Sunday, May 13, 2018

Titan keep President Cup in New Brunswick

BATHURST - The President Cup is staying in New Brunswick.

The Acadie-Bathurst Titan won the 2018 QMJHL championship on Sunday at the KC Irving Regional Centre, defeating the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada 2-1 to take the series in six games.

This marks the second consecutive season a New Brunswick based team has defeated the Armada to win the President Cup. Last year, the Saint John Sea Dogs swept Blainville-Boisbriand.

A New Brunswick based team has won five of the past nine QMJHL championships (Sea Dogs - three; Titan - one; Moncton Wildcats - one).

Jeffrey-Truchon Viel and Samuel L'Italien scored for Bathurst while goaltender Evan Fitzpatrick was tremendous, carrying a shutout until the final three minutes of the third period.
Drake Batherson scored the Armada's only goal as his team's offence struggled to click throughout the game. The Armada had just three shots in the first period and never looked comfortable all game. Rookie goaltender Emile Samson - one of the best stories of this post-season - made 24 saves in the loss.

The Armada were the top ranked team entering the playoffs. They've made it to the third round four times in the past six seasons and appeared in the final twice, but still have nothing to show for it.

This was the Titan's second QMJHL championship since relocating to Bathurst, having previously won in 1999. The victory is a sweet one for the franchise and its fanbase, who have gone through just about everything over the past decade - relocation rumours, a training camp tragedy, multiple rebuilds, a change in ownership, etc. But all of that will be forgotten for a while thanks to Sunday's win.

Bathurst will now represent the QMJHL at next week's Memorial Cup tournament in Regina. They'll join the host Pats, OHL champion Hamilton Bulldogs and the WHL champion (either the Swift Current Broncos or Everett Silvertips) in the 100th edition of the event.

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