Alexandria’s Kieran Craig is back home with his family now, as COVID-19 concerns have forced a pause in the QMJHL season.
The 19-year-old forward is in his second campaign with the Gatineau Olympiques. At the stoppage in play, Craig had 48 points (22 goals, 26 assists) in 64 games. Among his tallies, he’s notched 6 game-winning goals.
While he’s having a great season, his team is mired in the basement of the Western Conference, on a record of 22 wins, 37 regulation time losses, and 5 overtime defeats. The Olympiques had four regular-season games remaining in their schedule.
Avec les chances très minimes de revoir la saison de la LHJMQ recommencer.. Partisans des @LesOlympiques, qui est votre joueur de l'année?
On the season disruption, Craig tells me, “we are pretty much staying home and trying to be safe. What I’ve been told is that the team will update us as soon as they have heard something regarding our season.”
Gatineau’s last game, on March 8, went into the books as a 5-4 shootout win over Blainville-Boisbriand. Craig contributed 2 assists and notched the shootout winner.
The official notice of suspension of league play came down March 12 from the Canadian Hockey League, the body that oversees major junior hockey in Canada.
“The Canadian Hockey League and its three regional leagues, the Ontario Hockey League, Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, and Western Hockey League, take the health and safety of our players, fans, volunteers, staff, and general public very seriously. CHL President Dan MacKenzie with Commissioners David Branch, Gilles Courteau, and Ron Robison have been monitoring the situation in regards to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) including what local, provincial, and federal health agencies have recommended. Following consultation with medical professionals and meetings today among the CHL Executive Council, and regional league Board of Governors, the CHL announces that the balance of the 2019-20 season and all hockey activity shall be paused immediately until further notice.”
The Atlantic Pub in Alexandria was packed Thursday night, as supporters of hometown boy Kieran Craig gathered for a special evening to watch his Gatineau Olympiques play the Halifax Mooseheads.
Organized by JF Plante, sports reporter for Le Droit, the gathering included family members and friends of Craig, an 18-year-old forward in his second season playing in the QMJHL.
Fans cheered each time the Olympiques scored (three times in all), but sadly, in the end, the Mooseheads prevailed, winning 4-3 in overtime. Craig didn’t pick up a point in his team’s loss and was a -1.
For Gatineau, it was the team’s second straight loss on their Atlantic Canada swing, coming off a 10-6 defeat by the Saint John Sea Dogs on Wednesday night. The Olympiques are scheduled to conclude their road trip on January 25 in Cape Breton, before heading home to host Drummondville on January 31.
One lucky attendee at the Thursday night event won an official Kieran Craig Gatineau Olympiques jersey. Representatives of team ownership were on hand, along with Plante.
Craig’s dad, Kevin, was thrilled with the turnout. He says he gets to see his son play live at least once a week, travelling to take in games in Gatineau and nearby road trip destinations.
Alexandria’s Kieran Craig, a forward with the Gatineau Olympiques of the QMJHL, will be celebrated at a gathering Thursday, January 23, at the Atlantic Hotel Pub, as fans get together to watch the 18-year-old and his teammates take on the Halifax Mooseheads.
The brainchild of Le Droit sports reporter JF Plante, the evening came about as part of an online poll which asked Eastern Ontario fans in which community they would like to see an evening held to watch a game live on big-screen televisions.
Alexandria won handily.
On the season, Craig has played in 44 games, notching 13 goals and 15 assists, to go along with 43 penalty minutes. He’s had 95 shots on goal and is a -3 on a team that is eighth in the Western Conference, with a record of 16-25-3.
When the Olympiques last played the Mooseheads, on January 19, Gatineau prevailed 8-3. The team then began its Atlantic swing, which opened with a 10-6 loss to the Saint John Sea Dogs on Wednesday night.
Halifax is ninth in the Eastern Conference, sporting a record of 17-23-2-1.
The January 23 gathering in Alexandria will begin at 6 p.m.
Craig says, of his season to date, “Things are good.” When asked about the event organized in his honour, he adds, “I found the event was cool that they would like to watch the game in the town that I grew up with people I know! It’s pretty cool!”
Kieran Craig a compté son 13e de la saison contre les #mooseheads. Les quelque 70 fans des #olympiques voudront qu'il fasse la même chose jeudi prochain pendant #HockeyNightInAlexandria au Atlantic Pub and Eatery! Un partisan chanceux va gagner son chandail.
Alexandria’s Kieran Craig recently marked his 100th career QMJHL game as a member of the Gatineau Olympiques.
In the January 3 game versus the Shawinigan Cataractes, the 18-year-old left winger chalked up a pair of assists and engaged in some fisticuffs, falling a goal short of a Gordie Howe hat trick. (He made up for that the next night, scoring against the Quebec Remparts.)
On the season, has 24 points in 39 games with the Olympiques, along with 30 penalty minutes.
Unfortunately, his team languishes at the bottom of the Western Conference Standings, with a record of 12 wins, 24 regulation losses, and 3 overtime losses.
The Olympiques had a four-game win streak snapped Sunday, with a 3-2 loss to the Remparts.