Weekend Q Roundup
Several fresh lineups made their debut this weekend in the QMJHL as trade period ended and new adjustments began. In Montreal, Louis Leblanc was back from his silver-medal winning performance in Buffalo at the World Junior Hockey Championship, and performed well, bringing in a goal and two assists over the weekend. His team, on the other hand, might need to re-learn a thing or two about how to start a game. Both on Saturday afternoon against Val d'Or and Sunday afternoon against the Gatineau Olympiques, the Juniors were down by three goals after the first period before coming back later on and evening the mark. In the former case, they ended the game on top of the 6-4 final, but in the latter, they surrendered two more goals after the tie and fell by a score of 5-3.
New acquisition Viktor Hertzberg, acquired at the deadline for Denis Kindl, a 2nd round pick in the 2012 draft and a 1st rounder in the 2013 draft, scored two goals in his debut against the Foreurs before leaving the game due to injury at the hands of Artem Sergeev. Montreal Canadiens' prospect Philippe Lefebvre suffered the exact same fate earlier on in the game and is said to have a concussion.
Viktor Hertzberg. Photo : Luc Cinq-Mars / 24H
League-leaders Saint John were featured in one game this weekend, a 9-2 victory over the Halifax Mooseheads. Frédéric Piché faced his former mates for the first time of the year and gave up five goals on 24 shots. 2011 NHL Entry Draft-eligible Jonathan Huberdeau had one goal and four assists in the campaign. Meanwhile, Halifax suffered their second loss in a row, having managed one goal against Moncton's offense the previous night for a final of 5-1.
Gatineau continues to rise up the ranks in the Telus West Division, beating Montreal 5-3 and Victoriaville 5-1. Reigning atop the scorers' rankings, latest acquisition Philip-Michaël Devos racked in three assists over the two-game span, while his Olympiques won their ninth in a row and sit two points ahead of the Drummondville Voltigeurs, who for their part won 3-1 over Baie-Comeau on Friday night and lost in overtime to Chicoutimi on Sunday afternoon.
Players honoured this week were netminder Christopher Gibson of Chicoutimi, left winger Zach O'Brien of Acadie-Bathurst, and the Foreurs' forward Jonathan Hazen. In three games, Gibson faced 101 shots, only surrendering five goals against Drummondville, Montreal and Victoriaville. O'Brien, for his part, put up ten points over the span of three games while maintaining a +5 and Hazen lit up the lamp six times in his last three games (including four in the game against the rival Huskies alone) while also picking up three assists.
Key matchups this week: The top team in the CHL, the Saint John Sea Dogs, host the Drummondville Voltigeurs two nights in a row this weekend, where future NHL prospects (Huberdeau and Sean Couturier) and new acquisitions (Éric Gélinas, Alex Beauregard, Jason Seed, Pier-Antoine Dion, Jérôme Raymond, Julien Levasseur) alike face off against one another as Drummondville tries to catch up to Gatineau and reclaim second spot in the division. The Shawinigan Cataractes also face off against the Rimouski Oceanic this Friday night. Both teams were significantly active during the trade period, even finalizing a couple of deals with each other. Fans will see ex-Oceanic member Ryan Kavanagh facing his old team in a Cataractes jersey for the first time.