By Kevin Gould – Cornwall Standard Freeholder
It’s already been a year like no other on the ice for Adrien Bisson, and it has the chance to get even better.
Bisson, from Cornwall, is a member of the Ottawa Junior Senators and 2017-18 has been quite a ride for the team, and the 19-year old defenceman.
First it was the team’s CCHL championship, finally toppling the mighty Carleton Place Canadians (a nemesis of the Junior Sens the past few seasons) — winning the final series against CP in five games no less.
Then the Sens hosted the Fred Page Cup, where Ottawa once again got past the Canadians (two CCHL teams were at the tourney, since the Sens were hosting) — not to mention Longueuil and Edmunston.
In the Fred Page Cup final, it was a laugher for the Junior Sens, beating Longueuil 10-1.
On to the RBC Cup then, and a trip to Chilliwack, B.C.
At the tournament, the Sens became the first team to have every round-robin game go to overtime. Ottawa compiled a 2-2 record in the process, advancing to Saturday’s semifinal, where the Sens will meet host Chilliwack.
A win against Chilliwack puts them in Sunday’s final, with the chance to win a national championship.
“The season has been a success, we know that,” said Bisson, reached in B.C. on Thursday evening, taking time out from dinner with family and friends (his parents, Lucie Perron and Marc Bisson, made the trip to Chilliwack, renting a cottage where Bisson was about to chow down) for a brief conversation.
“But we know we have the chance to do more.”
And the Sens know they are right there with every team in this tournament.
“You want to enjoy the journey, but if we don’t win this, I think we’ll always have that feeling of knowing that we could have, that we came so close,” said Bisson.
“To get here was one thing but now that we’re here, we see that we have a real good chance at winning this.”
Bisson admits that maybe at first, there was some intimidation in playing at a national championship. That quickly subsided.
“All these teams are winners. The teams here, they’re big and fast,” he said. “But we realized, we can beat these guys. We’re faster. Smaller maybe, but we can use our speed.”
Bisson is buoyed by the fact he doesn’t think Ottawa has played its A game yet, at least not for an entire 60 minutes (or in their case at this tournament, 60-plus minutes).
“That’s what our coaches, and the players on the team, have been saying. That’s why we’re confident,” said Bisson. “We don’t think we’ve played as well as we can. We’ve had good periods, we’ve come back a few times, but we’ve had letdowns. “If we can play a clean game, play our game, I like our chances.”
The Sens met Chilliwack in their second round-robin game, losing 4-3 in overtime.
“I thought we dominated them, but we lost,” said Bisson, a graduate of La Citadelle who is currently studying criminology part-time at the University of Ottawa.
He has Division I aspirations in U.S. College hockey, and next season will be a big one in trying to achieve that goal.
“That’s where I want to go, I want to play D-1 and I think I have what it takes,” said Bisson.
First though, Chilliwack and the opportunity to play in the RBC Cup final.