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Bulldogs Brantford Bound

According to various sources familiar with the Hamilton Bulldogs, the team will be moving to Brantford for the 2023-24 season. The move is subject to approval from the city council, which is expected to approve the proposal during their special council meeting on Tuesday, February 7.

The report comes after over two months of searching for a temporary home following a leaked story about the miscommunication between First Ontario Centre owner HUPEG and the team last November. The arena owners told the tenants Bulldogs, Toronto Rock and Honey Badgers to relocate for two years as the arena undergoes major renovations.

As for Brantford, the Telephone City will be hosting the Ontario Hockey League for first time since 1984, when the Brantford Alexanders competed from 1979 to 1984 at the soon-to-be Bulldogs home arena – the 3,000-seat Brantford Civic Centre.

In order to prepare for the Bulldogs transition to the new city, Brantford is committing over $3 Million from the casino fund with the Bulldogs footing the remaining balance of the proposed $7+Million dollar upgrade to the 57-year-old arena.

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2023 Hamilton Tiger-Cats

Mitchell Signs In Hamilton

The first major domino in the 2023 CFL Free Agency fell today as Quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell signed a 3-year contract with the Tiger-Cats.

Without question, this signing should indicate the Ticats are making serious push to win the Grey Cup on their home turf this coming season. Mitchell has a lengthy resume and track record as one of the elite Quarterbacks in the CFL, when healthy.

The 32-year-old native of Katy, Texas played for ten seasons with the Calgary Stampeders, starting as backup to Kevin Glenn from 2012 to 2013 before being named QB1 for the next nine seasons in 2014 leading to two Grey Cup championships. The two-time CFL Most Outstanding Player was demoted to backup for Jake Maier early last season.

During his career with the Stampeders, Mitchell passed for 32,541 yards, 188 touchdowns and 89 interceptions. In 2019, Mitchell became a member of the CFL All-Decade Team.

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Hamilton Bulldogs

Hamilton Bulldogs Commit To Rebuild

The Hamilton Bulldogs entered the second half of the 2022-23 Ontario Hockey League season hoping to rebuild the franchise and win another OHL championship.

As of January 12, the Bulldogs are seventh in the Eastern Conference, however they are only two points ahead of eighth-place Sudbury and four points ahead of their archrival Oshawa Generals.

Regardless of their ranking, the Bulldogs’ path to successfully defending their title appears to be more tough. In the weeks building up to last Monday’s trade deadline, top Eastern Conference teams Peterborough, Ottawa, Barrie, and North Bay made crucial acquisitions in preparation for a long playoff run.

Hamilton lacked the necessary resources and draught stock to be competitive, having given up a big amount of their draft cupboard to acquire Arber Xhexaj and Mason McTavish for their eventual championship run. Standing pat with the returning core from last season would have had serious implications for their future.

With that in mind, Bulldogs General Manager Matt Turek and management made the decision to build the groundwork for the future by selling many key pieces for higher-level talent and restocking their draught.

In the ten-day span, Turek traded Ryan Humphrey, Ryan Winterton, Avery Hayes, Gavin White, Brendan Anderson, and team captain Logan Morrison. In exchange, the Bulldogs acquired Luca Testa, Carson Lloyd, Nick Lardis, Sahil Panwar, Ben Bujold, and Cedricson Okitundu, as well as seven draught picks from 2023 to 2026.

For the remainder of the season, I expect the Bulldogs to remain competitive and pursue a playoff spot. With the two-year temporary relocation pending, Bulldogs fans must respect the process and continue to support the team through this important time in their history.

My Experience With COVID-19

For over two years, I devoted myself to keep healthy and avoid unnecessary risks to get the world’s contagious illness – COVID-19. I sticked to my pandemic regimen in not getting into enormous crowds in specific places that I can control my environment. For the longest time, I adapt and done well to the new normal.

On the weekend preceding April 4, 2022, the streak halted. I developed a sore throat during the evening hours of Saturday, April 2, but upon testing via Covid-19 Rapid Antigen Test early Sunday, I tested negative. Feeling well to attend the Bulldogs game, I came to the arena presumably symptom-free. I was invited to attend a post-game dinner with my friends during the game, which I accepted.

When walking to the restaurant, there was an odd running nose, but nothing else as I was still feeling ok to attend dinner. But it was at the halfway mark of the dinner at Prince Eddy in Barton Street East was my first feeling of illness. Sudden fatigue, throat issues were the first culprits, and I made a decision to head home. Afterwards, I began to withdrawal and had a rough overnight sleeping.

