Bor­der Mi­nor Hockey Caps Sea­son

Stanstead Journal - - SPORTS - Spe­cial col­lab­o­ra­tion Scott Coates

The­bor­der area’s boys and girls gath­ered Satur­day at Stanstead Col­lege for the lo­cal mi­nor hockey as­so­ci­a­tion’s an­nual tro­phy pre­sen­ta­tions, with the Novice B Blaz­ers get­ting the un­of­fi­cial nod as team of the year af­ter re­cently reach­ing the Estrie re­gional cham­pi­onships. A clas­sic hockey les­son was learned as the Blaz­ers, with a 2-10-1 reg­u­lar sea­son record, up­set three teams in the play­offs, in­clud­ing the (11-0-2) first place fin­ish­ers in the quar­ter-fi­nals. Fol­low­ing that 6-5 shootout vic­tory, were a 6-5 overtime win and then a 2-1 loss in the fi­nals. Rep­re­sent­ing the Or­ford-St. Fran­cois league at the re­gion­als in War­wick, the seven and eight year old heros were vic­to­ri­ous in their first out­ing be­fore los­ing a heart­break­ing 2-1 shootout in the quar­ter­fi­nals.

Some 110 young­sters from Que­bec and Ver­mont rep­re­sented the bor­der on ten teams this past sea­son, with an­other two dozen join­ing with Coat­i­cook as­so­ci­a­tion play­ers to form dou­ble letter (CC) teams at the Atom, Pee­wee, Ban­tam and Mid­get lev­els. All look for­ward to play­ing next sea­son in Stanstead’s new Pat Burns Arena.

“It was a suc­cess­ful sea­son all the way around. Our pro­gram seems to be grow­ing and we’re send­ing more teams to the dou­ble letter pro­grams,” com­mented Mike Paul, the pres­i­dent of Bor­der Mi­nor Hockey As­so­ci­a­tion for the last two years.

Mr. Paul, who is step­ping down af­ter spend­ing six years on the As­so­ci­a­tion’s Board of Direc­tors, was grate­ful to the par­ents and the play­ers: “The play­ers and the par­ents have to be ded­i­cated. Hats off for the money and time that they have to spend; hockey is more ex­pen­sive than other sports.”

The out­go­ing pres­i­dent also ex­plained why the hockey club’s two fundrais­ers, the Casino night and the golf tour­na­ment, were so im­por­tant. “The cost of the rink is high here com­pared to rinks that are owned by the towns, like Coat­i­cook or Ma­gog. It costs us $125 an hour to rent the rink at Stanstead com­pared to $60 an hour in Coat­i­cook. We’ve been told that the price won’t go up next year at the new arena. We were kind of hop­ing that, with the town be­ing in­volved in the new arena, the price might come down!”

Bor­der Novice B Blaz­ers pose proudly Satur­day at the Bor­der Mi­nor Hockey As­so­ci­a­tion’s awards cer­e­monies with the fi­nal­ists’ banner they cap­tured against all odds with an im­pres­sive play­off per­for­mance. Pic­tured with coaches Marc Lanoue and Wal­ter Pykora are, (front row), Noah Cheney, Daniel Lanoue, Bryce Champ­ney, Thierry Bernier, Mathis Robert and (back row) Adam Sykes, Ju­lia Ballinger, Ni­co­las Pokora, Daw­son Coates and Korey Goudreau. Ab­sent was Julien Audet.

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