Cornwall River Kings Booster Club to hold Pre-Season bash in Alexandria!

10455304_10152488079245930_4490968349305824540_nThe executive of the Cornwall River Kings Booster Club and the River Kings themselves, invite you and your family for a day of fun filled laughter, music and good eats! Taking place this Saturday at the Giant Tiger in Alexandria, Ontario, the Boosters will be out be in full force between 10am and 3pm to gather up your spirit for the River Kings and their upcoming third LNAH season.

Along with the BBQ, music will be provided by Crazy Dave’s DJ service for your entertainment. Find out how you can help your team and boosters for their campaign; all support is truly appreciated! Who knows, maybe you’ll want to become a Booster volunteer yourself!

Come out and support local professional hockey! You wanted it here; now let’s make it last.

Giant Tiger
595 Main Street South
Alexandria, Ontario
(613)525-2991

 

The Booster Club will also have a booth at Cornwall’s Ribfest which is also taking place this weekend. Don’t be shy! Come up and ask questions; get involved!

The Cornwall River Kings start off their 2014/2015 pre-season with the annual Blue and White game taking place on Sunday, September 7th at the Ed Lumley Arena inside the Cornwall Civic Complex. Puck drop is 7:30. Their first pre-season game will take place on the road in Laval the following Friday, September 19th.

The Laval Predateurs will then make their way to Cornwall on Sunday, September 21 to face the River Kings in their home barn. Fans are expected to fill up the joint to make an intimidating impact for the opponents. Season tickets are sale now at the River Kings box office. Call (613)933-9797

Thoughts on the Cornwall River Kings as the GM resigns

10455304_10152488079245930_4490968349305824540_nI wasn’t going to comment on this but after seeing social media blow up while giving it some thought, I figured I would.

General Manager Mitch Gagne resigned his position last night. If you’ve been following the drama that is the River Kings, I’m sure that comes as no shock. It sure as hell doesn’t to me. While there are plenty of people defending him, and in some ways rightfully so, this is nothing more than a huge blessing in disguise for the team.

You can’t have flaky people on the business side of the game. Yes, he knows a lot of players around the league and was arguably trying his best to get them here. That’s great, being a scout has its own title and merit within the organization. However, if you’re going to bail the minute something doesn’t go your way well, I guess the skin isn’t thick enough. Three strikes you’re out.

I made a comment on the Cornwall River Kings fan page when Brock Frost bought the team. I said to make sure that there were the right hockey minded people in place. Now, I believe he has that.

Frost announced today that Rick Lalonde has come in as the new General Manager with long time Cornwall hockey veteran Al Wagar being his assistant. Here are two guys with enough hockey knowledge to build from. Sure, they may not have had their two cents into the LNAH for very long but they take their jobs seriously and won’t crumble under pressure. They aren’t afraid to get their toes dirty.

Lalonde was rumored to come in as head coach. Those rumors were put to rest with Frost announcing that they are still in the process of electing one which is great news. Lalonde has an extensive career coaching Junior A in Quebec but with all due respect (he is good at it), the LNAH is an entirely different breed of hockey and entertainment all together.

As for the fans and the comments I’ve read. Of course, they’re warranted and you deserve the right to voice your opinion, no one’s telling you not to. Humor me though and take a step back from those comments. Realize that a few months ago we didn’t even have a team. If it wasn’t for Brock Frost, you wouldn’t be making those remarks. GM’s come and go, coaches come and go.

Owners tend to be around for a little while; this one just might.

A look at the 2014 Cornwall River Kings draftees

10455304_10152488079245930_4490968349305824540_nCornwall didn’t make their first selection until the fourth round but that didn’t stop them from acquiring the rights to some dandy play makers. Here’s a bit of an in depth look at who Cornwall selected.

First pick for the River Kings was 23 year old defenseman Mathieu Leduc out of Valleyfield, Quebec. The 6’1 blue liner just finished his third year with the University of Ottawa GeeGee’s where he rounded out 17 points in 28 games. He also had a bit of a major junior stint suiting up for the Chicoutimi Sagueneens, Val D’or Foreurs and the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies. Not much of a scorer but a solid piece to any team’s blue line. He uses his height very much to his advantage which is key for the LNAH as we all know there aren’t too many small boys. He’s also not afraid to drop the mitts which is another key factor into bringing him into the LNAH side.

