Midget hosts stand tall

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 12:20 PM ET

Intrepide 5, Commandeurs 2 A VICTORY over the heavily favoured Levis Commandeurs gave the Gatineau Intrepide a huge lift last night.

Today, they hope to be hoisting the Telus Cup.

The Intrepide did what some declared impossible, knocking off arch-rival Quebec league champion Levis to advance to the final of today's Canadian midget championship.

Intrepide forward Maxim Langelier-Parent leaped in the air after scoring on the power play at 3:54 of the third for what turned out to be the winner in a 5-2 decision over Levis. Today, the hosts will face the Saskatoon Contacts in the final (TSN, 2:30 p.m.).

Guillaume Mailloux scored twice for the Intrepide, while Neil Chabot and Nicolas Morin added singles. Goaltender Maxim Gougeon was solid in net, making 27 saves while surrendering goals to Mickael Bedard and J.P. Roy-Vailliers.

"We were last at one point of the season and to have the chance to play for the Canadian championship at home is a great honour," Gatineau coach Martin Lafleur said with a smile.

Really, the odds were stacked against the Intrepide. Gatineau had lost five straight to the Commandeurs heading into last night's game -- including four in the Quebec midget Triple-A league final three weeks ago and a 4-2 defeat in the round-robin portion of the tournament last Wednesday.

The Intrepide got the home crowd into the game early, opening the scoring on an strong effort by Chabot at 13:43 of the first. But the cheers quickly evaporated after Bedard tied it with is fourth of the tournament at 14:06.

The Intrepide kept pressing, firing the puck from almost every angle at Levis goalie Bobby Nadeau, who consistently came up with huge stops in trying to keep it close.

But Gatineau proved to be too much for Levis, who along with Saskatoon, finished the round-robin with a 4-0-1-0 record.

"To beat Levis means a lot and now we've got a chance to win the championship. That's what we wanted coming into this tournament and we just went out there and put everything on the line," said Gatineau forward Scott McClintock.

"It's pretty sweet to beat Levis. They were the Quebec champions and we're going to be representing the province (today)."

Saskatoon earned their way to the final with a 3-1 victory over the Don Mills Flyers during the afternoon session.

The Contacts took control early, scoring twice in a span of 11 seconds in the first.

Nick Kalnick fired a shot by Don Mills' goalie Sean DeZliva only 54 seconds into the game. Then, for good measure, Dustin Cameron put another one home 11 seconds later.

Tourney MVP David Richard completed the scoring for the Contacts, while Kyle Wetering scored the lone goal for Don Mills.

bruce.garrioch@ott.sunpub.com


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