Around the QMJHL: May 15th to 19th

2017 MasterCard Memorial Cup

There were 48 teams. Now they are only four. On March 23rd, the Canadian Hockey League kicked off the post-season playoffs and, after more than 300 playoff games, we now know the identity of the four teams who will compete in a round robin tournament in hope to hoist the most prestigious junior hockey trophy: the MasterCard Memorial Cup. The Windsor Spitfires (Hosts/OHL), Saint John Sea Dogs (QMJHL), Erie Otters (OHL) and Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL). For all details about the 2017 MasterCard Memorial Cup, click here.

Assistant Coach Brad Mackenzie returns for 2017-18 season

The Charlottetown Islanders have announced that Brad Mackenzie will return as the assistant coach for the 2017-18 season. Mackenzie made his QMJHL debut behind the bench with the Islanders at the start of the 2016-17 season. Alongside Head Coach Jim Hulton and Associate Coach Guy Girouard, the trio led the team to their best season ever. The team went 46-18-4-0 in the regular season. Before joining the Islanders, Mackenzie was an Assistant Coach with the UPEI Panthers. In addition, he is the current Executive Director for Andrews Hockey Growth Programs. Details

LiftMaster Road to the MasterCard Memorial Cup

Get caught up on what’s going on around the entire CHL Playoffs in this final edition of LiftMaster Road to the Mastercard Memorial Cup. The three championship teams will now join the Windsor Spitfires as they begin the 2017 MasterCard Memorial. LiftMaster is the Official Garage Door Opener of the Canadian Hockey League. Watch

Bouchard, Hamilton, Staios named to Hockey Canada Program of Excellence Management Group for 2017-18

Hockey Canada continues to prepare for the upcoming season with the announcement of its Program of Excellence management group for the 2017-18 season. Steve Staios (Hamilton Bulldogs) will oversee and support the under-17 program, including the 2017 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Dawson Creek and Fort St. John, B.C., while  Bruce Hamilton (Kelowna Rockets) will support and manage the under-18 program, including the 2017 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. In March, it was announced  Joël Bouchard (Blainville-Boisbriand Armada) would continue as the lead for Canada’s National Junior Team next season. The management group will work in conjunction with Scott Salmond, vice-president of hockey operations and national teams with Hockey Canada, director of player personnel Ryan Jankowski, and Shawn Bullock, senior manager of hockey operations and men’s national teams, who oversee operations within the Program of Excellence. The day-to-day operations include assisting in the selection of coaches and players, the support of coaching staff, as well as providing ongoing input during camps and events throughout the year. Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence Policy Committee, comprised of Hockey Canada board chairman Joe Drago (Sudbury, Ont.), Hockey Canada president and chief executive officer Tom Renney, Hockey Canada chief operating officer Scott Smith, OHL commissioner and CHL president David Branch, QMJHL commissioner Gilles Courteau, and WHL commissioner Ron Robison will continue to oversee the program. Details

Chabot, Foegele and Barzal earn Playoff MVP honours

While it takes a full team doing the right things to win a championship, there’s often that one player that sets himself apart. Such was the case for Saint John Sea Dogs defender Thomas Chabot, Erie Otters forward Warren Foegele and Seattle Thunderbirds co-captain Mathew Barzal as the trio earned Playoff MVP honours in their respective leagues. The first defenseman to earn the Guy Lafleur Trophy as QMJHL Playoff MVP since 2002, Chabot led defenders in scoring with 23 points including five goals and 18 assists. His plus-29 plus/minus rating is the highest in the QMJHL Playoffs since 2012. The 20-year-old returned from an early season audition with the Ottawa Senators and didn’t disappoint, earning the Emile-Bouchard Trophy as QMJHL Defenseman of the Year with 10 goals, 35 assists and 45 points in just 34 contests. That regular season dominance carried over into the postseason as Chabot registered eight different multi-point performances to lead the Sea Dogs to their third Mastercard Memorial Cup appearance following a President Cup title win over the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada. Details

CIBC Showdown

This week, the QMJHL’s representative for the Canadian Hockey League’s CIBC Showdown is Blainville-Boisbriand Armada goaltender Samuel Montembeault. Vote

By Frédéric Damiani

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