Attempted Hockey Week in EPland Part 3: Yeah, I just went to Drummondville to cheer on the Voltigeurs

Eeeeeeeeeeeeee! Eeeeeeeeeeeee! Eeeeeeee! VOLTIGEURS.

Can not say that I’ve been this hyped after a game since…. well, a while.

ANYWAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Back in April, EP was headed off to Quebec City for something totally unrelated to hockey. On the way there, she passed by Drummondville. She could not help but notice the huge sign that had been placed near the highway that said “Go Voltigeurs Go”. Upon  reading it, she then launched into a rant about the horrendous team that was the Drummondville Voltigeurs. The Voltigeurs were like the evil empire to EP. They were just so damn good it was so maddening. When the Evil Empire crushed Mooski and the Juniors and some other hapless teams in the playoffs, EP hated them even more. Guy Boucher was officially the evil Sith lord and the rest of the Voltigeurs were like those weird white clone doodad things.

Anyway, moving on from the whole weird Star Wars analogy…. As we all know, Guy got hired by the Hammies, the Habs drafted Dumont and Philippe was so great at the training camp that he got a signing contract from the Habs….. And somehow the Voltigeurs became EP’s second team in the Q.

The whole point of this stupid story/analogy? If you had asked me back in April if I was going to trek out to the middle of nowhere in Quebec to see – and cheer for – the Drummondville Voltigeurs, I would have called you a bigger nutcase than me.

But of course I seem to continually prove to be a huge nutcase myself and tonight I went to Drummondville to cheer on MY Voltigeurs. Yup. Yup. Yup. Dont’ ask how I ended up loving this team. I have no clue. It pretty much happened over night. It’s weird. It’s like somehow a combination of me really liking Guy as the coach of the Hammies plus the Voltigeurs having two Baby Habs made me like them. Weird. I know. Oh and DiDomenico is a baby Leaf…. =/

It’s a pretty awesome building. It’s super old – like Verdun Auditorium old – and the seats are super uncomfortable, but the atmosphere is pretty awesome. Oh and my view of the whole rink was pretty awesome too…

Yup that’s ice level. Man, the whole boards really shake when someone gets flattened along them…

Even though I love the look of the K-Rock Center, I would take the atmosphere of the Centre Marcel Dionne over the K-Rock Center. Atmosphere wins out over arena pretty-ness. And I’m used to enthusiastic, demanding and loud fans who swear in French. Not these super friendly and super polite Ontario people (no offense Ontario people. I love you all too. But you scare me with your friendly-ness).

So it was Victoriaville vs Drummondville tonight. If you recall, Chris DiDomenico pretty much singlehandedly demolished the Tigres on Wednesday. In Victoriaville. Obviously the Tigres weren’t happy with just demolishing the Juniors and they were looking to demolish the Voltigeurs too. Couple that with a big blowout win last night for the Voltigeurs and I wasn’t expecting great things from the Voltigeurs in the first period. Good thing my expectations were nill because they came out flat as a pancake. All you need to know is that the SOG were 20-13 for Victoriaville, but felt more like 100-2. Jake was fighting the puck the entire period, giving up ugly and untimely rebounds. Really, the first period was summed up with a shorty by Victoriaville. Yuck.

I think the coaches must have yelled at them or something because in-between hiding away in the penalty box for a lot of the second period, the Voltigeurs did manage to score 4 goals. Yes. 4. I was more surprised that they actually came out with more energy than I was about the fact that they actually scored goals. This team scores goals. DiDomenico continues to prove to me that he’s not a defenseman like I kept thinking he was, and he scored the first goal just under 2 mins into the game. Lots of other tense moments on the PK followed and then Comtois scored (and yes, Chris had the first assist on it). And then! Desnoyers tried to make up for all of his dumb penalties and scored not once but twice! Because Jake was at my end of the rink when all of this happened, I got to see the Voltigeurs coming over to celebrate their goals with him (and he was kind enough to stand on my side of the rink too. Bwahaha). Jake was really solid in the second period, coming up with some great saves (the posts were also his friend tonight, but in general he had a great second period). 4-2 is a lovely score by the way.

Third period turned a potential repeat of the first period. The Tigres looked like they were on the PP for a huge portions of it even though they weren’t. Former Rocket, Doyle scored for the Tigres making the score 4-3 now. 4-3 is not a pretty score. At this point, I was just staring at the clock, hoping it would hurry up and run out of time before the Voltigeurs imploded and allowed another goal. Thankfully though, Comtois scored and it was 5-3 and we could all breath a little easier. Kinda. The Tigres did get around to pulling Poulin and there was more nail biting. But the Voltigeurs hung on – err more like Jake hung on really – and so…. Nyah! Tigres loose. Voltigeurs win! We can all go home happy now. Well, not the Tigres fans who were sitting on the other side of the rink. They get to go home really unhappy.

We win! We win! HUGPILE OF WIN!

OLE OLE OLE! (Yes, they sang that).

A few random notes:

  • Funniest thing ever: the crowd was getting seriously annoyed with the refs for calling all kinds of penalties on the Voltigeurs (which they deserved most of, but the Tigres got away with a lot of crap). At one point a guy comes down to ice level and sticks a ten dollar bill in-between the glass. Presumably this was a sarcastic attempt to get the refs to call a penalty on Victoriaville. At least…we hope it was sarcastic and not a real attempt to bribe the refs….
  • Okay so they have huge pictures up from when they won the President’s Trophy. For some reason I burst out laughing at the picture of Guy. There’s something oddly hilarious about him looking so damn happy. Okay, so maybe at that point sleep deprivation had set in for me (I”m literally closing my eyes while typing this at this point….)  so that’s why I just started laughing for no reason, but yeah…. Loved the pic of all the guys (plus Chris in a wheelchair) with the cup thing. Too bad I hated their guts when they won it :D
  • Um was not loving the banner with Itty Bitty’s name on it hanging from the super old rafters. Nor the big picture of The French Marshmallow hanging on some random wall. YUCKY. YUCKY. YUCKY.
  • I’m probably forgetting to mention something important… like how the baby Habs did or something (they were great by the way. Dumont was everywhere and hitting everyone and talking crap to everyone and Philippe was actually doing a LOT. Poor guy doesn’t get any pretty goals to go with all his hard work though).
  • If Canada doesn’t make it to the gold medal game on the 28th or if the Voltigeurs get around to changing the time of their game, I’ll be back in Drummondville for a Voltigeurs/Juniors game! I bought the tickets forgetting that the stupid gold medal game is the same day…. =/
  • Pics will be up tomorrow because I’m falling asleep here………….
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