Memorial Cup: two unstoppable stars?


SAINT JOHN, NB | After five days of the Memorial Cup tournament, the question is quite simple: who will stop Mavrik Bourque and Xavier Bourgault?

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The two hockey players have been arguably the most dangerous strikers in the Memorial Cup tournament so far and their brilliance greatly helped the Shawinigan Cataractes win their first two games.

The chemistry between the two men was particularly evident in Thursday night’s game against the Hamilton Bulldogs, in which they combined to one goal and two assists each in a 3-2 win. In two games, they both collected five points, which allowed them, prior to Friday night’s game between Hamilton and Edmonton, to sit at the top of the scorers’ standings.

Cataractes manager Daniel Renaud is not surprised by the dominance of his two offensive weapons. He believes the two are now reaping the fruit of several years of effort.

“One thing we’ve been working on with them is that they don’t have to win every appearance, especially offensively,” the rider stressed. You can gain presence with good defensive cover, a good 30 or 35 seconds when you don’t have the puck, but hold your boyfriend, do a good job of clearing the front of the net or blocking a puck, clear him of territory and get back on the bench . The day they realized this, their mood changed completely. They manage better the fact of having two or three appearances in the defensive zone. “


Bourque, Bourgault and Cataractes will now look to confirm their place in the final this Saturday when they finish the preliminary round against the host team, the Saint-Jean Sea Dogs. A defeat in extra time, at worst, would confirm the Cats’ place in the final while if the Sea Dogs win in regulation time, they are the ones who will go directly to the final next Wednesday.

In the space of two games, the Cataractes have gone from being an underdog to one of the favorites to claim the ultimate collective honor in Canadian youth hockey.

“Our approach doesn’t change from other games. From day one we say that we know what we are worth and we know what we are capable of doing. We proved it again. The word neglected is no longer quite appropriate, “added forward Pierrick Dubé.


Renaud did not want to confirm it, but everything suggests that Antoine Coulombe will be back in goal for this afternoon’s game after the sparkling performance offered on Thursday.

“Antoine was very good, especially in the first half [jeudi]. […] He is a contender and he certainly piqued his pride in not having played the first game. In the end, it was the team that benefited because [Charles-Antoine] Lavallée was very good in Race 1 and Antoine also in Race 2. That’s part of the reason we’re 2-0 down. ”


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