MONTREAL - The quarterfinals are coming to a close in both the QMJHL and OHL, and the noose is getting tighter, but P.K. Subban
and Olivier Fortier
are still in the hunt for the Memorial Cup.
While its role as the host city assures Rimouski a spot in the Cup tournament, Fortier and the Oceanic are looking to take care of business on their own. Heading into the weekend, the club held a 3-1 series lead over the Moncton Wildcats. Fortier, the team’s captain, has one assist in four games, while dishing out five hits and taking five shots.
A big part of the Oceanic’s success can be traced to the guy between the pipes. Goaltender Maxim Gougeon has been very stingy against the Wildcats thus far, recording a 1.75 goals-against average and a .931 save percentage. He’s had quite the counterpart at the other end of the ice in league MVP Nicola Riopel. The Moncton netminder also earned the Jacques Plante Trophy, awarded to the goalie with the best goals-against average.
Over in the OHL, the Belleville Bulls were on the losing end of the score just once in their series against the Niagara Ice Dogs, winning 4-1. The Bulls followed up a 2-0 loss in Game 3 with a 5-2 triumph in the fourth tilt. In true playoff fashion, physical play took center stage, with 88 penalty minutes delivered, a total that included five fights.P.K. Subban
had a solid series; the Habs’ prospect scored the game-winner on a power-play in overtime in Game 2 and earned an assist in the fifth and final matchup, a 5-2 score. Subban also registered a plus-6 differential.
Bulls’ backstop Mike Murphy has been at the top of his game during the playoffs, posting a 2.08 goals-against average, as well as a .929 save percentage.
The Bulls have yet to find out the identity of their next opponent, as the Brampton Battalion and St. Michael’s Majors alternate victories.Heather Engel is a writer for canadiens.com