RIMOUSKI, Que. – The standing ovation lasted more than a minute and forced Sidney Crosby to fight back tears.
Prior to puck drop between the Rimouski Oceanic and Sherbrooke Phoenix, all the attention was on the Pittsburgh Penguins captain who returned to Rimouski. Que., for a pre-game ceremony in his honour by the club he spent two seasons playing for in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
Crosby was in attendance to have his No. 87 retired by the Oceanic, who drafted first overall in 2003. And the QMJHL went one step further by announcing his number would be retired league-wide.
The Oceanic then went out and pulled off a 4-3 overtime win against the Phoenix.
“Some amazing memories here. It’s pretty emotional,” Crosby told the crowd. “I had two amazing years here. My best friends to this day played here, trained here and coached me here.”
It was only fitting that Alexis Lafreniere — who is projected to go No. 1 at the 2020 NHL draft and has been compared to Crosby since joining Rimouski — scored the winner 4:38 into the extra period.
Cedric Pare had two goals and two assists Oceanic (2-0-1) while Dmitry Zavgorodniy added a goal and two helpers. Colten Ellis made 16 saves for the win.
Felix Robert led the Phoenix (2-0-1) with a pair of goals and Xavier Parent scored the other. Samuel Hlavaj stopped 42-of-46 shots in a losing cause.
Crosby joined the Oceanic for the 2003-04 season and set the scoring record for 16 year olds with 54 goals and 135 points in 59 games. He continued to dominate in his second season with a league-high 66 goals and 168 points.
Rimouski won the President Cup in 2005, with Crosby earning playoff MVP honours for his performance.
HUSKIES 3 REMPARTS 2
QUEBEC CITY — Zacary Emond made 30 saves and Justin Bergeron scored the go-ahead goal at 18:16 of the third to lift Rouyn-Noranda (3-1-0) over the Remparts (2-1-0).
SAGUENEENS 4 ARMADA 3 (SO)
BOISBRIAND, Que — Theo Rochette scored the shootout winner to back stop Alexis Shank’s 36-save outing as Chicoutimi (2-0-1) beat the Armada (1-1-1).
VOLTIGUERS 3 FOREURS 2 (OT)
DRUMMONDVILLE, Que. — Dawson Mercier tied the game in the third, then scored the winner at 4:52 of overtime as the Voltigeurs (1-2-0) squeezed out a win over Val-d’Or (1-1-1).
CATARACTES 5 TIGRES 0
SHAWINIGAN, Que. — Antoine Coulombe kicked out 30 shots while Xavier Cormier and Mavrik Bourque potted two goals apiece to lead the Cataractes (2-1-0) over Victoriaville (0-2-2).
DRAKKAR 3 OLYMPIQUES 2 (OT)
GATINEAU, Que. — Nathan Legare scored at 4:26 of overtime and Lucas Fitzpatrick made 20 saves as Baie-Comeau (2-1-0) edged the Olympiques (1-1-1).
WILDCATS 6 TITAN 5 (SO)
MONCTON, N.B. — Jacob Pelletier and Alexander Khovanov had two goals and two assists apiece in regulation, and the Wildcats (2-1-0) edged Acadie-Bathurst (0-2-1) on a shootout goal from Mika Cyr. Titan forward Anderson MacDonald had two goals and three helpers.
ISLANDERS 3 MOOSEHEADS 1
HALIFAX — Matthew Welsh made 21 saves and Nikita Alexandrov’s first-period goal stood up as the winner as Charlottetown (2-0-1) dealt the Mooseheads (0-3-0) a third straight loss.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 27, 2019.