Saturday, April 2, 2011


SAINT JOHN – Cinderella will meet Goliath in the second round of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League playoffs.

With a 4-3 overtime win on Friday night, the Gatineau Olympiques defeated the Rimouski Oceanic and eliminated them from President’s Cup playoff contention. The 12th seeded Oceanic were the lowest ranked team remaining in the post-season.

With Rimouski done, the Victoriaville Tigres are now the lowest seeded team remaining in the hunt for the 2011 QMJHL title. The Tigres now face a tough task as they must face the top-ranked Saint John Sea Dogs in the quarter-finals.

Game One of the second round series is Friday, April 8, at 7:30 pm and Game Two is Saturday, April 9, at 7:00 pm. Both games are at Harbour Station. The full schedule for the best-of-seven series will be released shortly.

The Tigres pulled off a somewhat large upset in the first round by taking out the sixth-seeded Acadie-Bathurst Titan. The fact that the Tigres won the series isn’t the most surprising thing – it is the way they took out the Titan that came as a shock. Victoriaville won four straight games to sweep the series.

Victoriaville had a record of 35-29-1-3 in the regular season and finished 11th overall in the standings. They finished 17 points back of Bathurst.

But now, the Tigers’ Cinderella run must go through the monster that is the QMJHL’s top-ranked Sea Dogs. Saint John finished 45 points ahead of Victoriaville in the standings and steamrolled the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles in the opening round of the playoffs.

But, the Tigres will be a confident bunch heading into the quarter-final series. Along with carrying the momentum of their first round series win, the team has the rare distinction of being one of the clubs to give Saint John a loss in regulation time. On February 26, the Tigres beat the Sea Dogs 2-1 at Colisee Desjardins.

These two teams faced each other in the semi-finals last year with the Sea Dogs winning the series 4-2.

If anything, this series will provide more entertainment than Saint John’s first round matchup against Cape Breton.

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