This was an important game for Montreal as they were 2 points behind 1st place Rouyn-Noranda with a game in hand and Rouyn-Noranda had won their game earlier in the day. To keep pace with the leader the Junior would have to do likewise. It seemed, after soundly defeating number one team Drummondville on Friday night, like a fairly simple task as Baie Comeau only had 11 wins coming in to the game. The Drakkars are a team Montreal has to beat if they want to be considered one of the top teams in the league.
Unfortunately the Junior seem to have the nasty habit of playing down (or up) to the level of the team they are playing. They save their best games for the stronger teams and seem to relax a bit too much against the weaker ones. This has to be corrected pronto! If they hope to position themselves for the playoffs, that is. The points they should be picking up by defeating the lesser teams will come back to bite them in the butt if they don't watch out.
Wearing their 'lucky' red uniforms at home game again, the early play definitely went to the visiting Drakkars. So much so that it took a power play and 10:03 seconds for the Junior to register their first shot on net. Maybe to wake his team out of its doldrums, assistant captain Pier-Antoine Dion dropped his gloves versus the Drakkar's Guillaume Langelier-Parent. He scored the take down and this seemed to inspire his teammates as they began to pummel Drakkar goaltender Marco Cousineau with 14 shots over the last 10 minutes of the period. It was like night and day!
Around this time the Junior also found themselves one shorter in numbers as newcomer, Darick Ste-Marie was on the receiving end of a high stick by Olivier Tremblay (who received a 4 minute penalty) and started bleeding profusely. The injury was in the facial area and he skated off to the dressing room never to take the ice again.
The fight and the subsequent high sticking double minor set off a barrage of penalties. If one team wasn't in the box then the other was and often both teams had a player there. The refs certainly were busy! Montreal took too many silly or iffy penalties and at one point they had six in a row. Now I'm not saying that they all were not deserved, but it seemed like the Drakkars were getting away with plenty as there was a large amount of clutching and grabbing going on in front of their net that the refs turned a blind eye to. It has to be called both ways.
Oddly enough despite all the power plays the first goal scored by the Drakkars was at even strength by Roman Malinik (his third of the season) in the middle of the second period. This goal was the first that Jake Allen had surrendered in about 5 ½ periods. Which leads me to the question of why this guy, after watching the Junior Team Canada's goalies struggle, did not make the Junior Team Canada team? He truly is Mr. Consistency.
Anyways, the 1-0 lead held out until Junior forward Luke Adam decided it was time to turn on the Luke Adam show. There was some furious action in front of the Drakkar net, but Cousineau never lost focus. That is until Adam finally beat him at the 14:55 mark. He then on the next shift potted another (his team leader 19th) with less than 3 minutes left and you would think that the Junior could hang on.
Well, they didn't and the Drakkar scored after pulling their goaltender with less than one minute left. The game ended tied 2-2 and nothing much happened in the overtime frame.
We were heading to shootouts and the Junior supporters had to be fairly confident knowing that Jake Allen was in nets. Well, he was good only allowing one Drakkar shooter (Félix Petit) to beat him, but Montreal could not beat Cousineau and fell to the Drakkar 3-2 in shootouts.
You have to worry about the Junior's next game as they are facing the lowly Lewiston Mainiacs (who are below even Baie Comeau in the overall standings). Let's see if the Junior learned the lesson of not taking weaker teams too lightly.
-On Ice Officials: Referees: Pierre-Luc Bédard and Francois Fortin
Linesmen: Yanick Pothier and Denis Drolet
-Goals: 2nd Period:
9:35 – Baie Comeau – Roman Malinik assisted by Stéphane Michaud and Marc-Olivier Mimar
14:55 – Montreal – Luke Adam assisted by Vincent Bourgeois and Nick Layton
17:06 – Montreal – Luke Adam assisted by Nick Layton
19:04 – Baie Comeau – Félix Petit assisted by Roman Malinik
Montreal – Luke Adam – missed
Jérémy Gouchie – missed
Nick Layton – missed
Baie Comeau – Guillaume Goulet – missed
Félix Petit – goal
Gabriel Bourque – missed
-Shots on Goal : Montreal: 37
Baie Comeau: 25
-3 Stars: 1) Luke Adam – Montreal
2) Félix Petit – Baie Comeau
3) Jérémy Gouchie – Montreal