Fort native named to hall
A Fort Frances native is among three athletes, two builders, and a national championship team that make up the 2014 slate of inductees to enter the Northwestern Ontario Sports Hall of Fame in Thunder Bay next month.
John “Gino” Gasparini, one of the two builders being inducted, enjoyed a successful career at centre ice with the University of North Dakota before moving behind the bench, serving on the coaching staff of the Fighting Sioux from 1971-94.
The other person from the region being recognized in the Builder category is Dryden’s Bill Salonen.
He has dedicated himself to sports development for more than half-a-century, serving as a coach and official for Little League baseball, high school football, and hockey.
He also served in a number of executive capacities for such organizations as Hockey Northwestern Ontario, Hockey Canada, and the Superior International Junior Hockey League.
Meanwhile, all three of the athletes being inducted this year competed at the highest level in their chosen sports.
Amber Peterson claimed multiple national titles and was the first female from the region to represent Canada at the Olympics in freestyle skiing, competing in aerials at the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Torino, Italy.
Jason Myslicki attended the 2006 and 2010 Olympic Winter Games competing in Nordic combined skiing, and spent close to two decades representing Canada in international and World Cup competitions.
And John Adams was a stand-out goalie with the Port Arthur North Stars and Marrs during the 1960s.
He went on to spend time between the pipes in the NHL with the Boston Bruins and Washington Capitals, as well as in the WHL and AHL.
Following his professional playing career, Adams served as a player-coach with Thunder Bay teams and as an NHL scout.
Finally, the Team category will welcome the 1996-97 Thunder Bay Kings ‘AAA’ Midgets, who claimed the Air Canada Cup as Canadian champions.
Team members included Erik Adams, Bryson Busniuk, David Breton, Matt Britt, Paolo Campagnolo, Joey Gallant, Jeff Heerema, Rob Illson, Adam Levanen, Adam MacNeil, Nick Mallet, Lee Maunu, Nathan Saj, Jean-Paul Nault, Kyle Shaen, Colin Shaw, Stephen Silversides, Chris Sharp, and Tyler Williamson.
Rounding out the squad were Rick Bragnalo (coach), Doug Adams (assistant coach), Tom Annelin (trainer), and Cliff O’Brien (manager).
This year’s 33rd-annual induction dinner will be held Saturday, Sept. 27 at the Valhalla Inn in Thunder Bay.
Tickets can be ordered by calling 1-807-622-2852 or dropping by the Hall of Fame at 219 May St. S.