November 1, 2023
Forty years ago, Quebec sent their top team to nationals for the first time since 1979. Les Lauréats du Cégep de Saint-Hyacinthe entered the seven team tournament in Toronto ranked number one in the nation and lived up to top billing.
In the regular season, the Lauréats won 33, lost four, and tied five to finish atop the 'AAA" League standings with 71 points – five more than Saint-Laurent.
In their first game at the 1983 CCAA National Hockey Championship, the Lauréats outshot the Kelsey Institute Amaruks 48 to 13, but only skated away with a 4-2 victory over the team from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Also in preliminary action, the College of Cape Breton Capers of Sydney, Nova Scotia also recorded a 4-2 win over the Canadore College Panthers of North Bay, Ontario.
In semi final play, the Lauréats scored seven powerplay goals in a 14-3 triumph over the Assiniboine Community College Cougars from Brandon, Manitoba while Neal McPhedran turned away 36 shots as Alberta's Red Deer College Kings blanked the Capers 5-0.
In the gold medal game, the Lauréats downed the Kings 4-1 despite being outsot 30-29. An even strength marker by Michel Daigle and a powerplay tally by Jean-Pierre LeClerc gave Saint-Hyacinthe a 2-0 advantage in the opening period. Terry Wheele cut the lead to 2-1 late in the middle stanza. A long wrist shot by Serge Roy midway through the final frame reinstated the two goal lead before Martin Sawyer's empty net goal with seven seconds remaining in regulation sealed the victory.
The championship was the first for a Quebec team at the CCAA National Hockey Championships.