Benoit Pouliot apparently has broken a cardinal rule in sports and the Brampton Battalion would like to punish him appropriately tonight.
With the Battalion trailing Pouliot's Sudbury Wolves 3-1 in the Eastern Conference quarter-finals, Brampton received some ammunition from the young Wolves star. Nice timing, too, because the Battalion's season will end tonight if it loses Game 5 at home to Sudbury.
Pouliot, a highly regarded prospect for the next NHL draft, was quoted in the Sudbury Star yesterday as saying the Wolves are "going to finish (the series) in Brampton" and that "as long we play five-on-five against that team we're almost unbeatable. If we don't take penalties we'll win for sure."
The quote was taped up in the Battalion dressing room yesterday.
"Our backs are against the wall and we know it," Brampton forward Tyler Harrison said. "All (Pouliot's comments) does is is motivate us more. There will be some guys with extra fuel to go out there and prove him wrong."
Pouliot actually had a point, to an extent. The Battalion has scored eight goals in the series, and only three have come during even-strength situations. Brampton is going to have to come up with a way quickly tonight to harass Wolves goalie Patrick Ehelechner without taking penalties. Also problematic for Brampton is the Sudbury's newfound discipline. The Wolves were the most penalized team in the conference during the regular season, but have had just two fewer power plays than Brampton's 21.
"We have a lot (riding) on the game so we shouldn't need (motivation from Pouliot)," Battalion forward Luch Aquino said. "We might be down 3-1 but it takes four games to win. We have to draw them into penalties and forecheck a little harder. Give them all we have and hopefully it's enough."