The Lac St. Louis Midget Espoir Royals breezed by the Sélects du Nord 4-1 en route to the upcoming playoffs Saturday afternoon at Dorval Arena. The Royals controlled the first half of the first period thanks to an effective passing game that confused the Sélects. Not to be outdone, the Sélects came back strong in the second half of the first period, doubling up on the Royals’ scoring chances. The Royals then started playing nervous, multiplying blunders with the puck and letting the Sélects get the best opportunities.
“I think after what we went through during the last three games, when the match remained 0-0 for a long time, it put a lot of pressure on us. We were playing at home but if the others did get a lucky goal, the pressure would have been even more on us. As soon as we scored a goal, the pressure was off,” said Royals’ head coach Jim Webster.
Trevor Lorber was the one to relieve the pressure for the Royals when he deked a defenseman with ease and put the puck top shelf at 7:26. Eighteen seconds later, Vincent Watt scored again for the Royals when his shot beat goalie Maxime Perron above the glove. Perron kneeled down too fast and the shot left him no chance. The Royals got their confidence back after those two goals and it was them who doubled up on the Sélects’ scoring chances in the third.
Derek Carrière tightened the score at 10:13 of the third period but then the Shaun Laramée took a penalty for contact to the head that ruined the Sélects’ chances of coming back in the game as Evan Stamegna scored on the ensuing power play thanks to a beautiful pass by Pierre-Emile Cyr. The Royals further sealed the Sélects’ fate with an empty-netter at with less than 20 seconds to go in the game.
Sélects’ head coach Éric Lefebvre did not blame the defeat on Shaun Laramée’s penalty after the game even though his team was coming back hard from behind when his head contact was called. He instead criticized the team’s performance in offence as a whole.
“We lacked a bit of effort in the offensive zone. If we had done more in their zone, if we had sent more puck to the net and rushed it for rebounds things might have been different. Rebounds made the difference in the game I think,” he said.