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.”
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.
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.
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.
The Alexandria Glens of the CCHL2 have a new head coach, and his name is a familiar one in local hockey circles, as Carl Robillard has been named to the post to guide North Glengarry’s junior ‘B’ hockey team into the 2020-21 season.
The Wendover resident has an extensive coaching background at the top level of minor hockey.
As Robillard puts it, “I actually know many of the players on the current roster and others who will compete for roster spots on this team.”
The new bench boss notes, “Although there are definite changes on the horizon, I know there is potential for this group of young men. We expect to ice a young team with a sprinkle of key veterans to help lead the way. Our goal is to make the playoffs this coming season while establishing a reputation within the league as being a very hard team to play against every single night. This is a staple of my teams from the past and this team will be no different.”
On what he predicts for fans, Robillard says, “We will bring a mix of skill, speed, and compete in all phases of the game. Once we build our young core, we expect to compete for a championship for years to come. That is our ultimate goal once the puck drops to start our season.”
In announcing the new head coach of the Glens, general manager Derick Viau described the 50-year-old Robillard as “a bright coach and great leader who has a track record of both effectively developing young players and successfully motivating veterans.” He added, “We love his coaching resume and are confident that he has learned from every stop during his career, and has the best skill set to get the maximum potential out of our team.”
Viau was my guest for the inaugural edition of the sportsguysean podcast:
Note, this podcast episode can be found on various hosting services, including Spotify and Breaker. Current and prospective members of the Glens can leave me a voice message on Anchor, and the clip may find its way into a future episode of the sportsguysean podcast. Be sure to follow the sportsguysean podcast on your favourite app or platform.
In addition to taking the helm of the junior ‘B’ Glens, Robillard will serve as head coach of the Eastern Ontario Wild major bantam ‘AAA’ team during the 2020-21 this season.
Viau notes that his new bench boss “has over 12 years of coaching experience” and “his coaching philosophy is pretty simple… [building] around these three basic principles: TEAM FIRST, HARD WORK, and DISCIPLINE.”
The general manager, who’s entering his second year in that capacity with Alexandria’s CCLHL2 hockey club, says, “In order to achieve these principals, Carl strives to build an environment that encourages players to learn and develop on and off the ice, while creating a positive learning atmosphere in both good and hard times. All players need to be given the opportunity to develop their skills in a structured and disciplined learning environment that constantly challenges them while providing encouragement and support. He firmly believes that, when dealing with highly motivated and committed athletes, strong communication skills in both a group and/or an individual setting is the cornerstone of any coach’s responsibility.”
Robillard’s coaching resume includes…
2014-15 regular-season championship with major peewee ‘AAA’
2014-15 playoff championship major peewee ‘AAA’
2014-15 provincial silver medal
2014-15 OEMHL ‘AAA’ Coach of the Year
2015-16 regular-season championship minor bantam ‘AAA’
2015-16 playoff championship minor bantam ‘AAA’
2015-16 Toronto Marlies Holiday Classic ‘AAA’ Championship
2017-18 TELUS Cup Central Region Midget ‘AAA’
2018 OHL drafted players: 10 from the Eastern Ontario Wild and 6 from the Hawkesbury Hawks
The new Glens head coach recently connected with some of his players by way of video conference.
Prior to the announcement of Robillard taking the team’s coaching reins, the Glens announced that last year’s head coach, Marc Rousseau, would not be returning. “We thank him for his time served with us [and wish him] best of luck in future endeavours.”
The Glens also parted ways with their assistant coaches, Marco Pozzebon and Stephane Ouellette.
Subject to Hockey Canada rules regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, the Alexandria CCHL2 Glens have scheduled their 2020 training camp for the Glengarry Sports Palace, beginning August 22.
With all that has been going on in the world of late, it seems as though the season for the Alexandria Glens concluded a lifetime ago. Officially, the team’s 2019-20 CCHL2 campaign ended on February 25, with a 5-1 victory on home ice over the Athens Aeros.
