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by Archives February 5, 2008

Before the Université de Montréal announced that they were going to start a women’s hockey program to join the Quebec Student Sports Federation (QSSF) and Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) in 2009, the close to 170 players who play for French CÉGEPs had limited options.
They could either pursue higher education in English, leave Quebec to play university hockey (the University of Ottawa is a bilingual option and the University of Moncton was previously the only French university with a women’s hockey team) or not play hockey at the university level.
There are three major changes that could occur due to the UofM decision. The first is that the Quebec conference, if the scheduling remains the same as it is now, will have six more games. This will help every team, and the development of every player in the conference.
The second change is that it might force the issue on other French universities in Quebec. UQAM or UQTR (who does have a men’s hockey program) don’t have their own arenas, but Laval might have to consider adding women’s hockey if the UofM program is deemed successful.
The third change is that the quality of women’s hockey in Quebec and in Canada can improve immensely. Right now a lot of the best French women’s hockey players are going to the United States where there are better programs in place to help them deal with studying in a new language. With a new option to be able to play in their own language in their own province, the best players could very well stay in Canada, upgrading the play throughout the country.
I spoke to three of the four head coaches in the QSSF, and they all said the same things. It is great for women’s hockey. It is great for the QSSF. It is great for the CIS. They are ecstatic that there will be a fifth team in the conference. They are even more ecstatic about the possibility of more players staying in the CIS and making their conference even better than it currently is, one that they feel should be considered one of the best in Canada.
Kudos to the Université de Montréal for finally making this decision, and showing that women’s hockey is worth investing in.

Another Manning miracle
Last year I wrote an entire column about missing Peyton Manning’s comeback against the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship game. This year I was watching when Eli Manning led his New York Giants down the field for a come from behind victory against the previously undefeated Patriots. I still don’t believe it.
Eli proved that he too could be a Super Bowl Most Valuable Player like his big brother.
People tuned into the Super Bowl to witness history with the undefeated Patriots attempting to go 19-0. Well, it turns out that we witnessed a different kind of history.
When do you think the next time we will see two brothers as quarterbacks both leading their team to a Super Bowl victory while being named MVP in back-to-back seasons.
Probably the same time we’ll see a team one win away from perfection, lose in the Super Bowl to a team that would shock everybody to even get out of their conference.
On a side note, what does this Giants team do for karma in the NFL?
Now that they have won the Super Bowl after playing all of their starters for the entire game in a match that didn’t matter against the Patriots who were going for perfection, and then beat those Patriots in the Super Bowl?
Maybe teams will start playing in week 17. Maybe NFL teams will start playing regulars in games that mean nothing. Maybe this Giants win will change the fabric of the NFL as we know it!
Nah, the NFL will never change. It’s an old boy’s club and will continue to be.
An old boy’s club that will never allow video cameras on the sidelines. Remember that, Bill Belichick.
Go Bills.

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