Vic­tory comes at a cost for Olympiques

Ottawa Citizen - - HOCKEY - DAR­REN DESAULNIERS

OLYMPIQUES 4, AR­MADA 3 (OT)

The points keep com­ing for the Gatineau Olympiques, but so do the in­juries.

A 4-3 come­back win over the Blainville-bois­briand Ar­mada on Satur­day night gave the Olympiques three out of a pos­si­ble four points in two home games this week­end, but they also lost the ser­vices of 20-year old de­fence­man Alex Mac­don­ald on Fri- day and may be with­out rookie Alex Soumakis fol­low­ing Satur­day’s game.

Add cap­tain Jean-gabriel Pageau, Rock Regim­bald and Kyle Mor­ri­son to the in­jured list, and that’s a pretty good crop of play­ers on the side­lines. The only good news is that a cap­tain started and fin­ished the game for the first time in the past three.

The of­fi­cial cap­tain, Pageau, left last Tues­day’s game in Shaw­ini­gan with a bro­ken finger. On Fri­day, Mac­don­ald wore the cap­tain’s C, but he too failed to fin­ish the game, leav­ing in the first pe­riod with a knee in­jury. Chris­tian Ouel­let wore the C on Satur­day and not only did he fin­ish the game un­scathed, he also picked up an as­sist on the win­ning goal in over­time by Mathieu Gagnon.

“I just joined the rush and I shot. I never saw a whole, I just shot, and that’s what you have to do,” Gagnon said of his hero­ics af­ter To­mas Hyka was stopped on a rush be­fore Gagnon found the loose puck and beat Eti­enne Mar­coux two min­utes into the fourth pe­riod. “I was pretty ex­cited.”

As were the 3,155 fans in at­ten­dance who watched the Olympiques reg­is­ter just three shots in the first pe­riod while fall­ing be­hind 3-1.

Af­ter a score­less sec­ond, the Olympiques be­gan their come­back just 53 sec­onds into the third when Soumakis scored his sec­ond of the game, and 10th in this his rookie sea­son. He also scored 23 sec­onds into the game. He left late with a hand in­jury that will re­quire X-rays.

Adam Chap­man scored his first goal in the league late in the third to tie the game for the Olympiques (13-10-2), who be­gan to take con­trol of the game in the dy­ing min­utes of the sec­ond pe­riod.

Cedrick Paquette, Aaron Hoyles and Greely’s Dy­lan An­der­son scored for the Ar­mada (12-12-2) be­fore the end of the first to give the vis­i­tors a com­fort­able lead they would not be able to hold.

“We had a dif­fi­cult first pe­riod,” Olympiques coach and gen­eral man­ager Benoît Groulx said. “They came at us with a lot of en­ergy. In the sec­ond, we started skat- ing and putting pres­sure on them. The last seven min­utes of the sec­ond pe­riod we took the mo­men­tum and that goal early in the third gave us the con­fi­dence we needed to win this game.”

The Olympiques used three af­fil­i­ated play­ers as a re­sult of all their in­juries, but they, and the rest of the rook­ies, did a good job fill­ing in.

“We have to learn to play our games with­out our top guys,” Groulx said. “It’s as sim­ple as that. It’s a learn­ing process.”

They’ll con­tinue that process Thurs­day when they play host to Ri­mouski.

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