Kamloops | The Remparts are just one win away from winning the Memorial Cup. A 3-1 win over the Seattle Thunderbirds Monday night allowed the Red Devils to claim first place in the preliminary round and a ticket to the Grand Final on June 4.
“That’s what we wanted. We came here to win. Going to the final is a step,” confirmed defender Charles Trochon, author of the insurance goal for Remparts into an empty net.
However, the Remparts family wasn’t perfect. Dominating 36-22 in the shots column, they were able to count on an inspirational performance from William Russo that slammed the door several times.
“He was amazing. Without him, we wouldn’t win the game. It shows how great he is,” captain Theo Rochet, author of the other two goals for his team, confirmed, earning him the title of player of the match.
Full performance? Tabarouette! , Trochon begins bluntly about Rousseau, after a colleague points out to him that Rousseau, in particular, has known a good performance. We weren’t given much chances but when we did, he was there to save us. He gives us confidence as a defensive general but also for our strikers. »
Before the start of the tournament, Russo said he marked an “X” on his calendar ahead of the game against the Thunderbirds and goaltender Thomas Milic, who started for the Canada Junior team at the last World Cups, last December and January.
“Deep down, I wanted to prove myself in that match but at the end of the day, it’s just me and the puck. I don’t have to prove myself. I kept my word and the result comes with it,” said the local Trois-Rivières goalkeeper.
Now that the final was at hand, Russo thought of his grandfather, Bobby, who won the Memorial Cup in 1957.
“I follow in the footsteps of my grandfather. Personally, it’s amazing. For the team, the guys work hard and we deserve it.”
In addition to his goalkeeper’s performance, which Patrick Roy described as “exceptional”, the latter congratulated his entire defensive brigade.
“We worked well in our area, that was the difference in the game. Before the meeting I felt like we weren’t as clever in our meetings. I felt like we were a bit numbed. I was expecting the game to be tougher but we found a way to win. It’s been like this all winter . »
The first trio with a bite
Rochette opened the scoring early, just 54 seconds into the first half, after a return shot from Zachary Bolduc was deflected off before hitting the net.
The Remparts then held their lead for over 55 minutes before Rochette scored the stunning goal that made it 2-0 with just over three minutes left in the third. On the sequence, Bolduc made a powerful check on defender Jeremy Hanzel, forcing partner Nolan Allan out of his position and creating a huge gap for Mikael Hochet who stood out. Handed to Rochet who hit the mark.
It was not a typical match for Bolduc, who was known for his goalscoring skills. But this did not surprise Rochette.
“I confirm he is capable of a physical play! He doesn’t look like that, but he is capable of having a dog. He played a great game, we were trying to get the momentum back, he started to work a bit. His big checking allowed us to get a goal.”
Even if they are guaranteed first place, there is still a preliminary round to play with the Remparts. But Tuesday’s game against Peterborough Petes will mean nothing for Patrick Roy’s men.
For their part, the Bets would try to keep their skin and force a tiebreaker match, since they lost their first two games in the competition. The Kamloops Blazers and Thunderbirds meet in the final game of the preliminary round on Wednesday. The teams are currently 1-1, so the winning team will be guaranteed a spot in the semi-finals while the other may have to play a tiebreaker, should Bates beat the fences, Tuesday.
Patrick Roy did not yet know, after the meeting, whether to offer a match to some of the players in order to rest them in the final.
“I’m going to chat with the guys, let’s see how they feel about all this. We’ll see tomorrow what we do.”
One thing is for sure, neither Russo nor Trochon intend to volunteer to watch the match from the bridge!
“I want to play every match. If they want me to rest, I will be ready for the final,” stated Russo.
“I want to play tomorrow. We’re here to play hockey! It’s fun to play hockey! I love playing hockey! As a matter of fact, I wouldn’t have any problem playing tomorrow,” Trochon added excitedly.
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