On Jan. 25, the Montreal Canadiens Alumni played against Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) Fire Department at the Pembroke Memorial Centre as part of a special fundraiser game. The money collected went to help fund programs run by the Ottawa Valley District Girls Hockey Association (OVDGHA). From left are OVDGHA players Mila Jones and Ruby Pilatzke, CNL Vice-President, Health, Safety, Security, Environment and Quality Kevin Daniels, NHL Alumni Chris Nilan, Lieutenant Colonel Richard Raymond, OVDGH player Kaitlyn Gage, Pembroke Mayor Michael LeMay, CNL Fire Department Captain Gary McRae, OVDGHA players Ava Zadow and Chelsea Pleau and Coach Stan Keon. (Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)
Kevin and Travis St. Amour examine the large collection of autographs. (Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)
Garrison Petawawa Deputy Commander Lieutenant Colonel Richard Raymond (left) played alongside Montreal Canadiens alumni during a fundraising game at the PMC on Jan. 25. (Submitted photo)
As he was called onto the ice, NHL alumnus Brian Skrudland fist-bumped the players from the Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) Fire Department. (Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)
Players from the Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) Fire Department face off against former Montreal Canadians. (Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)
The Montreal Canadians may be retired from the National Hockey League (NHL) but that doesn’t mean they've lost their touch. They are fierce against the Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) Fire Department. (Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)
It’s the Habs against the Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) Fire Department in this fundraising hockey game on Jan. 25. (Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)
Liam Pardy and Lochlan Serre are ecstatic to have had their jersey signed by some of the hockey history’s greatests. (Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)
Some of the fans were given the chance to partake in a meet and greet with the habs. Hadleigh Boxall, 9, gets Stephane Richer autograph.(Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)
Montreal Canadiens alumni come to Pembroke and raise funds for OVDGHA
By Patricia Leboeuf
Posted on Thursday February 1, 2018
To raise money for the Ottawa Valley District Girls Hockey Association (OVDGHA), former members of the Montreal Canadiens battled on the ice against the Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) Fire Department.
The Pembroke Memorial Centre became the battleground between these hockey players as they attempted to one-up each other on Jan. 25. Pembroke was just one of many stops the Habs alumni took along their tour as they make their way through Canada, playing against 35 local teams and raising money for charitable causes.
“We were fortunate enough that they called us and offered us a game,” said Organizer Chris Pleau. “It is pretty exciting,” he added. “It is a good fundraiser for girls’ hockey.”
Different cities had different line-ups according to player availability. Here, the Montreal Canadiens line-up included Richard Sevigny, Oleg Petrov, Keith Acton, Normand Dupont, Gilbert Delorme, Chris Nilan, Sergio Momesso, Brian Skrudland, Stephane Richer, Marc Andre Bergeron and Patrice Brisebois. Yvon Lambert coached the team to their 12-4 victory.
A meet and greet hour was held preceding the game for the most dedicated of fans. For an hour beforehand, they were invited to get autographs, ask questions and hang out with their heroes.
“I’m a diehard Habs fan,” said Justin Boxall, CNL Fire Department player. “So this is a childhood dream come true. I’ve grown up being a Montreal Canadiens fan and when the opportunity came up, I couldn’t pass it up.”
Once it was time to hit the ice, however, all camaraderie amongst rivals disappeared and both teams competed to their skill level.
“They are absolute gentleman but if you play against them they won’t let you win,” said Garrison Petawawa Deputy Commander Lieutenant Colonel Richard Raymond, who played alongside the Habs. Though he is not a professional hockey player himself, he is a common sight on the ice locally.
So, he was not only pleased for the chance to play on the Canadiens’ team but also to help raise money for the OVDGHA. “I think it is brilliant,” said LCol Raymond.
The OVDGHA does run several programs to help girls get into the sport. They will be subsidized by the proceeds collected from the game.
Getting young women into sports like hockey is important to help them stay active, develop confidence and learn leadership skills, said Pleau.
OVDGHA Coach Dan Shields agreed. “I think that any sport that they get involved in is healthy and the team atmosphere generates a lot of positive things,” said Shields. “We want to get more kids involved in hockey, especially girls since they often get thrown in with the boys and sort of get lost in the mix,” he added. “This way they can be on their own an develop a little quicker.”