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Memorial cup

metronews.ca Thursday, May 15, 2014

MC15

Foreurs feature flair for dramatic QMJHL champs. Val-d’Or is led by Anthony Mantha, who has 24 goals in 24 post-season games

Scott MacIntosh For Metro

The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League champions head into the Memorial Cup riding a major adrenaline rush. The Val-d’Or Foreurs could very well be a team of destiny after they reeled off a pair of heart-stopping series victories to capture the third President Cup title in franchise history. The Foreurs appeared to be well on their way to a solid Game 7 victory over the topranked Baie-Comeau Drakkar Tuesday night, holding a 3-0 lead entering the third period, but the home team would not go quietly. The Drakkar, inspired by a raucous crowd of 3,042 at Centre Henry-Leonard, scored

Val-d’Or Foreurs forward Anthony Mantha enters the Memorial Cup on a goal-scoring tear, netting 24 goals in 24 playoff games. Francois Laplante/Getty Images

three times in the final period, including the tying goal with 1:59 remaining on the clock. Undaunted by the momen-

tum shift, who else but goalscoring machine Anthony Mantha would come through in a clutch moment for Val-

d’Or, as the big forward wired home a one-timer with less than one minute to go in the game, giving the Foreurs a 4-3

victory and a berth in the Memorial Cup. Mantha comes into the Memorial Cup with 24 goals

in 24 post-season games. The Detroit Red Wings prospect has scored 81 goals in his last 81 games overall. Talk about consistency. Val-d’Or features a strong blue-line, led by high-scoring defencemen Guilluame Gelinas and Randy Gazzola. Gelinas, who finished the year with 92 points, has picked up in the playoffs where he left off in the regular season, with 11 goals and 23 assists in QMJHL playoff action. However, goal scoring is not the only strong point of the QMJHL representatives. Goaltender Antoine Bibeau stymied both the Drakkar in the President Cup final and the defending Memorial Cup champion Halifax Mooseheads when it counted in their QMJHL semifinal matchup. The Toronto Maple Leafs draft pick, who was named the playoff MVP, made more than 40 saves in four of the seven games in the league final. The Foreurs opened the post-season with a series sweep of Acadie-Bathurst, before taking down Drummondville in six games.

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