Patrick-Roy Trophy: three candidates lead the race, but…
Every goalkeeper dreams of having his name associated with the great Patrick Roy one day. Well, the QMJHL’s top goaltender will have that honor at the end of the season, when he wins the inaugural Patrick-Roy Trophy.
With more or less 20 games to go in the regular season, which ends on March 23, three candidates look set to stand out from the crowd.
And that doesn’t even include Charles-Edward Gravel, who was moved from the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada to the Baie-Comeau Drakkar during the season, and Olivier Ciarlo, who went the other way, who currently lead their peers with 38 games played.
Ciarlo also leads the League with 2,259 minutes played and 26 wins (26-8-4), but his 2.87 GAA and .900 save percentage are less impressive than many of his rivals.
Ditto for Gravel, who boasts a 2.60 average and .908 save percentage to go with his 22-14-1 record.
Certainly impressive numbers, but not as impressive as those of Mathis Rousseau of the Halifax Mooseheads, William Rousseau of the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies and Nathan Darveau of the Victoriaville Tigres, currently the three favourites in the race for the Patrick-Roy Trophy.
Rousseau, of the Mooseheads, ranks first in the QMJHL with his 2.15 average and .929 efficiency.
Rousseau, of the Huskies, is in first place with six shutouts, to go with his 2.27 average and .925 save percentage, categories in which he’s second only to the “other” Rousseau! And both have 22 wins!
Nathan Darveau also has 22 victories (22-12-1), to go with his 2.61 average, .918 save percentage and four shutouts.
Four names to remember
Samuel St-Hilaire, of the Sherbrooke Phoenix, would probably be in the running if he hadn’t had to take time off to help out Team Canada at the World Junior Championship. Unfortunately for him, the fact that he played 10 fewer games than William Rousseau and Darveau, and six fewer than Mathis Rousseau, means he’s likely to be left out. That doesn’t take anything away from his excellent season (12-7-4, 2.34, .916 and three shutouts).
While some will argue in favor of Gravel or Ciarlo, others will root for Nicolas Ruccia, who is having an excellent season with the Cape Breton Eagles (15-11-1, 2.57, .913 and five shutouts), but not as good as the top three.
Mathis Rousseau, William Rousseau and Nathan Darveau therefore appear to be involved in a three-way race for the first-ever Patrick-Roy Trophy. But beware, three or four other goalkeepers will be doing everything in their power to finish the season on a high note.
It’s a question of adding a prestigious trophy to their collection, but also of making the former number 33 proud, as he has always been known for his competitive side.