By Fred Wallace
Hi, this is Fred Wallace with " Off the Wire ".
The Owen Sound Attack spent a portion of the weekend in Gatineau, Quebec.
With no Attack game Saturday night, I made my way from the hotel to the Centre Robert-Guertin to watch a Quebec Major Junior game between the hometown Olympiques & the visiting Victoriaville Tigres.
First of all, I liked the rink. I'm told the concept for the " Rob " was to create a design similar to a mini-Montreal Forum and I think they succeeded.
The building is clean, the rise of the seats and the color scheme of the sections along with the ample standing room around the facility makes you think Forum.
But I also understand in the junior hockey world today, that a building lacking posh corporate boxes and a flashy scoreboard and other amenities is antiquated- too bad.
The crowd for the game was primarily French-speaking which was neat, but the numbers were sparse; officially listed at 1,600, I'd guess closer to 1,000 people actually on hand, the 50-50 somewhere in the neighbourhood of $ 1,000.
There were a couple of factors for the turnout;
1) it wasn't a pleasant night weather-wise
2) both Victoriaville & Gatineau are last in their respective divisions
& 3) The fabled Montreal Canadiens were in Ottawa that night to meet the Senators.
As for the game, it was what you'd expect from two last place junior teams.
But that's not to say the game lacked good storylines.
In a scoreless contest, the Victoriaville netminder Nikolas Hurtubise made a great save early in the 2nd period but injured himself in the process and had to depart on a stretcher.
Midway through the game, Victoriaville went to a power play and Gatineau promptly scored 2 shorthanded goals part of a 4 goal outburst in a 4-0 victory.
And one of the 4 goals was assisted by Braeden Virtue, the son of former Attack coach, Terry Virtue.
Overall, I rather enjoyed the night, and I'd go again to see the Gatineau Olympiques, but I assume if and when I do, it will be in a different building.
I'm Fred Wallace