Sea Dogs top Cataractes 4-1 at Memorial Cup
Published Thursday, May 24, 2012 7:00PM ADT
Tempers flared during last night's Memorial Cup round robin game, as the Saint John Sea Dogs faced off against the Shawinigan Cataractes.
The two Quebec Major Junior Hockey League teams fought it out, sometimes literally, in a final match of the Memorial Cup round robin, a game that featured cheap shots and some dangerous stick work.
"These are the two teams going into this tournament that are familiar with each other and I think in hockey, familiarity breeds a little contempt and I think they both had something to prove against each other," says Sea Dogs spokesperson Nathan White.
In the end, even the coaches were involved, shouting at each other across from their benches.
The referees let the players play and allowed some of the nasty hits to go unpunished. However, tournament organizers fined each team $2,500 for conduct prejudicial to the welfare of the game.
The rivalry between the teams began with the leagues decision to award Shawinigan the right to host this year's Memorial Cup tournament, a bitter pill for many in Saint John.
"The roughness is getting out of hand and the referee is turning a blind eye to a lot of stuff," says Sea Dogs fan and season ticketholder Chantal Pelletier.
She blames the official for a lot of problems in last night's game.
"The goal that was taken away because they intended to blow the whistle and didn't," says Pelletier.
Other fans say the tournament has become a pressure cooker.
"Some of the cheap shots and hitting were a bit much to my liking, but it's hard to turn it down a notch when you get it up," says Sea Dogs fan Adam Garnett.
Sea Dogs defenceman Nathan Beaulieu sees more of the same in the tournament's remaining games.
"There's gonna be a war going into the semis and we're looking forward to it for sure," says Beaulieu. "They beat us in the first game of the tournament, so there's definitely some revenge. We're looking forward to it."
Saint John won the game by a convincing score of 4-1 and they await the winner of a tiebreaker between Shawinigan and Edmonton.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Mike Cameron