John Chidley A blog about reading, writing, pop culture and sports.


My Weekend in Junior Hockey – Sept. 24-26

Jonathan Audy-Marchessault of the Quebec Remaprts has been having a career year just weeks into the QMJHL season.

Although the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League has been playing for weeks, this past weekend was the real start of the junior hockey season in Canada.

The Ontario Hockey League had two games on Thursday night and then nine games Friday, with every team playing by Saturday. The Western Hockey League started with a full slate on Friday.

In short, business picked up. That also means, of course, that it's time for the triumphant return of My Weekend in Junior Hockey.

To keep things interesting for my readers I tried to avoid some of the clichés of the first weekend of a sports season. Phrases like “home opener”, “kicked off” and “young season” were routinely eliminated.

Instead there was a variety of stories that looked at the struggles of Canadian Hockey League rosters as they try to fill the gaps left by players departing for the National Hockey League, or the epic amount of travel time when prospects are sent back to junior from pro training camps.

I also took a look the hottest start of the QMJHL season and the emergence of a new star in the East.

All in all, I’m pretty proud of these stories. They’re tight and have a a fairly wide range of topics beyond the final score. Hopefully every weekend this season goes so well.

 Friday, Sept. 24 2010
QMJHL - Audy-Marchessault scores six points in Remparts’ rout
Jonathan Audy-Marchessault's coming out party isn't over just yet.

Audy-Marchessault had a hat trick and a six-point night as the Quebec Remparts trounced the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies 12-2 in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League action Friday night.

OHL – Jared Knight the hero as Knights top Whalers in shootout
Jared Knight had to take the long way to get to the game, but he still wound up the hero Friday night.

The aptly-named Knight had the shootout winner as the London Knights scratched out a 3-2 win over the Plymouth Whalers in Ontario Hockey League action.

WHL – Gallagher’s five-point night lifts Giants over Bruins
Brendan Gallagher scored twice and had three assists as the Vancouver Giants posted a 9-4 win over the Chilliwack Bruins in Western Hockey League play Friday night.

Jordan Martinook's first of the season came with less than three minutes remaining in the second. The 18-year-old forward tipped Neil Manning's point shot past Bruins starter Lucas Gore at the 17:41 mark of the second period.

Saturday, Sept. 25 2010
QMJHL – Voltigeurs outlast Sea Dogs to remain undefeated
The Drummondville Voltigeurs needed extra time to hold onto their perfect record.

Ondrej Palat and Alexandre Comtois scored in the shootout as Drummondville rallied to a 7-6 win over the Saint John Sea Dogs in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League action Saturday night.

OHL – Grubauer shuts out former team as Kingston tops Bulls
Philip Grubauer made an impression on his current and former team Saturday night.

Grubauer had a successful return to Belleville as the Kingston Frontenacs blanked the Bulls 3-0 in Ontario Hockey League action.

WHL – T’Birds take advantage of Winterhawks’ depleted roster
The first month of junior hockey is always rough on rosters as many players are trying out with NHL clubs, and the Portland Winterhawks are no different.

Burke Gallimore scored twice to help the Seattle Thunderbirds to a 4-1 win over the Winterhawks in Western Hockey League play Saturday night.

Sunday, Sept. 26 2010
QMJHL – Lefrancois strong as Oceanic earn win over Mooseheads
Skill met savagery as the Rimouski Oceanic won a physical game Sunday afternoon.

Felix Lefrancois scored twice and added an assist as the Oceanic cruised to a 9-2 win over the Halifax Mooseheads in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League action.

OHL – Spitfires soar in rematch of final, beat Barrie Colts
The Windsor Spitfires soared in a rematch of last season's Ontario Hockey League final.

Alexander Khokhlachev and Stephen Johnson both scored twice to pace the Windsor Spitfires to a 7-5 win over the Barrie Colts on Sunday afternoon.

WHL – Wheat Kings take down Pats, Americans beat Thunderbirds
REGINA -- Mark Stone and Brenden Walker both scored and had an assist to lead the Brandon Wheat Kings to a 3-1 victory over the Regina Pats in the Western Hockey League Sunday afternoon.

Paul Ciarelli also scored for the Brandon (2-0-0) with his first of the year.


My weekend in junior hockey, Mar. 5 – 7

The race for the Memorial Cup is about to begin.

