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The Kanata Stallions are already getting to work on what will be a fantastic week of hockey April 24-29, 2012 at the Kanata Rec Complex (KRC). The Stallions who won the right to host the 2012 Fred Page Cup (FPC) last April in Brockville are all set to work on the event and pleased to launch the official logo. The four team Championship will consist of the winners from the Maritime Junior A Hockey League (MJAHL), Quebec Junior AAA Hockey League, the CHL Tier One Junior A Hockey League champion and the host team (Kanata Stallions). The FPC showcases the best Jr. A teams in Eastern Canada with the winner joining four other teams in the RBC Cup where a National Champion will be crowned.

Lou Nistico, GM of the Kanata Stallions knows the work ahead but isn’t concerned, “we’ve recruited a solid Host Organizing Committee and this is Hockey Country, Ottawa will respond.” The Stallions and the league are looking to Tony House, Event Chair from Corporate Hype Inc and his expertise to organize the event. House who has managed the last two AAA Hockey Provincials (2008 Midget and 2010 Bantam) and most recent 2010 National Aboriginal Hockey Championships last May in Ottawa feels the early start will help address any obstacles, “it’s good we’re starting now on this – it’s the first time the Fred Page Cup will be in Ottawa, our number 1 goal will be to pack the KRC everyday and make this the most memorable Fred Page Cup yet .”

The major challenge facing the FPC is the lack of exposure the league receives and the low attendance within the city. The “Central” has such a large following outside the city – teams like Pembroke, Brockville, and Cornwall receive much of the attention in their respective markets. Kevin Abrams, League President and COO has noticed a vast improvement in the media and attendance at games this year in Ottawa. “Our league is garnering a lot of attention, having one of our five “city” teams host the Fred Page will be very good for us,” Abrams adds, “I’m confident that we can build on the momentum of this year’s 50th season and host a fantastic Championship.” The 2011-12 season will be one to remember for the Stallions as they will also be celebrating their 25th anniversary, and plan to host some special Alumni events around the week of the Fred Page Cup. The Stallions (formerly Lasers), are rich in tradition and feature many current NHLers: Patrick Sharp, Darroll Powe, Jimmy Howard, Todd White, Sean O’Donnell and Marc Methot all played for Kanata in the “Central” league.

By Daniel Nugent-Bowman,
The Kanata Stallions are taking a two-pronged approach heading into the 2011-12 Central Canada Hockey League (CCHL) season – one that should see a lot of fresh faces to the team.  With the 2012 Fred Page Cup in their own backyard next April, Stallions general manager Lou Nistico is looking to make immediate improvements, given the organization will earn an automatic berth in the tournament as the host team.  But Nistico said he also wants to keep an eye on the future since he expects the team to be loaded for bear with more veterans and recruits – players that might leave after the upcoming season.  Nistico’s thinking was on display at the 2011 CCHL Draft at the Earl Armstrong Arena on May 18.  “We wanted guys who could step in and play right away,” he said. “And with the young guys who are a couple years away, that’s good for the future.  "The Stallions had three first-round picks and used the first one, sixth overall to select Francois Lemelin, a six-foot-two, 174-pound forward. As a player born in 1996, the Petawawa, Ont. native isn’t eligible to play for the team until he completes his minor midget season with the Ottawa Valley Titans AAA team.  But with its next two selections, Kanata picked left-winger Braeden Moffat, 18, from the Arnprior Packers of the Eastern Ontario Junior Hockey League 10th overall and defenceman David Wilkie from the Ottawa Senators AAA minor midgets with the 12th selection.  Nistico expects both players to suit up for the Stallions in the upcoming season, along with 2010 draft protects Alex Robinson and Derian Plouffe.  “A lot of the players we picked are for the future,” he said.  “We’re bringing in players next year who’ll fit into our lineup that might only be here for up year.  So then the following year, we’ll have some pretty good bantams.  "The future looks good for Kanata that’s for sure.  "Nistico said he’s been doing some scouting in the Detroit area in an attempt to shore up the forward ranks with a centreman and a couple of wingers, plus a defencemen and even a goaltender.  He added that he isn’t hesitant to dangle that Fred Page Cup carrot.  “The Fred Page Cup is huge,” Nistico said.  “They’ll be lots of U.S. college scouts so it does appeal to the American kids who are going to come here.  "With all the new players the Stallions are likely to have when training camp starts in August, Nistico’s biggest fear might be finding enough nametags to go around.  Since the team has three weeks of training camp and six exhibitions games, he’s not worried about his players developing cohesion.  “We’ll have lots of time to gel and that’s what the coach’s job will be to get the players together as soon as they can,” Nistico said.  “The adjustment period is probably the new guys getting used to the speed of league more than getting together as a team.” 

With three games under their belts it has not been the start the Kanata Stallions were looking for.  With only five goals scored and eighteen against in those first three games, the Stallions are looking to their veterans to step up and provide some much needed offence and leadership.  Guys like Ryan Donnelly, Brent Bisdee, Adam Fulton and Curtis Watson are major pieces to the success of this team and the Stallions need their horse power.  With so many new faces in the locker room this season it can certainly take some time for the team to gel.  However, with the above mentioned players, who have a combined CCHL game total over 600 games, and many veterans brought in over the summer, the Stallions are expected to be competitive in every game this season.  They need their vets to provide leadership to the younger players and it all starts with on-ice success and leading by example.  

