Petes blow another one

TERRY KOSHAN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:15 AM ET

MONCTON -- Jamie Tardif called himself out last night and knows that he and his teammates have no choice but to respond.

The Peterborough Petes captain has had enough of his team's poor play at the 2006 Memorial Cup.

"Our play is very inconsistent," Tardif said. "We wait until the third period to start playing and our top guys have to start being our top guys, starting with myself."

The Petes had a fairly simple reality facing them last night: Beat the Vancouver Giants and eliminate the Western Hockey League champions. Instead, the Petes, who looked so good in sweeping the London Knights in the Ontario Hockey League final earlier this month, lost for the second time in two nights, going down 3-2 to Vancouver.

Both 1-2, the teams will meet tomorrow afternoon in the first tiebreaker. The loser will go home; the winner will meet the loser of tonight's Quebec Remparts/Moncton Wildcats match in a semi-final Friday. The winner of the tiebreaker never has won the Memorial Cup.

"Now we know what they have, and we're going to have to come out like they did," Tardif said. "They were hitting everything in sight and sent a message right off the first shift."

The Petes had little to combat the Giants' Gilbert Brule, who is showing the rest of the country what a great player he is after injuries (a cracked sternum and broken leg) forced him to miss a chance at playing for Canada at the world junior this past winter in Vancouver, his hometown.

Brule, a first-round pick of the Columbus Blue Jackets last year who began the season with the NHL club, had two pretty goals, including the winner while the Giants were shorthanded in the third period. Petes defenceman Trevor Hendrikx put the puck directly on Brule's stick and Brule deked past Tardif, Hendrikx and Lubomir Stach before beating goalie David Shantz with a wrist shot.

"I just went down and did my thing, I guess," Brule said with a smile. "Coming back to junior (in January), I had a lot more confidence. There was nothing I could do about (missing the world junior opportunity)."

Tardif and Daniel Ryder scored for the Petes. Brett Parker also scored for the Giants, who received solid goaltending from Dustin Slade.

There game featured some shenanigans. The Petes' Steve Downie and the Giants' J.D. Watt jawed at each other during the warmup, and Watt was later tossed for hitting Justin Soryal from behind. Downie received a game misconduct at the end of regulation but will be able to play tomorrow.

"There were a few big hits at the start and some bad blood at the end, but that's great," Brule said. "We'll see if it carries over."


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