Memorial Cup proving hard on goalies

Ryan Pyette, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 5:41 PM ET

With a lightning-quick glove honed on amateur baseball, Marco Cousineau was in the zone Wednesday night against the Rimouski Oceanic at the Memorial Cup.

But the Drummondville goalie, who earned his banged-up Voltigeurs a much needed day off and semifinal berth by stopping 39 shots in a 3-2 overtime win over the hosts, believes each save is its own animal.

“It’s not about confidence,” the Anaheim third-rounder said. “It’s a reaction. The puck comes too fast. Sometimes, it’s ‘Thank you, God.’”

All you can do, at times, is pray to puck doesn’t go by.

Cousineau is the tournament’s only starting goaltender drafted by an NHL club (Ducks, 2008). He had the best single-game performance in the round robin.

Yet, it still wasn’t enough to push his Cup save percentage over .900. The goaltending stats haven’t been pretty so far.

Rimouski’s Maxim Gougeon is on his fourth Quebec league team and actually played 42 games for Drummondville from 2006-08.

Both he and Windsor puckstopper Andrew Engelage, who set the OHL record for wins this season, are undrafted over-agers.

This year, Kelowna’s Mark Guggenberger has won 35 of 50 games so far for the Rockets. The club acquired him from Swift Current for a fifth-round pick in 2010.

Wednesday's Windsor-Rimouski tie-breaker showdown featured the past two Canadian Hockey League coaches of the year.

Spitfires bench boss Bob Boughner, up for the honour again this season, matched wits against Oceanic skipper Clement Jodoin, who won the award in 2006-07 with the Quebec league champion Lewiston MAINEiacs.

Drummondville coach Guy Boucher engineered a CHL-record 79-point turnaround this year but lost the Quebec league coach of the year to Moncton’s Danny Flynn.

Drummondville defenceman Dmitry Kulikov thinks his Voltigeurs have the best remaining schedule.

“Rimouski and Windsor had to play the tie-breaker, so that means a back-to-back and it’s hard in this kind of tournament,” the top-rated Russian said. “If we win (tonight), we had a day off, game, day off, game.”

And daisy-fresh Kelowna, which has been waiting since Tuesday night?

“Good for them,” Kulikov said.

AROUND TOWN

Want to see a full bar or restaurant?

Fuel the buzz a couple of NHL stars are dropping in.

Word spread quickly Cup honorary presidents and former Oceanic stars Brad Richards and Vincent Lecavalier would be stopping by the cozy Pub St-Barnabe in downtown Rimouski on Wednesday night after the game.

Within minutes, the place was hopping.

Over at La Cage Aux Sports restaurant, Patrick Roy strolled in, posed for a picture with a fan, then gave a big bear hug to Windsor GM and old friend Warren Rychel before waltzing away.


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