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Monday, January 14, 2013

Alberni Wrestling update, Grizzlies vs Chiefs brawl...

 Alberni Wrestlers Dominate at Age Class in Kamloops
A large contingent of local wrestlers competed this past weekend at the Western Canadian Age Class Tournament in Kamloops and they did not fail to produce results. Twenty-nine Alberni wrestlers competed, twenty four placed and sixteen medaled at the prestigious Western Canada Age Class event which featured close to 500 wrestlers from BC, Alberta and Saskatchewan.

EJ Dunn led the Alberni team placing second in both boys and girls School Age divisions.  Aaron Badovinac was voted Most Outstanding Wrestler in the School Age division after winning gold in the 55kg weight class.  Adding to medal totals were Summer Wass, Trevor Barker (silver), Kalissa Montgomery, Morgan Dagenais, and Mathew Grimston (bronze).

Other top six placers included Ravi Manhas (4th), Trenton Vanderkooi (4th), Queenie Zhang (4th), and Austin Patten (6th).  Proud coach Andrew Edgell commented, "I was extremely impressed that all ten Dunn wrestlers in the competition placed in their respective weight classes.  It shows promise for the future of Alberni wrestling."

Not to be outdone by their younger teammates, the ADSS Cadet boys took second overall and the Cadet girls took third overall. The ADSS group was led by two wrestlers who went undefeated to claim gold medals in their respective weight classes. In the Cadet division for ages 15 – 16 wrestler Nolan Badovinac claimed top spot in the 76 kilogram division and Micaela Dick followed suit in the 65 kilogram division. Other top performers included ADSS wrestlers Johannes Kulich (silver, 69 kg), Michel Kurucz (silver 60 kg), Dean Leyland (bronze 69 kg), Emma Vanderlee  (bronze 70 kg), Remi Wells (bronze 56 kg), and Eryk McKenzie (4th 69 kg). Tyler Drew-Adams (100 kg), Lauren Barker (56 kg), and Jarred Beckett (50 kg) all had strong performances but finished out of the standings.

The ADSS Juvenile wrestlers placed second overall in the boys division due to outstanding performances by team captain Jonathan Spencer (second 76 kg), Jesse Wagner (second 54 kg), Jordan Wagner (third 54kg) and Russell David (third 50 kg).  “We have come to expect the Wagners to do well, but Jono and Russell really stepped up their game this tournament,” stated coach Russell Bodnar.  “Both wrestlers have been training hard so it’s great to see them getting the results they deserve.”  In her first year of wrestling, Elise Huffman was the lone representative in the Juvenile girls division. Elise finished 6th in the 70 kg weight class.  Wrestlers Sheldon Haddad, David Wilson and Kaden Tardif all had tough matches and battled hard, but finished out of the standings. “The committment of these young athletes is extraordinary,” stated ADSS coach Chris Bodnar. “Practice after practice these wrestlers grind to improve technique and conditioning and they are getting better each round they wrestle.”

ADSS coach Richelle McKenzie was pleased with the performance of the team in Kamloops. “Our wrestlers did well. This was a high level tournament and we had terrific results.  I am especially impressed that the Alberni team finished top three in five out of six age divisions – it shows the depth of our programs!”

According to Alberni Wrestling coach James Messenger Age Class is an excellent tune up for the busy few months ahead. “We always want to take a large group to the Age Class,” said Messenger, “it provides us with an opportunity for great competition and it is also a great team builder. Road trips like this with several days away on the bus, in the hotel, and around the gym give our team an opportunity to do some team building. We have a great group of kids here and they were excellent ambassadors for our sport and city.”

