End of the line

Charles Reid
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The Cataractes strike quickly in the final period to eliminate the Rocket from the QMJHL playoffs

P.E.I. Rocket’s Philip Paradis congratulates Shawinigan Cataractes’ head coach Eric Veilleux after the Cataractes eliminated the Rocket from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League playoffs Friday night at the Civic Centre. (Transcontinental Media photo by Jonathan Roberge)


There is no playoff tomorrow for the P.E.I. Rocket after a brutal third period collapse in a 4-1, Game 5 defeat to the Shawinigan Cataractes on Friday at the Civic Centre.

The Rocket, up 1-0 almost midway into the third period, surrendered four goals in under nine minutes and ended its Quebec Major Junior Hockey League season on an abrupt note.

Shawinigan won the best-of-seven first round series 4-1 by taking three road games at the Civic Centre.

The Cataractes now move on to face the Quebec Remparts in the quarter-final round which begins next weekend.

Meanwhile, the Rocket wonder about what could have been after its sixth straight first round elimination.

“I don’t know what happened. We played better than them,” said Rocket defenceman Jimmy Oligny, struggling to make sense of the letdown. “We had the game in control. I don’t know what happened.”

Part of the fall was a speedy Cataractes team that kept skating after Samuel Morneau’s goal at 15:41 of the second period staked P.E.I. to a 1-0 lead it held till the end of the frame. 

There was no better example of those fleet feet than Michaël Bournival's third period rush.

Tied 1-1 on Maximilien LeSieur’s goal at 7:41, Bournival, the Shawinigan captain, wove around the Rocket defenders. 

His attempted shot was knocked away, but the 18-year-old recovered the puck in the corner and sent a slick accurate pass to linemate Jean-Francois Plante, who got behind the Rocket backline and tipped the winning goal past goalie Evan Mosher.

Bournival and Dave Labrecque added the final two goals while Gabriel Girard, Shawinigan's goalie, did what he did the entire series: stop pucks. 

Friday, the 19-year-old Varennes, Que., native, stopped 36-of-37 shots for his fourth win of the playoffs.

“The defence did a good job in front of me. Cleaned every rebound. I saw every shot,” said Girard, a four-year veteran of the Cataractes. “I’m just happy to win the series. It could have gone either way.” 

Girard finished 4-1 against the Rocket, including a shutout, while stopping 148 of the 156 shots sent his way. 

That’s translates into a 1.58 goals-against average and a .949 save percentage. 

He was the first star in Game 5. 

Mosher was almost as good, although the numbers (1-4, 2.96 GAA, .909 save percentage) won’t reflect the many big saves the 20-year-old made to keep P.E.I. aloft. 

He wasn’t helped by Girard’s play, nor by too many Rocket chances that either missed the net or hit the posts or by an anemic Rocket power play which went 1-for-15 (6.7 per cent) at the Civic Centre and 1-for-20 overall (five per cent). 

Friday, P.E.I. went 0-for-4 with the extra man.

Regardless how the Rocket got there, the 2010-11 campaign is done. 

“Saddened. Tired and just . . . the hockey season, when it’s finished, there’s no words to describe that,” said Oligny, who ended the series with 10 penalty minutes and a minus-three plus-minus.

Benjamin Casavant, a former Rocket, was the leading scorer in the series with one goal and seven points. 

Bournival, who had three goals, and Labrecque each finished with six points in the five games.

Andrej Nestrasil lead the Rocket with one goal and six points, while Ben Duffy and Samuel Morneau each had two goals and three points. 

Philippe Paradis, who the Rocket received in the off-season trade for Casavant, had a goal and an assist in the series.



Former Rocket defenceman Marc-Andre Gragnani was named to the American Hockey League first-team all-star team Thursday. Gragnani, now with the Portland Pirates, leads all AHL defencemen in points (60) and assists (48) after 63 games. He was called up late last month by the  NHL’s Buffalo Sabres.





Game A Glance:

u The Outcome - Shawinigan 4 P.E.I. 1 (Shawinigan wins 4-1 in best-of-seven series)   

u The Goalscorers - Shawinigan: Dave Labrecque (2), Jean-Francois Plante (1), Michaël Bournival (2), Maximilien LeSieur (2); P.E.I.: Samuel Morneau (2).

u The Assists - Shawinigan: Benjamin Casavant 2 (6), Loïk Poudrier (1), Yannick Veilleux (1), Jean-Francois Plante (1), Michaël Bournival (3), Peter Sakaris (3); P.E.I.: Andrej Nestrasil (5), Philippe Paradis (1).

u The Goalies - Shawinigan: Gabriel Girard, 36-of-37, win (4-1); P.E.I.: Evan Mosher, 30-of-34, loss (1-4).

u Shots By Period - Shawinigan: 10-8-16, 34; P.E.I.: 7-15-15, 37.

u Power Play - Shawinigan: 0-for-3; P.E.I.: 0-for-4.

u Penalty Minutes - Shawinigan: 8; P.E.I.: 6.

u Hits - Shawinigan: 20; P.E.I.: 28.

u 50-50 Draw - $2,095.

u Attendance - 1,918. 



