Sunaya Sapurji

  • Boucher isn't worried about being fined after calling out QMJHL officials at Memorial Cup

    Sunaya Sapurji at Buzzing The Net 19 hrs ago

    QUEBEC CITY — Quebec Remparts head coach Philippe Boucher lashed out at officials on Wednesday night. And on Thursday morning, he wasn’t backing down from the criticism.

    The brunt of his ire was directed at the referees from the Quebec Major Junior League - Olivier Gouin and Jonathan Alarie – who worked Game 6 between the Remparts and Rimouski Oceanic. In that game the Oceanic went 2-for-6 on the power play.

    In his post-game comments he took a shot at Richard Trottier, the QMJHL’s director of officiating. There’s no question Boucher will be fined for his outburst, but he’s not concerned.

    “I’m fine with that,” said Boucher of the impending financial sanction. “It’s something I had to get off my chest. We’re threatened by a $5,000 fine in our league if we say anything so it muzzles us. So we can’t really say anything in the playoffs, because we’re threatened to be fined - major fines – all the time.”

    UPDATE: On Thursday night, Boucher was fined $10,000 for comments the CHL deemed " unacceptable " and " detrimental to the best interest" of the CHL and Memorial Cup.

    “Something like that,” said Boucher. “I don’t want to take a chance and get fined again.”

  • Remparts lose their cool and chance to knock QMJHL rivals out of Memorial Cup

    Sunaya Sapurji at Yahoo Sports 1 day ago

    QUEBEC CITY — It was part deflection, part criticism and more than a few sour grapes for Philippe Boucher.

    The Quebec Remparts general manager and head coach lashed out at officials after his team’s 4-0 loss to the Rimouski Oceanic on Wednesday night in the final game of the round robin at the Memorial Cup. The Rimouski victory forced a tournament tiebreaker, which means both teams will go at it again on Thursday evening to decide who will face the Kelowna Rockets in the semifinal. The OHL’s Oshawa Generals have already advanced to Sunday’s final.

    Boucher was incensed with the referees from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League – Olivier Gouin and Jonathan Alarie – who handed out six power plays to the Oceanic on which they scored twice.

    There’s a bit of back story to Boucher’s critique. Both Gouin and Alarie worked Game 7 of the QMJHL final between Quebec and Rimouski. That game was in double overtime when Quebec defenceman Matt Murphy was assessed a tripping penalty which put Rimouski on the power play. The Oceanic scored with the advantage to win the game and the QMJHL championship.

    “It’s either them or us – the choice is pretty easy.”


  • Montreal Canadiens prospect Michael McCarron comes up big at Memorial Cup

    Sunaya Sapurji at Yahoo Sports 2 days ago

    QUEBEC CITY — It has been quite the reversal of fortune for Michael McCarron.

    One year ago, the 20-year-old forward was a member of the London Knights, the Memorial Cup hosts who failed to post a single win at the tournament. This time around, however, McCarron is a member of the undefeated Oshawa Generals, who punched their ticket to the Memorial Cup final on Tuesday night with a 2-1 victory over the Kelowna Rockets.

    So, what changed in 12 months?

    “Last year I was with London and there was a lot of pressure on home ice,” said McCarron. “We lost our first game and I think we were holding our sticks a little too tight for the rest of the tournament. This tournament we got off to a great start and that’s the big key there I think.”

    The Generals will get four days off before playing in Sunday’s tournament finale. The last time Oshawa won the Memorial Cup was in 1990 in Hamilton. That Oshawa team was led by Eric Lindros and twice defeated the Kitchener Rangers in overtime thrillers to highlight what many junior hockey observers believe to be the best Memorial Cup every played.

    “It feels amazing (to go 3-0),” said McCarron. “We knew we could do it and it’s a pretty exciting time right now.

  • Roy hopes for NHL in Quebec City during hometown celebration

    Sunaya Sapurji at Buzzing The Net 2 days ago

    QUEBEC CITY — It was a special homecoming for Patrick Roy on Tuesday night at the Colisee. In front of thousands of adoring fans, the head coach of the Colorado Avalanche had his name raised to the rafters on a banner, honouring the NHL legend.

