Quebec Citadelles Year In Review

By Annie Pascal

The Team: Overall, the Citadelles enjoyed a successful season. They started
the year superbly, as they remained unbeaten one month into the season. It was
only on November 2 that they suffered their first defeat; in overtime. Head
Coach Eric Lavigne did a great job too as he was often forced to juggle his
lines due to the number of injured or recalled players.
struggled getting shots on goal. At times, they still managed to beat the
opponents, despite being outshot by a 2-to-1 ratio. In net, Mathieu Garon often
saved the game by himself. Eric Landry was the only Goat to finish the season
among the league’s top scorers, but each player on the team contributed to
team’s success. (A)

Marcel Hossa (LW): Hossa played
50 games with the Citadelles this season. He
experienced a great year especially as the year wound down. He did a good job
when playing on the first line with Craig Darby and Jason Ward. He collected 17
goals and 15 assists for 32 points. Hossa has scoring skills and uses his size
to play tough in corners. If he doesn’t begin the season in Montreal next year,
he will be a very dominant player for the Citadelles. (A)

Jason Ward (RW): Ward started the season very well as he obtained points in
each of the first few games. Ward was lucky this year; he missed only two
games due to injuries. He earned 57 points, with 24 goals and 33 assists. He’s a
speedy player that can sometimes create breakaway opportunities. Ward is used to
playing at the AHL level and was one of Eric Lavigne’s “men of
confidence”. He worked hard throughout the season toward the team’s success.

Mike Ribeiro (C): Ribeiro started the season in Montreal and was assigned to
Quebec for the first time in late October. He played 23 games with the
Citadelles and spent most of the season with the Montreal Canadiens. In Quebec,
he collected 23 points and was +7. Ribeiro is an excellent playmaker and he’s
very creative when used at point on the powerplay. He suffered a knee injury
late in the season but missed only a few games. Despite being re-assigned to the
minors, Ribeiro never let the team down and has given his best to help the
Citadelles. (A+)

Eric Landry (C): Landry missed the first month of the season with a hand
injury. He returned to action on November 2nd. He played in 63 games with the
Citadelles and was the team’s point leader before being called-up to Montreal
late in the season. Landry is an intense player with offensive skills. Despite
of his size, he can also play tough. He was named AHL player of the week twice
this season after registering two hat tricks in the span of a week. (A+)

Eric Chouinard (C): Chouinard spent the entire season in Quebec. He played 65
games, missing some games earlier in the year due to a concussion. He also
suffered a shoulder injury twice in the season. Chouinard has a good and
powerful shot. He collected 42 points (19 goals, 23 assists) and was -7.
Chouinard’s best game was early in October as he managed 5 points (2 goals, 3
assists). He played his best stretch of the year when he was on a line with
Arron Asham and Craig Darby. (B-)

Francis Belanger (LW): Belanger played
69 games with Quebec this season. He
suffered a shoulder injury and missed other games due to suspensions. Belanger
is a tough player but can also help his team offensively. He played well
throughout the season with Eric Landry, earning 41 points (15 goals, 26 assists)
with 165 minutes in penalties. (B-)

Craig Darby (C): Darby played an incredible season with the Citadelles. He was
a full time NHL player in each of the last two years but started this season in
the AHL. Darby began producing early in the year as he scored Citadelles’ first
goal of the season. He was recalled by the Canadiens once during the season but,
was re-assigned just a few games later. He always gave his best in Quebec and
was a great teacher for players like Marcel Hossa and Eric Chouinard. When
playing on a line along with Eric Landry, the duo was explosive. Darby is
certainly not in Montreal’s plans anymore and was a bit disappointed at not
being traded before the trade deadline. Despite his disappointment, he continued
playing very well until the end of the season. He will certainly leave the
Montreal organization following this season. (A+)

Benoit Gratton (C): Gratton started the season very well. Montreal recalled
him earlier in the year but injured his ankle there and missed many weeks. When
he recovered, the Canadiens re-assigned him to Quebec and he did well for the
rest of the season. In 35 games, he collected 29 points (10 goals, 19 assists)
and was -5. (B+) 

Pierre Sevigny (LW): If we compare Sevigny’s season with last year, we can
say he experienced a difficult season. Sevigny missed some games in the
beginning of the season due to a slight shoulder injury. With the organization’s
increased depth, the Citadelles’ captain did not see as much time as in the past.
He managed 13 goals and 17 assists in 66 games this season. He was -4 with 76
minutes in penalties. (C+)

