The Montreal Juniors hosted the Baie-Comeau Drakkar at the Verdun Auditorium.
They were looking to break their four-game losing streak, a streak including three games against teams beneath them in the standings.
Tonight was no exception, as the Drakkar came into town third-last in the QMJHL standings.
Montreal looked to capitalize against a Baie-Comeau team that was second (by one goal) in goals allowed.
The first period was filled with shots from both sides, with both goaltenders being tested early and often. Jake Allen saw most of the dangerous shots and had to contend with a two-on-one as well as a break-away by Guillaume Goulet, who split Montreal's "D" before shooting on Allen. Allen was back to fine form and stopped both attempts.
Montreal would get a few chances of their own with Pier-Antoine Dion, hitting the crossbar at the halfway point, beating Drakkar goaltender Nathan Dunnett. Dunnett would have absolutely no chance on the Juniors.
The period's only goal when Nick Layton picked up a puck from the neutral zone, warded off two Drakkar players, skated into their zone, and found Matt Fillier all alone. Fillier deftly deked Dunnett with a fake and slid the puck through the five-hole.
The second period could not have started better for the Juniors as Guillaume Goulet was in the box for hooking. After a failed attempt at the side of the net, the Juniors retried the set play—and this time Esposito one timed the Nick Layton feed with perfection past Dunnett.
Baie-Comeau would answer in kind and respond quickly. with a goal of their own. Guillaume Goulet potted his 33rd of the year with a wrister through a crowd. The announcer had only just finished announcing the goal when the Drakkar tied the game up at two. Emrick Guillemette got the credit for this goal, another from the hash marks that beat Allen.
But in the latter stages of the period, Montreal became more aggressive and were winning the small battles. At 17:17, that work paid off with Matthew Brenton stuffing the puck past Dunnett in a goalmouth scrum. Montreal would end the second as they did the first, up by a goal.
The third period was capped off with an empty-net goal by Philippe Fontaine of the Juniors.
The key for Montreal's win on this night. however, was their aggressiveness, limiting the Drakkar to only two power-play opportunities, including one with just over two minutes to go in the game (which resulted in Fontaines goal after Dunnett was pulled for the extra attacker). Montreal went one for three while on the man advantage.
After ending a four-game losing skid, hopefully Montreal can build from this win and begin another streak in the other direction.
The Juniors will have their work cut out for them as the competition will be the Victoriaville Tigres on Wednesday and the Quebec Remparts on Friday.