With a sold-out crowd at the Brandt Centre waiting to explode, the Acadie-Bathurst Titan would not let them hit the detonator.
Using a smothering style, the Quebec League champs dominated for much of the Mastercard Memorial Cup final winning it 3-0 for their first ever Canadian junior hockey championship.
Pats head coach and general manager John Paddock gave a lot of credit to the Titan saying they just would just not allow them to play their game right from the opening puck drop
“We needed a second puck on the ice, because for two periods they wouldn’t give it to us. ” Paddock said. “It’s tough to win.”
Had it not been for goaltender Max Paddock, the Pats may have been on the end of a one-sided score as at one point in the second period, Acadie-Bathurst led in shots-on-goal by a count of 28-5 including 16-0 in the second period alone.
Paddock kept the game close making one big save after another hoping his teammates could find the equalizer, but that didn’t happen.
The 17-year-old, whose draft stock rose tremendously with his play during the week, says the room was what you would expect it to be after a loss in what was the biggest game of their lives for many.
“Sad obviously, but we are very proud of the work we put in over the last six weeks to get here.” Paddock stated. “Throughout the whole season we had ups and downs and doubters saying we would get pumped when we got here which didn’t happen.”
While the Pats room was sad, there was nothing but elation in the Titan dressing room as the smallest market in the Canadian Hockey League is taking home the biggest prize.
Defenceman Adam Holwell, who scored the winning goal in the first period, says while frustrated at the fact they hadn’t put more shots past Paddock they knew what had to be done in the final 20 minutes.
“We just told ourselves ‘this is the last 20 minutes of our careers for some of us, and for the year. ” Holwell said. “Just don’t get frustrated, keep sticking to the plan, play well defensively,’ and that’s what we did.”
1st Game Period-1, Acadie-Bathurst, Holwell 2 (Balmas, Morand), 16:10. Penalties-Pouteau Reg (cross checking), 5:21; Pouteau Reg (cross checking), 17:06.
2nd Game Period- No Scoring.Penalties-No Penalties
3rd Game Period-2, Acadie-Bathurst, Asselin 5 (Truchon-Viel), 13:02. 3, Acadie-Bathurst, Crossman 3 (L’Italien), 19:30 (EN). Penalties-Hebig Reg (delay of game), 10:41; Maher Bat (closing hand on puck), 15:12.
Shots on Goal-Regina 5-6-17-28. Acadie-Bathurst 12-24-8-44.
Power Play Opportunities-Regina 0/1; Acadie-Bathurst 0/3.
Goalies-Regina, Paddock 3-1-0-0 (43 shots-41 saves). Acadie-Bathurst, Fitzpatrick 3-1-0-0 (28 shots-28 saves).
Referees-Steve Papp (17), Jonathan Alarie (8).
Linesmen-Adam Harris (49), Chad Huseby (59).