Thursday, April 23, 2015

SN's Third Round Predictions

MONCTON – Four teams remain in the hunt for the QMJHL’s President Cup.

The quarterfinals just ended on Tuesday night but the semifinals start swinging right away with the Quebec Remparts taking on the Moncton Wildcats tonight at the Coliseum. In the other series, the top seeded Rimouski Oceanic take on the red hot Val-d’Or Foreurs beginning tomorrow night.

This year’s playoffs have been exceptional and hopefully this round will be as well. Here are the Station Nation staff’s picks.

Val-d’Or Foreurs (6) vs Rimouski Oceanic (1)
Kevin Chambers – SN Draft Guru: Rimouski in 5
The Rimouski Oceanic are coming off another short series against an underrated Gatineau squad and have still only lost a single game through the first two rounds of the playoffs. The Val-d’Or Foreurs are coming off an improbable victory in seven games after being down three games to none against the Baie Comeau Drakkar. Both teams will be riding a wave of momentum so something has to give and I’m sticking with the favorites in this one – the Oceanic. Their offense will expose the Foreurs’ defense and goaltending. The Oceanic are better in all areas and the stakes are high given the winner could potentially get a bye into the Memorial Cup (with a Quebec victory over Moncton).

Lorne Webster – SN Writer: Rimouski in 5
After a huge comeback from 0-3 to defeat Baie-Comeau of OT in game seven, the Foreurs behaved poorly. I have a feeling that karma is going to come back to haunt them. A powerful - and well-rested - crew from Rimouski are simply too strong for Val-d'Or this time around. The Oceanic entered the season as big time favorites and appear to be on their way to an appearance in the Memorial Cup.

Jamie Tozer – SN Editor: Rimouski in 5
I see this series being like the Winnipeg – Anaheim series that just ended. The games will be close but the series will end quickly. The Foreurs, although they are no doubt feeling some fatigue from their quarterfinal series, will be riding plenty of momentum and should give the Oceanic a decent run – but not a long run. Rimouski is just too good and they’ve shown that so far in this year’s playoffs.

Quebec Remparts (4) vs Moncton Wildcats (2)
Kevin: Quebec in 6 
Quebec had a much easier time in the second round against the Charlottetown Islanders and will be well rested; meanwhile, the Wildcats are coming off a tough series against the Halifax Mooseheads. The Remparts looked great against the Islanders and I like their depth against Moncton. The Wildcats seemed to have some inconsistency against Halifax and they can ill afford to make mistakes against Quebec. This could go the distance but I’ll go with the Remparts in six.

Lorne: Quebec in 6
In another case of a well-rested team versus one that was pushed to the limit in the quarterfinals, the Quebec Remparts (who swept Charlottetown) are coming together at the right time as they prepare to host the Memorial Cup. 30+ minutes of ice time per night will finally catch up with the Wildcats Garland-Barbashev show. Zach Fucale, as well as the Remparts depth, will prove to be too much for Moncton.

Jamie: Quebec in 7
I think Quebec’s sweep over Charlottetown was huge. It no doubt built up some confidence after having a scare in the first round against Cape Breton but it also gave them some rest. The Wildcats just ended their quarterfinal series on Tuesday and are getting right back into things tonight. If the Wildcats are going to win this series they have to find a way to play solid offense and defense together in back-to-back games, which is something they struggled with against Halifax. This should be an interesting series and, like the Moncton-Halifax series, I could see. 

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