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Road to the 2022 TELUS Cup: Moncton Flyers

Winners of 15 in a row and 22 of 23 dating back to the regular season, the Atlantic Region champions are coming to Okotoks flying high

Bernadette Larose
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May 9, 2022
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No team is coming to the TELUS Cup hotter than the Moncton Flyers.

Since coming back from a COVID-19 shutdown that lasted almost two months from mid-December to early February, the Flyers have lost just once in a run of 23 games that has included locking down first place in the New Brunswick/P.E.I. U18 Major Hockey League (NBPEIU18MHL), and winning provincial and regional championships.

Moncton has yet to lose in the playoffs – it swept the Northern Moose and Saint John Vitos to win the New Brunswick title, went perfect in the preliminary round at the Atlantic Regional in Paradise, N.L., and edged the Halifax Macs 2-1 to claim the Atlantic crown.

Going 55 days without game action in the middle of the season typically doesn’t bode well for a team, but it has worked pretty well for the Flyers.

“We just kept saying, ‘We need to continue working hard, we need to stay focused,’” head coach John DeCourcey says of the mindset during the break. “Even though we might have been down for a couple of weeks, or couldn't go to the rink for a couple of weeks, we tried to keep that focus and we [wanted] to be ready when [we could play again].”

DeCourcey has leaned heavily on his veteran leaders, including six players who had their names called at the QMJHL Entry Draft – five of whom (Philippe Collette, Xavier Farrah, Preston Lounsbury, Jack Martin and Luke Patterson) saw Major Junior action throughout the season.

Patterson is the straw that stirs the drink for the Flyers. The Cape Breton Eagles prospect (59th overall) led the NBPEIU18MHL in scoring during the regular season, two points ahead of Collette, and added 12 goals in 12 playoff games, winning MVP honours at the Atlantic Regional.

He also wears the ‘C’ for the Flyers, something that comes from Patterson’s impact off the ice just as much as what he does on it.

“He was a 15-year-old on our team last year,” DeCourcey says. “He broke his collarbone in the playoffs, and he was in the [dressing] room even though he wasn't playing. [We] decided then he was going to be the captain if he was here [this season].”

Patterson might be the leader, but don’t sleep on the rest of the offence. Moncton iced five of the top six scorers in the NBPEIU18MHL, including Zachary Wheeler, who received ‘exceptional status’ to play as a 14-year-old this season, while defenceman Spencer Gill, who will likely hear his name called early in the 2022 QMJHL draft, made it six Flyers in the top 10.

Put it all together – the playoff win streak, the high-scoring offence, the shutdown defence (Moncton allowed less than two goals per game through the regular season and playoffs) – and the Flyers have a chance to make some noise in what will be their ninth appearance at Canada’s National Men’s U18 Club Championship.

Moncton opens its TELUS Cup schedule against the West Region champions, the Notre Dame Hounds, on May 16.

HOW THEY GOT TO OKOTOKS
New Brunswick/P.E.I. U18 Major Hockey League
New Brunswick semifinal: defeated Northern Moose 3-0 (2-1, 4-0, 7-5)
New Brunswick final: defeated Saint John Vitos 4-0 (3-2, 5-0, 3-2 OT, 2-0)

Atlantic Regional

Preliminary round: 4-0-0 – first place (defeated Charlottetown Knights 7-4, defeated East Coast Blizzard 7-0, defeated Halifax Macs 3-1, defeated Pinnacle Growlers 6-3)

Final: defeated Halifax Macs 2-1

REGULAR SEASON
Regular season record: 25-3-2 (1st in NBPEIU18MHL)
Goals for: 171 (1st in NBPEIU18MHL)
Goals against: 55 (1st in NBPEIU18MHL)
Longest winning streak: 7 (Sept. 24-Oct. 15; Oct. 22-Nov. 12; Feb. 5-March 12)
Top 3 scorers:

- Luke Patterson – 34G 18A 52P (1st in NBPEIU18MHL)

- Philippe Collette – 11G 39A 50P (2nd in NBPEIU18MHL)

- Preston Lounsbury – 23G 19A 42P (4th in NBPEIU18MHL)

PLAYOFFS
Playoff record: 12-0
Goals for: 51
Goals against: 19
Top 3 scorers:

- Luke Patterson – 12G 7A 19P

- Zachary Wheeler – 6G 8A 14P

- Philippe Collette – 6G 7A 13P

NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY
1977 – Moncton Flyers | fourth place | 4-2-1 | 24GF 19GA

1978 – Moncton Flyers | fifth place | 4-2-0 | 19GF 13GA

1979 – Moncton Flyers | ninth place | 1-3-1 | 15GF 21GA

1980 – Moncton Flyers | eighth place | 2-3-0 | 17GF 20GA

1986 – Moncton Flyers | fifth place | 1-4-0 | 24GF 34GA

2009 – Moncton Flyers | fifth place | 1-4-0 | 15GF 32GA

2012 – Moncton Flyers | fifth place | 1-3-1 | 17GF 22GA

2018 – Moncton Flyers | fifth place | 1-4-0 | 8GF 17GA

PLAYERS TO WATCH
LUKE PATTERSON
Two-way forward … playmaker with great up-ice vision … quick release shot

PRESTON LOUNSBURY
Puts up a lot of points … skilled puck possession … high hockey I.Q. ... creates offensive opportunities

QMJHL DRAFTED PLAYERS
Jack Martin – Halifax Mooseheads 2021 (3rd round, 55th overall)

Luke Patterson – Cape Breton Eagles 2021 (4th round, 59th overall)

Preston Lounsbury – Moncton Wildcats 2021 (4th round, 62nd overall)

Philippe Collette – Titan de Acadie-Bathurst 2021 (5th round, 81st overall)

Xavier Farrah – Cape Breton Eagles 2021 (6th round, 96th overall)

Jean-Philipp Boudreau – Remparts de Québec 2021 (11th round, 194th overall)

For more information:

Esther Madziya
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada

(403) 284-6484 

[email protected] 

Spencer Sharkey
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada

(403) 777-4567

[email protected]

Jeremy Knight
Manager, Corporate Communications
Hockey Canada

(647) 251-9738

[email protected]

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