2019 QMJHL Semi-Final Preview


The third round of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League playoffs kicks off Friday, with both series getting underway:

Rouyn-Noranda Huskies (59-8-0-1) vs. Rimouski Oceanic (44-20-4-0)

Season Series: Rouyn-Noranda wins 4-0-0-0

Huskies – 119 Points (1st in West Division)
Top Scorer: Peter Abbandonato (29-82-111)
Top Goaltender: Samuel Harvey (35-8-0-0, 2.08, .926)
Home: 32-2-0-0 | Road: 27-6-0-1
GF: 320 (2nd) | GA: 138 (1st)
PP: 26.5% (5th) | PK: 83.3% (2nd)
Playoffs: Defeated Shawinigan 4-2, Victoriaville 4-0

Oceanic – 92 Points (2nd in East Division)
Top Scorer: Alexis Lafreniere (37-68-105)
Top Goaltender: Colten Ellis (27-15-2-0, 2.47, .910)
Home: 22-11-1-0 | Road: 22-9-3-0
GF: 272 (6th) | GA: 173 (4th)
PP: 27.4% (3rd) | PK: 80.3% (6th)
Playoffs: Defeated Chicoutimi 4-0, Cape Breton 4-1

In the third round of playoff action, the first-place Huskies will look to repeat their regular season sweep of the rival Oceanic. Leading the way for Rouyn-Noranda is 21-year-old Peter Abbandonato, who put up 111 points this season to capture the Jean Beliveau Trophy, presented to the QMJHL’s regular-season scoring champion. The team is currently riding a six-game win streak, including four straight over the Tigres in the previous round. The Huskies look to advance to the QMJHL Final for the second time in the past four years, but will first need to go through an Oceanic squad that includes 2020 NHL Draft headliner Alexis Lafreniere, who in only his second season finished just six points shy of Abbandonato for top scorer honours. The third-round matchup could come down to a goaltending duo between Rouyn-Noranda’s Samuel Harvey and Colten Ellis of the Oceanic, who rank first and second, respectively, in the playoffs for goals-against average and save percentage, while Harvey also has three shutouts to his credit.

Drummondville Voltigeurs (52-13-2-1) vs. Halifax Mooseheads (49-15-2-2)

Season Series: Drummondville wins 1-0-1-0

Voltigeurs – 107 Points (1st in Central Division)
Top Scorer: Joseph Veleno (42-62-104)
Top Goaltender: Olivier Rodrigue (35-9-2-1, 2.43, .902)
Home: 28-5-1-0 | Road: 24-8-1-1
GF: 338 (1st) | GA: 173 (3rd)
PP: 26.6% (4th) | PK: 78.0% (9th)
Playoffs: Defeated Gatineau 4-1, Sherbrooke 4-1

Mooseheads – 102 Points (1st in Maritimes Division)
Top Scorer: Samuel Asselin (48-38-86)
Top Goaltender: Alexis Gravel (33-13-1-2, 2.49, .913)
Home: 25-5-2-2 | Road: 24-10-0-0
GF: 300 (4th) | GA: 164 (2nd)
PP: 28.1% (2nd) | PK: 85.6% (1st)
Playoffs: Defeated Quebec 4-3, Moncton 4-0

After only facing off twice during the regular season, the Voltigeurs and Mooseheads will now square off for at least four games in their third-round series. Both teams made quick work of their second-round opponent, while the Mooseheads enter the third round riding a six-game win streak, including a four-game ousting of the rival Wildcats last round. Halifax is led by draft-eligible right-wing Raphael Lavoie, whose 13 tallies in the postseason give him a healthy lead for first place in playoff goal scoring. Fellow forwards Antoine Monard and Samuel Asselin, whose 86 points led the team in regular-season scoring, round out the club’s other top weapons. Meanwhile, the Voltigeurs bring a multi-pronged scoring attack of their own in Anaheim Ducks prospect Maxime Comtois, who captained Canada at the 2019 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship, as well as Detroit Red Wings first-round draft pick Joseph Veleno, the first-overall selection in the 2015 QMJHL Entry Draft who finished third in regular-season scoring with 104 points.

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