If there is one team that seems to be subscribing to the TELUS Cup, it is the Cantonniers de Magog.
The Cantonniers are back for a third consecutive appearance in Canada’s National Men’s U18 Club Championship, after once again winning the Ligue de développement du hockey U18 AAA du Québec (LDHM18AAAQ) title.
This time, Magog is hoping for the only win she hasn’t won – she lost 5-1 to the Notre Dame Hounds (who will be one of 2022’s opponents) in the 2018 championship game and suffered a heartbreaking loss to the Toronto Young Nationals in second overtime in the 2019 Finals.
Given the cancellation of the 2020 playoffs and the 2020-2021 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Cantonniers have not only new faces on training but also behind the bench: Stéphane Robidas, the former NHL defender who Played more than 900 league games in his 14-year career with Montreal, Dallas, Chicago, Anaheim and Toronto, is now at the helm of the team.
Robidas took over from fellow NHL veteran Felix Potvin, who coached Magog in his two previous TELUS Cup appearances.
“Our team has made progress since day 1,” said Renaud Légaré, president of the Cantonniers, of the 2021-2022 season. “The players understood that they had reached a professional level. From then on they were intense all year round.”
However, the season has had its challenges. Around mid-December, the LDHM18AAAQ decided to suspend its operations in light of the increase in COVID-19 cases associated with the Omicron variant. Only two months later, the games could be resumed.
“There were ups and downs due to the pandemic, the fear that the season would be canceled like last year, confides Légaré. Once activities resumed, we saw that the players were determined to pull out all the stops and put in the necessary effort to win the league title. †
After finishing the season second in the LDHM18AAAQ with a record of 30-9-0, the Cantonniers defeated Amos, Gatineau and Laval-Montréal in quick succession – losing just two games – to reach the final against the formidable Chevaliers de Lévis, regular season champion.
After suffering a loss in the first game, Magog won the next four, a streak ended by an overtime winner Connor Macey, making the Cantonniers the first team to win three Quebec titles in a row since Ste-Foy, whose achievement runs from 1978 to 1980.
Next stop: Okotoks.
“We are going to leave the day before, just to calm the troops and the nervousness of going to play in a tournament for a group of young people aged 15 and 16 in Calgary, Légaré reveals. We really think leaving a day in advance will help them. †
Magog has not won Canada’s National Men’s U18 Club Championship since 2000, and the last team to claim the national title was Ste-Foy the following year.
“We are going to the tournament with the aim of bringing back the TELUS Cup”, concludes Légaré. It would be a nice addition to all the victories we have had in recent years. †
The Cantoners open their TELUS Cup tournament against Pacific Region champions, the Vancouver North East Chiefs, on May 16.
ROUTE TO OKOTOKS
Quebec U18 AAA Hockey Development League
Preliminary round: defeated the Forestiers d’Amos 3-0 (8-1, 7-1, 7-1)
Quarterfinals: defeated the Gatineau Intrepid 3-1 (3-5, 5-2, 6-4, 2-1)
Semifinals: defeated Rousseau Royal of Laval-Montreal 3-1 (4-3, 5-1, 2-3, 7-3)
Final: defeated the Chevaliers de Lévis 4-1 (2-4, 7-2, 3-2, 2-0, 4-3 PROL.)
Regular season record: 30-9-0 (2to be of the LDHM18AAAQ)
Goals for: 186 (2to be of the LDHM18AAAQ)
Goals against: 91 (tie – 1there of the LDHM18AAAQ)
Longest winning streak: 7 (Dec 10, March 4)
Three top scorers:
– Raoul Boilard – 17B, 27A, 44P (10.)and in the LDHM18AAAQ)
– Connor Macey – 19B, 22A, 41P (14and in the LDHM18AAAQ)
– Alix Durocher – 19B, 20A, 39P (17and in the LDHM18AAAQ)
Playoff record: 13-3
Goals for: 74
Goals against: 36
Three top scorers:
– Eli Baillargeon – 14B, 13A, 27P
– Jules Boilard – 8B, 18A, 26P
– Lewis Gendron – 9B, 12A, 21P
HISTORY NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
2019 | Magog Roadmen | silver medal | 5-0-0 | 19BP, 4BC
2018 | Magog Roadmen | silver medal | 2-1-1 | 16BP, 16BC
2000 | Magog Roadmen | gold medal | 4-1-0 | 36BP, 14BC
1995 | Magog Roadmen | fifth place | 2-3-0 | 7BP, 12BC
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Leader of the team as captain… Defensive player in the playoffs… good pitching
Playoff defensive player… combative… very agile goalkeeper
JEREMIE DUMAS LAROUCHE
Huge defender…good first pass…good feel for the game
QMJHL DESIGN PLAYERS
Jérémie Dumas-Larouche – Blainville-Boisbriand – 2021 (2 .)and round, 33and in total)
Shawn Pearson – Rimouski – 2021 (2 .)and round, 39and in total)
Louis-Felix Charrois – Rouyn-Noranda – 2021 (3 .)and round, 44 and in total)
Eloi Bourdeau – Sherbrooke – 2021 (3 .)and round, 56and in total)
Jules Boilard – Rimouski – 2021 (4.)and round, 60and in total)
Lyam Jacques – Rimouski – 2021 (5 .)and round, 79and in total)
Eli Baillargeon – Moncton – 2021 (5 .)and round, 80and in total)
Charles Poirier – Shawinigan – 2020 (8 .)and round, 131and