It was one of few bright spots on the season that saw the Glens win just 9 of 44 games. The squad lost 31 in regulation time and a further 4 in either overtime or a shootout.
Following the team’s final contest of the winter, I interviewed alternate captain Nico Pozzebon and first-year general manager Derick Viau.
As Viau notes, it was right back to business looking towards next season. Little did he and the players know at the time what was in store for them and us in the weeks that followed.
In mid-March, we learned of the passing of Mike (Michel) Depratto. He was key in saving the Glens a few years back, leading a group of individuals who established the club as a community not-for-profit entity.
“It is with a heavy heart that we have just learned of the passing of Mike Depratto. He was involved in keeping the Glens in the community and he was HEO’s current 1st VP. He will be truly missed in the Community of Alexandria and Hockey.”
Alexandria Glens statement, March 14
A Hockey Eastern Ontario note, attributed to minor president Gary Hopkins, probably summed it up best: Depratto’s “contributions to hockey in Eastern Ontario cannot be overstated, but more importantly he has been a friend and a mentor to many of us on a personal level. We will miss him.”
The unfolding of the COVID-19 pandemic altered plans for the Glens during the off-season as well, with the team having to cancel its annual team banquet and awards ceremony. Instead, award-winners were announced remotely.
Most Improved Player: #17 Elijah Boisvert
Glens Manager’s Trophy for Top Scorer: #11 Nico Pozzebon
Glens Sportsmanship & Ability Award: #8 Zachary power and #16 Ryan Leonard
Glens Leadership Trophy: #11 Nico Pozzebon
Glens Best Defenceman: #21 Nicolas Ouellette and #12 Zachary Bigras
Ernest Bellefeuille Award: #28 Alexim Veilleux
President’s Trophy for MVP: #11 Nico Pozzebon
From the general manager’s perspective, his first foray into leading a junior ‘B’ hockey club was a whirlwind, with Viau telling me that he has nothing but pride for all the players who contributed to the Glens over the course of he 2019-20 season.
Looking Towards the 2020-21 Campaign
General manager Viau’s to-do list is a lengthy one. Initially, a spring skate for players and potential Glens was planned, but that had to be nixed due to the hockey shutdown.
Regardless, planning for the new season had to continue. Online recruitment for the team’s August (hopefully) camp has been set up on the Glens website and can be accessed here. The team invites hockey players ages 16 through 20 years old to sign up or contact the general manager (firstname.lastname@example.org or at 613-360-0077) for more information. Payment of camp fees has been waived until further notice.
In terms of staff behind the bench, the Glens are looking for an equipment manager / trainer. Anyone interested should contact Viau.
Last year’s coaches – Marc Rousseau, Stephan Ouellette, and Marco Pozzebon – were slated to return for a second kick at the can, but the team has since parted ways with the trio. (See the updated story here.)
As things stand now, the Glens camp is scheduled to begin in late August, followed by the CCHL2 pre-season and regular season in September.
The hockey shutdown mandated by Hockey Canada in March curtailed the league’s 2019-20 playoffs in the second round, meaning there was no league champion declared.
Tradition, each season of the Alexandria District Minor Hockey Association is capped off by a celebratory banquet, where award winners are presented their medals, photos are taken, and the kids get to enjoy a light meal.
Of course, this is not a normal year.
The hockey season was stopped in mid-March, with remaining games for teams still in action later cancelled.
As the COVID-19 pandemic has gone on, cancellation of the annual banquet was inevitable.
Due to COVID-19 concerns and a Hockey Canada directive to cease all hockey-related activities, as well as an order by the Eastern Ontario Health Unit to close community and recreation facilities, the Alexandria Glens of the CCHL2 have deferred their board meeting, scheduled for March 25.
At this time of uncertainty in the sports world and otherwise, a new date for the meeting has not been set.