The peewee ‘B’ Laval-Nord Canadiens clawed their way out of a two-goal hole in the final minute of the third period and defeated the Monteuil Cyclones in a shootout for a 3-2 win last Thursday evening.
It was a resilient effort for the first place Canadiens as they faced their first challenge of 2020. The Cyclones jumped out in front late in the first period. Michael Giannini miraculously scored with one second left on the board.
Monteuil kept up the pressure when Victoras Pazienza beat Canadiens goaltender Fotis Nitsos just over two minutes into the second period. With a two-goal cushion, the Cyclones had a golden opportunity to close in on the league leaders.
However, they ran out of steam heading into the third period – a problem that has arisen in the last few games, according to assistant coach Aldo Gargano.
“It’s not because we aren’t good enough or that we didn’t want it,” said Gargano. “Our physical shape wasn’t good enough at the end to win the game.”
The Canadiens finally broke through Monteuil goalie Adirano Iacovelli in the second period thanks to a goal from Felix Mus at the seven-minute mark. Laval-Nord took the momentum swing into the third period and never looked back.
“We have an issue with the kids not showing to practice and our endurance was one of the reasons at the end that they tied it up,” Gargano said.
They hounded their opponents and flew down the wings, attacking from all over the ice. Finally, with eight seconds remaining in the game, Benjamin Ouimet played the role of hero as he put the puck in from the slot to make it 2-2.
“We just kept telling them not to give up and they did exactly what we wanted to do, a pass in front of the net and put it in,” said Canadiens assistant coach Eric Charest.
Charest said that his team wanted to jump on the ice to celebrate but they couldn’t since it was heading to a shootout. The Canadiens closed out the victory with two goals from Liam Normandin-Poirier and Eliot Gadbois.
Laval-Nord is back on the ice on January 12 to face the Ambassadeurs. Meanwhile, the Cyclones face the National on January 18.