QMJHL Preview: Voltigeurs vs. Armada


Two of the top three teams in the QMJHL West Division face off tonight, as the first-place Blainville-Boisbriand Armada host the Drummondville Voltigeurs in a 7 p.m. matchup that can be seen on NHL Network in the United States.

The Armada are second-best in the QMJHL, behind only Halifax. The team’s 21-5-1-2 record and 45 points in 29 games are the best in the TELUS West Division, as the Armada hold an eight-point lead over second-place Rouyn-Noranda. They’ve allowed just 71 goals-against this season, best in the league, and have won eight of their last nine games.

Left wingers Christopher Clapperton and Tommy Giroux lead the team with 16 goals each; Clapperton also leads the Armada with 36 points, while right winger Marc-Olivier Roy’s 23 assists are best on the team. Giroux also holds a plus-25 on the season, second best in the QMJHL.

The Armada also have five skaters in the top 14 league-wide in rookie scoring, as Philippe Sanche (25 pts/27 gp) and Stefan Jr. Matteau (23 pts/26 gp) are in the top ten. Danick Martel, Marcus Hinds and Nikita Jevpalovs also made the top 14 in the league.

Drummondville goes into tonight’s game with a 16-12-0-1 record and 33 points in 29 games, good for third in the West Division and ninth in the league. The Voltigeurs are 7-2-0-1 in their last ten games and have won three of their last four games, with the sole loss coming to Gatineau on November 30.

Right winger Jérôme Verrier leads the Voltigeurs in goals (16), assists (22) and points (38), while defenseman Gabriel Vermette’s plus-6 is best on the team. Center Jérémie Malouin’s 47 penalty minutes in 21 games is most on the team, while left wing Olivier Archambault’s eight power play goals are best on the Voltigeurs and put him in the top 10 in the QMJHL.

Tonight’s game is the sixth of eight matchups between the teams this season. Blainville-Boisbriand won the first five contests of the season series, with the first three victories coming by just a one goal edge. Drummondville came out victorious in the latest matchup, a 7-6 win on December 2 on home ice.

Marc-Olivier Roy leads the Armada with 11 points (3-8) in the season series, while a trio of players on the Voltigeurs have seven points (Murray, Archambault, Gauthier.) Sixteen players on Blainville-Boisbriand and 14 players on Drummondville have at least one point in the five games between the teams so far this season.

Armada left winger Christopher Clapperton has at least a point in all five contests between the two this season.

After tonight, both teams play again on December 7, with Blainville-Boisbriand taking on the Rimouski Oceanic, and Drummondville facing off against the Gatineau Olympiques.