QMJHL Weekly, September 20th, 2011

Saulnier, Dubé, Haché Are Three Stars of the Week

On Monday the League announced that Moncton forward Alex Saulnier, Victoriaville left winger Yannick Dubé and Shawinigan rearguard Justin Haché were named the TELUS three stars of the week for the week ending September 18th, 2011.

Saulnier scored once in the Wildcats’ 4-3 loss to Acadie-Bathurst on Tuesday; added another goal, two assists, and was the game’s first star in the 5-3 win over PEI on Thursday and finished the week off with three helpers and the third star of the game award as Moncton doubled Halifax 4-2 on Saturday. He finished the week a +4.

Dube began the week with two assists in Victoriaville’s 5-3 win over Baie-Comeau on Friday and found the back of the net on two more occasions while assisting on one more as the Tigres nipped Rouyn-Noranda 4-3 on Saturday. Dube was the second star of that contest.

Hache helped out on three goals in Shawinigan’s 5-2 win over Chicoutimi on Saturday and added another helper in the Cataractes’ 5-2 win over Gatineau on Sunday.

Fournier Traded

On Tuesday the PEI Rocket sent defenseman Jean-Sebastien Fournier to the Drummondville Voltigeurs for Drummondville’s 2012 QMJHL Entry Draft sixth round pick.
The 20 year old native of Ste-Clare, QC started his QMJHL career with Cape Breton for the 2009-2010 season and was sent to the Rocket at the trade deadline last year.

Lagace and Fournier Return

On Wednesday the Pittsburgh Penguins announced that goalie Maxime Lagace and right winger Stefan Fournier have been returned to PEI and Victoriaville respectively.
They were taking part in the Penguins’ rookie tournament in Oshawa, ON.

Conrad, Gelinas, Darveau, and Andre Suspended

On Wednesday the League suspended four players for their actions over the weekend. Gatineau left winger Jacob Conrad received an additional two game suspension in addition to the automatic one game suspension for checking a Val-d’Or player from behind on Friday, September 9th. Val-d’Or earguard Guillaume Gélinas received a two game suspension for hitting a Shawinigan player in the head on Saturday, September 10th. Victoriaville right winger Simon Darveau is suspended for one game for checking a Rimouski player from behind on Sunday, September 11th. Chicoutimi defenseman Napissis André got the biggest suspension as he will sit in the press box for five games for hitting a Baie-Comeau player in the head on Sunday, September 11th.

Flynn Gets 150th Win

When Moncton defeated PEI 5-3 on Thursday night Head Coach Danny Flynn recorded his 150th win as the Wildcats’ bench boss. The 150 victories puts him in a tie with Shawn Mackenzie for 39th place and fifth among coaches that have been with one team.

Ten QMJHLers Attending Canadiens’ Camp

Ten QMJHL players are attending the Montreal Canadiens’ training camp that began on Friday in Brossard, QC. The 10 players are Peter Delmas, Robien Guss, Nathan Beaulieu, Olivier Dame-Malka, Morgan Ellis, Olivier Archambault, Michael Bournival, Etienne Brodeur, Louis Leblanc and Philippe Lefebvre. The first on-ice session will be held on September 17th at the Bell Sports Complex, in Brossard. The camp will end on Wednesday, October 5th in time for the season opener against the Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre Thursday, October 6th.

Caouette Receives Two Game Suspension

On Saturday the League suspended Drummondville left winger Olivier Caouette for two games for hitting a Rouyn-Noranda player in the head on Friday night.

Investigation Warranted

On Tuesday Commissioner Giles Courteau announced that the League will open an investigation into the check given by Gatineau’s Guillaume Rousseau on Rouyn-Noranda’s Anthony Verret on September 10th. Rouyn-Noranda filed the complaint with the League after the incident took place.

The League’s Head Disciplinarian Raymond Bolduc followed the established process for evaluating the situation. He reviewed the video of the incident, gathered the testimonies from the players and the organizations involved, read the officials’ and supervisor’s report and consulted the independent committee on the matter of disciplinary sanctions. Due to the available evidence in evaluating the case, no disciplinary action was taken against the Olympiques player.

However, after reviewing Anthony Verret’s health, the commissioner of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League decided to conduct a fuller inquiry into this situation. “Mr. Bolduc made the right decision given the information he had at the time of the incident. Nevertheless, following the observations made on Anthony Verret’s health, we believe the situation deserves a second look,” said the Commissioner.

The Quebec Major Junior Hockey league will not comment further pending the investigation.