    Even players like Quebec Remparts goalie Zach Fucale, who grew up in Rosemere, Que., were excited about the prospect of seeing Roy feted.

    “It’s very special,” said Fucale. “The people here in Quebec really appreciated everything he’s done here and for the sport. I mean he’s a legend of the sport. Obviously tonight it’s going to be a special night for Quebec.”

    Roy said he hopes one day the NHL will once again return to Quebec City, where they have almost finished construction on the 18,482-seat state-of-the-art Videotron Centre next to the Colisee.

    “This is a great hockey town,” said Roy. “The people in Quebec they love hockey - just looking at the (QMJHL’s) Remparts – to see how many people are coming night after night to support this team for the past 10 years. The Remparts have been the No. 1 franchise in the CHL for attendance. This is a great hockey town and I really, really hope that one day there will be an NHL team in Quebec.”

  • Kelowna's stars show up at Memorial Cup and Leon Draisaitl shines the brightest

    Sunaya Sapurji at Yahoo Sports 3 days ago

    QUEBEC CITY — The stars came out Monday night for the Kelowna Rockets. Not surprisingly, Leon Draisaitl shined brightest.

    The Rockets took a step forward when they managed their first win of the 2015 Memorial Cup in a 7-3 blowout over the Rimouski Oceanic. Draisaitl finished the game with three points, scoring twice and setting up one of linemate Nick Merkley’s two goals. It was a much-needed result for the Western Hockey League champions who lost their opener to the Quebec Remparts.

    “It’s nice to show the hockey world what we are capable of,” said Draisaitl. “We played, in my opinion one of the worst games we played all year against Quebec so it’s nice to get everyone going and get a few guys on the scoresheet and show the world we are better than we have been.

    “It was nice to score that many goals for sure.”

    The Rockets will have little rest, facing the Oshawa Generals (2-0) on Tuesday night. The QMJHL-champion Oceanic (0-2) will fight for their tournament lives on Wednesday in a rematch of the President’s Cup final with the host Remparts. They’ll have a day to get their act together after a poor display against Kelowna.

  • Stephen Desrocher's decision to take advice from roommate, billet dad pays off for Generals

    Sunaya Sapurji at Yahoo Sports 3 days ago

    QUEBEC CITY — At home in Oshawa, Ont., Michael Dal Colle is always eager to give advice. His roommate, Generals defenceman Stephen Desrocher, doesn’t always – or ever – seem to pay attention to those nuggets of goal-scoring wisdom.

    “He doesn’t like to listen to me anyway,” said Dal Colle, Oshawa’s leading scorer in the regular and postseason. “He kind of does his own thing.”

    The feeling, says Desrocher, is mutual when he tries to give his two cents on Dal Colle’s defensive game.

    “We’re roommates so we’re always harassing each other and chirping each other here and there,” said Desrocher. “We try to give each other pointers but it doesn’t sink in – in one ear and out the other.”

    On Sunday night, however, it was Desrocher who was the offensive threat for Oshawa, scoring the game-winning goal in overtime to edge the Quebec Remparts 5-4. Generals centre Cole Cassels won a faceoff in the Quebec zone with the puck going back to Desrochers. The undrafted 19-year-old eluded Quebec Remparts centre Kurt Etchegary and then fired a shot from inside the left faceoff circle which hit the crossbar and dropped behind goalie Zach Fucale.

    Desrocher called the goal the biggest of his hockey career.

  • The Big Rig comes up huge for Oshawa in Memorial Cup win over Rimouski

    Sunaya Sapurji at Yahoo Sports 4 days ago

    QUEBEC CITY — It’s with good reason that Hunter Smith has earned the nickname Big Rig . At 6-foot-6 and 215-pounds, the Oshawa Generals forward cuts an imposing figure. His thick, full beard makes him look more like Paul Bunyan ready to cut a swath through the forest than a 19-year-old Calgary Flames prospect.

