An Open Letter To The Cornwall Hockey Fan

So Sportsnet is bringing its big shiny Hometown Hockey production to our fair city. Ron McLean and Tara Slone are lucky to be broadcasting from a city with such a rich and interesting hockey history. (And if you don’t know why, go do your research. Or have a chat with Thom Racine. You won’t regret it.)

Of course, that brings a smile to everyone’s face but I think we need to be reminded of some things.

Every sports loving citizen of the city of Cornwall should be well versed in the historical nature and importance the sport of hockey has had on it’s footsteps. A long and sometimes per petulant journey to win over the masses, Cornwall hockey is in a breed and distinction of its own. Not just because of players who have come and gone, fans who have cheered, cried or hell, thrown beer cans. But because of that face one gives you when you bring up Cornwall and hockey in the same breath. You know the one. It’s a mix of fear and more recently, a slight bit of disgust.

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But we love it.

We thrive on being the outcast. We thrive on being the unwanted. It’s how we grew up. It’s what we know. We left our dreams at center ice on the rinks in the parks of Mattice, King George, 8th Street, Optimist, and Reg Campbell among others. Throwing our sticks into a pile and one by one having them re-emerge as the National Hockey League player we were going to be that day. A select few of us were Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Joe Sakic or Sergei Federov. A player of a high skill. But most of us knew we didn’t have those kinds of hands. No, instead we were another set all together. We were Wendel Clark, Bob Probert, Tie Domi, Theo Fleury. Players we felt were one of us.

Some of us were guys we got to see every week. Mike Hurlbut, Serge Roberge, Josef Marha, Aaron Miller and Paxton Schulte each made us believe that Cornwall hockey will always have a place, however misguided and undesired by some it might be.

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The outcast and the unwanted.

There’s no better way to burst that stigma then to be an Ontario team in a Quebec league. I’m sure there was plenty of cursing going on when our Comets won the senior league championship. Only Ontario team in the mix and we proved our little city belonged with the big boys.

Not just us either. Our friends to the south own the distinction of being the Federal Hockey League’s first ever champions. I was there the night the Akwesasne Warriors won that Cup and I don’t think I’ve ever seen the Turtle Dome that packed for a hockey game. After a brief absence, it was nice to have a winning atmosphere back in the community.

Lately, Cornwall fans have worn the distinction of being the unwanted with pride on a couple of occasions. Whether you agree with how some go about it or not, there’s one thing that never changes here. Passion.

And passion describes a very important part of the fanbase that’s fleeting. They’re the ones who sit in the stands and remind you of when they saw Maurice Richard at the Water St. Arena. Or when a then superstar kid from Brantford lit up the Ed Lumley with Team Canada. How about when Cornwall cemented its legacy in hockey history with back to back Memorial Cup wins?

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The Royals and their second straight Memorial Cup in 1981.

These stories need to never die.

And as much as we want to erase the River Kings fiasco, it’s now part of our hockey history. Its story very much needs to be told to serve not only as a reminder of how ugly things can get between a team, its city, its fans and more but to show that we never once lost sight of the fact that hockey brings us together in many ways. Everyone wants to remember the bad. Nobody wants to remember the good. And there was a sure lot of good things that also took place. What other fan base have you heard of that collected money to pay the players themselves? I bet that hasn’t happened often.

And some stories need to be followed.

With a solid developing system in place thanks to the CCHL, the Cornwall Colts will be churning out tons of collegiate players to the fold. Did I mention in our own backyard? NHL teams are looking at Junior A teams more then ever so it would be wise of the Cornwall fan to have their eye peeled on the ice. Speaking of Cornwall stigma, there’s one behind Cornwall hockey fans and the Colts. There’s no reason why one can’t take in a game here in there if you’re a hockey fan. There’s more hitting then you think. The Cornwall Colts fill the outcast and unwanted void more then words can describe. That’s not a good thing.

Cornwall-Colts-2013-Champs
(Photo: icelevel.com)

And new stories need to be told.

The Federal Hockey League, however wishy-washy it may be, has put trust in the Cornwall market. This is a special time for the Nationals and a special time to be a fan. You’ve stuck through every other team through thick and thin so why stop now? Stop saying things that will bite you in the behind if they come out blazing out of the gates.

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The Cornwall Nationals are a story that is waiting to be told. Who is going to tell it if there’s no one in the stands? No one in the stands to witness what could become a Cinderella story in the making. That’s the beauty of hockey. Things change by the minute.

So, with the news that Ron McLean and Sportsnet’s Hometown Hockey will be making a stop here in March of 2018, I challenge every Cornwall hockey fan to not be fake when you’re out there cheering and smiling for the big jumbo screens. Go to some hockey games in your city. Cheer on the Nationals, support the Colts, watch the Ontario Hockey Academy teams at the Benson Centre, check out the SLC Sharks as the go for the umpteenth championship, support the Typhons, support Junior B. The list goes on.

We live in a world that gets crazier by the day; sometimes it’s nice to have something like hockey to believe in.

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Another Era in Cornwall Hockey – The Revamped FHL

Hockey season is here again and once more we have another foray into semi-professional/professional hockey by the city of Cornwall. City council came out and said they don’t want to get into the “hockey business” but let’s face it, the name of the city is smack dab on the name of the team. Kind of have to go with the flow now. And they are. Just this week the city of Cornwall bought a rink board inside the Ed Lumley Arena. If that’s not a step in the right direction of a city giving a blessing for the team, then I don’t know what is.

But, why now? Well, for one, the Cornwall Nationals are in a completely different league. A league that has a bit more of a favourable opinion in the hockey world and a league that is trying to actually develop players to the next stage in their career (three FHL players signed with SPHL teams this week, a goaltender attended LA Kings training camp, some are on loan with AHL teams, and some have had ECHL try outs last year). It is not the same FHL that held the Akwesasne Warriors as champions. There’s no staged fighting and you’re not guaranteed a fight every game. I’ll let you decide on the quality of play when you see it.

