THREE-RIVERS — on The last night was short for Samuel Asselin. With his teammates and dozens of supporters, he locked himself in a small bar of Bathurst to celebrate the conquest of the President’s Cup on Sunday in front of the Armada of Blainville-Boisbriand.
It was a first championship for the former-Cataracts, exchanged at Feasts. And he already knows he will remember all his life.
“It’s a feeling indescribable to win a championship. Imagine doing it at home, in front of your supporters! For more than 30 minutes after the end of the match, nobody had even moved in the stands. Later, we found ourselves over 300 in a bar of some 70 places to continue celebrating. It was sick!”, he confides.
Asselin was not, however, convinced when the Cataracts have announced that he had to do his knapsack. As a veteran of 19 years, he had expressed the wish to have a chance to go to the end. But let’s say that it is imagined in a destination a little more sexy.
“I spoke with Martin (Mondou) and Daniel (Renaud), I hoped to have another chance to beat me to the Cup. Martin has been very correct with me, it sent me into an excellent team. However, I must admit that when I knew that it was Bathurst, it took me a few minutes to understand that it was a good place for me. Then on my arrival there, my perception has completely changed, the city vibrated to the rhythm of the Titan this spring. I didn’t complain at all, we are treated very well. Wherever one goes in the city, we talk hockey! It’s been 20 years that Bathurst has been waiting for this second championship, I can tell you that the atmosphere at this time is magic.”
The Titan can still be drunk for a few hours but then it will be necessary to put it all aside because the championship of the Memorial Cup waiting for him in the middle of the week. It is the peculiarity of junior hockey, the celebrations are short-lived. “It would have taken a few more days, it is clear. But, but, but at the same time, the Memorial Cup, it is exciting also. We leave on [Monday], we are going to meet [on Tuesday] to resume the job. It will be back to business because we don’t want to stop there.”
What passes for the national tournament, the Titan was not stolen. In the finale, the men of Mario Pouliot have been superior to the Armada, the champions of the regular season. In the semi-final, they had also liquidated the powerful Tigers in four games.
“The click took place by winning the sixth match of the first round to face the Saguenéens. It was thought that a picnic was waiting for us in the first round. Gold, Yannick Jean and Claude Bouchard were very well prepared for their team, the Saguenéens have been very tough and we were forced to play the hockey series. When we have eliminated, we have taken the time to speak, to ensure that everyone understood that we were lucky to be part of a team as formidable. He had to seize our chance.”
In the final, the Titan has trouble appeared during the first duel but after that, it was more solid than the fleet of Joel Bouchard.
“The Armada came to play a seventh game in the semi-final, we played against a team still on the adrenaline in the first game in the final. No one panicked however, our group leaders is solid. It was to make the right adjustments. The more the series wore on, we were in control. I imagine that the Armada had to deal with injuries, we our two scans in previous rounds we had helped to eliminate it. I believe that it has had an impact.”
Asselin has provided three goals and eight assists in this quest spring, in 20 games. On her arrival in this season, he had amassed 11 points in 10 games.
“I was hurt, I worked hard to come back and earn my ice time. Mario (Pouliot) I was often used against the best opponent, it was a great challenge. The key in a team like this, it is that all should accept their role. I accepted mine, and I accomplished with pride. It was worth the wait, a championship that has no price. It is time now to prepare for our last mission in Regina.”