2023 national mens u18 championship gaulois quebec

Road to the Men’s U18 National Club Championship: Gaulois de Saint-Hyacinthe

Finally hosting the Men’s U18 National Club Championship three years later, the Gaulois have shown their ability to adapt and challenge for a national title

Jonathan Yue
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April 20, 2023
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After three years, the Gaulois de Saint-Hyacinthe are finally set to host the Men’s U18 National Club Championship inside historic Stade Louis-Philippe-Gaucher.

Originally slated to host the 2020 tournament before it was cancelled in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, the team and the city have been preparing for their time in the spotlight and are ready to show off.

“Everyone in the organization and organizing committee are just as committed to this event since we found out about hosting three years ago,” head coach Jean-Philippe Sansfaçon says. “We had good crowds, more than 1,000 people, during the Champions Classic, so you can definitely feel the excitement around the team and city.”

While excited for the chance at a national title, the Gaulois, who finished fifth in the Ligue de développement du hockey M18 AAA du Québec (LDHM18AAAQ) during the regular season with a 26-16 record, have learned their fair share of lessons on their way to the tournament. Needing to play in a wild card game to earn a spot in the Champions Classic (which doubled as the Quebec Regional tournament), Saint-Hyacinthe capitalized on its second chance by winning three straight to claim the LDHM18AAAQ championship banner.

Led by Caleb Desnoyers upfront, the rest of the lineup has shown it can step up and contribute when opportunities arise. When No. 1 goaltender Cédric Cyr Dauphinais suffered an injury after starting every playoff game leading into the Champions Classic, backup Rémi Cloutier, who hadn’t started a game since Jan. 28, was thrust into action and didn’t miss a step.

“Rémi Cloutier has had an impeccable work ethic over the past months, always supporting the guys during the good and bad moments,” Sansfaçon says. “It was nice to see him have success when he came back between the pipes and to see the team play well for him."

Even though they are the hosts and get to play in front of their home fans, the Gaulois know they must keep their emotions in check but also take in the experience.

“At the tournament, we don't want to add unnecessary pressure on our shoulders, we want to have fun and play at our best from game to game,” Sansfacon says. “We want to take advantage of the chance to play for a national championship in our city."

The Gaulois won’t have to wait long to welcome their home fans to the Men’s U18 National Club Championship, as they face off against the Pacific champion Calgary Flames on April 24.

HOW THEY GOT TO SAINT-HYACINTHE

Ligue de développement du hockey M18 AAA du Québec
Tacks semifinal: defeated Cantonniers de Magog 3-2 (4-3, 3-2, 1-7, 3-7, 4-2)
Tacks final: lost to Lions du Lac St-Louis 3-2 (3-4, 4-3, 3-1, 0-5, 2-5)
Wild card semifinal: defeated Forestiers d’Amos 6-3

Quebec Regional
Wild card: defeated Estacades de Trois-Rivières 4-1
Semifinal: defeated Vikings de Saint-Eustache 3-2
Final: defeated Blizzard de Séminaire Saint-François 5-2

REGULAR SEASON

Record: 26-16-0 (5th in LDHM18AAAQ)
Goals for: 168
Goals against: 128
Top 3 scorers:
- Caleb Desnoyers – 23G 30A 53P (3rd in LDHM18AAAQ)
- Émile Guité – 26G 22A 48P (7th in LDHM18AAAQ)
- Dominic Pilote – 16G 22A 38P (17th in LDHM18AAAQ)

PLAYOFFS

Record: 5-5
Goals for: 27
Goals against: 39
Top 3 scorers
- Caleb Desnoyers 3G 10A 13P
- Émile Guité - 13G 6A 19P
- Samuel Beaulieu – 3G 2A 5P

NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY

2010 – Gaulois du Collège Antoine-Girouard | fourth place | 3-0-2 | 23GF 10GA
2003 – Gaulois du Collège Antoine-Girouard | silver medal | 5-0 | 23GF 6GA

PLAYERS TO WATCH

CALEB DESNOYERS
offensive dynamo … great hockey sense … competitive … two-way forward

ÉMILE GUITÉ
easy to coach … great shot … physical

NOAH LABERGE
Poised … great hockey sense … power play QB … great transitions

QMJHL DRAFTED PLAYERS

Dominic Pilote – Rimouski Oceanic 2022 (3rd round, 50th overall)
Mathieu Taillefer – Halifax Mooseheads 2022 (4th round, 65th overall)
Noah Laberge - Acadie-Bathurst Titan 2022 (4th round, 67th overall)
Samuel Beauchemin – Rouyn-Noranda Huskies 2022 (5th round, 78th overall)
Mattias Gilbert – Baie-Comeau Drakkar 2022 (5th round, 79th overall)
William Dumont – Drummondville Tigres 2022 (11th round, 189th overall)
Timothé Girard – Gatineau Olympiques 2022 (13th round, 230th overall)
Emile Dubois - Gatineau Olympiques 2021 (13th round, 228th overall)

For more information:

Esther Madziya
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada

(403) 284-6484 

[email protected] 

Spencer Sharkey
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada

(403) 777-4567

[email protected]

Jeremy Knight
Manager, Corporate Communications
Hockey Canada

(647) 251-9738

[email protected]

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