Montreal Canadiens: Riley Kidney Helps Titan Emphatically Avoid Elimination

Montreal Canadiens prospect Riley Kidney had a tremendous regular season for the Acadie-Bathurst Titan of the QMJHL. He piled up 70 assists and 100 points to lead the league in helpers and 7th in points.

The playoffs did not start off quite as well for Kidney and the Titan. They finished fourth in the Eastern Conference, but loaded up at the trade deadline with a couple of huge trades after a decent but not great start to the season.

So, even though it was a four seed versus a five seed, the Titan were the heavy favourites heading into their Best-of-5 opening round series with the Halifax Mooseheads.However, it was the Mooseheads who jumped out to a 2-0 series lead after winning both games on the road in Bathurst.

That put the Titan on the ropes heading into Game 3 in Halifax on Monday night, but they emphatically avoided elimination by dominating the Mooseheads for 60 minutes. The Titan also carried the play for long stretches in the first two games of the series, but they were turned away by excellent Moosehead goaltending.

That wasn’t the case on Monday night. The Titan stormed out to a 4-0 lead after the first period. Riley Kidney had an assist on the game’s opening goal and within three minutes, that lead was extended to four.

That lead was extended to five when Kidney gained the offensive blue line and made a pass across to Jacob Melanson who found Zach Biggar in the slot and he sniped.

Kidney added another assist before the end of the period, dropping a pass to the point on the power play before his defender fired a puck to the net that was tipped in by Hendrix Lapierre. It was Kidney’s third assist of the night, but he wasn’t quite done.

In the dying seconds of the second period, Kidney lofted a wrist shot on goal just before the buzzer sounded. It somehow eluded the Mooseheads goaltender and made it 7-1 Titan before the second intermission.

It wasn’t the prettiest goal of Kidney’s season, and was probably indicative of where the Mooseheads goaltender head was at with the game well out of reach. Kidney’s Titan will now live to skate another day, and will face the Mooseheads in Halifax tonight in Game 4.

A four point night from Kidney, in his hometown, was enough to extend the Titan’s season. What does he have in store for tonight? Bathurst has high hopes for this postseason, but are just hanging on after two losses to start the playoffs.

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