SHAWINIGAN | There are fewer and fewer questions trying to determine who is the right man in front of the Remparts net. Again on Sunday evening, William Rousseau was excellent in helping his team win 3-2 against the Cataractes in front of the imposing and hostile crowd at the Gervais Auto center in Shawinigan.
The Red Devils goaltender saved 26 of the 28 pucks aimed at him, being particularly effective in the third period, dominated by Cataracts who played with the energy of desperation.
"When it's buzzing, you don't think. I was getting in front of the puck and the defensemen did a great job of blocking shots. That’s why we went for that game,” humbly mentioned the goaltender, who now has a 1.81 goals-against average and a 0.927 save percentage in the playoffs so far.
“It helps a lot,” added defender Louis Crevier about the work of his masked teammate. You know that when you leave outside shots, he's going to be there, just like on the rebounds. I have great confidence in him and that makes all the difference for a defender. »
After starting the playoffs with an alternating system, Patrick Roy had no choice but to admit that the identity of his trusted man is becoming increasingly clear.
“The key player was our goalkeeper. He was superb and made the saves from start to finish. I'm happy for him. He has always worked hard and kept a good attitude, and he is rewarded. »
Moreover, the Remparts became the first team this season to shut out Mavrik Bourque two games in a row.
PICK AND SHOVEL
Like the first two clashes of the series, the one on Sunday was fiercely contested. The Remparts took a 2-0 lead in the first half on goals from Xavier Filion and Nicolas Savoie where Antoine Coulombe looked bad, but the hosts came back strong in the second period, creating the equality thanks to two defenders, Jordan Tourigny and Zachary Massicotte, to the delight of the packed house of 4,512 spectators at the Gervais Auto center.
Discreet since the beginning of the series, the first line of the Remparts scored a big goal at the right time when Zachary Bolduc moved the ropes, on the power play, at the end of the second period.
"Rousseau was very good, the Remparts were very good and so were we," said Cats head coach Daniel Renaud. How many times have we repeated from the beginning that it is the small details that will make the difference, but here, it is even smaller than small. There is no space on the ice. »
An analysis with which his vis-à-vis, Patrick Roy, agreed.
“If you had told me that a Quebec – Shawi series would be a pick and shovel, I’m not sure I would have believed that. You have to gain your space on the ice, it skates and the two teams defend themselves well. We look for the details to make the difference. In our case, we will have to do fewer turnovers and get the puck out more efficiently. »
“WE WANT TO END IT”
The two teams will meet again this evening and the Remparts will have the opportunity to confirm their first presence in the final of the President's Cup since 2015.
“We will have to come out strong, added Rousseau. We don't want a fifth game. We want to finish tomorrow [tonight] and the guys are going to be ready for that. »
Same story in the case of Bolduc who believes his team can be even better than what it showed on Sunday night.
“We want to finish the job because we have no intention of returning to Quebec for game five. Our state of mind is really that we want to play with urgency as we did in the first two periods. The message is clear in the room: we know we can do better and the most difficult match to win will be tomorrow. »