You mix in a little luck with some skill and that’s a recipe for success.
That couldn’t be any truer in Monday night’s Memorial Cup game between the Belleville Bulls and Gatineau Olympique. In fact, it was true for a player that Panthers fans got to see a little bit this past season.Shawn Matthias
Matthias led the Bulls to a 6-3 victory over the Olympique with two goals; one with his skill and another with some luck.
Jan Mursak gave the Bulls a 1-0 lead 8:13 into the contest. The Olympique had just killed off a 5-on-3 power play opportunity with the second guy stepping out of the box when Musak’s shot beat goaltender Ryan Mior.
The Bulls found themselves up 2-0 when Matthias used some of his world-class skill. A Belleville defender had sent the puck down the ice and Mior went out to play the puck to his own defenseman. With Matthias charging Mior, the Florida prospect stole the puck right off the goaltender’s stick and slid it into the net, underneath a sliding defenseman at 10:26.
Gatineau was down, but not out. They would tie the score heading into the first intermission as Hugo Laponte scored with 6:14 remaining and Michael Stinziani with 1:55 left.
Belleville would use the man disadvantage in their favor once again as Cory Tanaka fired a shot past Mior 1:49 into the second period. But the Olympique tied it one more time when Flyers prospect Claude Giroux one-timed a Paul Byron pass into the open net.
And in all the skill that was shown in this game, it was some luck that earned Belleville the victory. The luck came from Matthias, not off his stick, but instead his pants. Nigel Williams had blasted a shot from the point and it redirected at least once before hitting Matthias in front of the net and redirecting into the top corner of the net. It didn’t matter how it happened. The goal had given the Bulls a 4-3 lead with 6:56 left in regulation.
Keaton Turkiewicz would make it 5-3 with 4:25 left while Nigel Williams scored Belleville a power play goal with 2:17 remaining. It was the Bulls 10th power play attempt on the night.
Matthias was named the first star of the game for his two-goal effort. He also picked up a roughing penalty at the end of the first period.
Matthias and Belleville take on Mike Duco and Kitchener in an OHL Championship rematch on Wednesday.