Hull Sweeps Val’D Or to Reach QMJHL Finals

By Bill Meltzer

The Hull Olympiques were simply too much for Val’D Or, finishing out a four game sweep of the LeBel Conference finals last night with a 5-1 rout. Goaltender Eric Lafrance made 31 saves for Hull in being named the #1 star but he got plenty of offensive support. Philadelphia Flyers prospect Mathieu Brunelle scored with just 10 seconds left in regulation to keep his playoff point streak going and provide the final 5-1 margin of victory; the tally was his 15th of the playoffs.

Hull will play the winner of the Dilio Conference Finals. Last night, Halifax narrowed their QMJHL series deficit against Baie Comeau to 2 games to 1 after pounding the favored Drakkar by a 6-2 score. As expected, Flyer draftee Thierry Douville returned to the Baie Comeau lineup after serving his two game suspension. He finished -1 and took a minor penalty.

Over in the Western Hockey League, Jeff Woywitka’s Red Deer Rebels grabbed a commanding 3-0 lead in their Eastern Conference Final series against Brandon with a 5-1 win. The stingy Rebels defense has allowed a mere 2 goals in the 3 games played so far, which undoubtedly pleases Coach Sutter. As always, Woywitka played a major part in the Rebels success, although the playoffs have been something of a coming out party for fellow defenseman Dion Phaneuf, a likely 2003 first round pick. Woywitka was a +1 in the game (now +10 in the postseason) and collected a pair of minor penalties during scrums.