QMJHL Finals Preview
2012 QMJHL FINALS PREVIEW- Saint John Sea Dogs vs Rimouski Oceanic
This year the two teams that will be battling it out for the President’s Cup (Quebec Major Junior Hockey League Champions) and a birth at the 2012 Memorial Cup in Shawinigan, Quebec are the Saint John Sea Dogs and the Rimouski Oceanic. The Sea Dogs will be looking to defend their title from last year as champs. Oceanic have currently shocked many people in the 2012 playoffs as they were ranked 4th in the Telus East Division this season, but on the other hand the top seeded Sea Dogs have keep their amazing play from the season to find them self’s in the QMJHL finals trying to book their ticket to the Memorial Cup again.
Game 1- Friday, May 4, Rimouski at Saint John
Game 2- Saturday, May 5, Rimouski at Saint John
Game 3- Wednesday, May 9, Saint John at Rimouski
Game 4- Thursday, May 10, Saint John at Rimouski
Game 5- Saturday, May 12, Saint John at Rimouski *If Necessary
Game 6- Monday, May 14, Rimouski at Saint John *If Necessary
Game 7- Wednesday, May 16, Rimouski at Saint John *If Necessary
2012 Head-to-Head Results
Saturday Oct 8 Rimouski 2-8 Saint Johns
Wednesday Nov 2 Saint Johns 3–4 Rimouski
Saint John Sea Dogs are Ranked 1st in the CHL Top Ten BMO Ranked.
Rimouski Oceanic are currently not Ranked in the CHL Top Ten BMO Ranked.
Teams regular season recap:
Saint John Sea Dogs
The Saint John sea dogs finished their regular season with a record of (50-15-0-3) 103 points. The Sea Dogs easily won the QMJHL this season by 5 points. Saint John’s defense was ranked 2nd overall this season, only by 1 goal to the Memorial Cup host this year Shawinigan Cataractes. The Sea Dogs only allowed 180 goals this season in 68 games, but their offense was outstanding as they scored 298 goals. The Sea Dogs scored the 2nd most amount of goals only trailing to the Victoriaville Tigres who scored a whipping 311 goals this season.
The Sea Dogs leading goal scorer after the 2011-2012 regular season this year was Danick Gauthier, who talied 47 goals, 39 assist in 66 games of action. Gauthier was one of the leading goal scorers also as not much players scored more then 45 goals this season in the QMJHL. Saint John’s also got a lot of help from their defense and goaltender. As Mathieu Corbeil put up a 2.38 goals against average which lead the QMJHL this years season, and a save percentage of 0.911.
The Rimouski Oceanic finished their regular season with ranked 4th in the Telus East Division and 7th overall in the QMJHL this season with a record of (40-26-2-0) 82 points. The Oceanic’s offense was ranked 5th overall in the league. However on the defense of side of the puck they struggled a bit as their defense was ranked 8th overall for goals against this season.
Rimouski’s regular seasons leading scorer was Alex Belzile, who was ranked 5th overall in the league for points this season. Belzile finished the 2011-2012 season with 22 goals, 77 assist in 63 games of action. The teams 2nd leading score Alexandre Mallet chipped in more on the goals side of the points finishing the season with 34 goals, 47 assist in 68 games which ranked him 13th in points for the QMJHL this season. The Oceanic also got help from their goaltender Jacob Gervais-Chouinard 3.36 goals against average and a 0.887 save percentage.
Saint John Sea Dogs (12-1)
The Saint John Sea Dogs started their 2012 playoff run against the 16th seeded Cape Breton Screaming Eagles. The Sea Dogs had no problem against the Screaming Eagles as they sweep them in 4 games scoring an average of 8.75 goals a game (13-4, 8-1, 8-2, 6-1).
The Sea Dogs offense was mainly ran by 3 of their players Charles Coyle (14g, 15a, 13gp), Zack Phillips (7g, 20a, 13gp), Stanislav Galiev (12g, 14a, 13gp). Coyle currently leads with QMJHL playoff scoring, with a total of 29 points in only 13 games played (2.23 points a game average). If these three guys can keep up their scoring touches, and a little of help from Thomas Jurco and Jonathan Huberdeau they will be hard to beat. They also well need a bit of help their net minder Mathieu Corbeil, if they want to be the ones booking their tickets to Shawinigan, Quebec.
Rimouski Oceanic (12-5)
The Rimouski Oceanic started their 2012 playoffs against 10th seeded Val-d’Or Foreurs, and took the series in 4. The Oceanic won the four games 8-5, 8-5, 3-2 OT, 4-3 OT and then went on to play a much higher seeded team of the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada which were ranked 3rd in the QMJHL. This was a much harder fight series as the series went to game 7, as the series went back and forth (5-3 RIM, 2-0 BLA, 5-3 BLA, 4-3 OT RIM, 3-2 BLA, 3-2 RIM, 5-4 RIM). They then went on to play 6th seeded Halifax Mooseheads, the Oceanic won the series 4-2 by scoring 4-1 RIM, 5-4 RIM, 4-3 HAL, 3-1 HAL, 9-0 RIM, 3-2 OT RIM.
The Oceanic will need players like Alexandre Mallet (9g, 12a, 17gp) and Alex Belzile (6, 15a, 17gp) to step it up a tad bit more in this matchup on the offense of side of the puck. Rimouski’s defense will be really challenged against this strong offense of the Sea Dogs team. They will need remarkable goaltending from Jacob Gervais-Chouinard if they want to be the ones heading over to Shawinigan, Quebec.
Players to WATCH!
All NHL draft scouts eyes will be on Rimouski Oceanic’s Center/Left Winger Fancis Beauvillier who is currently ranked 56th amoung North American skaters in this upcoming draft. Francis Beauviller is currently the only player in the series to be in the rankings for the next NHL draft. If Beauvillier wants to be drafted in the top half of the 2nd round or earlier he will really have to impress the scouts and it won’t be a easy thing to do for this young athlete.
As things look now if Rimouski wants any chance to play for the memorial cup after this series, they will need to find a way to put a stop to the Sea Dogs tough offense. That’s not the only things the Oceanic will have to do, they will also need to find a way to crack Saint John’s defense and goaltending. As long as the Sea Dogs offense does not get shut down by the Oceanic defense and net minding, they should be able to book their tickets to Shawinigan, Quebec. If Rimouski does not put up a strong fight, the Sea Dogs should take it in 5 games.