Islanders prospect news? On a summer weekend? When a dude scores four goals in a game to send his host team to the Memorial Cup Final, it feels like kind of a big deal.
And that’s exactly what Saint John Sea Dogs forward and Islanders 2020 fifth round pick William Dufour did today.
With his team trailing the QMJHL champion Shawinigan Cataractes 3-0 after one period and with a berth in next week’s championship game on the line, Dufour scored two goals in 21 seconds early in the second period, then completed his natural hat trick at the 8:38 mark to tie the game. After teammate Jérémie Poirier scored the go-ahead goal later in the same period, Dufour scored his Dufour’th two minutes into the third. Goalie Nikolas Hurtubise made 26 saves, including nine in the final period, to seal the win.
Here are all four goals in all their glory:
All 4⃣ from DUFOUR❗️#MemorialCup | @SJSeaDogs | @NYIslanders pic.twitter.com/JjPVWIJTlf— Canadian Hockey League (@CHLHockey) June 25, 2022
In a shocking turn of events, Dufour was named the first star of the game. It’s a pretty cool feeling hearing, “It’s a natural hat trick for the Islanders prospect,” said by a junior hockey play-by-play announcer. The post game crew had many great things to say about him, too.
William Dufour is UNBELIEVABLE. He takes a puck off the draw, walks his man to the front of the net, and completes the natural hat trick.— Scott Wheeler (@scottcwheeler) June 25, 2022
Hats are on the ice and it is tilted in the Sea Dogs’ direction. What a performance from Dufour. #Isles
Oh. My. God.— Scott Wheeler (@scottcwheeler) June 25, 2022
William Dufour has scored his fourth goal of the game. It’s 5-3 Sea Dogs. They’re 18 minutes away from the Memorial Cup final. One of the best single-game performances I’ve ever witnessed live. #Isles
The 6’-3” 20-year-old was named MVP of the QMJHL this season after scoring 56 goals and 60 assists for 116 points in the regular season. He added two goals and two assists in five playoff games as Saint John lost to Rimouski in the first round. He now has six goals in three Memorial Cup games.
The Sea Dogs will next play for the Memorial Cup championship on Wednesday against either Shawinigan or the Hamilton Bulldogs. Saint John has beaten both already in the tournament. The Sea Dogs could become the first host team to win the Memorial Cup since the Windsor Spitfires in 2017.
Congrats to William on the performance and on his much deserved spotlight on a day off between Stanley Cup final games. Good luck to Saint John in the Memorial Cup Final.
In an Islanders prospect pool that is among the shallowest in the NHL, players like Dufour and Aatu Raty represent signs of hope for the future. And the best news: they’re both already signed!
"For sure it's the top [game of my career]. In this moment, with a win, going to the final, it's unbelievable."— Canadian Hockey League (@CHLHockey) June 25, 2022
Post-game comments from William Dufour and Jeremie Poirier! #MemorialCup pic.twitter.com/qPNNCdQIrg