So with the Sens out of the playoffs, I fully admit that I was missing seeing hockey live. With training camp still months away, I figured I'd make the trip over the border and take in some QMJHL playoff action, as the Gatineau Olympiques took on the Quebec Ramparts and Patrick Roy. Of course as always, I documented it for your reading pleasure. I don't go to Jr hockey very much, but maybe I should start more. It's always a good time and you can't beat seats that close for only $16. So with my duckets in hand, on to la belle province I went.
This was the VIP and player entrance at the Robert Guertin Arena. Not exactly call VIP, but to their credit, as least it was used by someone later, unlike another VIP entrance in Florida from another Photo Diary. The Panthers have a red carpet, the Olympiques have red doors. I don't want to get into an argument about which is better, but Gatineau definitely has more fans sadly.
These were on the seats when I got there, how original. Does every hockey team have some secret deal to keep the poorly made white terry cloth towel business alive? Conspiracy theorists get on this.
A plaque inside the Bob to commemorate the opeing of the arena back when it was still Hull, which it will always be to me anyways. I looked online a bit and asked around but no one knew the answer of why it's called Robert-Guertin arena. Does anyone happen to know?
This was during the pre game warmup, which for some reason, the Olympiques wore practice jerseys for. I thought it might be a Q thing for a minute, but the Ramparts had their regular jerseys on. Can anyone explain this for me? Pretty solid seats for 16 clams don't ya think?
Some banners showing off some of the past accomplishments of the franchise, who have won 7 QMJHL titles, the most of any organization I learned. Only 1 memorial cup though. Sound like anyone? Minus the championship.
Anthem time and it was weird to hear it mostly in French, and not from an OPP constable. On the bright side, I didn't have to see him do that creepy wink/kiss, so that was a plus.
A jersey foul on their mascot Hully, named after the former city in which the franchise played. I don't know where they got their new color scheme of orange and purple from, but I preferred the Hull Olympiques in their black and silver.
At first you might be thinking, why is he showing me this pic, there's nothing going on here. Well look up, way up to the TV's, which were playing the Habs game instead of the game we were watching live. Everytime the Habs scored, the crowd cheered. They even announced the win over the PA, complete with the goal scorers. If I forgot I was in Quebec, this quickly reminded me.
It wouldn't be a Jr game without a bit of a dust up would it? I just checked with Don Cherry and he confirmed that no it would not. So there you go, what a beauty!
These are the luxury suites at the Bob, pretty swanky huh? You may be laughing but Long Island isn't, they're jealous.
And Quebec celebrate the go ahead goal, scored with around 4 minutes left to play. The place got really quiet and everyone looked sad. Since I'm a Sens fan, I pratically invented that look in the playoffs.
A cool little tribute to former Olympiques coach, hockey legend and Gatineau resident Pat Burns. What a nice touch, loving the locks Burnsy. It's a shame the HHOF wouldn't put him in before his passing. Also can't help at snicker at Jose Theodore's number hanging in the rafters.
And the final buzer sounds, with Gatineau losing 2-1 and now trailing the series by the same score. The only positive, I finally found an arena with a worse scoreboard than SBP. Attendance was over 3500, which pretty solid and basically a sell out. However despite being more than 50 years old, the Bob still beats SBP because they offer slush puppies and wings at their games, plus beers are only $4.75 and there's free parking. If the Sens don't pick it up this might become Olympiques Town.
And finally, the Ramparts celebrate their win while Gatineau fans boo'd them, no real suprise there. All in all, it was fun to hit up the game. I hadn't been in quite some time and it reminded me of the more simple side of sports, instead of the more money hungry/corporate side of pro sports. The hockey isn't nearly as good, but it's a fun time, very affordable and a great place to go if you need a hockey fix. Game 4 is tomorrow at 7:30pm, so if you're bored, make the short drive over to Gatineau and grab yourself a cheap beer and enjoy some hockey. And oh ya, you get to see Patrick Roy in a cheap Le Chateau looking suit too. Must have borrowed it from Cory Clouston.
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