Like every year, the Celtique Club Montreal hosted the “Tournoi de l’Action de Grace” on Canadian Thanksgiving weekend. After a solid month of practice, both our women and men’s teams drove to Quebec. This was a great opportunity to meet different teams, create team chemistry, and a true way to evaluate the progress made since the beginning of the season.
The women started the show on Saturday against West Point Gold and showed that all those Sunday practices repeating plays were worth it with a solid victory of 24-8. The men, with a big part of the roster missing, then played against the host’s A-Team and ended up with a loss against a team that had unbeatable chemistry. Final score: 26-10.
Unfortunately, in their second match of the day, our women also experienced the sour taste of a loss – this time against West Point Black (22-24). Hungrier than ever, our men went back on the court for the last game of the day against Toronto. After a solid start in attack and a good defense, they ended up losing by only one goal at the very end of the game (16-15). But what’s done is done, everyone kept their chins up, and it was time to party!
The club joined forces to combat poutine (typical Quebec dish with fries, cheese curds, and gravy) with the help of liters of beer and lit the dance floor on fire until all their remaining energy was gone. Some might have regretted the late night the next day, as our men team opened the day with an 8AM game against Ahuntsic-Cartierville. Probably a little bit sore from all those dance moves, they lost by 4 goals. Their backs against the wall, our women had to win against the host team to claim a spot in the final… And they did! The final was set – a rematch against West Point Black, who had won every game so far.
In their last game of the tournament, our men’s team faced Montreal second team. Despite the best goal of the tournament, and probably of the season, by our own Sofiane in a standing free throw, they were defeated with a final score of 18-11. For Boston’s last match of the tournament, the women entered the arena with focus and determination. The game went back and forth between the 2 teams – leading to frequent ties and one-goal differentials. Just before half time, the score was 10-9. Sometimes, a defeat teaches you a great deal about your weaknesses and the one from the day before certainly did! With a way less permeable defense and without cracking under pressure, our women’s team ended up taking the league, pulling away out of reach of West Point Blacks grip, and won the first trophy of the season for Boston Team Handball with a final score of 21-17.
Showing great improvement throughout the tournament and proving their investment at practice they made us PROUD! On this cheerful note, it was time to leave the “Belle Province” and hope that everyone will manage to make it back on US soil (which we did).