At one point growing up in Cornwall, it was the cool thing to do to gather up your 13 and 14 year old friends and head to the Si Miller arena on a Thursday night for a game of Cornwall Colts hockey. Most of my friends were there to socialize where I on the other hand actually paid attention to the game. Names like Derek Wagar, Tim Vokey, Ross McCain, Andrew Schembri and Matt Verdone are still enriched in my mind. Of course, Hugo Boisvert was no exception.
Boisvert stated his his junior career in Cornwall in the mid 90’s. From there he went on to star with the Ohio State Buckeyes, the team that is giving him the Hall of Fame honour. He lead the team in scoring in his last two seasons and earned himself a list of awards while being named to the CCHA All-Rookie Team in 1997, the All-CCHA First Team and the First Team All-American in 1998 and the All-CCHA First Team and Second Team All-American, making him the only two-time All-American in Ohio State history. Not bad for a kid from Quebec.
After turning pro with the Orlando Solar Bears of the then IHL, he turned over to the AHL and starred with the Grand Rapids Griffins for 3 years. Looking for a change Boisvert headed across the pond where he has since called Germany home. He suited up for the Kassel Huskies of the German Elite League for a few season before the team folded due to financial difficulties.
Boisvert now is a part of the Dresden Ice Lions and is still a dominating presence on the ice. Also apart of that same league is another former Colt, Andrew Schembri who is suited up for the Deggendorf Fire.
As a young kid from Quebec who started his hockey career in Cornwall and is now continuing his professional career, this is an astonishing recognition. Congratulations Hugo and all the best with Dresden this year!
Just like that, the Cornwall Colts have lost a key piece to their next season’s attempt at back to back champions.
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.
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.
At long last, there is finally another banner being raised to the rafters at the Ed Lumley Arena. The Central Canada Hockey League 2012/2013 champions, the Cornwall Colts, will see their hard work paid off on Thursday, September 5th.The banner raising ceremony will mark the beginning of Cornwall’s 2013/2014 season as they take on the Hawkesbury Hawks.
Looking to start the long road to a repeat performance, the Colts are hoping to be in fine form. It should not be too tough of a road as they have made the finals 3 seasons in a row. The Colts toppled off the Nepean Raiders on their way to victory last season to capture the franchise’s 5th Bogart Cup. That championship win allowed them a shot at the Fred Page Cup tournament, the best of the best of Eastern Canada. Although the Colts came up empty handed, they are graciously waiting their next chance at it as they host the Fred Page Cup in 2015.
Head coach and owner Ian MacInnis will not only have his hands full with his Junior A squad this season but as coach of Team Canada East. Team Canada East is slated to play in the World Junior A. Challenge taking place in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia in November. The annual tournament showcases the best of the best of Junior A hockey which is alive and well in the country. Former Colts alumni have played and produced medals in the tournament.
The Cornwall Colts season opener and banner raising ceremony will take place on Thursday, September 5th at the Cornwall Civic Complex. Puck drop is at 7:30p.m.