Hockey: Finish to OUA third-place game 'trois fantastique' for Patriotes

The hoary old cliché a two-goal lead is the most dangerous lead in hockey was actually true on Saturday. UQTR scored three in 31 seconds to wrest away a University Cup berth from Western with a 5-4 win.

Call it the Miracle on the St-Maurice, notwithstanding that this is coming from someone who has no idea how close Le Colisée in Trois-Rivières actually is to either river. The Mustangs had a two-goal cushion after Keaton Turkiewicz tallied his second of the game with 3:57 left in regulation.

Andre Joanisse, the veteran d-man, scored with 1:31 left before J.S. Breton tied the game 4-4 just 20 seconds later. One would hope Western called timeout. Anyhow, off the ensuing faceoff, little 5-foot-7 Olivier Donovan scored his fifth of the playoffs (just two below his regular-season total) and the Pats were suddenly ahead after trailing for more than 55 minutes.

In terms of a near-sure win turning into defeat, on a CIS hockey scale, this is the equivalent of the 2003 ALCS or '08 NCAA basketball final (where Memphis lost a nine-point lead in the final 2:12 against the Kansas Jayhawks).

How often do you see a hockey team multiple-goal lead inside of the five-minute mark? Almost never. Not to lay blame, but Western didn't have superlative goaltending down the stretch (Keyvan Hunt had an .899 save percentage and 3.07 GAA, not great for a goalie on a top 5 team), and it all came home to roost.

Meantime, as far as the University Cup is seeding, tough call between McGill and Saint Mary's for the Nos. 2 and 3 seeds.
Next PostNewer Post Previous PostOlder Post Home


  1. Not that you ever expect to see this kind of comeback, but as a fan who has followed Western this year, this is an apt ending for a team that just did not have it this year - especially in the second half. They led this game 3-0 in the first period and, as with the case against Lakehead last week, lacked the fortitude to finish them off. For sure goaltending was an issue once Greico went down, but this team either lacked the talent or the killer instinct to play 60 minutes of hockey. Such a surprise after their performance down the stretch last year.

    For UQTR - wow! What a high they must be feeling and this will be a game these players will tell their grandkids about.

    I'm also really pleased to see McGill win the Queen's cup. Not sure they really got the credit they deserved all year, especially after they fell into UQTR's shadow in the second half. I watched most of the game on the webcast last night and they are a team that can skate and move the puck quickly - they will be fun to watch at the Nationals.

  2. Daniel - Gazette3/14/2010 2:26 pm

    It certainly wasn't the talent that was the problem.

    I feel like it came down to goaltending and leadership. Keyvan had a good month (February) but that was about it. He wasn't good in the last three games against Lakehead and UQTR.

    As for leadership, when things weren't going right, nobody really stepped up and carried the team/motivated them on the bench. I feel like that is something that Sal Peralta provided last year but Luc Martin didn't do this year.

    Also, keep in mind that the majority of the team is only in second-year, so although they did have the deep playoff run last year, they still aren't that experienced.

    And as 7:53 said, this seemed like a very appropriate ending. And like UNB, this disappointment should fuel the fire next year

  3. Daniel - Gazette3/14/2010 2:28 pm

    Also, one more thing about the goaltending issue. Remember that last year, the Mustangs were carried by the goaltending of Brad Topping, who was probably the best goalie in the playoffs in the OUA. Big difference compared to this year.

  4. Thanks, you found the words that were eluding me late last night (blame the time change, plus Showcase Action was showing Superbad).

    Western was so locked in the second half of 2008-09, it just closed out teams very well. Shame on us for assuming that would continue into this season.