After 19 years of waiting, the President’s Cup finally returns to Bathurst.
Samuel L’Italien scored his third goal of the final and the Acadie-Bathurst Titan defeated the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada 2-1 on Sunday afternoon to win the six-game QMJHL final.
The Titan, which draws its roots from the French Titan College in Laval, has raised the President’s Cup for the first time since the 1998-99 season, when the team had just been relocated to Bathurst. New Brunswick has been pampered for two years because the Saint John Sea Dogs were the defending champions.
The Titan will represent the Courteau circuit at the upcoming Memorial Cup tournament, which kicks off on May 18th. The Hamilton Bulldogs, OHL Champions, and the Regina Pats, hosts of the tournament, have already secured their passes.
Jeffrey Truchon-Viel scored his 14th goal of the playoffs in the first period, and The Italian was the author of the winning net for the Titan in the second stint. Although they did not blacken the score sheet, defensemen Olivier Galipeau and Noah Dobson were again heavily used by head coach Mario Pouliot.
“It was a close game from start to finish and it’s a difficult feeling to describe,” said Pouliot. There was a lot of sacrifice behind this win and it’s not just me, it’s my assistants, the players and the whole organization. ”
The Guy Lafleur trophy in Viel
Viel, the captain of the Titan, put his hand on the trophy Guy Lafleur, handed to the most useful player of the series. He was the best scorer of his team in the spring tournament, with 23 points and five goals.
Fitzpatrick, who had never won a career series in the QMJHL, stopped 29 shots. The second-round pick of the St. Louis Blues has gone under less than three minutes to sign a third shutout in these series, which would have matched a team record.
Drake Batherson was the only player in the Armada to thread the needle, giving hope to his troupe in the final minutes of the match. Rookie goalkeeper Emile Samson lost twice in 25 shots.
The Armada lost in the final of the President’s Cup for a second consecutive season. She had been swept away in four games by the Sea Dogs last year during her first-ever participation in the QMJHL’s Ultimate Series.
“Last year, we were not big against the Sea Dogs. This year it was tighter and it’s a game here and there that made the difference, said Armada head coach Joel Bouchard. We must give credit to the Titan, but I felt a lot of mental fatigue of my players. I respect the effort my players gave and I’m proud of them. ”
The Titan quickly set the tone by firing several shots at the cage defended by Samson and it ended up paying. At 6:37 of the initial period, Viel used an opposing defender as a screen to slide the puck between the Armada keeper’s leggings.
Dominated 12-3 in the shootout in the first period, Bouchard’s men reacted well in the middle period, presenting themselves with better intentions in the opposing zone. Fitzpatrick, however, stood in front of them, leading to the second goal of his team.
As Aleksi Anttalainen and Charles-Antoine Giguere headed for Titan striker Ethan Crossman, the latter pushed the puck towards L’Italien to orchestrate a two-on-one climb. The Italian, a real spark plug in the final, made a very good shot of the wrists that foiled Samson side of the blocker.
After several unsuccessful attempts, the visitors finally made the red light twinkle. Pascal Corbeil’s shot was deflected by Batherson and pushed back by Fitzpatrick, but the Armada winger jumped on the return to cut the gap in half. Subsequently, the Titan’s defense limited opportunities to confirm victory.