Cornwall’s second pick needs no introduction. Hometown boy Jason Lepine was selected in the fifth round along with Will Colbert from Arnprior, Ontario. Lepine played three years with the Conwall Colts before receiving an offer to turn pro with the Corpus Christi Ice Rays. From there he’s been with almost every professional league in North America. In 2011, he suited up for Jaromir Jagr’s hometown HC Kladno in the Czech Republic. A brief stop in Finland’s SM-liiga, the German Elite League and last season’s ECHL Toledo Walleye has led him home to the LNAH.

Will Colbert is very much like Jason Lepine except he actually got drafted twice into the NHL. Drafted in the 7th round, 228th overall by the Ottawa Senators in 2003 and in the 6th round, 183rd overall by the San Jose Sharks in the 2005 entry draft, the massive defenseman decided to focus on his schooling rather then professional hockey. He suited up for the St. Francis Xavier University Xmen throughout his entire collegiate career being a monumental piece of the team. The professional teams took notice and he’s lead a journeyman career similar to Lepine ever since. Colbert finished up last season with 18 points in 37 games for the Tilburg Trappers of the Netherlands national league.

Colbert. (Photo: Micheal Cooper Photography)
Colbert. (Photo: Micheal Cooper Photography)

Picks number four and five came in the seventh round care of Rouyn-Noranda’s Julien Houle and Laval’s Anthony Courcelles. Two youngs forwards with plenty of opportunity to grow. Houle was a scoring machine for the Junior A Vaudreuil-Dorion Mustangs two years ago exceeding a point per game. Courcelles was most of the same as he notched an impressive 114 points in 52 games with the Lachine Maroons. Courcelles comes with a bit more experience however as he produced a point a game last season with HC Nice in France’s Division 2. How these two young kids will adapt to the LNAH style we have yet to see; they’re in for a wild ride.

(Photo: Les Stockton. flickr)
Wray. (Photo: Les Stockton. flickr)

Veteran forward, Ottawa’s Scott Wray came in at pick six and is a bit of shot in the dark as there are rumors of Wray having retired. Nevertheless, if he decides to play, the 34 year old would be a massive addition to the River Kings lineup. Wray has had a solid career spanning over almost 20 years. Starting out in the OHL and finishing last season with the Central league’s Rapid City Rush, Wray has been a very productive member is every squad he’s been with. Although his point total might be on the downslope just a tad, his penalty minutes are always high mostly from engaging in fisticuffs. Wray would be an excellent fit to the River Kings puzzle.

Two 24 year old’s were picks seven and eight. Vince Perreault out of Braeside, Ontario and Billy Ulrick out of Belleville, Ontario. Both are alumni’s of the Central Canada Junior A Hockey League so they have plenty of experience playing out of the Ed Lumley Arena. Perrault has just finished up a exciting collegiate career having captained Westfield State University the past three seasons. A natural leader, Perrault is one who can be intimidating due to his speed one the ice. Ulrick needs little to no introduction as he has played the past four seasons with the Cornwall Colts. He was a key piece to Cornwall’s CCHL title win in 2013.

Last but certainly not least, Cornwall’s last pick came in the form of another hometown native, goaltender Nick Filion. Filion won the 2006 CJHL Rookie of the Year with the Cornwall Colts and has an FHL championship under his belt with the Akwesasne Warriors. He also played nine games for Ohio State University before returning back to Canada. Filion is a solid goaltender with a strength on his glove side. Good pickup to have behind Loic Lacasse.

Roar of the King: Cornwall shows off new logo post draft

10455304_10152488079245930_4490968349305824540_nThe Cornwall River Kings are moving forward into the Brock Frost era in a big way. Debuting a new logo on social media after the 2014 LNAH draft signifies the end of the old and the beginning of a new and what one hopes a very lengthy stay in the Cornwall region. As the city of Cornwall prepares to tear down its iconic freestanding Seaway bridge in the next couple of years, it was only fitting to remodel the teams main logo. I for one, hope that the bridge logo remains in some capacity as a shoulder patch or even an anniversary patch in years to come. This new logo signifies something else.

The future.

Gone is what we hope are the financial woes that have plagued the team for the past two seasons. Last season’s ownership, management and players should be commended for the sacrifice they gave to keep hockey in our community. Mentioned in a press conference last night, former head coach Rick Lalonde stated that many of the teams personnel (including himself and famed Cornwall hockey icon Al Wagar), went without a pay cheque for much of the season. Not only that, the players played the post season for no money. The fans need to show their thanks in many ways this year, not only to Brock Frost the teams saviour, but to the rest of club. Thank them not only with your words but by buying season tickets, game programs, merchandise. Help this team survive with hopes that one day, your kids will be able to see hockey in Cornwall.

