Moncton Wildcats pick up hockey hardware despite shortened season
The Moncton Wildcats on ice at the Avenir Centre in Moncton (Courtesy: Moncton Wildcats)
HALIFAX -- There is good news for hockey fans in the Maritimes, still reeling after the abrupt end to the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League season due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
The Moncton Wildcats have been given a top award for what the league said in a release was a “remarkable season” up until its finish.
The league awarded the Wildcats with the Robert-Lebel trophy, which is given to the team with the best goals-against average in the regular season. The trophy is named for Robert Lebel, founding president of the QMJHL, and a former goaltender.
Led by goaltender Olivier Rodrigue, and an outstanding defensive core, Moncton maintained a 2.30 goal-against-average after allowing only 148 goals in 64 games.
That’s 16 less than the Sherbrooke Phoenix who finished second league-wide in this category.
For its part, Sherbrooke won its first Jean-Rougeau trophy since its return to the league in 2012. That trophy is awarded annually to the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League team that records the most points in the regular season. It’s named for former league president Jean Rougeau.
The Phœnix held a 51-8-3-1 record in 2019-2020, a best showing in franchise history.
They finished first overall in the QMJHL standings, five points ahead of their closest rivals, the Moncton Wildcats.
It’s not the first time hockey fans in Sherbrooke celebrate this honour as the Castors (1974-75, 1975-76, 1979-80 & 1981-82) and the Faucons (1992-93) earned the prestigious trophy.