Welland Jr. Canadians, then played for the franchise, then watched his son skate for the team – […]

Niagara well represented at Olympic Games

by Rod Mawhood

Canada’s Men’s Four rowing Olympic contingent. The crew features two Niagara connections: St. Catharines Rowing Club’s Jakub Buczek (far back) and Brock University’s Luke Gadsdon (second to back). Photo credit: Team Canada/Canadian Olympic Committee The Tokyo Olympics officially kicked off Friday with the opening ceremonies as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to dampen this year’s games […]

Niagara’s own NBA champion

by Rod Mawhood

As the National Basketball Association Finals continue, and the growth of basketball continues in this country, one has to think of Niagara’s only NBA Champion: Mike Smrek.

Blue Jays at the all-star break

by Rod Mawhood

Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Hyun Jin Ryu. The team’s bullpen is the focus heading into the second half of the season. Photo credit: Getty Images/Mark Brown There’s two ways to look at the Toronto Blue Jays, and their record, at the Major League Baseball All-Star break.  Sitting at (45-42) on the season, and only […]

Canadian tennis on the upswing

by Rod Mawhood

No matter the result of Denis Shapovalov’s semi-final match against top-ranked Novak Djokovic on Friday, there’s no denying that this week’s results from Wimbledon have solidified Canadian tennis’ position around the globe.

Six Pack Recruiting is branching out

by Rod Mawhood

She was sitting in a restaurant with her husband three years ago when the proverbial lightbulb went off for Dale Melnick.

Niagara IceDogs release 2021-22 schedule

by Rod Mawhood

As things slowly but surely return to normal across Niagara, sports are no different.

The Niagara River Lions began their regular season last week, the Welland Jackfish will begin their season next week, while the Niagara IceDogs released their 2021-22 schedule on Tuesday.

Two all-world goaltenders highlight the 2021 Stanley Cup Final

by Rod Mawhood

There’s no doubt that Carey Price and Andrei Vasilevskiy are the focus of both combatants and most fans as the 2021 Stanley Cup Final began Monday night in Tampa Bay.

Niagara River Lions season underway

by Rod Mawhood

When you land players from two of the most storied basketball programs in North America, you’re already ahead of most when it comes to recruiting.

‘The Fort’ resumes racing

by Rod Mawhood

It’s amazing to think about the history of Fort Erie Race Track.

It all began in November of 1896, when the Fort Erie Jockey Club and its president John Hood put the wheels in motion to break ground for racing in Fort Erie.

Her resume speaks for itself, but one thing is missing: an Olympic appearance.

That last accomplishment can be, and will be, checked off this year for Kristen Kit.

IceDogs draft 16 players, including two with Niagara connections

by Rod Mawhood

Dawson Lukey in action with the Southern Tier Admirals in 2020. Lukey was the Niagara IceDogs’ final pick of the OHL Priority Selection draft. The St. Catharines native should feel right at home with his new team. Photo credit: BP Sports Niagara/ Bill Potrecz Like a lot of things these days, it certainly wasn’t the […]

Niagara IceDogs prepare for OHL Draft during unprecedented times

by Rod Mawhood

Imagine trying to build a hockey team and drafting close to a dozen players who haven’t played in a ‘real’ game in more than a year.

Then, add the fact that the players you’re drafting are fifteen and sixteen years old and could have easily added a few inches in height and/or 10 to 20 pounds to their frames.

Toronto Blue Jays set to move to Buffalo – again

by Rod Mawhood

It was thought to be a one-time thing, but the COVID-19 pandemic means the Toronto Blue Jays are heading back to Buffalo, N.Y. this spring and summer.

Sahlen Field is the usual home of the Blue Jays AAA affiliate – the Buffalo Bisons – but the Bisons are playing their home games in Trenton, New Jersey after the Jays announced in early May they would be returning to Buffalo.

Olympic dream comes true for local rower

by Rod Mawhood

Not many athletes, or people in general, can say their dreams came true within 10 years – especially imagining such a lofty dream as p marticipating in the Olympics.

But that’s exactly what happened for Brock Badgers rower Luke Gadsdon.

Niagara Falls native Tre Ford continues to impress

by Rod Mawhood

Football has been part of Tre Ford’s DNA since he was a youngster.

His father introduced the game to him and his twin brother Tyrell here in Niagara.

From volleyball coach to ‘Youth Life Coach’

by Rod Mawhood

Matthew Ragogna. At 27, the Brock University men’s volleyball coach is the youngest coach in all Canadian university sport. Photo credit: Brock News/Stephen Leithwood Coaches across Niagara, the province in fact, have all become zoom-meeting masters over the past year or so. The COVID-19 pandemic has meant different times in the world of sports. For […]

Let’s start in the Canadian/North Division, and who better to talk the Toronto vs. Montreal series than a man who was on the ice the last time these two teams met back in 1979, on the side of the Leafs.

Clutterbuck has that fire back

by Rod Mawhood

As the puck gets set to drop on the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs Saturday, there are a number of Niagara natives, or players with connections to the region, who will be in action — but no one with more experience than Cal Clutterbuck.

Multisport court in Welland will be both accessible and inclusive

by Rod Mawhood

The City of Welland is about to become a leader in inclusivity.

The Jumpstart Inclusive Multisport Court will not only benefit the Rose City but the entire Niagara Region and beyond, according to Manager of Recreation and Culture for the City of Welland Richard Dalton.

Former Niagara IceDog in NHL ‘Rookie of the Year’ Conversation

by Rod Mawhood

Not many players in Niagara IceDogs history, heck OHL history, have averaged more than two points a game.

Yet in the 38 games he played in an IceDogs jersey, Jason Robertson did just that, tallying 79 points in those 38 games and winning the Ontario Hockey League scoring title.

Bills bolster defence in 2021 NFL Draft

by Rod Mawhood

The one glaring need for the Buffalo Bills entering the 2021 NFL Draft was a defensive-end pass rusher, or as they’re regularly referred to these days: ‘edge rusher.’

Let’s rewind to February 22, 2020. The Brock Badgers were down 51-32 to the Windsor Lancers heading into the fourth quarter, but managed to outscore their opponents 29-6 over the final 10 minutes in a 61-57 victory.

Billy Burke is used to making phone calls to his players and staff, but last week was a little different.

The Niagara IceDogs head coach, along with his younger brother Joey (IceDogs General Manager), called every one of his players to inform them that the 2020-21 OHL (Ontario Hockey League) season had been cancelled, after a return to play plan could not be worked out with health officials and the provincial government.

Brock University names new Director of Sports

by Rod Mawhood

Called a proven leader in university athletics, with extensive experience supporting the development of student-athletes and coaches, Brock University has named Melissa Krist its new Director of Sports.

Alex Nedeljkovic taking his game to another level

by Rod Mawhood

It’s astonishing to think Alex Nedeljkovic cleared NHL waivers just a few months ago.

The Carolina Hurricanes netminder, and former Niagara IceDog, could have been picked up by any other club, now he’s near the top in every NHL goaltending category.

Young athletes and the Covid-19 pandemic

by Rod Mawhood

As a sports talk-show radio host I often receive guest requests and suggestions.

A couple of weeks back I received a response to a tweet in regard to young athletes and their mental health through the Covid-19 pandemic. I immediately started looking into sports psychologists here in Niagara and came across the name Dr. Chris Friesen in Grimsby.

Maple Leafs make biggest splash at NHL Trade Deadline

by Rod Mawhood

Every team in the North (Canadian) Division made moves on NHL Trade Deadline Day, but it was the Toronto Maple Leafs that made the biggest splash.

Maple Leafs General Manager, and Brock University Sports Management graduate, Kyle Dubas was the busiest of the seven Canadian general managers.

Tinnish’s tenure with Blue Jays continues

by Rod Mawhood

It’s been 20 years since Andrew Tinnish last donned a Brock Badgers baseball uniform.

Since then, the Burlington native has traveled the globe working in the sport he loves, and doing so for Canada’s only Major League Baseball franchise.