A lion signifies the “King”. That is just what this is team is. This team is a group of warriors who live to fight be it in the jungle, on the river, on the plains, or on the ice another day.

Cornwall made a huge impact earlier this week when they reacquired defenseman and fan favourite Mario Joly from the Laval Predators. (They too have since made a change in their name to move forward, dropping the Braves moniker.) Sent to Laval were Jean-Francois Laplante, Nicholas Siguoin and a 5th round pick. Also in the draft, the River Kings reacquired sharpshooter Anthony Pitarelli who was traded last fall. Two big moves are positive signs that the club are moving in the right direction to be competitive in time for pre-season.

The Cornwall River Kings 2014 draft list is as follows:

Round 4: Mathieu Leduc, D, 23, Valleyfield, QC, 6’1″ 200 lbs.
Round 5: Jason Lepine, D, 29, Cornwall, ON, 6′ 185 lbs.
Round 5: Will Colbert, D, 29, Arnprior, ON, 6’2″ 220 lbs.
Round 7: Julien Houle, LW, 22, Rouyn-Noranda, QC, 5’9″ 180 lbs.
Round 7: Anthony Courcelles, RW, 22, Laval, QC, 6’1″ 186 lbs.
Round 8: Scott Wray, LW, 34, Ottawa, ON, 5’11” 190 lbs.
Round 9: Vince Perreault, C, 24, Braeside, ON, 5’11” 192 lbs.
Round 10: Billy Ulrick, C, 24, Belleville, ON, 5’7″ 177 lbs.
Round 10: Nick Fillion, G, 25, Cornwall, ON, 5’11” 178 lbs

Later this week, I’ll go into the picks a bit further to welcome them into the craziness that is Cornwall hockey. Watch the first part of Cornwall’s press conference introducing the new owner and management team:

LNAH gears up for 2014 entry draft

lnahWith what has been quite a dramatic off-season so far for the Ligue Nord-Americaine de Hockey, the league is getting settled for its 2014-2015 entry draft taking place on June 14th. Three clubs that were on the brink of being folded, the Riviere Du Loup 3L, St. Georges COOL FM, and the Cornwall River Kings will have their hands full as they prepare with only a few days to scout out some players after being saved earlier in the week.

Taking place at the Colisee Cardin in Sorel-Tracy, Quebec, the home of the Eperviers, the draft will consist of 10 rounds of 8 picks each. The defending champs, the Jonquiere Marquis have three picks in the first round that will no doubt be used to their advantage. Cornwall won’t be in the mix until the second round with the second pick and tenth overall.

Among the players that Cornwall drafted the rights to last year were two goaltenders, sharpshooter Jonathan Zion (who ended up heading over to the Netherlands to play) and Brett Angel who ended up being traded mid-way through the season to Laval. A couple players who suited up in the CCHL, Chris Ayotte and Mike Byrd were also among the 10.

All teams will be looking to make an impact at the draft. Needing to shake off the drama that has already preceded the 2014-2015 season, the LNAH wants to start the campaign on the right foot. Here’s the list of who has the first ten picks:

1. Jonquiere (from Laval)
2. Trois-Rivieres (from Cornwall)
3. St. Georges
4. Riviere Du Loup
5. Thetford Mines
6. Jonquiere (from Sorel-Tracy)
8. Trois Rivieres

The Laval Braves and Cornwall River Kings have their first pick in the second round.

BOW DOWN TO THE KINGS: River Kings to stay in Cornwall

Time to make some noise Cornwall!

Photo: Rick Bowen
Photo: Rick Bowen

The hockey gods that are the LNAH board of governors have decided to give the River Kings back where it belongs; to the city of Cornwall.

Local businessman, real estate agent and now owner of the Cornwall River Kings, Brock Frost had made a successful pitch to the powers that be of the league. The secret was kept under wraps for a number of weeks. David Small and his partnership had given the team back to the league at the end of May and it was all in the league’s hands.

This won’t be an easy task. With little to no advertising being used inside the rink due to a lopsided deal between the Junior A. Cornwall Colts and the City of Cornwall, Frost and the River Kings will have their work cut out for them. However, the word of mouth is a powerful thing.

At the beginning of last season there was talk of the fans starting up a Booster Club. I can not stress how important this club will be to the team once it gets going. This has the oppourtunity to generate a secondary income for the team. Teams in the UK have paid their entire teams roster when struggling through tough financial times. Let’s be smart Cornwall and make sure our team never ends up this way again.

Kudos to Councilor Brock Frost (Yeah, he’s running for council but I’m going to call it now and say he’s earned a spot at the round table), and whoever helped him along his way to keep the blue, red and white of the River Kings on course. The real work starts now.

