The next step

Friday, 03.04.2009 / 6:00 PM / News
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The next step
MONTREAL - The OHL and QMJHL playoffs are well underway, with one round already in the books. While the eliminated clubs look ahead to next season, those still in the race are recharging their batteries ahead of another set of games that could potentially be their last.

For the last week, Rimouski captain Olivier Fortier and his Oceanic teammates have been readying themselves for their series against Moncton. The Wildcats, led by star goaltender Nicola Riopel, advanced thanks to a 4-1 series triumph over the PEI Rocket.

The two teams faced off twice during the regular season, once concluding in a 6-1 win in favor of Moncton while the other saw Rimouski emerge with a 2-1 shootout victory. Fortier didn’t suit up for the first meeting and was stopped in the tiebreaker in the other. They'll drop the puck on their second-round set tonight at Jean-Louis Levesque Arena in Moncton.

Over in the OHL, the Belleville Bulls finally sent the Sudbury Wolves packing.  After coming up short in a 6-2 loss in Game 5, the Bulls stormed back in Game 6 with 50 shots on Sudbury goaltender Andrew Loverock in a 6-1 rout.  Belleville never made it easy for the Wolves’ backstop, who faced an average of 35 shots per game in their series. Defenseman and Canadiens prospect P.K. Subban was once again at the top of his game, picking up four points in addition to a plus-3 differential.

The Bulls now turn their attention to the Niagara Ice Dogs, who needed seven games to dispose of the Ottawa 67’s.  Subban and Co. enjoyed an unblemished record against the Ice Dogs this season, winning all four meetings, including one via shootout. Subban suited up for three of those contests, collecting six points and registering a plus-4 rating.


Heather Engel is a writer for canadiens.com