Fitzpatrick earns first post-season shutout as Titan take 3-0 series lead
SHERBROOKE, Que. – The Acadie-Bathurst Titan finally got a win at the Palais des Sports Leopold-Drolet Tuesday night. Thanks, in part, to a 23-save shutout by Evan Fitzpatrick the Titan thumped the Sherbrooke Phoenix 5-0 to push them to the brink in game three of their second round series.
Past the midway mark of the first period the captain opened the scoring. Elijah Francis’ shot went just wide and bounced right to Jeffrey Viel on the other side of the cage who put it past Reilly Pickard to make it 1-0. Samuel Asselin picked up an assist along with Francis.
In the second period the Titan ran away with it. German Rubtsov intercepted a pass in the offensive zone and dished the puck to Balmas for the one-timer to double the lead to 2-0 at 4:10. Marc-Andre LeCouffe banged in a rebound four minutes later pushing the score to 3-0. LeCouffe’s first career playoff tally was assisted by Justin Ducharme and Elijah Francis. With 1:10 remaining in the middle period, Justin Ducharme made a great play to block the Sherbrooke defenders pass and then fed the puck to German Rubtsov who beat Pickard five-hole shorthanded to give the Titan a four-goal cushion.
Just under three minutes into the third period Rubtsov was at it again. The Russian forward received an incredible pass from Francis just outside the Sherbrooke blue line, went in all alone and fired the puck through the legs of Brendan Cregan for his second of the game. That is the way it would end as Evan Fitzpatrick shut the door on his former team helping the Titan to take a commanding 3-0 series lead.
1st Star – German Rubtsov
2nd Star – Elijah Francis
3rd Star – Evan Fitzpatrick