QMJHL Weekly: Feb 21

Couturier, Roy, and Leblanc Are Telus Three Stars

Drummondville forward Sean Couturier, Acadie-Bathurst goale Olivier Roy, and Montreal forward Louis Leblanc are the Telus Three Stars of the Week for the week ending February 20th, 2011.

Couturier began the week with three goals on Tuesday as Drummondville skated to a 4-1 win over Quebec and added two more in Friday’s 6-0 shutout of Rouyn-Noranda. He was the first star of Tuesday’s game and the second on Friday. He finished the week a plus-4.

Roy went 3-0 with a 1.30 GAA and a SAV% of .957.  The Acadie-Bathurst netminder made 30 saves on Wednesday as the Titan needed a shootout to get past Val-d’Or 4-3; 28 in Friday’s 7-1 win over Victoriaville; and 30 in the Titan’s 3-0 shutout over Shawinigan.

Leblanc scored once in Montreal’s 4-3 win over Lewiston on Thursday. He added another goal, assist, and was the second star of the game in Friday’s 5-2 win over Quebec and ended it with another goal and two assists and was the third star of Saturday’s 7-1 victory over Rouyn-Noranda. Leblanc finished the weekend a plus-3.

League Makes Rule Changes; Desforges Named Sagueneens’ Governor

At the Semi-Annual Assembly on Tuesday the League Board of Governors voted on two new rule changes. The changes will take effect next season.

First if two teams are tied in the standings at the end of the regular season the team with the most wins gets the highest seeds. Wins acquired via a shootout will not be considered. In prior years teams were only allowed to draft 15 year olds in the first five rounds but will now be able to draft them in the first eight rounds beginning with the 2012 QMJHL Entry Draft.

The Board of Governors accepted the nomination of Marc Desforges as the new Governor of the Chicoutimi Saguenéens following the resignation of Guy Carbonneau who became the team’s new head coach last week.

Three QMJHL Teams Make Top 10

When the CHL announced the Top 10 rankings on Wednesday three QMJHL teams made the cut. Saint John remained at first; Montreal at fourth; and Quebec at sixth. Drummondville received an honorable mention.

BMO CHL MasterCard Top 10 Rankings – Week 21
1 Saint John Sea Dogs (46-5-1-2)
2 Saskatoon Blades (44-11-0-2)
3 Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors (40-10-0-2)
4 Montreal Juniors (38-9-4-4)
5 Red Deer Rebels (39-14-2-4)
6 Quebec Remparts (40-13-1-2)
7 Niagara IceDogs (36-11-2-4)
8 Owen Sound Attack (37-15-1-2)
9 Portland Winterhawks (38-16-0-3)
10 Ottawa 67′s (35-16-1-1)
Honorable Mention: Drummondville Voltigeurs (37-14-5-2); Kootenay Ice (37-17-1-2); Saginaw Spirit (34-16-3-1)

The Games This Week

Play began with one game on Tuesday as Sean Couturier had the hat trick as Drummondville skated to a 4-1 win over Quebec.

On Wednesday Dave Labrecque and Anton Zlobin had a goal and assist each as Shawinigans defeated Cape Breton, 5-2; Gabriel Lévesque was the only shooter to score in the shootout as Acadie-Bathurst edged Val-d’Or, 4-3; Alex Belzile and Felix Lefrancois scored in the shootout to lead Rimouski past PEI, 3-2;

Samuel Groulx had two goals and assisted on two more as Victoriaville romped all over Moncton 7-1; Jérémy Gouchie scored the game winner with 35 seconds left in the game as Montreal edged Lewiston, 4-3; and Jean-Gabriel Pageau scored both of Gatineau’s goals in their 2-1 win over Quebec on Thursday.
On Friday Matthew Boudreau scored the lone goal of the game 18:55 into the third period as Halifax edged Cape Breton 1-0; Jonathan Lessard led the way with two goals for Acadie-Bathurst in their 7-1 pounding of Victoriaville; Michael Bournival had the hat trick as Shawinigan disposed of Moncton, 5-3; Durepos scored the game winner 13:42 into the third as Saint John edged Val-d’Or, 3-2; Philippe Paradis scored the game winner 3:47 into overtime as PEI nipped Chicoutimi, 3-2; Viktor Hertzberg led the way with a goal and two assists as Montreal skated to a 5-2 win over Quebec; and Ondrej Palata added a goal and two assists as Drummondville shutout Rouyn-Noranda, 6-0.

