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Condors Hockey: A Breathtaking Rebirth

Old people like me remember Paul Henderson’s game-winning goal in the Canada-Russia hockey series in 1972.miracle on iceof the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid when the American Cinderella team won gold ahead of the Soviet bear.

But this year in hockey, with the notable exception of our illustrious Marie-Philip Poulin, my crush will contradict the Condors of Cégep Beauce-Appalaches for the breathtaking first real full season in the Junior AAA Hockey League. of Quebec (LHJAAAQ).

Nobody saw us coming. My goal was to create a competitive team. My goal has been achieved “, declared the head coach of the formation, Pier-Alexandre Poulin, in a press conference today to take stock of the year. And the performance stats prove him entirely right.

Champions of their category in the East Division, the Condors finished 3rd overall in the LHJAAAQ with a record of 38 wins and 18 losses in addition to a few appearances in the top 20 of the best junior teams in Canada.

In the regular season, they have dominated on the power play since entering the league in the fall of 2020, which was cut short by the pandemic. They finished with a record of 29 wins and 13 losses. Ranked 6th in the top 20 of the best junior teams in Canada last October, the team has four of the eight best scorers in the league: Samy Paré (3rd), Julien Létourneau (5th), Mikisiw Awashish (7th) and Charles -Édouard Drouin (8th), all players who are finishing their junior internship.

In addition, player William Gagné received the honorable mention for the Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL) Goaltender of the Year award for finishing first among goaltenders with 18 regular season wins and a save percentage of .904. Head coach Pier-Alexandre Poulin also received an honorable mention for the title of coach of the year in the Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL) for the 2021-2022 season, he who won this honor l last year, in addition to receiving a merit trophy on April 9 in the Major Awards category at the Gala Mérite Sportif Beauceron.

Record of the playoffs
Only three wins from qualifying for the Canadian Championship, the Condors finished Napa Cup finalist with a record of 9 wins and five losses in addition to posting the best penalty kill in the playoffs.

It was the 6-4 loss on May 6 against the Collège Français de Longueuil that marked the end of this grand final, which was played in five games. It was a big bet for the team, which was then facing the best team in the league in the regular season, ranked 2nd in Canada. The Condors had earned their place in the final with a victory in 5 games in the 1st round against Montreal East and a sweep in 4 games in the 2nd round against the powerful Panthères de St-Jérôme who had finished 2nd overall in addition to ranked 16th in Canada.

Among its players, five of them finished in the league’s top eleven scorers in the playoffs: Samy Paré (3rd), Julien Létourneau (4th), Mikisiw Awashish (7th), Charles-Édouard Drouin (9th) and Dylan Champagne (11th). By ranking 1st in special teams during the playoffs, the team allowed player William Lepage to stand out on the shorthanded with three goals, a league high. For his part, William Gagné finished 2nd among goaltenders for the number of seven wins in the league and a save percentage of .917.

We are very proud of this group of graduating players who have dedicated themselves this season and we are happy that they all have opportunities to continue playing at a competitive level next year while continuing their studies. The presence of veterans like William Gagné and Dylan Champagne, supported by other players who have gained experience this season, should give the Condors a chance to be competitive again next year. “, mentioned the head coach.

next season
For the next season, the team will replace seven to ten players, including six who are finishing their junior internship: Mikisiw Awashish, Charles-Édouard Drouin, Samy Paré, Jacob Bernard, Julien Létourneau and Émile Provencher. These graduating athletes have several options on the table both at the university level and at the professional level in Europe or at the senior level in Quebec, and will have to make decisions about their future in the coming weeks. Justin Deblois (Natural Sciences) and Félix-Antoine Gosselin (Human Sciences) will finish their DEC at Cégep Beauce-Appalaches and could return to the team for the upcoming season as 20-year-old players. The organization can count on the potential return of 14 players next year.

On August 6 and 7, a precamp will be open at the EJM/René-Bernard arena in Beauceville for all players who wish to try their luck at playing for the Condors next year. Cégep Beauce-Appalaches encourages interested hockey players to register. The training camp will be held from August 12 to 18 at the Beauceville arena. The regular season will start on Friday, September 9, 2022.

Recruitment of future student-athletes
The next draft of the Quebec Junior AAA Hockey League will take place on Sunday, July 10. The Condors will then be able to protect five local players and select seven players during the draft.

The organization is counting on the successes obtained during this past season to attract the best student-athletes to its study programs and to maximize CBA registrations. With a success rate of 82%, hockey student-athletes benefit from educational support for success as well as individual assistance adapted to scheduling and training issues.

It should also be noted that the first edition of the Condors Hockey Academy was held from March 8 to 10 during spring break and was crowned with success. In all, nearly forty young people had the chance to learn from the experience of Condors coaches and players. A second edition is planned for next season.

At the end of the press conference, Pier-Alexandre Poulin announced that six Condors were nominated for the prizes that will be awarded at the LHJAAAQ gala to be held in Laval on May 31.

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