SAINT JOHN, NB | It has almost become a routine for the Shawinigan Cataractes. As they did so often in the playoffs, Daniel Renaud’s men recovered from a disadvantage after two bouts to finally defeat the Edmonton Oil Kings 4-3 in their first match of the Memorial Cup tournament.
The Western champions had taken the 3-2 lead after 40 minutes, but goals from Pierrick Dubé and Olivier Nadeau, 78 seconds apart in the third period, allowed the Cataractes to reach the Sea Dogs at the top of the overall standings. after two days of competition.
“We were able to do it often in the playoffs and it served us well. We are a good team that does not put pressure on itself and even if we fall behind it does not change anything in our game. We also proved it tonight against a very good team, “said Dubé after the match.
In the second period, with the score of 2 to 2, Mavrik Bourque was robbed by goalkeeper Sebastian Cossa, who deprived him of a certain goal with his stick. The Cataractes captain took his revenge in the third when he made an impossible play on Nadeau’s winning goal.
Despite having the hope of the Canadian Kaiden Guhle behind him, Bourque turns around the net and, falling, manages to pass the puck with one hand to Nadeau, who throws himself into a cage left empty by Cossa, fascinated like almost everyone at Harbor Station.
“I had no choice but to have only one hand because I was passionate about the other. When I saw Nadz in front of the door, I tried to give him a lift and he received him on the paddle.”
“I was not expecting to receive the record at all,” added Nadeau. I was just looking for the net. He told me he saw me, but I didn’t expect it. […] You often hang out with games of the kind you don’t see coming. You have to be careful and it worked tonight. “
Furthermore, Nadeau and Bourque had not started the meeting together. In the third, the coach Daniel Renaud has decided to separate the duo Bourque and Xavier Bourgault, inserting Nadeau in the place of the latter. All to ensure that the two weren’t always confronted with the defending pair of Guhle and Luke Prokop. And it paid off when the two new lines scored the last two goals for the winners.
“We’ve done it many times this season and in the playoffs. It is not new for them to change lines. It was not a surprise for us internally, but it certainly was for them “, explained assistant coach Pascal Dupuis, who came to take over from Renaud in front of the media, the latter suffering from a loss of voice.
It was the 14th consecutive loss for a WHL team at the Memorial Cup. Western reps have not won a tournament game across Canada since the Kelowna Rockets’ victory in the 2015 semi-finals of the tournament, hosted in Quebec City.
The Oil Kings will look to end that streak on Wednesday night when they take on the St. John Sea Dogs, who defeated the Hamilton Bulldogs 5-3 in the opening of the competition.