2019-2020 Moncton Wildcats: The Year That Could Have Been Part 2

This was suppose to be the year. The year that the Moncton Wildcats would claim junior hockey supremacy.

From the build up and anticipation, to the construction of a championship caliber team, to the incredibly disappointing ending.

Here’s a look back at the second half of the 2019-2020 season at a team destine for a long playoff run.

Chapter 39 All the Right Moves?

The 2019-2020 QMJHL Trade Period was one of the most anticipated trade periods in Wildcats history, but did organization make the right moves?

https://firstdownsportspodcast.com/2019/12/27/element-trade-hurts-wildcats/

Chapter 40 Lacroix Brings Back a Familiar Face

It was clear that Daniel Lacroix was going to put his mark on the Moncton Wildcats right away. Lacroix brought former assistant coach and player Josh Hepditch back into the fold.

https://firstdownsportspodcast.com/2019/12/27/will-daniel-lacroix-bring-in-a-familiar-face-to-the-wildcats-coaching-staff/


Chapter 41 Tough to Say Goodbye

Making tough decisions is part of the process in building a championship caliber team. The Moncton Wildcats had to trade away a lot of assets and character in order to acquire critical pieces for their run. One of those players with a very bright future was Mark Rumsey.

Photo Credit Daniel St Louis
https://firstdownsportspodcast.com/2019/12/27/st-johns-mark-rumsey-continues-to-show-promise/

Chapter 42 Total Recall

Once all the moves begin that’s when fans and those on the outside looking in start questioning the direction. The entire hockey world has a very long memories, they just don’t forget trades.

https://firstdownsportspodcast.com/2019/12/28/total-recall/

Chapter 43 Where Did the Moncton Wildcats Stack up with the entire league?

So where did the Wildcats stack up versus other teams early on during the trade period?

https://firstdownsportspodcast.com/2019/12/29/a-brand-new-season-the-qmjhls-2nd-half-will-be-a-wild-ride/

Chapter 44 Fortier Another Perfect for the Cats!

Gabriel Fortier was another trade target that would certainly put the Cats over the top. Speculation was mounting late in the trade period, could Ritchie Thibeau pull the trigger on another monumental trade? Did the Wildcats have enough to acquire yet another elite top six forward?


https://firstdownsportspodcast.com/2019/12/29/gabriel-fortier-to-the-wildcats/



https://firstdownsportspodcast.com/2020/01/12/fortier-closing-in-on-200-game-milestone/

Chapter 45 The Moncton Wildcats All Decade Team

Which Moncton Wildcats stood out over the past decade? Here’ a look at the Top Cats of the past decade.

Photo Credit Daniel St Louis
https://firstdownsportspodcast.com/2019/12/30/the-top-10-moncton-wildcats-of-the-decade/

Chapter 46 Are the Moncton Wildcats Finished?

The Wildcats cupboards were almost bare, but did they have one more move to make to solidify their line up?

Photo Credit Vincent Ethier
https://firstdownsportspodcast.com/2019/12/31/are-the-moncton-wildcats-finished/

Chapter 47 The Search for Chemistry Begins

Daniel Lacroix and the entire coaching staff did an amazing job building chemistry amongst the new look Wildcats. Chemistry takes time and the Cats were certainly peaking at the right time.

Photo Credit Daniel St Louis
https://firstdownsportspodcast.com/2020/01/01/the-search-for-chemistry/

Chapter 48 Liam Leonard Provide Grit and Skill

Newfoundland’s Liam Leonard was a critical piece of the puzzle for the Cats.

https://firstdownsportspodcast.com/2020/01/02/leonard-exited-to-get-things-started-with-the-wildcats/

Chapter 49 Rodrigue’s Team Canada Experience

Olivier Rodrigue played inspired hockey this season for the Moncton Wildcats. Unfortunately he never played a minute for Team Canada during the World Juniors. Nevertheless, that might have been a blessing in disguise for the veteran netminder.

https://firstdownsportspodcast.com/2020/01/05/olivier-rodrigue-recharged-or-rusty/

Chapter 50 The New Look Moncton Wildcats Ready to Take Flight

It was just a matter of time before the Wildcats would reach their full potential.

https://firstdownsportspodcast.com/2020/01/09/new-look-wildcats-ready-to-take-the-ice/

Chapter 51 In The Shadows

The Moncton Wildcats bottom six group of forwards were critical to the teams success. Kyle Foreman played a very valuable role.

Photo Credit Daniel St Louis
https://firstdownsportspodcast.com/2020/01/11/in-the-shadows/

Chapter 52 The Wildcats Face Adversity At Home

The Baie-Comeau Drakkar came into the Avenir Centre and beat the surging Wildcats. Championship caliber team, but still not invincible.

Photo Credit Daniel St Louis
https://firstdownsportspodcast.com/2020/01/12/frustrated-incorporated-drakkar-play-perfect-road-game-to-upset-wildcats/

Chapter 53 A Future Star in the Making Philippe Daoust’s Journey to the QMJHL

Free agent forward Philippe Daoust had an incredible rookie season. The sky is the limit for the highly skilled forward.

Photo Credit Daniel St Louis
https://firstdownsportspodcast.com/2020/01/13/daoust-hitting-his-stride-with-the-wildcats/

Chapter 54 Andersson Still Finding His Way While Battling Injuries

Axel Andersson played a vital role on the Cats backend. The Boston Bruins 2nd rounder had to make some big adjustments this season, but was hitting his full stride when he was derailed by injury late in the season.

