The 16th annual Canada/Russia Series sponsored by CIBC is coming to Sherbrooke. Team QMJHL will host the Russians on November 13th at the Palais des Sports Léopold-Drolet. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.
There will be no shortage of talent when the teams take to the ice in Games 5 and 6 of the series. Team QMJHL features thirteen players who have been drafted by NHL teams, four of which were first round picks.
The 25-man roster that will be sporting the QMJHL logo includes, New York Islanders’ 12th overall pick in 2018, Noah Dobson (Acadie-Bathurst Titan), and Arizona Coyotes’ youngster, Pierre-Olivier Joseph (Charlottetown Islanders). They are expected to lead the way on defence for the Canadians.
Joseph Veleno (Drummondville Voltigeurs), the QMJHL’s first-ever exceptional status player, will govern the Q attack, assisted by the projected #1 overall pick in the 2020 NHL draft, Alexis Lafrenière. The 17-year-old, Lafrenière, is off to a torrid start to the 2018-2019 season, notching 35 points in 20 games for the Rimouski Océanic.
The Sherbrooke Phoenix will be represented by Samuel Poulin. The 6’1, 204-pound winger will be looking to put on a show in front of his home fans, before the two teams head to Drummondville for the final game of the showcase. Meanwhile, the Birds bench boss, Stéphane Julien, will serve as an assistant to Charlottetown’s Jim Hulton, who has been awarded head coaching duties for the QMJHL.
Hulton will be heading to the World Junior Hockey Championships as an assistant coach for Team Canada this coming December. He will certainly be keeping his eyes peeled for the array of young talent that hopes to crack the Canadian roster come Christmas time. Canada is looking for their second consecutive gold medal at the tournament, that runs from December 26th – January 5th in Vancouver and Victoria, BC.
The Russian roster on the other hand is composed mainly of players who play overseas. A squad of 22 men flew to Canada on November 2nd, where they were joined by eleven players who play in the CHL, four of which are associated with QMJHL teams. Lafrenière’s teammate, Dmitry Zavgorodniy will suit up for Team Russia. The Calgary Flames 7th round draft pick is enjoying a breakout season, sitting just below Lafrenière in points with 29 in 20 games played.
Team QMJHL holds an all-time record of 17-10-3 over Russia. In 3 of the past 4 years the teams have split the two-game series, however. The Q have yet to lose both games on home soil since 2011, a year that featured current NHL superstars, Nathan Mackinnon and Nikita Kucherov. Canada won the first 7 series since it began in 2003, but Russia has proved to be much more competitive in recent years. Since 2010, the Russians have won the yearly contest twice and drawn four other times. The series has been swept three times by Canada, in 2005, 2006 and 2009.
All games will be broadcast nationally on Sportsnet and TVA Sports.
Game 1 – November 5, 2018 (Kamloops, BC) – Team WHL 2 – 1 Russsia
Game 2 – November 6, 2018 (Vancouver, BC) – Team WHL 1 – 3 Russia
Game 3 – November 8, 2018 (Sarnia, ON) – Team OHL 3 – 1 Russia
Game 4 – November 12, 2018 (Oshawa, ON) – 7:00 p.m.
Game 5 – November 13, 2018 (Sherbrooke, QC) – 7:00 p.m.
Game 6 – November 14, 2018 (Drummondville, QC) – 7:00 p.m.
For the full QMJHL roster click here.
For tickets for Game 5 in Sherbrooke click here.
For tickets to all games or for more information visit http://chlcanadarussia.ca.
by Evan Milner