HOCKEY. Two M13 AAA Elite (Pee-Wee) teams from the Quebec Hockey League of Excellence (LHEQ) were in La Tuque this Friday to play a regular season game.
The Hopes of Saguenay-Lac St-Jean faced for the occasion the Estacades de la Mauricie. This game had a special meaning for one of the players of the Estacades. Indeed, Mavrick Ouellette, originally from La Tuque, had the chance to play in front of his family, friends and supporters for a very rare time.
Before the game, I took advantage of his visit to Latuquois soil to ask him a few questions about his young career as a hockey player, just to allow people who don’t know him to discover him and others to be able to follow his progress. . The #28 is in its third season in Trois-Rivières. The first in the Atom AA category, the second with the M13 AAA Relève, and this year at the highest level in Quebec for this age group, the AAA Elite.
After traveling from La Tuque for each practice and each game during the first seasons, the transition to secondary school forced him to settle there in boarding school to join the sports/studies program, a major challenge for a 12 year old. We all know that going from primary to secondary school is an important step in life. The child becomes an adolescent and must already tame a new school and a new environment. Imagine doing it in a new city too!
I asked him in the first place how did this change happen? “Yes, it was still hard, but since last year I was playing in Trois-Rivières, I already knew several people,” he says. Sport, it’s well known, has always been a good way to make friends quickly and integrate more easily.
Mavrick Ouelette in a few questions:
– Do you manage to combine hockey and studies well? “The hardest thing is that we have our practices in the morning (physical training on Mondays and Fridays, ice training on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays) and school in the afternoon, it is sometimes harder to concentrate when I come back from a practice, but otherwise I have good school results”.
– What do you like most about hockey? » I like to skate! It makes me forget everything and it gives me a feeling of freedom! But I like the little physical side a lot too! “. All those who have already played with or against his father Patrick, will not be at all surprised by this answer!
– What motivates you, what leads you to surpass yourself? “Competition and team spirit make me want to surpass myself in every game”.
– Who had the idea of a game of the Estacades in La Tuque? “My father had spoken about it at the start of the year, then management took advantage of a canceled match against Saguenay-Lac St-Jean to reschedule it at La Tuque”.
“I take it you’re looking forward to playing in front of your hometown fans? ” Sure ! Especially since we have good supporters in La Tuque. Always fun to play in our Colosseum! »
– You and your team had the chance to practice with the Shawinigan Cataractes this week, how was it? “Very nice experience! We were able to learn more and in a different way, and we experienced a morning in QMJHL mode”.
– You will also represent the Cataractes at the prestigious Tournoi international Pee-Wee de Québec. How does it feel to be able to play in this tournament where almost all the great players in the history of hockey have played? It’s a privilege, especially since we’re going to play against big clubs from other provinces and countries! “.
– Where do you see yourself next year? “In the M15 Relève AAA, continuing my development with the Estacades”.
– And in 5-10 years? “I hope to play in professional leagues! “.
– 19 points in your first 21 games, that’s very good! What things have you learned in recent seasons that have made you a better player? “Positioning, demarcation, relentlessness, teamwork. “.
– Who is your favorite player in the NHL? Connor McDavid inspires me a lot! “.
– Your favorite team? ” Canadians “
– What would be your biggest dream for your hockey career? It’s sure to make the NHL! ” What question!
– And your biggest dream? “Leave me a company”
A nice crowd lined the stands of the Colisée Denis-Morel at the start of Friday evening, the mascot of Ville de La Tuque Tatuk entertained the children and we welcomed the return to the scorers’ bench of the friendly host Dany Doré, who offered us a scoop his version of O Canada. Everything was in place for a great hockey night.
A few minutes before the Estacades took to the ice, Patrick, Mavrick’s father, suddenly burst into the locker room with a pile of Wolves jerseys (which they wore during the warm-up period). He explained to them that they were in “Wolfpack” territory and that’s how it was in La Tuque! He also served them a little motivational speech reminding them that the strength and efficiency of a pack of Wolves is when they work together.
The message seems to have gone through very well because the Mauricie team quickly opened the scoring early in the game, and then gave themselves a 4-0 lead as 10 different players each collected a point. It’s hard to do better when it comes to teamwork! The level of play was excellent, especially when you realize that these young players are only 11-12 years old after all. They master notions of hockey that most players manage to acquire much later. The positioning, the decision-making, the execution, the overall game is impressive. When we talk about the Elite, we understand why by seeing them play! They have a sense of hockey far superior to the average for this age group. Very good show!
The Estacades finally won by a score of 6-2 in a one-sided game! Logan Leclair, with 2 assists, earned the third star of the game, while Jakob Royer with his 2 goals took the second. And in a scenario worthy of Hollywood, with 1 goal and 1 assist, Mavrick Ouellette, the local favorite, collected the first star to the delight of the crowd!
The post game
Before leaving the arena, I treated myself to a little chat with Patrick Ouellette, father of Mavrick, with whom I played in the heyday of the Expros league! He told me that the organization of the Estacades had really enjoyed the experience, and that the chances of seeing the event repeat itself in the years to come were good. He also said that it was still rare for the team to take the bus, and that this trip to La Tuque would surely weld the team spirit, bring the players closer together and give them a little “boost” from here. the end of the season.
The conversation then took a slightly more emotional turn. A little over a year ago, Patrick’s spouse and Mavrick’s mother, Marie-Claude, died in an accident. I asked him how things were going for them. Grieving is a long process, different from person to person, he told me that it progressed slowly and that things were getting better and better, that hockey had been a great help for Mavrick. A tough ordeal in the face of which he showed courage, resilience and perseverance in order to pursue his dreams. A model for many other young Latuquois hockey players.
Good luck for the rest of your Mavrick career!
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Mavrick Ouellette steals the show – L’Écho de la Tuque
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