The 99 Blue Jackets arrived in Quebec late Friday night. They did not waste anytime to get going as they faced Rimouski Oceanic at 3:55pm on Saturday at the Galeries de la Capitale. The Jackets had a slow start in the first period as the tried to shake the train legs out. Caitlin Walker battled hard in net as she fought off a flurry of good scoring chances. The Jackets made it out of the first period down 2-0.
Rimouski Oceanic came out hard again in the second period and the Jackets got into some penalty trouble. Rimouski Oceanic scored a power play goal to go up 3-0. The Jackets did not back down, they responded with a big goal by Christian Goebel. With a good read and keep in at the point, Christian made a strong move around a Rimouski forward and took a hard wrist shot top shelf over the glove of the Rimouski goaltender to make it 3-1. The Jackets fed off that energy and found their legs. With a couple more hard rushes and scoring opportunities, the Rimouski goaltender shut the door and the second period ended at 3-1.
The third period was more of the same for the Jackets. They got themselves into some more penalty trouble, but they never gave up. They fought hard despite the adversity and Ayodele Adeniye made strong move and got free and into a shorthanded breakaway situation, 1 on 1 with the goaltender. He made a nice move, but the Rimouski goaltender got his pad out to make the save. The Jackets got back to their game and got their feet moving. They had a few more good scoring chances, but could not find the back of the net. With about one minute and thirty seconds left in the game the Jackets took a second off on a D-zone face-off and Rimouski Oceanic capitalized to make it 4-1.
Final score, Jackets 1 Rimouski 4.
Sunday was the Blue Jackets first tournament game. The Jackets were very excited and ready for this game. The Colisee Pepsi was packed and the energy of the hockey fans was high. The Jackets were anxious, but had to wait a little longer as they found out the game would be pushed back one hour. They were schedule to play Suisse Romande Lynx at 6:00pm, but the game time was now 7:00pm. The Jackets were ready and came out hard. Despite some early chances the Jackets could not bury the puck. The Jackets hard work earned them a power play, but Suisse Romande found a way to find the back of the net to make it 1-0 with a shorthanded goal. Suisse Romande turned the energy up after their goal and goaltender, Max DeCoursey, was called upon to make some huge saves to finish the first period down 1-0.
The second period was a hard fought battle by both teams. The Jackets had two huge penalty kills to keep the game at 1-0. The Jackets got back to 5 on 5 hockey and had some offensive flurries, but the Suisse goaltender made some big saves to keep his team in the game. The Jackets hard work earned them another power play. Unfortunately, the Jackets were a little lackadaisical coming out of their own end and Suisse Romande scored their second shorthanded goal to make it 2-0. The Jackets did not quit as they pushed back. Again, they could not find the back of the net as they created some quality scoring chances. With thirty eight seconds left in the second period, Suisse Romande caught the Jackets off guard on a neutral zone face off that led to a 2 on 1 and Suisse Romande scored to make it 3-0.
The third period the Jackets responded with some hard fought shifts early. Unfortunately, they got themselves into some penalty trouble again. Suisse Romande capitalized on the power play to make it 4-0. They Jackets never quit and their effort was something to be proud of. James Frantz intercepted a pass with about six minutes left and had a breakaway. He made a nice move, but again, Suisse Romande’s goaltender was up to the challenge. There were definitely some positives to the game for the Jackets, but the final score was - Jackets 0 Suisse Romande Lynx 4.
The Jackets played their second tournament game at 10 am at the Arpridome against a very hungry team. Drummondville, a team from an hour north of Quebec City, came out determined and never looked back. The Jackets lost big, placing them out of tournament competition. Though out of the tournament, the Jackets' spirits are high, as they will take on Montmorency Armada, another local team, at 12:30 pm on Wednesday at the Galeries de la Capitale.
Before the game today at the Galerie de la Capitale, the Jackets were excited and ready to play hockey. The first period consisted of some back and forth surges by both teams, but Caitlin Walker, goalie, stood on her head and made some key saves for the team to end the first period 0-0.
The Blue Jackets came out in the second period with a lot more energy and determination to score. After a slew of opportunities that were turned aside by the Montmorency Armada goaltender, Alex Barber opened up the scoring with a strong wrap-around, quick off the boards, assisted by Trevor Marcinick and James Frantz. It did not take the Jackets long to build off of this momentum! 2 minutes and 22 seconds later, Patrick Chaykowski cycled the puck deep to an open Brandon Arens, who aggressively attacked the net, drawing every Armada player toward him. Nick Kuraly drove to the net hard, and Arens made a great feed to Kuraly who made no mistake: 2-0 Jackets! And that's the way the 2nd period would end.
The Blue Jackets started the 3rd period on the power play and had some good opportunities. Just as the power play expired, Ryan Sellars went to the net and dug out a gritty goal to bring the score to 3-0, assisted by Jared Piroska. Less than two minutes later, Adeniye fed the puck to a breaking Marcinick who dropped the puck to Barber. A quick one-touch back to Marcinick who, with a quick release, wasted no time bringing the score to 4-0.
