Maxim Barbashev played the champions in overtime with the winning goal for the Moncton Wildcats in Game 7 of the series against Baie-Comeau Drakkar, who lost 5-4.
Moncton therefore advances to the second round with this victory allowing them to take series honors 4-3 to join the Halifax Mooseheads who will be the next challengers. Halifax has a 36-point lead over the Wildcats in the regular season standings.
Alone in front of goalkeeper Olivier Ciarlo after a long pass from Charles Baudouin, Barbashev lifted the ball over the top with a deft backhand at 14:53 to lift Avenir’s position.
Shortly before the game-winning goal, Bay-Como thought it was only right to celebrate when Charles Thomas La Rochelle pushed the ball into the Wildcats’ net, but the goal was disallowed. A video replay confirmed referee Mario Millet’s initial decision.
This marked the first time in QMJHL history that a series required five additional games. It is also the tenth time in history that a team has won three games in overtime in the same series.
This series would also be level until the end as evidenced by the goals scored by the two clubs, who hit the target 24 times each before the winning goal.
Dufort redeems himself
Isaac Dufort’s goal, his third of the game, was on a two-on-one offense with 2:09 left in the third, sending Drakkar into overtime. The goal allowed Dufort to breathe a little easier as he was assessed a slight double sticking penalty with 4:48 left in the third period for Etienne Morin. During this penalty, Vincent Labelle put the Wildcats ahead 4-3 with 4:17 left. Labelle also had two tackles.
Moments later, after Labelle had put the Wildcats ahead at the end of the game, Moncton goaltender Jacob Steinman closed the door on Matyas Melovsky, who was spinning alone in front of him.
Alexis Bernier was the scorer of the other goal for Drakkar in the first 60 minutes of play.
Felix Gagnon and Marc-Antoine Seguin caught 2 assists each.
Anthony Hamill hit the field twice for the Wildcats in regulation time. The other was the work of Oskar Blandowski.
For his part, Étienne Morin was partner on three of the Wildcats’ four goals.
Steinman stopped 32 of the 36 pucks he faced in front of the Moncton net. Ciarlo has 33 saves in a losing cause.
Bay-Como has not reached the second round of the playoffs since 2015.
Preview of the second round of the playoff:
Rowen Noranda vs. Gatineau
Drummondville vs. Sherbrooke
Rimouski vs. Quebec
Moncton vs. Halifax
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