The Glengarry News


Cornwall Nationals wrap up inaugural FHL season

sean Apr 2, 2017 - 2:16pm

The Cornwall Nationals' inaugural season in the Federal Hockey League came to an end on Saturday night at the Civic Complex, where the Berlin River Drivers skated to a 6-3 victory over the Nats in front of 713 fans.

Jay Croop opened the scoring for the Nationals 5:06 into the contest, when he pounced on a rebound and finished with a backhanded shot over a sprawling Cory Simons. Berlin quickly levelled the score, when Yuto Osawa, left all alone in front of Josselin St. Pierre, buried a wrist shot at 7:30 of the opening frame. The River Drivers took a 2-1 lead, when Patrick Harrison trickled over the goal line for a powerplay marker with 4:36 to play in the first.

Moments later, with 2:03 remaining in the period, Jan Salak banged in John Celli’s rebound to give Berlin a two-goal lead. Mitchell Porowski fired an absolute blast past Simons with 3:07 to play in the second period, as Cornwall crept to within a goal.  Harrison beat St. Pierre with a nifty deke for his second of the contest at 4:02 of the third, but MJ Graham got the goal back for Cornwall just 52 seconds later with a great second effort. 

Jiri Pestuka and Charlile Sarault iced it with a pair of short-handed empty-net goals with 1:20 and 25.8 to play in the third.

Berlin outshot Cornwall 49-32.

Chris Cloutier (first, two assists), St. Pierre (second), and Harrison were the announced stars. 

The Nationals finish their inaugural season with a 16-34-4-3 record, placing sixth in the FHL standings.

Alexandria native Joel Trottier took over coaching the team late in the season and is expected to carry on at the helm as the Nats look towards their second year on the ice.

ROAD LOSS: The River Drivers skated to a 9-2 victory over the Nationals on Friday night in Berlin. Celli led the way for the River Drivers with a hat trick, while Dominik Synek had a goal and four assists. Maxime Guyon had both Cornwall markers. Olivier Gervais was tagged with the loss in goal for the Nationals, who were outshot 57-26.

with files from Rodney Wilson

Catching up with the Cornwall Nationals: recent results, skills competition on tap

sean Mar 21, 2017 - 2:37pm

The Cornwall Nationals and local first responders will put their talents on display tonight at Cornwall's multi-sport complex on Seventh Street, as the Federal Hockey League team hosts its inaugural skills competition. The event will take place on pad 1, beginning at 6 p.m.

Former Ottawa 67’s star Dan Tessier will join the fire, police, and paramedic team, as the Nationals look to raise funds for a pair of charities: Crohn’s and Colitis Canada, as well as Cystic Fibrosis Canada. 

The event will be free to fans of all ages, with a donation to these two worthy charities. Events will include shooting accuracy, shootout, passing challenge, hardest shot, and fastest skater.

In addition to Tuesday’s event, the Nationals are currently supporting 25 local initiatives and charities.

Nationals promo

With three games upcoming this weekend, the Cornwall Nationals are offering a special promotion to fans tonight. You can purchase tickets to all three FHL contests for $30. 

On Friday, March 24, Cornwall hosts the Berlin River Drivers at 7:30 p.m. On Saturday, March 25, the Nationals take on the Danbury Titans on home ice, at 7:30 p.m. And finally, Cornwall hosts the last-place St. Clair Shores Fighting Saints on Sunday, March 26, at 6 p.m. 

Tickets for home games are $13 for adults, $10 for seniors/students, and $5 for children under the age of 12.

FIRST RESPONDERS NIGHT: Friday’s game will be dedicated to local first responders. This event will help raise awareness of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and raise funds for the Champlain East branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association. The game will be dedicated to local police officers, firefighters, and paramedics, who selflessly put themselves on the front lines every day to help save lives. Nationals players will be sporting promotional jerseys, which will be auctioned off. There will also be a silent auction, as well as the Rotary Club of Cornwall 50/50.

