JCs Help Vicky’s Golf Fund-Raiser

October 1, 2012 at 6:53 pm

By Mel Tsuji

MARKHAM  – Like hockey teams everywhere, the University of  Toronto womens’ hockey team made use of a time-honoured, off-season pursuit to bring its players together—they played a golf tournament.
But this time there was an important reason to hit the links—to raise much-needed funds for the team as it heads into its second season under sophomore coach, Vicky Sunohara.

Rainy weather, courtesy of a spillover from Hurricane Issac, nearly ruined the teeoff.  But Vicky apparently appealed to a higher calling, because the taps turned off, the clouds split and the sun shone through.

It was a big relief for everyone.  The entire team showed up, even the non-golfers, as well as parents, friends and supporters who each shelled out $160 apiece for a bit of soggy golf, a delicious dinner and prizes galore.

There was a sizable turnout from the JC community, which has always supported Vicky from her days as a star player with Canada’s National team.  JC fans also remember her father, the late Dave Sunohara, who was a star hockey player himself with Double S. Tile, the Nisei (second generation Japanese Canadian) dominated team that won a Toronto city championship in 1956-57.

After the scorecards were tallied, it turned out that JC players were among the top three foursomes.  Among them were a quartet of Roy Kobayashi and George Anzai, both team-mates of Dave on Double S., Mel Tsuji and his son Trevor, who were representing the Japanese Canadian Hockey League, which celebrated its 50th anniversary last October.

This group took third place with a score of 6-under.  A weak complaint was considered, because the group had the same score as the second place team. Consideration should have been given, the group felt, to the foursome’s senior status, but the protest faded meekly away with the sumptuous beef/chicken dinner.

It was also felt the team was given a bit of a boost with the addition of a fifth member in Jayna Hefford, the star left winger of Canada’s National team and Vicky’s long-time team-mate.  She only played about 10 holes, but her virtuosity on the course almost matched her skills on the rink

In an email after, Vicky added that she was very gratified that the top three foursomes were made of JCs, and thanked the community for its support.
The golfing get-together was a great exercise in team-building.  It was felt the team could improve on its 6th place finish last season, up from 8th the year before.  But players must have left their skating legs on the course, because the U of T Blues lost both games in their pre-season tournament….

The University of  Calgary, with National team star, Hayley Wickenheiser leading the way, was the absolute cream of the tourney, followed by the University of Montreal.  York University, from Toronto, and the U of T Blues made up the other teams. .