TERREBONNE, Que. – On Friday night, the Terrebonne Cobras made a gesture that will forever remain etched in the memory of an 18-year-old for all the good reasons. The team suffered a bitter loss at the hands of the VC Laval, but the organization can be proud of what they achieved in the life of Dante Casale.

The VC de Laval (26-10-2-3) got the better of the Terrebonne Cobras (28-11-2-0) at the Cité du sport in front of nearly 1000 spectators. The Cobras’ loss combined with the Everest win, resulted in the CDS now the top of the standings as it ended the Cobras’ ten-game winning streak at the same time.

But in a way, this loss had the feel a victory for other reasons.

Regardless of the outcome of the game, the Cobras can shout “victory” and be proud of themselves. Little things can have an important impact in the life of teenager, especially after being tossed aside for no other reason than being autistic.

In collaboration with the LHJAAAQ, the Terrebonne organization came up with the idea of inviting 18-year-old Dante Casale, who had been unjustifiably singled out of his Laval Monteuil Midget ‘B’ team by the coaching staff last January.

The young Dante may be autistic, but he is passionate about hockey and even if he doesn’t have the talent and skills of Sidney Crosby, has the heart of the Penguins’ number 87, and that says a lot. The youngster has fun when he plays the game he so dearly loves. And that was unfairly taken away from him.

Dante had the chance to attend the unveiling of the starting lineup in the Cobras’ room with coach Robert Dubuc. He then watched the game with his family, wearing his brand-new Cobras jersey, presented to him by the organization. After the game, the youngster had the opportunity to mingle with players from both teams in the locker rooms.

The door of Midget B hockey may have closed in front of him, but the good thing is that the doors of the LHJAAAQ have opened in a beautiful way!

On Friday, Dante Casale and his family enjoyed a memorable night at a hockey game, something they wouldn’t have thought possible a month ago…

Congratulations to the VC and Cobras players who welcomed a young man with courage as big as the Bell Centre. The Cobras’ ten-game winning streak is over, but Dante’s victory is priceless.