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September 8, 2017

A SEASON THAT DIDN'T END WITH NATIONALS

Thirty years ago, a team brought home a national championship banner prior to the completion of conference playoffs.

From 1979-80 through 1987-88, only three of nine teams at CCAA National Championships from Quebec's 'AAA' College League were conference champions in the same season. Unlike other provinces, Quebec determined their conference champion after nationals.

The 1985-86 CCAA bronze medalist Vulkins du Cégep de Victoriaville and the the 1985-86 Quebec champion Patriotes du Cégep de Saint-Laurent were engaged in a see-saw battle for top spot in the regular season. Though Victoriaville won more games than St-Laurent, the Patriotes edged the Vulkins by one point to place first. In the 40 game regular season, St-Laurent accumulated 53 points from 25 wins and three ties, while Victoriaville collected 52 points from 26 wins.

In the best of seven semi finals, St-Laurent swept St-Jérôme in four games (4-3, 4-2, 7-2, 7-3) while Victoriaville needed five games to eliminate Thetford Mines (6-5, 5-8, 10-4, 7-2, 5-2).

As a result of the first place finish in the regular season, the Gerard Gagnon coached Patriotes then headed to Camrose, Alberta for the CCAA National Hockey Championships. In round robin play, the Patriotes posted a 5-2 win over Cape Breton and dropped a 7-5 decision to the Camrose Lutheran College Vikings. In semi final action, the Patriotes doubled the NAIT Ooks 4-2. In the championship final, the Patriotes defeated the Humber College Hawks 4-1. It was St-Laurent's only podium finish in three appearances at nationals.

St-Laurent then returned to Montreal prior to facing Victoriaville in the best of seven conference final. The Vulkins won the series in five games (6-3, 9-2, 6-4, 3-6, 6-5).


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