After six weeks of playoff action, we have arrived at the battle for the President’s Cup. The QMJHL Championship features the league’s two top seeds, as it will be the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies taking on the Shawinigan Cataractes. On the line is the right to be called the best team in the QMJHL, as well as a trip to Brandon, Manitoba to compete in the 2016 Memorial Cup.
QMJHL Championship Preview
Rouyn-Noranda Huskies vs Shawinigan Cataractes
The Rouyn-Noranda Huskies were the QMJHL’s best team all year losing only nine games all season on the way to racking up 113 points. They have rolled through the QMJHL playoffs, dominating Drummondville in four straight lopsided games, taking out Blainville-Boisbriand in five games, and Moncton in six games. They have racked up six shutouts in three rounds, and giving up just 19 goals in 15 games. The best offence in the league is led by Sharks prospect Timo Meier who put up 51 points in 29 regular season games after being acquired at the QMJHL trade deadline. He has ten goals and 18 points in 14 playoff games. Senators prospect Francis Perron has long been a leader on the team, and won the QMJHL MVP and put up 108 points this season. He has 24 points in 13 playoff games (he was suspended for two games). Jean-Christophe Beaudin and Martins Dzierkals provide support. Beyond those four though there is plenty of offensive firepower upfront. The defence is led by Bruins prospect Jeremy Lauzon who quarterbacks things from the back end. Phillipe Myers and Nicolas Brouillard provide the team with a big three who protect their own end. Chase Marchand and Samuel Harvey are both capable goalies. Marchand has handled the load in the playoffs and put up an incredible .955 save percentage in the playoffs so far.
Shawinigan won the QMJHL East division, putting up 93 points this year. While they lost their first game of the playoffs to Sherbrooke, they have rolled from there, losing only four total games in the first three rounds. The team has been led by the play of New York Islanders first round pick Anthony Beauvillier all season. With 40 goals and 79 points in 47 regular season games and 12 goals and 26 points in 16 playoff games he’s been a force nearly every time he stepped on the ice. Alex D’Aoust and Dennis Yan also bring offence. The trade deadline additions of Dmytro Timashov, Danny Moynihan, and Gabriel Gagné took the team’s offence from very good to great and made them a contender. Timashov’s 24 playoff points put him in a tie for third spot on the QMJHL Playoff Scoring list. On defence 17 year old Samuel Girard may be undersized, but he is one of the most dynamic offensive defencemen in the QMJHL. He has 18 points in 16 playoff games. Cavan Fitzgerald, Jonathan Deschamps and Matt Klebanskyj were all added this year, and give the team improved defensive depth; but the biggest addition might be in goal where Phillipe Cadorette came in as an overager and put up a .914 save percentage during the regular season. He’s put up a .913 save percentage in the playoffs.
LWOS Pick: Huskies in 6 games.