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Inching closer to the Cup

Friday, 24.04.2009 / 2:44 PM / News
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Inching closer to the Cup
MONTREAL – One should always look to the future. In Montreal, that includes the Canadiens’ prospects eyeing the Holy Grail of junior hockey, the Memorial Cup.

Over in the QMJHL, one member of the Habs’ future still has his sights set on the President’s Cup as well as a spot in the Memorial Cup tourney. That would be Drummondville Voltigeurs forward Dany Massé who, like his team, is enjoying a dream campaign.

The regular season saw the Voltigeurs post an incredible 54-10-4 record and 112 points atop the league’s standings. While the door to the playoffs was wide open and waiting for them, the team kept its cool, allowing them to pick up the wins needed to advance. Guy Boucher’s squad could easily be renamed the Drummondville Express, as they’ve swept past the Lewiston MAINEiacs, Montreal Junior and most recently, Rimouski Oceanic.  The Voltigeurs have been a goalie’s worst nightmare during their current 12-0 playoff run, potting an average of seven goals per game.

Massé, who inked a three-year deal with the Canadiens back on April 15, has been burning up the scoresheet on the road to the Memorial Cup.  In addition to sitting second among forwards and sixth overall with a plus-11 differential, the 19-year-old is riding a 10-game point streak during which he’s piled up a whopping 28 points.  That outburst has Massé fourth in Drummondville playoff scoring history – behind teammates Yannick Riendeau and Christopher DiDomenico – with at least four more games still to go. Only one Voltigeur has bettered the trio’s current efforts: former Habs draft pick Jose Charbonneau, as a member of the 1985-86 edition of the junior club.

After earning their spot in the QMJHL final on Wednesday night, the Voltigeurs now sit and wait to find out the identity of their opponent. Heading into the weekend, the Shawinigan Cataractes owned a 3-1 series lead over the Quebec Remparts.

One man’s loss is another one’s gain and while the latter went in favor of powerhouse Drummondville, Oceanic captain Olivier Fortier and his teammates are feeling the former; in dropping four straight, Rimouski was eliminated from President’s Cup contention. Despite the loss, the club, which is hosting the Memorial Cup tournament, will be back on the ice on May 15 to face the yet-to-be-determined WHL champ.

Tournament participants in 2008, the Belleville Bulls have their backs against the walls, down 3-2 to the Brampton Battalion.  The teams last squared off on Thursday night and required an extra 39 minutes of play to determine a winner. Nick Palmieri lit the lamp to keep the Bulls alive.

P.K. Subban factored in on each of his team’s three goals, brining his series total to eight points (two goals, six assists). That’s upped his overall postseason numbers to 14 points in 16 games, to rank fifth among league defensemen.

Heather Engel is a writer for canadiens.com

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