Outstanding regular season final push prepares Lions for playoffs
February’s snow accumulations produced records that will long be remembered by snow removal crews and home owners. Matching this chilling take-over of the winter landscape, the Lions stormed through February, accumulating victories in must-win situations that resulted in a strong 5th place finish in the regular season standings. In record fashion, the boys from Champlain St. Lawrence won 9 of their last 12 games and completed the final weekend sweep with stunning road victories at Laflèche (3-1) and in Rouyn-Noranda (6-1).
For a young team, who experienced the frustrations of 8 straight losses in October, while occupying the 12th and final position of the RSEQ standings, there is much to be said about lessons learned from losing and their potential to impact on the next victory.
With a quarter-final best of five series against Lennoxville knocking on the doorstep, the team is poised and looking forward to a challenging opportunity to face their 4th ranked rivals from Champlain. The regular season match up gives the upper hand to the Cougars (2 W and 1 L), but the Lions’ 5-1 win in January means an upset could be in the making. The Cougars bring an experienced group of season veterans to the ice. The Lions are young and peaking at the best time of the season.
The group has been committed to improving all season and is confident in the team identity they have forged throughout the ups and downs of the 2018-19 RSEQ Division 1 hockey season. It is all about paying attention to details and understanding the value in preparing to win every day. Winning is the result of good habits developed over time by good people.
The team will be looking for leadership from veterans like Samuel Dufour, Mathieu Bussières, captain Hugo Guillemette, graduating transfer from Dawson Jeremy Descheneaux and net minder David Duquet. Players realize that the play offs are about being ready to become a difference maker, that every presence can change the result of the game and ultimately the series. The Lions are five-time provincial champions, and like the New England Patriots, they now have an opportunity to make it six. It’s always been about becoming the best in April and making memories.
Game times and dates are being negotiated between the two campus rivals and we hope that you can join us for home games as the Battle of Champlain hits the ice next week.
GO LIONS GO!
This is possible due to dedicated stake holders like teachers, support staff, coaches, student services staff, trainers, equipment managers, skate sharpeners, physiotherapists, team doctors, academic services and players who care about making a difference at Champlain St. Lawrence.
Thank you all,
Coach Mike Labadie