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Habs seek recovery at Ed Meagher Arena

by Archives March 6, 2002

It was a rare treat for those on hand at the Ed Meagher Arena Thursday afternoon.
Three members of the Montreal Canadiens took to the ice for some reconditioning exercises. Winger Donald Audette, defenceman Sheldon Souray and team captain Saku Koivu all used Concordia Stingers’ men’s hockey goaltender Philippe Ozga as target practice.
“They just needed a goalie to practice with,” said Ozga, who has attended training camps for both New Jersey and Pittsburgh. “It’s a little quicker but it’s a question of adjustment. Every time you go up a level, your game increases as well.”
The Canadiens’ strength and conditioning coach and athletic therapist Scott Livingston is no stranger to those who roam the Loyola Sports Complex. He spent nine years with the athletics program at Concordia before taking his current position with the Habs. Livingston was also a student at Concordia from 1983 to 1987, receiving his Bachelor degree in Exercise Science, while specializing in Athletic Therapy.
“I know most of the people on staff,” he said about choosing Ed Meagher Arena for the rehabilitation. “It’s good for the program as well. I had the ability to support it and I still care about the program and the team.”
The training was part of a plan by the hockey program at Concordia to try and lure the NHL club to use Ed Meagher for practice and reconditioning.
The three players were brought to Concordia ice because they were not at the same level and can’t skate with their club as of yet. Audette is still recovering from surgery to repair severed tendons in his arm he suffered in a game against the Rangers December 1st, while Sourray is still nursing a fractured left wrist back to health.
“They’re improving all the time,” said Livingston. “They’re all moving in a positive direction. Donald’s arm is getting well, while Saku is getting in shape again.”
Koivu was diagnosed with a form of abdominal cancer last summer. The Finish star found out last month that the cancer that has put him out for the season and, more importantly, threatened his life, has gone into remission.
How he improves periodically will determine when he will return to the ice. Ozga felt, however, that Koivu was still a formidable shooter on the ice.
“Saku’s not up there. He doesn’t have full strength yet, but he’s still very good.”

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