Q & A WITH NATIONALS: On Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m., Nationals season ticket holders, fans, and sponsors will have the opportunity to take part in a question and answer session with the team. Will Beauvais (owner), Rodney Rivette (president), Basem Awwad (general manager), and Alexandria native Joel Trottier (head coach) will be on hand at the Civic Complex, in Salon C to answer questions, as the team begins to look towards the 2017-18 FHL season. Snacks and refreshments will be available.

Recent Results

The Cornwall Nationals snapped a three-game skid on Sunday afternoon, with a 4-2 victory over the River Drivers in Federal Hockey League action. Lou Dickenson’s power-play goal, his second of the contest, with 32 seconds left in the third period, iced the victory for Cornwall. Curtis Warren also scored twice for the Nationals. 

But the star of the game was unquestionably Francis Dupuis, was outstanding in goal, with a 56-save performance. Cornwall was outshot 58-29.

On Saturday, Danila Alistratov made 49 saves to backstop the Watertown Wolves to a 3-0 victory over the Nationals at the Civic Complex, in front of 416 fans. Colin Macintosh scored twice for the Wolves, while former Nationals forward Jason Dolgy added a single. The speedy MJ Graham had a game-high eight shots on goal for the Nationals, who outshot the Wolves 49-42. Dupuis was tagged with the loss in goal despite a 39-save performance.

Last Friday's contest saw Matt Graham notch a hat trick to lead the Danbury Titans to a 7-5 victory over the Nationals, in Cornwall, as 296 fans took in the action. Taylor Bourne added two goals and three assists for Danbury. JC Houde, Jay Croop, MJ Graham, Tristan Perreault-Gagnon, and Mitchell Porowoski scored for the Nationals. The Titans outshot Cornwall 53-42.

Roster Notes

South Glengarry's Jacob Dawson had been the lone county player on the roster, until he was recently released by the club. 

Now, the only current Glengarry connection to the Nationals is the team's head coach, Joel Trottier

with files from Rodney Wilson

Titans clip Nationals Friday night; back on home ice again tonight

sean Mar 18, 2017 - 7:09pm

Matt Graham had a hat trick to lead the Danbury Titans to a 7-5 victory over the Nationals on Friday night at the Civic Complex in front of 296 fans.

Taylor Bourne added two goals and three assists for Danbury. JC Houde, Jay Croop, MJ Graham, Tristan Perreault-Gagnon, and Mitchell Porowoski scored for the Nationals.

The Titans outshot Cornwall 53-42.

The Nationals are back in action tonight, when the Watertown Wolves visit the Cornwall Civic Complex. The puck drops at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $13 for adults, $10 for seniors/students and $5 for children under the age of 12.

with files from Rodney Wilson

Dickenson leads Nats to win; busy March Break ahead

sean Mar 14, 2017 - 12:37pm

Lou Dickenson’s six-point night ignited the Cornwall Nationals to a wild 9-7 victory over the Port Huron Prowlers on Sunday evening at the Civic Complex, in front of 612 fans.

Dickenson had two goals and four assists, as the Nationals managed to outlast the Prowlers and the potent line of Ahmed Mahfouz, Branden Parkhouse, and Matt Robertson. The trio, 1-2-3 in Federal Hockey League scoring, combined for 14 points on Sunday, but it wasn’t enough.

Storm Adams kickstarted the offence for the Nationals, just 96 seconds into the contest, when his shot beat Port Huron goaltender James Robbins. The Prowlers responded with a power-play goal by Parkhouse, who beat Cornwall goaltender Francis Dupuis upstairs at 4:00. Forty-six seconds later, the Nationals regained the lead when Mitchell Porowski’s wrist shot beat Robbins above the blocker. But Mahfouz quickly levelled the score, when he banged in his own rebound for a second power-play marker at 6:05.

Port Huron then took the lead with a short-handed goal at 11:19. After a nice play at his own blue line, Austin Daae took off on a breakaway and beat Dupuis. Thirty-seven seconds later, on the same powerplay, the Nationals tied it up when Gabriel Levesque’s one-timer beat Robbins. Jay Croop’s perfectly placed wrist shot, just 51 seconds into the second, gave the Nationals a 4-3 lead. But, Mahfouz then set up Mike Baker for a one-timer that levelled the score at 3:28 of the second.

