The Vankleek Hill Cougars took advantage of being back home on the weekend, picking up two wins, including a 4-2 victory over the league-leading South Grenville Rangers on Sunday (February 5).

Vankleek’s Hill’s (16-11-1-2) win over South Grenville (22-5-3-0) at the Robert Hartley Sports Complex in Hawkesbury came less than 24 hours after the Cougars earned a 6-2 win home win over the Almonte Inferno (8-19-2-2) on the same ice surface.

With the two wins, Vankleek Hill is now tied with the St-Isidore Eagles (16-10-1-2) for fifth place in the National Capital Junior Hockey League (NCJHL) standings, with both teams sitting at 35 points. St-Isidore has played one less game than Vankleek Hill.

The Eagles were 1-2 over three games on a busy weekend. St-Isidore fell 6-4 to the Gatineau-Hull Volant (22-11-0-0) on Friday (February 3) and to the Morrisburg Lions (11-19-0-2) on Saturday (February 4). The Eagles rebounded in front of their home fans on Sunday (February 5) with a 5-4 overtime victory over the Clarence Castors (21-7-2-1).

The Cougars are at home again for two games this coming weekend. On Saturday (February 11) Vankleek Hill hosts the Gatineau-Hull Volant at The Bob in Hawkesbury. Game time is 7:30 p.m.

Sunday (February 12) will feature a clash between two Prescott-Russell NCJHL squads, as the third-place Clarence Castors travel to Hawkesbury to face the Cougars at The Bob. Puck drop is at 7:30 p.m.

Vankleek Hill Cougars forward Maxime Laliberté (24) had a hat trick in the Cougars’ 6-2 win over the Almonte Inferno on Saturday, February 4. File Photo: Sylvain Lauwers

Sunday, February 5 – Vankleek Hill Cougars 4 South Grenville Rangers 2

Frederick Duroucher-Bourdon stopped 21 of 23 shots to lead the Cougars to a 4-2 win over South Grenville.

Mikael Bissonnette, Joshua Desjardins Andy Lightle-Blais and John Mahoney scored single goals for Vankleek Hill in the win. Bissonnette, Desjardins and Maxime Laliberté each had two assists in the contest.

Vankleek Hill outshot South Grenville 33-23 on the night.

Saturday, February 4 – Vankleek Hill Cougars 6 Almonte Inferno 2

Maxime Laliberté had a hat trick and rookie netminder Jerémie Tessier stopped 29 of 31 shots, as Vankleek Hill topped the Almonte Inferno 6-2 at The Bob.

Sam Guay, Andy Lightle-Blais, and Joshua Desjardins added single markers in the contest. Desjardins also had two assists, as did Cougars captain Mikael Bissonnette.

St-Isidore, Vankleek Hill face off on Valentine’s Day

Vankleek Hill and the St-Isidore Eagles will finally face off against each other on Valentine’s Day, in a battle for fifth place in the NCJHL. The game was originally scheduled to take place in St-Isidore two weeks ago, but was postponed due to a severe winter storm that passed through the region.

The Cougars and Eagles will face off at the St-Isidore Arena at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, February 14.

For a lot of area hockey fans, that is the perfect way to spend Valentine’s Day!

Wrestler ‘Leaping’ Lanny Poffo had Hawkesbury connection

Canadian-American professional wrestler, motivational speaker, poet, and actor ‘Leaping’ Lanny Poffo, who passed away on February 2, 2023, at the young age of 68, had a connection to Hawkesbury.

The Calgary-born Poffo’s career began in 1974 with the All-South Wrestling Alliance. In 1985, he joined the World Wrestling Federation and adopted the moniker ‘Leaping’ Lanny Poffo. He later became known as ‘The Genius’ among wrestling fans, after donning a cap and gown to fight rivals.

The peak of Poffo’s career came right here in Hawkesbury, Ontario, where on September 3, 2011, he defeated 25 competitors to claim the vacant Great North Wrestling (GNW) Canadian Championship. At the time GNF held shows regularly in Ottawa, Pembroke, and Hawkesbury.

Interestingly, Poffo was the younger sibling of his more famous wrestling brother, Randy ‘Macho Man’ Savage, who passed away in 2011. ‘Leaping’ Lanny made a surprise comeback on March 28, 2015, to induct his late brother into the WWE Hall of Fame. In his reading, Poffo reflected on the Macho Man’s life through the medium of poetry. At WrestleMania 31, Poffo represented his brother alongside the other 2015 Hall of Fame honorees.