The Remparts are still waiting for their second-round opponent and certainly won’t complain that the remaining two series are stretching out as they are internally struggling with six cases of influenza.
Forwards Nathan Gaucher and James Malatesta, defenders Evan Nause, Louis Crevier and Nicolas Savoie, as well as goalkeeper William Rousseau, are currently on the pitch due to the non-COVID-19 virus, Patrick Roy wanted to specify on Thursday.
“The flu still exists!” he joked. His assistant Benoit Desrosiers had to lose last Monday’s match for the same reasons.
The team is still waiting to find out which of the Acadie-Bathurst Titan, Halifax Mooseheads or Rimouski Oceanic they will face in the second round. If the Océanic were to surprise tonight by eliminating the Saint-Jean Sea Dogs in the fifth and final game of their series, they would have a date with the Diables rouges starting on Sunday. Otherwise, the Remparts will have to wait until Friday’s final game between Titan and Mooseheads to learn the identity of their next opponent, as they will face the winner of this series.
The latter were due to meet on Thursday night, but the QMJHL announced that it would postpone the game to Friday as game no. 4 required three extra time periods before the Titan prevailed.
Normally, Patrick Roy would probably have preferred a shorter break to ensure his team didn’t sit out too long. However, in the current situation, it will be beneficial.
“A long break can be a double-edged sword. You like to stay active but at the same time, rest is beneficial especially with our boys affected by the flu. Maybe we better take a break right now. On the other hand, it will be necessary to make sure that you are ready and this, regardless of the adversary.
Not surprised by the Oceanic
The Océanic could, tonight, cause a big upset by eliminating the Memorial Cup hosts, the Saint-Jean Sea Dogs, a team that had won 15 games in a row before the playoffs began.
Does this surprise Patrick Roy?
“Zero,” he replied. Knowing Serge Beausoleil, he always prepares his teams well. If there is a team that can give them a hard time, it is them. Maybe I didn’t expect them to win the series, but giving them misery, I had no doubts in my mind.”
The same goes for striker Zachary Bolduc, who spent his first two seasons in an Océanic uniform before joining the Remparts last summer.
“It is a hard-working team. That is their culture, work. I think Serge did a good job preparing his team for the playoffs and we have proof of that.”