QUEBEC CITY, P.Q. — Playing a 2-3-2 first round series format due to the distance between the two cities placed Quebec in pressure situation to win at home before leaving for next three games on the road. Ryan Penny ended the suspense in first overtime giving to the Rouyn-Noranda a 1-0 lead with a 5-4 win against the Remparts.
“Exactly it was clear for us as I mentioned to our players to win the first game, now it’s mission accomplished for the first game,” the Rouyn-Noranda head coach Gilles Bouchard said after his team stole the first game of the series.
“Beginning in second period we were more solid, more confident, better scoring chances, better cohesion our puck possession was better. We have had better second period we were opportunistic.” The Huskies head coach continued when asked what made the difference in the game.
Quebec opened the scoring on their first power play opportunity in the game. With Huskies center Jean Sebastien Dea in the box for tripping, Quebec defenseman Cody Donaghey shot from the blue line left no chance to Rouyn-Noranda goaltender Alexandre Belanger at 6:03.
Adam Chapman doubled the Quebec lead with his first of the playoff when he tipped the puck behind Huskies netminder following a great shot from the point by Duncan MacIntyre more than eight minutes later.
While Quebec dominated the first period, the visitors played much better tying the game 2-2 scoring their two goals at even strength. Left alone in the slot Jason Fushs wrist shot beat Quebec goalie to his left with only 2:14 gone in middle frame.
Already scoring Quebec second goal Chapman missed an excellent opportunity when going out from penalty box he went on breakaway preferring to go around the Huskies net in trying to surprise the Huskies goalie.
“I don’t know maybe I played too much pound hockey,” answered the Quebec left winger talking about his scoring chance he missed on the breakaway.
About the game itself the Barrie Ontario native said, “We did just few mental mistakes and they were the better team tonight. We can’t do those mental collapse tomorrow we got to come out with better game and make sure we are ready to go.”
Forgotten in the slot the young 16 years old Jason Lauzon brought both teams back to square one with a wrist shot that gave no chance to Quebec netminder with 5:27 remaining in second period.
Already opening the score with their first power play opportunity in the game Quebec scored their second goal of the game on their second power play opportunities in the game. Missing his chance earlier in the period Chapman took the rebound from his teammate defenseman Donaghey first shot regaining the lead for the second times with 1:12 to go.
Trailing by one after forty minutes of play the Huskies showed some character and tenacity coming back to tie the game three all. A turnover in defensive zone with 12:01 to play in the third period led to Huskies third goal when Lauzon beat Quebec goalie under his left pad.
Playing four-on-four following coincidental minors Rouyn-Noranda took the lead for the first time in the game with Mathieu Lemay backhanded shot that seem to surprise Quebec goalie who was already down. Lemay’s goal came at 10:04.
After Olivier Archambault hit the post with his shot, Nick Sorensen took the rebound and put the puck behind Huskies goalie Belanger making the score 4-4 with less than three minutes left to play.
In the playoffs in overtime, no one wants to make the fatal mistake that leads to game winning goal. A bad change up on Quebec bench open the door to Rouyn-Noranda center Penny who gave the first victory to his team at 4:11 of first overtime period.
“First period wasn’t our best period but you resumed it very well, we played very well in first period, after that I don’t know if we thought it would have been easy but in second periods we didn’t played well and we have had to kill too many penalties and the momentum switch side for sure.” Quebec head coach Philippe Boucher said after this first game of 2013-14 playoff first round series.
“We talk about the 2-3-2 format since we knew it, it is the situation we are in. We would better like to win, we have had our chances to win but they played better than us. We shoot in our feet too many times, we made mental mistakes you can’t do especially against a good team like that.”
Quebec will play game two of that first round series tonight (Saturday) in Quebec before leaving early in Sunday morning for games three, four and five in Rouyn-Noranda.
Seven other games were on QMJHL 2013-14 first round playoff series on Friday night
Charlottetown 3 vs. Halifax 6 (Halifax takes 1-0 lead in series)
Shawinigan 1 vs. Baie-Comeau 5 (Baie-Comeau takes 1-0 lead in series)
Acadie-Bathurst 1 vs. Val-d’Or 4 (Val-d’Or takes 1-0 lead in series)
Chicoutimi 3 vs. Rimouski 5 (Rimouski takes 1-0 lead in series)
Moncton 6 vs. Blainville-Boisbriand 5 (first overtime, Moncton takes 1-0 lead in series)
Victoriaville 4 vs. Drummondville 3 (Victoriaville takes 1-0 lead in series)
Cape Breton 2 vs. Gatineau 7 (Gatineau takes 1-0 lead in series)
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