He scored one of the goals, if not the most important goal in the 27-year history of the Océanic. Michaël Joly’s name is synonymous with a very happy time spent at Colisée Financière Sun Life.
It takes place on a Monday evening in May 2015, the 18th more precisely. It’s the 7e, and decisive game, of the final series of the QMJHL between the Remparts and the Océanic which, the day before in Quebec, had provoked an ultimate game with a 5-4 victory, in overtime, after a comeback of four goals without riposte.
On Monday, the two clubs are again in extra time with a 1-1 tie. Officials call a minor penalty to Matt Murphy for tripping, which is still talking in Quebec. On the power play, Joly grabs a loose puck in the slot and beats goaltender Zachary Fucale to give the Océanic a third President Cup in history.
“I have very fond memories of my years in Rimouski. I try to go back every summer. Without a doubt, my fondest memory is my goal in the second overtime against Quebec,” explains Joly.
He was in Rimouski on the weekend, the time to see his boarding family again. He then headed to New Brunswick where he went to visit his former agent, now retired, before returning to Rimouski later this week. He spends his summers in Gatineau, where he grew up, where he bought a house.
Joly had been a late pick of 9e round by the Océanic in 2012. He will have played three and a half seasons in Rimouski, being traded in the middle of his 20-year season to the Cape Breton Eagles. He scored 44 goals in his 18 year with the Océanic and 47 at 20.
It was then five seasons in the American League and in the East Coast League, mainly in the organization of the Colorado Avalanche and the Pittsburgh Penguins.
“These were good years, even if it was not always easy to go up and down, from one league to another. I was able to be stable for two seasons with Colorado, in the American League, where it went really well, until the forced shutdown due to COVID in the spring of 2020. After that, I took a step back. I found myself in the Penguins organization, in Wheeling. I was recalled by Wilkes-Barre, but there was a misunderstanding which meant that I played little. I returned to Wheeling who finally traded me to a better team, in Orlando, at the end of the season, ”he says.
Off to Finland
He then made the decision, a year ago, to try the European adventure, in Finland, with the Hämeenlinna team which plays in the first division. One of his teammates is Philippe Cornet, another former Océanic.
“I thought it was time to try Europe. It’s big hockey in Finland, it skates a lot and the style of play is perfect for me. I have often been told that my style of play is more for big ice in Europe where I could be successful. I finished my first season at 4e ranking of the league’s leading scorers (21-29-50 record in 58 games). I signed a new one-year deal with the team. We will see later, my goal is still to play in the National League. »
Butcher and Beausoleil
In his development as a hockey player, Michaël Joly, now 27, remembers two names in particular, Philippe Boucher and Serge Beausoleil.
“It was Philippe who drafted me in as managing director. He and Serge gave me my chance. In my first season they told me I was going to make the team like 13e attacker. I said okay, they quickly saw that I was a good player and it didn’t take long for me to make my mark. Philippe left after a year, but he was the one who came to get me. So he played a big role. Subsequently, Serge helped me a lot in my junior career. »
In closing, Joly says he has very fond memories of Rimouski, the city where his professional career began. In 180 regular season games with the Océanic, he posted a record of 95 goals and 78 assists for 173 points. Adding his Cape Breton production, his junior record is 128-108-216 in 219 games. In the playoffs, he’s 32-17-49 in 49 games.