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Monday , 23 May 2022
The St. Paul Canadiens U18s with a Provincial silver hanging from their necks. Image submitted.

U18 Canadiens put pieces together for Provincials silver medal

The U18 St. Paul Canadiens team may be disappointed in how their final game of the season ended up, but long-term, they know what they accomplished was a special feat.

After a terrific season, the Canadiens Tier II team took back a silver medal from Provincials, hosted in Westlock from March 31-April 3.

Team manager Gisele Langevin-Fontaine said at times it was a difficult season for the group, but found ways to persevere and win games, going through the regular season with a 17-7 record, good enough for second place in their division. 

“All season we were missing kids due to work for other commitments. At that age, some play other sports. We have some in curling and volleyball or football and basketball,” she said. 

“In that sense, it was a difficult season and a difficult battle, but our kids pulled it off. And they showed up when they needed to.” 

To start March, the Canadiens squared off against the Kitscoty Pitbulls and got through with a pair of 5-3 and 6-4 victories, setting up a final against the top team in their division — Marwayne/Dewberry.

“Our kids played their best hockey games, I find in those those two playoff series. Heading into the Marwayne series, in my mind, I’m saying our kids have to play their game, because this can go either way. I was expecting close games. When Marwayne chose to come to us first, and we beat them 9-3, that was mind blowing, nobody expected that result in that game,” said Langevin-Fontaine. 

“I bet you that was their best game all season. And then to go back to Marwayne a week later, because that was on the Sunday, we went back to Marwayne on Saturday, and we ended up winning in overtime.” 

The U18 St. Paul Canadiens after winning the NEAHL Tier II banner. Image submitted.

In the Provincial tournament, St. Paul took care of Kneehill by a score of 8-2, but lost in the second round-robin game to Edson 5-1. Facing off against Trails West, the Canadiens punched their ticket into the semi-finals with a 9-4 victory.

“Provincials was an awesome experience for the kids. We have kids that hadn’t made it there yet. It was great. We knew we had potential watching the other team play,” said Langevin-Fontaine. 

In the early semi-final game Sunday, Parker Sabatier’s first period goal stood up unchallenged, as the Canadiens added another with just seconds remaining in regulation to win 2-0, queuing up a gold medal rematch against Edson.

However, it was not meant to be. Despite an early 2-0 lead, Edson chipped away in the 2nd and 3rd periods, eventually going up 3-2 in the final frame, and not relinquishing their edge.

St. Paul left Westlock with provincial hardware for their four aging-out players: Nicholas Siewiertoka, Julian Renauld, Damian Langevin Whitford and Evan Songer.

“It was a good experience. It was a sad loss, but a good experience and a good way to finish our season as we had booked a tournament in Devon, but they had to cancel it because they didn’t have enough teams. So we hadn’t been able to attend a tournament this season. Provincials was our team bonding tournament and they had a blast,” said Langevin-Fontaine. 

“We had awesome parents, awesome coaching staff, awesome kids. It’s not too often you see where there’s not really any conflicts on the team.”

Roster 

St. Paul Canadiens 3 Logan Renauld
St. Paul Canadiens 4 Jayden Logan
St. Paul Canadiens 5 Parker Sabatier
St. Paul Canadiens 6 Joshua Siewiertoka
St. Paul Canadiens 7 Ryan Songer
St. Paul Canadiens 8 Jacob Jean
St. Paul Canadiens 9 Owen Zarowny
St. Paul Canadiens 10 Brennen Riopel
St. Paul Canadiens 11 Dalin Fejzullai
St. Paul Canadiens 12 Ryan Hannin
St. Paul Canadiens 14 Dalton Howse
St. Paul Canadiens 15 Ty Lafrance
St. Paul Canadiens 16 Logan Lang
St. Paul Canadiens 17 Nicholas Siewiertoka
St. Paul Canadiens 18 Julian Renauld
St. Paul Canadiens 19 Darryl WhiskeyJack
St. Paul Canadiens 20 Damian Langevin Whitford
St. Paul Canadiens 31 Brady Scrannage
St. Paul Canadiens 35 Evan Songer

About Michael Menzies

Menzies is the editor-at-large for Connected Media Inc. Born and raised in Vermilion, he started in May 2018 during his NAIT Radio and Television practicum and reports on local politics, sports, and community issues. He became the Bonnyville Pontiacs play-by-play voice during the 2019-20 season. He also comments on provincial and national issues. Menzies hosts Connected! Evening Monday-Thursday at 5 o’clock. He also likes to buy books and read some of them.