Dickenson found a loose puck in the crease for a tap-in goal at 7:38 of the middle frame to chase Robbins from the Port Huron crease. Adams made a nifty individual play on the goal to draw the assist. Curtis Martinu replaced Robbins in goal for the Prowlers.

Curtis Warren finished off a pretty passing play with Jason Lepine and Dickenson, as the Nationals opened up a 6-4 lead at 12:44 of the second. Robertson cut into the lead for Port Huron with a tap-in goal at 13:56 of the second. The Prowlers tied the game up at 6-6 just 17 seconds into the third when Mahfouz set up Robertson

Dickenson, with a nifty deke to his backhand, then gave the Nationals a 7-6 lead at 6:55 of the third. Warren, at the right place at the right time, was the recipient of a great individual effort by Adams, as Cornwall opened up a two-goal lead at 8:04 of the third. Robertson then absolutely rifled a wrist shot past Dupuis with 2:53 to play. Moments after Lepine saved a goal by clearing a loose puck from the Cornwall crease, MJ Graham iced the game with an empty netter, with 24.3 seconds to play.

Cornwall outshot Port Huron 41-40. Dickenson (first), Adams (second), and Mahfouz, with six points himself, were the announced stars.

Road Loss

Last Friday in Danville, the first-place Dashers drubbed the Nationals 6-1. Marc Thompson led the way for Danville with a goal and two assists. Adams had the lone goal for Cornwall, which was outshot 45-31. Brandon Billie took the loss in goal for the Nationals.

March Break

Cornwall has 10 games remaining this season, which includes three home contests at the Civic Complex during March Break. The Nationals host Watertown on Tuesday, March 14 (7:30 p.m.), Danbury on Friday, March 17 (7:30 p.m.), and Watertown on Saturday, March 18 (7:30 p.m.). Tickets for home games are $13 for adults, $10 for seniors/students, and $5 for children under the age of 12.

The Nationals also visit Berlin on Sunday, March 19 (2 p.m.).

County Connections

For those who haven't heard, Alexandria's Joel Trottier recently took over the team as head coach. The veteran hockey player had started this season playing for the team, deciding mid-winter that it was time to hang up the skates and grab a whistle instead.

South Glengarry's Jacob Dawson is signed with the club but has seen limited action. The 24-year-old defenceman moved back to the area in late December. His junior career included stints with the Char-Lan junior 'B' Rebels and a junior 'A' club in Quebec.

with files from Rodney Wilson

Alexandria native named new head coach of FHL Cornwall Nationals

sean Feb 28, 2017 - 2:39pm

Alexandria's Joel Trottier is the new head coach of the Cornwall Nationals. Formerly the Nationals captain, he has been dealing with a nagging groin injury and is hanging up the skates. 

Trottier has agreed to coach the team for the remainder of this season as well as the 2017-18 Federal Hockey League campaign.

In 32 games with the Nationals, Trottier scored 12 goals and 16 assists for 28 points. But, a long FHL schedule has taken its toll on Trottier, who turned 40 in February.

Trottier, who starred with the Ottawa 67's in the Ontario Hockey League, was a draft pick of the Boston Bruins in 1997.

The veteran quit his full-time job at the start of the season to be a full-time player/coach for the Nationals, and despite a rocky inaugural season, Trottier, has kept a positive outlook for this franchise's future. 

While the expansion Nationals are well out of the FHL playoff race, general manager Basem Awwad and coach Trottier will take this opportunity to use the remainder of the season as a tryout for players who are looking for jobs for next season. Owner Will Beauvais and team president Rodney Rivette are fully supportive of the transition.

The Nationals are back in action with three games this weekend, all against the rival Berlin River Drivers. 

On Friday, March 3, Cornwall travels to Berlin (8 p.m.). On Saturday, March 4, Berlin visits Cornwall. The puck drops at 7:30 p.m. The Nationals and River Drivers go at it once again on Sunday, March 5 in Berlin at 2 p.m.

with files from Rodney Wilson

Joel Trottier is seen here in game action. (Entelechy Media photo)

Nationals prevail on home ice, succumb on the road

sean Feb 14, 2017 - 12:05pm

Patience paid off for the Nationals on Sunday afternoon, as Cornwall snapped a two-game losing streak with a 7-5 victory over the Berlin River Drivers in front of 424 dedicated fans.

