Remparts Land the Last Punch in Heavyweight Battle
May 17, 2023 – Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) – Halifax Mooseheads News Release
More often than not it’s an ugly goal that ends an overtime battle and that’s exactly what happened on Tuesday night in Halifax as goalie Mathis Rousseau fumbled a catch and James Malatesta quickly swatted one in to give the Quebec Remparts a 5-4 victory in Game 3 at Scotiabank Centre and a 2-1 series lead in the Gilles Courteau Trophy Finals.
The goal capped off an epic back-and-forth fight between two juggernauts that saw six lead changes throughout the course of the night, resulting in a roller coaster of emotions for the 10,002 fans in the building.
The Mooseheads got the crowd in it early in the game with an Alex Doucet power play goal 4:06 into the contest and held the lead for much of the period until a quick counterpunch from the Remparts who picked up goals 96 seconds apart from Justin Robidas and Pier-Olivier Roy, giving the visitors a 2-1 lead at the 16:56 mark. Halifax found a way to fight back in short order when Mathieu Cataford picked up a loose puck along the boards and wired one by William Rousseau to pull the teams even at 2-2 heading into the intermission.
The middle period saw the teams trade goals yet again. QMJHL Jordan Dumais made a surprise return to the Mooseheads’ lineup in the game after sitting out since early in the semi-finals with an upper body injury. The Columbus Blue Jackets prospect didn’t waste any time making his presence felt by getting the puck all alone at the side of the net and using patience to wait out the goalie before picking his spot and scoring a pretty one for a 3-2 Mooseheads lead. The Remparts got back to even footing late in the frame on the first of two goals in the game from James Malatesta at it was tied 3-3 and shots were even 18 apiece through 40 minutes of action.
The start of the third period saw another early Mooseheads tally, this time coming off the stick of Josh Lawrence who used a quick burst of speed to break down the wing and cut across the net before tucking in his shot only 14 seconds after the drop of the puck. The 4-3 lead only held up for a few minutes as Daniel Agostino beat Mathis Rousseau 4:30 into the period and the teams were tied once again. Neither squad could come up with another one until Malatesta’s huge game-winner.
Halifax lost defenceman David Moravec to another injury just moments into the game following a collision with Pier-Olivier Roy. Moravec struggled to get up after the hit and skated gingerly off the ice and straight down the tunnel. He did not return and is listed as day-to-day with an upper body injury.
The QMJHL Championship is on pace to shatter an attendance record with the two biggest markets in the league going toe-to-toe. Through three games, the Remparts and Mooseheads have hosted 46,520 fans with another 10,000 or so expected in Game 4. The league record for attendance in the finals was set in 2006 between Moncton and Quebec when the Wildcats and Remparts attracted 62,024 over a six-game series.
The Remparts will carry a 2-1 series lead into Game 4 action on Wednesday night at 8pm at Scotiabank Centre in a crucial game for the Herd. There are still tickets available at TicketAtlantic.com.
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