Franco silver for les Rapides
BY SEAN BRAY Sports Editor A week after their high school counterparts skated to an Ontario silver medal, the intermediate (Grades 7 and 8) hockey team from École secondaire catholique le Relais followed suit, icing a runner-up result in the ‘AA’ division of the Tournoi Franco-Ontarien, held April 24 through 26, in Ottawa.
Les Rapides were unbeaten through to Friday’s championship match, where they faced off with the top-ranked École secondaire Hanmer (from northern Ontario) squad, the only other group that had yet to lose.
Le Relais battled from behind, closing the gap to 4-3 with 27 seconds remaining, but couldn’t find the equalizer before the buzzer sealed the silver-medal result.
“Toute une démonstration de détermination!”
Coach Marc Séguin says it “was a good game with back-and-forth intense hockey.”
On the three-day competition, he adds that his group of youngsters was engaged in the team concept throughout the event, including at off-ice activities, such as dining at restaurants, where the kids were praised for their great behaviour.
He notes that his roster, just like those from other schools, includes players of all calibres, from ‘AAA’ teams to house league.
“Sometimes you are asking kids to do things they haven't done before, and they are learning on the fly. [It is a] really fun learning experience for players and coaches.”
To reach the gold-medal game, les Rapides prevailed over Plantagenet in semifinal action, 1-0, earning 13 Franco points.
Franco hockey uses a points system, where points are awarded for periods and games won, and deducted for taking penalties over a set limit.
The team earned a bye through the quarter-final round, as the second overall seed, following round-robin play, where le Relais earned 52.5 Franco points to 57 for first-place Hanmer.
Opening the event on April 24, les Rapides skated to a 5-3 win over le Sommet (13 Franco points) and a 2-1 victory against Franco-Cité #2 (13 Franco points)
Day two saw the squad top Samuel-Genest 7-1 (15 Franco points) and tie l’Escale 4-4 (11.5 Franco points).