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Isles Road Trip Rolls Through Chicoutimi with Battle against Sagueneens

December 7, 2019 - Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) - Charlottetown Islanders News Release

The Charlottetown Islanders continue their 3-in-3 Quebec road trip today with a trip to Saguenay, where they'll visit the nationally-ranked Chicoutimi Sagueneens for a late afternoon showdown.

The Islanders (16-11-4-0) will look to avenge a 4-1 loss suffered last night at the hands of the Baie-Comeau Drakkar. Thomas Casey scored the lone goal in the game while Matthew Welsh made 33 saves in defeat. For Casey, that would be his sixth goal in his past three games.

Lukas Cormier and Cedric Desruisseaux returned to the Isles lineup last night. Cormier, the 2020 NHL Draft prospect, saw his first game action October 19th following an ankle injury, while Desruisseaux missed a pair of games after an upper-body injury suffered at the tail end of the team's last Quebec road trip.

Today's task for the Islanders is a tall one, battling the red-hot Sagueneens (21-5-3-0) who, with their victory over the Acadie-Bathurst Titan last night, usurped the Moncton Wildcats as the top team in the Eastern Conference. With victories in five of their last six games and eight of their last ten overall, the Sags are one of the hottest teams in the QMJHL.

Chicoutimi has accomplished all of this without arguably the team's top player. Hendrix Lapierre, the projected top ten pick in the upcoming NHL Draft, has been sidelined for a large portion of the season with an upper-body injury. Despite the loss, the Sags are still one of the deepest teams in the league; they have a number of players scoring at over a point-per-game pace, along with a handful of others near that same pace.

Samuel Houde is one of those players who has stepped up in the absence of Lapierre. The Montreal Canadiens draft pick is on pace to shatter his career high 43 points set last season; he currently has 39 points in just 29 games this season. Along with Houde, the emergence of William Dufour has helped elevate this team. Dufour, who was acquired from the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies as part of the three-way Noah Dobson trade with Bathurst, has lived up to the hype that got him selected sixth overall in the 2018 QMJHL Draft. The 17-year-old forward had a hot November, recording 13 points in 12 games last month. Overall, Dufour has 22 points in 29 games.

Don't forget that as always, this Saturday afternoon game can be heard across the airwaves on Ocean 100's Saturday Night Hockey. George Matthews and Norman Beck will have the call today at 5:00pm, with the pre-game show starting at 4:45pm.

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