Rouyn-Noranda defeats Guelph to earn spot in championship final – CBC.ca

Rouyn-Noranda defeats Guelph to earn spot in championship final - CBC.ca
Felix Bibeau scores twice in third to lead Huskies to Memorial Cup final
Bibeau scored two third-period goals — including the winner — as Rouyn-Noranda beat the Guelph Storm 6-4 on Friday in the tournament semifinal to set up a championship showdown with the host Halifax Mooseheads.

The 20-year-old, who leads the tournament with four goals, broke a 3-3 deadlock from the slot 5:20 into the third with a shot Storm goaltender Anthony Popovich never saw, then added another from nearly the same spot to give his club some breathing room with 7:27 to play.

And one could certainly make an argument that their path to Friday nights semifinal against the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies, two wins away from the Storms first-ever Memorial Cup title, is one paved with other-worldly occurrences.

"After my second goal I was on the bench like 'holy, it was the same thing,"' said Bibeau, who was surprised to get two scoring chances from the same area.

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"It was a good feeling, saw my parents in the corner, step mom, sister came. It was a great feeling knowing family was watching back home. I know I will get some texts saying, 'good job' and 'good luck Sunday."'

Ralph got in close and took a feed from Zachary Roberts before roofing it short side over Harveys blocker at 5:53, and the early onslaught of goals continued when Hinam beat Popovich with a wrist shot off a faceoff win by linemate Peter Abbandonato only 54 seconds later to make it 3-3.

Alex Beaucage, Joel Teasdale, Tyler Hinam and Rafael Harvey-Pinard also found the back of the net for the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League champion Huskies. Samuel Harvey made 34 saves.

The 20-year-old, who leads the tournament with four goals, broke a 3-3 deadlock from the slot 5:20 into the third with a shot Storm goaltender Anthony Popovich never saw, then added another from nearly the same spot to give his club some breathing room with 7:27 to play.

Sunday's Memorial Cup final will be a rematch of the QMJHL final that Rouyn-Noranda took in six games. The Huskies also beat Halifax 4-3 on Wednesday in the final round-robin game.

Ratcliffe replied 1:30 later when he finished off a 2-on-1 rush with MacKenzie Entwhistle with a snapshot blocker side on Harvey, and Hanley beat a screened Harvey with a point shot exactly 60 seconds after his captain scored.

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"I think we played our best game since the start of the tournament," said Huskies coach Mario Pouliot, who will go for back-to-back championships after winning in 2018 with the Acadie-Bathurst Titan.

Dobson didnt seem fazed by all the ice time he had and got in for a breakaway with 3:06 to play only to be hooked from behind by Dmitri Samorukov. Dobson was given a penalty shot but missed when the puck rolled off his stick.

"I think it started with the third period against the Mooseheads (Thursday), we found our rhythm."

Guelph, Rouyn-Noranda and Halifax finished tied with 2-1 records after round-robin play. The Mooseheads won the tiebreaker to earn a bye right to the final while the Storm and Huskies were forced to go the semifinal route.

Isaac Ratcliffe struck twice while Jack Hanley and Cedric Ralph also scored for the Ontario Hockey League champion Storm. Anthony Popovich stopped 31 shots.

“We were really pouring it on and I had every belief in my mind we were gonna get one there,” said Durzi. “They did a good job blocking a shot, I saw Harvey-Pinard racing the other way and I just remember I was crushed.”

"One trophy every single junior player dreams of," said Storm defenceman Sean Durzi. "Knowing I'll never get another chance hurts so much."

Guelph, Rouyn-Noranda and Halifax finished tied with 2-1 records after round-robin play. The Mooseheads won the tiebreaker to earn a bye right to the final while the Storm and Huskies were forced to go the semifinal route.

The Western Hockey League champion Prince Albert Raiders were sent home early after going 0-3 in the preliminary round.

Beaucage picked up a loose puck in the slot and backhanded the puck past Popovich, who looked unsure of his surroundings and appeared to lose sight of the puck, 4:58 into the game to open the scoring.

"The last nine weeks have been quite a ride for sure, lots more ups and downs," said Storm coach George Burnett, who is 0-for-3 at the Memorial Cup after losses in 1998 and 2008.

“I think we played our best game since the start of the tournament,” said Huskies coach Mario Pouliot, who will go for back-to-back championships after winning in 2018 with the Acadie-Bathurst Titan.

"I didn't think we were our best tonight…. but still had an opportunity late in the game with the goalie out to even it up. I'm so proud of the guys top to bottom."

Alex Beaucage, Joel Teasdale, Tyler Hinam and Rafael Harvey-Pinard also found the back of the net for the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League champion Huskies. Samuel Harvey made 34 saves.

Beaucage picked up a loose puck in the slot and backhanded the puck past Popovich, who looked unsure of his surroundings and appeared to lose sight of the puck, 4:58 into the game to open the scoring.

Sundays Memorial Cup final will be a rematch of the QMJHL final that Rouyn-Noranda took in six games. The Huskies also beat Halifax 4-3 on Wednesday in the final round-robin game.

Ratcliffe replied 1:30 later when he finished off a 2-on-1 rush with MacKenzie Entwhistle with a snapshot blocker side on Harvey, and Hanley beat a screened Harvey with a point shot exactly 60 seconds after his captain scored.

“The last nine weeks have been quite a ride for sure, lots more ups and downs,” said Storm coach George Burnett, who is 0-for-3 at the Memorial Cup after losses in 1998 and 2008.

Teasdale made it a 2-2 game when he stole the puck from Durzi near the Guelph net and roofed it over Popovich before the netminder even knew what was happening at 9:31.