14291702_184075755356901_2702889070874924457_nThat’s not to say you’re not going to get entertaining hockey out of this venture. Cornwall fans know how to make any team feel like Stanley Cup Champions no matter their record. You can’t deny the heart they put into saving the LNAH’s Cornwall River Kings and I expect that passion to continue with the Nationals especially since most are familiar with the FHL landscape. And for $13.00 a ticket? That’s cheaper then the Junior A Cornwall Colts for crying out loud.

Another thing worth pointing out with the Nationals is the crazy experience they are going have with their roster. A simple click on Elite Prospects can show you the average age of each team in the league. (excluding Cornwall because they are obviously not at full roster status yet). Luckily for you, I went and did this so you don’t have to: (Brewster either folded or went dormant for this year so I’m not counting them and St. Clair is starting up this year and in the middle of signing guys as well, as far as I recall.)

Average age based on 2015-2016 season

Watertown Wolves: 25 years old
Berlin River Drivers: 24 years old
Danbury Titans: 25 years old
Danville Dashers: 25 years old
Port Huron Prowlers: 25 years old

Most of the guys Cornwall has already signed are well above 25 years old and are coming off extraordinary pro careers. The majority of this league picks up guys just turning pro from junior or NCAA. Don’t get me wrong, there’s extreme talent happening in those two categories but you absolutely can not push aside the wealth of experience the Nationals already have in signing what, 7 guys already? Insane.

A lot of people brush me off with my opinions of hockey in Cornwall and that’s their right to do so. Just let me say one thing. The way this team is coming together in this league so far, I have my doubts that anyone will be able to stop them.
As long as the team doesn’t fold at Christmas.

Just kidding.

Check back once the roster is complete for a complete player profile and run through so you can have an idea of who you’ll be cheering on!

ONTARIO HOCKEY ACADEMY FIRE – HOCKEY FAMILY IN NEED

While millions of viewers had their eyes glued to the Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs between the eventual winners Pittsburgh Penguins and Tampa Bay Lightning, a feeling of fear and sadness was rolling through the city of Cornwall, Ontario.

See, as Sidney Crosby was raising the Prince of Wales trophy as Eastern Conference champion, 90 students/players of the Ontario Hockey Academy saw their on ice dreams suffer a major setback.

OHA was on fire and burning quickly.

article_largeCornwall’s fire Chief, Pierre Voisine, seems to think it had been started in one of the dorm units that houses the students (no official confirmation as of yet). As the flames continued to rage and get worse an evacuation was called. Over 100 people, students and staff alike, spent the night in the Ramada Inn down the street. No one was hurt.

Here’s where things get sad and tricky.

Belongings were lost, hockey equipment has been lost and maybe most importantly, passports have been burned.

Most of the students are European and classes were supposed to finish up today. Flights had been schedule to fly out as early as this Saturday. Of course, I don’t know which players are still here but just taking a gander at the men’s Major Midget AA team roster, it includes students from the UK, Australia, Israel, Belgium, and Germany. That’s just for one team! Luckily for UK students, the British Consulate in Ottawa has already been in contact with OHA to see how they can help in speeding things up. However, it’s not clear just yet about the others. Hopefully as the day goes on today we’ll get some kind of idea of what’s happening on the international front.

CjbPIq1XAAEu1bvFor those that don’t know what the Ontario Hockey Academy is, it’s a high performance academic-athletic private school. Basically high school and an awful lot of hockey. They prepare you for the University or College route to the big time. It’s a big thing internationally because students from all over the world can come and learn from hockey’s best: Canadians.

While the fire has been put out and I’m sure an investigation has been put underway, thoughts now turn to what can we do to help. If you’re looking to start fundraising, collecting items for care packages, helping to replace items and what not, drop me a line at march.hockey@gmail.com so I can get the word out. I have a pretty big reach locally and in the UK that I’m sure could be useful to help these kids get their dreams back on track.

Ontario Hockey Academy. What happened has happened and now it’s time for the rest of hockey’s family to step in and have your backs. This won’t keep the Mavericks down.

CORNWALL’S EASTERN CANADA ALL STAR CHALLENGE ROSTERS REVEALED

An exciting three day tournament is being held in the city of Cornwall, Ontario that is sure to showcase the best of Junior A hockey this side of the Manitoba border. The Eastern Canada All Star Challenge is set to take place November 16-18 at the Benson Centre.

Returning to it’s founding league of the CCHL, the Challenge is slated to have numerous NCAA and NHL scouts in attendance to watch the nine teams battle it out. The CCHL will supply two teams, Team Yzerman and Team Robinson with Cornwall Colts bench boss Ian MacInnis headmanning the latter. The Nothern Ontario Hockey League will send one along with the Quebec and Maritime Junior Hockey Leagues.

The Ontario Junior Hockey League based in and around Toronto will send four squads to Cornwall, a total of 80 players with 20 of those committed to Division 1 NCAA schools.