On Saturday Maxime Gravel and Eliezer Sherbatov scored twice each as Baie-Comeau skated to a 7-4 victory over PEI; Charles Hudon scored the game-winner with a minute left in regulation as Chicoutimi nipped Gatineau, 4-3; Yanni Gourde added a goal and assist as Victoriaville nipped Rimouski, 4-3; and Zack Phillips led the way with two goals and one assist as Saint John celebrated the 10-year anniversary of the Saint John Flames AHL Calder Cup win with a 7-3 victory over Shawinigan.

Roy made 30 saves as Acadie-Bathurst shutout Shawinigan, 3-0; Alex Saulnier led the way with two goals and two assist as Moncton skated to a 5-2 win over Val-d’Or; Philippe Halley scored the game winner with 4:05 left in the game as Gatineau nipped Baie-Comeau, 2-1; and Etienne Brodeur had the hat trick with his third at the 14;37 mark of the third being the game winner as Lewiston got past Rimouski 4-3 on Sunday.

The Leaders

Saint John became the first team to clinch their division title as they are now 48-5-1-2 with 99 points to give them the Maritime Division title. They are 21 points ahead of second place Acadie-Bathurst (38-19-1-1, 78 points). They are nine points ahead of Telus West leaders Montreal who are 41-9-4-4 with 90 points and 16 ahead of Telus East leaders Quebec who has a 40-15-1-2 record or 83 points.

Teams who have clinched playoff spots:
Maritime Division: Saint John; Acadie-Bathurst; Moncton; PEI
Telus East Division: Quebec; Lewiston, Victoriaville, Chicoutimi, Rimouski
Telus West: Montreal, Drummondville, Shawinigan, Gatineau, Val-d’Or

Gatineau forward Philip-Michael Devos is the scoring leader with 39 goals and 55 assists in the 58 games played with Victoriaville and Gatineau; Saint John forward Jonathan Huberdeau is second with 36 goals and 50 assists in 55 games; and Couturier enters the top three this week at third with 85 points (36G, 50A, 49 GP).

Chicoutimi netminder Christopher Gibson leads all goalies with his 11-9-3-5 record to go along with a goals against average of 2.16 and a .927 SAV%. Backstopping his way into second place is Saint John netminder Jacob DeSerres (23-2-0-0, 2.16 GAA, .917 SAV%); while Gatineau’s Maxime Clermont is 25-10-1-4 with a goals against average of 2.53 and .898 SAV% to round out the top three.

The Games To Come

Saint John welcomes Halifax in the lone game on Tuesday

Acadie-Bathurst is in Montreal on Wednesday.

On Thursday Moncton is in Rouyn-Noranda; and Lewiston is in Chicoutimi.

Fourteen teams will take to the ice on Friday as Cape Breton is at home to PEI: Victoriaville is in Quebec for a Telus East battle; Montreal welcomes Rimouski; Lewiston makes their way to Drummondville; Gatineau and Saint John take to the ice in Gatineau; Acadie-Bathurst continues their Quebec road trip with a stop in Rouyn-Noranda; while Moncton does the same in Val-d’Or.

Baie-Comeau and Chicoutimi face off in Baie-Comeau in a Telus East contest; Gatineau makes their way to Shawinigan for a Telus West affair; Saint John makes another Quebec stop in Victoriaville; Halifax is in Cape Breton for a Maritime contest; Rimouski is in Quebec City to face the Remparts; and Acadie-Bathurst concludes their Quebec trip with a stop in Val-d’Or on Saturday.

Five games will close out the weekend on Sunday as Baie-Comeau is in Chicoutimi for a Telus East contest; Gatineau welcomes Rouyn-Noranda for a Telus West contest; Drummondville is in Lewiston; Saint John finishes up their Quebec swing with a stop in Shawinigan; and Montreal is at home to Moncton.

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