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The Swedish adventure and the European dream of a hockey player from Gatineau

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These are the contacts of Sylvain Gervais, his head coach and general manager with the Royals of Bytown, an Ottawa club, which allowed the former Polyvalente Nicolas-Gatineau to make the leap into the third level of professional play in this Scandinavian country.

We have to admit that William Venne knows how to make a good impression. He scored his first professional goal in his first game. I kept the puck, said the hockey player, with a touch of pride.

Quickly, he noticed that the style of play advocated in Sweden is very different from that used in North America. With Olympic ice, you have plenty of space on the rink to skate. There’s less body checking than in Canada, it’s really more about skill and skating.

A hockey player, photographed from behind.

The former Intrepid, William Venne, wants to make a career in Europe (archives).

Photo: provided by William Venne

In addition to playing with the professional team of Söderhamn/Ljusne, the 21-year-old striker is also called upon to line up with the organization’s junior club, in a league which brings together skaters aged 16 to 22.

Offensively, he stood out with five points in his first two games. However, he will have to adapt his physical game to the lower tolerance of the referees, who have already awarded him 20 penalty minutes.

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3inches. My first game I tackled a 5 guyfeet 4inches. His head was therefore the point of contact, so I was penalized for two minutes, in addition to a 10misbehavior minutes”,”text”:”I’m 6ft3in. In my first game, I tackled a 5-foot-4 guy. His head was therefore the point of contact, so I was penalized for two minutes, in addition to a 10 minutes of misconduct”}}”>I’m 6ft 3in. In my first game, I tackled a 5-foot-4 guy. His head was therefore the point of contact, so I was penalized for two minutes, in addition to a 10 minute misbehavior, he explained, aware that he will have to stay away from the dungeon.

William Venne wants to continue his good momentum in order to force the hand of his new bosses for a contract for the next season. One thing led to another, he dreamed of deploying his talent to the four corners of the Old Continent.

I want to make a name for myself. I want to go up to the first division, or else [jouer] in Germany or Switzerland. There are some very good leagues. It will depend on my performance, but if it goes very well, I could also come back to North America.

A totally different pandemic management

In Sweden, William Venne quickly found that the COVID-19 pandemic is being handled completely differently than in Canada. From the start of the health crisis, the vast majority of countries chose to confine themselves, but not Sweden.

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In Canada, hockey clubs must follow a very strict protocol, in addition to having to submit to frequent drug tests. In Sweden, this is far from the case.

loose compared to Canada. We’re in a team bubble, we don’t see people from the outside, but there’s not really any protocol to follow”,”text”:”It’s really another world, it’s really loose compared to Canada. We’re in a team bubble, we don’t see people from the outside, but there’s no real protocol to follow”}}”>It really is another world, it really is loose compared to Canada. We are in a team bubble, we do not see people from the outside, but there is not really a protocol to follow, noted the Gatineau resident.

Despite everything, the two teams of William Venne could not escape the coronavirus. Since Monday, all their activities have been put on ice following positive cases with players and managers. For now, the Gatineau resident is spared. If this is still the case, he will be able to return to the ice on Saturday, along with all his teammates whose screening tests are negative.

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