The start of the game was pushed back nearly four hours because of poor weather-related driving conditions that delayed the River Drivers.

The FHL Nationals took advantage with a quick start, jumping out to a 2-0 first-period lead, on goals by Joel Trottier and Anthony Mezzagno before the game was five minutes old. JC Houde gave the Nationals a 3-0 lead with 5:51 to play in the first, when he beat Matt Kaludis. Brad Gabbour got Berlin on the scoreboard with 58 seconds to play in the first.

Newly-signed forward Storm Adams of Akwesasne extended Cornwall’s lead to 4-1 at 3:14 of the middle frame before Mezzagno added his second of the contest, with a short-handed effort at 6:22. Berlin’s Dominik Synek returned the favour, with a short-handed goal of his own, beating Francis Dupuis at 9:32 of the second.

Trottier added his second of the game with a power-play marker at 10:33 of the second, before Stanislav Vlasov recorded a goal on the man advantage with 1:16 to play in the second. Berlin’s Kristaps Nimanis added a power-play goal at 10:30 of the third. Jiri Pestuka then took off on a semi-breakaway and beat Dupuis up high with a nifty backhand.

With 2:04 to play, Nimanis buried a cross-crease pass to bring the River Drivers to within two goals. Berlin fired 20 shots on net in the third period.

A chippy second period featured three scraps, as Cornwall and Berlin renewed their heated rivalry. Cornwall’s Joe Cannan took care of Berlin’s Andre Niec, before Nationals sniper Ian Boots dropped the mitts with John Celli. Veteran Cornwall defenceman Chris Cloutier then had his way with Mitchell Porowski of the River Drivers.

Berlin outshot Cornwall 37-30. Adams (first), Trottier (second), and Mezzagno were the announced stars.

Next up, Cornwall travels to Berlin to take on the River Drivers on Friday, Feb. 17 (8 p.m.). The Nationals then wrap up the weekend with a home-and-home with the Watertown Wolves. On Saturday, Feb. 18, Cornwall visits Watertown (7:30 p.m.) and on Sunday, Feb. 19, the Nationals host the Wolves at the Civic Complex. The puck drops at 1 p.m.

ROAD WOES: At Watertown last Friday night, the Wolves jumped out to a 4-0 first-period lead, en route to a 5-2 victory over the Nationals. Adams, in his Cornwall debut, scored both goals. The Nationals were outshot 62-33. The following night in Danbury, Nikolai Okhlobystin had two goals and an assist to lead the Titans to a 5-2 victory over Cornwall. Boots and Houde had the Nationals goals. Cornwall was outshot 32-29.

with files from Rodney Wilson

Cornwall Nationals host Grey Cup, raise funds for charity

sean Feb 9, 2017 - 2:36pm
Grey Cup photo
(Photo courtesy Entelechy Media)


In addition to welcoming the Grey Cup, Dan West of the Ottawa REDBLACKS, and local CFL legend Moe Racine, four local charities were presented with $1,000 each from the Cornwall Sunrise Rotary Club during a special pre-game ceremony at last weekend's home Cornwall Nationals hockey game. Representatives from the Rotary Club of Cornwall, Carefor Hospice, Masion Baldwin House, CHEO, and The Agape Centre were also on hand

Unfortunately, in the game action that followed, the Danbury Titans spoiled the party on Saturday night, edging the Nationals 5-4 in overtime. Danbury’s Taylor Love scored at 1:03 of 3-on-3 overtime to send 1,573 fans home disappointed. 

Matt Coleman opened the scoring for the Titans when his shot trickled past Francis Dupuis at 8:57 of the first. Veteran forward Lou Dickenson leveled the score for Cornwall with 1:17 to play in the opening period when his pass, intended for Brent Clarke, banked off a Titans defenceman and past a helpless Nick Niedert. 