The round robin begins on Monday the 16th with the QJHL taking on OJHL Team Coffey at 6pm. For more info, head on over to www.centraljuniorhockeyleague.ca

The complete rosters are as follows:

CCHL TEAM YZERMAN

LAST NAME FIRST NAME MONTH-DAY-YR POS SHOT HT WT NCAA STATUS CURRENT TEAM
Coughlin Ryan April 19 1997 G L 6-1 188 Cumberland
Andriano Ian August 11 1996 G L 6-0 186 Ottawa
White Cameron March 12 1997 D L 6-2 187 Ottawa
Joseph Marcus May 8 1997 D L 5-8 181 Sacred Heart (17-18) Carleton Place
Lawson Geoffrey May 15 1997 D L 5-11 195 Robert Morris (17-18) Ottawa
Kovacevic Johnathan July 12 1997 D R 6-3 217 Merrimack (17-18) Ottawa
Rappleyea Sean February 3 1995 D R 5-10 177 Ottawa
List Cale August 8 1998 D L 6-2 193 Umass Lowel (17-18) Pembroke
Croteau Louis-Charles May 9 1996 F R 5-8 176 Kanata
Vella Paul March 2 1996 F L 5-9 178 Gloucester
Billings Jack October 4 1995 F R 5-9 182 Brockville
Mereiles Greg January 1 1999 F R 5-9 173 Ottawa
Makara Branden May 22 1997 F R 5-9 174 Cumberland
McCaw Luke May 31 1996 F R 5-11 180 Nepean
Cameron Shawn August 30 1995 F R 5-11 189 Cumberland
Blais Jesse April 27 1995 F R 5-11 189 Pembroke
Pearson Jim Dec 14 1995 F R 5-8 170 Ottawa
St.Pierre Maxime April 26 1996 F R 6-2 222 Carleton Place
Larose Michael Dec 13 1997 F L 6-1 187 Cumberland
Frechette Martin May 4 1997 F L 5-7 155 Vermont (16-17) Cumberland
 
NAME TITLE TEAM
Martin Dagenais Head Coach Ottawa Jr Senators
Sylvain Favreau Assistant Coach Cumberland Grads
Dan Sauve Assistant Coach Ottawa Jr Senators
Richard Dupuy Trainer Cumberland Grads
Carmelo Pugliese Equipment Manager Nepean Raiders
Sean Marcellus CCHL Staff CCHL

CCHL TEAM ROBINSON

LAST NAME FIRST NAME MONTH-DAY-YR POS SHOT HT WT NCAA STATUS CURRENT TEAM
DeBrouwer Evan Jan. 31 1997 G L 6’1 201 Smiths Falls
Point Colton March 7 1998 G L 6’3 220 Colgate (17-18) Carleton Place
Henry Jared March 21 1996 D L 6′ 188 Smiths Falls
MacMillan Chris June 13 1995 D R 6’1 192 Smiths Falls
Craig Ross Nov 1 1996 D R 5’11 186 Colgate (16-17) Cornwall
Grant Owen Jan 22 1998 D R 5’11 181 Vermont (17-18) Carleton Place
Wichers Quinn Aug 19 1997 D L 6’4 215 Kemptville
Russell Cameron Aug 25 1995 D L 5’11 175 Kemptville
Curran Johnny March 14 1995 F R 5’9 175 Western Michigan (16-17) Smiths Falls
Batt Lucas May 4 1996 F L 5’11 194 Carleton Place
Larson Jordan May 13 1995 F L 5’9 191 Alabama-Huntsville (16-17) Carleton Place
Murray Brett July 20 1998 F L 6’5 211 Penn State (17-18) Carleton Place
Cooper Grant July 20 1996 F L 6’0 180 Dartmouth (17-18) Cornwall
Lalonde Nick Jan 30 1998 F R 5’9 168 Cornwall
Spink Tanner Sept 4 1996 F L 5’10 175 Cornwall
Folkes Liam Feb 26 1996 F R 5’8 167 Penn State (16-17) Brockville
Tackett Jason Aug 13 1995 F L 5’11 177 Ferris State (16-17) Kemptville
Tugnutt Matt May 14 1996 F L 5’10 181 Kemptville
Cyr Jonathan May 4 1996 F L 6’1 213 Hawkesbury
Van Horn Bryce May 3 1996 F R 6,0 199 Carleton Place
 
NAME TITLE TEAM
Ian MacInnis Head Coach Cornwall Colts
Mark Grady Assistant Coach Smiths Falls
Rick Dorval Assistant Coach Hawkesbury Hawks
Sheldon Adams Trainer Nepean Raiders
Sean Marcellus CCHL Staff CCHL

TEAM MHL

LAST NAME FIRST NAME MONTH-DAY-YR POS SHOT HT WT NCAA STATUS TEAM
Sommers Tanner May 13 1998 G L 5-10 150 Miramichi Timberwolves
Mann-Dixon Blade April 29/1997 G L 5-7 150 Valley Wild
Bernier Alexandre May 26 1997 D R 5-9 160 Dieppe Commandos
Baggs Riley May 5 1997 D R 6-2 175 Truro Bearcats
Paul Matthew May 7 1997 D R 6-0 173 Amherst Ramblers
Dower Lee April 26 1996 D L 5-11 180 Miramichi Timberwolves
Morgan Matthew October 3 1997 D R 5-9 170 Pictou Weeks Crushers
Poirier Michael August 31 1995 D L 6-1 195 Dieppe Commandos
Banville Eddie July 30 1997 F L 5-9 150 Campbelltpn Tigers
Barron Matt March 25 1999 F R 5-10 170 Yarmouth Mariners
MacLeod Gregor June 7 1998 F L 5-11 160 Campbellton Tigers
Hastings Curtis December 27 1996 F L 5-9 170 County Aces
King Sammy May 11 1998 F L 5-9 165 Woodstock Slammers
Deacon John April 8 1995 F R 6-0 175 Valley Wildcats
Erbs Johnny April 9 1996 F L 5-8 177 Woodstock Slammers
Shatford Josh December 3 1996 F R 5-9 180 South Shore Lumberjacks
Stavert Thomas February 20 1995 F L 5-10 185 Summerside Western Capitals
Young Ricky March 19 1996 F L 5-11 180 County Aces
Bridges Blaize February 7 1995 F R 5-8 175 Summerside Western Capitals
Soper Jimmy May 19 1995 F L 6-1 175 Truro Bearcats
NAME TITLE TEAM
Dave Ritcey President NOJHL
Shawn Evans Coach Truro Bearcats
Nick Greenough Coach Valley Wildcats
Josh Heptich Coach County Aces
Ashley Merrithew Athletic Therapist Dieppe Commandos
Steve Lindsay Equipment Manager Truro Bearcats