Photo Credit Daniel St Louis
https://firstdownsportspodcast.com/2020/01/19/bruins-prospect-still-adapting-to-north-american-game/
https://firstdownsportspodcast.com/2020/02/16/andersson-sidelined-by-injury/
https://firstdownsportspodcast.com/2020/03/01/axel-andersson-injured-again/

Chapter 55 Awards Season Preview

The Wildcats had a ton of deserving players for team awards this season. Here was my take on the Cats Award Winners.

Photo Credit Daniel St Louis
https://firstdownsportspodcast.com/2020/01/28/awards-season-who-are-the-frontrunners-for-the-moncton-wildcats-fan-choice-awards/

Chapter 56 The True Champions

The Wildcats Hockey Mom’s Weekend was definitely a highlight of the season. Hockey Mom’s are the true champions.

https://firstdownsportspodcast.com/2020/01/31/the-true-champions/

Chapter 57 Power Play Woes Continue for the Cats

With any championship caliber team, there’s always areas in which to improve. The Wildcats power play was definitely one of them.

https://firstdownsportspodcast.com/2020/02/01/the-wildcats-power-play-becoming-powerless/

Chapter 58 What Makes a Great Line?

The Wildcats 3rd line of Jacob Hudson, Eliott Desnoyers and Philippe Daoust was arguably the best kept secret in the QMJHL.

https://firstdownsportspodcast.com/2020/02/02/what-makes-a-great-line/

Chapter 59 Jeremy McKenna’s True Value On and Off the Ice

The Summerside Sniper’s return changed everything.

Photo Credit Daniel St Louis
https://firstdownsportspodcast.com/2020/02/07/jeremy-mckennas-impact-goes-beyond-the-stat-sheet-for-the-moncton-wildcats/

Chapter 60 A Moment in Time: The Man Between the Benches

Daniel St Louis is the best in the business!

https://firstdownsportspodcast.com/2020/02/13/a-moment-in-time/

Chapter 61 Zachary L’Heureux’s Rookie Season Was Incredible!

The Wildcats rookie forward had spectacular season! #26 has a very bright future in the game.

Photo Credit Daniel St Louis
https://firstdownsportspodcast.com/2020/02/14/moving-on-up/

Chapter 62 One Opportunity Philippe Daoust Continued to Excel!

Photo Credit Daniel St Louis
https://firstdownsportspodcast.com/2020/02/15/one-opportunity/

Chapter 63 So How Do You Beat the Moncton Wildcats?

The Cats were soaring, but they still had a few holes in their game.

Photo Credit Daniel St Louis
https://firstdownsportspodcast.com/2020/02/17/how-do-you-beat-the-moncton-wildcats/

Chapter 64 Ryan MacLellan’s Addition to the Cats Roster Was Going to Be Critical

The late addition of Ryan MacLellan proved to be a big boost for the Cats blue line, especially when the former TELUS Cup Champion had the chance to play with his lifelong friend Sean Stewart.

https://firstdownsportspodcast.com/2020/02/17/quite-the-pair/

Chapter 65 Just Another Game or a Measuring Stick Game?

The most anticipated game of the season ended in dramatic fashion!

https://firstdownsportspodcast.com/2020/02/18/game-496/

Chapter 66 Ryan Salvis Shutdown #87: Shadow Company

Wildcats Asst. Coach Ryan Salvis turned in a dominant performance when it matter most!

Photo Credit Daniel St Louis
https://firstdownsportspodcast.com/2020/02/19/shadow-company/

Chapter 67 QMJHL Playoff Preview

The playoffs were fast approaching, sadly we will never know how they would have played out.

https://firstdownsportspodcast.com/2020/02/23/2019-2020-qmjhl-playoff-preview/

Chapter 68 Tristan DeJong Coming Into His Own

DeJong continued to excel as the season went on.

Photo Credit Daniel St Louis
https://firstdownsportspodcast.com/2020/02/26/number-5/

Chapter 69 The Wildcats Were On a Historic Winning Streak, But it Was Bound to End at Some Point.

Even great teams can’t avoid stinkers

Photo Credit Daniel St Louis
https://firstdownsportspodcast.com/2020/02/28/even-great-teams-cant-avoid-stinkers/

Chapter 70 You Can’t Win Them All

The Quebec Remparts played a perfect road game to upset the Wildcats for only their second loss in home ice in two months.

Photo Credit Daniel St Louis
https://firstdownsportspodcast.com/2020/03/08/you-cant-win-them-all/

Chapter 71 Brother’s Forever

The interaction between former teammates and lifelong friends after QMJHL games has always intrigued me.

https://firstdownsportspodcast.com/2020/03/09/brothers-forever/

Chapter 72 The Wildcats Lines Will Reappear!

Questions surrounding the Wildcats lines were starting surface late in the season, but it had to be by design?

https://firstdownsportspodcast.com/2020/03/10/never-fear-the-wildcats-lines-will-reappear/

Chapter 73 Something to Prove: Sam Dow’s Return to the Q

Sam Dow was called up late because of injury woes to the Cats backend.

https://firstdownsportspodcast.com/2020/03/13/something-to-prove/

Chapter 74 A Very Sad Ending: The Season That Could Have Been

The Mural:

https://firstdownsportspodcast.com/2020/03/24/the-mural/

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