Danbury regained the lead at 1:26 of the second, when Dalton Jay scored short-handed marker. Moments later, at 3:31, Darick Ste Marie pounced on a rebound and buried his shot for a power-play goal. MJ Graham then found a wide-open Clarke, who one-timed a shot past Niedert at 9:58 of the middle frame. But, Danbury’s Matt Graham batted a loose puck past Dupuis with 3:16 to play in the second to send the teams to the dressing rooms all square after 40 minutes of play.

Local defenceman Jason Lepine gave the Nationals a 4-3 lead with an absolute blast at 7:39 of the third. With Cornwall on the powerplay, Dickenson found a wide-open Lepine for the one-timer from the point.
But, Jay walked in and beat Dupuis with 3:30 to play to send the game to overtime.

Danbury outshot Cornwall 40-35. Lepine (first), Clarke (second), and Dickenson were the announced stars.

Looking ahead, the FHL Nationals have a busy stretch of play on tap, with three games in three days. On Friday, Feb. 10, Cornwall visits the Watertown Wolves (7:30 p.m.), and on Saturday, Feb. 11, the Nationals travel to Danbury to face the Titans (7:15 p.m.).

Cornwall is back on home ice Sunday, Feb. 12, when the rival Berlin River Drivers visit the Civic Complex. The puck drops at 2 p.m.

Last Friday night in Berlin, a furious third-period comeback by the Nationals fell short in a 5-4 loss to the River Drivers. Cornwall spotted Berlin a 5-0 lead before scoring four times in the third. Maxime Guyon, with a pair, Clarke and Joel Trottier had the Nationals goals. Dickenson chipped in three assists for Cornwall. Paul Bourbeau Jr. was tagged with the loss in goal, despite a 41-save performance.

with files from Rodney Wilson

Cornwall Nationals return to home ice tonight, ink Dawson

sean Dec 29, 2016 - 12:15pm

After a short break for the Christmas holidays, the Cornwall Nationals are getting back to work.

The FHL Nationals will be back on home ice tonight (Dec. 29) when the St. Clair Shores Fighting Saints visit the Ed Lumley Arena at the Civic Complex. Game time is 7:30 p.m.  Tickets are $13 for adults, $10 for seniors/students, and $5 for children under the age of 12.

Nationals player
Sylvester Bzdyl of the Nations (submitted photo)

More team news

The Nationals have come to terms with Martintown's Jacob Dawson, a defenceman who last suited up for La Tuque in the QJAAAHL. The 24-year-old hadn't been able to join the Nats until now, due to work commitments that had him in northern Ontario. 

County hockey followers will recall that Dawson also played for the Char-Lan junior 'B' Rebels.

While the expansion Cornwall Nationals have had a respectful start to their first season, there have been critical things happening recently off the ice too.

The Nationals are proud to announce that a new local investor, Will Beauvais, has stepped up to partner with the team.

“Will has such a huge passion for sports and we’re so excited to have him on board with us,” said Rodney Rivette, owner and president of the Nationals. “It’s business as usual for the Cornwall Nationals right now; we’re moving forward full steam ahead.”

Meanwhile, part owner and general manager Mitch Gagne is no longer with the organization. Rivette has bought Gagne’s share of the team.

“Mitch had a major role in bringing semi-pro hockey back to Cornwall and we are grateful for all of his efforts,” said Rivette.

Basem Awwad, who has suited up for the Nationals in 12 games this season, will take over the general manager duties. The 37-year-old from Orleans has been involved in the FHL since 2011.

“Basem is quite familiar with the FHL and its nuances,” said Rivette.

The head coach remains Al Quenneville.

“With Al and Basem, and veterans such as Joel Trottier (from Alexandria), we believe we have the best leaders possible to keep this thing heading in the right direction,” said Rivette.

In other news, rugged defenceman Kris McCarthy, currently sidelined with a broken finger, will be assisting the Nationals as the sales & marketing director.

“With his background in sales and marketing, Kris is the perfect guy to help us get our name out there in the community and work on a better in-game experience for our fans,” said Rivette.

