Ma­jor mid­get Rebels top UCMHL

The Glengarry News - - Sports In The Glens - BY SEAN BRAY Sports Ed­i­tor

The UCMHL’s top reg­u­larsea­son team in the ma­jor mid­get rep. ‘B’ di­vi­sion, the Char-Lan Rebels, found it­self in a tough bat­tle in the cham­pi­onship se­ries with the third-ranked boys from North Dun­das.

Trail­ing four-points-to-none in the five-point bat­tle, the Rebels ral­lied with three straight wins, to score the ti­tle ban­ner, punc­tu­ated by a 5-0 ex­cla­ma­tion point in the March 27 se­ries fi­nale.

Goal­tender Kam­den Sabourin was at the top of his game in the mesh man­sion, while his team­mates were tena­cious on of­fence and de­fence, play­ing in front of a packed, rau­cous house at the Char- Lan Rec. Cen­tre, in Wil­liamstown.

Four min­utes into the con­test, Ethan Mac­Don­ald be­gan the romp, fin­ish­ing off a scor­ing play set up by Roan MacLen­nan.

Puck posses­sion was fairly even into the sec­ond pe­riod, when Alexxi Pa­que­tte rang one off the iron, swing­ing mo­men­tum in favour of Char-Lan, as the boys pep­pered Demons net boss Liam An­tille.

Af­ter Sabourin stoned a Demons break­away op­por­tu­nity, the Rebs’ aces took flight at the other end of the ice.

An­drew Dixon, Colby Car­riere, and Pa­que­tte found the tar­get in quick suc­ces­sion, with as­sists cred­ited to Nathaniel Faubert, Findlay Hope, MacLen­nan, and Lach­lan McDonell.

The 18-minute third pe­riod was chippy at times, as North Dun­das

frustratio­ns, at see­ing the se­ries slip away, boiled over.

The ic­ing on the cake for Char-Lan was Dixon’s power-play goal off a stretch pass from Kurt Alexan­der.

At the buzzer, cel­e­bra­tion en­sued, as the Rebels shed their equip­ment, toss­ing it in the air, con­grat­u­lated each other, and saluted their fans.

Play­ers were called up in­di­vid­u­ally to re­ceive medals, be­fore the UCMHL pen­nant was pre­sented to Char-Lan, and the team posed for pho­tos.

Alexan­der, one of the vet­eran play­ers on the squad, re­flected, “We knew we had a skilled team since try­outs. All year it was a mat­ter of how much we wanted it. We re­ally showed we did when we came back af­ter be­ing down 2 games to 0, and [go­ing on to take game five] in a 5-0 win. It was a great year for all of us, and I’m glad I could [be part of a cham­pi­onship-win­ning team in] my last year of mi­nor hockey.”

One of the younger play­ers, MacLen­nan, com­mented, “Ya, it was awe­some be­ing one of the rook­ies on the team, learn­ing lots. It doesn’t hap­pen very of­ten where you get to win ev­ery­thing and our names will be on the ban­ner in the rink for life.” And it al­most didn’t hap­pen. De­spite a reg­u­lar sea­son that saw the Rebels win 25 of 28 games, it was North Dun­das, a team that fin­ished 15 points be­hind Char-Lan, that took games one and two of the cham­pi­onship se­ries, 5-4 and 3-2, to push the boys to the brink.

On home ice March 22, the Rebs ral­lied with a 6-1 ef­fort to get back into the bat­tle.

Dixon led the of­fence with four goals, the oth­ers notched by Pa­que­tte and Faubert. Earn­ing ap­ples were McDonell (2), Josh Van­dr­ish (2), Jack MacLen­nan (2), Alexan­der, Sea­mus O’Con­nell, and Cale McKen­zie.

Three days later, the se­ries switched to Winch­ester, where again the Rebs faced elim­i­na­tion.

This one was a see-saw bat­tle, with Dixon open­ing the scor­ing in the first pe­riod, as­sisted by Hope and McDonell.

The Demons drew even in the sec­ond stanza, be­fore Alexan­der re­stored the ad­van­tage, from Dixon and Faubert.

Later in the frame, North Dun­das once more tied it up, at 2-2.

In the third, Char-Lan iced vic­tory when Pa­que­tte set up McDonell with 11 min­utes re­main­ing.

The 3-2 win knot­ted the se­ries at four points, forc­ing the de­cid­ing game five.

Fol­low­ing the fi­nale in Wil­liamstown, it was an­nounced that the 50/50 draw col­lected $246.50, which was do­nated to the Julie MacLach­lan Foun­da­tion.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

CHAMPS: The Char-Lan boys cel­e­brate their UCMHL cham­pi­onship. Stand­ing in the back row, from left, are coach D’Arcy O’Con­nell, trainer Ja­son Mac­Don­ald, Josh Van­dr­ish, Lach­lan McDonell, Find­ley Hope, Kurt Alexan­der, Jack Cor­put, Jack Cayer, Ai­dan Ler­oux, Cale McKen­zie, and as­sis­tant coach Wally Mac­Don­ald. Mid­dle row: Nathaniel Faubert, Ethan Mac­Don­ald, An­drew Dixon, and Sea­mus O’Con­nell. In front are Kam­den Sabourin, Roan MacLen­nan, Alexxi Pa­que­tte, Jack MacLach­lan, Colby Car­riere, and Merek Cle­ment. Ab­sent from im­age: as­sis­tant coach Matt McKen­zie.

SEAN BRAY PHOTO

UN­DER PRES­SURE: Char-Lan goal­tender Kam­den Sabourin makes back-to-back third-pe­riod stops, as North Dun­das presses its at­tack. The Rebels net­min­der back­stopped his team to a 5-0 shut-out vic­tory over the Demons, in game 5 of the UCMHL cham­pi­onship se­ries.

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