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QMJHL: Ethan Gauthier gave the Voltigeurs the win in overtime

QMJHL: Ethan Gauthier gave the Voltigeurs the win in overtime

Ethan Gauthier finished the game, but the hero of the game and this series remains Drummondville Voltigeurs goaltender, Riley Mercer.

The goaltender remained perfect in this final against Baie-Comeau Drakkar to lead his team to a 1-0 victory in overtime to take control of the series 2-0, marking the first time in QMJHL final history that this match has been decided by a score of 1 to 0 in overtime. .

Mercer frustrated Drakkar's attackers with 43 saves during the first duel on Thursday. He did it again this time stopping 33 balls to record his second shutout of the final.

Gauthier made a perfect shot from his wrist in the middle of the attacking zone to score his eleventh goal in the current qualifiers.

“I'd be lying if I told you I would have believed you,” head coach Sylvain Favreau said of his club's progress and exemplary defensive play in this series. It's a close series on the ice. It doesn't matter much.”

Drakkar goalkeeper Charles-Edouard Gravelle has nothing to reproach himself for despite the defeat. After conceding five goals in his previous match, he recovered by making 38 saves. Drakkar's team will be looking to emulate the Océanic de Rimouski side in 2015 that overcame a 0-2 deficit in the final against Remparts de Québec.

“We are facing a very good hockey team and they will be ready on Monday,” Favreau warned.

“We came here to win games and we found a way to win,” Gauthier added. This series is not over yet. »

Now Drakkar leaves his home at the Henry-Leonard Center without scoring in two matches. The series moves to Drummondville for Games 3 and 4 next Monday and Tuesday.

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This series pits two of the three teams that scored the most goals in the regular season, but it was the goaltenders who stood out in this matchup. Riley Mercer recorded his second straight shutout with a 33-save performance.

“Without saying it was overlooked, a lot of people abroad didn't believe in it,” Favreau commented. Once I arrived at Drummondville, it was clear that he was our trusted man. She is a good person who works very hard. He's been playing good hockey for us for a long time and we support him. »

A different scenario than the first match

It took the Voltigeurs less than two minutes to open the scoring in Game 1 on the power play. The goal was the first of five in a row, en route to a 5-0 win.

Friday, Drakkar wanted to avoid a second straight false start and get his first scoring chances. However, he was again awarded the first penalty of the match due to a high stick from Felix Gagnon. But this time, the North Coast Formation resisted.

The Voltigeurs applied more pressure after that. Drummondville scored 16 shots against Gravel's cage, compared to nine for the leaders this season.

Bey Comeau failed to show opportunism on the power play, not scoring on three occasions. However, he was extremely threatening in terms of numerical disadvantage. With Raul Bouillard in the penalty area, Bey-Comeau managed to score two goals to one. Zachary Lessard had a great chance after accepting a pass from Isaac Dufort, but Mercer completed a perfect move to his left to block the ball using his pad.

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Gravel responded to his opponent at the start of extra time. He allowed a return to his right, but his quick movement allowed him to slow down the throw of Ethan Gauthier who he thought would provide victory for his team.

Gautier recovered after a few moments. His shot from the top of the slot beat Gravel over the top for his team's 39th shot thus ending the game 5 minutes, 23 seconds into overtime.

“We had good chances. [mais] Drakkar coach Jean-François Gregoire commented that the goalkeeper made a good save. We didn't score, but it wasn't for lack of effort. We've won some away games this season. In a match like today, there is something to build on. »

Mercer then made a key save on a short two-on-one run to keep his team in the game.

“Every night you try to stop all the pucks,” Mercer said. It doesn't always end up that way, but you have to be confident that you can stop all the balls coming your way. »

In extra time, Gravel made a stunning save at the expense of Gauthier before the latter put an end to the debate a few moments later.

“When you go into extra time, it's the little details [qui font la différence]Favreau said. Our goal starts with good defensive work, then when we moved into the attacking zone, we had traffic in front of the net and good shooting. »