Nightmarish first period proves costly in defeat
Despite scoring the first goal of the series, the Acadie-Bathurst Titan were unable to overcome a number of defensive miscues as the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada unleashed a four-goal fury in the span of five minutes and four seconds en route to a six-to-two victory to open up their best-of-seven quarter-final series Thursday night in Boisbriand, QC.
Taking advantage of an early power play, Vladimir Kuznetsov tipped home a point shot from Zachary Malatesta at the 2:28 mark of the first period for his sixth goal of the post-season. Rodrigo Abols was credited with an assist on the play. The Armada would then retalliate, scoring four goals in quick succession from Miguel Picard, Yvan Mongo, Alex Barré-Boulet and Joel Teasdale giving the home side a 4-1 lead after 20 minutes of play. Titan starting goaltender Anthony Dumont-Bouchard was replaced by Reilly Pickard following the Armada’s second goal.
The second period saw no scoring, however the Armada added a fifth-straight goal less than a minute into the third period as Mongo put home his second of the game off an errant clearing attempt by Pickard failed to find the right target. Titan captain Jeffrey Viel would give the Titan a second goal in the game, tipping another shot by Malatesta past Armada goaltender Samuel Montembeault for his fourth of the playoffs. Jordan Maher also picked up an assist on the play. In the final minute of play with the Titan net empty, Pierre-Luc Dubois managed to add an empty net goal for the Armada.
Montembeault (W, 5-0) stopped 24 of 26 shots to pick up the victory in ned for the Armada while Dumont-Bouchard (ND, 4-0) allowed two goals on three shots in 3:32 of play before being relieved by Pickard (L, 0-1) who allowed three goals on 29 shots in 55:58 of relief.
Despite finishing with a minus-three rating, Titan defenceman Zachary Malatesta registered two assists on shots that were deflected in for goals and landed a game-high five hits on the Armada.
Titan forward Vladimir Kuznetsov has registered points in each of the Titan’s five playoff games to date, scoring six goals and adding two helpers.
The focus now shifts to Saturday for Game 2 of the best-of-seven series between the Titan and the Armada. Puck drop is scheduled for 8:00 pm ADT at the Centre d’Excellence Sports Rousseau in Boisbriand, QC, and fans can hear Gilles DeGrace’s call on CKLE 92.9 FM.
BATHURST TICKETS ON SALE NOW
Tickets for Games 3 & 4 have gone on sale at the K.C. Irving Regional Centre box office. Both games on Tuesday, April 11 and Wednesday, April 12 are scheduled for 7:00 pm ADT starts and the Titan will look to return home with a split on the road ahead of the series shift to Bathurst, NB. Tickets can be purchased at the arena box office, by phone at 1-877-549-3200 and online at admission.com
Written by Bryan Willett