    “He’s a pretty big guy so he’s pretty hard to contain,” said teammate Michael Dal Colle. “Getting drafted in the (NHL’s) second round proves that he’s not just a guy who’s going to hit you. He can also score goals and he has a great shot.”

    On Saturday afternoon Smith showed that offensive touch by scoring the game winner to give the OHL-champion Oshawa Generals a 4-3 victory over the Rimouski Oceanic, the QMJHL champions, at the Memorial Cup.

    With the game tied 3-3 halfway through the third period it was Smith who went out looking for redemption. Earlier in the period he had taken a tripping penalty on which the Oceanic capitalized to tie the game on the power play.

    “If we lost that game I probably would have taken that right on my shoulders,” said Smith. “A bad penalty in the third allowed them to tie it. The response was to get a goal and kind of pick myself back up there.”

  • Maple Leafs prospect Donaghey on injury, Babcock and a house divided

    Sunaya Sapurji at Yahoo Sports 5 days ago

    QUEBEC CITY— It’s been a tough season for Cody Donaghey. On Dec. 10 the Quebec Remparts defenceman was hit by Moncton Wildcats forward Will Smith and tore both his ACL and his MCL. He underwent knee surgery in early January and has been sidelined ever since.

    Missing the Remparts playoff run to the QMJHL final was bad enough, but missing out on the Memorial Cup has been even worse.

    "It's pretty sour sitting in the stands and watching the boys play, but I'm still going to cheer them on,” said the 19-year-old.

    But it’s not all bad news. Donaghey, who signed a three-year contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs as a free agent last summer, has been progressing well with his rehabilitation after having both his ligaments repaired.

    "I'm still ahead of schedule," said the blueliner. "Obviously I would have loved to have played in the Memorial Cup, but Toronto didn't want to take the risk. They're obviously looking for the long term.”

    He's back on the ice and in the gym four or five days a week and has been spending a lot of time in Toronto working diligently with Leafs skating guru Barb Underhill.

    “We’ve had some wars over the years that’s for sure.”

  • Quebec Remparts exploit Kelowna's lapses in discipline to grab Memorial Cup opener

    Sunaya Sapurji at Yahoo Sports 5 days ago

    QUEBEC CITY — In the hours prior to his game against the Kelowna Rockets, Adam Erne spoke about the disappointment of having lost the QMJHL title in double overtime of Game 7.

    As hosts of the 2015 Memorial Cup, the Quebec Remparts were already guaranteed a berth in the tournament, but now they were coming in as the only team that hadn’t won anything. The 20-year-old was stoic when asked about quickly putting aside that disappointment – Quebec also allowed a big lead to disappear in Game 6 of the Q final - for the tournament.

    "Honestly I think if we would have won it would have been probably more difficult,” said Erne. “You lose, you’re hungry to win.

    "These guys have already won, I think it’s harder for them to focus and try to get back on track. For us, we want to get going again – the other teams haven’t felt what we felt. It’s still something that stings for us and we’re going to use it as motivation."

    “Maybe it’s just that we know our refs more than we know these guys,” said Bowey. “The calls that they made were the right ones. We shouldn’t be getting into those scrums after the whistles and stuff like that and I know that the penalties we got were (deserved).”

  • Report: Vancouver Giants in talks with Nolan over coaching gig

    Sunaya Sapurji at Buzzing The Net 9 days ago

    Ted Nolan could once again be heading back to coach in the Canadian Hockey League. According to a report in the Vancouver Province, the former Buffalo Sabres head coach has been in contact with the WHL's Vancouver Giants about their vacancy.

    The Giants parted ways with former Winnipeg Jets head coach Claude Noel in March after the team finished last in the WHL's Western Conference with a 27-41-2-2 record.

    Noel still had a year left on his Winnipeg Jets’ contract, and, as the story goes, he kept getting that money when he joined the Giants after Ward was let go. Vancouver, in turn, paid Winnipeg the equivalent of a WHL coaching wage. (Vancouver Province)

    At this point in his career, Nolan might be the perfect fit for a team in transition like the Giants.