Drummondville denies Rimouski with OT win
Gabriel Dumont scored 13:23 into overtime on Wednesday night to lead the Drummondville Voltigeurs to a 3-2 overtime victory over Quebec junior rival Rimouski Oceanic at the Memorial Cup.
Dumont manoeuvred around an Oceanic defender and scored past goalie Maxime Gougeon after multiple whacks at the puck. When he failed on a backhand attempt, he pivoted and deked around the netminder, lifting the puck high into the net.
The result stunned the Colisée crowd at Rimouski, as the home team had outshot their nemesis 41-20. The Oceanic had also held the edge in the overtime period.
Marco Cousineau paved the way for Dumont's heroics, making 39 saves for Drummondville.
"He was more than outstanding," Dumont said of Cousineau. "He just stood up all game. This win goes to him."
The Voltigeurs advance to Friday's semifinal. Rimouski and the Windsor Spitfires of the Ontario Hockey League will play on Thursday to determine Drummondville's opponent.
The survivor of those three teams will challenge the Western Hockey League champion Kelowna Rockets in Sunday's Memorial Cup final.
Dmitry Kulikov and Jonathan Brunelle also scored for Drummondville, with Yannick Riendeau assisting on two goals to push his tournament total to six points.
Luca Cunti and Patrice Cormier replied for Rimouski, which suffered more disappointment against the Quebec champion Voltigeurs.
The Oceanic lost two of three in the season series and then were outscored by Drummondville 25-10 during a four-game playoff sweep nearly one month ago.
Rimouski was outshooting Drummondville 8-3 when Dumont tallied his winner.
"It was a great performance by their goaltender," Oceanic coach Clement Jodoin said. "We have nothing to be ashamed of.
"We battled until the end, but sometimes the result doesn't match the performance."
The Voltigeurs' Cousineau was called on soon after puck drop, denying Patrick Delisle-Houde on the doorstep and Jordan Caron from the slot in the first period.
At the other end Drummondville had a three-on-one, but top NHL draft prospect Kulikov's pass forced teammate Mike Hoffman into a sharp-angle shot that Gougeon set aside.
Cousineau got a scare when a soft shot went under his glove, but the puck skidded just wide of the right post.
Rimouski broke through at 1:39 of the second. Félix Lefrançois spun around and fired a shot towards Cousineau, with Cunti redirecting it through.
Dumont nearly tied it a few minutes later on a shot that troubled Gougeon. The goalie squeezed his pads and looked over his shoulder to make sure the puck wasn't heading to the net.
Drummondville did even the score at 6:07 of the second when Brunet took a pass from Riendeau and deked a defender before kicking the puck over to his stick and beating Gougeon.
Caron continued to be snake-bitten for the host team, ringing a shot off the post.
The teams exchanged power play goals to round out the scoring in regulation. The Voltigeurs took their first lead midway through the second period when Kulikov blasted the puck from the point through the pads of Gougeon, who appeared to be screened by one of his own defenders.
Cormier got that back at 5:23 of the third, set up by Marc-André Bourdon and Philippe Cornet.
The Oceanic swarmed the Drummondville end on several occasions in the third, finishing with a 12-4 shots advantage but no go-ahead goal.
The overtime period was filled with action, with Oceanic forwards Cornet and Cormier working a two-on-one. Cormier's shot was stopped by Cousineau.
On the next faceoff, the Voltigeurs goalie had to stretch to make a showy glove save on Bourdon's point offering.
"We were ready for Drummondville," Cormier said. "We gave our heart and soul, but we didn't capitalize on our chances.
"But stuff happens. We're not out. We still have a chance and we'll be ready."
Drummondville coach Guy Boucher revealed after the game that centre Maxime Frenette broke an ankle during the contest, although he played through it during the third period and overtime.
The Oceanic honoured alumni and NHL stars Vincent Lecavalier and Brad Richards before Wednesday's game.
With files from The Associated Press