The resilient Moncton Wildcats are coming off an impressive win last night over the Victoriaville Tigres, but they will face a big challenge tonight when they face the 1st place overall Sherbrooke Phoenix.
Obviously, the last seven days have been very challenging for the organization, but you wouldn’t know it by looking at the product on the ice.
One has to look beyond Sunday’s loss to the Cape Breton Eagles.
The poor start could have been blamed on a ten-hour delay on Saturday due to the causeway being closed.
The Wildcats showed tremendous character by staging a late game comeback versus the Eagles only to fall short.
The Cats currently sit in 2nd place overall in the QMJHL and 2nd in the country.
You can look at all the numbers and dissect them, bottom line the Moncton Wildcats are a very resilient bunch.
With the amount of firepower, pure skill and character in their line up they are never truly out of a game.
For everything that has gone on this past week the players along with Darryl Boyce and Ryan Salvis deserve a lot of credit for focusing their attention on the game and controlling what they can control.
As the Cats are set to do battle with the powerhouse Phoenix tonight who will probably be looking to bolster their backend during the upcoming Trade Period.
Jocelyn Thibault and his staff have done a phenomenal job building and developing their hockey club to get to this point so they can vie for a championship or possibly two.
Some argue that the Phoenix are overrated due in large part to their division, but I beg to differ.
I certainly wouldn’t want to face them in the playoffs.
The Phoenix have a tremendous blend of speed, size and grit. They are a heavy team that can play any style of game. The Phoenix are very well coached and have great systems in place as well.
Nevertheless, they are lacking a “Jordan Spence or “Axel Andersson” type defencemen that can be a one man breakout if need be.
That being said the Phoenix have a very sound transition game and have the ability to really lock teams down through the neutral zone.
The Wildcats will have to really take care of the puck in all three zones tonight if they want to be successful.
The Cats also have to reestablish their fore check to generate turnovers if they hope to be successful tonight versus the Phoenix
That being said the Cats will have to be responsible and reduce the amount of pinches and turnovers on the offensive half boards, because the Phoenix will pounce on everyone of those opportunities and make them pay.
The Latest on John Torchetti
Here’s what we know:
A week ago tonight Wildcats President Mr. Robert Irving and Torchetti had a meeting after the teams 8-5 victory over the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada.
A story published on December 1st by Times Transcript Sports Writer and Wildcats beat writer Neil Hodge said “In a shocking turn of events, Torchetti cleaned out his locker.” That statement was later retracted and removed from the article.
Torchetti failed to make the trip to Cape Breton for the afternoon game versus the Eagles on Sunday December 1st prompting the team to release a statement at 9:30pm that night saying the following:
Moncton Wildcats head coach taking leave of absence Moncton, December 1, 2019 – The Moncton Wildcats have confirmed that Head Coach John Torchetti is taking a leave of absence from the team for personal reasons. As with any personnel matter, the details of Mr. Torchetti’s leave of absence will not be made public.
On Monday December 2nd word got out that Torchetti would be re-joining the team as early as Tuesday.
Sources revealed that Torchetti was in fact on the ice for the Cats practice Tuesday afternoon at the Avenir Centre.
From afar everything seemed to be back to normal on the coaching front until the team announced that Torchetti wouldn’t be making the upcoming road trip to Quebec.
The Wildcats released the following statement around 9:00am on Wednesday morning.
Moncton Wildcats head coach will not be travelling with the team Moncton, December 4, 2019 – Head Coach John Torchetti will not be travelling with the team to Quebec. Assistant coach Darryl Boyce will handle head coaching duties during the road trip.
As with any personal matter, the details of Mr. Torchetti’s absence will not be made public.
The Moncton Wildcats will finish their road trip tomorrow night against the always tough and skilled Drummondville Voltigeurs.
It’s undeniable the 2019-2020 Moncton Wildcats are truly a resilient team. That will definitely serve them very well on their quest for a President Cup and a Memorial Cup
Things will begin to heat up very soon in the QMJHL Maritimes Division with the up coming Trade Period which opens up on December 15th