RIMOUSKI | With almost complete formation, the Océanic de Rimouski welcomes the Armada de Blainville-Boisbriand to the local season opener on Saturday and Sunday.
In recent days, Frédéric Brunet, Jacob Mathieu, Charles Côté and Patrik Hamrla have all returned from NHL camps after missing last weekend’s doubleheader in Baie-Comeau.
Forward Luka Verreault, 20, is also expected to be back in action after returning to training this week after suffering a concussion in a pre-season game against the Armada.
Only defender Luke Coughlin is on the long-term injury list.
“We will have the luxury of being able to beat healthy guys both offensively and defensively. It creates a lot of internal competition. A few guys seemed impressed with Baie-Comeau, and not just newbies. The players are coming back from pro camps with great experiences to share,” commented Océanic head coach Serge Beausoleil.
Never easy against the Armada
Serge Beausoleil expects solid resistance from the Armada.
“There is never a picnic against them. It’s a team that is always well prepared and plays with a lot of intensity. Duplicate routines are also increasingly difficult. We need to get back to the way we played, from which we moved a bit at Baie-Comeau. Our decision-making with the puck needs to get better,” analyzed the Rimouski team driver, who expects some players to give more.
The Océanic can count on the return of their best defender Frédéric Brunet, who has returned enthusiastic from attending Boston Bruins camp.
“I had the chance to play all three games in the rookie tournament and I did well enough to be invited to the big camp. It was pretty impressive to take part in exercises with a guy like David Pastrnak. They liked my offensive play and asked me to see both sides of the ice because that’s what you need to have a career. I found it difficult to watch the Océanic suffer two casualties at Baie-Comeau. I can’t wait to start my season with the Oceanic. I’m ready for this important weekend for the team and our fans,” said the Bruins’ fifth-round pick in 2022.
The Océanic organization invites fans to show up for the opening festival at the Colisée Financière Sun Life on Saturday and Sunday from midday, with entertainment and musical performances.