The past 12 months have been memorable, providing the local sports scene with many enduring moments for a variety of reasons.
We’ve decided to take a look back on the year that was in Sudbury sports, with an eye on those stories that made a lasting impression.
Heart-warming moment of the year
It took less than a month for Valley East goaltender Joël Coulombe to remind us of all of the good that sport can accomplish through a simple act of kindness.
Dressing with a strong Valley East Atom Renegades team last year, Coulombe was chalking up shutouts with regularity.
Taking part in the Nickel Centre Houseleague Tournament at the end of January, Coulombe was presented with his umpteenth shutout trophy. Yet after watching his counterpart at the other end of the rink peppered with a barrage of shots in an 8-0 encounter, Coulombe immediately skated the award over to Walden netminder Riley Sabourin, congratulating him on the effort.
A perfect fit
Hockey and Northern Ontario have always been synonymous. That is part of the reason why the re-appearance of the Laurentian Voyageurs men’s hockey program has been greeted so positively.
Throw in the launch of a women’s program that is surprising all pundits, right in the thick of the battle for a playoff position with the first half of their inaugural season in the books, and you have a very nice foundation from which to move forward.
You’re only as old as you feel
Lorraine Pelletier always kept herself in pretty good shape, remaining active well into her 60s. Little did she know that her general fitness could form the base of a future Canadian champion.
Gradually becoming more and more dedicated to weighlifting over the span of some four years, working closely with good friend and coach Bob Leclair, Pelletier progressed to the point where she would establish eight new records at the Canadian Masters Championships in April.
David slew Goliath
The Cambrian College women’s soccer team appeared relatively pedestrian heading into the OCAA playoffs this past fall, with a middling record of close to .500. They beat up on the weaker sisters in the east, but were no match for the true powerhouses.
Until the post-season came, that is.
Taking full advantage of miserable conditions for mid-October, the Golden Shield braved the elements in Oshawa and conquered, eliminating the Durham Lords 1-0 in overtime.
The little team that could
Blessed with an offence capable of making life tough on the SDSSA football elite, the Lively Hawks entered 2013 comfortable they could be in the mix.
Few, if any, however, would have predicted an undefeated run that would see the undersized Walden school display near mastery over their Sudbury area foes. The Hawks cruised through the post-season thanks to the overall depth of their talent, outscoring their opponents 86-34 in a pair of post-season encounters and capturing their first ever city varsity crown.
Randy Pascal is the founder of SudburySports.com and a contributing sports writer for Northern Life.