MONTREAL - The Rouyn-Noranda Huskies forward has been waiting impatiently for this moment to arrive.
Even though this is his first time at the Memorial Cup, Joel Teasdale has played in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League final in each of the last three seasons - the first two while still a member of the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada. And now that he's only two wins away from raising the renowned trophy, the Habs prospect certainly doesn't want to miss the opportunity before him.
"It's the biggest trophy in Junior hockey in Canada. I've gotten here and I'm so close," explained Teasdale. "I'm going to seize the opportunity and my goal is really to win."
The winger, who signed with the Canadiens on September 21, was an important part of Mario Pouliot's squad's QMJHL championship run. Teasdale managed to string together a 16-game points streak in the postseason, the fifth-longest in league history.
The Lavaltrie native finished first in the Q with 34 points (14G, 20A) in 20 playoff games this spring. Looking at 2018-19 playoff totals from across the Canadian Hockey League (CHL), Teasdale was behind just one player - a certain Nick Suzuki (44 points).
The two Montreal prospects will be on opposite ends of the ice at Halifax's Scotiabank Arena on Friday night, with a spot in the Memorial Cup final at stake.
Teasdale had much praise for Suzuki not long before the two were set to face each other.
"He's really calm on the ice. It's incredible what he can do with a puck," shared Teasdale. "He's really an excellent player. I'm sure he's going to have a great professional career."
This will be the second meeting between the two young men at the annual event, with Suzuki and the Guelph Storm taking the first one 5-2.
Teasdale admits the Huskies didn't put on their best performance in that game against Guelph and that they had somewhat gotten away from their game plan.
"We heard the journalists telling us what a great team Guelph is. That was on our minds a lot," outlined Teasdale. "I would say we were a bit intimidated, but we saw that we were able to play with them."
If Rouyn-Noranda wants to make it to the final, the club will have to find a way to play the "Huskies game", as the players call it.
"We just want to play our game. We're a team that works very hard and we're known for our work ethic," declared Teasdale. "We're going to finish our checks, play a speedy game and we should do very well if we play a good 60 minutes."
After having played 62 playoff games over the past three seasons, Teasdale is just a couple of wins away from getting his hands on the most coveted trophy in the CHL. But those two wins will be the toughest ones of all.
Photo credit: Louvik Archambault