Quebec wins Memorial Cup
Alexander Radulov showed why he was named Canadian junior player of the year, scoring two goals and adding three assists to lead the Quebec Remparts to the Memorial Cup title on Sunday.
Quebec beat Moncton 6-2 in the final, the second timethis week they have beaten the Wildcats in their own building.
Radulov was named CHL player of the year at the Memorial Cup awards banquet on Saturday. He scored a point in 86 of 89 games this season.
"This is like winning the Stanley Cup for us," Radulov said. "I want to thank everybody responsible for me being in Quebec. It has been unbelievable."
Moncton had defeated the Remparts in six games to take the Quebec junior title last month.
The victory by Quebec gives Patrick Roy a Memorial Cup in his first year as coach. Roy, who also owns and is general manager of the club, took over six games into the season last September.
It also continues Roy's remarkable legacy of championship success every decade. Roy won a Stanley Cup with Montreal in 1986, another one with Colorado in 1996, and now the Canadian junior title in 2006.
"Any time you win a Canadian championship, you have to be proud," said Roy. "It's the best team that wins and we're fortunate to be here."
Roy ruffled feathers earlier in the tournament by criticizing the play of the goaltenders of Moncton and Vancouver.
Wildcats coach Ted Nolan characterized the comments as "classless."
The two coaches shook hands briefly in the procession after the championship game but did not exchange words.
"It's disappointing to lose after having such a great season," said Nolan. "But I thought we gave everything we had to give and that's all you can ask for."
Mathieu Melanson, the son of former NHL player and current Montreal Canadiens goaltendercoach Roland Melanson,had a goal and assist in the final for Quebec.Pierre Bergeron, Jordan LaVallee and heralded 17-year-old rookie Angelo Esposito also scored for the Remparts.
Cedrick Desjardins starred in net, making 46 saves. Desjardins played in last year's final for Rimouski, who lost to London.
This time around, he earned the nod as the tournament's top goaltender.
"Patrick put a lot of pressure on me during the season," said Desjardins. "That's because he never likes to lose.
"When we were losing, he would say the goalie has to do a better job. I think I handled it pretty well."
Unfortunately for Moncton, netminder Josh Tordjman couldn't prove Roy wrong, allowing three goals on the first nine shots. He finished with 20 saves.
Keith Yandle, named the top defenceman in Canada on Saturday, scored a pair of goals as Moncton tried to rally in the third period. Philippe Dupuis assisted on both goals.
"All in all, we had a good season," said Yandle. "I can't say enough about this team."
Radulov, who signed a three-year contract with the Nashville Predators earlier this year, finished with nine points and was named as the tournament's most valuable player.
He found the mark on a backhander for his first goal, a crucial score that put Quebec up 2-0 with 10 seconds left in a first period where Desjardins was called upon to make 16 saves.
The 19-year-old Russian then scored a sensational goal just under two minutes into the second, taking the puck in his own end and skating the length of the ice through the Wildcats, with his shot banking off defenceman Nathan Welton and past Tordjman.
After Esposito deked Tordjman for a goal midway through the period, Quebec got into penalty trouble late in the second, taking a pair of minors.
Yandle broke the shutout bid of Desjardins just 31 seconds into the third with a slapshot from the point.
His second goal came three minutes later on a wrist shot from the right face-off circle that went over over the shoulder of Desjardins. It occurred just moments after LaVallee hit the post at the other end of the ice.
Yandle whiffed on the puck midway through the period, however, allowing Melanson to come in from the side and shoot a weak backhander that slipped in past Tordjman for a power-play goal.
LaVallee added a goal in the final minute as the Moncton crowd cheered both teams.
It was the first time two teams from the QMJHL had met in the final. The Wildcats were looking to become the first team from the Maritimes to win the championship.
Nolan has a Memorial Cup to his credit, leading the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds to the title in 1993.
Quebec won the Memorial Cup in 1971. Guy Lafleur led the team that year, finishing with 43 points in 14 playoff games.
With files from Canadian Press