SAINT-JEAN, NB | Saint-Jean Sea Dogs forward William Dufour had no intention of being staged by Mavrik Bourque and Xavier Bourgault on Saturday. The New York Islanders rookie scored four goals in his side’s 5-3 win and gave the locals a direct ticket to next Wednesday’s final.
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The Sea Dogs ended the preliminary round with two wins and one loss in overtime for a total of seven points.
“It’s the best moment of my career right now. I have one youth game left and we will do everything we can to get it on Wednesday. »
Things didn’t start well for the hosts, who saw the Cataractes score three unanswered goals in the first half and appear to be heading for their third win in three games.
But the tide turned and Dufour took matters into his own hands. The big winger initially scored twice in 21 seconds early in the second and then completed his natural hat-trick before we even got halfway to level the game and huddle the fans at TD Station to throw their caps onto the rink. His three goals were scored within 6:36.
Completely outplayed in the second round, the Cataractes took two penalties in a row for sending the puck into the stands. The second, that of Zachary Massicotte, allowed Jérémie Poirier to put the Sea Dogs ahead for the first time.
Dufour then scored his fourth goal early in the third period.
“It was a special game for him,” said head coach Gardiner MacDougall of Dufour. He’s a player who plays in all situations and like I said you have to use your horses and he’s a great one. It was a magical second period for him. »
“Magic” is certainly not an exaggeration. In fact, he appeared possessed at times in the game, which he completed with a total of 15 shots on goal.
“I want to give it my all, I don’t want to have any regrets at the end and that’s what I did tonight,” added Dufour.
TOO MUCH SPACE
The Quebecer became the first QMJHL player since Christian Dubé and Martin Ménard with the Hull Olympiques in 1997 to score four goals in a Memorial Cup game. The all-time record of five still belongs to Bruce Boudreau in 1975.
At the Cataractes camp, head coach Daniel Renaud could only tip his hat to the No. 28 Sea Dogs.
“He’s possibly one of the best players in the Canadian Hockey League. You can’t give him the time and space we gave him. He had opportunities to get off shots from dangerous places on the ice and he took advantage of them. He’s too good not to. »
Renaud didn’t look elsewhere to explain his side’s complete change of face between the first and second halves.
Among other things, pointing to the lack of discipline, he also admitted that his team had probably preached overconfidence with a three-goal lead after 20 minutes.
“I see a comparison with the final of the President’s Cup. When we first got our chance to close against Charlottetown, we ate a 7-0 rin. The only thing I remember is that we came out so strong in the next game and wanted to win it in Charlottetown, at their house. When it was 3-0, we probably projected ourselves into the future and saw ourselves in the final of the Memorial Cup. »
In a good mood, Gardiner MacDougall offered an entertaining press briefing on Saturday. He first answered the first question, pointing out the presence of more media than in the previous game, before forgetting… the question posed to him.
Then, in the middle of the press conference, his phone started ringing while he was in full flight.
“Sorry, it’s the Winnipeg Jets again,” he joked.
The Sea Dogs now have three days off before Wednesday’s finals as the Cataractes take on the Hamilton Bulldogs in Monday night’s semifinals.
Shawinigan prevailed 3-2 in their prelim match against the Bulldogs