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Bolts in the Pipeline: Bokondji Imama and Mathieu Joseph win the QMJHL Championship

Next stop: Windsor and the Memorial Cup

David Connell/Saint John Sea Dogs

Matthew Joseph & Bokondji Imama were the Tampa Bay Lightning prospects playing for the Saint John Sea Dogs as they took on the Blainsville-Broisband Armada in the QMJHL Finals. The Sea Dogs were chasing their third President Cup trophy in franchise history. The Armada came into this series as a team not many picked to go all the way, based on the opponents they had to beat.

The series only had one close game, when the Sea Dogs shut out the Armada 2-0, otherwise it was all Sea Dogs. Bokondji Imama finished the series with 1 goals and 1 assist, while Mathieu Joseph had 10 points in the 4 games, with 2 goals and 8 assists.

The Sea Dogs will represent Eastern Canada and the QMJHL in the 99th Memorial Cup Tournament, to determine the national junior championship.

May 5 - Home - W 6-3
Joseph: 1G, 2A, -1
Imama: No Points

The Sea Dogs got an advantage early in game one when Blainsville’s Antoine Crête-Belzile took a double minor for high sticking that led to the first goal of the finals just five minutes into the game. From the Sea Dogs:

Saint John opened the scoring five minutes into the game with a power play goal.

Joseph took a feed in the high slot, turned and fired a pass toward the net that was redirected by Gauthier past goalie Samuel Montembeault’s left leg.

Highmore made it 2-0 two minutes later with a shorthanded strike.

The overage centre pounced on a turnover at the middle of the Sea Dogs’ blueline and broke away, beating Montembeault with a wrist shot over his blocker.

Melancon’s first of the game cut the Saint John lead in half.

May 6 - Home - W 4-0
Joseph: 1G, 1A, +1
Imama: 0G, 1A, +1

A flurry of goals in the final seconds of the first period put this game away for the Sea Dogs, as the Armada were unable to get any past Callum Booth this game. The series heads to the Montreal suburbs for the next two games. From the Sea Dogs:

Saint John opened the scoring with 37 seconds left in the first period.

Bokondji Imama had the puck on the left side of the neutral zone and saw Gauthier open on the right wing. Gauthier whistled a heavy wrist shot over the left shoulder of Armada goalie Samuel Montembeault.

Joseph doubled the lead on the next shift, just 17 seconds later.

Smallman took a pass near the left side of the blueline, and then found Joseph streaking into the middle. The Tampa Bay Lightning prospect ripped a quick wrist shot past Montembeault’s glove.

May 9 - Away - W 2-0
Joseph: 0G, 1A, +1
Imama: No Points

The Sea Dogs were out shot by the Armada but held fast the the great goal tending of Callum Booth to keep BB off the scoreboard. From the Sea Dogs:

With under ten minutes, Saint John defenceman Thomas Chabot took a pass on the left side of the slot and rifled a wrist shot past the glove of goalie Samuel Montembeault, but wide of the net.

Kyle Ward also fired a quick wrist shot from the front of the crease that went off the goaltender’s forearm and missed the goal.

The Armada thought they had scored with about two minutes left in the period when the puck was played to the side of the Saint John goal. Booth had it covered with his left leg, but the leg and puck were pushed across the goal line. The potential score was immediately waived off by the referee in the Saint John zone.

May 10 - Away - W 5-1
Joseph: 0G, 4A, +2
Imama: 1G, 0A, +1

Callum Booth stopped 20 of 21 shots, Mathieu Joseph set up four goals, and Bokondji Imama opened the scoring as the Saint John Sea Dogs swept the Armada and captured their third President Cup on the fifth anniversary of their 2012 championship. From the SeaDogs:

The Saint John Sea Dogs have won the 2017 QMJHL President Cup after a 5-1 victory over the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada in Game 4, Wednesday at Centre d’Excellence Sports Rousseau.

Spencer Smallman scored twice for Saint John while Bokondji Imama, Simon Bourque and Matthew Highmore added one each. Mathieu Joseph chipped in with four assists.

Pierre-Luc Dubois scored the lone goal for the Armada.

Saint John defenceman Thomas Chabot was named the most valuable player of the playoffs.


The 99th Memorial Cup Tournament takes place in Windsor, Ontario May 19-28. The Sea Dogs schedule is as follows:

Round-Robin Game 1 – Saint John vs. Windsor on Friday May 19 at 7:00 pm
Round-Robin Game 4 – Erie/Mississauga vs. Saint John on Monday May 22 at 7:00 pm
Round-Robin Game 5 – Regina/Seattle vs. Saint John on Tuesday May 23 at 7:00 pm
Tie-Breaker (if necessary) – Thursday May 25 at 7:00 pm
Semi-Final – Friday May 26 at 7:00 pm
Championship Final – Sunday May 28 at 7:00pm