QMJHL Semifinals Set
So practically everything went wrong last round. For proof: look no further than the Saint John Sea Dogs in that they actually lost a game. At home. In regulation.
Obviously that's not what I really meant, since I predicted that. Time to backtrack a little.
Recap: Last Round
(1) Saint John Sea Dogs vs. (11) Victoriaville Tigres: Prediction: Saint John in 5. Result: Saint John in 5. ✔ ✔
(2) Montreal Juniors vs. (15) Lewiston MAINEiacs: Prediction: Montreal in 5. Result: Lewiston in 6. (If I had stuck with my gut feeling, I'd be adding two more checkmarks here.)
(3) Québec Remparts vs. (7) Shawinigan Cataractes: Prediction: Quebec in 6. Result: Quebec in 7. ✔
(4) Drummondville Voltigeurs vs. (5) Gatineau Olympiques: Prediction: Drummondville in 7. Result: Gatineau in 6. :(
The league semifinals are now set in place, with the schedule pending on the series opposing the Remparts and the Olympiques. The ones with the most rest heading into Friday's action, of course, are the Sea Dogs, but they have to be on their guard considering who they're facing.
(1) Saint John Sea Dogs vs. (8 ) Lewiston MAINEiacs:
SJ: Jonathan Huberdeau (9 GP, 10-11-21)
LEW: Olivier Dame-Malka (11 GP, 8-8-16)
SJ: Jacob DeSerres (8 GP, 1.87GAA, .923 SV%)
LEW: Nicholas Champion (11 GP, 2.42 GAA, .922 SV%)
Lewiston managed to outwork and outgrind the Montreal Juniors in every game, including and especially the ones they did not succeed in outscoring them in. Blueliner Olivier Dame-Malka scored four goals in Game 2 and attracted a lot of attention on the power play with his shot from the point. Saint John frantically fought off their opponents last round and struggled to contain the series to five games, however, they are disciplined enough and don't allow the MAINEiacs' pesky forwards (Kirill Kabanov established himself against Montreal, to the surprise of many) to get too close to Jacob DeSerres, they should be moving on to the President's Cup finals.
Prediction: Saint John in 6
(3) Quebec Remparts vs. (5) Gatineau Olympiques:
QUE: Jonathan Audy-Marchessault (11 GP, 10-18-28)
GAT: Jean-Gabriel Pageau (11 GP, 8-11-19)
QUE: Louis Domingue (11 GP, 2.36GAA, .918SV%)
GAT: Maxime Clermont (8 GP, 2.27GAA, .919SV%)
Quebec finished their series against Shawinigan on Tuesday, and will most likely resume action on Friday. They represent the league's top power play in the playoffs (43.1%) and are 3-1 in their season series against Gatineau, who are currently without a key component in forward Tye McGinn. However, Jean-Gabriel Pageau was named CHL player of the week today as his 12 points in 6 games against Drummondville effectively moved them out of contention. Captain Hubert Labrie is also effective in shutting down offensive threats, and Philip-Michaël Devos hasn't disappeared from the stat-sheets as much as those who eye his three goals with skepticism might think. I suspect the Remparts might have another long one on their hands.
Prediction: Quebec in 7