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1973-74 Sorel Black Hawks: An Offensive Explosion in Quebec Hockey

The 1973-74 Sorel Black Hawks scored an amazing 8.9 goals per game over the 70 game Quebec Major Junior Hockey League season. The numbers the team's players put up that season are simply unheard of in today's hockey.

1973-74 was the fifth season of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. The top six point getters in the league came from two teams, the Sorel Black Hawks (Eperviers) and the Quebec Remparts. In a season where defence was seemingly left at home, the sixth place player had 194 points.

The 1973-74 Sorel Black Hawks averaged 8.9 goals per game over the 70 game QMJHL schedule. The team had three players with over 90 goals, three players with over 200 points, six players with over 50 goals and seven with more than 100 points. Team leader Pierre Larouche had 157 assists, a QMJHL and CHL record that stands today.

Larouche finished with 94 goals and 157 assists for 251 points. This explosion caught the eye of the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins and they selected Pierre eighth overall in the 1974 NHL Amateur Draft. Larouche was also selected by the Houston Aeros in the second round of the WHA amateur draft but chose to go the NHL route. Pierre played over 800 regular season NHL games between 1974-75 to 1987-88 with the Penguins, Montreal Canadiens, Hartford Whalers and New York Rangers. In the NHL, Larouche surpassed 50 goals in a season twice and topped 100 points once.

Michel Deziel finished second in the league and second on the Black Hawks with 92 goals and 135 assists for 227 points. Deziel was selected by the Buffalo Sabres in the third round of the 1974 NHL draft, 47th overall. He was also chosen by the WHA’s New England Whalers the same year. Michel played one NHL game during his career, a playoff game with the Buffalo Sabres furing the 1974-75 season.

Jacques Cossette finished third on Sorel in scoring and fourth in the QMJHL. His 97 goals and 117 assists for 214 points topped his 61 and 66 for 127 the year before. Despite all the scoring, Cossette found time to spend 217 minutes in the penalty box during the 1973-74 season. Like Larouche, Jacques was chosen by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 1974 NHL draft. Cossette was also a pick of the WHA’s Vancouver Blazers but he chose to join his junior teammate in the NHL. Jacques appeared in a total of 64 NHL games over three seasons from 1975-76 to 1978-79. In those 64 games, Cossette mustered just eight goals.

Michel Bergeron finished fourth on the Black Hawks but his 143 points weren’t enough to get him in the league’s top ten. Bergeron was selected in the later rounds of both the NHL and WHA drafts in 1974. The NHL’s Detroit Red Wings and the WHA’s Quebec Nordiques both chose Michel but he chose to play in the NHL. His NHL career totalled 229 games from 1974-75 to 1978-79. He wore the NHL jerseys of the Red Wings, New York Islanders and Washington Capitals.

Firmin Royer finished eight points behind Bergeron. Royer ‘only’ scored 47 goals in addition to his 88 assists. Firmin went undrafted by an NHL team in 1974 but was picked up by the San Diego Mariners late in the WHA draft, 182nd overall in the eleventh round. He would play just three games in the NAHL, the WHA’s farm league, the following season before disappearing off the hockey map.

Pierre Mondou scored 62 goals and totalled 119 points in 1973-74, his second of three seasons in the QMJHL. Mondou was all Quebec in the 1975 drafts going 15th overall to the NHL’s Montreal Canadiens and 14th overall to the WHA’s Quebec Nordiques. Mondou chose Montreal and ended up playing eight seasons with the club, three in which they won the Stanley Cup.

Serge Gamelin tied Pierre Mondou in points with 53 goals and 66 assists. 1973-74 was Gamelin’s final season in the QMJHL. In the 1974 NHL Amateur Draft, Serge was chosen by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the eleventh round, 181st overall. He was also chosen in the WHA Amateur Draft by the Cleveland Crusaders in the tenth round, 143rd overall. Gamelin did not play a professional game after his final season in Sorel.

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