Thorold’s Tyler Angle signs with the Columbus Blue Jackets

by Rod Mawhood

Tyler Angle continues to prove his doubters wrong.
In fact, he uses his naysayers as extra-motivation.
The 20-year old Thorold native was expected to be playing his overage season in the OHL (Ontario Hockey League) with the Windsor Spitfires this year, instead he just signed an NHL contract with the Columbus Blue Jackets and is averaging a point per game with the Blue Jackets AHL (American Hockey League) affiliate – the Cleveland Monsters.

Former Duke Blue Devil captain signs with Niagara River Lions

by Rod Mawhood

There aren’t too many basketball programs bigger than the Duke Blue Devils.
The perennial college basketball power house has churned out dozens of legendary NBA stars including newly acquired Toronto Raptor Rodney Hood, and Canada Basketball standout RJ Barrett of the New York Knicks.

2021 Toronto Blue Jays Season Preview

by Rod Mawhood

They will definitely be improved, but can they make the jump to the elite of the American League or more importantly the American League East?
Let’s preview the 2021 Toronto Blue Jays.

Jackfish commit to the Rose City long-term

by Rod Mawhood

The Welland Jackfish made it official earlier this week, signing a six-year lease with the City of Welland.
The Jackfish, members of the Intercounty Baseball League, arrived in the Rose City in 2019 and immediately gained a following welcoming over 15,000 fans to Welland Stadium – or “The Pond” as it’s affectionately known.

Niagara Falls native part of all female Toronto Raptors broadcast

by Rod Mawhood

When you look up the definition of hard work paying off, Amy Audibert’s bio and story should appear.

The Niagara Falls native is set to make Canadian Broadcasting history tomorrow night when she’ll be a part of TSN’s all female broadcast crew working the Toronto Raptors – Denver Nuggets game.

Owen Diodati rollin’ with the Tide in Alabama

by Rod Mawhood

There’s something about the bases being loaded and Owen Diodati at the dish.
The 19-year old Niagara Falls native hit his third grand slam of the season as the University of Alabama Crimson Tide rallied to outscore their interstate rivals – The University of Southern Alabama – 11-8 in recent NCAA Baseball action.

Bisons announce coaches

by Rod Mawhood

The Toronto Blue Jays have announced their minor league coaching appointments.
The Blue Jays named Casey Candaele, the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons next manager. The former Bisons infielder and American Association All-Star becomes the 22nd manager of the Bisons during the modern era.

Walter Gretzky remembered

by Rod Mawhood

He was known as the ‘Ultimate Hockey Dad.’
Walter Gretzky, father of Wayne, passed away at the age of 82 last Thursday and the tributes have not stopped.

Top Level Soccer is back in Niagara

by Rod Mawhood

It’s hard to believe the St. Catharines Club Roma Wolves franchise dates back to its founding in 1967.
The team enjoyed stops in the Canadian Soccer League (CSL), the National Soccer League and the Canadian Professional Soccer League.

Thomas and Roberts blazing a trail for others

by Rod Mawhood

Black History Month may have wrapped up this past weekend, but two former Niagara IceDogs are still forging ahead in their effort to grow the game of hockey for minorities around the world.

Battle of the bulge affects pro athletes too

by Rod Mawhood

It’s something that inflicts the majority of the population at some point in their lives.
Weight gain.

Super Saturday for current and former Niagara IceDog goaltenders

by Rod Mawhood

Sometimes an email or message can just brighten your day.
That was the case Saturday afternoon when the Niagara IceDogs sent out an email titled: ‘Tynan joins Iowa Wild on ATO’

Buffalo Bisons sign long term agreement with Major League Baseball

by Rod Mawhood

It’s hard to believe that the Buffalo Bisons are entering their ninth season of affiliation with the Toronto Blue Jays.

Former IceDog Tomasino turns pro

by Rod Mawhood

We’ve entered the third week of February, and Phil Tomasino still hasn’t celebrated Christmas with his family.
It was a whirlwind end to 2020, and the first six weeks of 2021 have been no different for the former Niagara IceDogs forward.

From Niagara to the Philippines National Team – the Lora Mateo story

by Rod Mawhood

There’s not many people in Canada that can say the first sport they tried was rugby. But Niagara Falls native Lora Mateo is one of those people.
“All my cousins were older than me, and they hyped up the sport so much, and I needed something to do during high school and they recommended rugby and the first tryout I ever did, it was something I fell in love with,” Mateo explained.

Fonthill native and CFL Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman joins TiCats

by Rod Mawhood

Growing up in Fonthill, Chris Van Zeyl was like most youngsters across Niagara. He played a wide range of sports, but somehow he settled on football.
From St. Alexander Catholic Elementary in Fonthill, to Notre Dame College (High) School in Welland, to McMaster University in Hamilton, to the Canadian Football League (CFL), Van Zeyl’s football journey has been an interesting one.

Wells relishing his Edmonton Oilers call-up

by Rod Mawhood

I’ve had the pleasure of dealing with and interviewing thousands of athletes over the past almost three decades spent working in this interesting business.
From a professional level, two of the finest athletes to deal with were former St. Catharines Blue Jay and Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Pat Hentgen and all-time Toronto Argos great Mike “Pinball” Clemons.

Blue Jays spend big in off-season acquisitions

by Rod Mawhood

The Toronto Blue Jays were rumoured to be in on basically every free-agent available this off-season. It seemed as if every day there was another story about a player the Jays would be making an offer to, or trying to acquire.

The Bills will be back

by Rod Mawhood

The Kansas City Chiefs proved why they’re the defending Super Bowl Champions.
Despite an early 9-0 lead, thanks to a muffed punt, the Buffalo Bills were thoroughly dismantled in a 38-24 AFC Championship Game final.

Buffalo Bills a win away from the Super Bowl

by Rod Mawhood

January 23, 1994.
Twenty-seven years and one day later after their last appearance in the AFC Championship Game, the Buffalo Bills will take on Kansas City this upcoming Sunday evening with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line.

Bring on the Ravens

by Rod Mawhood

Just over 24 hours after securing their first playoff win in a quarter century, the second seeded Buffalo Bills were told they would be hosting their first ever night playoff game.
The only question – who would they be facing next Saturday night at Bills Stadium? Would it be the Pittsburgh Steelers or the Baltimore Ravens?

Buffalo Bills ready for playoff football

by Rod Mawhood

There’s not a hotter team entering the National Football League playoffs than the Buffalo Bills.
The Bills clinched the second seed in the AFC, a week after claiming their first division title since 1995, with an annihilation of the Miami Dolphins. 56-26 was the final.

2021 sports predictions – local and beyond

by Rod Mawhood

Happy New Year!
The year 2020 will never be forgotten, in particular from the world of sports.
One of the most telling sports pictures (now GIFs) of the year that just passed, that expanded well beyond the realm of athletics, and one that many people have forgotten, was NBAer Rudy Gobert touching all the microphones that lay in front of him at the podium after a Utah Jazz game – after he tested positive for the Coronavirus.

Niagara Falls native working World Junior tournament as linesman

by Rod Mawhood

It’s no secret that many athletes want to stay involved in sports in some way after their playing careers come to an end.
Whether it’s coaching, managing, scouting – athletes want to give back or get something more from the game they had dedicated so many hours to in trying to perfect or master.

Puck drop on OHL season delayed again

by Rod Mawhood

It’s definitely the tale of two leagues when it comes to seeing or watching live hockey over the next few months.

While the National Hockey League released its 2021 schedule this week, the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), home of the Niagara IceDogs, had to delay the start to its season once again.

Buffalo back on top of AFC East

by Rod Mawhood

Josh Allen wasn’t even born the last time the Buffalo Bills won the AFC East.
Now he’s at the helm of a team that has won their first division title since 1995.

NFL kicker punted back to St. Catharines due to work visa issue

by Rod Mawhood

The year 2020 will go down in history as one we’ll all try and forget.
The COVID-19 pandemic and its protocols and restrictions affected many locally, nationally and internationally. Cancellations and postponements were also the norm when it came to the sports world.