Out of consciousness, I decided to take another RAT at 8:45 am. The result was alarming, as I was tested positive for the coronavirus. Given the significance of the two results in a 24-hour span, I scheduled and attended a COVID PCA testing, to which resulted a positive result. Within the next 24 hours, I informed my projected close contacts to seek and monitor any symptoms as they were initially exposed. Thankfully everyone was in good spirits.

For the next five days (isolation period per orders from Hamilton Public Health), I kept myself secluded downstairs for most of the days. Luckily for me, I was doing schoolwork and it helped me keep a straight path. Despite the mild symptoms of dry cough, sore throat and a running nose, I managed to still eat and drink fluids without issue, which it was a huge thing.

After my isolation period ended, I gradually resumed my normal routine around the house and kept distance from my relative as a precaution. The message to everyone is this….for anyone who doubted COVID, it is nothing to mess with. Although it has the equivalency of a flu, the effects are still consequential, given my preexisting diabetes. It can happen to anyone who followed the guidelines.

Please be considerate and wear a mask.

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2021 Hamilton Bulldogs

Bulldogs Thrash IceDogs

Ryan Winterton’s five-point performance propelled the Bulldogs to a 6-2 win over the arch rival Niagara IceDogs.

FIRST PERIOD

The opening period saw both sides control the pace, with both getting quality chances. Hamilton struck first on the powerplay at the 3:05 mark as Ryan Winterton scored his first of the year off the rebound and went past IceDogs netminder Josh Rosenzweig. Ryan Humphrey and newly-acquired Amber Xhekaj received the assists.

Bulldogs’ starting netminder Matteo Drobac had a great first period and the defence stood tall despite being outshot 11-8 in the opening frame.

SECOND PERIOD

It was all Bulldogs in the middle frame. The barrage started at the 4:29 mark as newcomer Mason McTavish hustled down to pass to Jan Mysak for his 18th of the season. It was McTavish’s first point as a Bulldog. Winterton also received an assist.

McTavish wasn’t done as he scored his first goal with the Bulldogs after shooting a rocket one-timer past Rosenzweig for a 3-0 Hamilton lead. Mysak and Winterton received the assists.

The IceDogs looked to get back into the game, but the Bulldogs’ Drobac kept the door shut with a terrific save on Brice Cooke. The Bulldogs kept pouring on the score chart at 15:32 as George Diaco finished off the beautiful tic-tac-toe sequence set up by Patrick Thomas and Winterton.

Drobac continued his fine performance by stopping former Bulldog Liam Van Loon on a breakaway. On the powerplay late in the period, Logan Morrison scored on a terrific pass by Diaco to give the Bulldogs a 5-0 lead into the intermission. With the secondary assist, Winterton registered his fifth point of the game.

THIRD PERIOD

A milder final frame came as both teams exchanged goals. Daniil Gushchin ended Drobac’s shutout bid at the 3:10 mark by shooting the puck point blank past the Hamilton netminder. Morrison responded for the Bulldogs at the 8:40 mark after receiving a nice pass from Mysak for a 6-1 lead. Noah Roberts also received credit for the assist. The IceDogs cut the lead to 6-2 at the 12:38 mark as Juan Copeland scored on a wide-open breakaway shot, fooling Drobac.

With the win, the Bulldogs take over first place in the Eastern Division. Next game for the Bulldogs is Friday night as they pay a visit to Oshawa to take on the Oshawa Generals.

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Uncategorized

My Time As An Intern

Today, December 17, marks my last day as the Communications Intern for the Mississauga Steelheads Hockey Club. After four months, I’m covering my last game with the team.

When I first started with the Steelheads back in middle of September, I was determined to make an impact and enhance my writing craft. During the internship, I adjusted my writing ability to better suit for the story making needed to unravel for the season. Furthermore, doing Stats Guide for home games were a great challenge every time, but with the necessary adjustments advised by the great team of Michael Hastings and Sam Fleming, I made great strides as the internship whined down.

I can’t be appreciative for what Hastings, Fleming, and the Steelheads organization have done to me and my pursuit of a sportswriter career. At the age of 33, I felt like a 25-year-old doing the things I wouldn’t had envisioned doing. I will forever be indebted to them.

To the internship team of Brielle, Cosmo, Michele, Ryan and Maurice, it was a pleasure working with all of you during the home games. May I wish you the best in your future.

Meeting the likes of Matt Cullen, Victor Findlay, Tony Ambrogio, and Lukas Weese was a honour. Working in the same press box as these top-notch pros is something that couldn’t be taken for granted.

