Malatesta and Cournoyer: from enemies to friends
A few months ago, defenseman Édouard Cournoyer and forward James Malatesta were in the throes of the Jimmy-Ferrari Cup final for the Quebec Midget AAA Hockey League Championship. Today, they are preparing to start a new season as teammates and friends with the Quebec Remparts.
“I was evolving with the Magog Cantoners last year after passing through school preparatory hockey. I learned a lot, it took me that, “says Cournoyer, who was retained at his second camp with the Remparts.
“We had a great season, we won the Jimmy Ferrari Cup in four games against the Lac Saint-Louis Lions,” said the man who often found himself in front of the formidable striker James Malatesta during the final.
Teammates and friends
“James, he was a guy he had to watch constantly. He and [Matt] Choupani, we knew they were the best players on the other side. Besides, they both had good series, “continues the one who knows very well though that it was the Cantonniers who had the best in the end.
“There’s a lot of annoyance with that, me and James,” says Cournoyer of the Lions victory in the final. “But it’s okay, now we’ve become friends. I am very happy that he is with us now, because I much prefer to have him as a teammate than as an opponent! “, Adds smiling back from Saint-Majorique, Mauricie.
As for Malatesta, who made a cross on the American colleges to get along with the Remparts, he is also happy to find some familiar faces in a team that decided to bet on youth this year.
“I do not regret playing here at all. There are many faces that are familiar to me and it’s always a good thing. I did not think it would be easy, but it’s obviously a challenge to keep up with the older, bigger guys. It is more difficult, but I work very hard, I learn to fold better. I know I will have opportunities to recover the puck if I fold more, “says Malatesta.
Paired with Pierrick Dubé and Aleksei Sergeev in his first exhibition match, Malatesta enjoyed the experience. “They are great players, efficient strikers who are good with the puck and do not get rid of the puck. I hope I will have the opportunity to play with them again, “he continues.
While Malatesta already had his pass to the Remparts when he decided to go for the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) after two days at training camp, his new friend Cournoyer had to work hard for deserve his position.
“Last year, at my first camp, I was a little in the dark, I did not know how it was going to happen. But this year, I really wanted to make the club. When I knew that I had succeeded, I was very happy. It’s great to play for a team like the Remparts where you’re treated like a pro, “he says.
“Our defensive brigade is very young, we are many who push each other. I think this competition is beneficial for us, because it allows us to progress, “continues the one who is looking forward to his first official match with the Red Devils against the Tigers in Victoriaville.
“It’s very exciting. There, my goal is to play as often as possible to show that I am able to be a regular at the junior level, “he concludes.
Local information matters to me and I want to participate in the future of my life.