The Blue Jackets got their first win in Quebec - Jackets 4, Montmorency Armada 0 - and it was all smiles as the Galerie erupted in applause!
Expecting to face a tough opponent, Team Austria, the Columbus Blue Jackets arrived at Val Belair only to learn they were instead going to play Saint Gervais from France. Due to the late notice, the coaches from both teams agreed to have some fun and just play a friendly game. So, the teams switched goaltenders. The Blue Jackets would face Max DeCoursey in net.
France opened up the scoring in the first period, as Max turned aside a couple of good scoring chances for the Blue Jackets. With a lot of friendly banter on the ice between the Blue Jackets and DeCoursey, the Jackets were able to get one past DeCoursey on a goal by Trevor Marcinick, assisted by Kent Stadulis and Alex Barber. The Blue Jackets used the momentum, and the same line combination came right back down to make it 2-1 on a goal by Barber, assisted by Marcinick and Stadulis. Marcinick would tally again late in the first period, assisted again by Barber and Stadulis. Jackets finish the first period up 3-1.
Marcinick wasted no time in the second period, scoring his 3rd goal to complete his hat trick, assisted by Clay Sakich. Halfway thought the 2nd period, DeCoursey would switch with Caitlin Walker to tend net for France. With Walker shutting the door for the remainder of the second period, score at the end of the period was 4-1 Jackets.
France came out strong in the 3rd period, scoring early to make it 4-2. With a lot of back and forth play, the Jackets were able to capitalize on a goal by Brandon Arens going top shelf over Walker's glove, assisted by Jared Piroska and Ryan Sellars. Jackets up 5-2. France gave a strong push at the end of the game, scoring two more late, but the Jackets would come out on top.
Final score: Jackets 5, France 4. The Jackets face the Anaheim Ducks Friday at 1:40 at Galeries de la Capitale.
The Blue Jackets faced the Anaheim Junior Ducks, coached by three-time Stanley Cup winner, Scott Niedermayer. Both teams playing cautiously for a good portion of the first period, the Jackets quickly found themselves in a bit of penalty trouble, giving Anaheim a 5 on 3 power play. Anaheim was quick to capitalize on the 2 man advantage, jumping to an early lead five minutes into the first period. Score: 1-0 Ducks. The Blue Jackets would calm down and find their rythym, and at the 11 minute and 20 second mark, Patrick Chaykowski would make a strong move down the right wing and fire a hard wristshot, low blocker on the Anaheim net minder, unassisted. Game tied 1-1 and that's the way the first period ended.
The second period would be more of the same as both teams continued to feel one another out. The Anaheim Ducks kicked it up a notch with a surge of offensive pressure mid period while goaltender Max DeCoursey weathered the storm. The second period would end tied up at one apiece.
The Blue Jackets started slow and were caught sleeping two minutes in to the third period as Anaheim Ducks jumped ahead with an even strength goal taking the 2-1 lead. The Anaheim Ducks wasted no time marching right back down the ice and caught a break when a shot from the point hit off a Blue Jackets players glove and trickled over the shoulder of goaltender Max DeCoursey giving Anaheim the 3-1 lead with Nine minutes left to play. The Blue Jackets made a strong offensive push late in the game but could not find the back of the net.
Final Anaheim Ducks 3, Jackets 1.
Next up for the Blue Jackets is their last exhibition game of the trip against the Coloroado Thunderbirds @ 2:30 pm at Galeries de la Capitale.
The Blue Jackets were fired up and ready to take on the Colorado Thunderbirds, a AA Elite team at the Galeries de la Capitale. This being their last game of the trip they had extra incentive to leave a lasting impression on the worlds most prestigious pee-wee tournament. They did not disappoint with a hard fought first period in which they traded scoring chances. Late in the first period the Blue Jackets took a tripping penalty with the Colorado Thunderbirds scoring thirty seconds into the man advantage giving them the 1-0 lead which is how the first period would end.
The second period was action packed as both goaltenders were called upon to make timely saves keeping the score at 1-0. Late in the second period Patrick Chaykowski was back at it again making a strong individual effort and out working the Colorado defenders to even the score at 1a piece. The second period would end tied 1-1.
Both teams would trade scoring chances in the third period as the Blue Jackets buckled down and took care of business in their defensive zone turning aside numerous lose puck scoring opportunities by the Thunderbirds. The game would end in a 1-1 tie and and would go into a shootout.
In the shoot out the Blue Jackets scored first with the Thunderbirds answering with a goal of their own. The Thunderbirds goaltender came up big stopping the next Blue Jackets shooter and their next shooter scored sealing the victory at 2-1. Despite the loss Blue Jackets goaltender Caitlin Walker turned in her best performance of the season in a hard fought effort.
Colorado Thunderbirds 2, Jackets 1 SO
This concludes the Blue Jackets experience in Quebec City. The Blue Jackets will return home Monday and look forward to a strong push towards their District Championship in Pittsburgh, PA.
Cheers to Quebec City, the Quebec Pee-Wee tournament, all the host billet families and everyone associated with making this experience possible.