The fans in Chicoutimi brought the noise and the Saguenéens' Étienne Brodeur brought the funk in addition to the biggest goal of his team's season. The overage winger's team desperately needed a win to stay in the hunt in the QMJHL semifinal against the powerhouse Saint John Sea Dogs after losing the first two games of the best-of-7 series on the road
So when Brodeur tipped in teammate Christian Ouellet's shot to clinch a 5-4 comeback win over the defending MasterCard Memorial Cup champions, there was ecstasy in the air, the metaphorical kind. Any old celebration, or celly as players call it, would not suffice after handing Saint John its first loss of the entire playoffs. So as his joyous teammates poured off the bench, the 21-year-old Brodeur busted out The Worm.
The goal continued an enervating playoff run by the upstart Saguenéens. They have already gone farther in the playoffs than any Chicoutimi club since 2005 and just bounced the MasterCard Memorial Cup host team, the Shawinigan Cataractes, who were supposedly built for the playoffs. In the third period against Saint John, they twice replied to to tie the game within a minute after the Sea Dogs took the lead and seemed poised to take an insurmountable 3-0 series lead.
Saguenéens defenceman Andrew O'Brien tweeted that it was "best celly" he had ever seen in hockey, adding, "I was gonna jump on the ice and join him ... but he's creative, he's got some cellys up his sleeve."
Chicoutimi finished eighth in the 17-team QMJHL in the regular season, which had people wondering if the team's moves to add older players such as Brodeur, Ouellet, defenceman Mathieu Gagnon and 19-year-old Ottawa Senators prospect Jean-Gabriel Pageau was about to blow up in their face. But it's paid off with their takedown of Shawinigan and by being David to Saint John's Goliath in the semifinal. That makes it even sweeter.
Brodeur was the Buzzing The Net's first star on Tuesday. While he had just 49 points in his overage season after scoring 53 goals last season in Lewiston, he came through big-time by factoring into all three Chicoutimi goals in the game's final 25 minutes. He made a one-touch pass that led to Pageau's goal 15 seconds after Saint John had pulled ahead 3-2 and also assisted on the tying goal with 2 1/2 minutes left by by ex-Sea Dog Gabriel Bourret, which came just 44 seconds after the Sea Dogs retook the lead. It was a nails performance from the overage player trying to win a championship in his final season. So let the man bust a move.
Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Canada Sports. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet.