QMJHL blog: Suspensions, Super Series and more

Nathan Noel (Minas Panagiotakis/Getty)

Sea Dogs Suspensions

The Saint John Sea Dogs upcoming three-game road trip will be all the more challenging after three of the team’s best players were suspended for their actions Saturday against Blainville-Boisbriand.

In the second period, defenceman Luke Green left his feet with his stick high, hitting an Armada player in the head. Green is a repeat offender, missing two games last season for a cross-checking incident and was handed a three-game ban this time around. The 2016 NHL draft-eligible is projected to go in the second or third round by NHL Central Scouting.

Midway through the third period when the score was out of hand at 5-0, 2015 Boston Bruins first-rounder Jakub Zboril (13th overall) laid the lumber on Philippe Sanche. The 6-foot-2 Zboril delivered three cross-checks behind the net on the 5-foot-5 Sanche. He received a cross-checking penalty and an unsportsmanlike misconduct on the play, and is lost for two games. This is the third time the sophomore defenceman has been suspended.

A few minutes later, Nathan Noel came flying into a puck battle in the Saint John corner taking out Armada forward Anthony Boucher. Noel, the team’s first-line centre, received a checking from behind penalty on the play and is also gone for the next two games.

Things are looking super

The roster for the QMJHL squad in the CHL Canada Russia Series has been announced. The Q team takes on the Russians in the final two games of the six-game tourney in Rouyn-Noranda on Nov. 17 and Halifax Nov. 19. It’s an experienced roster—19 of 23 players are NHL draftees and 13 were on the team last year.

Mason McDonald (Charlottetown) and Samuel Montembeault (Blainville-Boisbriand) are in nets. McDonald was drafted by the Calgary Flames in the second round in 2014 while Montembeault went to the Florida Panthers in the third round last summer.

Forwards Nicolas Aubé-Kubel (Val-d’Or), Anthony Richard (Val-d’Or), Anthony Beauvillier (Shawinigan), Nicolas Roy (Chicoutimi), Daniel Audette (Sherbrooke), Francis Perron (Rouyn-Noranda), Joey Ratelle (Drummondville) and Clark Bishop (Cape Breton) are all back from last year’s team. They’re joined by 2016 NHL draft-eligibles Julien Gauthier (Val-d’Or), Pierre-Luc Dubois (Cape Breton) and Maxime Fortier (Halifax). Rouyn-Noranda teammates Julien Nantel and Jean-Christophe Beaudin round out the forwards.

On the blueline, Jérémy Roy (Sherbrooke), Alexandre Carrier (Gatineau), Olivier Leblanc (Cape Breton), Nicolas Meloche (Baie-Comeau) and Guillaume Brisebois (Bathurst) return from the 2014 squad. Draft-eligible Samuel Girard (Shawinigan) is the youngest D-man on the team. Making their Super Series debuts are NHL-drafted players Thomas Chabot (Saint John) and Jérémy Lauzon (Rouyn-Noranda).

Dominique Ducharme (Halifax) will coach both games of the series alongside assistant Martin Raymond (Drummondville). In Rouyn-Noranda, Gilles Bouchard (Rouyn-Noranda) will join as an assistant in Game 5 and Darren Rumble (Moncton) in Game 6.

Shawinigan firing on all cylinders

Cataractes forward Dennis Yan stepped up his play in the post-season last year and it has carried over. The Tampa Bay Lightning third-rounder made scoring look easy this week with a hat-trick and two assists in an 8-7 win over Rouyn-Noranda on home ice. Then, for Shawinigan fans who decided to hold onto their hats Friday night, Yan had another three-goal, two-assist effort Saturday in a 5-2 win over Val-d’Or. He’s averaging more than two points a game with 16 in 7 contests.

Linemate Anthony Beauvillier, a New York Islander’s first rounder (28th in ’15), also had a big weekend. His overtime goal in the 8-7 win over Rouyn-Noranda completed a hat-trick and five point night.

Sophomore defenceman Samuel Girard had a goal and six assists over the weekend and was named one of the QMJHL’s stars of the week for the second time this season. He’s the highest scoring defenceman with 18 points and is on pace to shatter his rookie total of 43. Surprisingly, he was only given a ‘C’ Rating by NHL Central Scouting but he’ll climb draft lists after a hot start.