SAINT-JEAN, N.-B. Led by Captain Mavrik Bourque, Shawinigan Cataractes became the first team to guarantee their participation in at least one of the Memorial Cup semi-finals.
Burke scored a goal and two assists, Olivier Nadeau scored in a third-half powerhouse match, defeating QMJHL champion Hamilton Bulldogs 3-2 on Thursday at TD Station.
Ranked as a non-favourites before the tournament, Waterfall (2-0-0-0) takes first place in the standings with six points, ahead of St John C. Dogs (1-0-1-0, 4 points), Edmonton Oil. Kings (0-1-0-1, 2 points) and Bulldogs (0-0-0-2, 0 points).
“I’ve said it before, but we believe in ourselves,” Burke said. We are here to enjoy. We have a nice gang of guys. And when we’re on the ice, we’re doing our job. »
Saturday’s duel between the Waterfall and the Sea Dogs will determine which team will advance directly to the final on Wednesday. The loser will go into the semi-finals on Monday against the Oil Kings or the Bulldogs, who meet on Friday.
“The players are giving inspiring performances and are committed to their teammates and the team in a certain way of playing,” said assistant coach Pascal Dubuis. It is a cohesive group. »
Xavier Borgolt was also a goal and two assists for the cataracts. Antoine Colombi stopped 38 shots in his first appearance in the tournament.
“Of course there is competition between goalkeepers, but” Lavie “(Charles-Antoine Lavalle) has a good relationship, confirmed Colombian. He made me feel bad for not starting the tournament. I wanted to turn back tonight.”
On the Bulldogs’ side, OHL champions Mason McTavish and Avery Hayes moved the ropes. Marco Costantini made 31 saves.
The cataract power game has made its mark, hitting three goals on seven chances.
“There were some decisions in the third period, in the 2-2 game, which I didn’t really like, especially the ones that led to the game-winning goal,” Bulldogs coach Jay McKee admitted. But this is hockey.
“They played really well in the power game. Although we studied them on video, their execution was great. […] But we cannot be discouraged. I loved our efforts. »
It was the Bulldogs who dictated the match early in the game, firing 11 of their first 12 shots on target.
They took the opportunity to take the lead at 5:08, during a two-person power game. McTavish hit the house with a good one-time shot.
The Cataract quickly turned things around by hitting it twice on a power game. Borgault first took advantage of a perfect pass from Burke to tie the match at 6:47.
Burke then gave the Cataracts the lead at 11:42, three seconds into the two-man power game. The Dallas Stars prospect unleashed a powerful one-timer that gave Costantini no chance.
Meanwhile, a Colombian was lucky when a bullet from Jean Messac jumped into the air after hitting his shoulder. The disc fell behind him, but into his underpants. Thus a goal was denied the hope of the Montreal Canadiens.
“I felt it (the puck) and knew I had to get away from the line,” said Colombi, who was rescued by having the back of his shirt tucked into his pants.
“I never fasten my belt. I am fine,” he added, tongue in cheek.
The second period was less lively, but the Bulldogs nonetheless tied with 2:32 left. Artem Grushnikov fired a long shot from the point, but the disc veered off Hayes’ blade and Coulombe was unable to adapt at the last moment to save the ball.
The Cataractes responded after 25 seconds, but the goal was quickly disallowed as Daniel Agostino reached out to the Bulldogs goalkeeper.
It was just a delay, as the cataract play started again early in the third period. Nadeau completed a perfect pass match started by Boergolt and Burke at 7:06, giving Morrissey a 3-2 lead.
Columbian and the Waterfall defense were able to shut the door to the Bulldog afterwards.
The numerical advantage of cataracts made the difference
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