Clouston's Bear essentials

GERRY MODDEJONGE, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:15 AM ET

The new direction for the Ottawa Senators took a detour through Edmonton.

Years before entering the NHL spotlight by replacing Craig Hartsburg as coach of the Senators yesterday, Cory Clouston suited up for the U of A Golden Bears.

The 39-year-old Sherwood Park native played for the Bears for four seasons, including on the 1991-92 CIS championship team coached by current Oilers assistant Bill Moores.

"Coach Moores was always about details and taking care of what you can take care of," said Serge Lajoie, an assistant coach with this year's Bears.

"Cory wasn't the only one who drank from that Kool-Aid and took it in."

Lajoie played with Clouston from 1989-93. They were roommates who became fast friends.

"We were in the same house for a couple years. He's an extremely loyal friend," said Lajoie. "We still stay in touch and I follow his progress."

As a Golden Bear, Clouston tallied 33 goals and 66 points in 115 games. He shone in the championship rematch against the Trois-Rivieres Patriots, who defeated the Bears 7-2 in the gold-medal game a season earlier.

"Cory scored three goals against Trois-Rivieres in the semifinal," Lajoie recalled.

"As a player, his approach to the game was always very intense, very focused."

Clouston coached midget AAA before becoming to the first coach of the Alberta Junior Hockey League's Grande Prairie Storm. He then helmed the Western Hockey League's Kootenay Ice.

His last stop was with the Senators' affiliate team in Binghamton, N.Y.

Lajoie, whose parents are from northern Quebec, said he doesn't expect to jump on the Sens' bandwagon -- officially, at least.

"That puts me in a very tough situation because I'm a huge Habs fan," he said.

"But you know, the way the Habs are playing lately, I could be easily swayed to secretly pull for another team."


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