Memorial Cup: the Drummondville Voltigeurs must now hope to achieve what only one team has done in history

Memorial Cup: the Drummondville Voltigeurs must now hope to achieve what only one team has done in history
Memorial Cup: the Drummondville Voltigeurs must now hope to achieve what only one team has done in history

It’s not over for the Drummondville Voltigeurs, but let’s say that their situation is far from ideal.

After losing 4 to 0 on Saturday against the London Knights, Sylvain Favreau’s men lost 4 to 3 against the host team, the Saginaw Spirit, to bring their record to 0-2.

This defeat complicates things for the Voltigeurs. No, it’s not over, though. Drummondville will absolutely have to win its Tuesday match against the Moose Jaw Warriors to, at the very least, participate in the tiebreaker match on Thursday. If the Warriors were to lose their Monday game against London, Tuesday’s game against Drummondville would automatically send the winner to the semi-finals, while the loser would be eliminated.

Only one team has won the Memorial Cup after starting the tournament 0-2: the Windsor Spitfires in 2009.

So there is still hope.

“It’s not the position we wanted to be in,” admitted forward Justin Côté. We are a team that has faced a lot of adversity and we are not afraid of that. We’re going back to our books, we’re going to see what needs to be corrected and we’re going to come back very strong in the next match.”

“[On est 0-2]“, that’s the reality,” added coach Sylvain Favreau. There is frustration because we just lost a match, but the guys are mature. We often talk about the fact that we sought maturity and experience. The tournament is not over, we have to pull ourselves together and be ready for the next match.”

Seesaw match

The Voltigeurs played a better game against the Spirit than on Saturday against the London Knights, a meeting in which Drummondville played at 80% of its capacity, according to Favreau.

But we have to admit that his team has still not been able to provide a constant effort for 100% of a match at this tournament. After getting off to a flying start in the first, taking a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes, Drummondville was unrecognizable for the majority of the second period, letting the Spirit regain the rhythm and tie the game before Justin Côté gives the Voltigeurs a 3-2 lead before the end of the period. All this made possible thanks to the brilliance of Riley Mercer, once again solid in front of his net.

“In the first half, we were very, very good. We played within our identity and within our structure but I liked our second period a lot less. We lost momentum with our puck management which was lacking at times,” explained the head coach of the QMJHL representatives.

Nic Sima, at the start of the third, then Hunter Haight midway through the third period, on a power play while ace defenseman Vsevolod Komarov was in the penalty box, however, destroyed the Voltigeurs’ chances thereafter.

With this second victory in a row, Saginaw secures a place in the semi-finals and could advance directly to the ultimate match with a victory against London on Wednesday.

Things are brewing at the official faceoff!

It’s cliché, but every detail counts if you want to win a hockey game. And sometimes, it even starts during the official puck drop…

Normally, the ceremonial faceoff is won by the player representing the home team. That’s always been it, it’s tradition.

On Sunday, the Voltigeurs were the “home” team on the scoresheet, although the Spirit were playing at home, the Dow Event Center, since they are the host team of the competition.

So, technically, it was Voltigeurs captain Woodworth who had to win the faceoff before moving on to traditional handshakes. But Spirit captain Braden Haché still tried to bring the puck back to his side.

Without saying that Woodworth didn’t like it, let’s just say that he made sure that it was he who was going to win the damned faceoff!

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