SAINT-HYACINTHE, Que. –
The Blizzard du Séminaire Saint-François have won the 2023 Men’s U18
National Club Championship, defeating the Gaulois de Saint-Hyacinthe 3-2 in
the gold medal game Sunday night at Stade L.-P.-Gaucher.
Marc-Olivier Roy (Boischâtel, Que.)
scored two goals in a span of 1:46 midway through the third period to give
the Blizzard the lead for good and give the Quebec representatives their
first national title since 2001 (when they were known as the Gouverneurs de
Ste-Foy) and their fifth overall, tying them with Notre Dame Hounds for the
It marked the first time since 2000 (Magog vs. Montréal-Bourassa) that two
teams from the province faced off in the gold medal game, and the first
time since that Ste-Foy triumph that a team from Quebec has won the
The game stayed scoreless through the first 40 minutes thanks to the play
of goaltendersRaphaël Précourt (Saint-Augustin-de-Desmaures, Que.) and Rémi Cloutier (Mont-Laurier, Que.), who
combined for 51 saves in the first two periods.
The floodgates opened in the third with five goals in just over nine
minutes. Noah McKinnon (Val-Bélair, Que.) started the
scoring for Saint-François just 30 seconds into the final frame, before
tournament MVP Émile Guité tied it for the Gaulois at 6:46. Roy restored
the Blizzard lead at 8:01, and put them up for good at 9:47, just 26
seconds after Dominic Pilote (Saint-Basil-le-Grande, Que.)
had equalized again for the hosts.
“It was a close game, as expected. We kept things simple and worked hard
all game, which made the difference” Roy said. “We are very proud of this
win. We had played the Gaulois previously, and knew we could come in here
in Saint-Hyacinthe and win the whole thing. It was an unforgettable moment
for our group, for sure.”
Both goaltenders were outstanding – Précourt finished with 42 saves, while
Cloutier made 29 stops.
“We had so many guys step up in the big moments. I am so proud of this
group,” said Blizzard head coach Mathieu Turcotte. “We had an amazing
season where we grew as a team despite facing a lot of uphill battles. And
now, our players are champions for life. This is a tough tournament to play
in, both physically and mentally. It is hard on players as well as on
coaches, but for many of our guys, this was the best experience of their
lives, an incredible event for everyone.
“Being able to win in our home province is truly special. The players were
aware our team had been the last to win the whole thing [in 2001]. Our
group has a lot of character, and it showed today. We have a first-class
organization here, and there’s reason to be proud.”
Saskatoon downs Toronto in shootout to win bronze
Earlier in the day, the Saskatoon Blazers edged the Toronto Jr. Canadiens
2-1 in a shootout to win the bronze medal.
Top Forward recipient Cole Reschny (Macklin, Sask.) and Nathan Gaymes (Toronto, Ont.) traded goals in regulation
time before Lee Shurgot (Saskatoon, Sask.) and Tyson Buczkowski (Saskatoon, Sask.) converted for the
Blazers in the shootout. Saskatoon netminder Grayson Malinoski (Saskatoon, Sask.) stopped all four
shooters he faced after making 32 saves in regulation and overtime.
“It feels fantastic,” said Blazers head coach Troy Walkington. “We came
here and we wanted to win gold. We were disappointed after our [semifinal
loss to the Gaulois] last night, and this must be the toughest game of the
tournament to play, after playing the last game last night, and not quite
reaching your expectations, so it is nice to come away with bronze.
“We won a medal; we weathered the storm early, but we certainly got back to
the way we wanted to play, so it feels good. We ended our season on a high
note. This is the last possible day to play, what more can we ask for, you
come to the national championship, you win a medal, you play in the last
possible day of the season, so almost perfect.”
For more information on Hockey Canada and Canada’s Men’s U18 National Club
Championship, please visit HockeyCanada.ca or follow through
social media onFacebook,Twitter and Instagram.
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