The Vankleek Hill Cougars have added former Hawkesbury Hawk Alexandre Saül to the team’s roster, as the team heads into the National Capital Junior Hockey League (NCJHL) playoffs.

The rugged 19-year-old right winger stands 6′ 3” and weighs 190 pounds and will provide some size up front for the Cougars. The Montreal native played four games for the Junior A Hawkesbury Hawks in the Central Canada Junior Hockey League this season, recording one assist and two penalty minutes. He also suited up for five games with the Junior B Alexandria Glens of the Eastern Ontario Hockey League, scoring two goals with one assist.

Saül played in the Cougars’ final regular season game against the North Dundas Rockets last Sunday (February 13) and had an immediate impact, scoring a goal in Vankleek Hill’s 8-5 victory.

Vankleek Hill faces Gatineau in first round

Vankleek Hill finished fifth in the NCJHL’s final regular-season standings and will face the fourth place Gatineau-Hull Volant in the first round of the playoffs, which begin this Friday, February 18.

The Cougars and Volant will face each other in back-to-back games over back-to-back weekends in a best-of-five series that begins at the Slush Puppie Arena in Gatineau on Friday at 7:20 p.m. On Saturday, February 19, the Cougars will be at home in the Vankleek Hill Arena for the rematch. Game time is 7:20 p.m.

The third game of the series will go on Friday, February 25, beginning at 7:20 p.m. in Gatineau. On Saturday, February 26, The Cougars will again host the Volant in Vankleek Hill beginning at 7:20 p.m. (if necessary). If a fifth game is required in the series, it will be played at Gatineau’s home arena on Sunday, February 27, with the starting time still to be determined.

Cunning called up to Hawks U18 squad

Reid Cunning of Vankleek Hill was called up to play for the Hawkesbury Hawks U18 AAA squad on Monday, February 7, as they faced off against Pembroke Lumber Kings U18 team.

Just 15 years old, Cunning has played 21 games in 2021-2022 for the Eastern Ontario Wild U15 AAA team, scoring seven goals and 10 assists for 17 points. He has also played six games for the Hawks U18 team this year, and has recorded one assist.

The Hawks U18s fell to Pembroke U18 team 3-1 in Monday’s contest.

Catching up on minor hockey

Cumberland Grads U15 play against the Clarence-Rockland Crush U15 on February 10. Cumberland won the game 7-1. Photo: Mac Hinton

In addition to Junior C games, I also plan to be on hand for some local minor hockey games this week.

This Wednesday, February 16, I will be at the Clarence Creek Arena to watch the Clarence-Rockland Crush U16 team take on the Kanata Blazers U16. Game time is 7:30 p.m. to 8:50 p.m.

The Eastern Ontario Cobras U13 AA squad will take on the RSL Kings at the Vankleek Hill Arena this Friday, February 18, from 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. On Saturday, February 19, I will be in Casselman to watch the OHA U15 AAA vs. the Wild AAA, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

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.