Organizations: Civic Centre, Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, Montreal Juniors American Hockey League Portland Pirates NHL Buffalo Sabres Shawinigan 4 P.E.I. 1

Geographic location: Shawinigan

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Recent comments

  • Bobandy
    April 03, 2011 - 21:43

    Go Caps go!!!

  • Rocket Fan
    April 02, 2011 - 16:43

    Feel bad for Mosher...he was an absolute BEAST this year, and his team mailed the 3rd period in on him. Hung him out to dry. Can't see Savard Jr. ever being relieved of his duties seeing as how his dad owns the team. Also you will NEVER see the Rocket being removed from the team as Richard played with Savard Sr, that would be a slap in the face to the Rocket Richard memory/legacy.

  • Ty Gobb
    April 02, 2011 - 16:42

    I agree with the post by PEI Hockey fan. I only went to three games this year, and after seeing the first playoff home game, decided against going to games 4 and 5. Down 2-0 after two periods in game three, their first game at home, and all the Rocket could muster was five shots on goal in the third period. They came out dead right from the opening faceoff and continued to play that way the whole game. Time to get another brand of hockey in Charlottetown. The QMJHL just doesn't cut it. Too much finess and not enough toughness and grit. We're not used to watching this kind of hockey on the Island. The Charlottetown and surrounding fans deserve better. Good tough Senior hockey would suit me better.

  • Rex
    April 02, 2011 - 15:43

    I agree with your comments PEI HOCKEY FAN the rocket have been nothing but a dissapointment for the last number of years. Let's look at a team like SAINT JOHN in the numer of years that they have been in the league how many times have they been to a league final...they have a pretty sweet resume at it but you want to no why it all starts with great management right down to the player's.They have a great head coach in GERARD GALLANT as well as fellow islander and head of hockey operation MIKE KELLY. The organization is smart when scouting and trading players something the rocket has been lacking for a while. Why cant we get a team here in place something like the 1998-1999 CHARLOTTETOWN A&S SCRAP MEATAL JR ABBIES they had 4 amazing lines as well as the famous crash line I bet if you put them up against rocket back in the day they would pound the face off them and thats JR A caliber hockey. I really think the rocket need to clean house and it starts with management right down to coaching I mean where has ERIC LAVIGNE BEEN the rocket couldn't wait to get him when all I see was what one trip to the league final 2 maybe at the most that doesn't fit a pass for me to take the raines over.Serge Jr this team this year had NO HEART OR GRIT and if the wonderful COACH was doing his job you think he would of done something about it. I think it's time you WAKE UP AND GIVE US A GOOD TEAM NEXT YEAR you owe islanders and your dedicated season ticket holders after all the dissapointing first round exits the last number of years. Get some players who have heart and grit and want to win and is not scared to get banged up a bit. Now after all that I am scared with all the dissapointing years that the rocket may pack up and leave and the island couldn't wait to get this caliber of hockey ever since the PEI SENATORS LEFT here and if it didn't work for them what would another team want to come here for. But I also give this grade of hockey here an F it hasnt met the caliber of play since 2003-2004 when they first arrived was hard to get a seat every game ALSO BRING IN A ENFORCER DON'T BE SCARED TO FIGHT..

  • madam hooperdinck
    April 02, 2011 - 14:41

    w.t.f. is it with that little city? is it cursed or something? first it's the curlers - the women's team doing a total collapse in front of their hometown fans (lost to 2 last place teams to finish out of the playoffs) -- and the men's curling team who were a national disgrace at the Brier -- then the UPEI hockey team that coulcn't even score a goal in the playoffs against Acadia -- and again, this year's version of the Rocket that bombed out losing each and every home playoff game - three straight no less! (jeez can it get any worse for Ch'town?)

    April 02, 2011 - 11:56

    If you rocket fans are still hungry for some good hockey, there is a game in summerside sunday at 2 p.m. would love to see you their. GO CAPS GO!!!!

  • Davemoly
    April 02, 2011 - 10:22

    And after seven years of no changes, I think Quebec would be a good location for them.. Even IFin the near future they became contenders, the crowds would be ever so slow coming back now. Too many dismal years.Too many disappointments......

