CHÂTEAUGUAY SCORES THREE IN SECOND PERIOD TO TOP GLADIATORS
RIVIÈRE-DU-LOUP, Que. – Maxime Comtois scored twice and Antoine Morand added two assists as the Grenadiers de Châteauguay knocked off the Newbridge Academy Gladiators 5-2 in Wednesday’s opening game at the 2015 TELUS Cup.
The Grenadiers controlled the puck for long stretches against the still-winless Atlantic Region champions, outshooting Newbridge Academy by more than a two-to-one margin, 49-24.
Twenty of those 49 shots came in the first period, but Châteauguay could manage just a single goal; Jacob Lapierre’s bullet from the blue-line beat Gladiators goaltender Matthew Williams just six minutes in.
Nicolas Desgroseilliers made it 2-0 early in the second period, roofing a shot past Williams on the breakaway, but Dylan Burton got one back for Newbridge Academy just 1:48 after that, banging in a rebound that Grenadiers netminder Mikael Recine couldn’t control.
The Quebec Region representatives would extend their lead before the end of the middle frame, scoring twice in the second half of the period to take charge for good.
The 3-1 goal came from Adam Pilotte, who cruised in off the point and tapped in a loose puck in the crease at 10:47, and Comtois – the Grenadiers’ leading scorer in the regular season – finally got his first of the tournament on the power play at 19:47 for a 4-1 lead after 40 minutes.
Comtois got his second of the game three minutes into the third period, dancing around a Gladiators defenceman with a gorgeous between-the-legs move before going five-hole on Williams.
Alexander Allain capitalized on a miscommunication between two Grenadiers to score a shorthanded goal with 55 seconds to go and provide the final margin of victory.
Both teams continued to struggle with the power play; Châteauguay had a single goal in eight chances and has scored just twice with the man advantage through its three games, while the Gladiators were 0-for-5, and have yet to find the back of the net I 15 tries while playing a man up.
The Grenadiers look to secure their spot on the weekend on Thursday when they take on the Toronto Young Nationals in a rematch of last year’s semifinal (4 p.m. ET), while Newbridge Academy tries again for its first win when it faces the Strathmore Bisons in the day’s opener (noon ET).