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Major junior battle

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens

SHAWINIGAN – Revenge is a dish best served cold, and it doesn’t get any colder than when it’s served on ice.

For the second time in three days, the Shawinigan Cataractes and the Saint John Sea Dogs will face off against each other at the Bionest Centre. This time, it’s winner take all.

“We’re rested and ready to take on the challenge,” said Sea Dogs’ defenseman Nathan Beaulieu, who admitted to skipping the viewing of the Cataractes-Oil Kings game on Thursday.

Nathan Beaulieu

“We laid it down in our first game,” recalls Beaulieu of the 4-1 tilt that ended with a few skirmishes that cost both teams $2,500 in fines. “We’re going to build on that and keep our momentum going. We won’t change much of our style of play.”

With a whole day off on Thursday, the Canadiens’ 2011 first-round draft pick thinks fatigue could be a factor in the Memorial Cup semi-final match-up.

“We often play three games in three nights in the QMJHL, but this is different. You have to play your best hockey every time. We were fortunate enough to get Thursday off,” shared Beaulieu who expects a hard-hitting game on Friday. “It’s a clear advantage for us. We took it easy yesterday. We know the team pretty well; we didn’t need to check the footage. We just need to get out there and play.”

Ready to play his third game in a row, Cataractes captain, Michael Bournival, is well aware of the challenge his team will be facing.

“It’s life or death today. Everyone is rested and we’ll attack the game with our style of play,” expressed the 19-year-old forward who claims that Wednesday’s events are already old news. “The past is the past. It doesn’t matter anymore. We’ve got one game to win. We all have each other’s backs on this team. When you play as a unit, not only do you win, but you keep your cool.”

In the teams’ last meeting, a total of 39 hits were dished out, 25 of those came courtesy of the Cataractes. The referees were also pretty active, distributing 27 minor penalties.

Vincent Cauchy is a writer for Translated by Lee Anne Vincent O’Connor.

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