A battle of the Titans in honor of Benoit Groulx
GATINEAU – It was a great turnout tonight at the Slush Puppie Centre as the Gatineau Olympiques organization retired its former head coach Benoit Groulx. In 13 seasons at the helm of the Outaouais, Groulx won three President Cups and 11 seasons with a win rate above .500. The current coach of the Syracuse Crunch in the AHL, Groulx is considered by many to be the best head coach in QMJHL history. For the occasion, Gilles Courteau, Maxime Talbot and Claude Giroux spoke in front of the fans to congratulate the legendary Benoit Groulx.
A game to match
It was a real battle of the Titans as the Halifax Mooseheads, ranked 3rd in the country, came to the Slush Puppie Centre to face the Gatineau team, ranked 8th in the CHL.
The first goal of the game came in the second period and the Mooseheads took the lead with only 1:56 left in the second. 39 seconds later, Alexis Gendron took advantage of a turnover and passed to Riley Kidney who fed Gendron to tie the game.
The Mooseheads were able to regain the lead in the third, forcing the home team to show resilience. At 13:41 of the third period, the Olympiques would take advantage of a one-man advantage due to a late penalty situation. Isaac Belliveau would get rid of an opposing player with a beautiful fake before firing a cannonball into the top corner to tie the game at 2-2.
Heading for the shootout
The last meeting between these two teams also ended in a shootout, with the Nova Scotia team taking both points in the standings. Louis Robitaille’s men remembered very well how the last meeting between these two teams ended and were looking to come out on top this time. With Halifax leading 1-0 in the shootout, Tristan Luneau came in as the Gatineau’s 3rd shooter and had to find the back of the net to keep his team in the game. It took 9 rounds of shots before Joey Vetrano scored the winning goal and gave the Olympiques the two points.
“We have a lot of character” – Louis Robitaille, Head Coach
Lapenna impresses… Again!
Francesco Lapenna is quickly becoming a crowd favorite and with good reason! Acquired from the Charlottetown Islanders on December 19th, Lapenna made an incredible number of important and spectacular saves in addition to a .950 efficiency rate, which earned him the 1st star of the game!
“Our goalie was our best player” – Louis Robitaille
The Olympiques will be back in action in less than 24 hours at TD Place for the first game of the “Battle of the River”. The Ottawa team will then be at the Slush Puppie Centre this Saturday, February 11th at 7pm for the second game of the series!
A text by Isaac Larente-Séguin