The Huskies went 52-9-3-2 in the regular season, finished the year as the #1 ranked team in the Canadian Hockey League, and then captured the President’s Trophy by winning 16 of 20 playoff games.
Rouyn-Noranda is similar in size to Brandon, about 42,000 in population, and Huskies’ goaltender Chase Marchand said Friday that it’s been a special year for the community.
“The fans have been with us ever since the start. The are some crazy fans, probably the loudest building in the league, and we love it there...we love our fans. To win the trophy for them, it’s great because they deserve it.”
Marchand, cousin of Boston Bruins’ forward Brad Marchand, has been a key component to Rouyn-Noranda’s success this season.
The won the Jacques Plante Trophy awarded to the goaltender with the lowest goals against average in the regular season and then, in the playoffs, set a QMJHL record with six shutouts, a goals against average of 1.35 and a save percentage of .946.
“I’ve had a lot of help this year. Ever since I came to Rouyn, the coaching staff and the players have believed in me,” says Marchand, “I think we’ve worked a lot, and the coaching staff has always been there helping me get better. I play with a lot of great players, and it’s easy to look good when you’re playing with them.”
Claimed off waivers from Victoriaville at the start of the season, Marchand will try to keep his sensational season going Saturday night when Rouyn-Noranda battles the Brandon Wheat Kings in their opening round-robin game at the Memorial Cup (5:40 p.m. CDT, 880 CKLQ).
|Jeremy Lauzon will return to |
Rouyn-Noranda's lineup Saturday
The Huskies will also get defenceman Jeremy Lauzon back in their lineup for the first game of the Memorial Cup.
The Boston Bruins’ 2015 second round pick missed the QMJHL Final after suffering a frightening cut on his neck during a playoff game on April 15th.
Lauzon is a key part of a strong defence core for the Huskies that also includes Flyers’ prospect Philippe Myers, a 1st-team all-star this season, offensive blueliner Nikolas Brouillard and stay-at-home standout Allan Caron.
Up front, the Huskies feature regular season and playoff MVP Francis Perron, the 9th overall pick in the 2015 NHL Draft in Timo Meier and Colorado second rounder A.J. Greer, who left Boston University mid-season to join Rouyn-Noranda and came into his own in the playoffs.
Another top offensive weopan in Jean-Christophe Beaudin missed three of five games in the QMJHL Final with a shoulder injuries and could be a wild-card in this tournament.