Séminaire St-François Blizzard 2 - Red Deer Optimist Rebels 6
GINGRAS LEADS OPTIMIST REBELS TO BIG WIN
It’s no secret that goaltending is a very important aspect of any game and despite being outshot 37-28, the Red Deer Optimist Rebels Adam Gingras managed to keep his team on the right track by turning back a possible Séminaire Saint-François Blizzard comeback in the third period of a 6-2 win.
Landon Hiebert and Jordan Hale got the hosts started off on the right foot, scoring powerplay goals to give the Optimist Rebels an early 2-0 lead within the game’s first five minutes.
Cass Mappin pushed the lead to three midway through the second period, scoring shorthanded to chase Blizzard goaltender Sébastien Jupin-Langlois.
With only five minutes remaining in the second period, the hopes of the Quebec champions soared as a puck found its way behind Gingras. The celebration was halted, however, as the goal was disallowed due to being gloved in.
The disallowed goal seemed to only add fuel to the Blizzard fire as David Moison stormed back less than three minutes later to score his team’s first goal, a powerplay marker.
The Blizzard took advantage of an undisciplined Optimist Rebels, pulling to within a goal early in the third period, once again on the powerplay.
But Red Deer would not be denied the victory, turning it on in the final ten minutes and getting goals from Dallas Goodrunning, John Digness – with the sixth shorthanded goal of the tournament for the Optimist Rebels – and Hiebert to pull away.
Gingras shut the door the rest of the way, thwarting any possible comeback the Blizzard had planned.
“The team in front of me gives me a lot of confidence to play the game I can,” Gingras said following the victory. “The guys are playing really well and they’re making me look good.”
Gingras’ 35 saves earned him his team’s Player of the Game award, while Moison picked up the honour for Saint-François.
The Optimist Rebels will face the Vancouver North West Giants in one of Saturday’s semi-finals, at 6:00 p.m. MT, while the Blizzard will face the undefeated Prince Albert Mintos in the early semi, at 2:00 p.m. MT.
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PREVIEW: OPTIMIST REBELS LOOK TO REBOUND FROM RARE HOME-ICE LOSS
The host Red Deer Optimist Rebels look to bounce back after their first loss at Red Deer Arena in over a year when they face the Séminaire Saint-François Blizzard in the final game of the round-robin at the 2007 TELUS Cup on Friday night.
The Optimist Rebels saw their 27-game home-ice winning streak snapped by the Prince Albert Mintos on Thursday night, as the West Region champions came away with a 2-0 win. The loss means the Optimist Rebels can finish no better than second in the round-robin.
Red Deer’s vaunted offense, which scored 17 goals in its first three games, disappeared against the Mintos. The Optimist Rebels will need to regain their scoring touch if they hope to avoid falling any further in the standings.
The Blizzard were surprised by the Vancouver North West Giants on Thursday afternoon, falling 4-1 to the Pacific Region representatives. A quick start saw the Blizzard jump out to a 1-0 lead very early, but penalties cost the Quebec champions, who saw the game-winning and insurance goals scored while they were shorthanded.
Saint-François needs a win, and a loss by the Giants, to avoid a fourth-place finish and a semi-final match-up with the Mintos. To do that, the offense needs to return to its Wednesday night form, when it scored seven times in a shutout win over the Sault Ste. Marie North Stars.
History is not on the side of the Optimist Rebels, who are trying to become the first host team since the 1990 Riverains du Richelieu to take home the National Midget Championship. They’ll need a strong game to get past the Blizzard, who are looking for the fourth national championship in their history, which would tie the Regina (SK) Pat Canadians for the most all-time by one team.