The memories are rushing back for Guy Mongeon these days.
It was 31 years ago that a teenaged Guy suited up for Sudbury Burgess at
the 1987 Air Canada Cup in Gloucester, Ont., helping Sudbury to a
fourth-place finish at Canada’s National Midget Championship.
“I remember who I played against and some of the guys who ended up in the
NHL,” says Guy, now a physician in Sudbury. “Olaf Kolzig was a goaltender
for the [Atlantic] team. Joe Sakic was probably the biggest player around.
And Rod Brind’Amour played for Saskatchewan at the time. Those are pretty
big names. The best player played for the Quebec team, Réginald Savage. He
was, in my opinion, the best.”
Fast forward to 2018 and another Mongeon is set to take the ice at Midget
nationals. Guy’s 18-year-old son, Joel, is a defenceman with the host team
for the current edition of the TELUS Cup, the Sudbury Nickel Capital
Joel and the Nickel Capital Wolves have had a memorable 2017-18 season,
finishing second in the Great North Midget League (GNML) with a 31-4-1
record and winning the Midget AAA title at the renowned International
Silver Stick tournament in January.
Joel says that tournament win only ranks behind the 2014 Big Nickel
Tournament, when his Major Bantam Sudbury Wolves won the championship, the
first such win for a Sudbury team in over 20 years.
The younger Mongeon describes himself as a two-way defenceman and has
enjoyed quite the season with the Wolves. He led all Sudbury defencemen
with 12 goals and 51 points, which left him sixth in team scoring. Joel
also led the GNML with 30 assists.
“We’ve had a pretty good season and have had some pretty big wins,” says
Joel. “At provincials, we didn’t perform the way we wanted to (Sudbury went
1-4 at the Central Regional) but it was a good tune up for TELUS Cup.
“I think we have a pretty good chance at TELUS. From a talent perspective,
this is one of the most talented teams I’ve played with. It’s just about
putting it all together, having good practices and taking it game by game.
We have a good chance.”
This year’s tournament is special on a number of fronts. Guy will have the
pleasure of watching his son play in the same event that he did 31 years
ago. But it’s extra special because Sudbury is host team and all games take
place at the friendly confines of Sudbury Community Arena, which is a
second home to the Mongeons. That means Joel will have a lot of support in
the stands from his parents, grandparents and other family and friends.
The 1987 Air Canada Cup was the end of the line for Guy’s hockey career.
Father and son have talked hockey for years and one thing Guy mentions to
Joel time and again is embracing every moment this week.
“There is definitely some excitement, some pride. I know what he’s going
through so I can relate to his excitement and preparation for this
tournament,” says Guy. “I talk to him about the games, people we played
against, and who I played with, how much fun it was and how you never
“You never forget that kind of tournament. That was it for me for hockey
after that. That was the highlight. That’s what I try to tell him … if you
don’t continue, you’ll remember this forever.”