TEAM LHJQ

LAST NAME FIRST NAME MONTH-DAY-YR POS SHOT HT WT NCAA STATUS TEAM
Dube-Rochon Sebastien July 13 1995 G 5-11 190
Labrecque Brady February 13 1997 G 6-0 176
Fillion Jonathan August 24 1996 D 5-10 177
Larouche Keven April 19 1996 D 6-0 188
Cote William March 14 1997 D 5-9 190
Amyot Mathieu July 12 1996 D 6-3 220
Marcotte David February 17 1995 D 5-11 180
Michaud Edouard September 22 1997 F 6-0 172
Brennan Joey May 1 1997 F 5-7 160
Ouelett Jonathan February 10 1997 F 5-11 185
Caron Joel May 1 1996 F 5-6 172
Boullion Marc-Antoine Februray 16 1995 F 5-10 170
Auger Jeremy March 28 1996 F 5-8 175
St-Hilaire Deven March 3 1995 F 6-0 180
Bernier Justin September 16 1997 F 5-7 150
Pouliot Antoine June 21 1996 F 6-2 200
Lapierre Tommy November 8 1996 F 5-11 190
Beaulieu Jean-Philippe May 19 1996 F 6-1 190
Plante Maxime August 15 1996 F 6-1 175
Boucher Felix November 23 1995 D 6-3 200
NAME TITLE TEAM
Pierre Petroni Head Coach
Jean-Philippe Hamel Assistant Coach
Gianni Cantini Assistant Coach
Stephan Blanchet Assistant Coach
Denis De Lafontaine Trainer

TEAM NOJHL

LAST NAME FIRST NAME MONTH-DAY-YR POS SHOT HT WT NCAA STATUS CURRENT TEAM
Forrest Garrett 07/07/1997 G L 5’11” 170 Powassan Voodoos
Lauzon Jamey 01/10/1997 F L 5’11” 175 Kirkland Lake Gold Miners
Arseneau Marc-Antoine 09/11/1995 F R 5’11” 170 Kirkland Lake Gold Miners
Pilon Darian 10/02/1998 F R 5’10” 170 Soo Thunderbirds
Jeffries Brett 10/06/1995 F R 5’11” 175 Soo Thunderbirds
Maguire Seamus 12/31/1995 F R 6’1″ 190 Cochrane Crunch
Mooney Ryan 05/05/1998 D R 5’10” 180 Rayside-Balfour Canadians
Chenier Bradley 01/20/1999 F R 5’10” 175 Rayside-Balfour Canadians
Bellini Jaren 05/22/1996 F R 5’9″ 180 Soo Thunderbirds
Desgagnes Adam 03/09/1997 D L 6’0″ 180 Kirkland Lake Gold Miners
Nagy Eric 10/28/1997 D R 6’0″ 190 Powassan Voodoos
Harland Steve 05/10/1996 F R 5’10” 170 Powassan Voodoos
Campbell Nathan 04/27/1995 D L 6’0″ 160 Elliot Lake Wildcats
Boman Caleb 11/04/1997 D L 6’0″ 205 Soo Thunderbirds
Salerno Aiden 11/02/1995 D R 6’3″ 210 Soo Thunderbirds
Atchison Hunter 11/06/1996 F R 6’2″ 210 Cochrane Crunch
Peters Tyler 04/21/1996 F R 6’1″ 212 Powassan Voodoos
MacKenzie Alec 04/16/1996 F L 6’4″ 190 Elliot Lake Wildcats
MacLean Spencer 03/26/1996 F L 6’5″ 225 Elliot Lake Wildcats
Mackay Aaron 10/10/1997 G L 6’0″ 190 Elliot Lake Wildcats
NAME TITLE TEAM
Mike Mooney Director of Operations Rayside-Balfour Canadians
Kevin Cain Ass’t Dir. of Operations Soo Thunderbirds
Nathan Hewitt Head Coach Elliot Lake Wildcats
Scott Wray Assistant Coach Powassan Voodoos
Jason Young Assistant Coach Rayside-Balfour Canadians
Lisa Parise Athletic Trainer Rayside-Balfour Canadians
Carla Vine Athletic Trainer Kirkland Lake Gold Miners
Bryan Workman Equipment Manager Rayside-Balfour Canadians
Marc Hebert Equipment Manager Soo Thunderbirds
Robert Mazzuca Commissioner NOJHL

TEAM OJHL COFFEY

LAST NAME FIRST NAME POS. DOB HT WT S/C TEAM COMITTMENT
MASTERS Andrew G 25/May/95 6’1″ 210 L Georgetown
LATINOVICH Nick G 4/Mar/97 6’2″ 185 L Orangeville
CURRIE Tyler D 11-Feb-95 5’11” 173 R Toronto Patriots
FALCAO Jake D 3-Feb-97 6’1″ 180 R Wellington
PANETTA Jacob D 16-Jan-96 5’11” 195 L Wellington Colgate (NCAA)
PAUL Willy D 22/Jun/96 6’1″ 195 L Burlington
FERRARO Mario D 17/Sep/98 5’10” 160 L Toronto Patriots Western Michigan (NCAA)
DICLEMENTE Kristopher D 19/Jan/98 6’3″ 195 L Lindsay
CORIC Nikolas F 19/Jan/96 5’10” 175 L Whitby
HUDGIN Jon F 10/Feb/96 5’10” 180 R Pickering
HARDIE Daniel F 11/Jun/98 5’10” 170 L Georgetown
DICKINSON Josh F 17/Nov/97 6’2″ 185 L Georgetown
KEENAN Luke F 22/Jul/98 6′ 185 L Whitby
SEKELYK Chris F 6-Aug-96 6’1″ 200 L Pickering
BERETTA Thomas F 8/Apr/95 6’1″ 192 R St. Michael’s Michigan Tech (NCAA)
FARGEY Hunter F 23/Feb/95 5’11” 185 R Trenton
HANLON Danny F 3/Jan/95 5’10” 177 L Trenton
MORGAN Liam F 27/Jun/98 5’10” 215 R Trenton
JORDAN Noah F 8/Mar/97 6’5″ 219 R St. Michael’s
LATTAVO Thomas F 5/Apr/96 6’2″ 210 R Mississauga

