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.”
The team invites “All 16- to 20-year-old players … to come try out.”
The opening training camp session is slated for Thursday, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in Finch. Workout number two is booked for Cornwall’s multi-sport complex, on September 17 (6:30 to 8 p.m.). Training will continue three days later, also in Cornwall (1 to 2:30 p.m.), with two further sessions planned for the Rebels’ home rink in Williamstown, on September 22 and 26 (times to be confirmed).
Jeff Carter serves as the team’s head coach.
On the player front, the club announced that Joseph Samson has committed to returning for the upcoming season and will serve as Char-Lan captain. He led last year’s squad, scoring 26 goals and 31 assists.
On Saturday (September 12) the Rebels are joining with county cousins the Alexandria Glens for a golf tournament to be held at Lancaster’s Heritage Golf Club. For details, please see this previous story.
The county’s junior ‘B’ hockey clubs, traditional rivals on the ice, have joined forces for a golf tournament, to be held September 12, at Lancaster’s Heritage Golf Club.
The ‘Battle of Glengarry’ on the links is scheduled to run from 8 a.m. through noon. Entry of $100 per player includes golf, use of a cart, and lunch. Registration is available online here.
The event is open to players, alumni, and supporters. I am told that organizers are aiming to field 13 foursomes, with scoring combined in some way to highlight the Glens-versus-Rebels friendly rivalry.
Char-Lan Rebels training camp
The 2020 Rebels training camp will be held in early September, with date/location yet to be confirmed. Head coach and general manager Jeff Carter invites prospective players aged 16 through 20 to contact him at email@example.com or 613-360-0711.
Alexandria Glens camp, announcer
Training camp for the Alexandria Glens is scheduled to be held in Alexandria, beginning Friday, September 18. Prospects for the 52nd annual edition of the Glens are asked to register online in advance.
In other team news, the Glens have announced the addition of a play-by-play commentator for the team’s home broadcasts via the Hockey TV platform. Liam Arkinson joins the organization in this capacity, having formerly served in this role with the Ottawa West Golden Knights.
On Sunday in Ottawa, first-year Alexandria Glens head coach Carl Robillard got his first opportunity to work with a number of his players and prospects, as the junior ‘B’ hockey club held its first summer workout session of 2020.
While there has been plenty of off-ice hockey business since the 2019-20 season ended in late February, the COVID-19 pandemic shelved plans for any official team functions, until last week, when Ontario government and Hockey Canada restrictions were loosened.
Robillard was named to the post of head coach for the Glens in late May. Since then, general manager Derick Viau has added to the staff, pegging David Morash and Jason Bélanger as assistant coaches of the team for the 2020-21 season.
On the player side, Viau has been busy signing individuals, including goaltender Tanner Gillies, who hails from Orleans. The 2003-born player, backstopped the Navan Grads U18 ‘AAA’ team last season, recording a 2.78 goals-against average.
The general manager has also announced the signing of two defencemen, Tanner Legue (also with the U18 Grads last winter) and Braden Legue (who’s returning to the Glens for a second campaign). The Legue boys, aged 17 and 19 respectively, are brothers, hailing from Green Valley.
Another blueliner inked this spring by Viau is Patryk Kostrzewa. The 18-year-old D-man skated for the U18 Ottawa Jr. Senators U18 ‘AAA’ squad last season.
On the trade front, Reese Donnelly was dealt to the Winchester Hawks to complete a multi-player transaction from November 30, 2019. The 18-year-old forward from Orleans split the 2019-20 junior ‘B’ hockey season between the Char-Lan Rebels and their northern cousins, recording 13 points in 34 games.
Meanwhile, the Glens welcomed, from the Hawks, a new forward, as 2001-born Kyle Green was picked up. The Clarence native had 14 points in 44 games with the Winchester club last winter.
Coach Robillard tells me that he was pleased with Sunday’s first skate, adding that there was a bit of rust on the boys due to the long layoff from skating. He plans to make this a weekly event, leading up to the late-August training camp.
What’s old is new again, as the saying goes. The Central Canada Hockey League 2 has become the Eastern Ontario Junior Hockey League, with junior ‘B’ hockey’s local loop returning to its roots.
Back in 2015, the CCHL2 was launched with fanfare, created from the ashes of the EOJHL. At the time, sources told me change was afoot amongst the existing junior ‘B’ hockey clubs which comprised the EOJHL. The Ottawa-based teams were looking to form a new league, aligned with the junior ‘A’ CCHL, while the remainder of the clubs from Alexandria through to Gananoque explored going on without them in a smaller junior ‘B’ league.
Longtime followers of the league would remember that back then there were two conferences, each with two divisions, and a total of 22 teams. Remember the Akwesasne Wolves, Morrisburg Lions, and Gananoque Islanders, among others? These clubs were left out when the CCHL2 was formed.
In April of 2015, I reported in The Glengarry News that the Eastern Ontario Junior Hockey League would cease operations.
Clubs interested in being part of the CCHL2 had to apply with the clear understanding that those behind the new league wanted to reduce its number to 16. As well, the teams had to commit to providing a CCHL-like (junior ‘A’) experience for players.
Both the Alexandria Glens and Char-Lan Rebels were successful in garnering franchises in the CCHL2. Over the ensuing five seasons, administratively, the junior ‘B’ league was largely run by those behind the junior ‘A’ hockey in Eastern Ontario, as was the U18 league which they took over as well.
Kevin Abrams served as commissioner of the leagues for this stretch, and with the 2020 rebrand, he hands the baton for the EOJHL to Sean Marcellus, who previously worked as director of hockey operations for the leagues.
“I take great pride in being named Commissioner of the Eastern Ontario Junior Hockey League. I originally had my first hockey job in the old EOJHL working with the Arnprior Packers back in 2012 so to be able to take the reigns at the league level in 2020 is very exciting for me. Working alongside Kevin Abrams has benefited me in more ways than I can explain, he gave me a chance five years ago and his leadership and direction has prepared me greatly for this position. I am very thankful to our board of governors for showing confidence in me and I am excited at being tasked at helping lead this league in a positive manner moving forward.”
Sean Marcellus statement
From the league’s announcement of the change: “For the past five seasons, the CCHL2 has evolved into a top developmental league for the CCHL and levels above. That will continue with the new EOJHL but with a focus on independence as a league with 11 of the 16 teams operated without CCHL ownership.”
It is perhaps that word ‘independence’ that elicits the most curiosity, as one wonders how that will play out for the 2020-21 season and beyond. Part of the CCHL2’s raison d’être was its tight connection with junior ‘A’ hockey in Eastern Ontario. This relationship included clubs signing agreements with CCHL teams to facilitate the development and exchange of players. This went so far as some combined training, at least in the case of the Char-Lan Rebels (junior ‘B’) and Cornwall Colts (junior ‘A’).
The former EOJHL was entirely independent of the CCHL, though clubs at the two levels did find ways to work together. It wasn’t uncommon, for example, to have a player signed to a junior ‘B’ card playing a handful of games at the junior ‘A’ level.
So indeed, this change may end up being a return to the past in many ways. But I wouldn’t bet on a return of any of the lost teams, the ‘B’ in the league’s name, or face cages (remember those?)
Meanwhile, work towards the on-ice product continues, as teams recruit players and plan for their 2020 training camps, scheduled for later this summer.