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Ralph got in close and took a feed from Zachary Roberts before roofing it short side over Harvey's blocker at 5:53, and the early onslaught of goals continued when Hinam beat Popovich with a wrist shot off a faceoff win by linemate Peter Abbandonato only 54 seconds later to make it 3-3.

"We always answered back with goals," said Pouliot. "We were happy with the win, but more importantly the way we played."

Most recent winner by league: Alexis Lafreniere (Rimouski Oceanic 2018), Alexander Nylander (Mississauga Steelheads 2016), Brett Connolly (Prince George Cougars 2009).

As the game went deeper the benches got smaller and it seemed as if Pouliot had star defenceman Noah Dobson out every second shift to shut down Guelph's best players.

Dobson didn't seem fazed by all the ice time he had and got in for a breakaway with 3:06 to play only to be hooked from behind by Dmitri Samorukov. Dobson was given a penalty shot but missed when the puck rolled off his stick.

Guelph pulled Popovich and kept up its pressure to make it interesting, with Ratcliffe making it a one-goal game with 1:13 to go before Harvey-Pinard scored an empty-netter.

"We were really pouring it on and I had every belief in my mind we were gonna get one there," said Durzi. "They did a good job blocking a shot, I saw Harvey-Pinard racing the other way and I just remember I was crushed."

Most recent winner by league: Garrett McFadden (Guelph Storm 2018), Tyler Wong (Lethbridge Hurricanes 2017), Danick Martel (Blainville-Boisbriand Armada 2015).

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Bibeau scored two third-period goals — including the winner — as Rouyn-Noranda beat the Guelph Storm 6-4 on Friday in the tournament semifinal to set up a championship showdown with the host Halifax Mooseheads.

Most recent winner by league: Nicolas Hague (Mississauga Steelheads 2018), Thomas Chabot (Saint John Sea Dogs 2017), Ivan Provorov (Brandon Wheat Kings 2016).

The 20-year-old, who leads the tournament with four goals, broke a 3-3 deadlock from the slot 5:20 into the third with a shot Storm goaltender Anthony Popovich never saw, then added another from nearly the same spot to give his club some breathing room with 7:27 to play.

“After my second goal I was on the bench like holy, it was the same thing,” said Bibeau, who was surprised to get two scoring chances from the same area.

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“It was a good feeling, saw my parents in the corner, step mom, sister came. It was a great feeling knowing family was watching back home. I know I will get some texts saying, good job and good luck Sunday.”

Most recent winner by league: Carter Hart (Everett Silvertips 2018), Michael McNiven (Owen Sound Attack 2017), Philippe Desrosiers (Rimouski Oceanic 2015).

Alex Beaucage, Joel Teasdale, Tyler Hinam and Rafael Harvey-Pinard also found the back of the net for the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League champion Huskies. Samuel Harvey made 34 saves.

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Sundays Memorial Cup final will be a rematch of the QMJHL final that Rouyn-Noranda took in six games. The Huskies also beat Halifax 4-3 on Wednesday in the final round-robin game.

“I think we played our best game since the start of the tournament,” said Huskies coach Mario Pouliot, who will go for back-to-back championships after winning in 2018 with the Acadie-Bathurst Titan.

Isaac Ratcliffe struck twice while Jack Hanley and Cedric Ralph also scored for the Ontario Hockey League champion Storm. Anthony Popovich stopped 31 shots.

“One trophy every single junior player dreams of,” said Storm defenceman Sean Durzi. “Knowing Ill never get another chance hurts so much.”

Guelph, Rouyn-Noranda and Halifax finished tied with 2-1 records after round-robin play. The Mooseheads won the tiebreaker to earn a bye right to the final while the Storm and Huskies were forced to go the semifinal route.

The Western Hockey League champion Prince Albert Raiders were sent home early after going 0-3 in the preliminary round.

“The last nine weeks have been quite a ride for sure, lots more ups and downs,” said Storm coach George Burnett, who is 0-for-3 at the Memorial Cup after losses in 1998 and 2008.

“I didnt think we were our best tonight…. but still had an opportunity late in the game with the goalie out to even it up. Im so proud of the guys top to bottom.”

Beaucage picked up a loose puck in the slot and backhanded the puck past Popovich, who looked unsure of his surroundings and appeared to lose sight of the puck, 4:58 into the game to open the scoring.

Ratcliffe replied 1:30 later when he finished off a 2-on-1 rush with MacKenzie Entwhistle with a snapshot blocker side on Harvey, and Hanley beat a screened Harvey with a point shot exactly 60 seconds after his captain scored.

Teasdale made it a 2-2 game when he stole the puck from Durzi near the Guelph net and roofed it over Popovich before the netminder even knew what was happening at 9:31.

Ralph got in close and took a feed from Zachary Roberts before roofing it short side over Harveys blocker at 5:53, and the early onslaught of goals continued when Hinam beat Popovich with a wrist shot off a faceoff win by linemate Peter Abbandonato only 54 seconds later to make it 3-3.

“We always answered back with goals,” said Pouliot. “We were happy with the win, but more importantly the way we played.”

As the game went deeper the benches got smaller and it seemed as if Pouliot had star defenceman Noah Dobson out every second shift to shut down Guelphs best players.

Dobson didnt seem fazed by all the ice time he had and got in for a breakaway with 3:06 to play only to be hooked from behind by Dmitri Samorukov. Dobson was given a penalty shot but missed when the puck rolled off his stick.

Guelph pulled Popovich and kept up its pressure to make it interesting, with Ratcliffe making it a one-goal game with 1:13 to go before Harvey-Pinard scored an empty-netter.

“We were really pouring it on and I had every belief in my mind we were gonna get one there,” said Durzi. “They did a good job blocking a shot, I saw Harvey-Pinard racing the other way and I just remember I was crushed.”

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version had the incorrect year for George Burnetts second Memorial Cup appearance.