Thursday, May 24, 2012

Ready To Rumble... Again

The Shawinigan Cataractes will get another crack at the Saint John Sea Dogs.

The two Quebec Major Junior Hockey League rivals will meet in tomorrow’s MasterCard Memorial Cup semi-final game. The winner moves on to Sunday’s Championship Game against the London Knights while the loser goes home (or, in Shawinigan’s case, stays home).

The Cataractes advanced to the semi-final with a solid 6-1 victory over the Edmonton Oil Kings in the tie-breaker game. Yannick Veilleux, Morgan Ellis, Anton Zlobin, Kirill Kabanov, Michael Bournival, and Pier-Olivier Morin all scored for Shawinigan. Gabriel Girard made 29 saves for the win.

With the loss, the Western Hockey League champion Oil Kings are the first team eliminated from this year’s Memorial Cup. They finish with a 1-3 record and just couldn’t quite find their game in Shawinigan. Their lone goal on Thursday came from Henrik Samuelsson while Laurent Brossoit allowed six goals on 31 shots.

Shawinigan will have a tough test tomorrow night. Not only will the Cats be playing the defending Memorial Cup champs but they will also be playing their third game in three days. Three-in-threes aren’t uncommon in the QMJHL, but it’s rare to play elite teams like these ones on a back-to-back-to-back basis.

The Dogs and Cats met on Wednesday in round-robin action and it was a wild one. Cheap shots, fights, and two coaches getting into it were the memorable moments in the 4-1 Saint John victory. Both teams were fined $2,500 for their shenanigans.

The teams met four times in the regular season with each club winning two games. There was a lot of hate all season between them and that certainly carried over into Wednesday’s game. What will we see tomorrow night? We’ll find out in less than 24 hours.

Game time tomorrow is 8pm Atlantic. The game can be seen on Sportsnet, heard on News 88.9, and followed on our live blog.

Photo credit: CP

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