Titan’s Pickard heralds return in shutout victory over Océanic
The Acadie-Bathurst Titan made their one-and-only visit to Rimouski, QC this season on Sunday afternoon and displayed their dominance over the Océanic, taking a five-to-nothing victory on the strength of an amazing performance in net by goaltender Reilly Pickard.
The Titan opened the scoring seven minutes into the first period after Jeffrey Viel found Rodrigo Abols who fired home his eighth goal of the season, giving the Titan the early 1-0 lead. After killing off a late penalty, the Titan would double their lead when Vladimir Kuznetsov netted his fourth goal of the season from Antoine Morand and Christophe Boivin, sending the visitors into the locker room ahead 2-0 after 20 minutes of play. Kuznetsov added to his goal total, scoring his second of the game and fifth of the season with just under three-and-a-half minutes to play in the middle period off a pass from Boivin to make it 3-0 for the Titan. Jeffrey Viel would get his 20th goal on the year with under two minutes remaining in the period, tapping in the rebound off a point shot from Olivier Desjardins to make it a 4-0 game. Daniil Miromanov picked up an assist on the play, sending the Titan into the intermission up by four goals. With a goaltending change made by the Océanic to start the third period, the Titan held their own as the home side mounted pressure. While on a power play late in the third period, Abols would blast home his ninth of the season and second of the game on a perfect cross-ice one-timer from Kuznetsov. Luc Deschênes was also credited with an assist, giving the Titan their 5-0 lead as time expired in the hockey game.
Reilly Pickard made his long-awaited return in goal for the Titan and stopped all 31 shots he faced for his second shutout of the season, improving his record to 9-8 on the year. Gabriel Morency got the start for the Océanic but allowed four goals on 26 shots in 40 minutes of play to see his record fall to 3-6 while Charles-Olivier Lévesque played the final 20 minutes, stopping 16 of 17 shots, earning a no-decision.
Jeffrey Viel collected his 20th goal of the season, extending his point streak to eight straight games, scoring six goals and collecting six assists during that span. Rodrigo Abols continues to average a point-per-game since joining the Titan back on October 26. The Latvian striker now has nine goals and 11 assists in 19 games. The Titan are now 12-0-0-1 when leading after two periods, and after Sunday have scored the third-most goals in the QMJHL with 125.
The Titan will now travel to the scene of one of the most epic games in recent memory, the Scotiabank Centre in Halifax, N.S. for a Wednesday night showdown with the Mooseheads. The last game these two teams played at that venue ended in a wild 11-to-10 finish in the Titan’s favour. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00pm.
The Titan returns home Friday night, December 16 to host back-to-back games against the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles to close out the first-half of the season before the Christmas break. Both games on Friday and Saturday are set to get underway at 7pm and fans looking for a deal will find one where adults & seniors can save $9.00 for both nights, students can save $5.00 and children can save $4.00. This special deal is available only at the box office and by phone at 549-3200 (local) or 1-877-549-3200 (toll free). Regular tickets are also available online at admission.com