 

Co-Coach:  Joe Washkurak (Mississauga Chargers)
Co-Coach: Brendan Taylor (Oakville Blades)
Athletic Therapist: Sarah Ditmars (Trenton Golden Hawks)
Equipment Manager: Derek Ho (Mississauga Chargers)

 

TEAM OJHL HAWERCHUK

LAST NAME FIRST NAME POS. DOB HT WT S/C TEAM COMITTMENT
COLITTO Nathan G 29-Jun-95 5’11” 170 L Markham
DURANTE Stefano G 4/Jun/96 5’11” 158 L Cobourg
DUNLOP Matthew D 31/Mar/95 5’10” 165 R Markham
BERNARD Matthew D 6/May/97 6’1″ 188 R Aurora Niagara (NCAA)
SMITH Adam D 6/Nov/96 6’2″ 200 L Newmarket Bowling Green (NCAA)
PIZZO Andrew D 8/Aug/96 6’2″ 177 L Buffalo
KUDLA Patrick D 2/Apr/96 6’3″ 185 L Oakville
LOCKE Kyle D 9/May/96 6’2″ 220 R Aurora
VALKO Brendan F 23/Jul/96 5’10” 165 R Markham
RAJIC Christian F 2/Jun/97 5’8″ 155 R Oakville
BOARD Drake F 8/Jan/96 5’7″ 150 L Aurora Niagara (NCAA)
MANTENUTO Daniel F 18/Oct/97 5’10” 165 L Aurora Robert Morris (NCAA)
RINALDI Anthony F 17/Aug/95 6′ 180 R Kingston
TONGE Colin F 10/Feb/98 5’10” 180 L Kingston Princeton (NCAA)
SPIVAK Aaron F 13/Jan/95 6′ 185 L Markham
WISEMAN Ethan F 14/Sep/97 6’1″ 190 R Orangeville
GARVEY Ryan F 27/Jun/96 6′ 190 L Oakville
STACK Connor F 7/Jul/95 6′ 180 L Orangeville
WORRAD Drew F 30/Jun/97 6′ 175 R Oakville Clarkson (NCAA)
RIGNEY Colin F 16/Aug/96 6′ 180 L Orangeville

 

Co-Coach: Dan West (Lindsay Muskies)
Co-Coach: Brent Hughes (North York Rangers)
Athletic Therapist: Julie Chiu (Aurora Tigers)
Equipment Manager: Harvey Boutilier (Toronto Patriots)            

TEAM OJHL NIEUWENDYK

LAST NAME FIRST NAME POS. DOB HT WT S/C TEAM COMMITMENT
URBANI Daniel G 21/Jun/95 6′ 200 L Trenton
McGRATH Jacob G 11/Aug/99 6′ 152 L St. Michael’s Sudbury (OHL)
OLIVER Blayne D 17/Mar/95 5’11” 185 L Trenton
ROY Brennan D 1/Nov/96 6′ 192 L Cobourg
O’HARA Jon D 2/Apr/95 6′ 185 R Whitby Mercyhurst (NCAA)
THOM Matthew D 18/May/98 6’3″ 200 R Georgetown Princeton (NCAA)
DUNN Sam D 11/Mar/98 6’2″ 218 R Cobourg
CAIRNS Matthew D 27/Apr/98 6’3″ 203 L Georgetown Cornell (NCAA)
SMILSKY Lucas F 26/May/97 5’7″ 160 R Orangeville
MAIOLINO Justin F 1/Feb/95 5’7″ 165 R Toronto Jr. Canadiens Niagara (NCAA)
URSITTI Nicholas F 1/Feb/96 5’8″ 170 R Toronto Patriots
BERGER Christopher F 14/Apr/98 5’10” 171 L Buffalo Brown (NCAA)
EVANCHO Zach F 2/Jun/95 5’8″ 160 L Buffalo Army (NCAA)
NICKSIC Tim F 15/Mar/96 5’10” 175 R Buffalo
LOCKE Brenden F 9/Oct/97 5’10” 176 L Cobourg
KIRTON Scott F 24/Aug/96 6’1″ 175 L Whitby
McLAUGHLIN James F 13/Apr/96 6′ 200 L Orangeville Dartmouth (NCAA)
TAYLOR Ryan F 27-Jan-96 6′ 180 R Whitby
BROWN Lucas F 25/Sep/96 5’10” 190 R Trenton
LEWIS Theo F 2/Jul/96 6’3″ 205 R Cobourg

               

Co-Coach: Mark Jooris (Burlington Cougars)
Co-Coach: Kirby Tokarski (Burlington Cougars)
Athletic Therapist: TBD
Equipment Manager: Craig Clayton (Oakville Blades)    

