On the eve of the playoffs the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, Yanick Jean finds himself in a situation he experienced a few times during his coaching career. His team is preparing to face a heavily favored opponent. The coach of the Chicoutimi Chicoutimi is well aware, but he also knows that the mission is not impossible for his training.
Twice while leading the Victoriaville Tigres, Yanick Jean saw his team overcome a favorite rival. So he knows the recipe.
“We beat Moncton and Bathurst a year another year, said the chicoutimien driver. No one gave much for our skin. On each occasion, our team believed in something and we won thanks to an incredible effort. We had to move a mountain team, climb one step at a time. ”
The series between Chicoutimi and Cape Breton Screaming Eagles oppose one of the youngest formations of the QMJHL to a team built for this year. She is preparing for the coming weeks for at least two years.
After starting the season below expectations, the Screaming Eagles closed the calendar on a high note. They have won eight of their last ten games to climb to seventh place overall. With 286 goals, they have the third best offense in the league, behind Rouyn-Noranda and Val-d’Or. Seven of their players scored at least 20 threads. There are two in Chicoutimi, Nicolas Roy (48) and Jonathan Bourcier (30).
“It’s a club that went ‘all in’,” notes Yanick Jean. This year, he went to get Michael Joly for a first choice, second choice and (Jeremiah) Beaudin, a promising defender of 17 years. They also paid for (Massimo) Carozza. They are preparing for two years for this moment. Last year, they collected Olivier Leblanc in Saint John. They paid for (Alexander) and Gosselin (Duncan) MacIntyre. This is a team mature and built to win this year.
“The Screaming Eagles have any pressure. They have not won a round in the playoffs for seven years. They have no right to lose. ”
Faced with a seasoned opponent, Yanick Jean advance his team can only focus on what she has to do. It promises to regularly use four and six defensemen attack lines.
The watchword is to focus on one game at a time and not to do with the score of the series.
“Our goal is to continue we prove things to ourselves, says the pilot of Chicoutimi. We proved things during the season and we want to continue to do so.
“We will not change much in what we do from the beginning of the year. We will play four lines and six defensemen. We must also be patient. It is normal that we are not favorites. They have given everything to go after. This is why we will go one game at a time and we did not do in the score of the series. ”
The series between Chicoutimi and the Screaming Eagles will begin in Sydney on Friday. The second game will be played at the same place the next day. The two teams then meet again at the Georges-Vézina Centre for two or three games.
Obviously, Chicoutimi love to leave Sydney with at least one pocket in victory as the Screaming Eagles were much more effective at home than on the road in the regular season. They suffered only seven losses in regulation at Centre 200 (23-7-4), but they have not played for 500 on the road (15-17-1-1). Seven of their 15 victories abroad were obtained in Halifax and Bathurst.
• Sagueneens received permission to travel to Sydney by plane. They will leave Saguenay Friday morning and will return home immediately after the second game of the series on Saturday night …
• If you are a true fan of Chicoutimi, the next lines are for you. The leaders of the team as they prepare a plane trip to see the team play in Sydney, weekends, and few places are available for supporters. If the idea interests you, simply call 418-549-9489 …
• Sagueneens should have a full team when the series begins. Everyone was waiting for you to drive on Tuesday morning, including Frédéric Allard and Jeremy Groleau defenders. The first missed the final game of the season because of an upper-body injury, but he is finally shot with a good bruise. The second was scrapped at the last trwwis parts due to concussion symptoms …
• Sagueneens have not faced the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles in the playoffs since the 2003-2004 season. For those who followed the team at that time, this series recalls good memories. The Chicoutimi had surprised Screaming Eagles into five parts, in the quarterfinals. Led by goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, the formation of Nova Scotia had yet finished the season in second place overall with an impressive harvest of 103 points while that of Saguenay had merely 75 points …