The Acadie-Bathurst Titan found their way back into the win column after a two-game slide thanks to an eight-to-two thrashing of the Shawinigan Cataractes Friday night at the K.C. Irving Regional Centre.
Vladimir Kuznetsov started off what would end up being a four-point night, scoring his 17th goal of the season at the 2:25 mark of the first period unassisted. Tommy Cardinal would reply for the visitors with over five minutes to play in the opening frame to send the game into the intermission tied 1-1.
Jordan Maher would restore the Titan’s lead just 25 seconds into the second period as a power play expired, netting his 16th of the year from Antoine Morand and Félix Boivin. 50 seconds later, Daniil Miromanov would beat Cataractes starter Mikhail Denisov for his 17th of the season with Dawson Theede and Rodrigo Abols picking up the assists to make it a 3-1 game. The lead would extend to three goals as Cole Rafuse banged home the rebound for his fourth of the captaign with Kynan Berger and Samuel L’Italien assisting, chasing Denisov from the game just 2:56 into the second period. The Cataractes would get one back thanks to Dennis Yan who beat Titan starter Anthony Dumont-Bouchard low on the blocker side, but with 4.7 seconds left in the second period, Jeffrey Viel would score off a face-off won by Abols for his team-leading 32nd goal of the season, sending the Titan into the break up 5-2.
The third period was more of the same with the Titan collecting three more goals in the final 20 minutes of play. Antoine Morand would notch his 20th of the season finishing off a picture-perfect passing play set up by Kuznetsov, beating Zachary Bouthillier. Christophe Boivin also picked up an assist on the play. Adam Holwell would follow that up firing a shot from the top of the faceoff circle into traffic, beating everyone for his fourth goal of the season. Morand and Kuznetsov picked up the assists making it 7-2 Titan. Christophe Boivin would make it 8-2 for the home side, scoring his 31st goal of the season with Kuznetsov and Morand once again picking up assists to both cap off a four-point performance on the evening.
Dumont-Bouchard stopped 26 of the 28 shots he faced, improving his record to 13-8 on the season. Denisov allowed four goals on 13 shots in 22:56 of play before being relieved by Bouthillier who stopped eight of 12 shots the rest of the way. Being the goaltender of record, Denisov saw his record fall to 23-16.
Jeffrey Viel scored his 73rd goal in an Acadie-Bathurst Titan uniform, tying him with former captain Éric Faille for tenth all-time in goals.
With a goal and an assist Friday night, Christophe Boivin tied former Titan great Jonathan Ferland for sixth all-time in goals by an Acadie-Bathurst Titan (90) and gained sole possession of sixth all-time in points recorded by a Titan player (193).
Along with Viel, Zachary Malatesta and Dawson Theede terrorized the Cataractes skaters, each recording four hits. Since joining the Titan, Malatesta has recorded 14 points in 18 games and enjoys a plus-six rating. Theede continues his breakout season with 43 points in 49 games to go with a plus-14 rating while Viel is now averaging a point-per-game over 51 games played and has a plus-three rating.
THE ACE OF SPADES CONTINEUS TO ELUDE ITS CHASE
Night 14 of the Titan Foundation Chase the Ace contest came, and once again the Ace of Spades managed to avoid being selected. Paul Daigle of Bathurst drew the seven of diamonds, meaning the jackpot continues to grow and is estimated to be worth $28,000 on Sunday when the Drummondville Voltigeurs arrive in town for a 3:00pm showdown with the Titan. Tickets are on sale at the K.C. Irving Regional Centre box office, by phone at 549-3200 or 1-877-549-3200 and online at admission.ca.
Written by Bryan Willett