Yanik Laliberte breaks CCHL record of most games played; CCHL playoffs commence

Laliberte receiving his monumental plaque.
Laliberte receiving his monumental plaque.

An exciting finish to the end of the CCHL Junior A season came in the form of a make up game between the Hawkesbury Hawks and the Ottawa Jr. Senators. When Yanik Laiberte placed his skates on the ice at the Bob Hartley arena, he not only reached a personal milestone but broke records.

The 20 year old from Rockland, Ontario has played the past five years and his entire junior career with the Hawkesbury Hawks. As his junior career comes to an end, he can leave knowing he pulled the Hawk crest down over his head 287 times; the most games played for one player in CCHL history and franchise history.

The rest of his squad pulled out a win to cap off his career in the form of a shoot-out. Even though they gave up a 4 goal lead in the third period, overtime couldn’t solve matters was both benches exhausted themselves to the very end. Laliberte himself ended the 6-5 victory with 3 assists. That’s all she wrote for the Hawks however, as they failed to make the playoffs.

The teams that did will open up their first rounds beginning in 7 days. After a well deserved week off expect to see the Kemptville 73’s take on the first place Carleton Place Canadiens,  the Nepean Raiders tangling with the Smith Falls Bears, the feisty Cornwall Colts will see action against the Ottawa Jr. Senators and the final match up will have the Brockville Braves taking on the Pembroke Lumber Kings.

The race to the Bogart Cup begins with the series of Kemtpville/Carleton Place, and Nepean/Smith Falls on March 11th. Puck drop is 7:30 and you can catch every game on www.fasthockey.com

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Gold Hawk Down: Trouble in Hawkesbury

hawks_logo1Just a short tidbit of information that has come across into my brain while I have been browsing and watching some of the past CCHL games that I’ve missed due to being a little under the weather lately. To say that the Hawkesbury Hawks have hit a slump is not something that should be taken lightly. The team is only 10 games into the 2013-2014 campaign and they currently sit at the bottom of the Robinson division with a record of 1-8-1.

Ouch.

Needless to say head coach Shawn Anderson is not a happy man. The players on the ice have not been competing at top potential and clearly it shows. The coaches know it, the fans know it and most importantly, the whole league seems to know it.

There needs to be a shake up in the locker room for them to get back on track. I sense this coming. There’s been too many games that have fallen into losses with a high deficit. Players like Yannik Laliberte and Zach Car needs to step up their games and provide some more scoring. Granted, I know they’re giving it their all but it’s not enough to compete with the competitiveness in teams like that of Carleton Place, Cornwall and Nepean.

I can’t harp on the goaltending. Matthew Jenkins and Guillaume Therien are doing everything they can to keep the pucks out of the net. Yes, most games the shots have been close but when you have no defence standing up to help you well, the situation turns bad in a hurry.

hawksSomebody needs to light a spark to get things moving in the right direction for the Hawks and FAST. If not, be prepared to be in for a loooong season. Hell, being 1-8-1 into your first 10 games in the season is long enough.

We’ll see how the Hawks take flight when they face the first place Carleton Place Canadiens on Friday night at home.

Side note: Do something with that gold jersey. Get a big bad logo on it PLEASE.

Cornwall Colts win streak comes to an end as they fall to Cumberland Grads, Smith Falls Bears

Photo: Robert Lefevbre, IceLevel.com
Photo: Robert Lefevbre, IceLevel.com

Last season’s powerhouse champions, Cornwall Colts started off this year victorious but saw their 3 game win streak come to an end. Thursday night saw them fall to the Cumberland Grads in a 3-2 shootout loss and last night  the Smith Falls Bears took a 1-0 shutout win.

It’s nothing to have Cornwall fans worried about. It’s still very early in the season and a lot of new faces on the Colts need to have that time to gel. Despite the losses, Cornwall’s starting goaltender Jordan Piccolino is incredible in net. If it wasn’t for him and the Colts red hot defence, these games would be blown out of the water.

Scoring chances are still abundant for the Colts despite only registering 9 goals. However, they need to somehow find a way to turn those chances into pucks in the back of the net.

Cornwall’s other strong netminder, James Edwardson is expected to get the call this Sunday when the Colts visit the Nepean Sportsplex to take on the Nepean Raiders. Game time there is 2:30.

The Colts will be back in front of a hometown crowd next Thursday, September 19th. The Carleton Place Jr. Canadiens will invade the Ed Lumley Arena. Puck drop is 7:30.

Cornwall Colts loss of Pontarelli is Union College’s Gain

Just like that, the Cornwall Colts have lost a key piece to their next season’s attempt at back to back champions.

(Photo: icelevel.com)
(Photo: icelevel.com)

Michael Pontarelli, a right winger out of Laval, Quebec, announced that he is not returning for another season with the Junior A Cornwall Colts after weeks of will he or won’t he. He has opted instead to get his college career underway with Schenectady, New York’s Union College. He’ll start off his career with the NCAA Division 1, Union Dutchmen. David Roy and Sebastien Gingras who are Brockville Braves alumni are already apart of the squad.

Now, let’s take a look at what a powerhouse the Colts are losing. Pontarelli played one year in the CCHL with Cornwall. In 53 games played, Pontarelli notched 107 points (52 goals, 55 assists) coincedently leading the league in points and goals as well. Here’s a list of his accomplishments and keep in mind, he only played ONE season.

  • CJHL Player of the Year
  • CCHL Most Valuable Player
  • CCHL Sportsmanship Award
  • CCHL First All Star Team
  • CCHL Most Goals (52)
  • CCHL Most points (107)
  • 2013 CCHL Champion

That’s quite the list of accomplishments for having played one year. Union will know exactly how to mold a player like Pontarelli. On Cornwall’s side of things, it will only give somebody else the chance to step up and shine. Well, somebody’s going to HAVE too. Welcome to the nature of hockey boys and girls.

(Photo: icelevel.com)
(Photo: icelevel.com)

I have no doubt in my mind though that the Colts are still going to be up to par come season time even with the loss of their best player. Coach Ian MacInnis doesn’t like to lose (then again what coach does really). Though he’ll have his hands full come fall, juggling both the Colts and head manning  Team Canada East for the 2013 World Junior A Challenge. That tournament is set to take place November 5-11 in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.