On January 1st (2014), SudburySports.com celebrated its 10th birthday. Launched in 2004, the local sports website has attracted more than 40 million pageviews over the past decade and is currently home to more than 2500 archived stories.
In fact, one of the benefits that has always appealed to me has been the ability to easily archive stories over the years, allowing Sudburians of all ages to take a leisurely walk down memory lane at their convenience.
With this in mind, and in part to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the website, I will be posting a story that appeared on the website during the same week exactly ten years ago for all 52 weeks of 2014.
The story might appear on a stand-alone basis, or might be accompanied by some editorial commentary given events that occured in the years following the article first being written.
Either way, I hope that it rekindles some very special memories for at least a handful of the faithful visitors to the site. I suppose it is my way of saying "thank you" for all of the support that has allowed SudburySports.com to remain a mainstay of the Sudbury sports scene 10 years after it was first christened.********************
First Appeared: January 1st, 2004
Local entries got off on the right foot at the 2004 Bell Canada Cup, with three Nickel District teams posting wins in their opening games. The Valley East Rebels, competing in the Atom Major A Division, were lead by a four-point effort from Cody Gratton in defeating Toronto Avalanche 5-3 Thursday morning.
In addition to Gratton's two goals, Tyler Gliebe, Brett Dubois and Cruz Stevenson all chipped in with a goal apiece. The Rebels face Trenton Golden Hawks Friday morning at 9:05 a.m.
In other Atom Major A action, Keegan Ackerland's hat-trick lifted Nickel Centre Flyers to a 4-0 win over Gouldborn Rams. Ryan Chretien netted the remaining Flyers goal with Steven Rabski registering the shutout.
The Flyers next face New Tecumseh at 6:50 p.m. this evening. New Tecumseh is coming off their recent Silver Stick win in Sudbury earlier in December.
The Copper Cliff Redmen scored scored three times in the game's final five minutes to seal a 4-1 win over the New Jersey Devils in a Minor Peewee AA match-up. Defenseman Nigel Conlon broke a 1-1 tie late in the final frame and Kyle Stasiuk and Brandon Piche added some insurance for the locals.
Guillaume Lecours had staked the Redmen to a 1-0 first period lead before Terrence Dixon evened things at one for the Devils in the middle frame. Copper Cliff will face Boston Top Guns Friday at 10:30 a.m.
The Nickel Centre Pharmacy Flyers Atom Minor A team where the only area representative to taste defeat in Thursday morning action, dropping a tight 2-1 decision to the Whitby Wildcats. The Flyers were unable to capitalize on a two-man advantage late in the game to even the score.
Cody Olivier netted the only Nickel Centre goal in the second period, sandwiching his marker between Wildcat goals from Carter McCurdie and Jack LaFranier. The Flyers face the Gloucester Blackhawks in their next action Friday morning.********************
A number of the names above remain active within local hockey circles. After starring with the Nickel City Midget AAA Sons, Cody Gratton headed south, suiting up with the Cambridge Winterhawks for the better part of the past few years.
A product of the Valley East system, Tyler Gliebe is currently manning the blueline for the Laurentian Voyageurs as the team makes its re-appearance back in the OUA. Having moved to the Collingwood area when he was quite young, Keegan Ackerland has played the past four years in the OJHL.
Accumulating 57 goals in stops with the Villanova Knights, Newmarket Hurricanes, Huntsville Otters, Orangeville Flyers and currently the Pickering Panthers, Ackerland still makes his way north every recent summer to take part in the Cambrian Hockey League run by long-time OHL scout Doug Bonhomme .
Ryan Chretien continues to provide a physical presence for the Sudbury Nickel Barons of the NOJHL as the team looks to work its way up the standings under new coach Jason Young in 2014.
Finally, Cody Olivier might have ended his playing days, but he's keeping more than a little busy pursuing a keen interest in officiating. The Coniston native has already progressed to the point of working NOJHL games this season.