New captain for Cornwall Nationals

Ahmed Mahfouz speaks at a news conference in Cornwall, Ont. Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017 after being named captain of the Cornwall Nationals for the upcoming season. The team says the all-cash deal with the Port Huron Prowlers had been in the works for two months. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

CORNWALL – A three-time Federal Hockey League champion will be wearing the “C” for the Cornwall Nationals in the upcoming season.

Around 60 people were at a news conference tonight (Wednesday) where the team announced it had signed an all-cash deal with the Port Huron Prowlers for Ahmed Mahfouz.

“I woke up with a big smile on my face when I got the news and it’s still on my face,” Mahfouz said.

He will wear #19 – the same number worn by Joel Trottier before he went behind the bench in February as the head coach. Team officials say Trottier is okay with Mahfouz taking over his number.

The 28-year-old right-winger is born and raised in Ottawa and is looking forward to playing in front of his family — but also working hard to bring home a championship for the Nationals.

In his career, he has recorded 201 goals, 391 assists for 591 points in 291 regulation games. He also has 1,093 penalty minutes.

After seven years in the FHL and three as assistant captain, Cornwall Nationals General Manager Basem Awwad said Mahfouz has “never had a chance to be a captain” and believes the young player will bring an “intensity…a team toughness” to the Nationals. “We needed a veteran,” Awwad said.

The pre-season starts Oct. 20 when Cornwall visits Watertown, N.Y. The Cornwall Nationals will have their pre-season home owner Oct. 21.

As for the team’s business health, “we are coming back next year…we want to be here for a long, long time,” owner Rodney Rivette said.

Rivette said travelling to road games is “going to be different” for the upcoming season and the team is in the process of finding a 57-passenger motor coach.

“This year I want to do everything right,” he said.

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