Dufour Demolition, Sea Dogs Heading to Finals
“It’s the last game of the round-robin. If we win, we go to the final. We’re excited and we can’t wait to see the fans tonight on our side,” were the words of New York Islanders prospect and current St. John Sea Dogs (QMJHL) forward Wiliam Dufour ahead of their contest against the Shawinigan Cataractes.
Wiliam Dufour and his dawgs were the underdogs this entire tournament, as they only got the chance to participate because they are playing host.
But when there’s a will, there’s a way.
And after a 5-3 win over the Shawinigan Cataractes on Saturday evening, the St. Johns Sea Dogs punched their way to the Memorial Cup Final.
How did they do it?
William Dufour. Four goals on 15 shots. A second-period natural hat trick in 6:36 to erase a three-goal deficit.
Let’s break ’em all down.
The first goal showed off Dufour’s one-timer ability, as well as his accuracy as he shot it through the legs of Cataractes defenseman Martin Has before beating Catactes netminder Antoine Coulombe to the blocker-side post.
Villeneuve ➡️ Dufour Goal! #CityofChampions pic.twitter.com/xXCWlz2HMK
— Saint John Sea Dogs (@SJSeaDogs) June 25, 2022
Dufour’s second came goal off his own offensive zone faceoff win. The puck trickled back to him inside the left circle from the point and the moment Cataractes defemseman Has committed to taking away the passing lane, Dufour ripped his shot high glove side.
Another goal! Dufour strikes for the second time in 21 seconds to cut the lead down to one. 🔥 #MemorialCup | @SJSeaDogs pic.twitter.com/EjEUNJTCI9
— QMJHL (@QMJHL) June 25, 2022
And to cap off the hat trick, Dufour showed off his ability to use his 6’3 204 lb frame as he protected the puck through the slot, got a backhand chance off, before burying the rebound in about half a second.
One. Two. Three.
That’s a second period natural hat trick for William Dufour! 🎩 🎩 🎩 @SJSeaDogs | #MemorialCup pic.twitter.com/i5qALVfnvO
— QMJHL (@QMJHL) June 25, 2022
Don’t forget there was the dagger, his fourth goal that gave the Sea Dogs a two-goal lead early in the third period.
While on a power play, Dufour received a pass in stride from the top of the offensive zone, before he wristed one from just inside the right circle, which beat a screened Coulombe glove side.
William DuFOUR putting the team on his pack with his 4th pic.twitter.com/xrtdgwamsC
— Spittin' Chiclets (@spittinchiclets) June 25, 2022
After the game, Dufour, the Player of the Game, sat down for a postgame interview with TSN.
When asked if this was the best moment of his life, Dufour said “For sure it’s the top [game of my career]. In this moment, with a win, going to the final, it’s unbelievable.”
His St. John teammates had a surprise waiting for him back at the locker room.
Showered with ♥️#MemorialCup pic.twitter.com/yXPjjMewmk
— Canadian Hockey League (@CHLHockey) June 26, 2022
Teammate Jeremie Poirier was asked about Dufour following his impressive performance.
“Will’s a guy that shoots the puck a lot. Probably had 12 shot attempts on net tonight,” Jeremie Poirier said. “He’s a guy that scored 50 goals this year for a reason, he’s MVP of our league, so I think he showed everyone in the building tonight why he’s MVP scoring four goals for us.”
The 20-year-old Dufour notched 56 goals along with 60 assists for 116 points in 66 regular-season games to be crowned QMJHL MVP. In five QMJHL playoff games, Dufour notched two goals and two assists.
In three round-robin Memorial Cup games, Dufour has six goals on 26 shots and has won 50 percent of his draws.
William Dufour and the St. John Sea Dogs have to wait to see the result of Shawinigan against Hamilton on Monday night to find out who their opponent will be for Wednesday’s Finals.