There’s only one more week of the Canadian Hockey League’s regular season, and it’s do-or-die time for several teams.

The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League has 14 of its 16 playoff berths decided, with the Val-d’Or Foreurs, Lewiston Maineiacs and Baie-Comeau Drakkar vying for the two final spots.

With just 45 points and three games left in their season, the Drakkar seem like the obvious candidate to be on the outside looking in. They could still make it but they will need to reel off some wins.

The Ontario Hockey League’s Western Conference is all settled, but in the East there are still three post-season spots available.  

The Belleville Bulls are already mathematically eliminated, with one of the Peterborough Petes, Niagara IceDogs, Sudbury Wolves and Oshawa Generals joining them within the next seven days.

The Western Hockey League has the clearest picture of who is in and who is out. The Western Conference has been sorted out for weeks, while the East has only one seed still available.

The Swift Current Broncos have the inside edge with 73 points, put the Prince Albert Raiders (67) and the Regina Pats (65) are within spitting distance. All three teams have played 69 games.

By the time I check in for my shift on Friday, I expect there will be even more teams eliminated from playoff contention. It’s been a good, tight race all season, with hotly contested matches in every CHL league.

Friday, Mar. 5th 2010
QMJHL – Wildcats nip Saint John in shootout
The Moncton Wildcats delayed celebrations in Saint John for at least one more game.

Kelsey Tessier and Nicolas Deschamps scored in the shootout as the Wildcats disappointed the Sea Dogs 4-3 in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League action Friday night. (See more...)

OHL – Cowick, Toffoli and Lindsay lead 67’s past Colts
The Ottawa 67's got a big win off of their Ontario Hockey League Eastern Conference rivals Friday night.

Corey Cowick, Tyler Toffoli and Cody Lindsay each had a goal and an assist as Ottawa knocked off the Barrie Colts 6-3. (See more...)

WHL – Weal scores twice as Pats hold off Hurricanes
Jordan Weal and the Regina Pats bested their cellar-mates Friday night.

Weal scored twice to help Regina double the Lethbridge Hurricanes 4-2 in Western Hockey League play. (See more...)

Saturday, Mar. 6th 2010
QMJHL – Piche, Voltigeurs roll to 7-0 win over Val-d’Or
The Drummondville Voltigeurs continue to have one of the stingiest defences in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

Frederic Piche earned the first shutout of his QMJHL career as Drummondville blasted the Val-d'Or Foreurs 7-0 Saturday night. (See more...)

OHL – Kadri stars for Knights in win over Sting
The London Knights are gaining some momentum as the Ontario Hockey League's regular season winds down.

Toronto Maple Leaf prospect Nazem Kadri scored in the shootout as London dumped the Sarnia Sting 4-3 in OHL action Saturday night. (See more...)

WHL – Ross leads Portland past Tri-City
The Kelowna Rockets only needed Adam Brown and Tyson Barrie Saturday night.

Brown made 26 saves for the Rockets, earning his sixth shutout of the season, as Kelowna beat the Vancouver Giants 3-0 in Western Hockey League action. (See more...)

Sunday, Mar. 7th 2010
QMJHL – Seas Dogs clinch best record with win over Mooseheads
The Saint John Sea Dogs locked up home ice advantage for the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League playoffs on Sunday afternoon.

Mike Hoffman had a goal and two assists as Saint John beat the Halifax Mooseheads 5-2 in QMJHL action. (See more...)
OHL – Fowler stars for Spitfires in shutout of Greyhounds
Cam Fowler and Phillip Grubauer led the Windsor Spitfires as a familiar face returned to the line-up.

Fowler scored twice and Grubauer made 20 saves as the Windsor Spitfires defeated the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds 4-0 in Ontario Hockey League action Sunday afternoon. (See more...)


My weekend, in the form of junior hockey stories

Patrick Roy coaching the Quebec Remparts

Patrick Roy salutes the crowd as coach of the Quebec Remparts.

Friday, Jan. 8th 2009:

QMJHL: Remparts top Baie-Comeau, give Roy 200th coaching win:

Patrick Roy has waited a long time for his 200th victory as the coach of the Quebec Remparts.

Antoine Tardif stopped 26 shots as the Quebec Remparts smashed the Baie-Comeau Drakkar 6-0 in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League action Friday night. (Read more...)

OHL: Jenner scores OT winner as Oshawa beats Peterborough

Boone Jenner knew how to cap off a thrilling game for the Oshawa Generals.

