The Sherbrooke Phoenix, Shawinigan Cataractes and Charlottetown Islanders all swept in the quarterfinals to advance to the President’s Cup playoff semifinals on Thursday.
The representatives of the Eastern Townships defeated the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada 7 to 5 to sign a third consecutive victory and eliminate Bruce Richardson’s troops at the Sports Rousseau Center of Excellence.
The Armada came from behind in the third period by closing a three-goal deficit, but the Phoenix responded with three unanswered goals. Justin Gill also scored twice, while Montreal Canadiens prospect Joshua Roy tallied a goal and an assist.
Alexis Gendron tried everything for the home team by completing a hat trick with 2:42 to go in regular time. The right winger will not have to be ashamed of his performance, he who concluded the match with four points.
This is the first time in its history that the Phoenix manages to reach the semi-finals.
The Islanders also clean up
At the KC Irving Regional Centre, the Charlottetown Islanders took advantage of another great performance by goaltender Francesco Lapenna to sweep the Acadie-Bathurst Titan in three games.
The Quebec doorman made 35 saves in a decisive 3-1 victory for his team. In three games against the Titan, he allowed only three goals.
His vis-à-vis Jan Bednar also did well by blocking 32 pucks. A goal from Brett Budgell at the start of the second period and another from Patrick Guay, 49 seconds after the start of the third period, made the difference. Budgell added the insurance net in an empty cage.
Cole Huckins was the Titan’s lone scorer. It is thus the end for the hope of the Habs Riley Kidney, who had carried his team on his shoulders in the first round.
In ShawiniganAntoine Coulombe blocked 32 shots for the Gatineau Olympiques in a narrow 1-0 victory over the Cataractes.
After only one minute in this game, Pierrick Dubé found the back of the net on the power play. The rest of the game was for the goalkeepers. Like Coulombe, Rémi Poirier was solid in front of the Gatineau net with 24 saves.
Remparts: Nathan Gaucher responds present
Nathan Gaucher had promised, after match no. 2, that the Rimouski Oceanic would not win a single game in the series. So far he is 50% right.
The Quebec Remparts won an important 4-1 victory on Thursday in the third game between the two teams, this one presented at the home of the Océanic. They now lead the series three of five, 2-1.
Gaucher and his trio responded yesterday. The center player finished the game with a goal and an assist, as did his winger James Malatesta.
“The left-handed line was amazing. They were dominant and physical,” said Patrick Roy after the game.
“It went well, we were ready, added Gaucher. We had to come out strong and that’s what we did. Our line played really well today. […] I didn’t feel like I had to answer at all costs but I said it and I will follow my words. Our line played well, the whole team played well. That’s our team, the Remparts.
After taking a 2-0 lead after two periods, limiting the Océanic to eight shots on goal on William Rousseau after 40 minutes, the Remparts saw their opponent reduce the lead to 2-1 in the third through Xavier Cormier who was making a comeback.
Shortly after, Rimouski was given a golden chance to tie the game when Xavier Filion was awarded a major penalty for a cross-check in the face of Maël St-Denis.
However, the men of Beausoleil were not able to take advantage of it, notably seeing their advantage cut by two minutes due to a minor penalty to Charles Côté.
“When we put it 2-1, there were some who were starting to have a red face on the other side, launched Beausoleil. In the first period, they dominated us and in the second, we quietly advanced, then in the third it was much better. We had the momentum at 2-1 but we took two stupid penalties. We took advantage of a major but we couldn’t even create chances in the direction of the world.
Chance to end
Thursday, the Charlottetown Islanders, the Shawinigan Cataractes and the Sherbooke Phoenix all completed the sweep of their series, to access the four aces. There remains only the Remparts – Océanic series in progress and Quebec will have the opportunity to join them with a victory, Friday evening in Rimouski.
“It was a key game for us tonight and we had to find a way to get it. Now, tomorrow (Friday evening), we will have to be even better because the others will want to be,” mentioned Patrick Roy.
Informed that the other three series were over, Nathan Gaucher then added his two cents.
“They [les équipes du carré d’as] will have a little more rest but we don’t worry too much about that. We’ll finish it tomorrow.”