The Gatineau Olympiques entered the first round of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League playoffs as the favorite in their opening round series against the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles. They made it look much easier than it should have been, and can thank Montreal Canadiens prospect Martin Reway for their dominant performance.
Reway was selected by the Montreal Canadiens in the fourth round of the 2013 NHL Draft, and finished second on the Olympiques in scoring with 62 points in 43 games.
Gatineau finished 8th overall in the QMJHL regular season, and had home ice advantage in the first round, but were facing the Screaming Eagles who were right behind them in the standings at 9th overall. A slight edge could be given to Reway’s Olympiques, but there really was not much separating these two teams in their first 68 games of the season.
Gatineau would storm out to a 1-0 series lead with a dominant 7-2 win in game one on home ice. Reway proved to be too much for the Eagles to handle, scoring a pair of goals and assisting on two more for four points in the opening game.
Game two ended up with a similar result, much to the delight of the hometown crowd in Gatineau. Reway did not find the back of the net himself in game two but set up three different teammates for goals, and brought his playoff total to seven points in just two games. Gatineau marched to a relaxing 8-2 win to take a 2-0 series lead.
Things were not supposed to be as easy for Gatineau in Sydney for game three, but they were. Once again the Olympiques filled their opponent’s net with pucks, and would cruise to a 3-0 series advantage with an impressive 7-2 victory on the road. Reway had his quietest game of the series, collecting just a pair of assists in the game.
Instead of letting up with a commanding three game lead in the series, the Olympiques threw another touchdown in game four, their fourth of the series, and claimed the sweet with a 7-1 win. Reway chipped in once again with a pair of goals, and would have at least two points in each of the four games in the opening round series.
It was a surprisingly dominant performance by the Gatineau Olympiques, and they were led by the line of Martin Reway, Simon Tardif-Richard and Vaclav Karabacek. The trio combined for 30 points in just four games and completely overwhelmed the Screaming Eagles throughout the series. Reway finished with a jaw dropping four goals, seven assists and eleven points in just four games, and will carry his team into the second round.
Things will get much tougher for Gatineau from here as they will begins round two on the road against one of the top four seeds in the league. Whether it is the Baie Comeau Drakkar, Halifax Mooseheads, Val d’Or Foreurs or Rimouski Oceanic, Gatineau will face a much better defensive team in the next round. They will have to rely on the Reway line to continue finding the back of the net if they are going to have any hope of moving on.