Thunderbirds Lose to Remparts
The Quebec Major Junior League champion Remparts dominated the scoring chances and the game and took home the Memorial Cup with a convincing 5-0 victory. Seattle’s rare offensive opportunities came in fits and starts as they spent too much time in the penalty box and gave up too many odd-man-rushes at even strength.
The scoring chances came fast and furious in the first few minutes, especially for the Remparts, including a 2-on-0 breakaway four minutes into the opening period. They muffed it.
Just 30-seconds before that, Quebec forward Pier-Olivier Roy crashed into T-Birds goalie Thomas Milic on a failed breakaway attempt. One too many moves.
A minute later, Seattle forward Brad Lambert crashed the Quebec net and goalie William Rousseau in a similar fashion.
No shortage of physical play, excitement and turnovers leading to chances.
Quebec would cash in first.
1-0 Quebec – Even Strength – Vsevolod Komarov (1) from Nathan Gaucher and Kassim Gaudet, 6:31
After a neutral zone puck battle, the puck squirted free for a 2-on-1 rush and a high glove finish for Komarov.
The Thunderbirds best chance came with 3-and-a-half minutes remaining as Kyle Crnkovic almost fooled Rousseau with a backhander and Lucas Ciona was there to bang at the rebound.
Things looked dire when Reid Schaefer went off for a high sticking double minor at 17:38, but the Thunderbirds were able to kill it off as it carried over into the 2nd period with the help of a high sticking infraction against Quebec.
The second period wasn’t as sloppy for the Thunderbirds, but the Remparts cashed in on the third four-on-four situation of the game.
2-0 Quebec – Even Strength (4 on 4) – James Malatesta (5) from Theo Rochette and Vsevolod Komarov, 8:50
A drop pass off a 2-on-1 rush found Malatesta as the trailer alone. He converted blocker side.
Seattle continued to get into penalty trouble as the power plays and scoring opportunities mounted for Quebec. Jeremy Hanzel for high sticking at 12:03. Shaefer for puck-over-the-glass, delay-of-game at 13:32. The Thunderbirds killed off the brief 5-on-3 and the subsequent 5-on-4.
Both teams had 21 shots through two periods but there was no comparison in terms of quality of chances.
Tick tock. Seven minutes went by in the third period and the Thunderbirds still hadn’t added to their shots-on-goal total. Quebec sealed things off as best they could in the nuetral zone and got bodies in front of any in-zone chances.
Brad Lambert came close to converting a tip for Seattle eight minutes in just before Zachary Bolduc had a glorious chance from the slot at the other end. The Quebec forward fired it wide.
Remarkably, with the Thunderbirds in desperate press mode midway through the period, it was the Remparts generaing the scoring chances once again. They weren’t sitting on anything.
The Thunderbirds big opportunity to kick the door open came at 11:02 when Mikael Huchette went off for cross checking, but instead of converting, Seattle gave up a short handed goal and that spelled their doom.
3-0 Quebec – Shorthanded – Kassim Gaudet (3) from Justin Robidas and Nicolas Savoie, 12:21
Savoie blocked a shot springing Robidas on a 2-on-1 and he made no mistake finding Gaudet for the goal.
4-0 Quebec – Power Play – Zachary Bolduc (3) from Jeremy Langlois and Mikael Huchette, 15:56
Fitting that the Remparts finally got one on the power play as Bolduc ripped a one-timer from the mid-point.
5-0 Quebec – Even Strength – Charles Savoie (1) from Theo Rochette and Zachary Bolduc, 17:55
Savoie went high shelf, short-side on Milic, who appeared to run out of steam.
It was a thoroughly impressive performance at both ends of the ice for Quebec. Shorthanded or not, the Thunderbirds never found a flow and struggled to contain the Remparts counter-attack.
Shots on goal finished 35-32 in favor of the Remparts. Power Plays: Seattle 0-for-2, Quebec 1-for-6. Face-offs wins were even 31-31.