REGINA — Evan Fitzpatrick stopped 28 shots as the Acadie-Bathurst Titan shut out the host Regina Pats 3-0 on Sunday to win their first Memorial Cup in franchise history.
It’s the first time since 2013 that a Quebec Major Junior Hockey League team captured the Canadian major junior championship.
Adam Holwell, Samuel Asselin and Ethan Crossman, into an empty net, scored for the Titan to win the 100th edition of the tournament.
Max Paddock turned away 41-of-43 shots for Regina, which was vying for its fifth Memorial Cup in franchise history.
Asselin provided insurance at 13:02 of the third when he tapped in a pass from Titan captain Jeffrey Truchon-Viel. Truchon-Viel made a nice move on Regina defenceman Cale Fleury in order to make the pass.
Fitzpatrick faced increased pressure in the third as the Pats pressed, but he wasn’t fazed.
Regina’s Sam Steel, who was named Memorial Cup MVP after the game, almost tied it midway through the third after a juicy Fitzpatrick rebound, but the goaltender pushed across to stop the Regina captain.
Steel had 13 points throughout the tournament — three off the Memorial Cup record held by Kitchener’s Jeff Larmer and Hull’s Guy Rouleau.
Holwell opened the scoring at 16:10 of the first when his wrist shot from the left face-off circle sneaked through Paddock’s five-hole.
Asselin nearly made it a two-goal lead shortly after when he picked up the puck from a Nick Henry turnover and hit the post. Acadie-Bathurst’s German Rubtsov also had a shot ring off the post midway through the first.
Paddock took over in the second with his team getting heavily outshot and made several highlight-reel saves to keep the Pats in the game.
Crossman had two glorious chances nine minutes into the second, but Paddock stopped him on both — a partial breakaway and a glove save off a nice wrist shot.
The Brandt Centre crowd started to chant “Go Pats Go” to try and get their team in the game. The crowd gave a big jeer when Regina recorded its first shot of the second period — and sixth of the game — 11 minutes into the second.
Paddock made another spectacular save on Truchon-Viel after he received a saucer pass from Crossman during a 2-on-1.
The Pats started to press near the end of the second but Fitzpatrick stood tall. Jared Legien had Regina’s best chance during a 2-on-1 with Steel, but Legien’s shot rang off the post.
Acadie-Bathurst held on to beat the Pats 8-6 when the two teams faced each other in the round robin.
Notes: The 2005 London Knights, who won the Memorial Cup that season, were named the Canadian Hockey League’s team of the century in the second intermission.