The Cougars’ organization will be honoring last year’s graduating players this Wednesday (February 9), before the team’s the home game against the St-Isidore Eagles.

The team will host a special puck drop prior to the game to say thank you and also goodbye to #13 Nikolas Ayotte, #23 Nicolas Castonguay, #18 Vincent Huneault , #17 Trystan Lavoie , #7 Keean McEachern and #6 Charles Olivier Portelance.

In a special message on the Cougars’ Facebook page the team noted these players had to say goodbye to their passion sitting at home due to the pandemic:

“They never had the chance to play their last game, to say goodbye to this extraordinary game called HOCKEY. They never had a chance to say their final goodbye in the locker room to their teammates, fans and best friends. But because of this great game most of these players met their best friends and have been playing together since they were 3-4 years old. These Boys have grown into extraordinary young men because of the game, they have learned a lot about life as being part of a team is very similar to life with your family, friends, workplace and community.”

The ceremony will begin at 8:10 p.m. at the Vankleek Hill Arena. Please come out and give your thanks to these young men for their contribution to the Cougars and the community.

Hawks hammer Cornwall 7-0

Rylee Hlusiak and Jeremy Quesnel each had two goals, as the Hawkesbury Hawks crushed the Cornwall Colts 7-0 in Central Canada Hockey League (CCHL) Junior A action on Friday, February 4, at the Robert Hartley Sports Complex.

Hlusiak scored the games only goal in the first period, with Ryan Murphy staking the Hawks to a 2-0 lead after two. The Hawks then went wild in the final period, firing home five goals, as they outshot Cornwall 20-5 in the third. Josh Spratt and Thomas Cusson had the other markers for Hawkesbury.

Dimitri Pelekos stopped all 23 shots he faced to earn the shutout. The Hawks netminder was named the game’s first star.

Wednesday, February 2, saw the Hawks fall 3-2 to the league-leading Ottawa Junior Senators at the Jim Durrell Arena in Ottawa.

Hawkesbury jumped out to a 1-0 first period lead on a goal from Jeremy Tremblay, but Ottawa dominated the second, scoring three unanswered goals to take a 3-1 lead into the third. Josh Spratt got one back in the third period for the Hawks, but the team was not able to tie up the game in the last few minutes.

The loss dropped Hawkesbury a full nine points behind Ottawa in the race for first place in the CCHL’s Yzerman Division. The Junior Senators also have two games in hand on the Hawks.

Cougars honor builders

While the game itself is best forgotten (ouch!), the Cougars held a wonderful ceremony prior to the team’s Saturday, February 5 home game against North Dundas to honor some very special guests.

As part of the Cougars’ 30th anniversary celebrations, four of the team’s original builders – Ian MacRae, Charlie Berniqué, Garry Barton and Joe Kelly – were honored in a pre-game opening ceremony and face-off. The team also recognized John Kirby and John Chamberlain, who have passed away, as well as Paul-Emile Duval.

The Cougars as well paid tribute to all of the volunteers who helped put the team together 30 years ago. It was a beautiful evening for the team, despite the game’s final score.

Known as Vankleek Hill’s Sports Authority, Mackenzie Hinton writes regular sports updates on his popular Facebook page. Mac is the statistician for the Vankleek Hill Cougars and Hawkesbury Hawks Junior hockey clubs. His column appears weekly in The Review.