The Montreal team was coming off a rare road win (!) and a convincing one at that defeating Gatineau 6-3. Even more good news was that Angelo Esposito's line scored 5 out of the 6 goals (Luke Adams: 2, Angelo Espositio: 3). With two wins in a row the team seemed to have recovered from their recent poor roadtrip. They were going to need this newfound confidence to compete with the likes of the 17-4 Shawinigan Cataractes.
After a nice pre-game ceremony commemorating Canada's war veterans and fallen soldiers, the puck was dropped and a fast-paced, quick skating and hard hitting game was underway. Unfortunately for the Junior Shawinigan got on the scoreboard very early when Shawinigan scored a lucky goal from behind the net. Cédric Lalonde-McNicoll scored the goal assisted by Nicholas Peterson at 1:31 of the first period.
After this early goal Montreal settled down and started competing on an equal level with the highly skilled Shawinigan team. Both teams were playing a quick and tough game, but I guess the referees were bored with this even competition because they started calling a rash of ridiculous penalties. Plenty of power plays for both sides ensued, but neither side could take advantage of the rash of man advantages.
One Junior who had a good game was Angelo Esposito (surprise surprise!). He had several offensive chances due to his powerful skating and quick hands. Espositio also played like he has a burr under his saddle handing out several big hits. With each outing Esposito is demonstrating more and more his desire to win and be a leader of this team. Esposito gained an unusual amount of attention from the Cataractes as they were always looking to give him that extra shot. Shawinigan is a chippy team who were trying to use their size to intimidate the Junior or egg them into penalties.
Montreal evened up the score on rookie Guillaume Asselin's 7th goal off a beautiful pass from Alex Wall. Asselin kept up his stellar play throughout the game and is continuing his impressive rookie season.
Towards the end of the period Shawinigan took over the game and Montreal could count itself lucky to still be tied. Montreal goaltender Jake Allen had to come up with several big saves to keep the score 1-1. The constant pressure eventually was too much and Shawinigan finally was able to score it's second goal off a Montreal giveaway in the beginning of the 2nd period.
Give them some character points as Montreal did not fold after the Cataractes went ahead and had several quality chances over the last period and a half. Nick Layton even had a quality scoring chance while killing a penalty and Esposito hit the post with less than 10 minutes left in the game. But alas, that was as close as Montreal would get to tying the game.
Even though Montreal ended up on the short end of the 2-1 score they showed plenty of character and that they could compete with one of the stronger teams in the league. Sometimes a loss can be a positive thing.
-On Ice Officials: Referees: Francis Fortin, Marc-André Lavoie
Linesmen: Denis Drolet, Dominic Tessier
-Goals: 1st Period:
1:31 – Shawinigan: Cédric Lalonde-McNicoll assisted by Nicholas Peterson
6:24 – Guillaume Asselin assisted by Alex Wall
4:29 – Brad Yetman assisted by Nicholas Peterson
-Shots on Goal: Montreal: 23
-Three Stars: 1) Nicholas Peterson – Shawinigan
2) Pierre-Alexandre Vandall – Shawinigan
3) Guillaume Asselin – Montreal