The Voice of the East
CHRONIC / We know, our Maroons have advanced to the playoffs of the national hockey League senior AAA du Québec. When you read these lines, they will have even played his first game in Waterloo against the Metal Perreault of Donnacona. I attended their last meeting last Saturday at the arena Jacques-Chagnon. Here are a few of the echoes.
First of all, note that I was only in my second presence in Waterloo this season. I promise, however, to follow the team to the much more diligent the next year, so I loved the show. If, usually, strong men are generally between them, the talented players are more legion in this circuit presided over by my friend Michel Dorais. Beautiful pieces of game orchestrated by skillful players, the game, physical and fast, and all this punctuated by a few fights. For less than $ 10 the entrance fee, a match of the Maroons, in my opinion, is certainly one of the best quality/price ratios in terms of entertainment in our region. By contrast, the staff of the Maroons will be, at the end of this season, to make an examination of conscience, because despite the excellent quality of the show, the team that I’ve seen twice was never in the shot. As against Louiseville before the Holiday season last Saturday by receiving Cap-de-la-Madeleine.
In a provincial league, which is preparing to welcome more talented players, the premises can no longer strictly adhere to a recruitment almost exclusively regional. One has to cover the province if it wants to compete with courses such as La Tuque, Cap-de-la-Madeleine or Louiseville. And it was there that David Lapierre, with all his contacts in the QMJHL and the LHJAAAQ, will be a valuable aid. Of course, you will say to me that we can count on beautiful taken as the attacker Yann Joseph (which I will discuss below), from the region of the Richelieu, or the goaltender François Lacerte (Mauricie). But for others, the harvest seems rather thin, at least in regards to the players dominant.
As mentioned by Alain Groleau, consultant-hockey in the air-Conditioning Cloutier of Cap-de-la-Madeleine, the game is played only on the ice, but also to a different level. It is often the case in professional leagues, even the minor ones. Because no matter what you say, less and less players choose to evolve into the League of north american (because of the too large distance between the cities), preferring to, among others, to join the senior League AAA du Québec (LHSAAAQ).
“As in any good team major or professional, the recruitment of high-quality and the constant search for sponsorships have become a staple. If we want to attract players from everywhere, it is still necessary to go and see them, and, above all, treat them well once they are returned to us, ” stresses Alain Groleau.
“From our side, in Cap-de-la-Madeleine,” he continues, ” the fact of being situated in the heart of Quebec facilitates the task, that’s for sure. It has reached an agreement with a hotel chain, which allows more of our players to stay at Trois-Rivières on the weekends when we have matches. They are thus not obliged to return to Quebec city or Montreal between each of the parties. You know, just like I have already lived, when the players are treated well at one place, the word goes quickly and the recruiting is easy… “
Attend a game of the Maroons often takes on the look of days of reunion, because I benefit from it every time to review either former teammates, instructors, fellow recruiters, or even old players who are in the LHSAAAQ as players, instructors or leaders of a team. During my first visit, I was very happy to reconnect with my old chum Dean Lygitsakos, now chief instructor and director-general of the Bellemare Louiseville, in addition to being able to enjoy the performances of two of my former students, the guardian Philippe Gatien and forward Francis Charrette.
This time, I knew that my meetings were going to be more numerous. Normal, the visiting team was from my corner of the country, the Mauricie ! In addition to talking with Alain, I was able to converse with the head coach Eric Haley. Dean, Eric and me had moreover we are obliged to do, there are a little over 30 years ago, the famous “ten times the coast Lajoie” that Alain and his assistant of the time, Daniel Dion, we were to climb up before every workout in Rivermen de Francheville bantam AA. An exercise which consisted of walking up and down the “cursed” side-by ten times ! As was said by our teammate Charles Toupin ” to say that the coach wants as it warms up ! Can you say warm up, it is enough : it’s been since the beginning of the training camp that I’m on fire… ! “
Today, you can laugh, but in the time…
Obviously, far from blame him after all these years, Eric, knowing the skills of hockey man, Alain, has had the ingenious idea to ask her to become his consultant. The latter would anyway attend most of the games, his son Marc-Olivier carrying the colors of the air Conditioning Cloutier ! Hockey is often a family history, you will not be surprised to learn that the young Marco — I’ve already rocked ! — a skater who looks strangely like that of his uncle Steven (Groleau), the younger brother of Alain, a former counter 40 goals with Cataracts de Shawinigan at the end of the 80’s.
WE RAMBLE AROUND A GOOD CIGAR
I’d just to shake the hand of Alain and Éric as the warm-up period was nearing its end. Going to return to my seat, so I can see the diminutive centre player of the Maroons, Yann Joseph, approaching me and extending his hand. That good memories we remembered ! You see, it was nearly 20 years ago (may 22, 1999, specifically) while I was the assistant general manager Serge Savard Jr. with the now defunct Montreal Rocket of the QMJHL, I had, among others, convinced of select Yann in the expansion draft to build our team. Yann was left without protection by the Cataracts de Shawinigan, with which he followed during the season 1998-1999. Quick, with good hands, only do not be afraid of anything despite his small size of 5’06 and 165 pounds, which was our no. 10 has never disappointed. He has even accumulated more than 75 points in his first season with us. Today, although he is 37-year-old, it remains one of the pillars of his troop because of his speed, his hands nimble, but above all, her strength of character.
On this evening in Waterloo, I have made another beautiful meeting, the president of the circuit Michel Dorais who, for the occasion, was accompanied by one of her daughters, the lovely Sarah-Maude, and her grandson, Noah, at the age of only four months. Incidentally, I felt Michel not only extremely proud, but also very happy in his new role as grandfather. This small knows without doubt not even a chance that he will have to grow up in this family.