The Alexandria Glens held their 2020-21 training camp in Hawkesbury over the weekend, as head coach Carl Robillard put his signees and prospects through their paces.
General manger Derick Viau tells me there was a solid turnout of 52 hockey players at the September 18-20 camp, held at the Robert Hartley Sports Complex.
Following the conclusion of the sessions, Robillard took to Twitter, posting, “Well, that concludes our 2020-2021 training camp. What an incredible turn out and battles at every positions. Very hard decisions made with more to come. Glens Fans … get ready to cheer on a very fast and talented hockey team. Cannot wait to get this started.”
This season marks Robillard’s first as the Glens bench boss. He is also head coach of the Eastern Ontario Wild ‘AAA’ U15 (formerly called major bantam) team.
Would you have space to house a member of the Alexandria Glens junior ‘B’ hockey team for the 2020-21 season? If so, the team would like to hear from you, and you will be compensated for “opening up your home to our players.”
As head coach Carl Robillard puts it, “Please support our community team and become an away-from-home family for these young athletes looking for an opportunity to develop and play the sport they love while working towards online school.”
On the player front, Viau recently announced two further signings.
Gatineau’s Keyshawn Francis played with the LHPS École Mont-Bleu last season, notching 14 points in 21 games. The 18-year-old is a forward.
Another forward signed is Alexandre Saül. Hailing from Montreal, he skated for the USHS North Yarmouth Academy last winter. The 18-year-old checks in at 6 ft. 3 in., 190 lb. Last year, he scored 11 points in 33 games at the US prep school.
Looking ahead, the Glens have joined the Char-Lan Rebels in a golf tournament, set for September 12, in Lancaster.
The 2020-21 team camp is scheduled to run September 18-20, in Hawkesbury. “Attending a Main Camp is the first step in becoming a Glens player and competing in the EOJHL. Our coaching and scouting staff use these camps to evaluate new talent that will compete to join our team for the upcoming season and to build new relationships with future prospects.”
It may be summer, but some hockey players returned to the ice this month, including members of the Eastern Ontario Wild ‘AAA’ organization, which has been holding development sessions as league play remains uncertain.
Under current Hockey Canada guidelines and health authority restrictions, Eastern Ontario’s ‘AAA’ hockey league is allowing clubs to conduct “conditioning and development sessions throughout August [to conclude] with an invitation to 17-22 players per age group to form a bubble starting in September.”
According to the plan for the Eastern Ontario Wild club, “This bubble will then continue development until such time as HEO (and other authorities having jurisdiction) allow five-on-five traditional programming. The range of 17-22 participants is based on the maximum allowable on-ice participants in the various facilities in HEO territory. The E.O. Wild does not have the capacity to develop more players per level due to facility restrictions and availability of ice in the region.”
The objective of the bubble program will be to focus on continued development of players this fall until such time as regular game play is permitted.
The Wild ices teams at the major bantam (now officially being called U15), minor bantam (U14), and major peewee (U13). Coaches, respectively, are Carl Robillard, Chris Martin, and Dave Byrne. The club draws players from Cornwall, Akwesasne, Glengarry, Prescott-Russell, Cumberland, and Russell.
Moving forward, the club aims to hold, once traditional programming is permitted to resume, “a coordinated tryout open to all players, including those not part of the player E.O. Wild bubbles, to create our rostered teams.”
Fresh off last weekend’s 2020-21 season training camp in Hawkesbury, the Hawks have announced the signing of a new goaltender.
The club inked 20-year-old Kirkland native Thomas Gale, who was recently named NCDC goaltender of the year for the 2019-20 season. The backstop is also an NCAA Division 1 commit, slated to play at Holy Cross (Worcester, Massachusetts) starting with the 2021-22 season.
With the Boston Jr. Bruins last winter, the netminder posted a 2.38 goals-against average on 41 games.
The Hawks also recently announced an addition to their coaching crew, as Dominic Lamarche joined the club in the capacity of an assistant coach.
A local businessman, Lamarche has been coaching for the past seven years and formerly played in the CCHL. He’s a Hawks alumnus.
Rick Dorval returns as head coach and general manager.
On his signing of goaltender Gale, Dorval says, “I’ve been tracking Tommy for two years now. The way he reads puck coming off the opponent’s sticks [and] the way he plays the puck are beyond his years. Furthermore, his compete level will bring some leadership to this group. The opportunity to bring in a goalie with this experience and ability for the Fred Page Cup is going to be a big push for our program.”
It’s been tough for the squad to get back on the ice this summer, due to the COVID-19 situation. The club’s development camp was scrapped, while training camp was delayed until last weekend, operating under current Hockey Canada and health authority restrictions.
