Rapids set to pack the barn for home-opener
A day before his Paugan Falls Rapids opened the season for their inaugural campaign in the Eastern Ontario Super Hockey League (EOSHL), Ryan Peck said that there would be “no easy games.”
The Rapids forward has been right so far. The Rapids lost their first-ever EOSHL game Oct. 7 — a 6-3 dusting at the hands of the Bytowne Royals. Peck and many of his fellow teammates know they’ll be in deep as the newest team in the rough and tough senior men’s league this year, but don’t expect any of these Hills hockey boys to start throwing in their towels just yet.
“Both teams we played [in pre-season] complimented us on the speed of our team,” said Peck, adding that the team won both its pre-season games. “I think that was the common denominator.”
Peck credits this speed and smooth skating to the teachings of Venosta power skating coach Fay McLaughlin, who taught a majority of players on the Rapids roster how to skate with speed and fluidity.
One of their biggest strengths, according to defenseman Luke Peck, also a cousin of Ryan, will be the Rapids chemistry on the ice. Much of the Rapids lineup know each other well and have been playing in leagues, local tournaments and on outdoor rinks together since they were teenagers. It’s not hard for them to find each other on the ice.
“With us, we've been playing in local tournaments together for like nine years now,” said Luke. “Just the fact that we know where everybody is on the ice, combined with the speed — yeah, it's been working out really well so far.”
Not well enough, though. Their first season game proved to be a rude awakening into the new league. The Rapids went down 3-0 in the first period and couldn’t muster a full comeback. The Rapids fought back though ended up notching three goals in the 6-3 loss. Rapids goaltender Aidan Foley was superb and ended the game with 32 saves. He was named the game’s third star. The other two stars were Royals players.
The Rapids may be a new, young team, but they are fast, skilled and if you’ve seen any of their pre-season fights, the boys in blue can certainly hold their own. Much of this talent will be on display this Saturday night in Low, as the Rapids host the Glengarry Pipers for their home opener Oct. 14 at the Central Gatineau Arena in Low.
The Rapids will look to get into the win column and make history with their first EOSHL win. It’ll likely be a packed barn, as the Rapids sold over 200 season tickets this year — a 100 per cent jump over their initial goal of selling 100 season seats.