An impressive comeback orchestrated by a brilliant performance by forward William Dufour allowed the Saint-Jean Sea Dogs, the hosts of the Memorial Cup, to qualify directly for the final of the prestigious competition, Saturday at the TD Station arena, thanks to a 5 to 3 victory against the Shawinigan Cataractes.
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By virtue of two wins in regulation and a loss in overtime, the crowd favorites finished first in the group stage. In the final on Wednesday, they will face the winners of Monday's semifinal between the Cataractes and the OHL champions Hamilton Bulldogs, who finished second and third in the pool, respectively. The Edmonton Oil Kings finished in last place and were eliminated.
In the duel of the day, the Cataractes seemed on their way to the final, leading 3-0 after 20 minutes of play. The Sea Dogs, and especially William Dufour, had not said their last word, however.
The forward, second leading scorer in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League in the regular season, first scored a natural hat trick in the second period. Just over two minutes had passed in the second period when he hit the target for the first time. Then, 21 seconds later, he closed the gap to just one. He carried out this feat of arms before the mid-period.
Dufour did not end his evening there, he who scored a fourth goal at the start of the third period. He has six goals in three games since the start of the competition.
Jérémie Poirier scored the other net for the winners. Loris Rafanomezantsoa, Olivier Nadeau and William Veillette contributed to the success of the Cataractes despite the loss.