Local product having fun with Hawks

With only two wins in 29 games, you would think Jared Catholique-Bruyere would rather be anywhere else than manning the blueline for the SIJHL’s worst team.
So, why is this kid smiling?
“It’s a real professional organization and I’m really having fun there,” Catholique-Bruyere, 16, said about his stay this season with the K&A Variety Golden Hawks after patrolling the ice for the Muskies in high school here and then a brief one-game stint with the Borderland Thunder earlier this season.
“I get along well with everyone,” he noted. “We’re a developing team, with a lot of young guys. But we can only get better. Our chemistry is coming together.”
The Hawks have been mired in last place since the second week of the season, and now are carrying a 12-game losing streak after being swept by the host Thunder over the weekend.
“I don’t know what it is,” Catholique-Bruyere said about the cause of his team’s struggles, before offering some possible theories.
“I think some of it’s physical, but a lot of it is mental. When we give up a goal in certain situations in the game, we tend to get down on ourselves,” he remarked.
Catholique-Bruyere isn’t accustomed to such long droughts of success, having just gone through an undefeated competitive judo season which was highlighted by him winning individual gold and team silver as part of Team Ontario at the Canada Winter Games in Bathurst-Campbellton, N.B. back in February.
Like his team, he’s battling to find his game right now as he’s playing through a knee injury that has dogged him for the past three weeks. He has no points in 20 games this year, but has been an intimidating physical presence with 96 penalty minutes.
Part of that total came from this past weekend here, when Catholique-Bruyere tangled with two different former Thunder teammates.
The towering defenceman had an ongoing battle throughout Friday night’s game with Borderland blueliner Clayton Windigo—earning a second-period roughing penalty.
Then on Saturday afternoon, after being knocked down in the corner, Catholique-Bruyere exchanged a hail of haymakers with reigning Thunder enforcer Ian Lockman to end the day for both players.
“It bugs me a little,” Catholique-Bruyere said about his lack of offence. “But I know I’m not out there to score goals. With the offence not coming, I’m trying my best to concentrate on the defensive side of things.
“The offence will come, eventually,” he reasoned.