Lots of local content in World Juniors

by Rod Mawhood

Ratings for the World Junior Hockey Championships are always big, but throw in the COVID-19 pandemic with more people at home, no fans allowed in the arena, and the 2021 Championships could set a ratings record.
This year’s tournament begins on Christmas Day from Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta.

Baseggio gets Kraken

by Rod Mawhood

Niagara Falls native Director of Pro Scouting for NHL’s newest franchise

He’s certainly not a household name in Niagara, but he has one of the most important positions with the NHL’s newest franchise.

Jackfish sign former major leaguer

by Rod Mawhood

The Welland Jackfish play their home games out of Welland Stadium – affectionately known as ‘The Pond.’

The second year franchise, in the Intercounty Baseball League (IBL), has done everything right off the field in terms of branding and promotion.

Deadline looms for local Jr. B hockey clubs

by Rod Mawhood

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc on the local sports scene.

The Niagara IceDogs, in conjunction with the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), have pushed their start date back to Feb. 4, 2021.

Scouting during a pandemic

by Rod Mawhood

Imagine being on the road, at different arenas, in countries all over the world, for over two decades and all of a sudden it comes to a complete stop.
That’s the case for thousands of hockey scouts across the globe during the COVID-19 pandemic, including those who call St. Catharines home.

Pat Hentgen It’s hard to believe that Pat Hentgen’s illustrious baseball career started right here in St. Catharines The Detroit Michigan native was just seventeen years old when he was drafted by the Blue Jays in the fifth round of the 1986 Major League Baseball Amateur Draft. A few days later he was assigned to […]

Raptors go small in NBA Draft

by Rod Mawhood

The Toronto Raptors entered Wednesday’s NBA Draft with the 29th and 59th overall picks over the course of two rounds.
Unlike the NHL and NFL drafts where seven rounds make up hundreds of selections or the 40 rounds in Major League Baseball – the NBA Draft is just two rounds where a total of 60 players are selected.

Ng makes history with the Miami Marlins

by Rod Mawhood

Fresh off The Niagara Independent’s feature on longtime Toronto Blue Jays and Los Angeles Dodgers administrator and executive Ellen Harrigan last week, the Miami Marlins made history themselves naming Kim Ng the first female General Manager in major sports history.

Talk about paying your dues, Ng started in baseball over 30 years ago as an intern with the Chicago White Sox.

World Series Champion started her baseball career in St. Catharines

by Rod Mawhood

There was a local, Niagara, connection on the World Series Champion Los Angeles Dodgers.
Ellen Harrigan – Director of Baseball Administration with the Dodgers – was once the General Manager of the St. Catharines Blue Jays. In fact she was hired by the Jays as an 18-year old.

Getting athletes to their peak performance

by Rod Mawhood

What happens when you combine body function, emotion, and training techniques into one?
You get Sport Performance.
It’s a term we’re hearing more and more throughout the sporting world as teams and organizations hire specialists to deal with their respective athletes.

Niagara IceDogs will return to the ice in 2021

by Rod Mawhood

It’s official.
The Niagara IceDogs, along with the Ontario Hockey League, will return to action on Feb. 4, 2021.
OHL Commissioner David Branch made the announcement Thursday morning.

Matteo Costantini continuing his hockey career living with Hall of Famer

by Rod Mawhood

Sometimes stories fall right into reporters’ laps. As was the case recently with St. Catharines native and 2020 Buffalo Sabres draft pick Matteo Costantini.

While trying to set up a radio interview with the 18-year old, via ‘Zoom’, I chuckled as his sign-in name was Scott Niedermayer. As in Hockey Hall of Famer, four-time Stanley Cup Champion, and five-time NHL All-Star Scott Niedermayer.

Niagara Basketball United set to take to the court

by Rod Mawhood

It’s been discussed for almost 20 years, but it’s finally come to fruition.

Members of the Brock Badgers, Niagara College Knights, Ridley Tigers, Pelham Panthers and Niagara Tigers all came together to form Niagara Basketball United.

Niagara Falls native now a two-time Canadian record holder

by Rod Mawhood

For someone that gave up the sport of running for years, Jim Dyck is certainly reaping its rewards later in life.
The 55-year old Niagara Falls native had a productive summer on the track to say the least, setting two Canadian records in the sport of running.

Four Niagara connections drafted to the NHL and professionally

by Rod Mawhood

The 2020 NHL Entry Draft has come and gone and no fewer than three players with Niagara connections heard their names called.
A day later another local player signed a professional contract.
Welland native Colby Ambrosio went in the fourth round to the Colorado Avalanche while St. Catharines native Matteo Constantini was drafted in the fifth round by the Buffalo Sabres.

Former IceDog Verhaeghe – Stanley Cup Champion

by Rod Mawhood

It’s kind of fitting that on National Hockey League Draft day we feature a player that was drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs, but didn’t make his NHL debut until he landed with his third franchise.
Twenty-five year old Carter Verhaeghe finally got his shot in the show with the Tampa Bay Lightning this past season, and now he’s a Stanley Cup champion.

Dogs await Draft: Three IceDogs on projected list

by Rod Mawhood

It’s happening three months later than usual, and virtually, but the 2020 NHL Entry Draft is set to go Tuesday and Wednesday of next week.
It was originally scheduled for June 26–27 at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, but was postponed on March 25 of this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Terry Fox’s Niagara connection

by Rod Mawhood

As elementary and high schools across Niagara wrap up Terry Fox fundraising and runs this week, it’s a little known fact that the Canadian hero’s first and only trip to Niagara Falls had to do with one of the city’s own legends.
Canadian Basketball icon Jay Triano, who calls Niagara Falls home, had a special bond with Fox – one that former Simon Fraser University Head Coach Stan Stewardson said brought Fox to the Honeymoon Capital.

Jamal Murray continues to grow the game of Basketball in and for Canada

by Rod Mawhood

You don’t have to look too far to see how much the game of basketball has grown in Canada.
It was just Tuesday night of this week when four of the top five Twitter trends in Canada involved the National Basketball Association (NBA) and in particular one Canadian player.

Welland native is new director of player development for Sabres

by Rod Mawhood

There’s a reason Matt Ellis went undrafted and carried that into a 10-year NHL career. In fact it can summed up in two words – work ethic.
It’s something the Welland native has prided himself on, and something he plans to carry over off the ice into his new role as Director of Player Development with the Buffalo Sabres.

Is this the year for the Buffalo Bills?

by Rod Mawhood

Quick, when was the last time the Buffalo Bills won a playoff game?
Despite making the National Football League post-season two out of the last three years, the answer might shock some.
December 30, 1995.

The Prince awaits his next fight

by Rod Mawhood

It might not have been world record pace, but it was definitely close – and impressive.
Lucas Bahdi’s first nine months as a professional boxer produced a perfect (9-0) record, and all victories were via knockout or stoppage.

DesChatelets Jr’s mental disposition is his key to success

by Rod Mawhood

“The first memory of the sport I have was not the best one. I remember going out there and being so, so nervous. I couldn’t feel my arms, my neck became so stiff I could barely turn my head – wow.”
Not the words you would expect to hear from a wrestler recently determined to be a future Canadian Olympian, but Richard DesChatelets Jr. is just that.

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman steps up for Ludzik and Foundation

by Rod Mawhood

The Covid-19 pandemic forced many people to do and try different things.

Look no further than Sportsnet’s and Hockey Night in Canada’s Elliotte Friedman, who decided to go live on television with the beard he grew during the first few months of the pandemic.

Triano continues to represent Canada, and Niagara Basketball globally

by Rod Mawhood

Jay Triano will never forget Friday nights at A.N. Myer High School in Niagara Falls.
That’s where the current lead assistant with the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets began to make his mark on the basketball court.

It was a trip to an Ottawa Senators game that completely changed Jensen Murphy’s life.
The Buffalo Sabres were in town, and a certain goaltender named Dominek Hasek was between the pipes.

