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Bourque aims to lead Shawinigan to the title of the Memorial Cup before heading to NHL.

Shawinigan Catalysts captain and his criminal partner Xavier Bourgault were too many to deal with their opponents in the 2022 Memorial Cup

Mavrik Bourque (22) of the Shawinigan Cataractes scores against the Hamilton Bulldogs at the 2022 Memorial Cup on June 23, 2022, at Harbour Station in Saint John, NB.
Shawinigan Catalysts Mavrik Bourque (22) was Hamilton at the 2022 Memorial Cup on June 23, 2022. I played against the Bulldog. At the harbor station in St. John, NB. Photo: Vincent Ethier /CHL

SAINT JOHN, N.B. — Mavrik Bourque is next Before jumping to the NHL this season, we're squeezing most of last year's junior hockey.

Shawinigan Catalysts captain and criminal partner Xavier Bourgault have so far been too many to deal with their opponents at the 2022 Memorial Cup.

Two NHL First Round Draft topics have Catalact defeated WHL Champion Edmonton Oil Kings and OHL Champion Hamilton Bulldogs in the next round of the four-team tournament.

20-year-old Bourque scored goals and 5 points, and Bourgault scored 2 goals and 5 points in two games.

"Amazing. We came to Shawinigan at the age of 16, but we didn't know each other very well. Then we came together," says Burke. .. "This year we had a great year together. We've been playing together since we were 17 and have developed chemistry. It's been three years since we played with him. , It's fun to play with such a great hockey player. ”

2020 NHL Entry Draft first round pick of the Dallas Stars – 30 overall –, Bourque was an early front runner in the Tournament MVP. He and the bulldog tore the bulldog on Thursday, and the two won 3-2 to score 6 points.

Catalactes concludes the round-robin with host St. John Sea Dogs on Saturday, and the winner advances to the final on Wednesday.

"I always knew that Mavrick was a special player, but he also showed everyone that he was a special person. How he takes care of himself. , How he cares for the people around him, and how he guides the way, "said Pascal Dupuis, assistant coach of Catalactes. "He's a special player and a special person. He came as a young captain. Leadership and the ability to be a captain aren't born, they're learned in the process. Around him, There were some good people to support him and take care of him as a great captain now. "

Plessisville, Que. Bourque, a product of Bourque, was about to break the star roster in September, but was sent back in the final year of Junior instead. He finished the season with 30 goals and 68 points in 31 games and fought two injuries this season on the other side of the stint with the Canadian World Junior Team.

"He's the kind of person who wants to learn every day," Dupuis said. "He knows who he is and what player he is. He is confident in his abilities, but he wants more. He wants more, We'll see what the future brings to him, but these guys are usually very successful at the next level. "

Time with Burke's star this season After passing all the training camps and pre-seasons, it was returned and useful for returning to Shawinigan. Cataractes was not considered a QMJHL title candidate for the season, but with Bourque and Bourgault, the team continued to improve as the turbulent season of COVID-19 progressed.

“You can learn a lot by looking at the pros and practicing with them,” says Bourque. "You take notes from (Tyler) Segin and (Jamie) Ben and those guys and see how they prepare.

" Then it (NHL) is so far away. I feel confident because I don't have it. I really enjoyed being there. You feel so young and very close that I dream of playing in the NHL. I'm the whole training camp It gave me a lot of confidence when I returned to this year with Juniors as I experienced and almost broke the roster. ”

Canceled 4 days after the tournament due to the outbreak of COVID-19. A shoulder injury in front of the World Junior Championships — and another injury in February limited Bourque to 31 games. However, he was healthy in the playoffs and scored 9 goals and 25 points by the time he was nominated for the QMJHL Playoffs MVP and awarded the Guy Lafleur Trophy.

"I played a lot of hockey this year, but I had to deal with my injuries," Burke said. "It wasn't easy, but even when I wasn't playing, I was still exercising and I was sure I was ready when I was able to come back. It was hard for me, but I think I've grown as a player and as a person, and I feel good now. "

Burke will be back in Edmonton in August. It is uncertain whether or not to participate in the scheduled World Junior Tournament. His current focus is on the Memorial Cup, where Shawinigan is two wins away from the title. But he is expected to fight for a roster spot with the star.

"Last year we were about to make a roster and it's going to be the New Year," Burke said. "I don't have much time to exercise, and when I go to World Junior, I probably only have four weeks to exercise. If I want to break the roster, I don't think it's the best for me, but it's probably in the form of a game. , You'll be ready. That's my goal to play in the NHL next year. "

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