The Steelheads are a great team this season. The on-ice product is among the elite in the Ontario Hockey League, let alone one of the top goaltending duos in the country. To counted the notable first OHL points of Owen Beck, Luke Misa, Zander Veccia, first OHL shutouts of Joe Ranger and Roman Basran, Evan Brand’s 200th game, and Ethan Del Mastro’s first goal.

Whatever happens in the coming months remains to be seen, but it has been a blessing and a honour to work with an incredible organization. If they need someone to write for the team in the playoffs, I’m available to do it.

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2021 Hamilton Tiger-Cats

Hamilton Tiger-Cats 2021 Season Preview

For the first time since the 2019 Grey Cup, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats return to action as the Canadian Football League resumes action after a long, COVID-19 layoff.

Since the resounding defeat in the hands of Winnipeg, the team, like the league itself, has seen a profound turnaround of talents via retirement, or in between clubs. With the Grey Cup scheduled for mid-December, the Tiger-Cats inherit expectations of winning the championship at their home turf.

Hamilton will take to the field on Thursday at Winnipeg with the returning QB Jeremiah Masoli leading the team. It will make the first time in over two years the incumbent played in a game. Surrounding Masoli will be a potentially-potent offence anchored by the reigning league MOP Brandon Banks, Braylon Addison, DeVier Posey and Jaylen Acklin.

The offensive line will feature a mix of returnees and youth with Brandon Ravenberg and Chris Van Zeyl leading the core, while Darius Ciraco takes over retiree Mike Filer under centre.

Like the offence, the defence will feature familiar faces from the 2019 team. The front seven is set to feature the returns of Ted Laurent, Dylan Wynn, JaGared Davis and Julian Howsare in the line,.

Simoni Lawrence anchors the linebacker group that’ll feature free agent signee Jovan Santos Knox (formerly of WPG) in the middle, and former NFL player Kameron Kelly at the SAM spot (right side position linebacker).

The secondary should still be formidable with Mike Daly, Frankie Williams (2019 Special Teams MOP), Jumar Rolle, Trune Adaleke and free agent acquisition Ciante Evans. The depth could be contested following the retirements of Rico Murray, Delvin Breaux, and Courtney Stephen.

Perhaps the newest core of talent in the team will be in the special teams. Doing the kicking duties will be the former NFL kicker Taylor Bertolet and global selectee Joel Whitford doing the punting. 2019 CFL draftee Gordon Whyte replaces longtime veteran Aaron Crawford as the long snapper.

With the mixture of youth and experience, the 2021 Hamilton Tiger-Cats hope to renew their dominance of the Eastern Division and eventually the overdue cultivation of winning the most lucrative prize in Canadian football.

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2021 Hamilton Tiger-Cats

Masoli To Start at QB on Opening Night

If there was any doubt.

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats announced Jeremiah Masoli the team’s starting quarterback for the season opener in Winnipeg Thursday against the Blue Bombers.

The news comes as no surprise to no one who followed the team in a regular basis. After all, he earned the right to win the job after what he went through over two years ago.

Ticats coaching staff did the right thing condensing the distractions and made the quarterback competition less of a spectacle for the franchise who is attempting to steer course for a championship in December.

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Rock City Rock Lacrosse

Hutchcraft, Slade Re-Signs with Rock

The Toronto Rock announced team re-sign the contracts of Goaltender Riley Hutchcraft and Defenseman Brandon Slade to one-year contracts.

The third round selection from the 2017 NLL Draft pick, Hutchcraft appeared in limited action in the 2019-2020 season, appearing in only one game.

Slade appeared in five contests during the 2019-20 season, registering one goal and three assists. The Orangeville, ON native was acquired by Toronto via free agency in 2017.

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2021 Hamilton Bulldogs Hamilton Bulldogs

Bulldogs Get Their Guy

The Hamilton Bulldogs announced Jay McKee as their fifth Head Coach in the history of the franchise Tuesday.

McKee last coached with the Kitchener Rangers from 2016-2020, cultivating a .533 winning percentage as the bench boss. Behind the bench, McKee led the Rangers to three postseason appearances, notably a Western Conference Finals appearance in 2017-18.

In addition to the the hiring of the former NHL veteran, the team also announced the hiring of fellow assistant coach from the Kitchener days, Andreas Karlsson and Andrew Campbell.

For more information of this story, go to the Hamilton Bulldogs website.

The hiring of the coaching staff is a major move for the team that was falling out in the second half of last season of play.