IceDogs hope to hit the ice December 1st

by Rod Mawhood

The Ontario Hockey League, in collaboration with its 20 teams including the Niagara IceDogs, has announced its return to play plans.
The league, like most across Canada, halted play back in March when the coronavirus hit.

CEBL Summer Series in final stretch

by Rod Mawhood

It was trending on twitter during its first day of action on national television, nine days later the round robin portion of the CEBL (Canadian Elite Basketball League) Summer Series is about to wrap up.

Seven teams from across Canada are competing for a championship trophy including the host Niagara River Lions.

Mac Hollowell living out his hockey dream

by Rod Mawhood

Mac Hollowell grew up idolizing Darcy Tucker.
Although Tucker played a different position and Hollowell is not the antagonizer the pesky forward was, the 21-year old Niagara Falls native has always loved the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Major League Baseball is back

by Rod Mawhood

How will the Blue Jays look in a shortened season?
Most casual baseball fans have heard the name Vladimir Guerrero Jr. by now, but many don’t know the other young talent on the Toronto Blue Jays roster.

An inside look: What will the summer start to the NHL playoffs look like?

by Rod Mawhood

Former Niagara IceDogs captain Ryan Strome takes us through what the New York Rangers have done and are doing.
There is no doubt the COVID-19 pandemic has changed everyday life.

Welland native Connor Walters inks first pro contract

by Rod Mawhood

There is a term in sports – late bloomer.
Connor Walters is just that.
The 23-year old Welland native, former OHL (Ontario Hockey League), and Brock Badgers blueliner really found his stride at the Canadian University level after five seasons of major junior hockey with the Owen Sound Attack and Hamilton Bulldogs.

Sabrina D’Angelo – representing Welland on the world stage

by Rod Mawhood

Sabrina D’Angelo has represented Canada at some level since she was 14 years old.
The Welland native, and soccer goalkeeper, has proudly worn the red and white at the provincial, national, and international level.

The sport of Cricket in Niagara is now world renowned

by Rod Mawhood

When you think of sports in the Region, hockey, rowing and even lacrosse may come to mind but what about cricket?
Yes, believe it or not cricket in Niagara dates back to the early 1800’s.
The sport itself is believed to have originated in England during medieval times.

Napper’s Boxing Club gets green light to re-open

by Rod Mawhood

The sound of leather gloves pounding canvas heavy bags, or bare fists keeping rhythm on a speed bag.
For over a century it’s been the norm at Napper’s Boxing Club in Welland.

Growing up in Regent Park in Toronto Charles Kissi could have only dreamed of what he’s accomplished decades later.
Over 40-percent of the residents in the Toronto neighbourhood are considered low income.
And sometimes those residents didn’t see eye to eye or respect authority – in particular the Toronto police.

Niagara could be home to nationally televised basketball tournament

by Rod Mawhood

Niagara, and the Meridian Centre in downtown St. Catharines, could be featured in a proposed basketball tournament that will be broadcast live across Canada on CBC Television.
As of now the CEBL (Canadian Elite Basketball League) tournament hinges on government approval during the Covid-19 pandemic and where Niagara stands in terms of a stage and restrictions. The Region currently sits in stage two of recovery.

Dear Dad – Happy Father’s Day

by Rod Mawhood

The following is a special Father’s Day edition of our sports column by Niagara Independent sports reporter Rod Mawhood.

The Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame class of 2020 has a real St. Catharines feel to it.
In fact, a whole former St. Catharines team will be entering the Hall this year.
The 1990-1991 St. Catharines Jr. A Athletics will be honored in the ‘Team Category.’

The message is simple – it can happen to any of us.
Dan Giancola was a professional football player, turned personal trainer. Yet two Wednesday’s ago, after conducting an online training session, he suffered a heart attack.

They’re at the post once again in Fort Erie

by Rod Mawhood

It’s a little later than hoped for, but considering the circumstances the powers that be at Fort Erie Race Track are ecstatic that later today the bugle will sound to officially kick off the 123rd horse racing season at what truly is a Niagara Institution.
June 16, 1897 – Fort Erie Race Track officially opened.

New rules on the links as golf courses open in Niagara

by Rod Mawhood

It was a welcome announcement from Premier Doug Ford a couple of weeks back – ‘golf courses can reopen.’
However the game of golf, or at least the normal golf course routines as most of us knew them, has changed, and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

Hoping rowing gets back on the water

by Rod Mawhood

The sport of rowing dates back well over a century in St. Catharines.
It was 1903 to be exact that the St. Catharines Rowing Club was founded, the same year the Royal Canadian Henley Regatta moved to Martindale Pond in Port Dalhousie for good.

Shawn Spears – putting Niagara on the professional wrestling map

by Rod Mawhood

Almost two decades as a professional wrestler, including over five years working for the biggest promotion in the world, you would think Shawn Spears (real name Ronnie Arneill) would be happy with where his career is at

Welland Jackfish set for ‘virtual’ home opener

by Rod Mawhood

It’s certainly thinking outside the (batters) box.
The Welland Jackfish, like most sports franchises during these trying times, would like to be welcoming their fans to Welland Stadium for a summer of baseball.

Three NHLers with local ties do their part during Covid-19 pandemic

by Rod Mawhood

The year 2020 will forever be engraved in our minds as a time of change. The world as we knew it will never be the same.
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic everyone has done their part in trying to lessen the burden we all face on a daily basis.

Where are they now? Luca Caputi – IceDogs only 50-goal scorer

by Rod Mawhood

Luca Caputi wishes he played more than one season in Niagara with the IceDogs.
Caputi is still the only IceDog to score 50 (Jason Robertson did so but with Kingston and Niagara combined) or more goals in a season.

Sportsnet’s Jamie Campbell thinking outside of the (batter’s) box

by Rod Mawhood

It was just after his appearance at Romby’s Tavern & Smokehouse in St. Cathairnes, in early March, that Sportsnet’s – and the host of Toronto Blue Jays baseball – had a premonition.
“Sometime around then, when we hosted there, I was just trying to figure out a good way of reaching out to Blue Jays fans and sort of keeping the line open with them,” said Jamie Campbell from his home in Toronto.

Sports no longer the positive distraction they once were

by Rod Mawhood

Sports origins date back at least 3,000 years. In fact the first Olympic Games took place in 776 BC. Sports have been a positive distraction for many on both a national, international and of course local level.
The oldest organized sporting franchise in Niagara, still in existence, is the St. Catharines Jr. A Athletics lacrosse club.

OHL Draft: IceDogs select 15 players including highest draft pick ever

by Rod Mawhood

The Niagara IceDogs were poised to make their highest pick ever, since arriving in the Region back in 2007, in this past Saturday’s Ontario Hockey League Priority Selection Draft.
First round, second overall.

Woody Williams will never forget St. Catharines

by Rod Mawhood

He played almost 20 years of professional baseball, including 15 in the major leagues.
Yet if you ask former MLB all-star Woody Williams his favorite baseball memory his answer might surprise you.

River Lions re-sign 2019 captain

by Rod Mawhood

The game of basketball has been good to Ryan Anderson.
The now 32-year old Seattle, Washington native has traveled the world through sport.
Anderson has played in the Netherlands and numerous cities across North America including here in Niagara with the River Lions.

Banner year for Badgers

by Rod Mawhood

Emily Allan’s air mile account will see a significant increase as the winter athletic season expires. Rightfully so.
The Brock University Associate Director of Athletics will visit at least two if not three provinces in a 10 day span.

Badgers dream season continues

by Rod Mawhood

An impressive (17-5) regular season has transformed into something even more special for the Brock Badgers Women’s Basketball team.
That record has now been improved by three more victories, an Ontario University Association (OUA) Critelli Cup Championship and a trip to the USports Final 8 – National Championships – later this week in Ottawa.

Jackfish set for second season

by Rod Mawhood

Despite the recent weather in Niagara, March is only hours away and that means the boys of summer will be back.
Not since the days of the St. Catharines Stompers, in the mid to late 1990’s, has baseball been so prominent in the Region. And you can thank the Welland Jackfish for that.

