St-Hyacinthe Laser

Arena Name: Stade L.P. Gaucher
Capacity: 2,048
Built: 1937
Address: 900 rue Turcot, St-Hyacinthe, QC, J2S 1M2
Last Game: 1996
Ice Surface Size:
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Stade L.P. Gaucher
Stade L.P. Gaucher
What was the Arena Like?
The art deco Stade L.P. Gaucher stands on the city fairgrounds of St-Hyacinthe, surrounded by parking lots and other fair-related buildings. It is an outstanding example of Depression-era art deco arena architecture, with bas-relief sculptures of working men set in the yellow brick facade. The arena has a new entranceway with ticket windows, but once you step inside the main arena bowl, there are very few signs that it's no longer 1937. There is a new centre scoreclock in place, but otherwise the arena is a brightly-painted melange of coloured wooden seats, support columns, and other retro touches.

Six rows of seats surround the arena bowl, painted in two rows each of red, yellow and blue. Banners hang in one end, commemorating the town's hockey history, and include one banner from the Laser era indicating the retirement of Martin Brodeur's number. The roof is wood, and the coolest touch sits in one end of the rink - an ancient streamline moderne neon Coca-Cola sign. The other most interesting thing you notice about the Stade L.P. Gaucher is the outstanding use of wood. Nearly every part of the arena's structure is made of creaky painted wood, and it gives you the feeling, to steal a phrase from the incomparable Simon Inglis, like you're watching hockey from the cockpit of a Sopwith Camel.

It seems unlikely that St-Hyacinthe will ever get another chance at the QMJHL - it was a product of its era, as the Q spent the 1980's trying desperately to expand to new markets small and smaller while staying within the province of Quebec. But still, the arena is a pretty one, and is well worth the short detour off the Autoroute if you're in the area.
Inside the Stade L.P. Gaucher
L.P. Gaucher Stadium
How To Get There
From A-20: Exit at #130 (boul. LaFramboise) and proceed south towards town. Make a left on rue Turcot. The road will dead-end around the arena.
What's it Used For Today?
Stade L.P. Gaucher hosted the QMJHL for seven years, from 1989 to 1996. The team was the original Montreal Junior Canadiens, who finally left Montreal in 1989 after a half-century in the city. In 1996 they up and moved to the heart of Abitibi-Témiscamingue as the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies, and one would assume they were having a very rough go of it if Rouyn-Noranda looked like an attractive proposition in comparison.

The Stade L.P. Gaucher is still going strong as the main arena for St-Hyacinthe, though as far as I can tell there is no longer any major tenant.
Formerly Retired Numbers
1 Martin Brodeur
If anything is incorrect or you have something to add, please e-mail me at email and I'll update the guide.



Copyright © Kevin Jordan 2002-08.
All rights reserved.
Last Revised: October 21, 2008