The Shawinigan Cataractes are one game away from knocking off last year's Quebec Major Junior Hockey League champions.
Dave Labrecque and Nicholas Petersen both had a goal and an assist as the Cataractes pushed the defending-champion Gatineau Olympiques to the brink of elimination with a 4-2 victory on Wednesday night.
Shawinigan, which outshot the Olympiques 18-5 in the second period and 43-24 overall, holds a commanding 3-1 advantage in the quarter-final series and will earn a spot in the semifinals with a win on Friday in Gatineau, Que.
Cataractes leading playoff scorer Cedric Lalonde-McNicoll continued his strong play this series with a pair of assists. The Longueuil, Que., native has led Shawinigan's attack with seven points (four goals, three assists) in the first four games against the Olympiques. He scored twice on Tuesday in a 6-3 victory for the Cataractes and has totalled 13 points (6-7) in eight playoff games.
Petersen opened the scoring two minutes into the game before Gatineau replied with two goals in 28 seconds - the only offence the Olympiques could muster. Shawinigan took the lead for good in the second period on goals by Labreque and Matthew Pistilli.
Elsewhere in the QMJHL, it was: Drummondville 5, Montreal 3; Quebec 5, Cape Breton 2; and Rimouski 4, Moncton 2.
At Shawinigan, Que., Maxime Macenauer sealed the deal for the Cataractes with a goal midway through the third.
Jean-Philip Chabot and Christian Ouellet-Martel found the net for Gatineau, which defeated Shawinigan 4-1 in the first round of the 2008 playoffs en route to its third QMJHL championship in six years.
Timo Pielmeier made 22 saves to earn the win, while Olympiques netminder Marc-Antoine Gelinas stopped 39 shots.
Voltigeurs 5, Junior 3
At Montreal, Yannick Riendeau continued to light it up with a pair of goals as Drummondville swept the Junior.
Riendeau, who leads the league in playoff scoring with 29 points (14-15) in eight games, recorded his sixth multi-goal game of the post-season as the Voltigeurs remained undefeated. Gabriel Dumont had a goal and an assist, while Benoit Levesque and Marc-Olivier Vachon also scored for Drummondville, which swept the Lewiston Maineiacs in the first round.
Dany Masse and Christopher DiDomenico had two assists each and Mike Hoffman also had a helper as all three extended their playoff point streaks to eight games. The three Voltigeurs forwards have recorded at least a point in every playoff game so far.
Guillaume Asselin, Darick Ste-Marie and Nick Layton replied for Montreal, which was knocked out by the Acadie-Bathurst Titan in the first round of the 2008 playoffs when the team was the St. John's Fog Devils.
Remparts 5, Screaming Eagles 2
At Sydney, N.S., Charles Lavigne stopped 36 of 38 shots as Quebec drew even with the Screaming Eagles.
David Gilbert, Mathieu Loisel, Kelsey Tessier, Mikhail Stefanovich and Marc-Olivier Vallerand scored for the Remparts, who tied the series at 2-2 after losing the first two games in Quebec City. Dmitri Kugryshev added two assists.
Taylor MacDougall and Joey Haddad had the goals for Cape Breton.
Oceanic 4, Wildcats 2
At Rimouski, Que., Logan MacMillan's short-handed goal in the second period was the eventual game-winner as the Oceanic moved within one game of the semifinals with a win over Moncton.
Keven Veilleux, Patrice Cormier and Luca Cunti also scored for Rimouski, which leads the series 3-1. Game five is Friday in Moncton.
Zach Sill had a goal and an assist and Tomy Joly scored the Wildcats' other goal.