CITY OF CHARLOTTE | The drought is over: after 53 years without the President’s Cup, the Shawinigan Cataractes are the champions of the QMJHL and will represent the Quebec circuit in the Memorial Cup tournament.
• Read also: The Falls claim to have learned the lesson
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Pierrick Dubé scored the game-winning goal 41 seconds into overtime, propelling the Cataractes to a 4-3 victory over the Charlottetown Islanders. Cataratas thus won the final series 4 to 1.
Photo Agency QMI, John Morris
Surrounded by his players, head coach Daniel Renaud rejoiced as he lifted the first President’s Cup in Shawinigan Falls history.
“Everyone says it every year: It’s the best feeling in the world,” Cats head coach Daniel Renaud said on the ice, seconds after lifting the cup for the first time in his career. The truth is that for these players it is the realization of a lifetime. Winning a championship is a lifelong dream. You grow up hoping to experience this once in your life and that is today. »
General manager Martin Mondou was also jubilant after the game.
“I am very happy for everyone, for the people of Shawi and Mauricie who supported us. […] We had goals when we got to Shawi and now we have a Memorial Cup and a President Cup. I am very proud of everyone. »
FOLDED ONE MORE TIME
Photo Agency QMI, John Morris
Olivier Nadeau orchestrated the comeback from the Falls at the end of the second half.
The falls were true to themselves today. The Islanders took a 3-1 lead in the second period; They seemed to be in complete control of the match. However, Daniel Renaud’s men orchestrated another comeback that began with an Olivier Nadeau goal on a power play late in the second half. So Pierrick Dubé took matters into his own hands. The 20-year-old veteran scored the equalizer midway through the third, before scoring the winner in extra time.
“I don’t even have words. It is hard work throughout the season. We have been fighting COVID for three years to have great championships and be able to play great seasons. To finish my junior career in style and have a chance to go to the Memorial Cup, what more could you ask for? I don’t realize it yet, but it’s definitely one of the highlights of my hockey life. »
In extra time, Dubé took the puck from Patrick Guay before escaping and beating Francesco Lapenna with a precise shot.
“I remember the sequence, but after that I don’t remember. Not know what to do ! »
BOURQUE PLAYER PAR EXCELLENCE
As expected, Mavrik Bourque received the Guy-Lafleur trophy, awarded to the most valuable player in the playoffs. The Dallas Stars prospect scored his team’s first goal today, early in the first half. He finished the playoffs with 25 points in 16 games.
Photo Agency QMI, John Morris
Named MVP of the playoffs, Cataractes captain Mavrik Bourque accepted the President’s Cup from QMJHL Commissioner Gilles Courteau.
“He is an exceptional player who will leave his mark as the [Anthony] Beauvillier, [Samuel] Girard who have visited us. We had a lot of good players and to see the guys grow up and get a chance to end your youth career with a championship, I think that’s the best ending you can hope for your youth internship,” said Martin Mondou, who selected Bourque third overall. in the QMJHL 2018 draft.
“I’m speechless,” added the Cataratas captain. I have been afraid. It’s a good team on the other side. At 3-1, you start thinking in your head. We came third, we had scoring chances and we scored. In extra time, it was in the pocket. »
♦ The Falls will now prepare for the Memorial Cup tournament, which will take place June 20-29, in Saint John, New Brunswick.
Daniel Renaud’s lesson in adversity
On February 9, 2020, Shawinigan Cataractes fired Daniel Renaud. Today, just over two and a half years later, he lifted the President’s Cup with this same formation.
No doubt many were surprised at the beginning of the season, when general manager Martin Mondou announced that he would repatriate Renaud.
PROUD OF HIS TIME
The latter had just lost in the final with Val-d’Or Foreurs against Victoriaville Tigres, despite being a star team, and some wondered if he would be the one who could take the Falls to the promised land.
“He knew what he was doing and so did Dan. Today we have the result of that and I am happy with that”, Mondou mentioned after the victory.
Today, in the euphoria of victory, Renaud has agreed to open up a bit about this February 2020 episode.
“If they don’t fire me, today I won’t win with Cataratas. In adversity, you grow. My biggest adversity moment in life was that dismissal and today it’s easy to say, but I thank Martin and the group for making it happen. It made me grow like I never could have grown. I learned in Val-d’Or and questioned myself. You always have the option to roll up your sleeves or point fingers at everyone when something bad happens to you. Today, we live it together. »
“HE WELDED US”
After the victory, Renaud and Mavrik Bourque shared a moment together. They exchanged a few words before hugging each other for several seconds.
“Do you want to know what I told him? Bourque asked us when we told him about that moment.
“I told him that I still remember the date he was fired. He came back and today, two and a half years later, we are champions. If Dan hadn’t been there, we would never have been champions. He was able to weld us and we can see it, we are a team, friends. That’s partly thanks to Dan. »
HAPPY WITH HIS RETURN
Forward Xavier Bourgault also only had good words for his head coach.
“He is a coach who helped me a lot. He is a guy who is close to his players and spent a lot of time with me making videos. It hurt a lot when he was fired and we kept in touch. I was very happy when he came back and I trusted him. »
It was the fourth final of his career for Renaud, who had lost after the first three: as head coach of Val-d’Or Foreurs last year; previously as an assistant with Quebec Remparts in 2015 and with Rimouski Oceanic in 2012.
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