TEAM OJHL OATES

LAST NAME FIRST NAME POS. DOB HT WT S/C TEAM COMMITMENT  
BAGGETTA Gianluca G 31-Dec-95 5’10” 170 L North York
LOPAPA Daniel G 2/May/96 5’10” 175 R Toronto Jr. Canadiens
DeSOUSA Daniel D 14/Mar/96 5’11” 180 R Mississauga
TOPATIGH Derek D 3/Mar/97 5’11” 185 R Orangeville Princeton (NCAA)
COFFEY Blake D 27-Jan-98 5’11” 180 R Pickering
SZABO Jeremy D 7/Apr/95 5’11” 200 L North York
BRAND Justin D 12/Jan/96 6’2″ 185 L Whitby
O’GRADY Ryan D 27/May/95 6′ 205 L Cobourg
MORGAN Michael F 27/May/95 5’9″ 165 R North York
TEOFILO Joseph F 26/May/97 5’9″ 160 R Milton
SOKAY Ben F 24-Jan-97 6′ 175 R Wellington Niagara (NCAA)
GOMES Nathan F 23/Sep/96 5’10” 185 L Burlington
JEFFERS Jack F 21/Sep/97 5’11” 175 L Burlington
THOMSON David F 8/Oct/97 5’10” 180 L Burlington
VOLPE Dan F 19/Mar/95 5’11” 190 L Burlington
CAMPOLI Nick F 16-Feb-99 5’11” 174 L North York
TAKAMATSU Ryan F 23/May/97 6′ 170 R North York
BALES Jackson F 28/Aug/97 6’1″ 180 R Oakville Merrimack (NCAA)
KOSACK Josh F 25/Jun/97 6′ 185 R Oakville
BROWN Luc F 27-Apr-96 6′ 175 R Wellington Union (NCAA)  

               

Co-Coach: Jamie Caruso (Orangeville Flyers)
Co-Coach: Mario Cicchillo (Toronto Jr. Canadiens)
Athletic Therapist: Amanda Gilroy (Markham Royals)
Equipment Manager: Andrew Groombridge (Georgetown Raiders)                                                                                        

CORNWALL COLTS TO HOST FIRST EVER MIDGET/JUNIOR TRAINING CAMP

From the press release sent earlier this week:

The Cornwall Colts are pleased to announce their first ever combined Junior/Midget AAA training camp.

Midget and Junior aged players can register beginning Monday, August 10th.The first day of camp will be fitness testing at the Benson Centre on Friday, August 21st and players will begin skating on Saturday, August 22nd.

“It’s a good opportunity for the players to realize what it takes to play at a high level,” said Colts Coach Ian MacInnis.

The training camp schedule is as follows:

August 21st, Fitness Testing – Jiffy Auto Service Field House @ Benson Centre

August 22nd, daily on ice sessions begin

August 25th, Midget AAA Colts @ Hawkesbury

August 27th, Colts Jr. A Blue & White game 8pm @ Ed Lumley Arena

August 28th, Colts Jr. A @ Hawkesbury

August 30th, Colts Jr. A vs. Hawks 2pm @ Ed Lumley Arena
                         Midget AAA vs Hawks 5pm @ Ed Lumley Arena
For more information about HEO Midget AAA please visit http://heomidget.pointstreaksites.com/view/heomidget .

For more information on the camp or to register, please contact Ian MacInnis – ian.macinnis@cornwallcolts.com or 613-662-3216

(Photo: Robert Lefevbre, Ice Level)

Pat Haramis and the 1980 Memorial Cup Champions: The Cornwall Royals

First published in the April 2014 edition of Cornwall, SD&G, Akwesasne’s Sports Energy News

When one takes the time to sit back and think of all the great sports teams to come out of this area, you can bet your bottom dollar that the Cornwall Royals will be one of the first teams mentioned. The early 1980’s saw the team take two Memorial Cup championships with the first one taking the hockey world by surprise. The Royals were not lacking in depth during the 1979-1980 campaign. Four solid lines anchored the ice and cruised Cornwall to a QMJHL President’s Cup championship by unexpectedly defeating the first place ranked Sherbrooke Castors four games to two.

Pat Haramis
For Pat Haramis, a look back during his time with the Royals as they headed out for the Memorial Cup tournament seems to tire him out. “It’s all a blur. There was so much going on that we didn’t have time to think. We didn’t have time to be nervous.” Haramis grew up in nearby Maxville, Ontario before his parents moved to Cornwall in 1973. Playing peewee hockey in the Cornwall system is what bumped him up to the Royals ranks. Always supportive in his children’s endeavors, Nick Haramis Sr. urged Pat to find a way to get to and from games. Being busy working to support his 10 kids, he found that his time was scarce. Luckily Pat found aid in a teammate. “I can’t thank Dan O’Reilly and his father enough. If it wasn’t for them driving me back and forth from practice, I never would’ve had a hockey career.”

The 1980 Memorial Cup was staged out west switching from the Keystone Centre in Brandon, Manitoba and the Regina Agridome in Regina, Saskatchewan. For some of the boys, it was there first time on a plane. “I know it was my first time,” recalls Haramis. “The team bought us all cowboy hats and Dan Daoust even wrote a song about us bringing home the championship. It was a number one hit in Cornwall that spring.” Laughter aside, on the ice is where things got serious. “I don’t know what it was but every single player on that team contributed in one way or another. Yes, we had our all stars like Dale Hawerchuk but guys like Newell Brown and Pat O’Kane really made it a team effort.”

Dale Hawerchuk in model form with his 1980 Cornwall Royals uniforms.
Dale Hawerchuk in model form with his 1980 Cornwall Royals uniforms.

When Robert Savard scored and clinched the victory with his overtime goal over the Peterborough Petes, the fun was just about to begin. “I remember coming back to the Montreal airport and there was about 38 buses waiting for us. We needed a police escort just to come down the 401!” Haramis could not believe the support the fans and community gave the team. “Cornwall really knew how to do it. As we got into Ontario and closer to Cornwall, there were people upon people lined up with signs on the overpass just screaming and waving at us. It was when we rolled into the Water Street Arena that I knew how much this meant to the city.” Waiting for them in the parking lot were thousands upon thousands of screaming fans. So many that it made getting into the arena difficult. “We were hanging out of the windows of the bus trying to high five as many people as we could.”

With a whirlwind trip home, the Royals were treated to a parade around Cornwall complete with sitting in the backseat of brand new Corvettes. “The work that must have went into making this celebration, I just can’t fathom it. I hope that all the volunteers with this and throughout the season know that their work did not go unnoticed. Every one of us noticed and appreciated everything anybody ever did with the team.”

