Around the QMJHL: March 27th to 31st

Fitzpatrick inks his first contract

The Sherbrooke Phoenix goaltender, Evan Fitzpatrick signed his first professional contract. The 19-year-old goalie agreed on a three-year contract with the National Hockey League club Saint-Louis Blues. A St. John’s, Newfoundland native, he was drafted in the second round (59th overall) by the Blues at the last NHL draft. In 135 games in the QMJHL, Fitzpatrick holds a record of 47-65-14, a goals-against average of 3.43 and an 0.895 save percentage.

Sprong breaks franchise records in opening weekend of playoffs

After game one and two against the Baie-Comeau Drakkar, Daniel Sprong broke a few franchise records last weekend. The talented winger now has the most playoff points among any player who wore the Montreal Rocket, P.E.I. Rocket and/or Charlottetown Islanders jersey with 37. Cory Urquhart was the previous holder of the record with 33 lifetime points. Sprong’s six points this last weekend tied and, eventually, passed the former Montreal and P.E.I. Rocket player. With his five assists, Sprong also passed former Islander Brad Kennedy for the lone franchise record in helpers. Sprong and Kennedy were both tied at 16 heading into the weekend. Sprong now has 21. If you’re keeping score at home, Sprong is closing in on yet another franchise record. He is just two goals shy of matching the franchise record, currently held by Urquhart, who has 18. Sprong’s one goal this past weekend was his 16th. As of today,

The Golden puck Awards nominees are revealed

The QMJHL unveiled the list of finalists for the 2016-17 Golden Puck Awards. The various trophies will be awarded at the annual event which will be held at the Capitole in Quebec on April 5th. You can follow all the action on April 5th on Twitter #goldenpuck. TVA Sports will broadcast the Awards and induction ceremonies at a later date. List

Province invests in 2017 QMJHL Entry Draft in Saint John

The provincial government is investing $20,000 toward the cost of hosting the 2017 Quebec Major Junior Hockey League annual session and entry draft in Saint John this June. The QMJHL Annual Session will be held from May 31 to June 3 with the draft taking place on June 3 at Harbour Station. The event marks first time the annual session and entry draft will be held in Saint John. The draft allows the 18 teams in the league to select players from Quebec and Atlantic Canada who are eligible to be drafted, starting at 16 years of age.

Hischier and McIsaac honoured

Tuesday night, in a pre-game ceremony, two Mooseheads players were rewarded for their individual efforts this season. The Michel-Bergeron trophy was awarded to the offensive rookie of the year, Nico Hischier, of the Halifax Moosheads. It was presented by the Mooseheads’ General Manager Cam Russell. The Raymond-Lagacé Trophy was awarded to the defensive rookie of the year, Jared McIsaac of the Halifax Mooseheads. It was also presented by Cam Russell.

Screaming Eagles’ Jessiman named Vaughn CHL Goaltender of the Week

The Canadian Hockey League announced that Kyle Jessiman of the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles is the Vaughn CHL Goaltender of the Week for the first week of playoff action ending March 26 after posting a 2-0 record including a shutout victory with a goals-against-average of 0.56 and save percentage of .977. Jessiman made 42 saves in two wins last week for the seventh place Screaming Eagles who opened the first round of the 2017 QMJHL Playoffs at home against the tenth place Gatineau Olympiques. Making his first career post-season start in Friday’s Game 1, Jessiman turned aside all 25 shots he faced and earned second star honours in the 1-0 overtime victory. In Game 2 on Saturday, Jessiman entered the game early in the second period with his club trailing 5-2 and would deny 17 of 18 shots as the Screaming Eagles stormed back and emerged victorious by a 7-6 score in overtime.

Fucale recalled by Canadiens

The Montreal Canadiens have recalled former Halifax Mooseheads’ goaltender Zachary Fucale from the Brampton Beast (ECHL) on an emergency basis. The 21-year old netminder was part of the Mooseheads Memorial Cup championship team back in 2013 and was also a member of Team Canada and captured gold at the 2015 IIHF World Juniors. The Laval, QC native was drafted in round two (36th overall) in 2013 by the Canadiens.

Abramov receives the Jean-Béliveau Trophy

In a pregame ceremony, Vitalii Abramov was rewarded for his efforts during the regular season. The Jean-Béliveau Trophy is awarded to the top point getter of the regular season in the QMJHL. Vitalii finished the season with 104 points, 46 of them goals. The trophy was handed to him by Marcel Patenaude (Olympiques’ GM), Carole Villeneuve (Mikes of Hull), Robert Blanchette (Mikes of Gatineau), Marc Clément (Home Hardware Aylmer) and Paul Bissonnette (Home Hardware Aylmer).

CIBC Showdown

This week, the QMJHL’s representative for the Canadian Hockey League’s CIBC Showdown is Julien Gauthier of the Saint John Sea Dogs. Link

Five teams eliminated at the same time

Last Wednesday, six teams had their backs against the wall, trailing 0-3 in their series. Unfortunately for them, only one of these teams was spared that evening. All of a sudden, the Oceanic, Drakkar, Voltigeurs, Remparts and the Tigres were all swept in four games. All of them in front of their home crowds.

The Rimouski Oceanic faced off against the powerful Sea Dogs, which were widely favoured. It was former ‘Nics captain Simon Bourque who scored the game-winning goal in the final minutes of the third frame.

In Baie-Comeau, the North Coasters faced Daniel Sprong and the talented Charlottetown Islanders. For a series with unequal paces, the Drakkar stood up to the Islanders until the last game giving Jim Hulton’s team on heck of a challenge.

Former Voltigeurs, Alex Barré-Boulet, now in the Armada’s uniform, faced his former teammates. Without pity, goaltender Samuel Montembeault remained solid and conceded only a meager four goals to the Voltigeurs.

Muzzled with injuries, the Quebec Remparts faced the surprising Acadie-Bathurst Titan without good soldiers. The Remparts defended well but were unable to compete and had to admit defeat in four games. Let’s note the departure of the starting goaltender Evgeny Kiselev who will not return with the team next season.

A series predicted of a need for seven games between the Saguenéens and the Tigres took a different turn, while the Tigres were eliminated in four games. It was without their captain Tristan Pomerleau, suspended, that the Tigers couldnt’ maintain a two-goal lead and inevitably eliminated before their supporters.

Smallman agrees to three-year deal with Hurricanes

Forward Spencer Smallman has agreed to terms on a three-year, entry-level contract with the Carolina Hurricanes. Smallman, 20, was selected by Carolina in the fifth round (138th overall) of the 2015 NHL Draft. The Summerside-born, Fredericton-raised right winger posted new personal highs of 30 goals, 49 assists and 79 points with the Sea Dogs this season. In five seasons with Saint John, he registered 86 goals and 137 assists for 223 points. His 293 regular season games played are the most in franchise history. Smallman has been the captain of the Sea Dogs the past two seasons. He had three goals and two assists for five points in the team’s first-round sweep of the Rimouski Oceanic.

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