BET À DAY
KAMLOOPS | The Remparts succeeded in their last dance, so much so that they managed to return home with their contender: the Memorial Cup.
Patrick Roy's men defeated in a convincing the Western champions, the Seattle Thunderbirds, by a score of 5-0 on Sunday night to rise to the top of the hierarchy of Canadian junior hockey. This is the first national title for the Red Devils since the 2006 conquest.
The Remparts also become the tenth team in QMJHL history to win the triple crown (regular season championship, playoff championship and Memorial Cup title).
Another notorious fact: this is the fourth consecutive edition of the Memorial Cup that a QMJHL team has lifted the big trophy, after the coronations of Acadie-Bathurst in 2018, Rouyn-Noranda in 2019 and Saint -Jean in 2022. This is the first time in history that a league has won this pan-Canadian tournament four times in a row.
Whether he retires or not, Patrick Roy will now be able to boast of having won the Memorial Cup twice in addition to a Gilles-Courteau trophy at the helm of the team.
Good start for the Reds
After quarter days off, we have to admit that rust was not a factor for the Remparts at the start of the game. Patrick Roy's men were the better of the two teams in the first half of the engagement, creating several scoring chances. The first came from the stick of Pier-Olivier Roy who, after escaping, was unable to outsmart Thomas Milic. A few moments later, it was the turn of Nathan Gaucher and Kassim Gaudet to find themselves alone in front of the T-Birds goalkeeper, but without success.
By dint of creating excess numbers, the Remparts finally managed to open the scoring when Gaudet came two against one with Vsevolod Komarov, to whom he handed over before seeing the Russian defender hit the target. Nathan Gaucher was also an accomplice on the first goal of the Buffalo Sabers prospect tournament.
As they have done all season, the Red Devils have made life very difficult for their opponents in attack. Tight and responsible, the Red Devils unit of five gave the Thunderbirds very little chance of penetrating the slot to create scoring opportunities.
Malatesta, again him
And, as they often did, they took advantage of theirs to hurt their rivals.
After missing a breakaway chance midway through the second period, James Malatesta recovered seconds later by firing a one-timer after accepting a pass from Théo Rochette, to score his 5th goal of the competition, and thus doubling the Remparts' lead.
And for a team trailing 0-2 after 40 minutes, the Thunderbirds did not come out with the energy of desperation in the third period and it was once again the Ramparts that dictated the pace of the engagement. The Thunderbirds fired their first shot on William Rousseau's net after more than seven minutes into the third period.
On the other side, Thomas Milic held the fort to keep his team in the game. He can also say thank you to the crossbar behind him, hit by Justin Robidas midway through the period.
The door opened for the Thunderbirds minutes later when Mikaël Huchette was sent off for a cross check. But it was the Red Devils who took advantage: Justin Robidas went two-to-one with Kassim Gaudet before handing him over and making it 3-0.
Zachary Bolduc then sealed the game with a powerful one-timer shot, before Charles Savoie does not add any before the end of the period.
The Remparts will return to Quebec with the Memorial Cup early Monday morning.