The Montreal Juniors have been knocked out of the QMJHL playoffs much earlier than expected after loosing to the Lewiston MAINEiacs in 6 games. That's right, in a year where expectations were built up so high, it's now game over for the Juniors.
The series against Lewiston will be remembered as a series where the Juniors just couldn't seem to get their game plan working for them. They were out worked, out skated and out scored by a younger and seemingly more motivated group of MAINEiacs.
To give you a sense of how Montreal never really got things going think about this. In all six games, Montreal either lost, or if they won, they had to do so in overtime. Here's a summary of the final scores throughout the series:
Game 1: Montreal wins 6-5 (OT)
Game 2: Lewiston wins 6-2
Game 3: Lewiston wins 2-1
Game 4: Lewiston wins 4-1
Game 5: Montreal wins 5-4 (OT)
Game 6: Lewiston wins 6-3
Lewiston scored 27 goals which averages 4.5 goals scored per game against Montreal. The Juniors meanwhile only averaged 3 goals scored per game for a sum of 18 goals. Not even close.
In my next blog I'll write more about this series and raise questions about what is to come that must be asked heading into the off-season. in the off-season. That post will be my last before I pull an 8 week disappearing act to re-allocate my energies to other areas of my life.....my upcoming wedding.
Friday, April 8, 2011
Round 1 is over! The Juniors steam rolled over the Halifax Mooseheads in round #1, winning in four straight games that included two shutouts for goaltender J-F Berube.
Some of the highlights from round one; Louis Leblanc scoring a a goal per game pace (4 goals scored in 4 games played). Jeremy Gouchie's 7 points (2G and 5A) which leads the team in playoff scoring. And how about goaltender J-F Berube? He finished the series with 2 shutouts, a .955 save percentage and a 1.35 GAA.
We can't snub the flashes of excellence we saw from the Halifax side either. Super rookie Martin Frk was a pleasure to watch. He dazzled the Montreal crown with his shifty moves and crafty play. It's amazing to think this kid is only draft eligible in 2012. Should go top-5 or top-10 max. He's definitely one of the best 17 year olds I've ever seen in the Q......imagine the damage he could do if he had real line mates?
My MVP for Montreal in round 1 was team captain Nicolas Chouinard. He was excellent and did everything a team captain needs to do to help his team win hockey games. In game 1 Chouinard led the way offensively, scoring 1 goal and adding 2 assists. He treated every shift like his last, hitting everything that moved. He was named the game's 1st star.
Game 2 wasn't much different. Chouinard scored again and added an assist, giving him a total of 5 points through the first two games of the series, making him Montreal's leading point getter at the time. He was named the game's 2nd star.
When the series shifted to Halifax for rounds 3 and 4 Chouinard didn't register any points but he still finished the series as the team's 2nd leading scoring. Here are the Juniors top 5 scorers after round 1:
1. Jeremy Gouchie (2G, 5A, 7P, +7)
2. Nicolas Chouinard (2G, 3A, 5P, +4)
3. Louis Leblanc (4G, 0A, 4P, +2)
4. 4 players tied at 4 points (Lefebvre, Parkes, Meilleur, Ouellet)
Next up is Lewiston in round #2. Playoff predictions to be released shortly before puck drop.
Photo Credit: Ron Lemish