The busy weeks ahead include 4 practices per week including an Island practice Thursday January 17th at ADSS, a Neill/Dunn dual meet this Wednesday the 16th at Neill, tournaments in Campbell River and Abbotsford then the Annual Alberni Invitational tournament at the Multiplex February 7-9. The season will continue with the Island Championships in Ucluelet February 15-16 and the BC High School Championships in Cowichan February 28-March 1. The season wraps up for some of the top wrestlers at the National Championships April 3-7 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
It will be interesting to see how the BCHL handles the situation that erupted at the end of the Victoria vs Chilliwack game Friday night. The Grizzlies could/should/will be down some bodies for Wednesday night's game at the Dog Pound. Lots of stuff going on - two-handed slashes, sucker punches to the back of the head, 2 on 1's, third-man-ins, thrown sticks, and not a lot of control!

See for yourself by watching the video below.

Former Bulldog Frank "the tank" Slubowski, now with the University of Western Michigan Broncos,  is up for the Hobey Baker Award, symbolic as the MVP of  Men's NCAA Division 1 Hockey. 

You can vote for Frank by clicking THIS LINK! 

Full details from the Bulldogs:

 Bulldogs Alumni Frank Slubowski Nominated for Hobey Baker Award
January 12, 2013


Port Alberni, BC – The Alberni Valley Bulldogs are very proud to report that alumni Frank Slubowski has been nominated for the Hobey Baker Award. Slubowski, known as “Slubs” by his fans and teammates, was with the Alberni Valley Bulldogs organization from 2007 to 2011. Slubowski battled through a season-long injury for a full season before being the Bulldogs starting goalie for two seasons.

Once healthy, it was Slubowski that started between the pipes most nights. In his rookie campaign in the 2009/10 season, he appeared in 44 games and posted a record of 32-10-1 with an impressive goals against average of 2.24 and a .919 save percentage. Slubowski followed that up with 13 additional playoff appearances which took the Bulldogs into the second round before eventually being beat-out by the Powell River Kings in 7 games.

The following season “Slubs” played in 54 games posting a 21-26-4 record with a 2.89 GAA and a .906 save percentage. Slubowski earned a scholarship to Western Michigan University where he is currently in his season season. Yet again, Slubowski made an immediate impact in his rookie campaign with the Broncos.

In 2011/12, Slubowski played in 32 games and posted an impressive 2.03 GAA and a .911 save percentage. That year, he helped lead Western Michigan to an NCAA championship while also being recognzied as the tournament MVP and was named to the NCAA (CCHA) All-Rookie Team.

So far in the 2012/13 season, Slubowski has a record of 8-3-1, a GAA of 2.15 and a save percentage of .910, yet again putting Western Michigan in a position to win a championship. Slubowski also has two shutouts.

The first round of fan voting for the Hobey Baker Award started January 7, 2013. As college hockey enters the second half of the season, fans of the collegiate game can now help determine the winner of the 2013 Hobey Baker Award. Fans can cast their vote online at or by clicking the link on the Alberni Valley Bulldogs’ Facebook page.

This first phase of fan balloting will run now through March 10, 2013. Phase two of fan balloting will begin on March 22 from the list of Top Ten Hobey Baker finalists. The fans’ vote accounts for a full 1 percent of the total ballot in each phase in selecting this year’s award recipient.

Award criteria include candidates emulating the exceptional character traits exhibited by the award’s namesake, Hobey Baker. An American super-hero, Baker was a World War I fighter pilot and was known as America’s greatest amateur athlete in his day, excelling at hockey and football while starring for Princeton. Award candidates must demonstrate strength of character both on and off the ice, contribute to the integrity of his team and display outstanding skills in all phases of the game. Consideration should be given to scholastic achievement and sportsmanship.

Key Hobey Baker announcement dates for 2013 include:
Top Ten list of candidates: March 21
Hobey Hat Trick of three finalists: April 3
Hobey Baker Award announcement: April 12

Follow the official Twitter page of Hobey Baker Award @HobeyBakerAward and ‘Like’
the award's Facebook page.

For more information contact Alberni Valley Bulldogs assistant coach and assistant
director of hockey operations Adam Hayduk. For a comment about Slubowski as a player and
student, please contact educational advisor Tom McEvay


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