In a dramatic and historic final game, the Rimouski Océanic captured its first President Cup since 2005 and third in franchise history, but it took two extra periods for the home side to knock off the Quebec Remparts.
Given the pace and drama that this QMJHL final has provided to date, one shouldn’t be surprised to see the seventh and decisive game go down to an overtime goal.
The series was full of memorable moments, and now it goes into league history. Monday night’s game marked the first time in QMJHL history that a seventh game in the final round went to overtime.
Through two periods of play, Quebec dominated the game on the shot clock, with a 28-12 shot advantage. But the score was all square at 1-1.
For the first time since the series opener, Rimouski opened the scoring on this evening. On a power play, Christopher Clapperton registered his 12th of the playoffs at 12:00 of the opening period, beating Quebec netminder Zachary Fucale.
But Quebec’s powerplay had a response of its own, tying things up less than four minutes later, at 15:40, as defenceman Nikolas Brouillard scored on Philippe Desrosiers. Desrosiers, who entered game six in relief for Louis-Philip Guindon, played a large part in keeping the home side in the game, with 27 saves over the first forty minutes of play.
For the rest of the way, both goaltenders were up to the task and stole the show, with both Desrosiers and Fucale facing great scoring chances but not giving an inch.
A first overtime resolved nothing, although both goaltenders were called upon to make big saves.
A Rimouski power play led to the winning goal early in the second overtime, as a scramble ensued in front of the Remparts net, after a Clapperton shot. After a Frédérik Gauthier chance, Michael Joly played the role of the hero, shoveling the puck over Fucale’s outstretched pad. The goal triggered a on-ice celebration and carried over into the stands, with over 5,000 fans at the Colisée Financière Sun Life celebrating the home team’s first home win in the final.
Both teams will not have much to celebrate or be disappointed, given they will be back in action on the weekend.
Next up for both of these teams: the MasterCard Memorial Cup tournament, which gets underway at Quebec City’s Colisée Pepsi this Friday, May 22nd, with Rimouski, Quebec, as well as the WHL champion Kelowna Rockets and the OHL champion Oshawa Generals setting their sights on the national title.