Playoff time for Niagara’s Jr. B hockey clubs

by Rod Mawhood

As the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League – Golden Horseshoe Conference – regular season wraps up this weekend only one first round playoff series remains in question.
Will either St. Catharines or Hamilton finish third or fourth respectively, and play either Thorold or Pelham?

River Lions set to roar louder

by Rod Mawhood

What some so called experts and pundits predicted may not work, has been exactly the opposite.
In fact – it’s been a roaring success.
Professional basketball is about to embark on its fifth season here in the Region with the Niagara River Lions.

Simon says Hall of Fame – Todd Simon enters Niagara Falls Sports Wall of Fame

by Rod Mawhood

The smell of what was then the Nabisco plant – now Post Foods Canada Corporation – was Todd Simon’s first memory of Niagara Falls.
Simon arrived in the Honeymoon capital in 1989, and three short years later left his mark on the city and Region he now calls home.

Just 27 years old, it’s hard to believe that Kirsten Moore-Towers has been figure skating since she was two.
The St. Catharines native is a two-time Canadian Pairs Champion with Sarnia’s Michael Marinaro after capturing earlier this month in Mississauga.

St. Catharines hosting the Memorial Cup of Lacrosse

by Rod Mawhood

It’s called the Memorial Cup of Lacrosse, and it’s coming to St. Catharines this summer.
The 2020 Minto Cup – the Canadian Jr. A Lacrosse Championship – has been awarded to the St. Catharines Jr. A Athletics.

Akil Thomas continues to impress both on and off the ice

by Rod Mawhood

In the span of less than two weeks Akil Thomas has gone from being the captain of the Niagara IceDogs and second round draft pick of the Los Angeles Kings, to a household name across Canada.

It started on Sunday January 5 when the now Peterborough Petes forward scored the game-winning ‘Golden Goal’ in Canada’s 4-3 victory over Russia at the World Junior Hockey Championship in the Czech Republic.

IceDogs restock in a big-time way – trade Thomas and Tomasino

by Rod Mawhood

Most Niagara IceDogs fans knew general manager Joey Burke needed to restock his teams draft cupboard after last season’s ‘all in’ campaign.
Well Burke did that and then some during this week’s Ontario Hockey League trade deadline.

Niagara sporting franchises ready for 2020

by Rod Mawhood

Niagara is blessed with a wide range of sporting franchises. All of which add to the unique cultural surrounding sports across the Region.
The Niagara IceDogs lead the pack when it comes to fall and winter sports across Niagara.

IceDogs brass happy at Christmas break

by Rod Mawhood

A .500 hockey club. Fifth place in the Eastern Conference standings. A record of (7-2-1) over their last 10 games heading into the Christmas break. Many would say the Niagara IceDogs organization should be happy with the unofficial first half of the 2019-20 campaign.
Head Coach Billy Burke agrees.

The Interesting story of Al Jensen

by Rod Mawhood

From NHL goaltender, to St. Catharines Transit bus driver, to Director of Goaltending for NHL Central Scouting.
The story of Al Jensen is an interesting one.
Born in Hamilton, Jensen started playing goal for the same reason many kids do that first lace up the pads.

Canucks and Falcons in the hunt at halfway mark

by Rod Mawhood

The regular season crown might already be out of reach, but the battle for second place in the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League – Golden Horseshoe Conference – could come down to the wire.

It’s clear the Caledonia Corvairs, after taking a one-year hiatus from league play, are the class of the Golden Horseshoe but after that – just three points separate the second place Niagara Falls Canucks and third place St. Catharines Falcons.

Welland’s Johnny Augustine is now a Grey Cup champion

by Rod Mawhood

What if Johnny Augustine got his original wish and never moved to Welland?
Perhaps he wouldn’t be the Grey Cup champion he is now.
Augustine’s dad, Saint-Ange, moved the family to Welland in Johnny’s grade nine year.

NLL season kicks off with Niagara connections

by Rod Mawhood

Niagara is home to dozens of professional lacrosse players and coaches. Perhaps none bigger than all-world goaltender Matt Vinc.
When it comes to Canada’s national summer sport there isn’t anything the 37-year old St. Catharines native hasn’t won.

Brock Men’s Rugby off to National Championships

by Rod Mawhood

What a difference a year can make.
After finishing its 2018 season with a (1-7) record, the Brock Men’s Rugby team won an Ontario University Athletics bronze medal last weekend, and can improve on that starting tomorrow in Montreal as Concordia University hosts the Canadian University Championships.

It’s amazing to think Tonya Verbeek didn’t start wrestling until she was sixteen years old while attending Beamsville Secondary School.
It was now colleague and fellow coach Dave Collie that brought women’s wrestling to the high school.

Wanita May Dykstra soars into St. Catharines Sports Hall of Fame

by Rod Mawhood

Growing up as the youngest of six siblings, competition and sports were always a part of Wanita May Dykstra’s life.

In fact it led the now 44-year old to more than she ever expected.

Niagara College set to get ReuKnighted

by Rod Mawhood

It will be a first for Niagara College.
This Friday and Saturday former Knights will gather on Niagara College’s Welland Campus for ReuKnighted.
Past athletes, and alumni from the college’s broadcasting and sports management programs will come together for two days of celebration, sports and recognition.

Still in the Game – Former Stomper now with Nationals

by Rod Mawhood

As the Houston Astros and Washington Nationals prepare for Game 6 of the World Series tonight, one particular gentleman – with ties to St. Catharines – is hoping the Nationals can rebound from three straight losses at home and force a Game 7 in the fall classic.
Ralph “Rocket Wheeler” called the Garden City home back in the 1980’s and nineties.

Where there’s a Will there’s a way

by Rod Mawhood

Willy Manigat sounds like a seasoned vet. A veteran head coach.
You would never guess he’s just months into his new, and first, role as a head coach.
Manigat was named bench boss of the Brock Badgers Men’s Basketball team back in June, and officially took over the job on July 5.

Gillard gives back after career ending injury

by Rod Mawhood

It was four years ago this past week that Matt Gillard’s life changed – but thankfully not forever.
The then 19-year old was living the dream. A Welland native playing for one of the top junior hockey league’s in the world, in essentially his hometown, for the Niagara IceDogs.

Former Major Leaguer will never forget his St. Catharines Blue Jays days

by Rod Mawhood

When your professional baseball career spans 17 seasons, and features a World Series Championship with the New York Yankees, you might think one would forget about St. Catharines, Ontario and Community Park but David Weathers isn’t your average former major league pitcher.
In fact, the Tennessee native lists St. Catharines as his favorite pro baseball memory.

Soccer and Rob Lalama go hand in hand

by Rod Mawhood

He’s dedicated over 40 years of his life to the game of soccer.
And he wouldn’t have any other way.
Rob Lalama began his coaching career at the age of fourteen, and did so to help out one of his brothers.

Garlent feeling the Rush

by Rod Mawhood

Holden Garlent was quick with his answer when asked whom he thought of first when he donned a Saskatchewan Rush jersey and hat at the 2019 National Lacrosse League (NLL) draft in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Garlent was drafted in the first round, fourth overall, by the Rush and is listed as a defense/transition player.

IceDogs off to good start

by Rod Mawhood

When you lose nine regulars from your line-up the previous season any team would acknowledge a rebuild is underway.
Enter the 2019-20 Niagara IceDogs who feature 12 new faces to this year’s squad.
Gone is five-year veteran goaltender, and franchise wins leader, Stephen Dhillon, Ben Jones, Ivan Lodnia, Kiril Maksimov, Canadian Hockey League (CHL) leading scorer Jason Robertson, Jack Studnicka, Jacob Paquette, Johnny Schaefer and Matt Brassard.

Puck drops on Niagara’s Jr. B Hockey season

by Rod Mawhood

With Pelham, and the newest arena in Niagara, serving as the back drop the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League kicked off its season this past weekend.
Over 20 teams made the trek down Highway 20 to play in the GOJHL Showcase at the Meridian Community Centre.

