Anybody who knows anything about NDG Hockey wouldn’t expect anything less than a total success, and that was definitely the case as the organization hosted its 15th-annual and biggest-yet provincial tournament last December 19-30. Not only did the tournament have its biggest turnout ever with 76 teams and over 1,100 kids, it also had two local winners, one NDG silver medal and one bronze.
“Overall it was a very successful tournament!! Opening ceremonies took place on December 19 when announced a new ‘Goals and Dreams’ grant which we received on behalf of the NHLPA. Then with 76 teams and 136 games played, both the Doug Harvey and Bill Durnan arenas were booked
to capacity,” said NDG Hockey president Ray Mason. “We are very fortunate to have an amazing group of volunteers that devoted time over the holidays to staff both arenas and even organize a bake sale which raised $750 for the Marc-André Émond Foundation.”
The association took a bit of a leap this year, expanding what was once a novice-only tournament to open it to atoms a few years ago and then adding a junior division for 2009. “Junior was a nice addition this year. Our two NDG teams, the Panthers in the A division, and Jaguars in B were unfortunately knocked out early, but was fun just the same,” Mason said. “As the coach of the Jaguars, our first game was very close losing 4-3 in overtime to Île-Bizard and the second game we weren’t able to get any offence going against St-Jean so we lost. But the kids had fun.”
Stealing the show for the home crowd were the novice A Cougars and the atom A Jaguars, who each won their division.
The atom A Jags went all the way, starting with a 3-2 win over the Lakeshore Tigers on December 20 to open the competition, before falling 5-4 to the St-Leonard Avalanche seven days later. At 1-1, the Jags needed to win their next round robin contest, and did so impressively, beating the St-Lin Gaulois 6-0.
From there, a 4-2 wild-card win over Lakeshore advanced the Jaguars to the next playoff round, which turned into a 5-2 victory over their NDG compatriots, the Panthers, to win the division title.
The novice A Cougars were perhaps even more impressive in winning their championship, starting with a 9-2 romp over the West Island Knights on the 20th, followed by a 10-3 slaughtering of the Khanawake Mohawks on the 23rd and a 6-2 win of Fédé l’est to wrap up the round robin on December 27.
The Cougars then opened the playoffs with an 8-1 win over the Knights and then wrapped up the championship with a 7-6 win over the Lakeshore Leopards for all the marbles, with NDG’s Thomas Lefebvre being named the tournament MVP. “I think I won the MVP because I worked hard and did my best to score and come back and help out on defence,” said the eight-year-old Lefebvre, a centreman. “The team worked hard to get to that point and I was surprised because it was such a close final game with only one goal difference, but Lakeshore kept catching up. Overall, I’m happy and proud to have been part of this – especially since it was at home!”
Congrats to Scandella
On another note, we at the Free Press would like to congratulate NDG’s own Marco Scandella on his silver medal with Team Canada at the 2009-10 World Junior Hockey Championship. It was exciting to see a local boy represent Canada and we wish him nothing but the best for the rest of the season with the Val d’Or Foreurs.
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