The top team in the QMJHL will begin its playoff campaign en route to the President’s and Memorial cups on March 22 when the Halifax Mooseheads host game one of a playoff series against the Saint John Sea Dogs.
The Mooseheads, regular season champions of the QMJHL, ended the regular season on a 16-0-1-0 streak with a 27-point lead on the second team in the league, Baie-Comeau. Halifax earned at least a point in 62 of 68 regular season games and finished off the year with the highest goals-for and lowest goals-against in the QMJHL. Their overall record was 58-6-3-1.
Halifax left winger – and one of the projected top NHL draft picks – Jonathan Drouin ended the regular season second in the QMJHL scoring race. His 105 points in 49 games put him second only behind Ben Duffy of P.E.I. Drouin was seventh in goal-scoring (41) and third in assists (64). He also led the QMJHL with 35 power play assists and 10 insurance goals.
Eight of the top nine players in the QMJHL in plus/minus were Mooseheads skaters, with rookie MacKenzie Weegar claiming the top spot with a plus-55 in 62 games.
Right winger Martin Frk was second on the team in points scoring, with 84 points in 56 games. Right winger Darcy Ashley was second on the team in assists (52), while center Matthew Boudreau’s 36 goals were second-most on the team.
Center Nathan MacKinnon had 32 goals and 43 assists for 75 points in 44 games. Eight Mooseheads players averaged a point or better during the regular season, with Drouin leading the way with a 2.14 points/game average.
The gap between the Mooseheads and the Sea Dogs: 73 points and 35 regular season wins. Saint John ended the regular season 16th in the QMJHL, ahead of Shawinigan and Cape Breton to capture the final playoff spot in the league. Their overall record was 23-44-1-0, and the team had the lowest goals-for of any playoff team.
Saint John ended the regular season with a four-game losing streak.
Left winger Jonathan Huberdeau continues to lead Saint John in points scoring, despite not being on the team anymore due to his NHL callup. He had 16 goals and 29 assists in 30 games with the Sea Dogs prior to the end of the NHL lockout.
Of Sea Dogs skaters still with the team, left winger Jakub Izacky is at the top with 21 goals and 17 assists for 38 points in 63 games. Defenseman Pierre Durepos had 31 points (6-25) in 43 games, and left winger Stephen Anderson had 27 points in 63 games.
Halifax and Saint John met eight times in the regular season, with the Mooseheads winning all but one of the games. The teams first met on October 5, as Halifax won 4-2. Drouin, Frk, Andrew Ryan and Brent Andrews scored for the Mooseheads, with Saint John goals from Jurij Repe, Huberdeau and Olivier Leblanc.
Luca Ciampini notched a hat trick as Halifax won the next meeting on October 6 by a score of 11-2. The Mooseheads also won the next two meetings, a 4-2 victory on December 9 and 5-1 win on December 21.
Saint John took an overtime victory in the teams’ next match-up, a 3-2 win on January 4. Halifax, however, would win the three remaining meetings, beginning with an 8-3 victory on February 20. The Mooseheads also took a 6-1 win on February 22 and a 3-1 decision on March 15.
Game #1: SNB @ HAL | Fri Mar 22 | 7:00 PM
Game #2: SNB @ HAL | Sat Mar 23 | 7:00 PM
Game #3: HAL @ SNB | Tue Mar 26 | 7:00 PM
Game #4: HAL @ SNB | Wed Mar 27 | 7:00 PM
Game #5: SNB @ HAL | Fri Mar 29 | 7:00 PM * if necessary
Game #6: HAL @ SNB | Sun Mar 31 | 3:00 PM * if necessary
Game #7: SNB @ HAL | Tue Apr 2 | 7:00 PM * if necessary