One on One with former Carleton Place Canadian captain, Elie Ghantous

To say that Elias Ghantous had a huge season last year would be an understatement. In his fourth and final season with the Carleton Place Canadians, Ghantous captained and lead his squad to not only win the Bogart Cup but the Fred Page Cup as well. If it weren’t for a couple of brief moments in the last game of the Royal Bank Cup tournament that showcases that countries best Junior A teams, he could have put RBC Cup champion on his resume. However, being second in the country isn’t a bad showing either. It’s also not very often that a bodycheck from the CCHL makes Yahoo Sports either.

Ghantous is currently suiting up for his first season at Robert Morris University. I caught up with him to talk about his amazing final Junior A season.

(Photo: Robert Lefevbre. IceLevel.com)
(Photo: Robert Lefevbre. IceLevel.com)

March Hockey: What was like to captain the Carleton Place Canadians last year? Did you feel you needed to change your ways as a player?

Elie Ghantous: Not at all, I just knew that i was going to be a big influence on my teammates and made sure my work ethic was perfect in order to make them better. I loved being the captain, I feel like I’ve always been a leader and it really helped that every one last year was on board with our team goal.

MH: Of course winning the Fred Page Cup is a huge accomplishment as a Captain in that you’ve lead your team to the holy grail. How did you and the team prepare for that series and what was it like to finally raise the cup?

EG: The Fred Page Cup was a great experience as a team. It sort of brought back the minor hockey tournament feel in all of us and it was just exciting. The captains all played an important role in maintaining the team focused. We had a lot of things up against us; we were mistreated at times but we managed to push through that and go undefeated. Lifting that cup was a great feeling (a lot heavier than I expected!) and it made us realize that we had our ticket to the Nationals. I still remember it like it was yesterday.

 

(Photo: Robert Lefevbre)
(Photo: Robert Lefevbre)

MH: Making the finals of the RBC Cup is an even bigger accomplishment! I remember smiling as I saw a team from the CCHL on TSN. How was the experience of playing hockey in front of a national audience for you? Was it intimidating with not only the media but the weight of the tournament itself?

EG: Playing at the RBC cup was a dream come true. The atmosphere was just awesome and Team Canada ran a top notch tournament. We had access to food, gatorade, and water at any time. It made us feel like a professional team and it showed in our play. Playing in the final game I was very nervous at first but I remembered that all my friends and family were watching back home and all I wanted to do was play hockey. Most definitely the best hockey experience of my life so far.

MH: This is your first year suiting up for the Robert Morris Colonials of Robert Morris University. How did you prepare during the offseason for your first NCAA season?

EG: I trained at the Ottawa Sports Performance Centre, like I have for almost 8 summers now and I just focused on my foot speed. My workout partners are also NCAA athletes and I received a lot of knowledge through them about what i needed to work on. Lifting 5 days a week and skating twice a week was what I did and i enjoyed every second of it.

MH: Where do you see your hockey career taking you?

EGI hope to one day, like any other hockey player, play professional hockey. I realize now that it is very hard to make it to a professional league so going to school gives me something to fall back on. Hockey has brought me here so far and I’m already ecstatic about where I am now.

MH:  Who do you look up to most if anybody for your style of play?

EG: I’ve always admired Scott Stevens. He was feared by all in the league and with obvious reasons. His defensive play and hard hits and synonymous with my style. He was also a great leader and won the Stanley Cup 3 times. 

(Photo: Robert Lefevbre.)
(Photo: Robert Lefevbre.)

MH:  If you could play against any player from any decade, who would it be and why?

EG: The league is just so good now that I would love to play against anyone in the league. But first I would love the opportunity to make one of those teams. If I were to pick one person, it would be Sidney Crosby. I would like to play against him just to compare myself to the very best and see how I would do.

Thanks so much for your answers Elie! I’m going to check in with you half way through the season and see how far you’ve come along with the Colonials! All the best for the first part!

Feel free to follow me on Twitter: @MarchHockey and like the page on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/MarchHockey for more player one on ones this season!

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Carleton Place Canadians come from behind; steal Colts thunder

Cornwall, Ontario

Kelly Summers. (Photo: Robert Lefevbre. IceLevel.com)
Kelly Summers. (Photo: Robert Lefevbre. IceLevel.com)

After a myriad of penalties in the first period by the Carleton Place Canadians, the Junior A squad found themselves in a 3-1 deficit heading into the second  against the Cornwall Colts.

Heading into Cornwall’s barn, Carleton Place was looking to keep their first place Robinson division standing intact. If it wasn’t for Cornwall’s red hot goaltender Jordan Piccolino, there was no doubt Carleton Place would have been way ahead. More chances and keeping the puck in Cornwall’s end seemed to be all that was happening in the first 10 minutes of the game.

Then came the penalties. 4 penalties in 10 minutes kept the Cornwall Colts on a never-ending powerplay. Capitalizing on the Canadian’s mistakes, the Colts managed to score 3. However, that was pretty much all she wrote.

The Carleton Place Canadians are a big group of lads who use their size to their advantage. Not afraid to use the body against the smaller Cornwall Colts. Penalties seemed abundant, but some were warranted. The second period saw the teams play almost evenly against one another. It was the third where the Canadians woke up.

Clarkson, Michigan native Vinny Post earned second star of the game honors by beating Piccolino to notch the game up at three. With one more goal each to head into overtime, it was Clarkson University’s committed Kelly Summers who sealed the deal for Carleton Place.

CCHL’S THREE STARS

1. Stephen Baylis (CPC)
2. Vinny Post (CPC)
3.  A.Roumeliotis (COR)

MARCH’S THREE STARS

1. Jordan Piccolino (COR)
I can’t say enough about this kid. If it weren’t for him, the score would’ve been run up by a mile. Thoroughly excited for his future; brilliant to watch.

2. Kelly Summers (CPC)
Scouts were abundant in the Ed Lumley Arena, including one from the Dallas Stars. No doubt this is who they were keeping an eye on. Summers hockey sense and ability to drive plays is what makes him a key part for Carleton Place and will be for Clarkson University next season.

3. Marley Quince (COR)
While he was kept off the score sheet and took a stupid penalty, Quince is a joy to watch. His speed and stick handling are what keeps him on the ice every second shift. Sometimes can be a bit flashy though.