SHAWINIGAN, QC–In the most thrilling action of the 2012 MasterCard Memorial Cup thus far, the host Shawinigan Cataractes became the third team to pick up a win–the only team that has yet to do so are the defending champion Saint John Sea Dogs–over the London Knights last night, this by a commanding score of 6-2.
Both Habs’ prospects on the host side were featured in the starting lineup. Michael Bournival in particular was the first player to come away with a scoring chance. Some time later, Jarred Tinordi came close to letting his future Canadiens’ teammate Morgan Ellis get away with one. But it was Josh Anderson of the Knights who opened the scoring at 10:47, after yet another review call allowed London’s goal to stand. With 5:50 remaining in the period, however, a 5 on 3 was awarded to the Cataractes as Brett Cook received a roughing call and Kevin Raine went off for checking from behind on the same shift. Shawinigan’s power play yielded nothing of note until both penalties were over, and a Brandon Gormley shot went off Bournival and in for the Cataractes’ captain’s first goal of the tournament.
In the second period, Bournival came out flying. But it was Gormley who wanted to get on the board this time, and he did just that only 67 seconds in. The Knights tried to profit from the strange bounces being granted to them all over the ice, whose conditions only got worse with the heat as the game progressed, but just around the halfway mark a gloved-in puck was ruled out of contention for the tying goal. Their power play woes also continued as Loik Poudrier controlled the puck just about over three-quarters of the ice surface when teammate Félix-Antoine Bergeron was sitting out for slashing, and fired the puck behind Michael Houser for the Knights’ third shorthanded goal allowed in two games. The loud home crowd was silenced for a moment as Andreas Athanasiou, having sat out the last game against the Sea Dogs, made the power play work in the Knights’ favour this time, cutting down Shawinigan’s lead to 3-2.
Jarred Tinordi, in addition to playing a huge portion of the game, made his presence felt by landing a huge hit on Pier Olivier Morin that got fans from both sides standing up. But in the third period, Morin showed he was no worse for wear as he picked up a puck that had clanged off the crossbar from the stick of Jared Knight, only to pot it behind Houser on the ensuing rush for 4-2, at which point the onslaught of penalties began. Vincent Arseneau and Brett Cook engaged in a rousing, evenly-matched fight that served to get the crowd into it more than it affected their respective teams.
Then Jonathan Racine went off for a slash, Max Domi for a high stick, and once Gormley scored his second of the game, it was all roughing from there. Michael Chaput put in an empty netter for the final score of 6-2, and the Knights, outshot 33-26 in the game, vented their frustrations before the last 2.5 seconds had elapsed. Alexandre Grandmaison even got hit by a player on the London bench, leading to 24 penalty minutes handed out to both teams within the last 33 seconds alone.
Bournival, with a goal and an assist, was awarded the first star of the game. His counterpart, Morgan Ellis, finished +3. Jarred Tinordi will have his next chance to lead his team to its second win of the tournament on Tuesday against the Oil Kings, while Nathan Beaulieu and the Saint John Sea Dogs will try to beat those same Oil Kings in just under an hour’s time, at 7 p.m.
Post-game audio with Michael Bournival: