QMJHL Report: First Round of the 2019 Playoffs

Nate Duffett

2019-04-05

 

Western Conference
 

#1 Rouyn-Noranda Huskies (4) def. #8 Shawinigan Cataractes (2)

 

After a successful season which saw the Huskies finish 12 points ahead of the second-place team in the league, a first-round series win was inevitable. However, it didn’t come easy as Shawinigan found themselves tied at 2-2 in the series going into game five. An upset was not in the cards as the Huskies took control of the series, winning games five and six by a combined score of 15-5 to advance. As expected, Peter Abbandonato with thirteen points, Noah Dobson (NYI) with ten points, and Joel Teasdale (MTL) with nine points led the offensive charge for the Huskies. The second-best offence in the QMJHL regular season did not miss a beat with their goal totals in the first round, however, they will need to get back to their shutdown defense to avoid any more scares in the coming series’.

 

#2 Drummondville Voltigeurs (4) def. #7 Gatineau Olympiques (1)

 

The Voltigeurs used a game-one hat trick from Joe Veleno (DET) to kick-start a successful opening round series. Veleno would go on to register nine points and lead his team to the next round. The other regular season stars for the Voltigeurs had trouble generating a point pace that was similar to the regular season. Both Maxime Comtois (ANA) and Gregor Macleod were only able to manage five points in five games. Drummondville will need these other players to step up if they want to make a deep run.

 

#3 Sherbrooke Phoenix (4) def. #6 Blainville-Boisbriand, Armada (1)

 

The Armada came on the road in game one and took a series lead on the Phoenix, but that was the only taste of victory they would get as Sherbrooke would take the next four games. Top 2019 NHL Draft prospect Samuel Poulin was the leader for Sherbrooke in the series with nine points. Dakota Lund-Cornish was also stellar between the pipes with a 2.02 goals-against-average and .925 save percentage. Despite a convincing win in the series, Sherbrooke will be in tough against Drummondville in round two with their lack of scoring depth. Lund-Cornish will need to play as good or better to give the Phoenix a chance.

 

#4 Victoriaville Tigres (4) def. #5 Val D’Or Foreurs (3)

 

It was a battle of undrafted veterans in this seven-game series between Victoriaville and Val D’Or.  Simon Lafrance, Dominic Cormier, and Anthony Poulin led the way offensively en route to the game seven overtime victory for the Tigres. Julien Tessier, David Noël (STL), and Félix Boivin countered in a losing effort for the Foreurs. In a series that may not have had the same star power or appeal as others, this back and forth battle could go down as the best series of the first round.

 

Eastern Conference

#1 Halifax Mooseheads (4) def. #8 Québec Remparts (3)

 

Their Memorial Cup hosting campaign looked to be coming to an abrupt end after dropping the first two games at home to the Remparts. However, the Mooseheads fought back to win two of three in the Quebec Capital and win the final two games at home to take the series in seven.