Busy schedule for Kulikov

RYAN PYETTE, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 6:50 PM ET

Should the Drummondville Voltigeurs win the Memorial Cup Sunday, highly-rated defenceman Dmitry Kulikov wont have a lot of time to party.

The 18-year-old Russian is ranked 11th among North American-based skaters for next months NHL draft. He is scheduled to report to the leagues combine right away in Toronto.

If we win the Cup, Ill have one day off to rest, the six-foot-one, 195-pounder said. Im not worried (about the combine). Im trying to let my play here speak for itself.

The combine tests the players physical and mental limits. Many of the eligible top picks are working with trainers to prepare.

If I have a chance to work out, Ill do it, Kulikov said, but if I have to rest for the game, thats more important.

Rimouski head coach Clement Jodoin confirmed yesterday 20-year-old defenceman Maxime Ouimet has been diagnosed with mononucleosis and is out of the tournament without playing a game.

Heres a kid who played (four) years in the league (QMJHL) and finally gets the chance to play in a Memorial Cup, the opportunity of a lifetime, and isnt allowed to, Jodoin said. I told the other 20 players, He doesnt get this chance but you do. Make something out of it.

The day after beating Windsor in overtime, Drummondville head coach Guy Boucher lost his voice.

He chalked it up to a strep throat he said ravaged his club during the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League final.

I was the second one to get it and I mustve been the idiot who gave it to everybody else, he managed to say with a smile.

The Voltigeurs play at home in the cozy Marcel Dionne Centre, where the sound is often deafening. Add in the screeching horns many Volts fans have brought along (theyre outlawed in some Quebec league rinks but not Rimouski) and its an ear-ringer.

In our rink, there are times the player Im standing directly behind cant even hear what Im saying to him, said Boucher, an Oceanic assistant when Sidney Crosby and Rimouski played at the 2005 Memorial Cup in London.

AROUND TOWN

Bloc Quebecois leader Gilles Duceppe will be at the Rimouski Colisee tomorrow night to take part in the Memorial Cup festivities.

The game he will attend is the only one on the schedule not featuring a Quebec team OHL champ Windsor against Western league winner Kelowna.

Hell accompany Bloc politician Claude Guimond, MP of the Rimouski-Neigette-Temiscouata-Les Basques federal riding.


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