The Rouyn-Noranda Huskies were one win away from making CHL history but came up just short on Friday night in Drummondville, falling to the CHL’s third-ranked Voltigeurs by a score of 2-1.
Head coach Mario Pouliot’s Huskies won 25 straight games from January 3rd to March 6th, tying the 1974 Sorel Éperviers and 1984 Kitchener Rangers for the longest winning streak in CHL history.
Drummondville’s Anthony Morrone made 33 saves before a capacity crowd at Centre Marcel Dionne as the Voltigeurs got goals from Félix Lauzon and Maxime Comtois, holding off the Huskies who outshot them 16-4 in the third period.
“The players accomplished this record with their tireless work and all the credit is theirs. They should be proud of it,” Pouliot told La Citoyen’s Jean-Francois Vachon post-game.
“It’s a 45-year-old record,” he added, citing Sorel’s QMJHL benchmark. “The guys stayed grounded, focused on the process, behaved like professionals and they really matured.”
The CHL’s top-ranked Huskies recently set a new franchise record with their 55th win and are flirting with QMJHL history having surrendered just 132 goals with four games remaining on the schedule. The Moncton Wildcats currently hold the league record of 149 goals against during the 2008-09 season.
Huskies career wins leader Samuel Harvey and San Jose Sharks prospect Zachary Emond, who remains undefeated in regulation this season, have held down the fort behind a solid defence corps led by mid-season addition Noah Dobson, 18-year-old Justin Bergeron and fifth-year veteran Jacob Neveu.
Rouyn-Noranda’s winning streak has been no walk in the park as the Huskies bested the same Voltigeurs by scores of 3-2 and 6-1 over the course of their historic run. They also defeated the Memorial Cup host Halifax Mooseheads twice as well as the 42-game winner Rimouski Océanic on back-to-back nights in mid-February. In all, they outscored their opponents 139-48 over their 25-game tear as their power play operated at nearly 30%.
The Huskies are a league-leading 29-2-0-0 on home ice this season. They’ll round out their schedule with three of their remaining four games at Arena Iamgold following a visit to the Sherbrooke Phoenix on Saturday.
Just two years removed from their first President Cup title, the Huskies are back on top of the QMJHL as they look to finish strong and enter the playoffs with a wave of momentum in pursuit of their first ever Memorial Cup crown.