Nationals forward Jason Dolgy currently leads the FHL in points and assists. Dolgy has 6 goals and 23 assists for 29 points in 16 games ... The speedy MJ Graham is fourth in league scoring (8-17-25 in 18 games) ... Sparkplug Anthony Mezzagno is second in the league with 13 goals … Cornwall ranks fourth in the FHL in attendance. The Nationals are averaging 741 spectators through their first eight home games.

with files from Rodney Wilson

FHL Nationals win on home ice, make roster moves

sean Dec 15, 2016 - 5:55pm

Three power-play goals propelled the Nationals to a 7-4 victory over the Danbury Titans on Sunday at the Cornwall Civic Complex.

Local hockey fans certainly got their money’s worth on Sunday afternoon as they were treated to fast, exciting Federal Hockey League action for only $5. The announced attendance was 672.

With the Nationals on a 5-on-3 powerplay, Anthony Mezzagno opened the scoring at 8:45 of the first with a perfectly placed wrist shot that beat Bobby Bowden over the shoulder. Moments later, Maxime Guyon buried a nice feed from Lou Dickenson for another powerplay marker at 9:43. Dalton Jay tipped a shot past Nicolas Delongchamps at 12:53 to put the Titans on the scoreboard. 

Sylvester Bzdyl then batted a Joel Trottier (Alexandria's own) rebound out of mid-air and past Bowden at 4:50 of the second period. Trottier sent Mezzagno in on a breakaway with a nifty alley-oop pass and he made no mistake at 9:49 of the middle frame. Taylor Bourne beat Delongchamps with a shot between the legs 1:12 into the third period, but Trottier tipped a blast from the point off the stick of Green Valley's Tristen Elie and in at 6:23 of the third.

With the Nationals on another powerplay, Maxime Guyon one-timed a Jason Dolgy pass to the back of the net at 8:51 of the third. With Danbury on a 5-on-3 powerplay, the Titans pulled their goalie with nine minutes to go in the third, and it resulted on a Steve Brown marker.

But with the Nationals shorthanded, Marley Keca forced a turnover and beat Bowden with a perfectly placed wrist shot with 7:41 to play in the third. Alexander Taulien rounded out the scoring late in the game for Danbury.

Danbury outshot Cornwall 51-43. Trottier (first), Mezzagno (second), and Keca were the announced stars.

The Nationals will be back in action on Friday, Dec. 16 when they visit Port Huron to take on the Prowlers (7:30 p.m.). Cornwall then returns to the Civic Complex for a pair of home games over the weekend. On Saturday, Dec. 17, the Nationals will host the St. Clair Shores Fighting Saints at 7:30 p.m. And on Sunday, Dec. 18, Cornwall hosts the Watertown Wolves for a 1 p.m. game at the Civic Complex.

After Sunday’s game, there will be a meet-and-greet with the Nationals downstairs at the Civic Complex in Salon B. There will also be a special appearance from Santa Claus. 

Roster moves

The Nationals have dealt forward Lou Dickenson’s rights to the Port Huron Prowlers in exchange for the rights to Jeff Legue and Williamstown native Jonathan Jasper. The Prowlers had recently claimed Legue and Jasper on waivers. 

“The rules in the Federal Hockey League are much different than what fans around here are used to,” explains general manager Mitch Gagne, who has pushed the FHL for a rule change which would prevent teams from holding others hostage with players they’ve acquired off waivers. “I believe the league will look into this after the season is over,” adds Gagne.

Another FHL rule is that teams can only carry 18 players. A challenge early on for the Nationals has been icing different teams from one game to another, which led to the Dickenson transaction.

“Unfortunately, Lou had a hard time making Friday games because of work, and we just can’t keep sending 12 or 13 players on the road,” said Gagne. “I’m also very close to adding an extremely talented forward to fill the void.” 

Up next for Gagne is to add a defenceman. Yan Dumontier suited up in his final game for the Nationals on Sunday; he departs this week for France, where he’ll finish the season.

Cornwall is also dealing with injuries to blueliners Jason Lepine and Kris McCarthy.

The Nationals are currently tied for fourth in FHL standings with a 6-8-2 record (wins-losses-overtime wins).

with files from Rodney Wilson