That means you, reading this. YOU need to come out to the games. YOU need to buy merchandise. YOU need to GET INVOLVED. Let’s make sure this upcoming season is one we’ll never forget.

Who’s house? Our house.

Cornwall River Kings, fans and the Alex Penner debacle

Photo: Rick Bowen
Photo: Rick Bowen

A lot of people have been asking me why I haven’t commented on the Alex Penner fiasco that took place a couple weeks ago at the Ed Lumley Arena and commenting that I should be sticking up for my team, the Cornwall River Kings.

Sticking up for my team is one thing, agreeing with Alex Penner’s actions and not my team’s fans is another.

Look, even though this is the LNAH, a line needs to be drawn. I have no problem with what Alex Penner did. Yeah okay, his past events indicate he’s not one to back down from a fight be it how small but when somebody throws a damn can at your head (and makes you bleed no less), fan or not, you have a right to be pissed and retaliate.

These players are there for you enjoyment. They are there for your entertainment. Hell, some nights they beat each other to a bloody pulp just so you and your buddies can have something fun to do on a Saturday night. I have no problem with chirping and getting involved but when you start to get aggressive, it’s time to cut you off and say goodnight.

I don’t care what Penner did to provoke it, which I don’t even know if he did. If you watch the video (youtube it, I’m too lazy to link it), the fan comes running out of nowhere to launch the can as Penner skates off the ice. Like him or not, he’s a hockey player. He’s on the ice getting paid, you’re not and probably never will be.

Cell Block E can get rowdy and I think that’s fantastic. For the most part and the handful of games I’ve been too, I enjoy their heckling and commentary. I think some of the other teams find it amusing too. I know this guy might not have even been sitting in that section either.

Cornwall, you want to put a stop to this? Get some decent security who doesn’t just stand there. Tell them to not interfere with the chirping, only when things start to escalate. There’s no harm in a little heckling, hell this is hockey and the LNAH. If you do interfere, you’re only going to make it worse for yourselves.

Pack the house tonight. Let’s force a game 7.

River Kings fall to Braves after much hyped rematch fails to live up to expectations

Couple of Homers. (Photo: Rick Bowen.)
Couple of Homers. (Photo: Rick Bowen.)

Well, Homer got his way.

It was a Simpsons themed night at the Civic Complex complete with “D’oh!” and even Homer Simpson himself made an appearance. In case you weren’t up to speed, the Simpsons shtick was due to Laval Braves headman Dannick Lessard calling the Cornwall River Kings a bunch of a “homers” in a recent interview.

Running with it, the fans and even the Kings brass decided to throw it into the much talked about and hyped up re-match between the two teams Saturday night. Two weeks ago, the two teams met for almost 10 fights, an 8-2 Cornwall victory and Lessard himself getting suspended 4 games for trying to start something with Cornwall’s coach.

However, the match failed to deliver to expectations.

Cornwall was terrible in their own end. On powerplays, there was nobody in front of the net more times then I’d like to admit. Loic Lacasse was brilliant as usual as the game probably could’ve ended up in the double digits for Laval. Laval played a speedy, grinding game to come away with their 6-5 victory.

(Photo: Rick Bowen)
(Photo: Rick Bowen)

It’s the LNAH so people are in the stands for the fights. After a huge fight filled contest in Laval, the fans were expecting something similar. With only 3 fights on the card, and subdued ones to say the least, it wasn’t worthy of an LNAH caliber game. However, that might not have been the River Kings fault as most of the tough guys on Laval didn’t seem like they were ready to drop the gloves.

Some points I’d like to make. Cornwall was down in the score by 3 and the atmosphere was well, not very electric. Captain Steve Simoes must have realized that the momentum needed to change so he took it upon himself to up the ante. After drilling three guys and dropping the mitts with a damn good tangle, the momentum was finally in Cornwall’s favour. 2 or 3 goals (goals were scored but I’m flaky on how many) were scored while Simoes was in the box and it seemed like Cornwall had a life.

Until knucklehead Francis Lessard takes a double minor.

That my friends was Laval’s turning point. Now don’t me wrong, I like Lessard as much as the next person. AS A FIGHTER. Even though he landed on the scoresheet tonight, a 40 second shift of circling around In the offensive end doesn’t sit as great hockey presence but I digress.

