FrontsFront 2019-20 Season Highlights
Moment Three – Hache Welcomes Himself to OHL
Welcome to the party Hache!
As we in the FrontsFront await news from the Ontario Hockey League as to what, if any, remains of the 2019-20 season, I thought I’d look back at some great moments in the Kingston Frontenacs season.
With Kingston having one of the younger teams in the OHL, it’s not surprising to see a rookie on the list of memorable moments. In fact, I suspect we will see a couple other rookie moments.
Hache Says Hello
Making his OHL debut on Oct 6 at Leon’s Centre versus Hamilton Bulldogs, Braden Hache had already come a long way earning an OHL jersey.
The fourth-round pick in the 2019 OHL Priority Selection used his hard-work and never-quit attitude at training camp to help him crack coach Kurtis Foster’s roster.
Along with a professional approach to his game preparation, the 6-foot-2, 180 lb. defenceman brought a burly, physical approach to the Frontenacs defensive zone early on in the season. With this tangible skill set, it was a matter of time the rookie would be tested.
It was a game on Nov 22 versus the Sudbury Wolves where Hache would have a coming out party that even the rest of the league couldn’t ignore. And it started with a bang.
While fighting in hockey is not a fundamental skill players need in todays game, it still remains and at times a player will be held accountable on the ice for their actions. Even when those actions are a legal hockey play opposition teams don’t take likely to their players being hit hard.
At 15:11 of the first period Hache would have a very memorable moment. Chasing down a loose puck in the Frontenacs zone, Hache would engage Chase Stillman, not only introducing himself to the unfortunate Wolves forward, but would introduce Stillman to the end boards with a nice hit making quite a bang.
Veteran Nolan Hutcheson came to his teammates defence and instigated a scrap and the two would tussle in a lengthy bout ending in a draw with neither player the worse for wear. The larger Hutcheson (6-foot-4) is a Kingston native and the tussle had the building rocking.
— Marcus Boutilier (@bouthockey) March 18, 2020
Fitting in that Shane Wright would score on the ensuing Kingston powrplay with Hutcheson drawing the extra two-minutes for instigating putting Kingston up 2-0. They would go on to down the Wolves game 5-3 in a howl of a game.
While it was the first ever fight for Hache, the rookie know that it would be a matter of time before the gloves would have to be dropped, but acknowledges he won’t stop playing his aggressive defensive style. “I try to play over the line. Playing tough to play against and being physical is a part of my game.”
A charismatic fan favourite, Hache’s confidence grew even more and the 2000 born player would find coach Foster pushing his ice-time and responsibilities. “He’s been great, with some increased ice time I’ve really loved the physicality back there,” said his head coach.
He added, “You want a guy plays on the edge and makes sure the opposition knows it’s not going to be easy. When you’re a big physical kid who plays hard and you stay put of the box its an advantage. Pretty impressive as a 16-year-old and I’m looking forward to what he can grow into.”
After the game Hache would say: “It was an older guy and I felt I stood my own. Cookie (Chris Cook-Frontenacs trainer) told me it was a hometown guy. For sure, a lot of adrenaline, I knew it was going to happen at some point but it was good to get that first one out. I was good to fire the boys up.”
Just two games later, on Nov 29 versus North Bay, he would be a part of another memorable Frontenacs moment. Can you guess which one??
Stay tuned and find out if you are right!