You don’t hear or see this too often.
A father and son coaching the same sport at the two biggest educational institutions in the same Region.
But it’s happening right here in Niagara.

Niagara IceDogs training camp preview

by Rod Mawhood

It may still be August, and summer is winding down, but the sounds of pucks hitting the glass and the train horn going off at Meridian Centre is fresh on the mind of many hockey fans across the Region.
Yes, Niagara IceDogs training camp opens today, and preseason game action begins Friday night for the team that has called St. Catharines home since 2007.

Jackfish hoping to catch playoff fever – first round begins tonight

by Rod Mawhood

The Welland Jackfish will begin their first ever playoff round tonight. You would be hard pressed to find anyone that wouldn’t agree the Welland Jackfish inaugural season in the Rose City was a massive success. The team averaged 776 fans over 18 regular season home games. What’s more impressive? It’s the first time the franchise […]

IceDogs finalize coaching staff

by Rod Mawhood

August has officially arrived and that means Niagara IceDogs hockey is just around the corner. In fact the IceDogs, who arrived in Niagara back in 2007, kick off their pre-season schedule August 30 at the Vale Centre in Port Colborne against the Barrie Colts.
Earlier this week the team announced, and finalized, its coaching staff for the 2019-20 season.

Athletics season ends with semi-final playoff loss to Burlington

by Rod Mawhood

A promising regular season, and playoff outlook, came to abrupt end Sunday night for the St. Catharines Jr. A Athletics lacrosse club.
The Athletics were defeated in six games in the Ontario Lacrosse semi-finals by the Burlington Chiefs.
“This is obviously not what we wanted,” said A’s head coach Steve Toll who didn’t want to make excuses but admitted injuries were a factor down the stretch.

84th running of the Prince of Wales Stakes goes tonight

by Rod Mawhood

The Fort Erie Race Track has been one of Niagara’s crown jewels since 1897, and tonight the biggest race at the Fort for the last eighty plus decade’s takes place with the running of the 84th Prince of Wales Stakes – the second jewel in Canada’s triple crown of thoroughbred horse racing.
Five horses make up the field for the race that will begin just before 7:40 p.m, and broadcast live across the country on TSN.

Athletics and Arrows meet again in the playoffs

by Rod Mawhood

The St. Catharines Jr. A Athletics first round playoff opponent is a familiar one. For the third time in four years, the Athletics will meet the Six Nations Arrows in the opening round of the Ontario Junior A Lacrosse Association playoffs.
The previous two series have been sweeps. The Athletics last season, and the Arrows in 2016.

Hamilton Tiger-Cats kicker Lirim Hajrullahu’s proud to be Canadian

by Rod Mawhood

As Canadians from coast to coast celebrated Canada’s 152nd birthday yesterday, one professional athlete with Niagara roots has a special recollection of why this country is so special.
Hamilton Tiger-Cats kicker Lirim Hajrullahu fled worn torn in Kosovo as a youngster and found his way to St. Catharines.

Nunez from Stomper to Royal

by Rod Mawhood

Summer brings back many fond memories for this reporter, but none maybe fonder than my first professional sports announcing gig.
It was 1996, and I was lucky enough to be working in the big smoke and at Canada’s largest radio station – 680 News in Toronto.
I remember meeting with then St. Catharines Stompers’ General Manager John Belford at the team’s office on Merritt Street, and getting the job.

IceDogs forward selected in the 1st round of NHL Draft

by Rod Mawhood

Phil Tomasino joined an impressive list this past Friday night in Vancouver, British Columbia – the site of the 2019 NHL Entry Draft.
Tomasino joined the list of Niagara IceDogs players drafted in the first round, as he was selected 24th overall by the Nasville Predators.

The Niagara Stanley Cup Connections

by Rod Mawhood

There was a definite Niagara feel to the St. Louis Blues Stanley Cup victory this week.
No fewer than three former Niagara IceDogs sipped from Lord Stanley’s mug after the Blues bested the Boston Bruins in seven games with a 4-1 win Wednesday night.
Former Niagara IceDogs captain, and current St. Louis captain, Alex Pietrangelo was huge for the Blues during the post-season.

Cory Annett to enter Fort Erie Sports Wall of Fame

by Rod Mawhood

You may remember the name Cory Annett from his Canadian Football League playing days, but did you know he was a first round, third overall, pick in the 2002 CFL Draft?
Annett remembers draft day vividly because he gathered friends and family around for what he expected would be a long day.

Love of baseball turns into passion for golf – RBC Canadian Open

by Rod Mawhood

A lot of people want to leave work early to hit the golf course – weather permitting of course – well Dan Pino’s job is literally at the golf course.
And not just any course, but Glen Abbey in Oakville, Ontario. It’s one of Canada’s most famous golf courses, and the home of Canadian Golf Hall of Fame. It’s hosted 30 Canadian Open’s.
And for the last almost 20 years it’s been Pino’s work place.

Athletics hoping for big things in 2019

by Rod Mawhood

There’s no doubt expectations are high for the St. Catharines Jr. A Athletics in 2019.
And three games into their season the Athletics, thus far, are living up to the hype.
Coming off their best campaign in over a decade in 2018, the A’s are (3-0) to start this season, including Wednesday’s 7-4 win over the Kitchener-Waterloo Braves.

Welland Jackfish are hoping fans get hooked on local baseball

by Rod Mawhood

It’s been 30 years since Intercounty Baseball League action was played in the Rose City.
That all changes this Saturday at Welland Stadium.
Despite a rain out last weekend, all systems are a go for a planned home and season opening celebration Saturday at 1 p.m.

Mike Strange to be inducted into Ontario Boxing Hall of Fame

by Rod Mawhood

Thirty-eight years, and counting, dedicated to the sport of boxing.
Former Canadian Olympian, and Niagara Falls native, Mike Strange can thank his neighbour for getting him to step into the ring for the first time.
Saturday night, almost two decades later, the two-time Commonwealth Games gold medalist will enter the Ontario Boxing Hall of Fame.

Rose City soccer star enters Welland Sports Wall of Fame

by Rod Mawhood

Simon Gatti’s soccer career spanned the globe.
Sunday afternoon at Seaway Mall that career came full circle as the current head scout for the Montreal Impact (MLS – Major League Soccer) Academy entered Welland’s Sports Wall of Fame.
“I’m honoured and privileged,” said Gatti who began playing soccer in the Rose City at the age of five, and before long was running up and down the field with players much older.

Three former Thorold Blackhawks, one former Niagara IceDog, capture EIHL

by Rod Mawhood

There was a definite Thorold Blackhawks and Niagara IceDogs feel to the Cardiff Devils this season.
And that Niagara connection was a big reason why the Devils were crowned Elite Ice Hockey League (EIHL) champions.
Joey Martin, and Sean Bentivoglio – both of Thorold – and Mike Hedden of Dunnville all played on a line together as Cardiff beat Belfast 2-1 in the championship game last Sunday.
“They say the hockey world is small, and this kind of proves it,” said Martin who recently joined the Niagara Sports Report on 610 CKTB.

Grimsby Peach Kings after another Schmalz Cup

by Rod Mawhood

There’s no denying that the Grimsby Peach Kings are one of the most successful teams in Ontario junior C hockey history.
In fact, only one team has won more Schmalz Cup’s than the Peach Kings at five. The Essex 73’s with seven.
Friday night a quest for a sixth championship begins for Grimsby when they travel to Napanee to take on the Raiders in game one of the best of seven series final.

Frank Pietrangelo had one goal this season – get to the Sutherland Cup.
Sixty-three games later, he’s closer than he’s ever been as head coach of the Niagara Falls Canucks.
The Canucks, now seated as the second seed, open a best of seven Ontario Hockey Association semi-final series against the Waterloo Siskins tonight at the Gale Centre in Niagara Falls.
The Canucks haven’t been to the Sutherland Cup finals since 2011.

