BATHURST – Strong performances from a pair of young players and solid goaltending highlighted a frustrating week for the Acadie-Bathurst Titan who are still looking for their first win of the season.
Three straight goals from the Quebec Remparts, including an empty netter, spoiled a strong start for the Titan last Thursday in a 3-1 loss on home ice. Saturday, a pair of goals in the final two and a half minutes broke up a 2-2 tie as the Saint John Sea Dogs defeated Acadie-Bathurst 4-2 at TD Station in Saint John. Finally on Sunday, a pair of third period goals were the difference as the Charlottetown Islanders beat the Titan 3-1 at the K. C. Irving Regional Centre.
Despite the three losses, strong performances from Cole Huckins, Tristan Bérubé and Nicolas Kingsbury-Fournier earned them our Titan Three Stars of the week.
FIRST STAR – Tristan Bérubé
Early on this season goaltending has proven to be a strength for Acadie-Bathurst with both Tristan Bérubé and Félix-Anthony Ethier turning in solid performances when called upon. Bérubé gets the nod as our First Star of the week this week thanks to a pair of strong outings last Thursday and Saturday. The 20-year-old was named the second star of the game in both contests despite picking up a loss on both nights. On Thursday, Bérubé turned aside 24 of 26 Remparts shots, including all 14 he faced in the second period. Saturday in Saint John, Bérubé faced 32 shots and gave a Titan team that ran into penalty trouble a chance to win. The game was actually tied at 2 with under two and a half minutes to play, before the Sea Dogs scored twice on the powerplay, to give them three goals on six man advantages during the game.
SECOND STAR – Nicolas Kingsbury-Fournier
The 17-year-old forward really stepped up for the Titan after veteran Anderson MacDonald was knocked out of the lineup early in Saturday’s game with Saint John after receiving a high hit from Sea Dogs forward Dawson Stairs. Stairs received a minor penalty on the play. Kingsbury-Fournier was called on to help fill the void left by MacDonald’s absence and logged some solid minutes on the team’s top two lines and special teams. The sophomore took advantage of that powerplay time to notch his first goal of the season, and what turned out to be the lone goal of the game for the Titan, on Sunday.
THIRD STAR – Cole Huckins
Although he only managed one assist last week, the 16-year-old rookie centre showed why the Titan chose him in the first round (16th overall) of last June’s Quebec Major Junior Hockey League entry draft. The 6”4” tall Fredericton native has impressed with a combination of size, skill and poise so far this season and has not looked out of place in any of the roles Titan head coach Mario Durocher has asked him to fill so far this season. Last week was no exception for Huckins, who had his best night on Saturday when he picked up an assist and won 57.1% of the 14 faceoffs he took.
Honourable Mention – Goaltender Félix-Anthony Ethier
Ethier made 32 stops, including 17 in the second period, on Sunday.