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The Shawinigan Cataractes have moved past the Quebec League team they have been focusing on all season on their quest for the Memorial Cup....
The host Cataractes sent the sold out crowd at Centre Bionest home in a joyous mood thanks to a 7-4 win over the Saint John Sea Dogs, champions of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. Michal Chaput scored two goals in the victory while defenceman Brandon Gormley was dominate again with a goal and two assists and was plus-three on the night.
"We knew it was going to be a tough game going in, and it was," said defenceman Morgan Ellis. "The fans were great, they got behind us. We played great, we got the timely big goals when we needed them.
The Sea Dogs opened the scoring 4:29 into the first period when veteran Zack Phillips beat Shawinigan starter Gabriel Girard to the glove side. But the home side, buoyed by a noisy crowd, scored the next two goals, by Michael Bournival and Brandon Gormley, to take a lead before Tomas Jurco rounded out the first period scoring to tie it up.
Loik Poudrier and Michael Chaput put Shawinigan up two goals just past the midway point of the middle frame. But then a strange shorthanded goal by Sea Dogs start Jonathan Huberdeau burst the bubble in the rink a little bit. Huberdeau shot the puck from centre ice, and it took a strange bounce before beating Girard.
In the third period, Saint John evened the score on Jurco's second of the night and appeared to have momentum.
"I thought about for 10 seconds, 'Do they need something? Do they need a timeout? Do they need to be told something?'" said Shawinigan coach Eric Veilleux. "After watching what was happening on the bench, I figured that nothing needed to be done."
"They knew that third goal was lucky goal and the fourth one was just a goal. They knew we had momentum before the third and even the fourth one. It was just a matter of them keep flying the way they did the whole game. I didn't feel they needed anything to be said."
Shawinigan would re-gain momentum with three unanswered goals from Yannick Veilleux, Michael Chaput and Pierre-Olivier Morin to round out the win.
"When we tied it up I thought we had a real good chance and Girard made a real good glove save, it was a key time," explained Shawinigan coach Gerard Gallant. "We didn't play well all night, Shawinigan played very well, they played hard. They competed harder than us and that's why they won the game. I was disappointed obviously in our team game but give full credit to them - they worked hard, they battled and they made us make lots of mistakes."
"We played well but not that smart I guess," added Sea Dogs veteran Zack Phillips. "They won, it happens."
While this battle was going on, the Ontario Hockey League champion London Knights waited in the wings. The Knights last played Tuesday and earned a bye into the Championship Game by finishing atop the four team round robin. Shawnigan and London will hook up Sunday in the Championship Game. Shawinigan beat London 6-2 in their round-robin game.
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