King family members to be inducted into Saskatchewan hall of fame
Four members of a Métis hockey playing family, including a pair of brothers that made it to the NHL, will all become Hall of Famers at the same time.
The King family includes brothers Dwight and D.J. and their sisters Dayna King and Danene Kopperud. The two sisters were elite players themselves and both played at the University of Saskatchewan.
All four family members will be inducted into the Ted Knight Saskatchewan Hockey Hall of Fame later this year. Induction ceremonies will be staged on Aug. 25 at the Pineridge Ford Amphitheatre in Meadow Lake.
All members of the King family will be inducted into the hall of fame via the Builders/Grassroots category.
Dwight King appeared in 440 NHL games and was a member of the Los Angeles Kings when they captured the Stanley Cup in 2012 and then again in 2014.
D.J. King suited up in a total of 118 NHL contests.
Métis curler captures fourth consecutive national championship
The four-peat is complete.
Metis curler Kerri Einarson skipped her squad to a fourth straight Canadian women’s curling championship on Feb. 26.
As the defending champs, Einarson and her teammates received an automatic berth into this year’s national event called the Scotties Tournament of Hearts. The event was held in Kamloops, B.C.
Einarson, who is from Camp Morton, Man., was able to defend the national crown again thanks to teammates vice-skip Val Sweeting, second Shannon Birchard and lead Briane Harris.
The foursome defeated provincial rivals, Team Manitoba, skipped by Jennifer Jones, 10-4 in Sunday’s championship final.
“This team never gives up and that makes us who we are,” Einarson said. “So much great determination. We just go out there and enjoy every single minute and have fun.”
With Sunday’s triumph, Einarson and her teammates will now represent Canada at the world women’s championships scheduled for March 18 to March 26 in Sandviken, Sweden.
“I’m so looking forward to wearing the Maple Leaf in Sweden,” said Einarson, who captured the Tom Longboat Award as the country’s top Indigenous women’s athlete in 2021.
Einarson has Indigenous ancestry through her father Jeff Flett, who is Metis. Her mother Marilyn has Scottish ancestry.
Akwesasne lacrosse squad changes moniker
After a decade of being known as the Indians, an Indigenous Junior B lacrosse team in eastern Ontario has changed its name.
Calls to change team names that might be considered racist have ramped up in recent years. Numerous pro and amateur franchises have abandoned their previous names.
It was announced this past week that Akwesasne’s squad, which competes in Ontario’s Junior B lacrosse league, will now be the Akwesasne Thunder.
“We are thrilled to introduce our new name and logo,” said Turner Thomas, who is the general manager of the Akwesasne squad. “We have new changes in our season programming that will create a more exciting environment to cheer on Akwesasne’s team.”
The Akwesasne club plays out of the A’nowara’ko:wa Arena located in Ontario. The Mohawk Nation at Akwesasne is unique as its territory is situated not only in Ontario and Quebec but it also crosses into the state of New York.
The Thunder will kick off their 2023 regular season on April 28 with a road contest against the Gloucester Griffins.
Akwesasne’s home opener is scheduled for April 30 versus the Nepean Knights.
First Nation forward captures most sportsmanlike award
Troy Lajeunesse has already garnered some individual accolades this hockey season.
But Lajeunesse, a member of Dokis First Nation in northern Ontario, is hoping his team can capture a prestigious title next month.
Lajeunesse is the captain of the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI) Panthers, who are hosting the eight-team national men’s university tournament, which runs March 16 to March 19 in Charlottetown.
As hosts, the Panthers receive an automatic entry into the event.
Lajeunesse and his teammates were eliminated from further play in their own league playoffs earlier this month. UPEI was downed 2-1 in its best-of-three Atlantic University Sport (AUS) quarter-final series by the Moncton Blue Eagles.
Moncton won Game 3 of the series in double overtime.
Lajeunesse, who is 25, received some positive news this past week. He was named to the AUS first all-star team. And he also was named as the league’s most sportsmanlike player.
He appeared in 28 games with the Panthers this season and racked up 30 points (15 goals and 15 assists).
Lajeunesse is in his fifth year at UPEI. The team’s entire 2020-21 campaign, however, was cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Before joining the Panthers, Lajeunesse spent four years in the Ontario Hockey League. He suited up for three franchises, Sarnia Sting, Erie Otters and Sudbury Wolves, during his junior career.
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