HALIFAX - At this point, who will be between the pipes for the Halifax Mooseheads on Saturday night for Game 5 is anyone’s guess.
© JEFF HARPER - METRO
Mooseheads backup netminder Kevin Darveau.
In an unexpected move, backup goalie Kevin Darveau got the start in Wednesday’s 5-4 victory in Val-d’Or, which saw the Mooseheads tie up the best-of-seven QMJHL semi-final series 2-2 against the third-seeded Foreurs.
He took the place of veteran goaltender Zachary Fucale.
Darveau had stepped in the first periods of both Games 2 and 3 after Fucale let in three early goals in both games.
Ducharme said on Thursday the decision on who will start in net for Game 5 will be made in the next couple days.
“We wanted to make sure we were giving Zach some time to go back on the ice and practice a few times before he goes back in the net,” Ducharme said on the decision to go with Darveau in Game 4.
“We were confident that Kevin could do a good job and give us a chance to win.”
Fucale told Metro Wednesday following a morning skate he would start Game 4, but he instead was on the bench.
“He was just expecting (to start),” clarified Ducharme on Thursday. “He didn’t know what we were doing yet.”
For his part, Darveau had an incredible performance Wednesday, with 31 saves, including a seemingly-impossible pad blocker in the dying seconds of the third period to shut down the Foreurs’ desperate attempts at an equalizer.
“I was pretty excited,” Darveau said of the Game 4 start.
“I think we played really well and I’m really happy about the results as well.”
Val-d’Or amped up the pressure in the final 10 minutes of the game, but Darveau was on the ball.
“As a goalie it’s what I want: those situations, those tight games at the end,” he said.
Mooseheads hope to break Val-d’Or Foreurs in Game 5, take series lead
Home ice advantage has gone out the window so far in what has turned into a thrilling QMJHL playoff showdown between two of the league’s offensive juggernauts.
The teams have so far exchanged a pair of road wins to tie up the best-of-seven series 2-2.
After sending shockwaves through Moose Country with two straight losses in Halifax to open the series, the Mooseheads headed to Val-d’Or hoping against hope to tie it up.
And did they ever.
A stunning 6-5 overtime victory Tuesday night at the Centre Air Creebec saw the Herd tally five unanswered goals, rallying from a four-goal deficit midway through the contest to take Game 3 in a comeback for the ages.
A much-needed strong start the following night brought a clutch 5-4 win for the away team, with star forward Jonathan Drouin having a hand in each of the Mooseheads’ five goals.
“It’s harder to win on the road,” admitted the 19-year-old Tampa Bay prospect, who leads the league this year in playoff points — 37 in 13 games.
“They did it in our barn and … we wanted to do it in their barn.”
With Wednesday’s win behind them, the Mooseheads focus now switches to Game 5.
“We’re happy about what we did, but it goes back to a big game Saturday,” said Drouin.