Gabrielle Davidson, Jay D’Amour, Anthony Duclair and Michael Matheson all hail from Pointe Claire and they have another thing in common: they all excel at hockey. Each of them were awarded $1,500 Montreal Canadiens scholarships for their in-class and on-the-ice skills at last Monday’s Habs game against Calgary.
Montreal Canadiens’ general manager Pierre Gauthier was there to shake hands with them and pose for the cameras. “As a professional team, it is our duty to take part in the development of hockey and to support the next generation of players,” he said.
Michael Matheson, the Lac St. Louis Lions’ star defenseman scored 11 goals and 18 assists for a total of 29 points in 25 games this season. He is completing his final year at John Rennie High School. He was quite impressed to meet the Canadiens’ general manager Pierre Gauthier.
“It’s a great honour to be able to shake Gauthier’s hand like that. The Canadiens have obviously been a big part of my life, growing up in Montreal. This gives me motivation to keep going. It’s an indication that I’m doing things right, I’m going the right way,” he said.
Gabrielle Davidson, studies applied sciences at Dawson College. She suits up for the Blues in the collegiate AA league. She won a silver medal at the U-18 World Championships in Sweden. She will be a member of the 2011 USA/Canada series that will be played in August. She will represent Quebec with the U-18 squad at the Canada Games in February.
“This bursary just shows that all of the hard work that I put into both school and hockey paid off. It just keeps me motivated to pursue my goals and dreams. In the short-term I’m looking forward to the Canada Games with the Quebec team. A gold medal would be definitely one of the big accomplishments I would like to tackle. In the long term I think I just want to keep playing my best hockey and make the Canadian team,” she said.
Jay D’Amour is a centerman who scored nine goals and six assists for 15 points in 32 games this season. D’Amour is completing his grade 11 at St. Thomas High School and just like Matheson and Duclair, he plays for the Lac St. Louis Lions. Being in the spotlight with the media and Gauthier around gave him quite a buzz.
“It’s a little overwhelming right now. Obviously I’m really happy and it feels special. When I shook his hand, Pierre Gauthier just said ‘congratulations’ but coming from him, that means a lot. My long-term goal along with many others here, is to one day make the NHL. I still have a lot of thinking to do for next year in terms of hockey though,” he said.
Fifteen-year-old Anthony Duclair scored 20 goals and 25 assists in 28 games for the Lions this season. He has lead the Lions in scoring up until now. He will be representing Quebec with the U-16 squad at the Canada Games in February. He is currently completing his grade 10 at Pierrefonds Comprehensive High School.
“It’s a fun feeling to be recognized, especially when it’s both for your academic skills and skills on the ice. I’ll remember this for the rest of my life. Getting a bursary from the GM of the Habs is not something you get everyday. He told me ‘keep working hard and good job’,” he said.
Lac St. Louis Lions coach Jon Goyens commented on his three players receiving these bursaries after the Lions’ Saturday game against the Collège Charles-Lemoyne Riverains.
“They’re good examples of hard work at a competitive level. At the same time, they’ve worked just as hard in the classroom. They deserve it big time,” he said.