Samuel Noreau (NYR 2011 5th) and his Baie-Comeau Drakkar returned home in need of a win to avoid falling behind to the Halifax Mooseheads in the QMJHL Finals. Down 2-0 to a team that had not even suffered a loss so far in the 2013 playoffs, a win was something that only the Drakkar and their fans thought possible as everyone else had been handing the Mooseheads the QMJHL Championship.
The teams played to a scoreless tie for all of the first period and into the late stages of the 2nd period when the Drakkar scored for the first lead of the series let alone the game. The Drakkar playing a more physical game were hitting everything in a Mooseheads jersey and it payed off.
The Drakkar were credited for 23 hits for the game as Noreau had 2 of them (and 2 shots) while keeping Nathan MacKinnon and Jonathan Drouin off the scoreboard. The defensive work from the Drakkar held the 2 Mooseheads stars to a combined 2 shots for the game.
The 3-1 win for the Drakkar cuts the series lead to 2-1 and the Drakkar will attempt to tie the series at 2-2 on Wednesday evening.
In Edmonton, the Portland Winterhawks took back the home ice advantage they gave away in game 1 by defeating the Edmonton Oil Kings 3-1 in game 3 of the WHL Finals. The Winterhawks jumped on the Oil Kings for 3 goals in the first period and then held the Oil Kings at bay with a strong disciplined defensive game and a solid performance from their goalie Mac Carruth.
Michael St. Croix (NYR 2011 4th) scored Edmonton's only goal of the game, his 11th of the playoffs but other than that the Oil Kings have only themselves to blame for this loss. They have yet to play well in this series and other than game 1, it has cost them.
Give Portland the credit as they showed up ready to take the game to the Oil Kings and other than the St. Croix goal, they kept the Oil Kings and their fans very silent. Edmonton has less than 24 hours to rediscover their game or else they risk heading back to Portland for a game 5 that just might spell the end of their reign as WHL Champs.
Wednesday should be interesting with all 3 leagues playing key games that could have a huge say in who gets to head to Saskatoon for the Memorial Cup next week.