MONTREAL, QC—The Shawinigan Cataractes will have to win every game from here on out of the 2012 MasterCard Memorial Cup in order to be crowned champions on Sunday.
That also means they will have to play four games in the next five days, as they fell 4-1 to the Saint John Sea Dogs on Wednesday night in a game that proved the teams are not renowned for their friendship for one another. A whopping $2500 in fines were handed out to both teams for their actions in the final moments of the game deemed “conduct prejudicial to the welfare of the game and the tournament”.
Jonathan Huberdeau opened the scoring at 4:19 of the first period, as Saint John came out flying. Then, both Pierre Olivier Morin and Canadiens’ prospect Morgan Ellis were off serving respective hooking and high sticking penalties in the closing moments when Stanislav Galiev doubled his team’s lead via the 5-on-3 power play. Nathan Beaulieu picked up an assist on that goal along with Huberdeau.
Ryan Tesink’s third goal of the tournament, also assisted by Beaulieu, kicked the Cataractes into action as Anton Zlobin later burst the shutout for 3-1. However, the second period was where it began and ended for Shawinigan, as Huberdeau’s second goal of the game came into an empty net and sealed the deal.
The host Cataractes will now have to win tonight’s tie-breaker matchup against the WHL champion Edmonton Oil Kings in order to stay alive in the tournament, then face Saint John again on Friday night in the semi-finals. The London Knights were guaranteed a berth in Sunday’s final and now await their opponents.