Quick starting Huskies lose to host Remparts
It looked so promising for a while there.
Less than 30 seconds into their game against the hometown Quebec Remparts at the prestigious Quebec Peewee Tournament, the Hamilton Huskies got on the scoreboard and quieted the big crowd. Before the game was five minutes old they’d done it again.
Sadly, the hot start didn’t last. A rough third period led to a 7-4 loss and an end to the dream of winning the world’s greatest minor hockey event.
“Unfortunately, we picked a tough time to have our worst game in a while,” head coach Chris Travale says.
The expected crowd of close to 15,000 at the NHL-ready Centre Videotron didn’t quite materialize as the city was hit with a snowstorm. But roughly 7,000 folks were in the stands when Florian Xhekaj opened the scoring. Four minutes later Blake Ellis also found the net.
As late as the second intermission the Huskies were in good shape with a 2-1 lead. Then things fell apart.
A series of penalties led to a flurry of Quebec goals. Within three minutes of the third period beginning, the Remparts had taken the lead. Ellis tied it before the home side scored three more times in quick succession to take a lead it would never relinquish.
Patrick Thomas scored Hamilton’s final goal late in the game.
The Quebec Peewee Tournament attracts teams from all over the world and all corners of North America and has featured many of the future greats of the game including Wayne Gretzky.
Travale says there were plenty of red eyes in the dressing room after it was all over. But he insists the experience was worthwhile for the 12-year-olds despite the way it ended.
“I know the benefits outweigh the disappointment by a long shot,” he says. “In time, the kids will understand that.”