Juniors scoring goal vs. the Halifax Moosehead earlier this season.
This means Montreal will face the 15th overall ranked Halifax Mooseheads in round one of the playoffs. Halifax finished the season with a record of 20-43-2-3, which landed them in 5th place out of six teams in the Maritime division.
Halifax is one of four QMJHL teams bidding to host the Memorial Cup in 2012 therefore their team is built to peak next year and not this spring. But that doesn't mean this series will be a walk in the park for Montreal...
The Halifax roster is built with loads of young talent, a group of players highlighted by 17 year old super Czech prospect Martin Frk (that’s right – no vowels in his last name) and 16 year old Luca Ciampini, born in Montreal.
The Mooseheads have 2 NHL affiliated players. Konrad Abeltshauser was drafted in the 6th round (164th overall) of the 2010 draft by the San Jose Sharks and Sawyer Hannay who was drafted in the 7th round (205th overall) of the 2010 draft by the Vancouver Canucks. Both players man the blueline for Halifax.
Game #1 of the best-of-seven series starts this Thursday night in Montreal, with the puck dropping at 7:05pm. Here's a complete list of the series schedule:
Game 1: Thursday March 24th @ 7:05pm ET (in MTL)
Game 2: Friday March 25th @ 7:05pm ET (in MTL)
Game 3: Tuesday March 29th @ 6:00pm ET (in HAL)
Game 4: Wednesday March 30th @ 6:00pm ET (in HAL)
Game 5: Friday April 1st @ 6:00pm ET (in HAL)
Game 6: Sunday April 3rd @ 3:05pm ET (in MTL)
Game 7: Tuesday April 5th @ 7:05pm ET (in MTL)
Note that due to travel time considerations, the Juniors would play game 5 in Halifax (if necessary) and games 6 and 7 would be played in Montreal.
Here's a list of the match ups league wide:
Saint John (1) vs. Cape Breton (16)
Montreal (2) vs. Halifax (15)
Quebec (3) vs. Val D'or (14)
Drummondville (4) vs. Chicoutimi (13)
Gatineau (5) vs. Rimouski (12)
Acadie-Bathurst (6) vs. Victoriaville (11)
Shawinigan (7) vs. P.E.I. (10)
Lewiston (8) vs. Moncton (9)
HockeyPoints will be releasing our Round 1 Playoff Predictions later this week. Last year we predicted 7/8 first round winners correctly and 14/15 winners correctly for the entire playoff bracket. Our mistake? You guessed it! Picking the Juniors in the 1st round. They blew a 3-1 series lead to Gatineau before loosing in double OT of game 7. Wish me luck in going 15 / 15 this year.....but I don't think it'll be easy.
Until the next entry.
Photo Credit: Ron Lemish