Photo Credit: Trevor MacMillan/QMJHL
“It takes four games to win a series.”
While the words might be cliche for teams staring down the brink in a playoff series, Mooseheads Head Coach Sylvain Favreau hit the right notes in his postgame conference following a frustrating 2-1 defeat.
Those words have come to define this resilient Mooseheads team who lost the first game in each round in 2023 and found a way to bounce back, rattling off four game winning streaks on three occasions.
At the other end of the hallway, the Remparts cheered themselves on as they pushed themselves one step closer to the goal of claiming the Gilles-Courteau Trophy, which would also be the first QMJHL title of Patrick Roy’s lengthy career as a bench boss in the league.
Despite the cushion in the series, the Hall of Fame goaltender is not taking anything for granted, mentioning that the fourth win is the hardest to come by, and that Halifax will throw everything they have at them in game five.
Heading into game four, however, Halifax were without two key players in Zachary L’Heureux and David Moravec, who returned for game three but left shortly after puck drop and did not return.
Theo Rochette wasted no time in breaking the ice just 2:54 into the contest by firing a shot through traffic to beat Mathis Rousseau and to give Quebec the early lead.
The woes continued in an uninspiring first period for the Mooseheads team looking to knot the series back at two heading back to Centre Videotron.
The shots after the first 15 minutes were 16-2 for the Remparts and everything was going their way heading into the intermission.
A strong shift from the reunited Doucet-Lawrence-Dumais trio set the tone for a quick jump in the second period, but a solid William Rousseau complicated matters.
The tide shifted to start the second period and led to a goal by Markus Vidicek to tie it that was called back moments later after the officials convened and reviewed the play for a hand pass.
The puck hit the glove of Jordan Dumais before a battle ensued for possession leading to a wide open Markus Vidicek. But upon review, the call was overturned on the ice.
The Moose responded shortly after with Evan Boucher ripping a shot below the glove of Rousseau to tie the game.
Halifax took control of the game from that point, controlling the majority of possession and the scoring chances, but Rousseau helped Quebec weather the storm.
With two chances on the powerplay in the third period, the Mooseheads failed to capitalize to propel themselves to victory, and as it always does come playoff time, those chances come back like a boomerang the other way.
Zachary Bolduc broke the deadlock following both big kills on a cross-ice feed from Rochette to score the game-winning goal and to send the Remparts back to Quebec with a 3-1 stranglehold on the series.
Attilio Biasca left the game after an awkward hit in the first and is questionable for Friday’s game five, adding to the injury ward on the Mooseheads right now.
The Rousseau’s continue to be the story in this series, combining for 56 saves on 59 shots in game four.
Game five goes Friday night at 7pm EST in Quebec City where the Remparts can capture the Gilles-Courteau Trophy, which would be the first QMJHL title in Patrick Roy’s coaching career.
The Remparts are deservedly the leaders in the series to this point, but Favreau is right to channel the cliches in this moment. It takes four to win the series.
The Mooseheads have bent all season long, but it’s up to them to make sure they don’t break now to ensure the Scotiabank Centre gets a game six.