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QMJHL: Olympiques upset Oceanic with first-round elimination

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The Canadian Press
3/31/2013 8:08:27 PM
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The Rimouski Oceanic never expected to be heading home so early after finishing the regular season as the fourth-ranked club in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

Emile Poirier had a goal and an assist as the 13th-seeded Gatineau Olympiques eliminated Rimouski in the first round of the QMJHL's playoffs on Sunday with a 2-1 victory.

The Oceanic finished the season with 12 more wins and 28 points ahead of the Olympiques, however they dropped the series in six games 4-2.

Simon Tardif-Richard also scored for Gatineau, which had lost all eight regular-season meetings to the Oceanic over the past two years, while Martin Reway assisted on both of his club's goals.

Reway, who was born in the Czech Republic, was the top producer in the series with one goal and 10 points, good enough for fourth among playoff leaders.

Alexandre Lavois scored the lone goal for Rimouski, which made it all the way to the President Cup final last season before bowing out to the Saint John Sea Dogs.

Robert Steeves stopped 26-of-27 shots for the win as Philippe Desrosiers made 23 saves for Rimouski.

Steeves, who entered the series with a 3.59 goals-against average in 10 post-season appearances, allowed one goal or less in three wins including his first-career playoff shutout in Game 4. The 20-year-old will take a 2.18 GAA into the second round.

Gatineau went 0 for 5 on the power play while Rimouski scored once on six chances with the man advantage.

The road to the final won't be easy for the Olympiques as they will face off with the Canadian Hockey League's top-ranked team, the Halifax Mooseheads, in second-round action. Halifax eliminated the Sea Dogs in their opening round, outscoring them 25-4 in the process.

Elsewhere in the QMJHL, it was: Quebec 4, Chicoutimi 3 (OT).

At Gatineau, Que., Poirier opened the scoring at 14:12 of the first period with his fourth goal of the playoffs to give the Olympiques a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes of play.

Tardif-Richard doubled his club's lead 3:10 into the second period with his first-career playoff goal.

Rimouski managed just 12 shots through the first 40 minutes, however it found its spark in the third period as they outshot Gatineau 15-4 while playing desperation hockey.

Lavoie's fifth of the season, by way of the power play, made it 2-1 at 9:37, but Steeves shut the door the rest of the way to preserve the victory.

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Remparts 4 Sagueneens 3 (OT)

At Chicoutimi, Que., Frederic Bergeron's first-career playoff goal came 5:38 into overtime and Mikhail Grigorenko scored in regulation to move into a tie for the playoff scoring lead as Quebec eliminated the Sagueneens from first-round action 4-2.

Gatineau Olympiques (Photo: TSN)

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(Photo: TSN)
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