Océanic take Game 1 in overtime
Anthony DeLuca scored three goals – including the overtime-winner – lifting the Rimouski Océanic to a 4-3 victory over the Val-d’Or Foreurs in Game 1 of their best-of-seven series.
DeLuca, 20, scored three of the Océanic’s four goals on Friday night for his first-career postseason hat-trick.
Andrew Picco broke the ice seven minutes into the game. The Marystown, Nfld. native beat Foreurs goaltender Etienne Montpetit for his first-career playoff goal. Picco finished the regular season with just three goals in 59 games. The steady defencemen last scored on March 14 in a game against the Baie-Comeau Drakkar. Fellow Newfoundlander, Tyler Bolland, drew the lone assist.
The Foreurs evened the score late in the first period. Anthony Richard scored his team-leading 10th of the playoffs fooling Océanic netminder Louis-Philip Guindon. The Trois-Rivières, Que. native tallied four goals in seven games against the Drakkar in the quarterfinals.
DeLuca began his scoring crusade with less than 30 seconds remaining in the opening period. The unassisted goal gave the Océanic a one-goal lead going into the first intermission.
Val-d’Or tied the game for a second time early in the second period. Shawn Ouellette-St-Aman beat Guindon for his fifth of the postseason. Captain Pierre-Maxime Poudrier grabbed the lone assist.
Six minutes into the third period, the sixth-seeded Foreurs took the lead for the first time. Poudrier put the visiting club ahead with his sixth of the playoffs. Ouellette-St-Aman and Vital Côté grabbed the assists.
The Océanic evened the score in the final minute of regulation. With Guindon on the bench, DeLuca scored his second goal of the game forcing overtime.
In the opening seconds of the overtime period, Foreurs’ Jan Mandat took a delay of game penalty. The Océanic power play proved too much for the Foreurs penalty kill. With 10 seconds remaining in Mandat’s minor, DeLuca solved Montpetit giving his club a 1-0 series lead.
Montpetit was terrific in goal for the Foreurs. The Valleyfield, Que. native made 29 saves in a losing cause.
Guindon was equally solid at the other end of the ice. The former Drummondville Voltigeur turned aside 19 Foreurs shots for his sixth win of the postseason.
Game 2 of the best-of-sevens series will take place at the Colisée Financière Sun Life in Rimouski, Que. Puck drop is slated for 3 p.m. EDT.