  • Ivan Drago
    April 02, 2011 - 10:16

    Who won the 50/50. Did anyone win last night?

  • Thanks Serge
    April 02, 2011 - 09:59

    Just want to take this opportunity to thank Mr Serge Savard Jr on another lengthy playoff run and another season of highly competitive hockey. You never disappoint us the paying fans with the same consistency year in and year out. It is a credit to you and your organization as to how you are able to achieve the same results every year without any surprises, you don't know how much it means to us fans knowing what to expect every year. Thank you for allowing us the fans, once again, the opportunity to see other team's fans enjoy a fun and lengthy playoff and to see how other teams reward their fanbase with a competitive playoff team. We the fans can't thank you enough for that and appreciate you looking after your fanbase the way you do year after year.

  • PEI Hockey Fan
    April 02, 2011 - 09:48

    1) Don’t trade away every good player. Savard trades for all these draft picks, and when they hit 18 or 19, trades them away for more picks. It’s understandable if the team is terrible and you have a decent 19 year-old to trade him to rebuild. The problem is Savard trades every good player once they hit 19, whether or not the team is successful or unsuccessful. If the Rocket has a shot, leave the “stars” alone. 2) Style of play. Islanders like their hockey teams to be tough, work hard, and skate well. The Rocket can skate, but except for Paradis, Polasek and McIsaac, nobody finishes their checks, and except for McIsaac and Currie, few were willing to block shots. Last night, the Rocket just didn’t work as hard as Shawinigan. Why should I pay $16 if only a minority of the players are going to show any work ethic? In their time here, the Rocket has played a non-physical style based on finesse largely. How has that turned out? Dwindling and dwindling attendance and first-round exits. 3) Island content. Only three players on the Rocket roster were from PEI. Currie, McIsaac and MacIntyre. As well, McIsaac played only 1 year (as a 20 year old) and MacIntyre might have had 4 shifts last night. The perception amongst many Islanders is that the Rocket is made up of all Quebecers. While I’m not suggesting having only Islanders on the Rocket, what I am suggesting is make it more “Your Island Team.” Make a better effort to have more Island (or even Maritime) players. There are lots of them in the ‘Q’, so it isn’t a matter of the Island not producing any. Perhaps it’s time to change the name of the team. While I’m a huge Habs fan and loved Rocket Richard, what does Rocket Richard have to do with PEI? While it isn’t a huge deal, perhaps a name like the “Islanders” or something more identifiable with this province would arise more pride with Islanders. If the Rocket can play a tougher, hardworking style, have a few more Island players, and change their name, perhaps more Islanders would see the Rocket as a truly “Island” team. 4) Ownership. While I realize it can’t be easily to run a junior team, Savard and co. haven’t been doing a good job. Junior hockey runs in a three year cycle; year 1 features a young team that struggles. Year 2 has a balanced team in age and does decent in the league. Year 3 has an older team that should battle for top spot. The Rocket has not made it out of that second part yet, in close to 7 or 8 years. I feel that if there was a local ownership that took more pride in being an “Island” team, results would be improved. Time for Serge Jr. to go, unfortunately. These are my suggestions. While I don’t anybody would even consider them, if they don’t the Rocket will continue to lose support, and eventually be gone back to Quebec.

  • PEI Hockey Fan
    April 02, 2011 - 09:46

    I was at the game last night, and the collapse by the Rocket was terrible. Three things stuck out for me. One, there was a lack of skating and pressure by the Rocket at both ends of the ice. Two, the Rocket forwards seemed to always trying to make an extra pass or a fancy play instead of driving to the net and getting a shot off. Finally, and most disconcerting, was a lack of work ethic. Shawinigan simply outworked the Rocket in the three home games this series. Getting outworked in three straight home games in the playoffs is bad; you don't deserve to advance if you aren't going to work hard. Sadly, this hasn't been the first time these criticisms have been levelled at the Rocket. And Savard and co. wonder why the Rocket can hardly get 2000 out for a game. Why should Island fans play $16 to see a performance like that, when there are lots of other hockey, with cheaper ticket prices, that are more entertaining to watch (i.e. AUS, Junior “A”, etc)? There hasn't been a real decent team here since the Rocket's first season on PEI. How does he except people to drop everything and rush to the CCC to see that type of hockey? In order for the Rocket to be successful, there needs to be some changes. Here are some changes I recommend, IMHO:

  • Ivan Drago
    April 02, 2011 - 07:51

    Who won the 50/50. They did not announce a winner. Does anyone know?