In the spring of 2019, the Storm of Guelph, the team of Nick Suzuki, destroyed the superb season of the Ottawa 67’s with a triumph in six games in the final of the junior League of Ontario.
For André Tourigny and the 67’s, it was a season record of 50 wins that flew up in smoke. A few months later, the 67’s still have 50 wins to their counter, but in only 62 meetings.
Tourigny will not have the chance to beat the record of this concession with the cancellation of the season in the OHL, so there’s still six games to his team.
This time, it is the pandemic of the coronavirus that will fail-another beautiful season in junior hockey in the national capital. If he clings to the hope of a resumption of activities in time for the playoffs, the 45 year-old male has a toe-in, thinking at the end of this season.
“Yes, it hurts me in the heart, said Tourigny in interview to the Newspaper. I sometimes have a vision of selfish to many small things. With a record of +69, Marco Rossi needed another +1 to equal the record of the OHL. We played a match more, and it was probably his name on the record. ”
“Austen Keating had need of a few more points (eight points) to be in the top 10 of the markers of the history of the 67’s (325 points in 309 games).
“On the collective level, we need a little more victory to achieve the best season in the history of our dealership. I find it sad for the guy. They fought for this big season. They would have deserved this award. Again this year, we believe we have a chance to win it all. This is not every year that you can say that. I keep as mindset that we are going to play in the series. ”
Tourigny retains almost the same routine. In the aftermath of the cancellation of the season in the OHL, he invited the representative of the Journal to give him a call at his office at the TD Place Arena Ottawa at 9 o’clock in the morning. It was already past 8 pm, 90 minutes later than normal.
If he dreamed of a record year in Ottawa, the man they call “The Bear” has quickly placed this topic on the ice. He showed his big heart.
“It is sad for our team and for the sport, but when you look at the picture, you can not say a word. I read the statistics on people with the COVID-19 and a bit everywhere in the world, and I remember quickly that the hockey is secondary.
“I can’t say that I’m not reaching in my daily life, except that I’m not one to complain. There are people who worked all day in the arena and who no longer have their jobs today. Actually, it’s sad. ”
His wife, the true heroine
In the course of the conversation, Tourigny has come to identify her the most important player for the next few weeks and months. This is the woman of his life, Melanie Allard. Since the beginning of this struggle to curb the COVID-19, she holds a role on the front as a nurse.
“My woman is strong, she works shifts of 12 hours. This is just the beginning and it is already feeling the fatigue. It keeps the moral. We don’t do pity, but we are in Kanata and his hospital is on the other side of Gatineau. It must be 45 minutes in the morning and another 45 minutes in the evening. When you added it to the day of 12 hours, it is heavy. She makes everything work. I am proud of it.
“She has made many sacrifices to allow me to live my coaching career in Rouyn-Noranda, Denver, Ottawa, Halifax and even Ottawa, he continued. At this time, it is up to me to let her return the favor. I’m in charge of the kitchen, but I’m still very lucky. My children are older. My twins are 20 years old and my daughter is 17 years old. They can help in the house. I am sure that we lack nothing in the fridge. ”
Directing his son
At the Ottawa 67’s, there is Marco Rossi and Jack Quinn, two attackers, who will hear their name quickly in the first round of the NHL draft. There are also three very good players of 20 years, Joseph Garreffa, Austen Keating and Noel Hoefenmayer.
There is also a familiar name, that of Félix-Antoine Tourigny. At the age of 19, he won a position with the team his father after a start of the season where he played for the Lasers of Kanata, in the junior A.
Photo courtoisieFélix-Anthony Tourigny
André Tourigny has described the happiness to lead his son, but also the complexity that it can generate.
“I loved it, I followed its development closely, said André Tourigny, laughing. But this is not easy to coach his own child. It is more difficult than we can think. I was often harder with him than with the other. You want to stay just.
“When I give a talk, I always tell the other coaches that your players look at you, he continued. If you’re not right, there will be repercussions. The players will notice it. When you direct your son, you make yourself look even more. As soon as you take a decision that involves your boy, whether positive or negative, you will make to watch. ”
In 56 games with the 67’s, Félix-Antoine presented statistics modest with nine points (2 goals, 7 assists).
“My guy is more of a attacker of depth and he played in numerical inferiority, explained the father. He is an honest worker. It makes my work easier, it will not be disputed his desire. In minor hockey, it is a thing. But at a higher level, it becomes more delicate. I also have to give a chance to my son and to reward his effort when he plays well.
“In a few years, I will keep a beautiful memory of this experience, he added. Felix has not received a gift. He started his season in the junior A and he trained with us. There are weeks where he had two workouts per day and also studying at the university. It was a big day.
“At one point, my assistant (Mario Duhamel and Norm Milley) have told me that it was time to keep my guys full-time with the team. Initially, I wanted to wait. But it had no meaning. He was helping the team, then it was logical to keep it. ”
This season of 50 victories dampened by the COVID-19, Tourigny is remémorera proudly, in a few years, his coach tours around Ontario with one of her twins, Félix-Antoine. Like what, it’s not just the negative.