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.

Sign up for Yahoo Fantasy Hockey
Sorry you didn't like this comment. Please provide a reason below.

Are you sure?
Rating failed. Try again.
Request failed. Try again.
We will promote constructive and witty comments to the top, so everyone sees them!
Sorry, we can’t load comments right now. Try again.
    • Dortmund's Goetze out of Champions League clash with Real Madrid

      Dortmund's Goetze out of Champions League clash with Real Madrid

      Attacking midfielder Mario Goetze has been ruled out of Borussia Dortmund's Champions League clash with Real Madrid due to a knee injury, the German club said on Tuesday. Dortmund said the injury to the 24-year-old was minor, adding that he had a … More »

      Reuters - 14 minutes ago
    • Field days, uh, nights, for Colts in 41-10 romp over Jets

      Field days, uh, nights, for Colts in 41-10 romp over Jets

      With their star quarterback behind center again, Dwayne Allen and T.Y. Hilton had field days against the New York Jets. Make that a field night at the Meadowlands as they helped the Indianapolis Colts (6-6) move into a tie atop the AFC South with a … More »

      AP - Sports - 15 minutes ago
    • Denmark's Bjorn named Europe's Ryder Cup captain

      Denmark's Bjorn named Europe's Ryder Cup captain

      Denmark's Thomas Bjorn was named as Europe's Ryder Cup captain on Tuesday with the task of reclaiming the trophy from the United States at Le Golf National in Paris in 2018. The three past captains were the key decision makers in selecting Thomas," … More »

      Reuters - 21 minutes ago
    • Golf-Denmark's Bjorn named Europe's Ryder Cup captain

      (Adds detail, quotes) LONDON, Dec 6 (Reuters) - Denmark's Thomas Bjorn was named as Europe's Ryder Cup captain on Tuesday with the task of reclaiming the trophy from the United States at Le Golf National in Paris in 2018. The three past captains … More »

      Reuters - 23 minutes ago
    • Liverpool go bonding in Barcelona

      Liverpool go bonding in Barcelona

      (Reuters) - Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp has flown his squad to Barcelona on a two-day bonding trip ahead of the visit of West Ham United in the Premier League on Sunday, the Liverpool Echo reported. Liverpool suffered a shock defeat at … More »

      Reuters - 24 minutes ago