SAINT JOHN, N.B. - Gabriel Bourque scored a hat trick and Nicola Riopel made 25 saves as the Moncton Wildcats earned a convincing 5-1 win over the Saint John Sea Dogs to open the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League championship series Friday night.
Bourque, acquired in a trade with the Baie-Comeau Drakkar in December, leads all playoff scorers with 14 goals. He scored late in the first period to break a 1-1 tie, then added a power-play goal with five minutes remaining in the second before completing the hat trick with an empty-netter in the third.
Brandon Gormley opened the scoring 14 seconds into the game and Ted Stephens scored the other goal for Moncton, which is looking for its first QMJHL championship since 2006 after last year's disappointing second-round exit to the Rimouski Oceanic. Daniel Pettersson had three assists.
Danick Gauthier had the lone goal for the Sea Dogs, who are in the first championship series of their five-year history in Saint John. Netminder Marco Cousineau stopped 33 shots.