Prince George, B.C.
BLIZZARD SCORE SIX UNANSWERED TO ROUT HOSTS AT TELUS CUP
JASON LA ROSE
PRINCE GEORGE, B.C. – Pierrick Dubé had a hat trick, three of six unanswered goals over the last 40 minutes, as the Blizzard du Séminaire Saint-François ran away with a 6-1 win over the Cariboo Cougars in the primetime match-up Thursday at the 2017 TELUS Cup.
The result means five teams – Cape Breton West (2-2), Saint-François (2-2), Leduc (2-2), Regina (1-2-1) and Cariboo (1-2-1) – will go into the final day of preliminary-round play separated by just one point, with three semifinal spots available.
Samuel Dickner added a goal and two assists for the Blizzard, and Vincent Guy chipped in with three helpers. Philippe Gaudreault was busy in the Saint-François goal, finishing with 38 saves.
Both teams came out firing in the first period, combining for 31 shots in the opening 20 minutes, but only one found the back of the net.
Hunter Floris, who scored twice in the Cougars’ win over Cape Breton West on Wednesday night, netted his third in two games, taking a no-look feed from Trey Thomas and beating Gaudreault at 7:32.
But the Cariboo offence dried up from there, and the Blizzard took over.
Dubé tied the game just past the nine-minute mark of the second period, finishing a two-on-one with Guy, and Maxime Collin put the Quebec champions ahead for good at 16:48, knocking a rebound past Cougars netminder Zach Wickson.
The floodgates opened in the third, starting with the second goal from Dubé at 2:16; he buried a cross-crease feed from Julien Létourneau, before Jakob Pelletier pushed the advantage to 4-1 with a tap-in at 5:33.
The Cougars had their chance to get back into the game with a five-on-three nearing the midway point of the period, but instead it was Dickner who beat Wickson with a spin move in front of the net for a shorthanded goal.
That was it for Wickson, who allowed five goals on 46 shots in his first start of the tournament.
Dubé finished the scoring and his hat trick with less than five minutes to go, going to the net to deposit a centering pass from Létourneau behind Marcus Allen.
Saint-François finished with a 51-39 advantage in shots on goal.
The Blizzard will look to cement their spot in the semifinals when they close out the preliminary round against the Leduc Oil Kings on Friday (2 p.m. PT), while the Cougars take on the Mississauga Rebels in the round-robin finale (6 p.m. PT). As long as neither of the first two games of the day end in a tie, a win would be enough to get Cariboo into the semifinals.