Hard to believe that the 2001-2002 Hockey Season in Waskaganish is almost over. Still, theres’s lots of hockey excitment left to play as the Recreational Hockey League playoffs are well under way. However, I reckon that by the time this will be printed, the Finals will be over and the players will be awaiting NHL playoff fever to begin.
Three teams are remaining in the hunt. Now that the Eagles have eliminated the Huskies, they’ll play the winner of the Bears/Wolves 3 out of 5 semi-finals. The Bears stayed alive by winning 4-3 in the last minute of the game after losing game 3 in a shoot-out. The two-time defending Champions Wolves hope to repeat to make it a third championship in a row. In this case it would be a “threepeat!” And like we say in French, “Jamais deux sans trois!” Even though the RHL season is near the end, it has been quite a remarkable winter hockey season for some of the players of the league.
Back in January, the two league governors, the Bears’ Dan Taylor and the Eagles’ Charles Hester, had made up a RHL all-star team in a matter of two days in order to participate in a local tournament. Without a real team jersey and an official team name, a bunch of guys who had never really competed together came up with a sensational team effort to Win It All in the B section, much to the surprise of local fens. Who would have believed in their chances besides the players themselves? The Underdogs of town had proven that you cannot underestimate your opponent. It didn’t take long in the Winners dressing room for the official name to unanimously become: the Waskaganish Rec Dawgs.
The idea of taking part in another tournament was on everyone’s mind. Before leaving the arena, without a moment of a doubt, they had agreed to enter the Chisasibi Tournament in March.
Well, if you happened to be one of those thousand hockey supporters that got stuck in Chisasibi on that freezing rain weekend when a blizzard blew into town, you witnessed the Rec Dawgs Win It Again as they won the B division 5-3 in a tight battle against the Wemindji Slyfbxes. Lets admit The First Win was a shocker to everyone but this second one in a row, how sweet it was!! Back in the champs dressing room, you could feel the sense of accomplishment in the air. Again, the Dawgs had won ‘cause they had played as a team. I’ll never forget that moment!! As for now, some of the Rec Dawgs are trying to win the RHL League Finals. When that’s over with, they’ll be getting ready for what will be their shot at the Challenge Cup in Wemindji. And like I said: “Jamais deux sans trois?” So… who let those Rec Dawgs out?
Note: Benoît Côté is the Wolves’ Rec Dawg goalie