The top dogs in the Telus West Division will once again face-off tonight as Gatineau hosts Blainville-Boisbriand. The prides of Abitibi are also making waves of late, with the Foreurs and Huskies lighting the lamp at a torrid pace. Meanwhile, Benoit Groulx and Mario Durocher have been busy climbing the ranks on the all-time wins list.
FIRING ON ALL CYLINDERS
- Val D’Or – The Foreurs have been putting on quite a show so far this season, racking up a league-high 142 goals an average of 4.42 to date. They aren’t afraid to let it fly either, with the Foreurs having outshot their opposition in 26-of-32 games this season (81%). Already with 9 wins by 4 goals or more in 2013-14, Val-d’Or has also won 10 of their last 12 games.
- Drummondville – After stumbling in mid-November, the Voltigeurs have turned things around of late, winning 6 of their last 7 games.
- Rouyn-Noranda – On their way to picking up 11 of a possible 12 points over their last six games, Gilles Bouchard’s troops have scored 5 goals in 4 of those contests. Their average of goals per game is 4.06, second in the League.
- Blainville-Boisbriand – The QMJHL’s road warriors, the Armada have only lost once in regulation in 14 road games this season (9-1-4-0). They will now take their road show to Gatineau to face the Olympiques on Friday night. Blainville-Boisbriand will also be looking for payback after suffering a 5-4 shootout loss to Gatineau last Sunday despite forcing overtime with one second to go in regulation.
- Jean-Francois Plante (SHE) – He is enjoying quite the season so far to the tune of 25 goals in 31 games, including 5 short-handed goals. Plante scores whenever he possibly can, converting 2 of his 3 shootout attempts on the year.
- Jean-Sebastien Dea (ROU) – Precise as they come, he is among the league leaders scoring on 24 of his 94 shots on the year for a 25.5% shooting percentage. Riding an eight-game point streak, Dea also has 4 game-winners on the season. A point-per-game player over this junior career with 145 points in 145 games, he also signed his first pro contract this year, a three-year pact with the Pittsburgh Penguins.
- Felix Girard (BAC) – This guy certainly knows his way around a face-off dot with Girard leading the league with a face-off winning percentage of 65.9%. Kyle Farrell (CAP) is his next closest rival at 61.8% among centremen having taken at least 100 draws on the season.
- Francis Desrosiers (SHE) – He has been pretty busy of late, facing 248 shots over his last 6 games for an average of 41 shots per game. Even though he has allowed 21 goals over that span, Desrosiers’ save percentage is still an impressive .915.
- Guillaume Decelles (BLB) – The veteran goalie is coming off 6 wins over his last 7 games for the Armada with a 2.09 goals against average.
- Brandon Whitney (VIC) – With his next assist he will match a team record for assists in a career by a goalie with 7, matching former Tigres keeper Stephane Fiset who set the mark back in 1989-90. Currently tied with Whitney at No. 2 with 6 helpers is Patrick Charbonneau who is now of course GM in Sherbrooke.
- Anthony Mantha (VDO) – His current 20-game point streak has him closing in on the team record streak of 23 games set 16 years ago by Jean-Pierre Dumont (1997-98). He also notched his sixth short-handed goal of the season leaving him only two back of the Foreurs’ club mark of 8 held by Simon Gamache (2000-01).
- Baie-Comeau – By winning last night in Chicoutimi, the Drakkar is now one regular season win shy of No. 500 dating back to the birth of the franchise in 1997-98. With 20 wins in 31 games (.645) their win percentage is practically identical to that of last season (.647).
- Rimouski – The Oceanic is narrowing in on win No. 600 in their own right, currently sitting at 596 after 1289 games. The team is on a roll of late with a 7-4-1-0 mark over their last 12 games.
- Benoit Groulx (GAT) – Already in the league’s all-time Top 10 for wins by a coach with 381 victories, Groulx is now only two back of Denis Francoeur who sits at No. 7.
- Mario Durocher (VDO) – His pair of victories over Rimouski this week helped him reach the 349 mark in the QMJHL one short of 350. He has now surpassed Patrick Roy (348) to reach No. 10 all-time.
- December 6, 2008 – 5 years ago today, two goalies were credited with scoring a goal on the same day. Peter Delmas (Lewiston) and Maxim Gougeon (Rimouski) became only the second and third goalies to ever score a goal. Three years earlier, Antoine Lafleur of the PEI Rocket became the first QMJHL goalie to score a goal in September 2005.