Val-d’Or head coach Mario Durocher was not happy with the officiating in the QMJHL’s championship series, and he let everyone know it.
Durocher’s Val-d’Or Foreurs were battling Baie-Comeau Drakkar for the Q’s President’s Cup. After two evenly-called games to start the series, the Foreurs started to find themselves in the box more frequently than their opponent. Game Four had a combined 28 minutes in penalties. Baie-Comeau went 2-for-6 on the man advantage, twice tying the game on power-play goals before winning 4-3 in overtime. That’s when Durocher let loose, criticizing the work of referees Mario Maillet (#21) and Jean-Philippe Sylvain (#4).
“It’s up to the league to pull up its pants,” Durocher said after the fourth game, followed by a French swear, according to Mike Sanderson at Yahoo’s Buzzing the Net.
That was enough for QMJHL Director of Player Safety Raymond Bolduc, who hit Durocher with a $1,000 fine.
— Stephane Leroux (@StephRDSJunior) May 9, 2014
“It’s frustrating, especially since I said before the comment that we have no control over the [refereeing] and we have to focus on ourselves,” Durocher added. “At the press conference in Baie-Comeau, I apologized for using [a profanity], and then explained that if there were any questions about the refereeing, it’s up to [QMJHL Director of Officiating and former NHL referee] Richard Trottier.”
Foreurs fans, led by the efforts of Martin Briault, scraped up $875 in support of their team’s coach to help offset his fine.
Les partisans des Foreurs se sont cotisés et ont remis 875$ à Mario Durocher pour lui permettre de payer son amende. #arbitrage
— Mikaël Lalancette (@MLalancetteTVA) May 12, 2014
“It’s a nice gesture by our fans and I appreciated it,” he said. “The referees are part of the game and all I want is that [the games are called] fair and even.”
Referee Mario Maillet (#21) returned for Game Seven, this time paired with Nicolas Dutil (#25). The duo called it closer in the series-deciding game, which featured the fewest penalties of any game in the series. Val-d’Or was called for four penalties, with Baie-Comeau tapped for just two trips to the penalty box. Both teams were scoreless with the man advantage.
Despite blowing a 3-0 lead in the third period, Val-d’Or’s Anthony Mantha scored with under a minute to play to claim the President’s Cup for the Foreurs.
Val-d’Or is now headed to the Memorial Cup, where they’ll face the London Knights on Friday. Let’s hope for a good tournament, great hockey, and fair officiating.
(stick-tap to Mike Sanderson at Buzzing the Net)