Around the QMJHL: May 8th to 12th

Sea Dogs wins 2017 Rogers President Cup

The Saint John Sea Dogs defeated the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada 5-1 to complete their four-game sweep and win the President Cup as QMJHL champions for the third time in seven seasons. The Sea Dogs continued their dominant run through the postseason, improving to 16-2 this spring and will now head to the MasterCard Memorial Cup in Windsor as the QMJHL representative beginning on May 19. The Sea Dogs opened the scoring at the 7:29 mark of the first period when Bokondji Imama notched his eighth goal of the playoff on a nifty setup from Matthew Highmore and Mathieu Joseph. Saint John doubled their lead 10 minutes later as Highmore and Joseph teamed up again this time setting up captain Spencer Smallman for a wide open net on the power play. Coming off two straight shutout losses over to the Sea Dogs in Games 2 and 3, the Armada finally solved goalie Callum Booth when Pierre-Luc Dubois beat him up high with a wrist shot to make 2-1 on a beauty of a goal from Yvan Mongo and Alex Barré-Boulet. With the Armada pressing for the equalizer, the Sea Dogs silenced a sold-out crowd of 3,500 at the Centre d’Excellence Sports Rousseau when Simon Bourque restored a two-goal cushion for Saint John with under five minutes left in the second. Smallman then added his second goal and third point of the night when he made it 4-1 on a 5-on-3 power play in the third period. Highmore then capped the scoring with his sixth of the playoffs late in the third. Winner of the Guy Lafleur Trophy as playoff MVP, defenseman Thomas Chabot was a force throughout the playoffs. Logging an eye-popping average of 35 minutes per game, Chabot amassed five goals and 23 points in 18 playoff games. A first-round pick of the Ottawa Senators in 2015, Chabot becomes only the fourth defenseman to ever win QMJHL playoff MVP honours, and first in the last 15 years, joining Victoriaville’s Danny Groulx (2002), Granby’s Jason Doig (1996) and Hull’s Sylvain Cote (1986). Equally as dominant was Booth who had scintillating President Cup Final where he posted two shutouts, including a shutout streak that spanned an amazing 177 minutes while allowing only four goals in the series. The Montreal native boasted a 1.67 goals against average and .923 save percentage in the QMJHL playoffs. A fourth round pick of the Carolina Hurricanes at the 2015 NHL Draft, Booth was acquired by the Sea Dogs from the Quebec Remparts in December in a shrewd move by the team president/GM Trevor Georgie that has paid huge dividends for the Sea Dogs. This year marked the Armada’s first President Cup Final appearance for a team which has yet to miss the QMJHL playoffs since joining the League in 2011-12. The President Cup title is the third for the Sea Dogs (2011, 2012, 2017), making Saint John the most decorated Maritime team in the League surpassing Moncton (2006 and 2010). Since 2010, five Maritime teams have now won the President Cup. The Sea Dogs will now look to add a second Memorial Cup banner to the rafters at Harbour Station, joining the one won by Huberdeau’s Sea Dogs in 2011. Saint John is also gunning to become the first QMJHL representatives to win the Mastercard Memorial Cup since Halifax accomplished the feat in 2013. The action will get underway on May 19, at 7:00 p.m. at the WFCU Centre in Windsor live on TVA Sports and Sportsnet.

Central Scouting unveils the final list

After having watched hundreds of games and scrutinized thousands of players this season, the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s Central Scouting published earlier this week its final prospects ranking list for the next entry draft, which will be held at  Harbour Station in Saint John on Saturday, June 3rd. The first round is composed of 13 forwards and 5 defenseman. As the top draft-eligible player we have Alexis Lafrenière from the St-Eustache Vikings in the Quebec Midget AAA League. Details

Sharks Sign Manuel Wiederer to Entry-Level Contract

San Jose Sharks General Manager Doug Wilson announced Tuesday that the club has signed forward Manuel Wiederer to a standard, entry-level contract. At 6’0 and 174 lbs, the Deggendorf, Germany native concluded his second season in QMJHL. Wiederer started the campaign with the Moncton Wildcats, before being traded to defending President Cup champions Rouyn-Noranda Huskies. In 60 games this season, combined with Moncton, he scored 29 goals and added 24 assists for a total of 53 points. The overager notched 10 points, with four goals, during the 2017 President Cup playoffs. His current lifetime stats in the QMJHL stands at 117 point (58 goals and 59 assists) in 114 games.

