QUEBEC CITY, P.Q. — Entering in a third game in three nights on Friday night, Quebec found a new way to win a game. Leading by one (2-1) after the first period Quebec saw Victoriaville coming back tying the game after two. Taking the lead in third period, the Tigres saw Quebec tied the game 3-3 with less than a minute remaining. Fortunately for Patrick Roy’s team a goal by Mikhail Grigorenko helped Quebec to keep their record perfect with 4-3 wins in overtime.
“We don’t have to be ashamed of our performance tonight,” were the first words pronounced by Victoriaville head coach Yanick Jean after his team loss for second times in as many games.
“Nothing is perfect but we’ve worked hard since the beginning of the regular season. Accepted for last night first period and tonight one, we have a team that works very hard.” Talking about his goaltender Brandon Whitney, Tigres head coach didn’t hesitated to praise his goalie works in the game. “He gave us a chance to win every games, he is vey solid since the season began.”
Quebec began the game scoring the first two goals in less than four minutes in first period.
After trying to be too fancy during a two-man-advantage, Quebec opened the scoring with Brandon Shea’s first of the year, at 11:35. After seeing Tigres netminder Whitney making the first save on Nick Sorensen shot, Shea took a loose puck to shoot it in for Quebec’s first goal.
Hoping to take advantage of their young opponent, Quebec added a second goal to their lead less than four minutes later. Pierre-Maxime Poudrier left no chance to Victoriaville goalie, taking a one-timer on Whitney, following a great pass from Axel Rioux at 16:00.
Trailing by two, the Tigres never let it go, breaking the ice, with their first goal in the game, 1:02 later after Quebec second goal. Looking for a-points in an eighth consecutive games Victoriaville center, Phillip Danault scores in a fifth consecutive game. A turnover, by Quebec defenseman Marc-Antoine Carrier left Danault to take a shot, leaving no chance to Quebec goaltender Francois Brassard.
“Danault took things in his own hands,” said Tigres coach Jean after the game about his center. “He is dominant nights after nights and that’s what we need. Without Philippe Maillet tonight Danault need to be dominant and he did it.”
If Victoriaville netminder made key saves in the initial period, preventing Quebec to add to their leads, Brassard played well in seconds also making several key saves, preserving his team one goal lead until Victoriaville tied the game, with 5:10 remaining to middle frame.
After making the first save on Carl-Antoine Delisle, already down on the initial save, Brassard, didn’t have any chance when Anthony Veilleux put the puck behind Quebec goalie, for Tigres’ second goal at 14:50.
Beneficiary of a power play, following the penalty to Quebec forward Adam Erne for holding, Danault gave the lead to his team, for the first time in the game, with his second goal of the game, beating Quebec goaltender high on Brassard glove side at 13:45, with only 20 seconds gone to Erne penalty.
Thinking their favorite would lose their first game of the regular season, fans began to leave the building, but with 50 seconds remaining to the third periods, all hope of keeping the undefeated record alive, reborn with Erne’s goal at 19:10 of what could have been the last period.
“We had great game but I put the puck in and finally doing something for the team,” Adam Erne said, after scoring Quebec tying goal. “Not a great game for my part, but will get back in next game tomorrow.”
And with 3:08 gone in overtime Grigorenko, the Buffalo Sabres prospect, made the Quebec fans happy, when he scored the winning goal, helping his team to keep the undefeated record intact, signing a sixth wins in six outing.
“They defend themselves very well, they worked very hard, we have had very good scoring chances Whitney made great saves, keeping them in the game,” Quebec head coach Patrick Roy said in his post game press conference.
“We didn’t play a bad game, the place we didn’t perform up to our possibility is our power play. We didn’t play like we used too, we tried to put ourselves in tough situations, we tried to be too fancy, and we tried perfect play. Sometimes, when the opponent played well in shorthanded situation, we just have to put the puck on net, and try to take advantage of it. Two five-on-three, the first one we have had hard times to install the play, because we loses lots of face off. Other than that I must say, we have had good chances.”
Quebec will be back in action on tonight hosting the Rimouski Oceanic.
Seven other games were on QMJHL schedule on Friday
Halifax 4 vs. Saint John 3
Acadie-Bathurst 2 vs. Baie-Comeau 5
Prince Edward Island 2 vs. Blainville-Boisbriand 6
Moncton 0 vs. Chicoutimi 1
Shawinigan 4 vs. Drummondville 3
Sherbrooke 4 vs. Gatineau 7
Cape Breton 4 vs. Rouyn-Noranda 3
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