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?
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.
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.
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.
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?
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?
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.
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?
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.
Chapter 48 Liam Leonard Provide Grit and Skill
Newfoundland’s Liam Leonard was a critical piece of the puzzle for the Cats.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Chapter 59 Jeremy McKenna’s True Value On and Off the Ice
The Summerside Sniper’s return changed everything.
Chapter 60 A Moment in Time: The Man Between the Benches
Daniel St Louis is the best in the business!
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.
Chapter 62 One Opportunity Philippe Daoust Continued to Excel!
Chapter 63 So How Do You Beat the Moncton Wildcats?
The Cats were soaring, but they still had a few holes in their game.
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.
Chapter 65 Just Another Game or a Measuring Stick Game?
The most anticipated game of the season ended in dramatic fashion!
Chapter 66 Ryan Salvis Shutdown #87: Shadow Company
Wildcats Asst. Coach Ryan Salvis turned in a dominant performance when it matter most!
Chapter 67 QMJHL Playoff Preview
The playoffs were fast approaching, sadly we will never know how they would have played out.
Chapter 68 Tristan DeJong Coming Into His Own
DeJong continued to excel as the season went on.
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
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.
Chapter 71 Brother’s Forever
The interaction between former teammates and lifelong friends after QMJHL games has always intrigued me.
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?
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.
Chapter 74 A Very Sad Ending: The Season That Could Have Been