Charles-Antoine Lavallee was supposed to be the Moncton Wildcats man between the pipes. Fast forward three years and he’s hoisting the President Cup for the Shawinigan Cataractes.
Things happen extremely fast in the world of Major Junior hockey, but Lavallee’s journey to the top took some time.
Lavallee’s exploits in Game 5 of the President Cup captures the very essence of the player and person.
You see Lavallee was projected to be the man, a boneafide number one netminder in the QMJHL, but that never really fully materialized.
Nevertheless, the former Wildcats draft pick has become a goaltender that wins the games that matter most.
That’s why today’s championship victory should hold extra meaning for the quiet humble kid from Sorel-Tracy, Quebec.
There’s always been some question marks surrounding Lavallee’s play and ability when the chips were down.
Obviously, he became expendable when the Wildcats acquired Olivier Rodrigue which was the first pillar in what they hoped to be a championship run in 2019.
Lavallee has never had scintillating numbers, but the 20 year old kept battling through the adversity and kept proving his critics wrong.
Charles Antoine Lavallee deserves so much credit for trusting the process, but most of all trusting himself and believing in his abilities in the blue paint. He never gave up and kept working, no matter what and that’s what being a champion is all about.
The QMJHL is never short on storylines, especially come President Cup playoff time, but Charles Antoine Lavallee’s unconventional triumphant rise to the top, should be front and center.
The quiet confident kid that many once thought couldn’t get it done or wasn’t ready to shoulder the load as a number one proved them wrong when it mattered most.
Persistent and resilient, that’s what Charles Antoine Lavallee’s journey in the QMJHL is all about.