What's Buzzing:

Buzzing The Net

2012 MasterCard Memorial Cup: Shawinigan Cataractes’ Gabriel Girard relaxed before must-win game

Neate Sager
Buzzing The Net

View photo

.

Shawinigan Cataractes goalie Gabriel Girard (The Canadian Press)

SHAWINIGAN, Que. — Gabriel Girard and his teammates probably had enough video sessions to last a lifetime during their 30-day layoff before the MasterCard Memorial Cup. It was no big deal, then, when the TV in their hotel that was showing Saturday's Saint John-London game lost the signal in the second period.

What did the Cataractes, their evening suddenly shot, do for entertainment instead?"

"We played XBox after," said the overage goalie, who'll make his first start in 44 days said on Sunday vs. London. "We played Tiger Woods and MLB. I did well. I think I played 12-under. I beat [Cataractes defenceman Dillon] Donnelly. I'm not sure if I would beat him for real.

"You don't always need to think hockey," Girard added. "Playing cards or video games is a good way to pass the time. You just need to be relaxed."

Girard has had nearly as long a break from the net as the namesake of that golf game had from the PGA Tour. The Varennes, Que., native has not played since April 6. Coach Éric Veilleux replaced Girard after the Cataractes squandered a third-period lead against the Chicoutimi Saguenéens by gaving up three goals in fewer than three minutes. Seventeen-year-old Alex Dubeau played the rest of the series.

Dubeau allowed four goals on 25 shots on Friday when Shawinigan lost 4-3 to the Edmonton Oil Kings. He wasn't bad; the poor save percentage doesn't reflect that the Oil Kings had a lot of premium chances. The 5-foot-9, 152-pound Dubeau showed good lateral quickness to get post-to-post for a couple big saves. Veilleux typically rotated his veteran and his young goalie all season, so he's going back to the platoon. The move was more or less expected.

Girard is one of the few holdovers from 2009 when the Cataractes lost a heartbreaking seven-game QMJHL final to Sean Couturier and the Drummondville Voltigeurs. He noted he'll have to be alert for one of London's favourite gambits, shooting from odd angles to produce a juicy rebound they can pop into the net. Max Domi scored the Knights first goal on Saturday from that bit of work.

"You have to find the right spot in the crease," Girard said. "If you're too deep in the net that's where they'll get a rebound. If you come out too far you might leave something else open. It's not easy."

The Cataractes are the only team in the tournament which uses a two-goalie system. Edmonton's Tristan Jarry, 16, and Saint John's Sébastien Auger, 17, did not see any post-season action. London backup Tyson Teichmann played three minutes in the OHL post-season.

Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Canada Sports. Contact him at neatesager@yahoo.ca and follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet.

View Comments (0)
  • Toro Rosso role too good to turn down, says Booth

    By Alan Baldwin SOCHI, Russia (Reuters) - Toro Rosso offered him a role he could not refuse and former Manor Marussia principal John Booth is back in Formula One as the Red Bull-owned team's director of racing. "But after a winter away...the … More »

    Reuters - 6 minutes ago
  • Hamilton faster than ever in final Sochi practice

    Hamilton faster than ever in final Sochi practice

    Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton prepared for Russian Grand Prix qualifying with the fastest lap yet of the Sochi circuit in Saturday's final practice. Hamilton is chasing a Russian Grand Prix hat-trick, having won the two previous races … More »

    Reuters - 7 minutes ago
  • Brumbies CEO Jones steps down after month of drama

    ACT Brumbies chief executive Michael Jones has agreed to leave the club, the Super Rugby side announced on Saturday, after a month of backroom drama over his future. Jones was stood down in March following a controversial radio interview in which … More »

    Reuters - 26 minutes ago
  • Lucas Bjerregaard, Felipe Aguilar share lead at China Open

    BEIJING (AP) -- Lucas Bjerregaard of Denmark fired a 7-under-par 65 to join Felipe Aguilar of Chile atop the China Open leaderboard after the third round on Saturday. … More »

    AP - Sports - 44 minutes ago
  • Hamilton fastest in 3rd practice for Russian Grand Prix

    Hamilton fastest in 3rd practice for Russian Grand Prix

    SOCHI, Russia (AP) -- Lewis Hamilton edged his Mercedes teammate and championship rival Nico Rosberg in the third practice for the Russian Grand Prix, taking first place by .068 seconds on Saturday. … More »

    AP - Sports - 1 hour 15 minutes ago