The Royals and their second straight Memorial Cup in 1981.
The Royals and their second straight Memorial Cup in 1981.

After a monumental celebration, Haramis turned his attention down the collegiate road. Getting offers from a few U.S. universities including Yale and Bowling Green, he decided on nearby Clarkson University to start his college career. “Clarkson had the number one ranked hockey program and is still one of the best today. It was a big reason why I choose it. That and it’s close to home.” Juggling schooling with his hockey prowess seemed to bolt Haramis to a higher level. In his four years as a Golden Knight, Haramis notched 140 points in 134 games. He was also a recipient of the Paul J. Pilon Memorial award which is given out to the hockey program’s top scholar-athlete and team MVP. “I loved every minute of my time at Clarkson. We were always ranked first or second in the country,” Haramis recalls fondly. “Funny thing is we lost every game in the Eastern championships but were still awarded home ice in the next tournament because that’s how good of a team we were.”

2013-2014 Clarkson University Hockey Media guide.
2013-2014 Clarkson University Hockey Media guide.

Haramis lives in the Kitchener-Waterloo area now as an engineer with his family. His daughter excels in dance and his son is carving out his own hockey legacy albeit on a much smaller scale. “I’d love to give back. You don’t realize while you’re playing how much people volunteer their time, energy, money to supporting your dreams. I’m going to see if my son will want to turn into coaching with me some day; I feel the need to give back to the game that gave me so much.”

Why the Cornwall Comets will not be forgotten

Cornwall_Comets_(hockey_team)_logoWhen it comes to hockey, the city of Cornwall has been blessed with many competitive and championship winning teams. From the 70s and 80s Memorial Cup wins of the Cornwall Royals, to the Robert W Clarke trophy (Western conference champions) winning squads of the Cornwall Aces in the 90s. Rounding out the decade with a few Bogart Cups and one Fred Page Cup for the Cornwall Colts, the city’s championship swagger was slowly coming to an end.

A few decades of powerful junior and professional hockey seemed like it was closing a chapter on the little border town but a strange new team in a strange new league popped up. Without a senior professional team for over a decade, it seemed that once again the city was now alive with championship dreams.

The Quebec Senior AA Hockey League was filled with legendary tales. Acting as what one would call a “farm league” to the LNAH, the QSAAHL was just as swift with their on ice brutality; if not, worse. Billing enforcers on teams like they would a boxing match, fans came out in droves to be able to witness some of the antics and fisticuffs that would take place. It was never about the skill.

They loved it.

In Ontario the league had a mystique about it. Remember, this was just before YouTube got started so there wasn’t video clip upon video clip being thrown at you on the internet. If you wanted to know exactly what kind of things happened in this league and if the rumors were true, you’d have to see it in person.

1297659949019_ORIGINALIn 2004, the league granted Cornwall a team. Choosing the Comets as their rallying cry, the brass iced a squad that would show no mercy. Patrick Allard had 45 fights that first year and as the team played throughout the season, fans knew they were witnessing something crazy yet something to have hope for. Since the city was dealing with the loss of thousands of jobs due to the closure of Domtar, the Comets, albeit in a brutal league, was a breath of fresh air and something to get the residents mind off of what was happening around them.

The next year saw the Comets really take a chance at winning a championship seriously. At the end of the season, Allard was right back up there again with 58 fights. Following him was Paul Shantz with 44, L.P. Charbonneau with 36, Benoit Deschamps with 30 and Simon Desormeaux with 26.

“Yeah, I knew what this league was about.” remembers Corey Payment. “I played briefly in the old LNAH in Lasalle and Verdun. “ Payment was no stranger to the antics of hockey but more importantly preferred playing at home. Having spent a year in the United Hockey League with the Mohawk Valley Prowlers then two more after that in the Central league, coming home and playing in front of hometown friends and family made it all worthwhile.

“Our team was just so physical. With Desormeaux, Mathieu Raby, Jean-Rene Forget, Ken McCleod. It was incredible.”

However, none of these players or even the winning season would have been possible with the leadership at the top. “I don’t think enough credit went to our owner Dan Larocque. He came in and stabilized ownership. He made sure all the players were happy which in turn made playing for him easy. He was the best owner I ever played for. “

Simon Desormeux
Simon Desormeaux

In the same breath, the passionate fan base the Comets had was what kept the players going week after week. That championship was just as much for them as it was for the players. “In the final there were two games that we played on the road in St. Jean,” recalls Payment. “The fans followed us to both games and filled their own section in the arena. It was amazing.”

That was nothing compared to at home.

“3000 fans watching us win that trophy was amazing. We wanted to win for them.” Being a Cornwall boy, this win holds a special place in Payment’s heart. “It was my first championship win in hockey and to be able to do it in my hometown in front of family and friends was a great experience I won’t forget.”

The Cornwall Comets may just be a blip on the hockey radar of what was already a solid hockey town. However for the brief two seasons they were here, it helped instill the fact that yes, Cornwall can still support professional hockey. Where cities are dying for a team of some kind across the country, we’re lucky that we’ve gotten to call so many great franchises ours. Let’s hope the championship winning ways someday continue.

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The Cornwall River Kings are holding a 10 year anniversary of the Cornwall Comets championship this Saturday when they host Sorel. A pre-game ceremony with some of the Comets players on hand will precede the game. Make sure you get out to this historic night!

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Ottawa Senators Chris Phillips and Mark Stone to be in Cornwall, August 19th

Ottawa_Senators.svgCornwall fans of the Ottawa Senators will get a chance to mingle with two players tomorrow as the Senators kick off their new “Hometown Tour” promotion.

