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Huberdeau: QMJHL playoff MVP; Memorial Cup set

by Mike G. Morreale /
Saint John Sea Dogs center Jonathan Huberdeau continued his superb play in the Quebec Major Junior League Playoffs on Sunday when he struck for a goal and one assist to lead his team to its first President's Cup with a 3-2 double overtime decision over the Gateneau Olmpiques in Game 6 of the best-of-7 series at Robert Guertin Arena in Gatineau.

The victory sends the Sea Dogs, a 4-2 series winner over Gatineau, into the MasterCard Memorial Cup in Mississauga, Ont., from May 20-29. Saint John will open the tournament against the Mississauga St. Michael's Majors on May 20 at 7 p.m. ET. The Sea Dogs, who are in their sixth year of existence, will look to become the ninth QMJHL team to win the championship.

The Kootenay Ice, who scored a five-game series victory over the Portland Winterhawks in the Western Hockey League championship series, also qualified for the Memorial Cup and will play OHL champion Owen Sound Attack on May 21 at 7 p.m. ET.

Kootenay goalie Nathan Lieuwen, who was named series MVP, stopped 26 shots in a 4-1 Game 5 triumph on Friday for his 16th win of the playoffs. Lieuwen, born August '91, is in his third season with Kootenay and is eligible for the 2011 Entry Draft.

Owen Sound, meanwhile, scored a 3-2 OT victory over Mississauga in Game 7 of the Robertson Cup Final on Sunday before a sold out Hershey Centre crowd of 5,517. Owen Sound's Robby Mignardi earned the Wayne Gretzky 99 Award as Playoff MVP with 15 goals and 9 assists for 24 points in 22 postseason games. Mignardi, born June 1990, is in his third and final year of eligibility for the Entry Draft.
Jonathan Huberdeau, Saint John Sea Dogs

Huberdeau, rated No. 3 by NHL Central Scouting among North American skaters eligible for the 2011 Entry Draft, sent Game 6 to overtime by scoring with just 23 seconds left on the clock. In the second OT, Alexandre Beauregard scored the decisive goal for the Sea Dogs, who have won all 10 of their road games in the playoffs this season.

Huberdeau finished third in the league in goals (43) and points (105) during the regular season and has averaged 1.58 points per game in the playoffs. He received the Guy Lafleur Trophy as playoff MVP after connecting for 16 goals and 14 assists in 19 games.

Memorial Cup schedule

 Friday, May 20:        Saint John     Vs.     Mississauga     7:00 PM
 Saturday, May 21:   Owen Sound     Vs.     Kootenay     7:00 PM
 Sunday, May 22:      Mississauga     Vs.     Kootenay     7:00 PM
 Monday, May 23:     Owen Sound     Vs.     Saint John     7:00 PM
 Tuesday, May 24:    Kootenay     Vs.     Saint John     7:00 PM
 Wed, May 25:          Mississauga     Vs.     Owen Sound     7:00 PM
 Thursday, May 26:   Tie Breaker (If required)     7:00 PM
 Friday, May 27:        Semi Final     7:00 PM
 Sunday, May 29:     Championship Final     7:00 PM

Follow Mike Morreale on Twitter at: @mike_morreale

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