The QMJHL finals began on May 1st. Today they will end. The Shawinigan Cataractes pushed for a game seven with an overtime goal in Sunday's game against Drummondville to even the series at three apiece. The Q is the only league which does not know its Memorial cup contenders yet; with the Windsor Spitfires repping the OHL and the irrationally Dragon logoed Kelowna Rockets taking the W by storm.
This year's contenders for the President's cup are perennial losers: the Drummondville Voltigeurs and the Shawinigan Cataractes. This season marked Shawinigan's 40th anniversary, and despite the fact that they are the longest running team in the league they have yet to win a single President's cup. They really put Cape Breton (11 Y.O.), Halifax (15 Y.O.), Saint John (4 Y.O.) and P.E.I. (5 Y.O.) to shame. In the loser category we Atlantic teams have absolutely nothing on Shawinigan...or Drummondville for that matter. The Voltigeurs are a whopping 26 years old and are also Cupless.
The losing streak will be over tonight for at least on of these teams.
I was not shocked when the Memorial cup hosting Rimouski Oceanic were swept by the Volts. I was not shocked that Maxim Gougeon allowed 23 goals in 137 shots (a 0.83 sv %) during the 4 game series. It was the Gouge!!! Do we all have a short memory or do we remember the guy allowing a shitload of goals in the semifinals against Saint John last year, despite the sweep, as well another bucket full of goals as in the finals against Gatineau. That is what Rimouski get for trading for Gougeon (and then sticking with Gougeon) when any of Pielmeier, Nadeau and Lavigne were available for low, low prices at last year's draft.
Anyway, this is not a post to make Gougeon feel bad. He will still get his chance to play in the Memorial cup. It is a post to say oh he look at all the Anaheim Duck's goalie prospects...or at least it was when I started writing it two weeks ago. Since then, star Q netminder Timo Pielmeier has been benched in favour of newcomer Gabriel Girard... and Shawinigan has come back from a 3-1 deficit to force a game 7.
So it is these goalies:
vs. these goalies:
...but when the tuque de Bison gets onto a boy (or a couple dozen boys) doesn't everybody win.
Images from the TuqueDeBison Picassa web albums.