Frenette leads Voltigeurs to shocking upset

Ryan Pyette, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:36 PM ET

Maxime Frenette missed a month of his hockey season while doctors tried to discover the cause of a pain in his chest.

“They thought something was wrong with my heart,” the 18-year-old Drummondville Voltigeurs forward said. “I went through all kinds of tests at the hospital. I stayed out as a precaution. I was panicked because they said it might take six months. But it turned out to be a virus and when I got the green light (from a sports cardiologist) to play, I was very happy.”

Right now, the Volts are ecstatic about it.

The unassuming Frenette sent shockwaves through the Memorial Cup by scoring the winner 8:56 into overtime as the banged-up Quebec league champs knocked off favoured OHL king Windsor Spitfires 3-2 before 4,559 last night at the Rimouski Colisee.

“Biggest goal of my life,” the five-foot-11, 147-pounder from Boisbriand, Que., said of his cheeky backhand over big Windsor goalie Andrew Engelage.

After his health scare and long layoff, Frenette struggled to regain his form. He sat out most of the playoffs but hit the gym six days a week and skated every day to be ready if required.

“I was like the 13th forward,” he said, “but we had injuries. When (world junior champ Chris) DiDomenico got hurt (broke his femur in Game 3 of the Quebec league final), it put me back in the lineup.

“I’m still not there yet. By the overtime, I was feeling a bit tired.”

It wasn’t Frenette’s first overtime winner. Last season, he scored in an extra session to stop a Drummondville 13-game losing streak.

“Max did a great job,” said Volts goalie Marco Cousineau, who stopped 33 Spitfire shots. “When we have injuries, our team gets that feeling. We get juiced. We want to prove we can still win.

“We kept playing hard.”

Drummondville overcame 1-0 and 2-1 deficits to force overtime where the Spitfires have been very comfortable this post-season. They had won five of six in sudden-death situations, including four to knock out the London Knights and the OHL title clincher against Brampton.

“We feel pretty good when we’re in overtime,” said Windsor’s Adam Henrique, who scored both of his team’s goals. “But We got away from our game plan and we gave away the lead twice. We can play better. Some of us looked a little tight early with it being our first game here.”

Henrique beat the second-period buzzer by poking home the game’s first goal with 0.2 seconds left on the clock. The tally stood after a video review.

“To go down the ice in 10 seconds like that and score shows you don’t give up,” he said. “I didn’t know if it was in time but the guys on the bench said it was good.”

Henrique stood to be the hero twice but Frenette trumped him in the end.


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