Matthew Dopud's difficult season became a little more tolerable Thursday night.
Dopud turned in his strongest performance of the season, stopping 36 shots to lead the Rimouski Oceanic to a 3-1 victory over the Gatineau Olympiques in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League action.
Dopud came into the game with a ghastly 4.65 goals-against average and .860 save percentage. But he was brilliant from the outset Thursday, turning aside all 17 shots he faced in the first period - including an Alexandre Quesnel penalty shot.
Petr Straka had a pair of goals to pace the Oceanic (8-8-3), while Felix Lafrancois scored on a power-play midway through the first.
Thursday's other QMJHL game saw Shawinigan blank Lewiston 3-0.
At Gatineau, Que., Joshua Domingues was the only Gatineau player to solve Dopud, scoring his sixth goal of the season on a power-play early in the third period.
Maxime Clermont made 25 saves in defeat for the Olympiques (13-5-0).
Cataractes 3 Maineiacs 0
At Shawinigan, Que., Gabriel Girard made 36 saves for his third career QMJHL shutout as the Cataractes silenced Lewiston.
Maxime Legault, Nicolas Larocque-Marcoux and Charles-Olivier Roussel had goals for Shawinigan (11-8-3).
Adrien Lemay's 40-save effort paced the Maineiacs (10-10-0).