Hjorth invited to Sweden’s camp
Sarnia Sting defenceman Eric Hjorth will get a shot to play for Sweden at the 2021 world junior hockey championship.
Hjorth, 19, is among the 22 players invited to the Swedish world junior summer development camp Aug. 24-29 in Uppsala.
“That’s great news for him,” Sting general manager Dylan Seca said.
Hjorth made his Ontario Hockey League debut last season with 12 goals and 17 assists in 60 games. His 29 points led the Sting’s blue-liners.
The six-foot-three, 192-pound native of Linkoping was a fourth-round pick by the Columbus Blue Jackets in the 2019 NHL draft.
Sting forwards Jamieson Rees and Jacob Perreault took part in Hockey Canada’s national junior team summer development camp last month.
Canada’s camp was held online because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but Sweden’s players will be able to attend their camp in person.
“Some parts of the world are just that little bit farther ahead of us,” Seca said.
The 2021 world junior championship is scheduled for Dec. 26 to Jan. 5 in Edmonton and Red Deer, Alta.
Ex-CFLer Lakusiak passes away
Two-time CFL all-star Gene Lakusiak of Sarnia died at age 78 on July 29 in Winnipeg.
He was inducted into the Sarnia Lambton Sports Hall of Fame in 1990.
Lakusiak was 13 years old when his family moved to Sarnia from Manitoba, where he was born in Rossdale.
The Northern high school graduate was a multi-sport star who played hockey with the Sarnia Legionnaires and baseball with the Sarnia Braves.
He earned a football scholarship to the University of Tulsa.
Lakusiak played eight seasons in the CFL. He debuted in 1967 with the Ottawa Rough Riders and then played from 1968-74 with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
He was a Western Conference all-star defensive back in 1972 and 1973.
After retiring from football, Lakusiak became a teacher and coach.
“He created exemplary intramural and leadership programs while at Winnipeg’s Technical Vocational High School, geared to keep inner city kids in school, to help them set a positive course,” his obituary said. “Gene was a kind man of few words who left anyone with whom he interacted a better person for it.”
He is survived by his wife Lynn, children Scott and Corey Jill, and three grandchildren.
Braves split doubleheader
The Sarnia Braves settled for a doubleheader split in their season debut against the Kincardine Cubs on Sunday at Errol Russell Park.
After an 11-0 loss in Game 1, the Braves bounced back for a 6-5 win in Game 2.
Starting pitcher Matt Liberty earned the Game 2 win, Alex McLean picked up the save and Vince Caschera hit the Braves’ first homer of the season.
“It was great being back at the park,” Braves manager James Grant said. “(It) was a fun day.”
The Braves won the Ontario senior elimination baseball tournament last year. They’d been sidelined this year because of the pandemic.