Sunday, March 27, 2016

Playoffs Off To Entertaining Start

If the first weekend is any indication, this could be a very good QMJHL post-season.

With every series two games in, only Rouy-Noranda, Saint John, Gatineau and Moncton carry 2-0 leads. The rest are all tied at 1-1 (we did the math for you!).

To nobody’s surprise, Rouyn-Noranda smoked Drummondville, outscoring the Volts by a combined 16-0. Saint John has had a tougher challenge with Bathurst but played fairly well after a rough end to the regular season. Gatineau has eked out back-to-back one-goal victories over the rebuilding Remparts – despite outshooting Quebec 51-11 on Saturday.

While Moncton carries a 2-0 series lead over Victoriaville, both games needed overtime. Will Smith was the hero in game one, scoring in double OT.

Vaclav Karabacek was the hero in game two.

The No. 2 seeded Shawinigan Cataractes have a had a tough time with the Sherbrooke Phoenix, losing game one 3-2 before rebounding with a 3-2 win in game two. That series now shifts to Sherbrooke for a huge game three.

The No. 4 seeded Val-d’Or Foreurs – who challenged the Huskies for top spot in the league for much of the regular season – also enter game three tied 1-1 in their series with the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada. After losing game one 3-2, the Armada rebounded and defeated the Foreurs 4-1 in the second game. Captain Philippe Sanche had two goals and two assists in that game.

The other two series – Cape Breton vs Chicoutimi and Rimouski vs Charlottetown – have been as tight as expected.

Julio Billia made 50 saves in game one to lead the Sags to a 3-1 win. In game two the Screaming Eagles got Pierre-Luc Dubois back from a suspension and evened the series up with a 5-2 victory. Cape Breton outshot Chicoutimi 45-17 in game two.

The Islanders dropped game one 2-1 in Rimouski on Friday night. On Saturday, Alexis Vanier scored 12:13 into overtime to even the series. Samuel Blais had four assists in that game.

Every series plays game three on Tuesday night.

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