Patrick Poulin (LW): Poulin was sent down to the Citadelles after being put on
the waivers by the Canadiens. Since no NHL team claimed him, Montreal sent him
down to the farm club. In his first game with the Citadelles, he broke his knee
and missed the next few games. Poulin played 31 games with Quebec and earned 19
points. He scored 12 goals but some of his goals were scored into empty nets.
But he also scored some game winning goals. He hasn’t played a bad season, but
when you’ve got a player with many years of NHL experience on your team, you
expect more of an offensive contribution. Poulin found himself in a situation
similar to Darby, as he also wished to be traded before the deadline. He’s
another player who may leave the Montreal organization over the summer. (C+)

Arron Asham (RW): After he experienced a hard time in the playoffs last season,
Arron Asham returned to Quebec this season and impressed immediately; becoming
one of the team’s best players. Even if he wasn’t a fan favourite, no one can
deny that Asham helped the team a lot before being recalled by Montreal. He
played 24 games in Quebec and collected 9 goals and 14 assists. (A)

Michael Ryder (RW): Ryder didn’t manage many points in the beginning of the
season but this can be explained by a lack of ice time. In the first few
weeks of the season, the Citadelles had their full roster so the team decided to
send Ryder down to the Mississippi Sea Wolves of the ECHL on November 27. He
immediately became a dominant ECHL player, and was recalled by the Citadelles
within weeks. Ryder took advantage of an increase in ice time and played very
well. He was rewarded with a spot on the first line with Eric Landry and Craig
Darby. The line did well together and Ryder obtained a large portion of his 17
assists on Landry’ s goals. (B)

Timo Vertala (LW): Timo Vertala wanted to use this season to get used to the
North American game; particularly the smaller ice surface. Unfortunately, he was
a victim of many injuries and missed a large chunk of the season. A severe ankle
sprain forced him to miss 39 games. He played only 30 games this season,
managing 7 points (4 goals, 3 assists). (C+)

Marc-Andre Thinel (RW): Thinel’s season was similar to Michael Ryder’s one but
contrary to Ryder, Thinel spent the entire season in Quebec. A decision that may
be hard to understand by some people as Ryder showed offensive skills throughout
the season. Thinel played 73 games and collected 10 points (6 goals, 4 assists).

Xavier Delisle (C): Last season, the Canadiens recalled Xavier Delisle for
some games during the year. This season was very different for him. He and Timo
Vertala were the two players cut from the team’s playoffs list of 22 names. He
suffered a knee injury earlier in the season and missed many games. Delisle also
watched some games from the stands during the season as a healthy scratch. In 50
games, he managed 25 points. (C-)

Louie DeBrusk (LW): In the last week of November, Louie DeBrusk signed a
25-game try-out contract with the Montreal Canadiens. He was immediately
assigned to Quebec but he did not impress and was subsequently released after
playing just 9 games. Some off-ice problems also contributed to the decision.
DeBrusk managed no points through the 9 games he played. Later in the season, he
signed a contract with the Hamilton Bulldogs of the AHL. (D)

Jonathan Delisle (RW): Delisle was a healthy scratch during the first few
games of the season. The limited number of veteran players a team is allow to
use and his contract with the Citadelles eventually forced Quebec to release him.
Delisle was not claimed by any team so the Citadelles sent him down to their
affiliate in the CHL, the New Mexico Scorpions. He was recalled during the
season to replace Quebec’s injured players. In 24 games, he collected 3 assists.

Jerome Marois (LW): Marois played only 10 games with the Citadelles. He spent
the rest of the season with the Mississippi Sea Wolves of the ECHL. In Quebec,
he did not manage any points. (C-)

Gino Odjick (LW): Odjick was assigned to Quebec for reconditioning after he
suffered a back injury. He did his best and was very concerned about the team’s
success. He was appreciated by both the Coaches and the players. Odjick played
13 games and collected two goals and 1 assist. He is -4 with 40 minutes in
penalties. (B-)

Jacques Lariviere (LW): Lariviere joined the team late in the season. He
played in Memphis of the CHL. The Cits signed him for the rest of the season.
Lariviere is a tough player and helped the team when their regular tough guys
were all out with injuries. In 4 games, he earned no points but he registered 25
minutes in penalties. (C+)

Ron Hainsey (D): Hainsey suffered a severe wrist injury in October and missed
several games. But the rest of the season was really good for him. Overall, he
played 63 games, managing 31 points and was +16. Hainsey participated in the
all-star game as member of the Planet-USA Team. He was also named to the AHL
Rookie Team. He’s a very good offensive defenseman and may be talented enough to
begin next season in Montreal. (A+)

Gennady Razin (D): Razin is a good defensive defenseman. He started the season
very well with Andrei Markov at the blue line. He missed some games due to back
spasms earlier in the season. He managed 2 goals and 7 assists in 75 games.

