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The highlights of the sporting year

by archysport

SPORTS. Several news items have captured the attention of the sports community in the Drummondville region over the past 12 months.

As the new year approaches, L’Express has identified a few.

Bubbles at the Center Marcel-Dionne

After a forced break due to the pandemic, the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) resumes its activities in January. The Voltigeurs and the Center Marcel-Dionne are selected to host four events in a protected environment, including one during the first round of the playoffs. The games are played behind closed doors.

The Voltigeurs and the Center Marcel-Dionne are selected to host four QMJHL protected environment events. (File photo, Ghyslain Bergeron)

For the organization, welcoming these bubbles represents a great challenge. “We’re a team that likes to take on challenges,” explains Voltigeurs director of operations David Boies. It is clear that welcoming a protected area is a great recognition, but it comes with a lot of responsibilities. The continuation of the QMJHL season is directly linked to the success of the bubbles. ”

CH and the Drummondville sector

February 24 is the start of the Dominique Ducharme era in Montreal. In the wake of the dismissal of head coach Claude Julien, the former Voltigeurs pilot has been appointed interim head coach of the Canadiens. A few weeks after guiding the team to the Stanley Cup final, Ducharme was granted a three-year contract extension.

In July, Mathieu Perreault signed a one-season contract with the Canadiens. (Photo: Montreal Canadiens)

During the off-season, the Canadiens organization turns to several players who are native to Drummondville or who have studied with the Voltigeurs. After hiring Mathieu Perreault and Mike Hoffman as free agents, the organization claims Xavier Simoneau during the draft.

In the American League, the Laval Rocket hires forward Danick Martel as well as defenseman Charles-David Beaudoin.

The end of the Simoneau era
Traded from the Voltigeurs to the Islanders, Xavier Simoneau was then drafted by the Canadians. (File photo, Ghyslain Bergeron)

It is the beginning of a new era for the Voltigeurs. A few days after sacrificing veteran William Dufour, the organization trades its captain Xavier Simoneau to the Charlottetown Islanders. In the span of four seasons, the center player has become the heart and soul of the organization.

“Xavier made his mark on the history of the Voltigeurs,” says general manager Philippe Boucher. Thanks to his leadership, he was able to show the way for our young players. It was very difficult to let him go. However, the organization obtains draft picks that it could not pass up for the future of the team. “

In November, Voltigeurs supporters have the opportunity to pay tribute to Xavier Simoneau when he returns to the Center Marcel-Dionne.

Ethan Gauthier, the first of the class

On June 25, Ethan Gauthier became the first hockey player from the Drummondville region to be chosen first in the history of the QMJHL draft since Alex Bourret in 2002. The Sherbrooke Phoenix made the 16-year-old forward his first choice during this virtual selection session.

Ethan Gauthier is claimed first overall in the QMJHL draft. (Screenshot).

“There are so many talented players on this list. To come out first is an incredible sense of pride! I am really excited. Of course, it would have been a dream to live this moment in a packed amphitheater, but the feeling of pride remains the same ”, expresses the son of Denis Gauthier, who will see his older brother Kaylen join him in Sherbrooke in December.

The day after the first round, goaltender Louis-Félix Charrois was chosen by the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies while forward Lyam Jacques was selected by the Rimouski Oceanic.

Four picks in the first round

Through a few major transactions, the Voltigeurs get their hands on four young prospects in the first round of the QMJHL virtual draft. This is only the fifth time in the history of the circuit that a team has achieved this feat.

The Voltigeurs manage to convince Tyler Peddle to pursue his career in Drummondville. (File photo, Ghyslain Bergeron)

In second place overall, the Drummondville organization made a daring bet by selecting Nova Scotia striker Tyler Peddle. The 16-year-old has never hidden his desire to pursue his career in the United States, but DG Philippe Boucher is hopeful that he will be able to convince him to opt for Drummondville. After a visit to the Marcel-Dionne Center with his family, the gifted youngster finally agrees to join the Voltigeurs.

Still in the first round, the Voltigeurs select defenders Matteo Rotondi (11e rank) and Marc-Olivier Beaudry (16e choice) as well as striker Loïc Goyette (17e step).

The region well represented in Tokyo

Delayed for a year due to the pandemic, the Tokyo Olympics are played behind closed doors during the summer. In the road race, Hugo Houle helped his compatriot Michael Woods to reach fifth position. In the time trial, the cyclist from Sainte-Perpétue finished the race in 13e position.

The youngest member of the Canadian artistic swimming team, Rosalie Boissonneault participates in the Olympic Games in Tokyo. (Photo: Ian MacNicol)

“To make the top 15 today, for me, it’s an exceptional performance,” comments Hugo Houle. This is the best I can go for. If you look around me, they’re big machines. “

In artistic swimming, Drummondvilloise Rosalie Boissonneault caused a surprise by piercing the Canadian Olympic team. Barely 18, the one who made her debut with the Nixines is the youngest member of the squad. The Canadians conclude their adventure in Tokyo with a sixth place finish.

Originally from Saint-Germain, Élodie Tessier participates in the Paralympic Games as a member of the Canadian women’s wheelchair basketball team. Arriving in Tokyo, the Canadians are aiming for a medal, but ultimately have to settle for fifth place.

For her part, Drummondvilloise Marie Hébert is selected to referee in the discipline of boccia.

Vincent Bourgeois’ resilience

A beautiful story of courage and resilience is being written on the ground of the Jacques-Desautels stadium on June 17. Less than a year after being close to death in a road accident on the Jean-Lesage highway, Vincent Bourgeois is making an emotional comeback in the Saint-Fred uniform. The spectators extend a warm welcome to the 24-year-old athlete.

Vincent Bourgeois returns to the emotional game. (File photo, Ghyslain Bergeron)

“When a goal is important enough to you, nothing will be too difficult, reacts the one who is heavily involved in minor and school baseball. It’s been almost a year now that the hope of putting my crampons back on and running on the field has motivated me to work. The doubts during the course only made the moment even more extraordinary. “

The Voltigeurs, kings and masters

In October, the Cégep de Drummondville Voltigeurs baseball team won a third consecutive playoff title with the Quebec Student Sport Network (RSEQ). In the final, on the ground of the Jacques-Desautels stadium, the troop led by Samuel Guilbert defeated the Lynx of Cégep Édouard-Montpetit by the mark of 6-0 to put an exclamation point to a perfect season.

The Voltigeurs won a third consecutive RSEQ title. (File photo, Ghyslain Bergeron)

“Everyone did their job,” comments Samuel Guilbert after this triumph. We are very proud! This third title was more difficult to obtain. We had to earn it. We had everything to lose. It’s a relief somewhere. We will be able to train as champions during the winter. “

Earlier in the year, the Voltigeurs placed first in the list of the best college baseball programs in Canada.

The Autodrome is for sale

After a season marked by the sanitary constraints imposed by Public Health, we learn that the land of the Autodrome Drummond has been put up for sale by the owners Jacques Constant and Alain Poirier. Despite this hard blow, promoter Yan Bussière is optimistic that he will see races in Drummondville for many more years to come.

The Autodrome Drummond land is for sale. (File photo, Ghyslain Bergeron)

“I’m trying to do everything in my power to ensure that Autodrome Drummond will be there for at least another ten years. The investor will have to find his account there. My plan would be to offer him what I have in mind while continuing the presentation of the races in a profitable way for the purchaser of the ground ”, advances the promoter of 49 years.

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