The one who can accurately predict the overall standings of the QMJHL teams as of Sunday, March 17th, the last day of the regular season is very clever. Teams move a few times a week; see for yourself where your favorite team is…
http://www.lhjmq.qc.ca/standings/show/ls_season/171/subtype/1 . On the other hand, what a fight between Jonathan Drouin (HAL | 94 points), Peter Trainor (RIM | 93), Ben Duffy (PEI | 93), Josh Currie (PEI | 92), Dmitrij Jaskin (MON | 89), Anton Zlobin (VDO | 86) … for the title of top scorer in the QMJHL. A superb end of season ahead of us; you don’t want to miss it!!
TEAMS AT FULL THROTTLE
- Halifax – With 103 points, the Mooseheads became officially “CHAMPIONS” of the 2012-13 regular season last Sunday, February 24th. They are 18 points ahead of Rimouski (2nd). They have 9 players on their roster who have already amassed 50 points or more. The team has already surpassed the 300 goals scored, with 306, and allowed half that number (153) … With 50 wins in 2012-13, the troop led by Dominique Ducharme will attempt to win a 9th straight game tonight in Rouyn-Noranda …
- Val-d’Or – the Foreurs (71 pts | 9) have amassed 16 points in their last 10 games, and will host this Friday the PEI Rocket (73 pts | 7th), another performing team with 7 wins in 10 games. The two teams are likely to face each other in the playoffs, and they know what it means to finish 8th or above: the advantage to begin the 1st round of the playoffs on its own rink.
- QMJHL – 14 teams are already confirmed to participate in post-season series. This leaves 2 places available. Let’s remember the formula prevailing in the 2013 playoffs for the 1st round: 1 vs. 16, 2 vs. 15, etc. …
- Saint John (15th, 45 points | 8 games to play) – the Sea Dogs will have to watch the Phoenix as it pushes them in the back, and could steal their 15th place, nothing is done yet! They have amassed 9 points only in 23 games since January 1st. With 10 points ahead of Shawinigan, 4 points earned by the Sea Dogs – or lost by the Cataractes – would confirm the “2012 Champions” in the playoffs.
- Sherbrooke (16th, 43 points | 8 games to play) – The Phoenix has been the Oceanic’s dark cloud this season, defeating it 3 out of 4 times! Moreover, while Cape Breton and Shawinigan bowed last Wednesday, they prevailed in overtime in Rimouski. The Phoenix is now enjoying a lead of 8 points on the team ranking 17th, the Cataractes …
- Shawinigan (17th, 35 points | 7 games to play) – the slope is steep to climb … The Cataractes have failed to win once in their last 6 games. An advantage if there is one, is that the Cat’s will play 5 of their last 7 games in front of their supporters … The last time the team has not taken part in the playoffs was in 1992-93 … Since then, they offered excellence with 15 winning seasons with a winning percentage of .500 or more during the past 20 years …
- Cape Breton (18th, 32 points | 7 games to play) – the Screaming Eagles no longer have any room to maneuver. Two defeats or a combination of one defeat with a victory of Sherbrooke would confirm that the team from Nova-Scotia would miss the series, unfortunately for the first time in its 16-year-old history.
- Martin Frk (HAL) – 11 goals in 11 games in February! Frk and teammate Matthew Boudreau led the Mooseheads with 6 game-winning-goals each.
- Alexandre Chenevert (BAC) – considered one of the best defensive defenseman in the League, he displays the second best differential “Plus-Minus” in the QMJHL this season (+38). Each of his 18 points (1 +17) was amassed with equal strength on the ice.
- Halifax – the Mooseheads are aiming at the QMJHL record of 58 victories; with 50 gains and 9 games to play, nothing is impossible. On the other hand, with 18 points ahead of the team ranking 2nd, note that for 27 years (Hull | 1985-86 | 108 points), no other team had managed to successfully complete the schedule with a lead of 20 points or more on the 2nd rank of the League.
- Did you know … that the largest gap in points in a season between the first two teams in the League was 32 points? In 1970-71, Québec (109 points) had defeated Shawinigan (77). More recently, the Saint John Sea Dogs had completed the 2010-11 schedule with 119 points, surpassing by 17 the Montreal Juniors.
- Jonathan Drouin (HAL) – PHEW! It was hot for him last Wednesday when the Shawinigan Cataractes only allowed him to score 1 goal at the very end of the game, which allowed him to continue his superb sequence of 24 consecutive games with at least one point; the longest of this kind this season in the QMJHL. The last QMJHL player to score during at least 25 consecutive games was Mathieu Perreault in 2007-08 (27).
- Jérôme Verrier (DRU) – who leads the Voltigeurs with 33 goals, has scored in each of his last 5 games. Yesterday night against the Saguenéens, he scored 3 times. The energetic Drummondville native also has nine game-winning-goals on his sheet; he is the leader of the League tied with Laurent Dauphin (CHI).
- Mathieu Brisebois (ROU) – The star defenseman for the Huskies will try to collect at least one point in his 11th straight game tonight. With 65 points, he’s only one away from joining the leader among defensemen, Kevin Gagné (RIM | 66).
- Zachary Fucale (HAL) – in the history of the QMJHL, only 11 goalkeepers managed to win 40 games in the same season. This is what the Mooseheads goaltender is about to achieve. Fucale has 39 victories in 2012-13 in 46 decisions.
A LITTLE HISTORY
- Mario Lemieux (Laval Voisins) – in 1983-84, during his third QMJHL season when he was 18, he had an incredible sequence of 61 consecutive games with at least a point, a record which still prevails today. During that season, unmatched at several levels, the great centre player bearing # 66 managed to score at least 3 goals in a game 21 times, equaling the mark set in 1970-71 by Guy Lafleur. He ended this magical campaign with 282 points, including 133 goals, two exploits seen since! He is the only player in the history of the QMJHL to have maintained an average of 4 points per game in a season … It was the era of the QMJHL offensive!
- 30 years ago! – On February 25, 1983, the Shawinigan Cataractes established a new mark in the QMJHL: 31 straight games without a loss at home. On this topic, see the capsule released this week on the website of the Cataractes: