Memorial Cup: Discipline, the key for the Bulldogs

SAINT-JEAN, NB | The Hamilton Bulldogs’ motto Sunday morning was quite simple: avoid unnecessary penalties to prevent the Shawinigan Cataractes’ numerical advantage from doing damage.

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In fact, something like this happened in the first game between the two teams last Thursday. After a slow start, the Cataractes scored their three power play goals en route to a 3-2 win.

“We need to be more disciplined than we were in the last game,” said Bulldogs head coach Jay McKee. They ate us up all over with their power play. We will have to make some adjustments.”

That wave of numerical advantage, led by Mavrik Bourque and Xavier Bourgault, can be contained and the Sea Dogs of Saint-Jean pulled it off last Saturday night. Can it be for two consecutive games?

“We have to make sure that the middle of the ice rink is well protected [Bourque et Bourgault] like to create things from this place. If we keep her outside, we’ll have a chance. We’ll always have to keep an eye on those two as they can easily identify on the ice and if we do that we can neutralize them,” said defenseman Gavin White.

The fact remains that the best way to counter a strong numerical advantage is not to take penalties. A difficult task to accomplish most of the time during an emotional semi-final of a tournament the size of the Memorial Cup.

“It will be difficult, especially since we have an emotional group. Sometimes it’s hard not to cross the line. We have to do our best to control our emotions,” added left winger Ryan Humphrey.


Good news for the Bulldogs: OHL Defenseman of the Year Nathan Staios practiced regularly with the team on Sunday. The 20-year-old left last Friday’s game against the Edmonton Oil Kings after being hit from behind by Simon Kubicek.

So everything indicates that he will take part in the match on Monday night.

“It’s an important part of our team,” added Humphrey. We have two one night stands coming up and it helps to have him in the dressing room. It was a pleasure to see him on the ice this morning.

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