QUEBEC CITY, P.Q. — Playing Quebec has never seemed to be an easy taskfor Baie-Comeau. Winning their last game in 2008, Drakkar came to Quebec hoping to put an end to their bad luck and see their new Quebec player Nikita Kucherov play great game with Mikhail Grigorenko. A crowd of 9637 saw instead another Russian Drakkar right winger, Valentin Zykov, doing most of the damage with three goals and an assist in an 8-2 win over Quebec.
After being shut out on their first power play opportunity, Quebec opened the scoring on their second chance with a man-advantage. With Robbie Graham in the penalty box for Baie-Comeau, Kurt Etchegary beat Philippe Cadorette high on his left side with a wrist shot at 6:35.
Baie-Comeau came back less than seven minutes later with their first goal in the game. Zykov with his first of the night beat the Quebec netminder with a backhanded shot high on Francois Brassard’s left side.
With both teams trading goals in the first period, nothing could have lead anyone to believe what would happen in the second period.
After the Baie-Comeau goaltender made key saves to prevent Quebec from regaining the lead in the first two minutes, Cadorette wasn’t able to do anything on first of the year by new European forward Nikita Kucherov, sliding the puck under the Drakkar goalie’s pads for Quebec’s second goal with only 2:53 gone in middle frame.
After Baie-Comeau’s Russian winger Zykov scored his second of the game both teams were back to square one at 2-2 at 9:16. Eric Veilleux, the new Drakkar head coach, hired this summer after leaving the Memorial Cup champions Shawinigan Cataractes, was very happy to see his team score the next three goals in less than eight minutes.
Playing with a man-advantage for the second time in the game, Baie-Comeau pulled the trigger with Felix Girards’ fourth of the year, seeing his shot deflected on a Quebec player before going in at 10:40.
Zykov completed his hat trick with his second goal in the second period taking his own rebound and pushing the puck behind the Quebec goalie giving a two goal lead to Baie-Comeau with 5:55 remaining in middle frame.
Raphael Bussieres scored the last Baie-Comeau goal in the second period giving a 5-2 lead to Baie-Comeau at 18:52.
Drakkar came back in third period adding three more goals. Two were scored with Brassard still in net, and with the score being 7-2 after allowing seven goals on 30 shots, Quebec head coach Patrick Roy pulled his starting netminder sending Hugo Campeau in, he faced five shots and was beaten only once.
After the game Baie-Comeau head coach Eric Veilleux was happy to see his team play a great game, “We played great since the season began we played another great game today. Cadorette made the difference honestly, not that we gave a lot but what we gave in the last time we came in here…, tonight was a different story. Key saves often made the difference, that’s what motivated the rest of the troops. That’s exactly what happened tonight.”
“We still work on our confidence, our consistency considering what happened last year. I’m very happy for them. We talked about it for the one who are being here for long, for them it was a long time (last victory against Quebec in 2008), for me, no. As I said before the game it was a question of time before we won one. Quebec is a tough team to beat at home. Guys followed game plans and I’m happy for them,” Veilleux continued.
On the other side, it was a different story for sure. Not playing up to Quebec head coach’s satisfaction in last three games even if the team won in Drummondville last Sunday, Patrick Roy faced reporters staying calm and honest, delivering his thoughts about the game itself.
“For sure it wasn’t a great game, I don’t think I invented something here,” answered the Quebec head coach when asked if it was only a bad game?
“I must say people came here tonight hoping to see Grigorenko and Kucherov and finally the best one was Zykov. He played a heck of the game it was by far their best line with Gamelin (Frederick) ending with four assists and Boudreau (Gabryel). They were on the ice for the first three goals of their team at even strength. They were at least the difference in the game after the first forty minutes. We didn’t play a big game. Defensively it was harder without Lefebvre (Martin), offensively we count a lot of Grigorenko’s line.”
Quebec will return to action tonight facing Shawinigan Cataractes in second game in as many nights.
Three other games were on QMJHL schedule on Thursday
Chicoutimi vs. Prince Edward Island
Acadie-Bathurst vs. Victoriaville
Moncton vs. Gatineau
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