Twenty-five years later, the head coach of the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies, Gilles Bouchard, is back at the MasterCard Memorial Cup.
“It’s more like,” notes the Normandinois, who had attended the event in 1991 as player of the Chicoutimi Chicoutimi, after being acquired in mid-season. The course regional ended in overtime in the semifinals, before the Drummondville Voltigeurs.
“In addition, with the Sags was in Quebec (Coliseum). There, we are going to Red Deer. The situation is different, but it’ll be fun, “promises Gilles Bouchard, aware that his team did not go to Western Canada for fun, but to lift the emblem of supremacy in Canadian junior hockey . The last victory of a QMJHL team dates back to 2013 with the Halifax Mooseheads.
“We got there heads high and we know what we have to do. Yes, we must be prepared and know the other teams, but at the same time, you have to concentrate to play our ” game ” as we have done since the beginning of the year, “to entrust Gilles Bouchard. We will do the same thing there. These are four good teams and we’ll see what will happen. We will focus on what we can control. ”
To have lived as a player, Bouchard, who was a strong striker, is well aware of the importance of the first match of the tournament. A win over the Brandon Wheat Kings Saturday greatly facilitate things for the future. “There is not much time to lose, he recalls. These are all important games. The former can provide the momentum. We are confident in the way we ended against Shawinigan. We want to leave it against Brandon, who has a good team. We want to win, and it will be even more important not to scatter. ”
Head coach is convinced of one thing: his team is able to compete with the champions of the two leagues, the London Knights and the Brandon Wheat Kings and the hosts, the Red Deer Rebels. It is also comfortable with the pressure as the Huskies have kept the best record of the four clubs (54-9-5).
“We finished first in Quebec and Canada. In the series, we saw little comments like what we were up to the challenge. Personally, I do not pay attention to that. I focus on my team and a day at a time, one game at a time. We never looked too far “, insisting Gilles Bouchard, who do not expect to make any major changes in the strategy and its alignment, except for the probable return of defender Jeremy Lauzon. The latter is restored after being cut in the throat by a skate in the second round. The 19-year veteran has received the green light from doctors Monday. “There are things that go back we have already experienced in the series. the ” Huskies game we must continue to play ‘and identity with the speed, how they move the puck. This is what will allow us to be successful and to irritate the other teams, “announced the Normandinois.
Apart from Gilles Bouchard, another member of the Huskies is native to the region. The Almatois keeper Samuel Harvey is the number one auxiliary Chase Merchant.