After a long and fun summer season, the Yellow team took home the championship in the Vankleek Hill Softball League on Sunday, August 28, topping the Green squad 37-35 in a hard fought final.

Yellow was the favorite going into the weekend playoffs, having posted a perfect 26 points in 13 games this season, but the Green team, which finished in second, had high hopes of an upset after making it to the finals.

I had the pleasure of coaching team Yellow this summer, although I was away on vacation during last weekend’s playoffs. It was an amazing season of fun, camaraderie and good softball.

A huge thank you goes out to Derek Ravary for organizing the mixed softball league in Vankleek Hill. Also thank you to Mike McGurk for his excellent umpiring skills this season.

Tune in for next season, when Yellow will try to defend their championship!

Charles Lavigne comes home as Hawks new head coach

The hiring of former Hawks netminder Charles Lavigne as the next Head Coach of the Hawkesbury Hawks was announced by General Manager Marc Bernique  this week . Lavigne spent the last four years as part of the Rockland Nationals organization – most recently as their General Manager.

The St-Bernardin native was a goaltender with Hawkesbury from 2005-2007, sporting an impressive 3.24 GAA in 37 games, .905 save percentage and a Bogart Cup championship. From there, he made his way to the CHL, where he had stints between the pipes for the Kitchener Rangers, Moncton Wildcats and Quebec Remparts.

After his Junior playing days were over, Charles focused his sights on U Sports, playing for the St Thomas University and the University of New Brunswick, earning himself a Bachelor of Arts in Economics, a Masters in Business Administration and winning a CIS National Championship (UNB 2013-14). After completing his masters, Coach Lavigne had the opportunity to join the Syracuse Crunch (AHL) for the remainder of that season. He then finished his playing career overseas in the Ligue Magnus (France), winning a French Championship (2014-2015).

“I’m excited for the opportunity to join the club that I played for during my time in the CCHL,” Lavigne was quoted as saying in the press release. “Rick (Dorval) has built a consistent contender, and I plan, along with the rest of the staff, to continue to add to it.”

Welcome back to the Flock Charles!

Hawks trade netminder Tovell to Salmon Arm

The Hawkesbury Hawks have traded netminder Matthew Tovell to the Junior A Salmon Arm Silverbacks of the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL). The Silverbacks received Tovell in return for future considerations.

The 20-year-old netminder played solid hockey for the Hawks after joining the team as a mid-season replacement when starting goaltender Max Donoso was called up to the Ottawa 67’s. Tovell was stellar in goal for Hawkesbury, posting a record of 14-3-2, with a 1.94 Goals Against Average (GAA) and .927 save percentage during the second half of the season. He then lead Hawkesbury through the playoffs into the finals, where the Hawks fell to the Ottawa Junior Senators in four games.

Prior to joining the Hawks, Tovell played in the OHL with the Windsor Spitfires and the LaSalle Vipers of the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League (GOJHL). In total, he played an amazing 63 games combined with all teams during the 2021/2022 season, including regular season and playoffs.

“Adding a goaltender with the games played experience that Matthew has was what intrigued us about him,” said Silverbacks General Manager Brooks Christensen in a press release from the team. “He had a strong year being heavily leaned on and will look to do the same coming here.”

Tovell said he is excited to be joining the Salmon Arm squad and is looking forward to helping the team win a championship.

I’m very happy for Matthew. He stepped in for the Hawks when we really needed him last season and was a great goaltender and teammate. Good luck Matt!

Pipers sign Alexandria native Pierre-Luc Sabourin

The Glengarry Pipers have signed Alexandria native Pierre-Luc Sabourin for the upcoming 2022-2023 Eastern Ontario Super Hockey League (EOSHL) season.

Sabourin, who played Junior hockey with the Alexandria Glens and Char-Lan Rebels, was previously with the South Stormont Mustangs. A defenceman, he recorded 5 assists in 17 EOSHL games last season for the Mustangs.

In a post on the Pipers’ Facebook page, the team said Pipers GM Jamie Lavigne knew he had to have Sabourin in black and yellow threads. Pierre-Luc is a big name in the community and will help bolster the Pipers back end.

The Pipers will be playing the 2022-2023 season out of the Glengarry Sports Palace in Alexandria.

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, Hawkesbury Hawks, and Alexandria Glens Junior hockey clubs. His column appears weekly in The Review.