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Quick Hits: Desnoyers, NCAA Prospect Updates, TIFH

October 24, 2020, 8:16 AM ET [48 Comments]
Bill Meltzer
Philadelphia Flyers Blogger •NHL.com • RSSArchiveCONTACT
Quick Hits: October 24, 2020

1) QMJHL: Flyers 2020 fifth-round pick Elliot Desnoyers notched late first period and early third period assists to help stake the Halifax Mooseheads to a 3-2 lead over the host Cape Breton Eagles on Friday night. However, the home side stormed back to defeat the Mooseheads by a 5-3 score. The same two teams will rematch in Cape Breton on Saturday evening (6 p.m. ET).

Desnoyers' second assist came on the type of play that one of the strongest areas of his game. A Cape Breton defenseman passed the puck up the boards on the left side to a forward in an attempted clear or breakout. Desnoyers simply outworked his opponent and took the puck off away. Desnoyers then cut inside and passed to Zachary L'Heureux, who ultimately scored on a backhander from the right slot. The first assist was a secondary helper on a scramble around the net. For the season, Desnoyers now has eight points (2G, 6A) in seven games; an early hopeful sign that the Flyers' projection that the defensively sound Desnoyers could produce more offense now that he's on a new team in an elevated role in the lineup.

Currently, the Maritimes-Division teams are the only competing clubs in the QMJHL. The Quebec-based teams have been on "pause" from regular-season play since Oct. 14 because of a recent spike in COVID-19 cases across the province. The suspension of all games for the East Division and West Division teams will remain in effect until at least Oct. 28.

The QMJHL regular season started on Oct. 2. Subsequently, there were two widespread coronavirus outbreaks on West Divisionteams. The Blainville-Boisbriand Armada soon learned of 18 positive tests on the team. Shortly after the Sherbrook Phoenix played the Armada in back-to-back games on the first weekend of the season, the Phoenix had eight positive COVID-19 tests. Both teams had to suspend all activities with all players, coaches and club personnel with potential exposures going into quarantine.

More recently, the Drummondville Voltigeurs had a single positive test. That team also had to suspend practices and team activities, with players, coaches and staff being tested for coronvirus and quarantining.

2) On a similar note, the Boston Unversity men's hockey program, featuring Flyers 2018 first-round pick Jay O'Brien is currently on a voluntary one-week pause of all team activities. There have not been any reported positive tests on the team itself, but there has been a spike in on-campus cases. Meanwhile, last week, Yale University, featuring Flyers draftee Jack St. Ivany, had 18 positive cases on its men's hockey team.

Across the NCAA, the outlook for beginning the 2020-21 season is uncertain. Some conferences have targeted "circa" dates to get going, while others are still in wait-and-see mode.

The ECAC (Yale's conference) and Hockey East (which includes Boston University) have yet to make any formal scheduling announcements. The Big 10, featuring Cam York's University of Michigan team, has a circa date of Nov. 13 but no actual schedule has been set yet. Flyers 2019 seventh-round pick Bryce Brodzinski's University of Minnesota team is also a Big 10 club.

The NCHC, which is the conference in which Bobby Brink's University of Denver team, Noah Cates' University in Minnesota Duluth, Ronnie Attard's Western Michigan team and Gavin Hain's University of North Dakota team all play, announced a 26-game schedule with a "mini-bubble" setup in Omaha with all games to be played between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Unfortunately, that announcement was made prior to the revelation of a sharp recent increase of coronavirus cases in Nebraska. This rise in cases has cast some doubt on the viability of the conference's plan.

3) Today in Flyers History: Oct. 24, 1999

Flyers goaltender John Vanbiesbrouck recorded his third consecutive shutout; leaguewide, only of only three goalies to accomplish that feat in the 1990s. Vanbiesbrouck would ultimately set a Flyers franchise record with 227 minutes and 40 seconds of shutout hockey across parts of five games (Oct. 17, 1999 to Oct. 26). Vanbiesbrouck's record would subsequently be broken by Ilya Bryzgalov's 249:43 streak in March 2012.
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