When the Steinbach Huskies and La Broquerie Habs took a one-year leave of absence from the Carillon Senior Hockey League last season, a handful of players from both teams, who still had the desire to play, threw their sticks and equiment bags in the trunk of their cars and found their way onto rival rosters.
La Broquerie's Rejean Carriere, Dan Taillefer and Eric Therrien joined the Red River Wild while Steinbach's Brett Adnum and Tanner Harms helped the Ste. Anne Aces capture a third straight CSHL title.
This season Harms, Adnum, Therien, Taillefer and Carriere are teammates and wearing the Habs hockey jersey.
General manager Denis Carriere explained how his son Andre and former Huskies forward Teddy Laing got the puck moving in the right direction in order to get senior hockey back on the ice.
"They started talking because Steinbach didn't have a team last year either. At first we were going to go to Steinbach and play but with the Pistons there and trying to get ice time in Steinbach was kind of tough. Here in La Broquerie we had all the ice time we wanted. The guys from Steinbach said we'll go and play in La Broquerie and that's how it got started."
Carriere says hockey fans in the community are really looking forward to going to the arena and supporting the Habs this season.
"It was 70 years since we had our first senior Habs team and it really showed when we took the leave of absence. There were a lot of people talking about it in town, 'No senior Habs, what are we going to do all winter.' When we put a team back together and thanks to the Huskies for merging with us as we have lots of players from Steinbach - you can hear the talk in town, 'The seniors are back, the seniors are back.' It's going to be a big thing for us here in La Broquerie."
The Habs will wrap up their four-game season opening road trip on Saturday when they face the defending champion Aces in Ste. Anne.
The home opener is Saturday, November 17th against Red River.
"On paper we have an excellent team," said Carriere. "Most of the players all played junior hockey or better. You can see in the games that we're still trying to figure ourselves out with postitions and stuff like that. So far it's a great core of players. They all get along and they all seem to be happy. Even after losing in Ste. Anne and Grunthal - it was no big deal. We're new and we're going to get it going yet."
photo courtesy Shannon Normandeau