The Games This Week

Play resumed with one game on Tuesday as Zach O’Brien led the way with one goal and two assists to lead Acadie-Bathurst to a4-3 win over their Maritime and New Brunswick rivals Moncton. On Wednesday Francis Beauvillier’s short handed goal 3:55 into the second saw Rimouski nip Gatineau 2-1. Allain and Alex Saulnier added a goal and two assists each as Moncton skated to a 5-3 win over PEI on Thursday.

On Friday night Cape Breton got a hat trick from Dany Potvin to skate to an 8-5 win over Saint John; Matthew Boudreau scored the game winner 44 seconds into overtime with a power play goal as Halifax edged Acadie-Bathurst 5-4; Marc-Olivier Brouillard added three goals and one assist in Drummondville’s 5-2 win over Rouyn-Noranda; Charles Houdon scored the game winner 1:32 into overtime as Chicoutimi nipped Quebec 4-3; Frederic Tanguay found the back of the net twice as Victoriaville beat Baie-Comeau 5-3; Blainville-Boisband obliterated Gatineau 7-0 as Alex Micallef led the charge with a goal and two assists; and Val-d’Or doubled Rimouski 4-2 as Mathieu Guertin lit the lamp post on two occasions while lending a helping hand on one more.

There were five games on Saturday as Anton Zlobin led the way with three goals as Shawinigan skated to a 5-2 win over Chicoutimi; Yannick Dube’s third of the year 3:53 into overtime lifted Victoriaville to a 4-3 win over Rouyn-Noranda; Allain Saulnier’s second and third of the year led the way for Moncton as they doubled Halifax 4-2; Jimmy Appleby made 27 saves as Baie-Comeau shutout Drummondville 2-0; and Alex Emond’s power play goal 6:42 into the second was the game winner as Rimouski topped Val-d’Or 3-1.

On Sunday Danick Gauthier found the back of the net three times as Saint John finally got into the win column with a 5-3 win over PEI; Denis Kindl had a goal and assist as Cape Breton got past Acadie-Bathurst 5-3; Mikael Tam beat William Racicot twice while helping out on one more as Quebec doubled Blainville-Boisband 4-2; and Peter Sakaris scored twice to lead Shawinigan to a 5-2 win over Gatineau.

The Leaders

With their 4-0-0-0 record and eight points Victoriaville leads the Telus East and overall standings; while Maritime leader Acadie-Bathurst (3-1-1-0 and seven points leads the Martime Division. Blainville-Boisband with three wins, one loss, and no overtime or shootout losses is the top team in the Telus West standings.

Acadie-Bathurst forward Zach O’Brien has taken over the scoring lead with seven goals and eight assists in five games; while his teammate centre Matthew Bissonnette has 12 points with four goals and eight helpers in five games. Rounding out the top three is Victoriaville left winger Yanni Gourde (3G, 9A, 4 GP) rounds out the top three.

Blainville-Boisband netminder Etienne Marcoux leads all goalies with his 3-0-0-0 record, 1.32 GAA, and 0.946 SAV%. Shawinigan backstopper Alex Dubeau has won three games, while losing one, and no overtime or shootout losses to go along with his goals against average of 1.43 and 0.952 SAV%; while Drummondville’s Domenic Graham is 1-2-0-0 with a 2.36 GAA and 0.921 SAV% to round out the top three.

The Games To Come

Play will resume with one game on Tuesday as Bathurst is at home to Val-d’Or. There is also only one game on Wednesday that will see Chicoutimi welcoming Cape Breton. PEI is at home to Rouyn-Noranda; Val-d’Or travels to Moncton; and Blainville-Boisband welcomes Shawinigan on Thursday.

The weekend begins with seven games on Friday as Rouyb-Noranda travels to Halifax; Val-d’Or continues their Eastern Canadian road trip with a stop in Saint John; Cape Breton is in Baie-Comeau for two games Friday and Saturday; and the Battle of Quebec opens on four fronts as Drummondville welcomes Shawinigan, Quebec travels to Victoriaville, Gatineau and Blainville-Boisband take to the ice in Gatineau, and Rimouski hosts Chicoutimi.

The other three games on Saturday will see Halifax in Moncton and Saint John at home to Acadie-Bathurst for two all Maritime tilts; and Val-d’Or continues their visit to Atlantic Canada in Charlottetown, PEI when they face the Rocket.

The weekend concludes with two games on Sunday as Rouyn-Noranda concludes their trip to Eastern Canada with a stop in Bathurst; and Chicoutimi is at home to Quebec.

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