Vision (Canada) - - SPORTS - ALEXIA MARSILLO

The sea­son is over for the Rockland Na­tio­nals Ju­nior A team, but the jour­ney has just be­gun.

The Nats fi­ni­shed their re­gu­lar sea­son fourth in their di­vi­sion with 62 points. The team was eli­mi­na­ted in the first round of playoffs in a 4-1 se­ries against the first-place Car­le­ton Place Canadians. As this was the first sea­son the Nats Ju­nior A or­ga­ni­za­tion was in Rockland, head coach and ge­ne­ral ma­na­ger, Da­niel Sauvé, was pleased with the re­sults.

“I think it was a huge suc­cess,” he said. “Right from the qua­li­ty of the players we had, the ow­ners and how much time they put in to build the team. I think we put in a lot of good buil­ding blocks mo­ving for­ward with the or­ga­ni­za­tion.”

Ac­cor­ding to him, ma­king the playoffs was their ob­jec­tive for this sea­son. “We played against the top team in Ca­na­da, which was real­ly, real­ly good ex­pe­rience for our players and it will be so­me­thing that will help them be­come even bet­ter in the years to come,” said Sauvé.

Des­pite an in­ju­ry prone sea­son, Sauvé was sa­tis­fied with the depth of the team up front. The Nats had four so­lid lines of sco­ring po­ten­tial. “That was real­ly so­me­thing we im­pro­ved on from last year [when the team was in Glou­ces­ter],” he said. “Our sco­ring went up 20 or 30 goals com­pa­red to last year.” Ma­thieu Blan­chette was the team’s lea­ding sco­rer, with 51 points – 27 goals and 24 as­sists – in the re­gu­lar sea­son. Tre­vor Coy­ken­dall takes se­cond place with 35 points in the re­gu­lar sea­son – 16 goals and 19 as­sists.

Sauvé is ex­pec­ted to stay on next year as head coach and ge­ne­ral ma­na­ger of the or­ga­ni­za­tion. He looks for­ward to being able to fo­cus more on the coa­ching as­pect of his job next year, as this first year was a lear­ning pro­cess. “I think next year will be a real­ly good year to put the em­pha­sis on the coa­ching part for my­self and get­ting bet­ter at com­mu­ni­ca­ting with our guys and going over plays,” said Sauvé. “The ex­pe­rience we got from ma­king playoffs will go a long way for the re­tur­ning players.”

The Rockland Nats will in fact be seeing most players re­turn next sea­son. Ac­cor­ding to Sauvé, there will be anyw­here from 10-14 players from this sea­son re­tur­ning next year. There are six gra­dua­ting players and at least one goal­ten­der, but pos­si­bly both, who will be mo­ving on to play for ano­ther team.

Goal­ten­der Sean Storr is going to play for Ha­mil­ton Col­lege in New York next sea­son. The 19-year-old fi­ni­shed the sea­son with a 4.14 goals against ave­rage. Se­cond lea­ding sco­rer Tre­vor Coy­ken­dall is com­mit­ted to Adrian Col­lege in Mi­chi­gan and a few other players are still in talks with va­rious schools. Of­fi­cial an­noun­ce­ments about where these players will end up next year can be ex­pec­ted in the next month or so.


La sai­son est ter­mi­née pour les Na­tio­nals de Rockland Ju­nior A, mais le voyage ne fait que com­men­cer. Les Nats ont ter­mi­né leur sai­son ré­gu­lière en qua­trième place de leur di­vi­sion avec 62 points. L’équipe a été éli­mi­née au pre­mier tour des sé­ries...

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