Andrei Markov (D): Markov started the season in Quebec but was called up by
Montreal one month later. He was the team’s best, with a +14 rating before
leaving for the NHL. Overall, he played 12 games with the Citadelles and managed
10 points. (A+)

Francis Bouillon (D): Bouillon played almost half the season in Quebec (38 games).
He played an important role defensively and created good scoring chances for his
teammates. He collected 8 goals and 14 assists during the season. He was named
player of the month for the Citadelles and was a team leader. While Pierre
Sevigny was out of action due to injury, Bouillon wore the “C” on his
jersey. (A)

Mathieu Descoteaux (D): Descoteaux experienced a difficult season. He was also
one of the lucky players who played some games in Montreal last year, but this
season he collected only 20 points in 65 games. He scored 6 goals and was -16.
Descoteaux missed a couple of games due to different injuries throughout the
season. (C+)

Martti Jarventie (D): Like his compatriot Timo Vertala, Martti Jarventie missed
several games this season. He suffered a severe shoulder injury. He played in 59
games with the Citadelles and earned 21 points (7 goals, 14 assists). He is -11.
Jarventie is a defenseman who plays particularly well on powerplay. (B-)

Francois Beauchemin (D): Beauchemin was assigned to the Mississippi Sea Wolves of
the ECHL earlier in the season. He was recalled later and played 56 games in
Quebec. With a lack of forwards in the line-up for a while, Beauchemin was used
as a winger. As a forward or at the blue line, he did well. He’s also a player
who can play tough. He managed 19 points (8 goals, 11 assists). (C+)

Matt O’Dette (D): O’Dette is a tough guy at 6’5 and 228lbs. He suffered a double
ankle sprain and some back problems throughout the season. He played only 47
games and earned 8 points. He has a good shot and most of his 7 goals were
scored from the blue line. O’Dette had a contract with the Citadelles but
Montreal signed him until the end of the current season. O’Dette has never
played an NHL game in career. (C+)

Jayme Filipowicz (D): Filipowicz played
63 games with Quebec and spent a couple
of games as a healthy scratch. He managed 7 points (7 assists). He can play a
tough style as shown by his 107 minutes in penalties (D)

Remi Royer (D): Royer joined the Citadelles late in the season as the team had a
lack of defenseman. He played 24 games and earned 7 points. He also registered 78 penalty minutes.

David Cornacchia (D): Cornacchia spent almost the entire season in the ECHL. The
Citadelles recalled him to replace their injured players for 15 games in the
year. Cornacchia managed 4 assists and is +5. (C+)

Patrick Traverse (D): Traverse was sent down to the Citadelles for reconditioning
in December. He played in four games and helped the Citadelles by collecting 2
points. (B-)

Mathieu Garon (G): Garon has been great throughout the year. He was called up to
Montreal early in October as Jeff Hackett suffered a hand injury. Garon spent
many games in NHL as he backed-up Jose Theodore. He got a chance to show what he
could do when Montreal lost Theodore too. Unfortunately, he did not play as well
as expected. Once the Habs’ two goaltenders recovered from their respective
injuries, Garon was re-assigned to the Citadelles. Overall, he played 50 games
in Quebec with a 2.73 GAA. (A+)

Vadim Tarasov (G): Tarasov played only three games in October. He was called up
by Montreal to back-up Mathieu Garon when Theodore and Hackett were both injured.
Unfortunately, Tarasov did not even dress in the NHL, as he suffered a severe
groin injury. He missed a major part of the season. He stayed in Montreal where
he received treatments. After recovering, he joined the Citadelles. Overall, he
played 14 games and did well through the season’s last few games, and has a 3.15
GAA. (B)

Luc Belanger (G): In October, as Mathieu Garon was in Montreal and Vadim Tarasov
injured, the Citadelles called up Luc Belanger from the Mississippi Sea Wolves.
He became the team’s number one goalie, and did a good job through the first few
games he played in. Overall, he played 19 games. He is 7-10-1 with a 3.87 GAA

Patrick Couture (G): Couture was also acquired when the Citadelles’ regular
goalies were unavailable. He played in only three games. He is 0-1-0 with a 4.42