CANTONNIERS BLANK KINGS TO FINISH PERFECT PRELIMS
JASON LA ROSE
THUNDER BAY, Ont. – Xavier Dupont made 31 saves for the shutout and Zachary Barabé scored twice, giving the Cantonniers de Magog a 3-0 win over the Thunder Bay Kings in the preliminary-round finale Friday night at the 2019 TELUS Cup.
The Cantonniers closed out an unblemished prelims with their second shutout; they allowed just four goals in five games, the fewest since the Prince Albert Mintos gave up three en route to a national championship in 2014.
Magog will take on the Tisdale Trojans in the second semifinal Saturday (6 p.m. ET).
The Kings, who were eliminated from playoff contention Thursday, saw their season come to an end, but not before pushing the Cantonniers for the full 60 minutes.
It took just 72 seconds for Magog to open the scoring; Justin Robidas found Alexandre Doucet streaking to the net, and he went bar-down past the blocker of Kings goaltender Eric Vanska.
Robidas finished as the leading scorer in the preliminary round with nine points (four goals, five assists) in five games, two ahead of teammate Tristan Roy.
The 2-0 goal came at 12:19 of the second period thanks to the effort of Olivier Picard, who outworked a Thunder Bay defenceman behind the net before throwing a pass in front of the net for Barabé to bury for his first of the game.
He added his second five-and-a-half minutes into the final frame, parking himself in at the top of the crease and taking a short feed from Picard to deposit into an open net.
Dupont was at his best in the second period, making 14 saves as the Kings tried to get back into the game.
Magog finished with a 39-31 edge in shots on goal.
The Cantonniers are the 12th team since the start of the six-team format in 1984 to go 5-0 in the preliminary round. Of that group, only five ended up winning the gold medal (including Notre Dame last year).