MONCTON -- In two previous trips to the Memorial Cup as coach of the Peterborough Petes, Dick Todd said he did not experience a more disappointing result than what his club coughed up yesterday.
The Ontario Hockey League champions were not good in their first three games at the Cup but were absolutely brutal in the tiebreaker, losing 6-0 to the Vancouver Giants at the Moncton Coliseum and getting outshot 45-11 in the process.
"It is easy after it is over to say we lacked this or that, but I think everybody had the presence of mind to give it their best effort and sometimes you don't get the breaks," said Todd, who has not won the Memorial Cup in three tries.
Yet the Petes did not come close to putting forth their best effort. They beat the Quebec Remparts in the opener a week ago but only because goalie David Shantz was excellent. After that, the Petes never picked up the slack and did not deserve any more than what they got yesterday.
The Giants, who beat the Petes Tuesday to force a tiebreaker, will meet the Moncton Wildcats tonight in the semi-final. The winner plays the Remparts Sunday in the final.
While the refereeing of Francis Charron was questionable at best, the Petes did themselves no favours. With his team down 1-0 early in the second period, Steve Downie took a dumb penalty for roughing after the whistle. Downie watched from the box as Gilbert Brule scored, and when Greg Stewart was penalized shortly after, the Giants scored again. All told, the Giants were 6-for-16 on the power play. The Petes had five power-play opportunities.
Brule fell one point shy of the tournament record with five points (two goals and three assists), and defenceman Cody Franson had a hat trick. Jonathan Blum also scored and Dustin Slade had an easy shutout.
"The ref was not quite on the ball, but we're to blame," said Petes captain Jamie Tardif, whose public plea earlier this week to his teammates to be better fell on deaf ears. "We were well-prepared by the coaches, but we're the ones on the ice. I'm sure guys have regrets not doing certain things. We made it to the Memorial Cup and we're OHL champs, but (stuff) happens."
Said Brule, who has emerged as the best all-around player in the Cup, "We finally realized after our first two games if we didn't win, we were going to be on a plane going home. We know that every game is like that now. (Tonight)will be a lot tougher."