The first game goes to the Remparts
QUEBEC CITY – The Gatineau Olympiques met the Quebec Remparts in the first game of the QMJHL semi-finals on Friday night at Centre Vidéotron.
From the beginning of the first period, both teams quickly showed their colors by handing out several checks. Zach Dean, who has been the same since the beginning of the playoffs, was once again a threat after hitting a post on a breakaway. The home team opened the scoring when Theo Rochette picked up a loose puck in the slot and beat Lapenna. The Olympiques responded quickly as Dean took advantage of a great pass from Cole Cormier to beat goaltender Rousseau and send both teams back to the locker room tied.
Quebec extends the lead in the second
The second period was filled with great saves by both goaltenders. The Remparts had the better of the action, however, as Evan Nause and James Malatesta made the strings vibrate to give the hosts a two-goal lead. The Olympiques would respond before the end of the middle period when Colin Ratt would take a return shot to beat Rousseau in the top corner to make it 3-2.
The third belongs to Gatineau
Ratt’s goal gave the Gatineau team a boost in the third period. Louis Robitaille’s men were threatening throughout the period. However, the lack of opportunism was fatal for the Outaouais team who had to admit defeat by the score of 5 to 2. Justin Robidas and James Malatesta (empty net) were credited with the other goals.
After the game, captain Olivier Nadeau said he was encouraged by his teammates’ performance, especially in the third period.
“We played our best period in the third and we will build on that for the next game. A series isn’t just about one game. The guys are confident, and there are positives to take away from tonight.”
For his part, head coach Louis Robitaille spoke of a lack of opportunism.
“We did a lot of good things in the first period. We had some great chances early in the game. I liked our response in the third period especially. I think we were the better team on the ice in the third. We could have easily gone for that third goal. We were applying a lot of pressure. You have to give credit to the goalie on the other side. There are a lot of positives, but there are things we want to improve on. It will be that kind of series. We’ll have to stay focused, and focus on the details.”
The two teams will face off again on Sunday at 3 p.m. at the Centre Vidéotron.