While teams across the region’s junior ‘A’ league have been busy with behind-the-scenes preparations and training camps, there remains uncertainty as to when/if the puck will actually drop on the 2020-21 campaign. At last check, the CCHL was looking at an October start, delaying its opening by a month. Currently, Hockey Canada guidelines and health authority regulations bar any inter-club play.
In what seems like some sense of normalcy returning to the hockey world, junior teams across our region are looking forward to their 2020 training camps, and the Hawkesbury Hawks of the CCHL are no exception, set to holds theirs starting later this week.
The 2020-21 training camp for the junior ‘A’ Hawks is scheduled to run August 21 through 23, at the Robert Hartley Sports Complex, in Hawkesbury.
With ongoing concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic and despite the province loosening healthy restrictions, two local junior hockey teams, the Hawkesbury Hawks and the Alexandria Glens, have announced the postponement of planned summer camps.
The junior ‘A’ Hawks, which play in the Central Canada Hockey League (CCHL) had planned for a camp in June, postponing that to July. Once again, though, the club has been forced into another delay, now scheduling its 2020 training camp for August 21 to 23, in Hawkesbury.
The camp, to be held at the Robert Hartley Complex, is open to hockey players with 2000-04 birth years, with the Hawks “looking to fill 5-6 forward positions, 3-4 defence positions, and 1 goalie position.”
As for the Glens, the team had slated its 2020 training camp for August, at the Glengarry Sports Palace in Alexandria. However, last week the club announced a deferral: “Unfortunately, we must announce the postponement of our Main Camp to Friday, September 18th, in Alexandria.”
Last Sunday, new head coach Carl Robillard engaged a number of prospects in on-ice drills at a rink in Ottawa, part of a series of summer training sessions being run in accordance with current COVID-19 protocols.
Prior to the shutdown, the region’s junior ‘A’ league held its annual bantam protect draft.
Hawkesbury’s first pick came fourth in the first round, as the Hawks chose Brad Horner, a defenceman from Vankleek Hill. He played last season with the Eastern Ontario Wild ‘AAA’ major bantam hockey team.
Other members of the Hawks 2020 draft class were Marc-Olivier McCarthy (forward, Glen Robertson), Yanick Blanchard (forward, Embrun), Derek Larocque (forward, Alexandria), Lucas Peever (forward, St. Albert), Mathieu Levesque (defenceman, Hawkesbury), Antoine Dorion (forward, Orleans), Jake Pulkinghorn (defenceman, Ottawa), Justin Flamini (defenceman, Cumberland), and Jayson McIntyre (forward, Orleans).
Of note, two of the draft selections are students at Alexandria’s École secondaire catholique Le Relais. Another student from the school was picked by the Cornwall Colts.
The Hawks ended the 2019-20 season second in the Yzerman Division, with a record of 36 wins, 24 regulation losses, and 2 overtime defeats, for 74 points. The squad was slated to open the CCHL playoffs against the third-place team from the Robinson Division, the Smiths Falls Bears (33-24-5, for 71 points). Interestingly, the teams had identical regular-season powerplay and penalty kill percentages, at 18.3 and 86 percent, respectively.
On the cancellation of the playoffs, Alexandria’s Felix Sauve, a rookie defenceman with the Hawks, admitted to me, “It sucks! We had a lot of key pieces this year which could have brought us far in the long run. It’s hard to say goodbye to some of the boys since you don’t know when you will meet or cross paths again.” However, the teen acknowledged, “The safety of everyone is the number 1 priority, so it was the right move.”
Sauve saw action in 52 games, notching 1 goal and 5 assists, along with 32 penalty minutes.
He was among several local athletes who were mainstays on the roster this season, including forwards Mathieu Sabourin and Jeremy Quesnel.
Hawk Luke Grainger was honoured with a league award as the 2019-20 Top Graduating Player. The skater from Beaconsfield led the CCHL in scoring with 82 points (34 goals, 48 assists) in 56 games. He’s committed to playing NCAA hockey next season at Western Michigan University for next season.
In the league’s announcement, head coach Rick Dorval was quoted as saying, “Luke’s development with and without the puck has been tremendous. He is one of the most electrifying players in this league and is always a threat to opponents. He can move as fast east-west as north-south. We will miss him next year but wish him the best of luck at WMU.”
Aside from Grainger, the Hawks bid adieu to Matt Gasuik, Azzaro Tinling, Sebastien Paquette, Shane McGrath, and Zach Johnson.
2020 Summer Camp
Registration for the Hawkesbury Hawks summer camp is now open. The event is scheduled for June 19 to 21, but is subject to change due to Hockey Canada mandates around the COVID-19 situation.
The camp will be held in Gloucester, at the Richcraft Sensplex. Entry is $250, and players will each have approximately 4.5 hours of ice time spread over three games.