QUEBEC — The Rimouski Oceanic look like they have rival Quebec’s number, but Remparts coach Philippe Boucher feels they may have got some help from a referee.
Michael Joly had a goal and three assists as the Oceanic used three power-play goals to chase goalie Zach Fucale and down the host Remparts 4-0 on Wednesday.
The win helped Rimouski stave off elimination and force a tiebreaker game Thursday night at the Mastercard Memorial Cup — against the Remparts.
“We needed a big start and that’s what happened,” said Oceanic centre Frederik Gauthier. “We came out strong and put pressure on their defencemen.
“It’s the last one and one team will go home and the other will continue, so we need to play our best game.”
While Philippe Desrosiers made 27 saves for the shutout, Fucale was pulled in favour of Callum Booth at 12:40 of the second period after Alexis Loiseau made it 4-0 on Rimouski’s 25th shot. Booth made 17 saves.
Boucher said he wanted to rest Fucale for the rematch, given that the game at that point looked like a lost cause. But then he lit into the tournament’s hockey operations people, who come from the NHL, for naming Jonathan Alarie as one of the refs.
“He called the first two penalties tonight, the last four against Oshawa, the one in Game 7 in Rimouski,” said Boucher, who will likely be fined for his comments. “And we asked, if possible, that he’s not there. And he was there.
“It’s the NHL that decides on the refs here and they should be aware of certain things that happened during the year. Ever since a linesman was suspended for comments he made about me it’s been difficult for us. It’s disheartening.”
Justin Samson, who spent half the season in junior-A hockey with Vaudreuil-Dorion, and Chris Clapperton also scored for the Oceanic, who beat the Remparts in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League final on a Game 7 overtime goal by Joly on a power play on which Alarie called the penalty.
The result put the Kelowna Rockets into the semifinal on Friday because they had the best goal percentage among three teams who finished the round robin with 1-2 records.
The Oceanic (1-2) and Remparts (1-2) will be the first teams from the same league to play a tiebreaker since Kamloops beat Portland twice in a row in 1986.
The Oshawa Generals (3-0) earned direct entry into the final on Sunday.
Rimouski has won it’s last six games at the Pepsi Colisee, including all three in the QMJHL final.
“I don’t think our team is stressed when we play here,” said Joly.