Victoriaville Tigres’ Yanick Jean accuses Moncton Wildcats of headhunting, says Quebec-based refs ‘call the real game’

MONCTON — Victoriaville Tigres coach Yanick Jean was livid with the refereeing in his post-game comments after his team’s 3-2 overtime loss to the Moncton Wildcats on Saturday.

Former Tigres captain Phil Danault scored the Game 2 winner on a screened point shot on the only power play in overtime to even the best-of-7 series 1-1. The Wildcats spent several shifts pressing for the winner prior to the power play, hitting two posts on the same shift.

Jean was adamant that Wildcat forward Ivan Barbashev dove to draw the interference call on Tigres defenceman Petr Sidlik that lead to the Wildcats power play in overtime. While the Tigres left the ice as the Wildcats celebrated the winning goal, he made diving gestures while yelling at referees Todd Thomander and Steven Starzomski. He directed his frustration and anger towards the referees in his post-game comments after Game 2 Saturday.

“It’s unbelievable. Unbelievable that they [fall for] a [dive] like this in overtime,” Jean said. “I’ve never seen that before.

“I can't wait to return to Quebec [for games 3, 4 and 5] because at least in Quebec, diving is called and we know that for sure. Here, it’s not the same refereeing. We didn't have the same spark as yesterday, maybe not the same energy. Still, if you get two or three [penalties] less if the referees called the diving, it’s not the same game. The difference in the refereeing will have a huge impact.”

Tigres goaltender Brandon Whitney made 55 saves Saturday. He shut out the Wildcats on Friday night, making 37 saves in the 3-0 win.

Jean is sure that Whitney wouldn’t have seen so much rubber Saturday without all the penalties. The Tigres went 1-for-7 on the power play, while the Wildcats went 2-for-7.

“Whitney was good, but he had to be. We made sure he had to be with the [amount of] penalties we took.”

Wildcats 'go for our heads'

Jean continued his tirade, stating that the Wildcats players were targeting the Tigres’ heads with their hits.

“Of course, the [Wildcats] have assignments to go for our heads,” Jean continued. “We’ll look at a lot of clips that we’re going to send to the league. It’s unbelievable the number of times that we got hit in the head tonight.”

Jean looks forward to returning home, where he hopes the home crowd and Quebec referees will give his team some momentum.

“First, we know the referees are going to call the real game,” he said. “We know we’re going to have more energy going back home. We’ll try to get the crowd going for us. The fans will be there and give us a boost.”

The Wildcats will have forward Ross Johnston available for Game 3 as he finished serving his 15-game suspension Saturday. The series resumes Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday in Victoriaville.