Beaudin, Falk, Reflect on CHL Championships
With an age-restriction in place, a QMJHL, OHL or WHL title isn't something you can go back and try to win as a player later in your career. You will only get four or so legitimate shots at it.
For Justin Falk, a member of the WHL's Spokane Chiefs in 2007, he witnessed a complete turnaround to achieve the ultimate moment in junior hockey.
"It meant quite a bit to win because there's obviously a small window in your career that you're able to push for something like that," Falk said. "When I was 17 years old, that was my first year of junior, we finished dead last in the CHL.
"To rebuild over two years to win the Memorial Cup was quite the turnaround."
Falk completed his junior career with not only a WHL title but also a Memorial Cup completing the combo that so many junior players dream of.
"We ended up sweeping the WHL finals over Lethbridge and had a layover before the tournament. I'd like to think we were the underdogs. We had no high-flying talent, it was just everyone pulling in the right direction and everyone went in and battled hard and we ended up going undefeated in the tournament and walked away with it."
Or somewhat walked away with it.
"The trophy broke at the end there so that was quite cool as a memory," Falk said. "But it's the relationships you build, the blood, the sweat, the tears, you put into a playoff grind and those relationships on that team, and from my championship in Cleveland, those are the ones that last the longest and are the most important."
Sens forward JC Beaudin also experienced the feeling of winning a CHL title as he helped the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies take home the 2016 President's Cup in the QMJHL.
"It was honestly one of the best memories of my life," Beaudin said. "We had such a great team with great chemistry so I will remember that for the rest of my life."
The Noranda defeated the Shawinigan Cataractes 4-1 to bring the city its first ever Q title, something that Beaudin made the victory even sweeter.
"It was huge for us and the city. They have greats fan there, I remember it like yesterday, the atmosphere in the rink was incredible. It was one of the greatest memories of my life and I'm thankful I got to experience it."
Like Falk, Beaudin continues to cherish the memories with his teammates from that year's winning team. And when you're etched in history together forever, the bond between players remains strong.
"I am always talking to them," Beaudin said of his former teammates. "Phillipe Myers recently scored his first NHL goal and I texted him to congratulate him. I had a chance to play against Frankie Perron a few times while I was in Colorado so I talk to him a lot.
"When you win a championship, you'll always have a tight bond."
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