February 15, 2019

Lajeunesse in AUS semis

Troy Lajeunesse, of Dokis First Nation, and his University of Prince Edward Island Panthers began their playoff run against the Moncton Aigles Bleus last week.

UPEI beat the Bleus 3-2 in overtime for a Valentines Day win and then won 4-0 Saturday to advance to the best-of-five semifinals against the University of New Brunswick with the first game scheduled Thursday, Feb. 21 and second Feb. 22.

The Panthers haven't seen the Atlantic University Sports post-season since 2014.

Lajeunesse, who played for Sarnia, Sudbury and Erie over four years of OHL competition, scored six times on 49 shots with eight assists giving him 14 points in his first 29 games with the Panthers. He has a plus-5 rating at left wing.

During the Christmas break while home for a visit, he said the league is a big step up from major junior and there were some bumps and bruises to start as he got used to the physicality.

Also on the team are two Indigenous friends of Lajeuenesse, Owen Headrick, of Garden River First Nation, and Doug Blaisdell, of Dearborn Heights, Michigan. Both are blueliners with Headrick and Blaisdell also rookies, although Headrick is in his third year of eligibility as he has two year's of NCAA hockey under his belt.

Headrick, who has registered five goals and 17 assists in 28 games, including two power-play markers and a game-winner, skated with Lajeuenesse in Erie and were acquainted long before while Blaisdell, four goals and 11 assists in 30 games, was with Sudbury at the same time the Dokis FN talent was with the Wolves in 2017-18.

Headrick and Blaisdell, by the way, each had assists in the OT winner to kick off their playoffs.


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