The Leap Year weekend proved unlucky for the Cougars. The Gatineau Hull-Volant managed to grab two more victories to win the quarterfinals series challenge between the two clubs in the National Capital Junior Hockey League (NCJHL) playoffs session. Gatineau finished the quarterfinals with four games to their credit, compared to two for Vankleek Hill in the best-of-seven series.
Gatineau now moves on to the semifinal round in the NCJHL playoffs schedule. The Cougars take a rest, review their accomplishments over the past season and get ready for their end-of-season supper.
“For the season, we are really satisfied,” said Marc Berniqué, Cougars’ general manager, during a March 2 phone interview. “We finished first in our division so we can’t complain.”
Looking back over the past six games of the quarterfinals series, Berniqué noted that the Cougars and the Hull-Volant were two well-matched teams. “There were a few mistakes we made that we didn’t recover from,” he said.
Berniqué observed that the club was able to recruit lots of local players to the roster, which was one of the goals that he, Coach Franky Dopelhamer and Assistant Coach Greg McEachern had set for themselves when they joined forces to become the new co-owners of Vankleek Hill’s junior hockey team. He expects the Cougars will have another strong team of local talent on the ice during the NCJHL’s 2020-2021 season.
“I think we’ll have a good competitive team,” he said.