On Laval’s side though and after finally getting to see them in person, it boggles my mind how this team is in last place! Does it have something to do with them having half of our roster now? No, I don’t think so. The goaltending of Stephane Cesar was brilliant to say the least and the hockey presence and mind of Maxime Boisclair was just amazing. Boisclair is a smart, smart hockey player. If Cornwall ever has a chance to trade for him, I’d pull the trigger in a second.

(photo: Allison Papineau)
(photo: Allison Papineau)

I know this a relatively long post but I had to be critical this time and if you don’t agree with me then so be it. I know it’s hard to gel as a team when you have very little practice time. That being said, the powerplay needs a complete overhaul. In fact, I overheard in the crowd that if Cornwall were to get another powerplay, they should just decline it.

It’s not all doom and gloom. There’s still plenty of hockey left so no need to get on the worry bandwagon right now. Plenty of life to put into this team and keep the Complex rocking. I hope to god that the next home game the same amount of almost 3,000 fans keep coming out. The atmosphere was electric and I’m sure the players love the support.

We’ll get there. It’s still our house.

Cornwall River Kings get ready for intense rematch against Laval Braves

Photo: Rick Bowen
Photo: Rick Bowen

Last weekend the Cornwall River Kings entered the so called “House of Pain” and came out with an 8-1 thumping of the Lavallyfield Braves. (In case you’re not up to speed, the team originally started in Valleyfield but soon moved to Laval due to financial and municipal reasons.) Now Laval has a storied history in the LNAH with the previous squad in the Chiefs and are trying to live up to the reputation.

The “House of Pain” didn’t seem to work in their favour however as Cornwall’s tough guys tossed the Braves around like there’s no tomorrow. Including Braves team coach Dannick Lessard pulling a John Tortorella and making his way over to the Cornwall bench. All in all the game ended in 204 penalty minutes.

Oh LNAH (or Laval for the most part), stay classy.

Anyway, this Saturday is bringing the two teams back against each other but this time down the 401 down in Cornwall’s barn. With the intensity of a fierce home crowd, I would assume the outcome is going to look a lot like last Friday. Cell Block E will be ringing with pandemonium to get a chance to get their chirps in at Dannick Lessard and the Braves. However, Dannick won’t be behind the bench as a 4 game sentence was handed down from the LNAH for his actions.

No matter, the best team on the ice will prevail and River Kings had made some changes and have proved to icing a more then competitive team. Not everybody will agree with some of the decisions they’ve made but this is hockey and stars/players move on. It’s the nature of the sport. Management has done everything in their power to make this a fan’s team and they haven’t let up.

Photo: Rick Bowen
Photo: Rick Bowen

Loic Lacasse will most likely start and will be a gem in net as usual. Look for the last place Braves to try once again to put on a show and throw the River Kings off their game. Obviously Cornwall is much stronger and won’t let anybody push them around in their house.

Who’s House? You know whose it is.

Despite the loss, River Kings entertain with home opener

1150223_10201663866259521_1465469022_nAfter a few first regular season games on the road, the Cornwall River Kings finally returned to their own barn Saturday night. In front of a crowd 2,453, all the hard work put into the last 6 weeks to keep the team in Cornwall finally started paying off.

Although, not in the way they had hoped.

The Marquis de Jonquiere showed just why they are the defending champions. A tough, fast and physical team, the Marquis came away with a 5-2 win. Francis Charette was the best player on the ice for both teams. His hockey sense is something to be in awe of, scoring 2 of the 5 goals on the night. Former River Kings back up Frederic Piche picked up the win.

Francis Lessard waits for a play in front of Frederic Piche. (Photo: Alison Papineau)
Francis Lessard waits for a play in front of Frederic Piche. (Photo: Alison Papineau)

However, the River Kings held their own and showed that they can hang with the big boys.

Remember, the Cornwall River Kings have only been together a few weeks and really need a chance to gel. Which no doubt, will happen with time. After coming off a loss the night before in St. Georges, Alex Bourret played an amazing fast-paced and physical game; notched the first goal for the Kings on a beauty shorthanded breakaway and earned himself second star of the game.

Another show of dedication came from Brennan Barker as he stood up to Gaby Roch who threw an elbow to the head to one of the River Kings. Although Barker seemed to take the punches, there is no denying the strength of sticking up for your teammate.

Heavyweights Francis Lessard and Chris Clouthier also dropped the mitts in a few fisticuffs. With time the River Kings will not be pushed around in their barn. Once the players start to get used of one another on the ice, hell folks, it’s nothing but up from here. Bow down to the Kings.

Next home game is Sunday, October 3rd when big Jon “Nasty”Mirasty and Sorel come to town. Puck drop is 3p.m. You won’t want to miss this one.