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Wednesday , 18 May 2022
Nicolas Beaudoin during an intermission interview back in November.

Canadiens start playoff push as Beaudoin wins Rookie of the Year

The St. Paul Canadiens playoff push begins tonight. 

Fresh off of a first-round bye thanks to a 24-7-3 regular season record, the Canadiens will host the Killam Wheat Kings in the NEAJBHL semi-final. 

During the season-series, the Canadiens took four of six matchups against the 3rd place Wheat Kings. 

The team is hopeful for a chance to contend for the league championship, thanks to a deep lineup that also features Nicolas Beaudoin – who was named NEAJBHL Rookie of the Year. 

He said he was as surprised as anyone to get the honour. 

“When I heard about it, I was just playing board games with my brothers. And I got a congratulations from a teammate. And, man, I was surprised, and very honoured obviously to receive this award,” said Beaudoin. 

“But I couldn’t have done it without the help of many important people this year, including my teammates and coaches at both the Junior B and Junior A levels. I appreciate their support very much. They have driven me to strive to get better every single day,” he said. 

Beaudoin started the season with the Bonnyville Jr. A Pontiacs and amassed 17 games as an affiliate, while suiting up for 24 games with the Canadiens. Overall, he scored 16 goals and 21 assists to finish third in team scoring behind Kurtis Labant (42 points) and William Chemago (39 points). 

“I mean, having a first round bye has been nice for us because it’s allowed our team to get fully healthy. And obviously, we’re all itching for the first game. We’re pumped,” said Beaudoin. 

“We’ve had a very strong second half. I think we’ve figured things out. We’re all really focused right now and we are prepared.” 

The team has also been buoyed by the return of netminder Bradley Mistol. Since returning in mid-January, the big goaltender has gone 4-1-1. 

“Killam is a hardworking team. They put pucks deep and forecheck hard, they play physical with a shoot first mentality. But when we do well against Killam we pressure their defense really hard. We keep them in their end. And when we do that we dominate kill them. So we just got to focus on setting the tone and playing our game,” he said. 

The Canadiens will host Game 1 on Thursday night at 8:00pm. On Saturday, the action resumes for Game 2 at the Clancy Richard Arena. 

On the road for Game 3 and 4 on Monday and Wednesday, the Canadiens will host Game 5 (if necessary) next Friday and Game 7 (if necessary) on Tuesday, March 8. 

In the league’s other semifinal matchup, the Vermilion Tigers head to Wainwright to tee off their second round series on Friday night.

About Michael Menzies

Menzies is the editor-at-large for Connected Media Inc. Born and raised in Vermilion, he started in May 2018 during his NAIT Radio and Television practicum and reports on local politics, sports, and community issues. He became the Bonnyville Pontiacs play-by-play voice during the 2019-20 season. He also comments on provincial and national issues. Menzies hosts Connected! Evening Monday-Thursday at 5 o’clock. He also likes to buy books and read some of them.