The Huskies used a dominant third-period efficiency to knock over the host Halifax Mooseheads in an all-QMJHL closing. Now, the small-market group is on high of the junior world.Rouyn-Noranda celebrates|Vincent Ethier/CHL ImagesHALIFAX – Perhaps it’s as a result of I can’t shake the reminiscence of Saturday’s NBA sport, but it surely felt like there have been parallels with Sunday evening’s Memorial Cup closing. The Halifax Mooseheads – the group within the inexperienced shorts – got here out sturdy and held an early lead, similar to the Milwaukee Bucks. However for some purpose, it felt just like the pink and black squad – on this case the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies as an alternative of the Toronto Raptors – had the calmness and pace to beat that deficit.
And certain sufficient, the Huskies made their cost early within the third interval, bombing the Mooseheads with nice group quickness and incomes a Four-2 come-from-behind victory, giving Rouyn-Noranda its first Memorial Cup championship ever.
“Within the dressing room, we have been pumped,” mentioned heart Peter Abbandonato. “We needed to win this sport. We have been first in Canada on paper, however we needed to indicate we have been first in Canada on the ice, as nicely. And we confirmed that tonight.”
After Halifax opened up a 2-Zero lead within the first interval on objectives by Samuel Asselin and 2019 draft prospect Raphael Lavoie, the Huskies managed to even up the proceedings within the second, due to Felix Bibeau and Montreal Canadiens prospect Joel Teasdale (who could be named match MVP afterwards). Drawing even gave Rouyn-Noranda a psychological edge heading into that closing interval.
“We went proper after them,” mentioned star defenseman Noah Dobson, the New York Islanders choose. “We knew they have been feeling the stress a bit after we got here again from 2-Zero and it was an unbelievable job by our guys scoring 4 answered.”
Actually, the sport hinged on the primary 10 minutes of the third interval. The Huskies stored pushing the tempo and forechecking exhausting, inflicting havoc among the many Mooseheads’ protection corps. That Rouyn-Noranda pace led to early objectives by Abbandonato and Vincent Marleau, whereas the shot clock rely continued to widen in favor of the Huskies. Whereas the sport began out very bodily, with booming hits from the likes of Teasdale and Halifax’s Jake Ryczek (how Raphael Harvey-Pinard nonetheless has functioning inner organs proper now’s past me), the third interval got here right down to skating and psychological sharpness and that’s the place the Huskies excelled. That has been a calling card for this group.
“Each sport we have been 100 p.c pedal to the metallic,” mentioned proper winger and Boston Bruins choose Jakub Lauko. “And the chemistry on the group…I’m so happy with this group.”
Removed from underdogs, Rouyn-Noranda was the top-ranked group within the CHL rankings on the finish of the common season and the QMJHL champions after beating the identical Halifax squad in six video games. The Huskies obtained a scare from Shawinigan within the first spherical of the post-season (a collection that additionally went six video games), however cruised after that, sweeping their opponents within the second and third rounds. Whereas it could be simple to name Dobson the Kawhi Leonard of the group (he logged a ton of minutes), it additionally wouldn’t be truthful to the remainder of the Huskies, all of whom contributed to this Memorial Cup victory.
“The depth on this group is unbelievable,” Teasdale mentioned. “Each participant can do one thing, so the large gamers don’t get as drained. Each participant needed to win for one more and that made the distinction.”
However make no mistake: Dobson was a focus, as he ought to have been. He and coach Mario Pouliot each gained final 12 months’s Memorial Cup with Acadie-Bathurst and their additions have been essential to this season’s success in Rouyn-Noranda, as was the commerce with Blainville-Boisbrand that netted the Huskies Teasdale.
Dobson was loudly and constantly booed by the host Moosehead followers all through the sport, simply as he had been all through the Memorial Cup. Given how he ended up breaking Haligonian hearts in each the QMJHL closing and now Memorial Cup closing – each instances on the Scotiabank Centre – you need to sympathize with the Moosehead followers.
“I suppose I get the final snicker,” Dobson mentioned. “I gained two championships right here up to now two weeks.”
Tags: boston bruins, draft, main junior, Memorial Cup, montreal canadiens, big apple islanders, prospectsConnect: Concerning the AuthorRyan KennedyRyan Kennedy is the affiliate senior author and draft/prospect knowledgeable at The Hockey Information. He has been with the publication since 2005 and in that span, Don Cherry, Lil Jon and The Rock have all referred to as his home. He lives in Toronto together with his spouse and children the place he listens to loud music and collects NCAA pennants.