Jenner scored short-handed, 2:27 into overtime, to lift Oshawa to a 4-3 win over the Peterborough Petes in Ontario Hockey League action Friday night. (Read more...)

WHL: Warriors ruin “Eberle and Teubert Day” for Pats

Friday may have been "Jordan Eberle and Colten Teubert Day" in Regina, but it wasn't their night.

The Moose Jaw Warriors thumped Eberle, Teubert and the Pats 5-2 in Western Hockey League action Friday, putting a damper on the festivities. (Read more...)

Saturday, Jan. 9th 2009:

QMJHL: Roy, Cape Breton shut out Halifax

Olivier Roy is moving up in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League record books.

Roy made 31 saves as the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles blanked the Halifax Mooseheads 2-0 Saturday night. (Read more...)

OHL: Kadri scores shootout winner in wild game

The London Knights barely survived a wild night against the Erie Otters.

Nazem Kadri scored in the shootout as the London Knights outlasted the Erie Otters 8-7 in Ontario Hockey League action Saturday night. (Read more...)

WHL: Borrowed goalie can’t get Prince George past Seattle

Even bringing in some help from the Everett Silvertips couldn't help the lowly Prince George Cougars.

Charles Wells scored twice and added an assist to lead the Seattle Thunderbirds to a 4-1 win over Prince George in Western Hockey League play Saturday night. (Read more...)

Sunday, Jan. 10th 2009:

QMJHL: Martel wins 223rd game as Chicoutimi downs Baie-Comeau

Richard Martel is now the winningest coach in Chicoutimi Sagueneens history.

Antoine Roussel scored twice as Chicoutimi sank the Baie-Comeau Drakkar 4-3 in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League action Sunday afternoon. (Read more...)

OHL: Wolves score five in second period to down Generals

The Sudbury Wolves used the Oshawa Generals to rebound from Saturday night's loss.

Eric O'Dell and Eddy Leitans-Rinke both scored twice as part of a five-goal second period, leading the Sudbury Wolves to a 7-4 win over the Oshawa Generals in Ontario Hockey League play Sunday night. (Read more...)


I thought that this was a very interesting week in the Canadian Hockey League.

As usual, the play on the ice was exciting, but there were also a lot of quirky things going on during the games.

First of all, from Saturday’s OHL report, the London Knights/Erie Otters match-up must have been incredible to watch. I assume that the London crowd was silenced when Erie scored five (!) unanswered goals to force extra time.

Unfortunately, we didn’t have it on TV in the sports department, and we didn’t have a stringer at the game. Otherwise, I would have been able to have an even more interesting story, because the game score indicated that Erie’s last two goals were empty-netters, including one on the power play.

That’s right, according to the game sheet, London pulled their goalie when they were up by two. You can imagine how much this confused me from my cushy seat at the Canadian Press.

Since then, the game sheet has been fixed to show them as even-strength goals.

Saturday night was also interesting in the WHL, with Prince George borrowing a goalie from the Everett Silvertips. The Cougars had been rolling with only one goaltender on their roster for a t least a week, so I suppose it was inevitable that they’d need an extra ‘keeper.   

I’m just 26, but I’ve never seen that happen in an organized hockey game before.

With the junior hockey trade deadline on Monday there was also a lot of action off the ice with players changing teams. I mentioned this on Twitter,  but the Chicoutimi Sagueneens have traded away many of their best players including Jacab Lagace and Nicolas Deschamps.  As far as I can tell, the Sags are preparing for the 2010-11 season.

Obviously, the QMJHL stories from Friday and Sunday were naturals as round-up toppers. First of all, you can’t go wrong talking about Patrick Roy. He’s easily one of the top three goalies, ever, and he’s probably going to become an NHL coach within the next three years.

Then you have Richard Martel becoming the winningest coach in Sagueneens history. He’s one of the great coaches in the QMJHL and deserves accolades for his 223rd victory. However, as a writer/editor I also knew that with Chicoutimi in the midst of a firesale they likely won’t be at the top of a round-up any time soon.

Also, I’m not sure how much longer I could resist calling Martel a “model” to his players.

One other thing to note: I did not write any WHL stories on Sunday because my shift would have been seven or eight hours long. Instead, one of my co-workers wrote it. You can see it here: WHL: Reddick nets two goals as Americans blank Bruins.