While one team has already punched its ticket to the postseason, another is being recognized for a memorable postseason last year. This and more highlight some of the things going on in the “Q” this week!
First in Line
Although the 2020 President Cup playoffs don’t commence for another seven weeks, a team can never secure its spot in the postseason too early. This year, the first club to achieve this distinction is the Sherbrooke Phoenix. After already posting its best campaign in franchise history, the Phoenix keep on rolling as its 8-2 record in the past ten games attests to. Sherbrooke became the second club in the entire CHL to obtain a playoff berth after the Ottawa 67’s turned the trick in the OHL.
Isles Emerge Victorious
The Blood Donor Challenge between the Charlottetown Islanders, Moncton Wildcats and Saint John Sea Dogs came to a conclusion on January 31st. When the dust settled and donations were complete, it was the Islanders that earned top spot, coming from behind in the last two weeks of the campaign to secure 99% of their donation target. Overall, Canadian Blood Services of PEI received 537 donations in January, just seven short of the Isles’ goal. The Wildcats achieved 93% of their target and the Sea Dogs 73%.
One Being Remembered
The Halifax Mooseheads hosted the Memorial Cup for the second time in franchise history last May. Using the slogan “One to Remember”, the organizing committee did just that, as evidenced by the tournament’s nomination for 2019 Canadian Sport Event of the Year as part the 14th annual CSTA PRESITGE awards. Nearly 80,000 fans packed the Mooseheads home rink for the nine-day tournament, which featured an all-QMJHL final between Halifax and eventual champion Rouyn-Noranda. In addition, upwards of 150,000 people took in festivities such as the Fan Zone and daily Street Fest concerts.
Eagles on Fire at Nest
The Cape Breton Eagles are aiming for an extended playoff run this spring. If their recent record at home is any indication, they’re ready to host all challengers. Thanks to a 7-2 victory over the Acadie-Bathurst Titan last Friday, the franchise set a new record with 12 consecutive home wins. Winners of 14 of their last 15 games, the Eagles have averaged over five goals per game during that span while climbing into the latest Kia CHL Top 10 Rankings to boot!
Who’ll Stop Poulin… or Poirier?
Sherbrooke’s Samuel Poulin is enjoying one of the most productive stretches of his QMJHL career in recent weeks. Between back-to-back Ultramar Player of the Week accolades as well as a nod for Forward of the Month for January, the 2019 Pittsburgh Penguins first-rounder has been on another level. During this stretch was a hat trick performance – his second in as many weeks – last Tuesday night against Drummondville. His was one of four tricks turned by skaters in the “Q” last week. Other were courtesy of Mathieu Desgagnes (Acadie-Bathurst), Derek Gentile (Cape Breton) and Jeremy McKenna (Moncton).
Meanwhile in Gatineau, goaltender Remi Poirier continues to shine since taking over the starter’s role last month. On Saturday, he added another highlight thanks to a 20-save effort in a 5-0 win over Rouyn-Noranda, his fourth shutout of the campaign and third in the past four weeks. Also slamming the door last week was Rimouski’s Colten Ellis, as well as Drummondville’s Francesco Lapenna who posted his first career QMJHL whitewash.