SHAWINIGAN – Michael Bournival and Morgan Ellis will be doing their best to get the Bionest Centre crowd on their feet Wednesday night. Nathan Beaulieu will be doing his best to stop them.
While all the tournament’s games to date have involved at least one team hailing from West of la Belle Province, Wednesday’s tilt will be all about the Q, pitting the Shawinigan Cataractes against the Saint John Sea Dogs. Fans are expected to pack the stands to take in the duel – a fact the Cataractes will certainly be looking to take advantage of.
“It should be a huge game,” said Cataractes captain and Shawinigan native, Bournival. “The crowds have been incredibly loud so far and have really been behind us since the start of the tournament. I’m sure they’ll continue to be there for us in our next games, too.”
Teammate and Cataractes’ newbie, Ellis appeared to be very much on the same page as his captain. Ellis joined the Shawinigan squad mid-season after starting the campaign with the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles.
“I think fans that are hoping to see a great game will get what they’re looking for,” stated Ellis, also promising that his team made the most of the five weeks of downtime they had at their disposal before starting the tournament. “We would obviously have liked to keep playing for much longer than we did. At the same time, we made use of the opportunity to get in a lot of really good training. We worked mostly on our speed and our positioning on the ice.”
One of the three Canadiens’ defensive prospects taking part in the tournament, Ellis also mentioned that while he had gotten along well with his fellow-future-Habs from the Knights and Sea Dogs over the course of the season, this week was all about business.
“I had the chance to speak with Jarred Tinordi and Nathan Beaulieu during the season, but I haven’t at all this week. We have a goal here that we’re trying to achieve and that’s winning the Memorial Cup. I’m sure they have the same goal and we’ll all have plenty of time to get along after it’s all over,” added Ellis with a grin. “You don’t usually get to have this many players from the same organization in the tournament. It’s a good sign for the future.”
Over in the Sea Dogs’ dressing room, Bealieu couldn’t agree more.
“[Ellis] makes a great point. We all have the opportunity of a lifetime here and it’s important that we stay focused at the task at hand.
“It’s going to be a war. There’s already a rivalry between these two teams. We met a few times over the course of the season and it always made for great games,” explained Beaulieu. “We’re going to have to make sure to pay close attention to their best players, especially Michael Bournival.”
The final round-robin game of the Memorial Cup is shaping up to be as highly-anticipated for fans as it is for the players involved.
Vincent Cauchy is a writer for canadiens.com. Translated by Justin Fragapane
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