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Remparts Win the 2006 Memorial Cup

By Aaron Bell,
rchl.ca

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rAlexander Radulov said on Friday that he would happily trade his CHL player of the year award for the Memorial Cup. Fortunately for the Russian sniper, he won’t have to.
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rRadulov scored two goals and added three assists to help the Quebec Remparts win the championship game of the MasterCard Memorial Cup 6-2 over the host Moncton Wildcats in front of 7,160 fans on Sunday.
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rRadulov was the CHL’s top player this season, leading all three leagues in scoring in the regular season and playoffs. He didn’t win the scoring title at the Memorial Cup, but was sensational in the finale, helping the Remparts claim the national championship. Radulov claimed the Stafford Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player of the tournament.
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r”We just worked so hard for this,” Radulov said after accepting the MVP trophy. “I think it’s better to win the Memorial Cup. All these guys – they are the heroes. The Remparts are heroes. It’s not mine. It’s everybody’s.”
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rRadulov set up Pierre Bergeron in front of the net for the opening goal midway through the first period. Bergeron, who scored two goals in the regular season and none in the playoffs, one-timed a pass from Radulov to give the Remparts an early lead.
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rRadulov bumped Quebec’s lead to two with 10 seconds left in the opening period. Angelo Esposito forced a turnover deep in the Moncton zone and Mathieu Melanson picked up the puck at the side boards and fed Radulov, who was alone in front of the net. Radulov swept a backhander past the glove hand of Moncton goaltender Josh Tordjman.
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rRadulov picked up his second goal of the game on a broken play early in the second period. He carried the puck into the Moncton zone and sent a pass to the front of the net. The puck bounced off Wildcats’ defenceman Nathan Welton’s stick and into the net.
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rEsposito padded Quebec’s lead to four in the second period when he received a pass from Radulov in the slot, shifted to his backhand and slid the puck past Tordjman.
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rKeith Yandle cut the lead in half quickly in the third period. With the Wildcats on the powerplay, the CHL’s defenceman of the year one-timed a shot from the point that went by Remparts’ goaltender Cedrick Desjardins to put Moncton on the board. Two minutes later, Yandle grabbed the puck in the corner and skated to the face-off circle. He wired a wrist shot over Desjardins’ glove hand to give the home team some life.
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rMelanson scored on a backhander to the short side to bump Quebec’s lead back to three midway through the third period and Jordan LaVallee rounded out the scoring when he banged in his own rebound on a powerplay late in the third period.
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rDesjardins made 46 saves in the win. It’s the second straight year that Desjardins has been in the final game of the Memorial Cup. Last year, he backed the Rimouski Oceanic into the final, but gave up four goals on 34 shots in a 4-0 loss to the London Knights.
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r”Cedrick came through,” Remparts’ coach Patrick Roy said. “I know how much he was affected by last year’s loss to London. I knew that he wanted another chance. You could see it in his eyes. He came through for us huge. That was a key for us.”
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rIt was easy to write the Remparts off early in the tournament. They were the only team that didn’t win a league championship on their way to the tournament. Roy was the only coach of the four teams that hadn’t been to the Memorial Cup before and they lost the tournament-opening game to the Peterborough Petes. They rallied with round robin wins over Moncton and the Vancouver Giants to set-up their bid for the championship.
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r”I just want to give credit to my players,” Roy said. “Many times they could have turned it down, but they never did. Moncton played unbelievable in the playoffs and beat us. We could have come here with their head between their legs, but that’s not what our guys did. I’m extremely proud of our players.”
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rAfter failing to win at the Moncton Coliseum in three tries in their six-game loss to the Wildcats in the QMJHL championship, the Remparts beat Moncton twice during the tournament. They earned the bye into the final with a 4-3 win over Moncton in the round robin finale on Wednesday.
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rIt’s the second time that the Remparts have won the Memorial Cup. Guy Lafleur led the team to the title in 1971. The Remparts returned to the QMJHL in 1997 after a 12-year absence. They are the first champions from the QMJHL since the Rimouski Oceanic won the tournament in Halifax, NS in 2000.
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rMoncton earned a berth in the final with a 3-1 win over the Vancouver Giants in Friday’s semi-final.
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rMoncton coach Ted Nolan was behind the bench in the Memorial Cup final for the third time in his career. He made it to the tournament two years in a row with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, losing to the Kamloops Blazers in 1992 and winning the championship in 1993 over the Peterborough Petes.
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rClick here for more on the 2006 MasterCard Memorial Cup.
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