Gatineau Olympiques

Arena Name: Complexe Branchaud-Brière
Capacity: 1,200
Built: 2013
Last Game: 2021
Address: 499, boul. Labrosse, Gatineau, QC J8P 4R1
Ice Surface Size: Regulation


 Complexe Branchaud-Brière

Complexe Branchaud-Briere

 What's the Arena Like?

The three leagues of the CHL all handled the COVID-19 pandemic differently. The OHL shut down entirely for the 2020-21 season, and the WHL played a 24-game season only, in bubbles, with no playoffs or champion. The QMJHL, however, managed to play an entire season. For most of the year, teams played at their normal arenas, with the only modifications to the season being the fact that the Maritimes teams did not cross into Quebec and vice versa. Gatineau was the only one of the Q's 18 teams who were disrupted, moving to the Baribeau Arena for the season while their normal home, the Robert Guertin Arena, was in use by the city as an emergency homeless shelter.

Late in the season, though, the Delta variant surge forced the world into another lockdown. Rather than shutting down, the Q decided to bubble teams by division to minimize travel. Gatineau was selected as one of the bubble cities, but the ice and facilities at Baribeau Arena weren't suitable for multiple games a day being played by multiple teams, and so the Gatineau bubble was held here, at the Complexe Branchaud-Brière.

The Complexe Branchaud-Brière is indistinguishable from modern multi-sheet sports complexes built across the country in the last twenty years. It's built on a hill in the far northeast of Gatineau, not far from the Autoroute. The facility consists of an indoor soccer pitch, a gymnastics gym, and multiple ice pads, as well as a restaurant and pro shop. The main pad is located near the back, down a long, well-lit hallway that separates all the sporting facilities.

The main ice pad is flanked on both sides by seating from goal line to goal line, done up in the yellow and green of the arena's primary tenant, L'Intrepide de Gatineau of the LHJAAAQ. It's a modern, brightly-lit and clean rink with absolutely nothing interesting or distinguishable about it, apart from something I've never seen at such a small community barn before - a video scoreboard.

With the Vieux-Bob and Baribeau Arenas both now permanently closed, Branchaud-Brière is now Gatineau's natural second rink. While it's nowhere near CHL standard, it was another of the strange bedfellow COVID arenas used during the lockdown season, and if nothing else, it's nice to see that CHL games can still be played in weird random arenas.

 Inside Complexe Branchaud-Brière

Complexe Branchaud-Brière

 What's the Arena Used for Today?
Complexe Branchaud-Brière is used for community purposes as well as the home of the Intrepide of the LHJAAAQ.

If anything is incorrect or you have something to add, please e-mail me at Email and I'll update the guide.

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Last Revised: January 29, 2023