For the second time in five days, the Acadie-Bathurst Titan did battle with their eternal rival Moncton Wildcats and for the second time in that span, came away with a convincing victory on the strength of Reilly Pickard’s third shutout of the season in a seven-to-nothing festival of offensive proportions.
The Titan opened the scoring just over six minutes into the first period as Adam Holwell notched his second of the season and first in a Titan uniform finishing off a scoring play started by Antoine Morand and Christophe Boivin. Dawson Theede would score twice over a five-minute span, notching his 19th of the year from Daniil Miromanov and Matthew Ferrari and his 20th from Vladimir Kuznetsov and Rodrigo Abols to make it a 3-0 game. Morand would give the Titan a four-goal lead with his 16th of the season on the power play after his shot deflected off the skate of former Titan Francis Thibeault. Assists on the play were awarded to Jordan Maher and Zachary Malatesta.
The lone goal of the second period saw the Titan increase their lead to five goals with Boivin firing home his team-leading 28th of the season from Kuznetsov and Holwell to make it a 5-0 game after two periods of play.
The Titan continued their offensive onslaught against the Wildcats in the third period, scoring twice within the first two minutes of the final frame. First, Rodrigo Abols would shovel the puck into the net for his 11th of the season from Maher and Luc Deschênes just 42 seconds into the third while Kynan Berger would tip home a Holwell point shot for his third of the season with Deschênes picking up another assist to give the Titan a seven-goal lead. Faced with a five-on-three short-handed situation, the Titan managed to keep the Wildcats’ power play shut down as the final seconds ticked off the board preserving the 7-0 victory.
Reilly Pickard was solid in net, stopping all 26 shots faced to pick up his third shutout of the season and improve his record to 12-10 on the year. Dominik Tmej made the start for the Wildcats and allowed seven goals on 28 shots in 42 minutes of play before giving way to Matthew Waite who stopped all five shots he faced in 12 minutes of relief. The loss drops Tmej’s record to 4-7 this season.
Dawson Theede’s two-goal performance makes him the third Titan player this season to reach the 20-goal plateau. Since being acquired just over a year ago for a sixth-round pick in the upcoming 2017 Draft from the Saint John Sea Dogs, Theede continues to enjoy a breakout season with 35 points in 40 games played.
Adam Holwell’s three-point night against his former club brings the 19-year-old defenceman to the 75-point mark in his QMJHL career. The product of St. John’s, NL was also a plus-four on the night, equaled only by his line-mate Luc Deschênes.
Reilly Pickard’s third shutout of the season gives him five for his career, all coming in a Titan uniform. The 18-year-old goaltender sits two shutouts behind both Gabriel Bouthillette and Jacob Brennan for second overall in franchise history for shutouts. The team record continues to stand at 13 held by Adam Russo who patrolled the crease from 2000 to 2004 for the Red & Gold.
The Titan returns home this Friday night to battle the league’s other feline team, the Victoriaville Tigres. The Tigres will be looking for revenge for an earlier seven-to-six overtime victory the Titan came away from this season, and more importantly, seventh place overall in the league standings will be on the line. As an added bonus, the estimated jackpot for Friday’s Chase the Ace draw is $16,500. Tickets for this all-important inter-divisional match-up are on sale at the K.C Irving Regional Centre box office, by phone at 549-3200 (local) or 1-877-549-3200 (toll free) and online at admission.com