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Sagueneens Francis Pare wins QMJHL most valuable player award @NHLdotcom

MONTREAL - Winning the Michel Briere Trophy as the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League's most valuable player was bittersweet for Francis Pare of the Chicoutimi Sagueneens.

Earlier this week, his team was eliminated in the first round of playoffs by Quebec, a best-of-seven series marked by a vicious brawl in Game 2 that saw the son of Remparts coach Patrick Roy repeatedly pound on Sagueneens goaltender Bobby Nadeau.

The fracas turned the series into a media circus and the favoured Saguneens fell in six games.

"The thing with Roy was a little bit too much," said Pare. "We lost our focus right there in the second game and that might be the cause of our loss.

"I'm a friend of Bobby Nadeau and I suffered for him. He's a gentleman and nobody wants to see a friend down on the ice, getting hit. What he has been through in the last two weeks is crazy."

The loss marked the end of the 20-year-old Pare's junior career, but he went out in style.

The Ville Lemoyne, Que., native was the QMJHL's only 50-goal scorer this season, with 54 goals among his 103 points, good for third best in the league. He was plus-41 for the season.

"I just looked at it in the last few days and realized how big my season was - over 100 points, 82 points for my team," he said. "I couldn't ask for more in my last year of junior."

Marc-Andre Bourdon of the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies, who had 12 goals and 47 assists and was plus-39, got the Emile (Butch) Bouchard Trophy as the league's top defenceman.

Olivier Roy of the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles won the RDS Cup as top goaltender after a 27-win season that included four shutouts, while his coach Pascal Vincent got the Ron Lapointe Trophy as best bench boss.

The Eagles' Robert Slaney was named scholastic player of the year, earning a $1,300 student bursary with his trophy.

Nadeau got the Jacques-Plante Trophy for having the league's best goals-against average.

Mikhail Stefanovich of the Remparts, who is draft-eligible this year, was named top professional prospect after a rookie season of 32 goals and 34 assists.

Cedric Lalonde-McNicoll of the Shawinigan Cataractes was named top sportsman while his general manager Martin Mondou was the league's personality of the year. Chris Morehouse of the Moncton Wildcats was humanitarian of the year.

First all-star team: G Kevin Desfosses, Quebec; D Marc-Andre Bourdon, Rouyn-Noranda and Marc-Andre Dorion, Baie-Comeau; LW Stefano Giliati, Lewiston, C Francis Pare, Chicoutimi; RW Claude Giroux, Gatineau.

Second all-star team: G Marco Cousineau, Baie-Comeau; D Kevin Marshall, Lewiston, and Ivan Vishnevskiy, Rouyn-Noranda; LW Michael Dubuc, Rouyn-Noranda, C Mathieu Perreault, Acadie-Bathurst; RW Jakub Voracek, Halifax.

All-rookie team: G Olivier Roy, Cape Breton; D Samuel Groulx, Quebec, and Simon Despres, Saint John; LW Nicolas Deschamps, Chicoutimi; C Tomas Knotek, Halifax; RW Jacob Legace, Chicoutimi.

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