Friday and Saturday will mark the first two games of the QMJHL playoffs with all three Canucks prospects in action. In an 18-team league, the top 16 teams have made the cut — and luckily for Vancouver, all three prospects are in. Not as lucky, though, might be the opposition they are facing. Here are your matchups in the Q. All three prospects head into the first round as the underdogs.
D Carl Neill (#15 Sherbrooke vs. #2 Shawinigan)
The captain of the 15th-ranked Sherbrooke Phoenix led his team in a big-time upset over the second-ranked Shawinigan Cataractes on Friday. Neill scored a goal and an assist in Sherbrooke’s 3-2 win over the Cataractes. He also recorded two hits in the game that saw Sherbrooke score all three of their goals on the powerplay.
D Guillaume Brisebois (#14 Acadie-Bathurst vs. #3 Saint John)
The next underdogs in line are the 14th-ranked Acadie-Bathurst Titans, who are up against the third-ranked Saint John Sea Dogs. Captain Guillaume Brisebois had one assist in a 4-1 loss to the Sea Dogs. Interesting to note how the Canucks have two captains drafted in the QMJHL. Speaks to Jim Benning‘s emphasis on work ethic and leadership, the intangibles.
The Canucks could certainly use some of that here in Vancouver. It losses wouldn’t hurt as much if the Canucks had, at least, some of the intangibles.
C Dmitry Zhukenov (#10 Chicoutimi vs. #7 Cape Breton)
Centreman Dmitry Zhukenov had an assist and recorded a hit in a minor upset for his club. The 10th-ranked Chicoutimi Saguenéens scored three unanswered goals to defeat the seventh-ranked Cape Breton Screaming Eagles. (That is one heck of a name. The FIGHTING HAWKS in the NCAA and the SCREAMING EAGLES in the QMJHL? Give me a break!)
All three prospects go at it again on Saturday night.
Next: The AHL: UTICA COMETS