Rimouski goalie covered up team's blunders

KATHY RUMLESKI, Free Press Sports Reporter

, Last Updated: 5:01 AM ET

Amid all of the hoopla over Corey Perry and Sidney Crosby, everyone forgot about Cedrick Desjardins.

Today the Rimouski Oceanic goalie is Cedrick the Great.

Pad saves, glove saves, into-the-gut saves, the 19-year-old didn't let the London Knights firepower intimidate him.

Desjardins was the reason the Oceanic took the first game of the Memorial Cup tournament into overtime before losing 4-3, last night at the John Labatt Centre.

The six-foot Edmunston, N.B. native faced 47 shots while Rimouski had 26 shots on Adam Dennis in the London net.

"These were offensive teams and (people) didn't talk much about defence," Desjardins said. "It was like that all season and I have to respond."

The most memorable save was Desjardins' slide across the crease to rob Knights captain Danny Syvret of what would have been the game-winning goal right as the buzzer sounded to send the game into overtime.

Syvret, Rob Schremp and David Bolland -- all with more than 20 goals this season -- had several chances and couldn't solve the lyncean goalie.

Desjardins' stellar season this year, which included helping his team to a 35-game undefeated streak, is a far cry from the one game he won as a rookie in 23 starts. This season, Desjardins was 30-7-4.

Desjardins covered up mistake after mistake by his defencemen, including a giveaway by Patrick Coulombe right onto the stick of Knight Brandon Prust, who couldn't score.

As if the drama of the much-awaited matchup between Perry and Crosby, the Oceanic and the Knights, wasn't enough in itself, Desjardins thought he'd throw in an act of his own.

In the second period, Bryan Rodney skated by Desjardins and swatted the goalie with his stick.

"I received a stick right into the stomach," Desjardins said. "It hurt and I couldn't breathe. It was a cheap shot."

Desjardins rolled around on the ice for a couple of minutes and was attended by a trainer.

Rodney went off for slashing and Desjardins went back into his net.

In the third, Desjardins was run over by Danny Fritsche, who was penalized and sought the attention of the trainer again. He was OK again.

If the Knights and their fans didn't know Desjardins before, they certainly will now.


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