Five Niagara natives drafted into the OHL

by Rod Mawhood

Saturday was a big day for five Niagara hockey players and their families.
The 2019 Ontario Hockey League (OHL) Priority Selection was held and four players from the Niagara North Stars organization and one from the Southern Tier Admirals were drafted.
Connor Federkow was the first local to have his named called as the London Knights drafted the St. Catharines native in the third round, 53rd overall.

Playoff rivalry continues with IceDogs vs Generals

by Rod Mawhood

The Niagara IceDogs will take on the Oshawa Generals in the second round of OHL playoff action. It’s almost becoming a spring tradition. For the sixth time since 2011, the Niagara IceDogs and Oshawa Generals will face each other in Ontario Hockey League playoff action. This time it’s in the OHL Eastern Conference semi-finals which […]

Buffalo Bisons baseball – the tradition continues

by Rod Mawhood

It may have a new name in 2019 but the product it houses is still the same – a great baseball experience.
Buffalo Bisons baseball inside what is now called Sahlen Field.
In fact, professional baseball in Buffalo dates back to 1877. The current Bisons were born in 1979 when the then-Eastern League AA team was formed in the city.

IceDogs win Central Division – open playoffs Thursday night at home

by Rod Mawhood

The Niagara IceDogs capped off a very successful regular season with a number of milestones as they now prepare for what many are predicting to be a long playoff run.
Firstly, they claimed the Ontario Hockey League Central Division crown for the first time (and second time in Niagara IceDogs history) since 2012.
Secondly, the club also featured three 100-point scorers as Jason Robertson won the OHL scoring title with 117 points, including 79 in just 38 games since coming to Niagara in a trade with Kingston last November.

GOJHL Golden Horseshoe Conference semi-finals begin tonight

by Rod Mawhood

There was not much suspense in the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League – Golden Horseshoe Conference – quarter-finals, but that will likely change in the semi-finals which begin tonight on two fronts.
Three of the four teams in the semis advanced with four-game sweeps in their opening round playoff series.
The top seeded Niagara Falls Canucks swept Lockport, second ranked St. Catharines toppled Welland in four straight games, while number three Hamilton got by Fort Erie in four as well.

Fergie Jenkins on his new book and St. Catharines based foundation

by Rod Mawhood

How many people can honestly say they knew the first Canadian ever to win a Cy Young award has a connection to St. Catharines?

Thought so.

Ferguson Jenkin’s Foundation is alive and well, and is indeed located in the Garden City.

The 76-year old Chatham, Ontario native now calls Arizona home, but recently told the Niagara Sports Report on 610 CKTB how the foundation formed in St. Catharines.

The Merritton /Wissahickon hockey exchange is one for the record books

by Rod Mawhood

Fifty-five years and counting.
Although not officially declared, the Merritton Athletic Association/Wissahickon Skating Club hockey exchange is the longest tenured exchange in North America if not the world.
What begin in 1964 has become an annual event every February featuring two teams from both organizations – in the peewee and bantam age group – travelling to each other’s home rinks and playing a weekend of hockey which features an exhibition game, championship game, banquet and all the life lessons and friendships one can imagine.

Ken Murray’s path into the Ontario Basketball Hall of Fame a unique one

by Rod Mawhood

His resume speaks for itself.
And Monday night, fittingly on a basketball court, Ken Murray was inducted into the Ontario Basketball Hall of Fame.
The Brock Badgers legend was officially recognized at centre court Monday night at Scotiabank Arena when the Toronto Raptors hosted the Brooklyn Nets.

Swiss forward may be the best European player ever drafted by the IceDogs

by Rod Mawhood

It’s one thing to come to a new country and visit, but it’s a whole other level when you move to Canada to play hockey and everything that comes with that.
New food. New culture. Billets. New teammates.
The list goes on and on.
Enter Swiss native, and Niagara IceDogs forward, Kyen Sopa.

River Lions name Victor Raso Head Coach and General Manager

by Rod Mawhood

When one of the top names in the history of Canada Basketball endorses you, you know the Niagara River Lions made the right choice in naming Victor Raso as their new Head Coach and General Manager earlier this week.
“He’s been around the game his entire life, and this is the next step,” said Canadian national team head coach and current NBA – Charlotte Hornets – assistant coach Jay Triano.
“He has the attitude of a coach and isn’t afraid to keep learning.”

IceDogs ALL IN this season

by Rod Mawhood

If there was any doubt about the Niagara IceDogs intentions this season, they were put to bed this week.
The IceDogs acquired two more National Hockey League drafted players giving them a total of nine on their 21-man roster.
General Manager Joey Burke’s latest deal involved a trade with Oshawa Generals.

Pair of Niagara IceDogs playing at World Juniors

by Rod Mawhood

The Niagara IceDogs are well represented at the 2019 International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) World Junior Championship.
No fewer than three IceDogs were named to their respective countries teams.
Forward Jason Robertson is playing for Team USA, defenseman Daniel Bukac for the Czech Republic, while Kyen Sopa did make the Swiss team but was sent back to Niagara after sustaining a minor injury during training camp.

IceDogs enter the holiday break on a high

by Rod Mawhood

Niagara IceDogs entered the holiday break as one of the hottest teams in the Ontario Hockey League.
The IceDogs picked up 15 of a possible 16 points over their last eight games to close out the unofficial first half of the season sporting a (20-7-5) overall record in the OHL Eastern Conference standings.
And they did that without icing a complete line-up for the majority of their first 32 games.
In fact, only five Niagara players have suited up for every game thus far this season.
“Yes, we’re very happy where we are at,” said IceDogs head coach Billy Burke. “We have dealt with adversity and injuries all year and to finish with 20 wins and only seven regulation losses is a great accomplishment.”

Ridley Tiger set to represent Team Canada

by Rod Mawhood

It was the best Christmas present a hockey player could receive.
A call saying “you made the team.”
And not just any team, but Team Canada.
That was the case for 18-year old Shailynn Snow of the Ridley College Tigers Prep Girls hockey team earlier this week.
“Once I hung up the phone after hearing from the Team Canada assistant coach (Courtney Kessel) all my emotions escaped and I started crying and couldn’t stop,” Snow said.

IceDogs wheel and deal in go for it year

by Rod Mawhood

The Niagara IceDogs have made no bones about it – the 2018-19 season is a go-for-it year.
That was the message since day one of training camp, and it was solidified last week as IceDogs general manager Joey Burke pulled off a huge trade with the Kingston Frontenacs.
Burke dealt sophomore defenceman Billy Constantinou and second year forward Ian Martin, along with 11 draft picks, to the Frontenacs for a pair of 19-year olds in winger Jason Robertson and blue liner Jacob Paquette.

Canucks and Falcons the class of the local Junior B hockey loop

by Rod Mawhood

As the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League (GOJHL) season approaches the midway mark, it’s become quite clear that the Golden Horseshoe Conference could come down to two local teams.

Both the Niagara Falls Canucks and St. Catharines Falcons are beginning to separate from the rest of the pack in the eight-team division.

The Canucks began the week as the top team with an (18-2-1) record and 37 points, with the Falcons nipping at their heels just six points behind with two games in hand at (15-3-1) at 35.

IceDogs sitting where they want at quarter-pole of season

by Rod Mawhood

Seventeen games into their 2018-19 campaign is exactly the quarter-pole for the Niagara IceDogs and their 68 game Ontario Hockey League schedule.
And sitting at (10-5-2-0) – good for first place in the OHL Central Division standings and second overall in the Eastern Conference – head coach Billy Burke is happy with where his team is situated.
Burke is especially pleased, and pleasantly surprised, with three young blueliners, including a pair of rookies who had to step up their games when Liam Ham, Drew Hunter and Elijah Roberts missed a total of 34 man games to injury.

Niagara’s John Chayka is the youngest GM in the history of the NHL

by Rod Mawhood

One has to wonder what kind of attention John Chayka would receive if he was working in a larger market, or for a team that’s been around for longer than 22 years.
Many think Toronto Maple Leafs’ 32-year old General Manager Kyle Dubas is the youngest GM in the National Hockey League.
Raise your hand if you knew the youngest general manager in the history of the NHL works for the Arizona Coyotes, and more importantly hails from Jordan, Ontario.

