MONCTON -- Patrick Roy took the spotlight for much of the 2006 Memorial Cup but gladly relinquished it to a couple of his players last night.
In two performances that rank high in the history of the Cup final, Alexander Radulov had five points and Cedrick Desjardins made 46 saves, enabling the Quebec Remparts to beat the Moncton Wildcats 6-2 and win their second Cup.
"Best game of my career," said Radulov, who was named Canadian Hockey League player of the year on Saturday night. "It's such a great feeling to do my job and help the team win. This is our Stanley Cup and it's awesome."
Despite the lopsided result, Desjardins kept his team in the game at times with numerous big saves before a sweaty capacity crowd at the hot Moncton Coliseum. It was a sweet feeling for the native of Edmunston, N.B. A year ago, he was the losing goalie for the Rimouski Oceanic in the Cup final.
"The bus travel home was a long way after a loss like that and I am sure this year it will be quicker," Desjardins said. "It's like a dream. We always believed in ourselves, but when we lost the President's Cup (to the Wildcats in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League final), we were the underdogs."
Desjardins made 16 saves in the first period and 20 in the second as the Remparts built a 4-0 lead. A Nashville Predators prospect, Radulov, who had two goals and three assists and was named tournament MVP, got the winner early in the second.
If there was a dance to end the week, Roy would have got the girl. He burrowed under the skin of Wildcats coach Ted Nolan after saying at one point that Tordjman was playing over his head. A rookie coach, Roy won the Cup three years to the day he announced his retirement from the NHL.
"The owners (of the Remparts) wanted to be part of it, but the credit goes to the players," Roy said when asked if the bad blood during the week was worth it. "There was a lot of hard work. This is great and goes with the (four) Stanley Cups (he won). Winning the Memorial Cup was something I missed in my (playing) career."
Where Nolan winds up next season, considering he has proven he still can coach after an eight-year absence, will be intriguing to watch unfold. He wants to get back to the NHL.
"We gave everything we had to give, (and) I congratulated (Roy) on the win," Nolan said. "I never saw this as a road back (to the NHL). I wanted to come back because I enjoy working with players and developing players and a team. It was a lot of fun. What happens tomorrow, who knows?"