For some it was impossible, while for others it was highly improbable. Never mind, the Victoriaville Tigers are the President’s Cup champions.
Alex Beaucage scored with 1 min 1 s elapsed in the second overtime period to propel his team to a 3-2 victory over the Val-d’Or Foreurs and thus allow the organization to win a first title. of the QMJHL since 2002. See in the video above.
“It’s indescribable,” said the man who got his hands on a second President’s Cup after having experienced the 2019 conquest with the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies. Val-d’Or played really well and we have to give them credit. On our side, we worked hard, we played well defensively and we never gave up. ”
“At 19, you realize that you don’t have a lot of chances of winning it anymore. When I won, at 17, I realized it, but I knew I still had more years left, so it was different. I can’t ask for better. Besides, this group is all brothers. I’m having chills right now. ”
The return of the cup
In 2002, during the last conquest of the Tigers, Carl Mallette was the captain of the formation.
On Saturday, he helped the team bring the big trophy back to Victoriaville, but this time behind the bench.
“It’s the same feeling. It’s incredible. When you have the cup at the end of your arms, it cannot be explained. The credit goes to the players. I had the chance to lead the team with which I won as a player. We believed in it until the end and now we are champions. I am really proud. ”
“In 2002, we won in six games too. We were neglected and everyone was putting Bathurst in five. It’s a bit the same story. As a coach, you put a plan in place and the players have to adhere to it. The feeling is incredible. Victoriaville has been waiting for this moment for 19 years. ”
Ahead 2-1 after a period, especially thanks to a goal from Mikhail Abramov scored on a penalty shot, the Tigers defended themselves for the next 40 minutes against Foreurs inhabited by the energy of despair.
Despite a domination of 25 shots against 7 in the last two periods, Val-d’Or had to wait until the end of the third before finally managing to outsmart goalkeeper Nikolas Hurtubise, intractable until then.
It was Jérémy Michel who beat him with 5 min 20 s to go in regulation time to force the holding of an overtime.
The guard was subsequently intractable at the door before seeing Beaucage close the books. He finished the game with 48 saves.
“Right now, I don’t really realize it. I guess I’ll remember this for the rest of my life. At this moment, we have just lifted the cup. I am without words! ” reacted the guard.
Disappointment in Val-d’Or
In the Foreurs camp, it was dismay. Established as big favorites by just about everyone after making several big deals over the holiday season, for them the loss was painful to take.
“We left everything on the ice. The guys got high and I’m proud of them. I am also exceedingly disappointed for them, for Val-d’Or, for the owners, for the general manager and for the group of coaches. Our players sacrificed themselves for ten months during this exceptional season during which they saw no one. I don’t think anyone realizes the sacrifices that all the bands have made this year. This is the worst possible outcome. It hurts, ”said head coach Daniel Renaud.
Author of 22 points in 19 games, Benjamin Tardif received the Guy-Lafleur trophy awarded to the most valuable player of the playoffs.