The players of the Saguenéens will experience a period of 30 hours quite intense today and tomorrow. On the program, two hockey games and a return trip to Baie-Comeau by bus.
After suffering a first defeat in eight games against the Armada on Wednesday night, the Saguenéens will play two games in two evenings. First, they will leave for Baie-Comeau at 1 pm on Friday afternoon. They will face the Drakkar at the Henry-Leonard Center. They will return to Chicoutimi immediately after the game with an hour of arrival at the arena around 2 am. Finally, they will face the Saint John Sea Dogs, the first in the overall standings, at 4 pm Saturday at the Georges-Vézina Center. The latter will be in Victoriaville on Friday evening.
“This is part of the vagaries of the calendar,” explained Saguenéens head coach Yanick Jean. It happens to all teams. ”
It should be remembered that the players are students and that such journeys require planning. Such a tight schedule, three games in four days, puts pressure on the players and the coach. However, Yanick Jean does not make any changes to his way of doing things. “We are already playing everybody,” he said. However, there will be alternation among the goalkeepers, as Xavier Potvin will be ex officio on Friday and Julio Billia will return in front of the net on Saturday.
The two opponents of the Saguenéens are the antipodes in the general classification. Saint John is the number one player in the QMJHL and ranks fourth in the Canadian Hockey League Top-10. On the other hand, the Drakkar is 17th out of 18 and will be excluded from the series at the moment. However, the Drakkar is only two points from the Foreurs of Val-d’Or in the 14th rank. The first 16 clubs take part in the playoffs.
Despite the differences in the ranking, the two games will be difficult according to Yanick Jean. “Baie-Comeau, they play with a survival instinct. There have been no easy matches against them since the beginning of the year. The situation of the Drakkar was reported to the players during the training. The Drakkar play series games every night. They fight to make the series and we fight to progress in our way of playing, “explained the head coach.
More difficult to beat the Sags now
Facing the Saguenéens at the moment is quite different from the beginning of the year. That’s what the head coach of the Baie-Comeau Drakkar, Martin Bernard, admits.
“They have a lot more offensive power. Yanick Jean has made good exchanges, “Martin Bernard said in a telephone interview Thursday night.
So far this season, the Drakkar has scored nine points on a possible 14 against the Saguenéens, winning four of the top five.
In full struggle to participate in the series, the coach is satisfied with the development of his troop.
“We try to scrape as many points as possible. We want to bring the series experience to our young people. We are the youngest team in the league. We have five players of 16 years, “he said.
Martin Bernard expects a quick match. He said he likes to face the teams led by Yanick Jean.
“He’s a good coach. I had a lot of fun with him during the Subway Series (against the Russians). ”
• It is tonight that the Tigres de Victoriaville will remove Alexandre Daigle’s # 91 sweater. Despite not having had the career expected in the National League, the enigmatic center had had an impact in the QMJHL, as much media as on the ice. In his best season in 1992-1993, he had 137 points in 53 games. He had his highest crop of 51 points from his rookie season with the Ottawa Senators in their first NHL return campaign. He matched this result twice …
• QMJHL’s first scorer, Tyler Boland of the Rimouski Oceanic, scored 200 career points in a 3-2 loss to the Olympiques on Wednesday night. The 20-year-old striker has 91 points in 56 games. Previously, he had experienced seasons of 19, 36 and 54 points …
• Rookie Samuel Houde will rejoin the lineup tonight against the Drakkar, confirmed head coach Yanick Jean. He played his last game on January 31st. Yanick Jean did not want to reveal who will be cut off to make room for him …
• Yanick Jean refused to comment on the dismissal of Canadian head coach Michel Therrien. “I’m not there, so I can not speak,” he said. On the other hand, he emphasized the quality of coach Claude Julien. He added that the fact that Marc Bergevin and Julien had worked together at the September World Cup could play a role in his hiring.