IceDogs off to solid start

by Rod Mawhood

The Niagara IceDogs were the fifth ranked major junior team in the country to start the season, and despite a hiccup in Peterborough last Thursday night have lived up to the early hype in the Ontario Hockey League Eastern Conference standings.
The IceDogs sit at (3-1) on the season after picking up four of a possible six points this past weekend.
Thursday in Peterborough, Niagara jumped out to a 2-1 first period lead but was shutout the rest of the way.

A trio of former NHLers now leading local junior B hockey clubs

by Rod Mawhood

Quick hockey trivia question.

Name a league with just eight teams, that features a Stanley Cup Champion and two former first round National Hockey League picks as head coaches?

The answer – the Golden Horseshoe Junior B hockey league that consists of six teams from right here in the Niagara Region.

St. Catharines, Niagara Falls, Welland, Fort Erie, Thorold and Pelham are the six teams that hail from Niagara, while Hamilton and Lockport, NY round out the eight-team league.

Making the IceDogs feel and look good

by Rod Mawhood

There’s an adage – look good, feel better.

That saying definitely rings true for the Niagara IceDogs hockey club, thanks in large part to two individuals who spend countless hours making sure the IceDog players feel good, and look even better.

Pete Dobbin has been with the Ontario Hockey League franchise for 11 seasons as Athletic Therapist, while Nick Hornby is entering his third season as Equipment Manager.

“My typical day starts with a morning workout with the older boys (players),” said Dobbin a 44-year old Niagara Falls native who has also worked with Baseball Canada in the same capacity.

IceDogs need Moore

by Rod Mawhood

The Niagara IceDogs felt lucky that Lleyton Moore was still available when it was time to make their first round selection at the 2018 Ontario Hockey League Priority draft back in April.
A few months later the 12th pick overall is making the most of his first OHL training camp, and more importantly making the Niagara brass happy they selected the former Toronto Marlboro minor midget player.
Moore had a fantastic opening week of training camp, and donned an IceDogs jersey for the first time last Friday night in Thorold in a pre-season game against Barrie.
“It was a great experience, and just a surreal moment,” said the 16-year old, 5’8, 165-pound defenceman.
“Being a part of the IceDogs organization is amazing, and playing my first exhibition game was just a great feeling for me and my family. It was an exciting moment.”

Former first round NHL draft pick is new Niagara IceDogs Associate Coach

by Rod Mawhood

You won’t find too many OHL coaches with the experience of Jody Hull.
And now the sixteen-year NHL veteran, and former first round pick of the Hartford Whalers is bringing that experience to the Niagara IceDogs.
Hull, a 49-year old Petrolia, Ontario native was recently named Associate Coach of the IceDogs, taking over from the departing Ted Dent who accepted a scouting position with the National Hockey League’s Arizona Coyotes.

Burke hoping IceDogs are top dogs in 2019

by Rod Mawhood

The Niagara IceDogs are one of just two Ontario Hockey League franchises to make the playoffs every year over the past 11 seasons.
Not an easy accomplishment for a team that arrived in St. Catharines from Mississauga back in 2007.
Since then, only the London Knights can claim to have the same success as the IceDogs.

Fletcher back home in Niagara after working second straight World Cup

by Rod Mawhood

He’s still jet-lagged, but Joe Fletcher wouldn’t change his part-time job for anything.

The Niagara Falls native just returned from Russia and the 2018 World Cup where he had the opportunity to work nine games – three on the field – and six in the video room.

It was Fletcher’s second consecutive World Cup appearance after refereeing in Brazil in 2014.

Maple Leafs fly back into Niagara Falls

by Rod Mawhood

For the third straight year the Toronto Maple Leafs are using the Gale Centre in Niagara Falls as part of their training camp.
In 2016 the Leafs held their development camp in the Honeymoon City, while last year their main training camp was in the Falls.
This year, once again, their main camp will consist of three days of on-ice and off-ice events in Niagara Falls.

A new chapter in Niagara College athletics began this week as Welland native Michele O’Keefe returned home to take over the role as Associate Director of Athletics and Recreation.

The former President and CEO of Canada Basketball returns to the Rose City after working in the sport of basketball on and off for 24 years.

Niagara’s NHL Draft Connections

by Rod Mawhood

Akil Thomas is a darn good player. This past weekend he became a stronger person off the ice.

The projected, all season long, first round NHL pick had to sit through 50 picks before his name was finally called Saturday morning in Dallas, Texas, site of the 2018 National Hockey League Entry Draft.

IceDog’s Akil Thomas ready for NHL Entry Draft

by Rod Mawhood

By the end of this week Akil Thomas’ life could change.
The 18-year old Niagara IceDogs forward, and Brandon Florida native, will be drafted to the National Hockey League.
The only question – what round and what team will take the talented player that’s called Niagara home for the past two hockey seasons?

Ridley Tigers roar for Team Canada at FIBA’s

by Rod Mawhood

There’s a local connection – in fact two of them – at this week’s FIBA U-18 Americas Championship basketball tournament at Meridian Centre in St. Catharines.

The Bediako brothers, who both play for the Ridley College Tigers Prep Team, are suiting up for Team Canada.

Jaden, 17, is a 6-foot-11 centre, while younger brother Charles, who just turned 16, is a 6-foot-9 centre/forward.

Both brothers grew up in Brampton before making the trip down the QEW to join the Tigers.

Niagara lands another world class sporting event

by Rod Mawhood

The Niagara Region continues to grow its sporting landscape. Look no further than the past three years when the Meridian Centre in downtown St. Catharines has landed national or international events including the 2016 IIHF U-18 Women’s World Hockey Championships, the 2017 Canadian Women’s Curling Championships (Scott Tournament of Hearts) and now the 2018 U-18 […]

Pursuing the Canadian dream through a parents perspective

by Rod Mawhood

Sixteen years old, and drafted to the OHL.

Might sound great to some, but what’s lost is your leaving home. You’re off to a new school. New friends. New teammates. All part of the process that many often forget.

And what about the parents? They’re entrusting a new billet family with ultimately their son’s future.

Niagara Continues to be a Lacrosse Hotbed

by Rod Mawhood

Two questions.

How many people across Niagara know the Ontario Lacrosse Hall of Fame is located in St. Catharines? Or that the St. Catharines Jr. A Athletics have been around since 1877?

Don’t worry you’re not alone.

The Jr. A Athletics lacrosse club is one of the oldest sporting traditions in all of Canada.

River Lions Continue to Roar

by Rod Mawhood

The in-arena setup is second to none. The atmosphere is electric. Most importantly, the quality of basketball is on par with any professional team across North America.

The Niagara River Lions are in their third year of existence, playing out of the Meridian Centre in downtown St. Catharines, as part of the National Basketball League of Canada.

Ice Dogs off to Round 2 in OHL playoff action in battle of the Dogs

by Rod Mawhood

If the regular season was any indication, the Niagara Ice Dogs would be the favorites heading into their second-round playoff series against the Hamilton Bulldogs.

Unfortunately, most in the world of sports know the regular season means nothing when it comes to the post-season – especially in hockey.

The Ice Dogs entered the playoffs as the fourth seed in the Ontario Hockey League Eastern Conference standings but won five of six games against the top-ranked Bulldogs during the regular season.

IceDogs chomping at the bit for another playoff run

by Rod Mawhood

As the Niagara IceDogs get to set to embark on yet another playoff run – their eleventh straight since arriving in St. Catharines – head coach Billy Burke feels his team doesn’t get the respect it deserves.

Entering play on Friday the IceDogs hold down fourth place in the OHL (Ontario Hockey League) Eastern Conference Standings, and will likely play the Oshawa Generals in the first round of the playoffs.

“Regardless if we get home ice or not, I still think a lot of people will see us as underdogs,” Burke, the first year Niagara head coach, said.

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