March 21, 1999
“I get my butt whipped, but I keep my spirits up.” Of course he does. Even though both of his feet and knees are injured, Patrick Diotte still has hopes of reaching the NPSL playoffs with his Bleu-blanc-noir teammates. A 19-11 win against the Florida Thundercats in front of 5,136 fans at the Molson Centre is a step in that direction. Forward Mauro Biello even says after the game that this was a must-win, “otherwise our season was over.” La Presse’s François Béliveau reports that after Montreal’s stunning start to the game, “the young Cats immediately replied and were up 9-6 a quarter-hour later, in the second quarter […]” But the Impact answers with 13 points to finish off its opponents, who attempt 30 fewer shots than Montreal – so Diotte isn’t alone in getting his butt whipped.
March 24, 1998
The Impact wins 8-6 against the Drillers in Edmonton, but the result doesn’t grab headlines; the pregame proceedings do. A week earlier, as Edmonton takes on the Cincinnati Silverbacks, Drillers forward Lloyd Barker lands awkwardly when he attempts a bicycle kick and suffers a partial dislocation of the fifth vertebra. Hours before the Drillers host the Bleu-blanc-noir – colours he had worn for five seasons –, Barker gets discharged from Calgary’s Foothills Hospital, where he’d spent five nights, the Canadian Press reports. Players, coaches and supporters pay homage to Barker before the game. Barker would finally return to the field after months and months of rehabilitation, just as 1999 is drawing to a close.