Wingham signs local skaters

But Bulldogs get Gibson, Fair

By Josh Howald

It might not be prime time for junior hockey action, but there is plenty of news coming out of the Provincial Junior Hockey League these days.

The Wingham Ironmen announced last week they had signed Rhys Vollmer and goaltender Jamie Brock. Both played for the Kincardine Miller Insurance midget Kinucks last season. Vollmer captained the International Silver Stick champions, while Brock was rock solid between the pipes all season long.

The Ironmen also got Shane Vollmer and Ethan Long on cards for next season. Shane is the older brother of Rhys, and played for the Bulldogs two seasons ago - but signed with the Ironmen just before the deadline last season. Long started last season with the Kincardine midgets but jumped ship for the PJHL early in the year.

The influx of Kincardine players who will play for Wingham next season can be directly attributed to Wingham's new coach, Cory Hamilton of Kincardine. Hamilton coached the Kincardine midgets for the past three seasons, with a good deal of success. The midgets won everything except an OMHA All-Ontario championship under his tutelage.

So, are the Nicol Insurance Kincardine Bulldogs upset at losing home grown talent to Wingham? It doesn't seem that way. While Kincardine would have liked to have Brock between the pipes next season, they said they weren't directly competing with the Ironmen for the others.

In fact, the Bulldogs have already made a couple of moves, which also included signing some players from last year's Kincardine midget team. Kincardine signed Connor Gibson, a speedy forward with good hands who looked good when called up to play for the 'Dogs last season as an affiliated player. They have also put Jake Fair on a card. Fair is a big, sturdy defender who plays a style that should allow him to easily adapt to the PJHL.

Kincardine also signed a couple of players from Port Elgin - Justin Harlowe and Kent Ribey.

Both played last week in an exhibition game in Goderich. Kincardine's prospects were defeated 3-1 by the North Middlesex Stars hopefuls last Wednesday night. Despite the loss, head coach Shawn Burrows said he saw a lot of positive things on the ice, particularly considering the time of year.

The Bulldogs won't be on the ice again until the team's main training camp opens Aug. 12 at the Davidson Centre in Kincardine. There may be a couple of more signings prior to the main camp, however. Watch the Kincardine Independent each week for the latest news from the PJHL.