Séminaire St-François Blizzard 3 - St. John's Maple Leafs 1
BLIZZARD USE POWERPLAY TO TOP MAPLE LEAFS
Michael Trudel, Maxime Gravel and Mike Villeneuve all had two points as the Séminaire Saint-François Blizzard opened their 2007 TELUS Cup with a 3-1 win over the St. John’s Maple Leafs on Monday night in Red Deer, AB.
Villeneuve and Alexandre Chiasson scored on the powerplay for the Blizzard, who went 2-for-7 with the man advantage.
Saint-François head coach Serge Beausoleil said after that game that his team’s powerplay was the difference.
“We moved the puck very well, and we got our shots through,” Beausoleil said. “I was very impressed with how our powerplay worked tonight.”
Jon Caul opened the scoring for St. John’s just 24 seconds into the game, but the Blizzard dominated much of the first period, outshooting the Newfoundlanders 16-6 in the opening 20 minutes.
Chiasson’s goal five minutes after Caul’s marker pulled the Quebec champions even on the powerplay, and Villeneuve put the Blizzard ahead to stay early in the second period with a powerplay goal of his own.
The loss was the first for the Maple Leafs in a meaningful game since October 21, a span of 32 games – covering league and playoffs.
St. John’s goaltender Kyle Downer was named his team’s Player of the Game, while Guillaume Goulet picked up the honour for Saint-François.
The Maple Leafs play their second game on Tuesday night when they face the host Red Deer Optimist Rebels, while the Blizzard travel to Carstairs to take on Prince Albert.
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PREVIEW: BLIZZARD, MAPLE LEAFS FACE-OFF IN EASTERN MATCH-UP
The TELUS Cup’s two East Coast teams go head-to-head on the first day of the National Midget Championship as the Séminaire Saint-François Blizzard and St. John’s Maple Leafs face-off at Red Deer Arena.
The Blizzard, who won three national championships in 12 prior appearances as the Gouverneurs de Ste-Foy, are back in the national championship for the first time since winning the 2001 title in Prince George, BC. They were the top team in Quebec through the regular season, and went 15-3 in the postseason on their way to the league championship.
Forward Dave Labrecque, a first-round QMJHL pick of the Shawinigan Cataractes, finished third in league scoring (21-39-60) in the regular season, and added 30 points (13g, 17a) in 18 postseason games on his way to bring named Playoff MVP.
Red Deer will mark the second consecutive trip to the TELUS Cup for the Maple Leafs, who finished fifth one year ago in Charlottetown, PE. They enter the National Midget Championship riding a 32-game league and playoff unbeaten streak, including 21 straight wins to close out the regular season, six more in the playoffs, and three wins and two ties at the Atlantic Regional.
The Maple Leafs spread around the scoring in the regular season, with four players in the top five in league scoring, led by Chad Earle (22-21-43). Chris Thorne (37 points), Vincent Paiement (34) and Jon Caul (30) also had big offensive years for St. John’s.
The Blizzard wrapped up the Quebec championship on April 11, the last of the six teams to qualify. They hope to use that momentum to propel them to national title number four, while the Maple Leafs hope their extra few days of rest will mean a little extra jump in their opening game.