Remparts slice Olympiques’ win streak
Quebec’s goalie the difference in second period
Remparts 4 Olympiques 2
Any time the current edition of the Gatineau Olympiques can draw comparisons to the 2010-11 team is a good thing. That’s the last edition of the Olympiques to advance to the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League finals.
So it was all positive when the road-weary Olympiques played late Sunday afternoon at Quebec, trying for a seventh consecutive win that would have been the club’s longest winning streak since that 2010-11 season.
It took Quebec Remparts rookie goaltender Callum Booth to keep them from doing it.
The 16-year-old from Montreal made 29 saves, including 15 in a furious second period assault by the Olympiques, as Quebec turned back the Olympiques before a crowd of 10,827 at Le Colisée Pepsi to end the Olympiques’ run.
“We will have to battle like we did every night,” said Gatineau head coach Benoit Groulx of the stretch of success. “There are no games given to you in this league.
“In this stretch, we have seen the best of our goaltender Robert Steeves. Vaclav Karabacek was stellar and our most consistent player. He was our best player this weekend and yet, he just has one goal to show for it. He was spectacular. He is really showing signs of becoming a great player.
“And Vincent Dunn has also played some good hockey. That’s good news for us. Now we go back home and a get a few days rest before another big week ahead.”
Still it was fun while it lasted, the Piques last lost Oct. 12 to Baie-Comeau.
At that point, Gatineau was 6-5 and lumped in eighth place overall, barely averaging three goals a game.
Then they got on a run, winning four of the six away from the Robert Guertin Arena, and averaging four goals a game to climb to a tie for third overall. They are also 6-3 on the road with their road wins total, tops in the league.
On defence, they surrendered just 15 goals in those six games, with over-age goaltender Steeves carrying the bulk of the load. The Moncton product is still 9-4 after the loss with a 2.46 goals-against average and a save percentage of .899.
The Olympiques are doing if offensively with a balanced attack.
After Calgary Flames pick Émile Poirier, who is tied for third in league scoring with 12 goals and 26 points through 16 games, there isn’t another Olympique among the league leaders, not until rookie Karabacek, who is tied for 47th with seven goals and 15 points.
Facing the Remparts, the Olympiques fell behind 2-0 in the opening period on a pair of goals by Fabrice Herzog.
Gatineau dominated in the second, outshooting Quebec 15-5 only to fall three goals down on Zachery Moody’s only goal of the period.
Karabacek gave the Olympiques life with a goal three minutes into the third only to see Quebec’s Maxime Chevalier restore the three-goal lead 91 seconds later.
Ottawa Senators draft pick Dunn cut it to 4-2 and 4:51, but the Olympiques couldn’t close the gap further.
The loss in the provincial capital came on a heels of a 5-4 shootout win Saturday over the Rimouski Oceanic.
Rimouski jumped to a quick 2-0 lead before Gatineau veteran Martine Reway cut it in half before the first period ended and Dunn tied it with the only goal of the middle frame.
Marc-Olivier Brouillard scored his fifth and sixth of the season early in the third only to have Rimouski bounce back with a pair, including the tying goal with less than seven minutes to play.
The teams skated through the overtime and went nine shots deep in the shootout when Gatineau’s Jake Coughler scored and Steeves made his seventh save of the shootout to give Gatineau the win.
The Olympiques return home Wednesday night to face the defending Memorial Cup-champion Halifax Mooseheads and top NHL picks Jonathan Drouin (third, overall, Tampa Bay) and goaltender Zachary Fucale (36th overall, Montreal).
The Ottawa 67’s, meanwhile, enjoyed a rare weekend off with just a public skate in West Carleton with fans Sunday. They play Tuesday night when they host the Kingston Frontenacs at the Canadian Tire Centre.
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