The Kanata Stallions would like to announce that Randy Pierce has accepted the Head Coaching position in Kanata. Randy was hired after Adam Dewan resigned for family reason's and the Stallions would like to thank Adam and wish him the best of luck with his new family. 
In making the announcement General Manager Lou Nistico said that he is very excited about the hiring of Randy, he brings a vast knowledge of the game in his coaching and his playing days in the NHL and the AHL.

Randy is an Ottawa Valley boy residing in Packenham, ON. Matt, Randy's oldest son, is a graduate of the Kanata Stallions organization and is presently playing pro hockey in the US. Nistico also said that this hiring gives the Stallions a solid coach heading into the 2011-2012 season and the 2012 Fred Page Cup.

Stallions right-winger, Ryan Donnelly, is projected to have a big year in 2010-11 but before he can set his sights on personal gains, he and his Stallions teammates need to turn things around.   "Right now, after the slow start, we need to remain positive.  We need to communicate as a team and figure out what we can do to improve our level of play while focusing hard in practice.  I expect our team to be in the top five by the end of the regular season so we will need to be disciplined and hard working while playing within our systems.  In order to beat the top teams in this league we need to play smarter and harder than they do."  

Donnelly will have very little problems getting motivated for the season, he is seeking a NCAA Division I scholarship and he understands that team success supersedes personal goals.  "I hope to provide leadership to the team and to contribute in all situations.  I want to be among the top players in the league this season and earn a spot in the NCAA next year, but without team success my personal goals are irrelevant."  

Donnelly is entering his final season in the CCHL and will need to provide some much needed offence and improve on his totals from last season (47 points in 62 games played).  The Stallions will be looking for Ryan to be a major contributor throughout the season and get the Stallions horsepower up and running.

Stallions General Manager, Lou Nistico, made a big move to improve the Stallions goalie position last week, acquiring 19 year old (1992) Brandon Lane from the BCHL.  Lane who hails from Oakville, Ontario, started the season with the Westside Warriors of the BCHL until Nistico obtained his rights, which came just hours after sending 20 year old goalie Justin Gilbert to the Kingston Vees of the OJHL.

Lane is a big-bodied goalie at 6.02, 190lbs.  The scouting report on him has been very good with many scouts echoing that his lateral movement, puck tracking and positional play are second to none.  Lane spent the past two seasons playing in the New England Prep League for Rice Prep and was heavily recruited by teams in the BCHL.  


Stallions GM, Lou Nistico, acquired 6.01, 195lb power forward,  Luke Laszkiewicz, out of the BCHL last week.  Laszkiewicz was recently dealt to the Whitby Fury of the OJHL who turned around and moved the Oshawa native to the Stallions for a PDF.  

Laszkiewicz, a 1992 birth year, played for the Ajax Attack of the OJHL during the 09-10 campaign and picked up 25pts in 48 games. Luke is described as a big strong centerman with very good hands and excellent speed.  Laszkiewicz played last season in the New England Prep league with Westminster and started this season with the Powell River Kings of the BCHL.  We would like to welcome Luke to our organization and wish him the best of luck this season. 

Stallions rookie netminder, Brock Crossthwaite, has been selected to participate in the World Junior A Challenge Prospects Game taking place November 12-13, at the Langley Events Centre in Langley, B.C.

The Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL) and Hockey Canada announced the rosters on Monday and Crossthwaite was thrilled when Stallions GM Lou Nistico called with the good news.  "I am very excited to be named to this team." said Crossthwaite.  "The Stallions have been very influential in my development this season and working with goalie coach Paul Schonfelder during practices has helped greatly. I would also like to acknowledge my personal goalie coach, Charlie McTavish, for all of his hard work over the years.  

Crossthwaite is a 17-year old rookie from Kanata, ON.  The 6.03, 190lb goalie is off to a good start in Kanata and is thankful for this opportunity.  "I would really like to thank Sheldon Keefe (Head Coach of Team East) and the other decision makers for giving me this's going to be an awesome experience." 

Congratulations, Brock, and best of luck at the event. Further details on the Prospects Game can be found here: CJHL Prospects Event

The Mississauga St.Mike's Majors wasted little time inking Stallions defenceman, Ryan DuHaime, to an OHL Standard Agreement contract. Duhamie was signed three-weeks prior to Mississauga's training camp which indicates they have high expectations for the Stittsville native.

Last season with the Stallions, DuHaime, competed in 39 games and chipped in 11 points together with 12 penalty minutes. The smooth-skating Stallions rookie was selected in the 2nd Round of the 2010 OHL Draft by Mississauga, and Kanata's 2nd Round pick in the CCHL Bantam Draft. He made an immediate impact with the Stallions coaching staff last season and we were looking forward to another good campaign. Nonetheless, the Stallions understand that the CCHL is a development program and we are thrilled to see Ryan make the jump to major junior hockey. We see Ryan being a major contributor on a young Mississauga defence that will need some help after losing three or four key pieces to the NHL, AHL and graduation.

Ryan will fit in very well with the speed of the OHL and his high hockey IQ will certainly ensure he is used in key situations this year. Ryan's outlet pass and ability to skate the puck out of traffic are excellent attributes to his game. He jumps in on the rush well and can be relied upon to quarterback a power play. One of the major factors to Ryan's success is his ability to read and react to the play - he rarely puts himself or his teammates in jeopardy but has the recover speed to make up for it if he does.

The entire Kanata Stallions organization wishes Ryan the best of luck in Mississauga this season.