Saturday, 20 December 2014, 8:46 pm

Our ice has never been so hot

By CHRIS PERELLI
Columnist
Team Canada’s Mark Stone celebrates one of the eight goals scored in the 2012 World Junior Championships held in Alberta versus Finland. SUBMITTED PHOTOThere’s no doubt that Canada will be a favourite to win the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championships, but based on previous efforts, they certainly aren’t a lock to win.
Every year, Canada sends some of the best players in the world to this tournament and, on paper, should blow away the competition. However, since their World Junior dominance from 2005-2009 that saw them win five straight gold medals, Canada has only medaled three times in the last five years. This includes two straight years in which they did not medal. In 2013 they blew a third-period lead to Russia in the bronze-medal game and last year, in their least valiant effort in the last 10 years, lost a lopsided game to Finland in the semi-finals.
Once again, Canada’s roster looks poised to dominate the round-robin portion of the tournament. With top National Hockey League (NHL) draft picks like...

Read more...

The Jolly Season can possibly save a life

By CHRIS BREEN
Columnist
The cold winter and dark grey skies create a depressing atmosphere for many but holiday like Christmas and family gathering can break through the dark cold and even save a life.
A myth that has been kept alive across the years is that suicide is at its highest around the holidays.
A report released by the Annenberg Public Policy Center, that has been tracking media reports on suicide since 2000, found that between 2009-2010 approximate 50 per cent of the articles written during the holiday season perpetuated the myth.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) National Center for Health Statistics reported the suicide rate in December is, in fact, the lowest. Suicide’s peak is during the spring and fall months and the pattern in recent years has not changed.
The Canadian Mental Health Association found that although some may deal with difficult emotions during the holidays, people tend to evoke feelings...

Read more...

Nursing graduate receives Premier’s Award

Niagara News Staff
Captain Rebecca Patterson SUBMITTED PHOTORebecca Patterson, a decorated Royal Canadian Navy captain and Niagara College nursing graduate, was awarded the prestigious Premier’s Award on Nov. 24.
She was presented with it at the Higher Education Summit in Toronto in the Health Sciences category.
Niagara College President Dan Patterson said, “Capt. Patterson is an outstanding example of the significant contributions that college graduates make – not just here in Ontario, but around the world.”
Patterson’s resumé is extensive; her conflict-zone experience caring for Canadian Forces includes the Persian Gulf, Croatia, Bosnia and Rwanda.
The efforts that brought her the award were more than just combat experience. She supported the Olympics when they were held in Vancouver, served as national senior medical planner for Canada’s combat operations in Afghanistan and led a multinational team to design a military medical program that met the Canadian Medical Association’s accreditation.
She said, “I have been deeply privileged to have spent my career...

Read more...

Different season, different meanings

By BECKI CREWE
Columnist
Santa Claus and his reindeers at the Santa Claus Parade in Niagara Falls on Nov. 29. Photo by Becki Crewe Let’s have some milk and cookies, roast chestnuts on the fire and talk a little Christmas history.
Christmas, meaning Christ’s Mass, on Dec. 25, is a commemoration of the birth of Jesus Christ.
Many versions of the Bible do not mention the date of Christ’s birth, leaving the exact month and date unknown. Although some churches celebrate it on Dec. 25, some Christians believe Christmas day corresponds to the day Christ was conceived.
Hemlalvs Lallu, a student in Electrical Engineering Technician here, said, “For me, Christmas, that’s a symbol of love from God.”
This time of the year is associated with the Winter Solstice, also known as Yule, celebrated on Dec. 21. This is when the dark half of the year renounced the light half. The sun would climb higher in the sky and stay longer, giving us shorter and colder days.
Solstice Night, the longest night of the year, is...

Read more...

Playing for the hometown crowd

DAVID CHERNISH
Columnist
We have watched it happen a few times in sports.
Derrick Rose being drafted by his hometown team the Chicago Bulls with the first overall pick in the 2008 National Basketball Association draft, National Hockey League Hall of Famer Mark Messier, also drafted by his hometown team the Edmonton Oilers, then spent 12 seasons there before demanding a trade in 1991 to the New York Rangers after the Oilers didn’t offer Messier the money he demanded.
The most recent sports superstar to swap teams is current NBA player LeBron James, who indicated on his Twitter page this past summer he is leaving the hot Miami Heat and “coming home,” to his hometown team the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Now, the significance in James’ return is that he was originally drafted by the Cavaliers No. 1 overall.
He was already their property, but decided to take his talents to South...

Read more...

More than our national sport

DAVID CHERNISH
Columnist
Hockey fans in Toronto celebrate the gold medal won by Canada’s ice hockey team at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. A positively electric crowd swarmed to Yonge-Dundas Square after Sidney Crosby’s now-famous overtime goal against Team USA.  Filled to the absolute brim with beaming Canadians, some took to the highest vantage point they could find to get a good look.  SUBMITTED PHOTOAmerica has attempted to take over the world - in every sport; it tried to steal soccer from Europe, and succeeded with stealing basketball from Canada. But there is one sport America will never take from us igloo livin’ maple syrup connoisseurs; hockey.
We don’t have as many sports as south of the border.
We have Saturday Night Hockey and Don Cherry during the first intermission, which is better. 
National Hockey League (NHL) commissioners have welcomed American teams into the NHL over the years, consisting of 23 teams in total from the original six. 
Sure Canadians have their favourite American teams and that’s fine, but they will never be as passionate as fans of Canadian teams.
If you walk into a bar on a Saturday night in Canada, you are bound to see a Canadian wearing a hockey jersey. If you walk into a bar anytime this year after Boxing Day until Jan....

Read more...

Fighting for your team?

CHRIS PERRELLI
Columnist
Leafs and Senators fans get into a brawl that went viral on Nov. 9. An example of acting out during a game. SUBMITTED PHOTOThe symbol of a true, die-hard sports fan is his or her willingness to go down with the ship. Win or lose, a true fanatic will defend their team and its players to no avail. In some cases, the infatuation with a team stems from family tradition. For others, it’s a product of their environment; like the city they were born in, or the friends that they’ve kept. It becomes a part of everyday life. The logo is the symbol of a family, the players – like brothers. The games matter to these fans, the team’s performance is reflective of their self-image.
What is it that makes fans so passionate about these franchises? When a team loses, what has the fan really lost? When the team wins, what do fans really gain?
Pride is what drives fans mad after a loss, and excites them after a win. Pride is...

Read more...