DuFour’s big night lifts Sea Dogs to Memorial Cup Final

Photo by Mathieu Belanger/Getty Images

The reigning MVP of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL)  added another memorable moment to his resume on Saturday in perhaps the biggest game of his team’s season to date. 

William DuFour, a fifth-round selection of the New York Islanders in 2020, was the star of the show for the hometown St. John Sea Dogs, as he helped his team rally for a 5-3 victory against their QMJHL rivals, the Shawinigan Cataractes. 

The Sea Dogs were down 3-0 after the first period, and the defending Michel Briére Memorial Trophy winner took the game over from there… and never looked back. 

DuFour put the Sea Dogs on the board with his third of the tournament at 2:02 of the middle frame. 

Just 21 seconds later, he pulled the Sea Dogs within one, off a feed from fellow 2020 draftee and Calgary Flames prospect Yan Kuznetsov. 

A little over six minutes later, the Sea Dogs tied the game. St. John rallied from down three to tie the game following DuFour’s fifth tournament goal. For those of you keeping score on your own, that’s a natural hat trick for DuFour (a “natty hatty” some might say) within a span of 6:36. 

St. John continued its massive second period with yet another goal, giving them their first lead of the game. No, this one wasn’t from DuFour… well, not yet. Instead, the Sea Dogs took the lead courtesy of another Flames prospect, with defenseman Jérémie Poirier (third-round selection, 72nd overall, in the 2020 entry draft) scoring on the power play at 14:12. 4-3 St. John after 40 minutes. 

So, the third period started, and immediately, the Sea Dogs had a response. Just under two minutes into the closing frame, DuFour built upon his already massive game by potting his fourth of the game, giving St. John an insurance marker and a 5-3 lead. 

As if scoring four goals wasn’t noteworthy enough, DuFour’s fourth was recorded at 1:57 of the third period. That means that DuFour scored four goals in just under a whole period’s worth of time (19:55, to be exact). 

When asked where this game ranked in terms of the top games of his career, DuFour said, “For sure the top one. With a win we’re going to the final; it’s unbelievable.” 

DuFour added, “To finish my {junior} career like that, it’s unbelievable. We have one more to go, we’re going to go for it, and we can’t wait to play on Wednesday” when referring to the chance to win the Memorial Cup on home ice. 

The Sea Dogs have a chance to play Shawinigan again, as the Cataractes will take on the Hamilton Bulldogs of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) in a winner-take-all semifinal match on Monday night. The winner plays St. John on Wednesday at 7 p.m. EST. 

St. John looks to make some history for themselves heading into Wednesday’s big game. The Sea Dogs look to win their first Memorial Cup championship since 2011 while also seeking a host team’s first Memorial Cup victory since the OHL’s Windsor Spitfires won it back in 2017.

Stanley Cup Aspirations Cue’ the Duck Boats Pod

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  1. Stanley Cup Aspirations
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