Sea Dogs’ Callum Booth named Vaughn CHL Goaltender of the Week

Wednesday, the Canadian Hockey League announced that Carolina Hurricanes prospect Callum Booth of the Saint John Sea Dogs is the Vaughn CHL Goaltender of the Week for the playoff week ending May 7 after recording a 2-0 victory, including one shutout, with a goals-against-average of 1.50 and a .944 save percentage. Booth made 51 saves in the opening two games of the QMJHL Championship Series backstopping the top ranked Sea Dogs to a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven final against the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada. In Friday’s Game 1, he turned aside 24 shots as part of the Sea Dogs’ 6-3 triumph on home ice, then earned second star honours before a national Sportsnet and TVA Sports broadcast audience in Game 2 on Saturday in Saint John with 27 saves in a 4-0 win setting a team record with his third shutout of the post-season. A 19-year-old from Montreal, Que., Booth is playing in his fourth QMJHL season and first with the Sea Dogs after being acquired from the Quebec Remparts in December. Details

Sea Dogs’ Mathieu Joseph named CHL Player of the Week

Wednesday,the Canadian Hockey League announced that Tampa Bay Lightning prospect Mathieu Joseph of the Saint John Sea Dogs is the CHL Player of the Week for the playoff week ending May 7 after scoring twice with three assists for five points in two games. Joseph’s back-to-back multi-point performances helped the Sea Dogs take advantage of home ice to open the QMJHL Championship Series seizing a 2-0 series lead against the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada. In Game 1 on Friday, he scored an insurance marker and added two assists in the 6-3 victory, then picked up another insurance tally plus an assist as third star of a 4-0 triumph in Game 2 on Saturday before a Sportsnet and TVA Sports national audience. A 20-year-old from Chambly, Qc, Joseph is playing in his fourth season with the Sea Dogs who selected him in the third round of the 2013 QMJHL Entry Draft. This season he delivered career-high offensive numbers with 36 goals and 44 assists for 80 points in 54 games for the first place Sea Dogs. The fourth round pick of the Lightning in the 2015 NHL Draft represented Canada at the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship. Details

Nine QMJHL graduates in NHL conference finals

Following the Game 4 between the Sea Dogs and the Armada, two series ended in the National Hockey League. Sidney Crosby (Rimouski Oceanic) and Marc-André Fleury (Cape Breton Screaming Eagles) eliminated the Washington Capitals in the seventh and final game of their series. The Penguins will face the Ottawa Senators, who holds four former players from the league: Jean-Gabriel Pageau (Chicoutimi Saguenéens/Gatineau Olympiques), Derick Brassard (Drummondville Voltigeurs), Alexandre Burrows (Shawinigan Cataractes) and Mike Hoffman (Saint John Sea Dogs/Drummondville Voltigeurs/Gatineau Olympiques). In the West, the Anaheim Ducks won the seventh game of their series against the Edmonton Oilers. Antoine Vermette (Quebec Remparts/Victoriaville Tigres) and Jonathan Bernier (Lewiston MAINEiacs) reached the conference final and will be waiting for Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau (Moncton Wildcats/Chicoutimi Saguenéens/Sherbrooke Faucons) and the Nashville Predators. They are the ones who will break the ice tonight at 9:00 pm.

Labonté to represent QMJHL at 2017 MasterCard Memorial Cup

The QMJHL is pleased to announce the name of the referee selected to represent the League at the 2017 MasterCard Memorial Cup. The selected referee is Mr. Guillaume Labonté who, in his 3rd season as referee and 7th as official in the League, will officiate at this event for the first time. Labonté took part in 24 regular season games and 6 playoffs games in 2016-17 in the QMJHL. The MasterCard Memorial Cup will be held in Windsor, ON from May 18th to 28th. We wish Mr. Labonté all the best at the prestigious event.

Five QMJHL graduates amongst Team Canada at IIHF World Championship

Canada is off to a running start at the 2017 IIHF World Hockey Championship in Cologne, Germany and Paris, France this week, going 4-0-0 to start the tournament while outscoring opponents 20-5 in the process. A team consisting of 18 CHL graduates, five from the QMJHL, defends Canada’s back-to-back gold medals, their 25th and 26th respectively won in 2015 and 2016 as a pool of 15 other nations vie for international hockey supremacy. 2013 Mastercard Memorial Cup hero Nathan MacKinnon (Halifax Mooseheads) sits in front of teammates Jeff Skinner (Kitchener Rangers) and defenseman Tyson Barrie (Kelowna Rockets) for the Canadian scoring lead with eight points (5-3–7), two behind tournament leader Artemi Panarin of Russia. Canada’s seven game preliminary round schedule continues on Saturday against Switzerland on Saturday before contests against Norway on Monday and Finland on Tuesday. Details

CIBC Showdown

This week, the QMJHL’s representative for the Canadian Hockey League’s CIBC Showdown is Saint John Sea Dogs’ goaltender Callum Booth. Vote

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