Volume 12 Week 5

Friday, Oct. 20


 

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Orléans Ward
Bob Monette

Beacon Hill,
Cyrville Ward
Tim Tierney

 

 

 

 

(Posted 10 p.m., Feb. 8)
Proud parents able to witness son's first NHL goal
By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

Former Cumberland Grad Claude Giroux scored his first goal with the Philadelphia Flyers on Jan. 27 against the Florida Panthers. File photo


When Ray and Nicole Giroux traveled to Florida last month to catch some sun and watch their son Claude play for the Philadelphia Flyers, they had no idea they would witness their son score his first NHL goal, in fact Ray very nearly missed it.

"I was just coming back from the rest room and standing at the top of the stairs behind some people waiting for a whistle when I noticed Claude get on a breakaway. I just pushed through the people just in time to see him score," said Ray who's now back in Orléans.

Giroux was called up by the Flyers from their AHL affiliate the Philadelphia Phantoms on Boxing Day for a game against the Chicago Blackhawks and has been with the club ever since.

He played in four games and collected two assists before suffering a mild concussion against the Anaheim Mighty Ducks when he was on the receiving end of a vicious elbow to the face thrown by Corey Perry.

Perry received a four game suspension for the incident which left Giroux in the infirmary for five games. He was brought back to the line-up for a mini-road trip to Florida on Jan. 15 and 17, but didn't get on the scoresheet.

He managed to pick up an assist in the Flyers' 5-3 win over the Atlanta Thrashers on home ice on Jan. 21st before the team headed back to Florida for games against the Panthers and Lightning.

It was by sheer coincidence that Ray and Nicole decided to go to Florida for the second road trip and not the first.

Giroux's goal came just one minute and 51 seconds into the third period off a long outlet pass from Darroll Powe. After picking up the puck just outside the Panthers' blueline he streaked in on Tomas Vokoun and ripped a shot low glove side that caught the inside of the far post.

"It was a great goal, especially for being his first one. Like it wasn't deflected off someone's leg or was a bad bounce," says an obviously proud father.

While Ray was watching the play unfold from the top of the stairs, Claude's mother Nicole was watching the action from her seat along with Gatineau Olympiques owner Andre Chaput who was also in Florida on vacation.

Chaput signed Giroux to a contract with the Olympiques in 2005 after he was passed over by the OHL. The rest, as the say, has been history. After registering 39 goals and 64 assists in 69 games, the Flyers selected him 22nd overall in the NHL entry draft.

In his sophomore year with the Olympiques, he scored 48 goals and 64 assists in 63 games to place fourth in scoring. Then last year he finished second in scoring with 38 goals and 68 assists in just 55 games. He likely would have won the scoring race if not for the fact that he spent the later half of December helping Team Canada win the gold medal at the World Juniors.

He also missed a couple of games in February when the Flyers called him up for his first taste of the NHL. His first game in a Flyers uniform was against the Ottawa Senators at Scotiabank Place as his mother and father and sister Isabelle watched from the stands.

Grioux capped off his junior career by setting a Quebec Major Junior Hockey League record for most points in the playoffs with 51. In 32 games with the Phantoms this season, he had 17 goals and 17 assists and was named the AHL Player of the Month in December before being called up to play for the Flyers.

Ray Giroux is hoping his son will stay with the club and help the Flyers as they head toward the playoffs. In the meantime, Ray and Nicole will be watching every game on satelite TV from their home in Fallingbrook -- the proud parents of an NHLer.

(This story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local business partners.)

 

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