CTV Ottawa, TSN 1200, RV Canada and the Senators themselves sponsor this interactive event which will see them stop at various Canadian Tire stores in Eastern Ontario and Western Quebec. Along with the players themselves, the event will have interactive games and chances to win prizes. Chris Phillips and Mark Stone will be in attendance at the 9th Street location in Cornwall from 4:00 pm to 7:30 pm. Fans will get a chance to get autographs starting at 6:00.

During the 6pm news hour, CTV News will be highlighting fans and locales in the area. Here’s your chance Sens Army to get your 5 minutes to wish your team the best as they head into training camp.

Earlier in the day, the Hometown Tour will make a stop in Brockville. Times are 1:30 to 5:00 with autographs starting at 3:30.

Other cities being featured on this tour  is Aylmer QC, Gainteau QC, Arnprior, Barrhaven, Hawkesbury, Kingston, Pembroke, Rockland, and  Smith Falls.

Wristbands for the autograph session will be available at each Canadian Tire store at 9:00am on the day of the event. For more information, check out the press release straight from the Senators: “Senators hitting the road for Hometown Tour series”

Massena, New York awarded a team for North Atlantic Professional Hockey League’s inaugural season

naphlThere’s a new hockey league being formed in the region and if you want to get more of a hockey fix this winter, the second team to be involved has been awarded right across the border in Massena, New York. The North Atlantic Professional Hockey League is based out of Massachusetts and hopes to start icing teams this fall. The President of the league, Phil DeFranco, has had plenty of experience with starting up hockey. He has had his hand in starting up junior hockey leagues in his home state and also helped the former league of the Akwesasne Warriors, the Federal Hockey League jump up onto its feet.

The mission statement for the NAPHL is to provide quality and entertaining hockey at an affordable prices for families. With already one team awarded to the city of North Adams, Massachusetts, Massena, NY is a strategic place to enter a team. Former Akwesasne Warriors owner, Darby Oakes will steer head the Massena movement and have come down to three choices for Head Coach and General Manager. Oakes plans to hold a press conference in June to unveil the coaching staff and front office personnel, along with the team name and mascot. The team will play out of the Massena Arena, the former home of the Massena Americans before they moved to Cornwall and became the Colts.

The Berkshire Black Bears will be the first team playing in the NAPHL, located in North Adams, Massachusetts.
The Berkshire Black Bears will be the first team playing in the NAPHL, located in North Adams, Massachusetts.

According to the press release given by the NAPHL, the league will be announcing more teams in the US and even possibly Canada for its first year in existence. The league wants to end up with a total of eight to provide a quality game playing over the course of a 52 game schedule. The longest road trip for teams is said to only be six hours. Could we see an NAPHL team in Cornwall with the River Kings position up in the air? It would create one hell of a rivalry; The Battle of the Seaway.
To keep track of updates on the Massena squad and the NAPHL in general, head on over to their website: www.naphl.us. Of course, here at March Hockey, I’ll be keeping my eyes locked closely on this story.

Cornwall’s hockey history: Owen McCourt and one of hockey’s first fatalities

What a time to be alive. It was the early 1900’s in the newly formed country of Canada and the population’s fascination with the fastest game on ice had barely started. The passion we know and love today from Canadians was in its infancy. However in Cornwall, the small Seaway town had been established for well over a hundred years already. Early versions of the game had already taken place up and down the St. Lawrence corridor; it was only fitting for a league to start in the area.

Under the leadership and guidance of the already well-established Montreal Wanderers hockey club, the formation of the Federal Amateur Hockey League began in 1903. What came to fruition was a 4 team, 6 game season that would begin that very winter. The clubs in the mix were the aforementioned Wanderers, Montreal Nationals, Ottawa Capitals (who would later become the Ottawa Silver Seven) and a team from the Seaway City of Cornwall. Over the next couple of years, clubs from three other small towns in the area, Brockville, Morrisburg, and Smith Falls would try their hand at winning a championship with the latter winning one in 1906.

Ottawa Silver Seven
Ottawa Silver Seven

In 1905, two teams from the FAHL and four from the Canadian Amateur Hockey League decided to join forces and form the Eastern Canada Amateur Hockey Association. Their decision to amalgamate was based on entertaining the idea to maximize revenues as hockey was turning into a wildly popular spectator sport. Along the same lines, some players were being paid under the table. This league would attempt to foresee the professionalism of the sport. This was the very beginning forms of the National Hockey League that we know and love today.

Cornwall’s club was not one of the lucky two who got picked to join. The powerful Montreal Wanderers and Ottawa HC were the ones invited. However the league was looked at as a sort of farm league for the clubs in the ECAHA. Cornwall had its fair share of powerful players but could not manage a standing place of higher than third in their years together. One player in particular showed promise as he was flying up and down the ice with great speed and developing a reputation of a powerful goal scorer. His name was Owen McCourt.

Owen McCourt
Owen McCourt

Owen McCourt was just 22 years old when he was invited to play a couple games with the Montreal Shamrocks of the ECAHA. McCourt was proving himself on the ice as he became the top goal scorer for Cornwall in the 1906 season with 5 (remember, seasons consisted only 5 or 6 games apiece). In 1907, the local brick layer was top of the world again as he notched 16 goals in 8 games including a 7 goal performance against Morrisburg in late February. Taking note of his goal scoring abilities is what prompted the Shamrocks to invite McCourt for two games late in the 1907 season. McCourt was also a seasoned local lacrosse player which added to his skills on the ice.

It was not uncommon for players to bounce around teams and leagues from time to time. Some looked down upon this tactic but it only improved the playing abilities of both the player and club. In the beginning of March, the Cornwall H/C were hosting the Ottawa Victorias at the old rink on Third Street. The fixture would be a replay of sorts from a game that was supposed to have taken place on February 15th. It did not go through as planned as McCourt and another Cornwall player were away with the Montreal Shamrocks while Ottawa protested the move accordingly. Continue reading “Cornwall’s hockey history: Owen McCourt and one of hockey’s first fatalities”