Black Press Sports
The host Portage Terriers stopped the Carleton Place Canadians of Ottawa 5-2 in the Royal Bank Cup national Junior A hockey championship final Sunday.
The Canadians, who lost the 2014 RBC Cup to the Yorkton Terriers in Vernon, reached the final by stopping the BCHL champion Penticton Vees 2-1 in double overtime Saturday.
Jordan Larson buried a rebound over the pad of outstretched Vees’ goalie Hunter Miska after a Ryker Killins shot at 3:43 of double OT.
It was Penticton forward Demico Hannoun’s third straight RBC tournament without a title. Hannoun had previous played for the Vipers and Surrey Eagles.
“It hurts for our players. We played our asses off,” said Vees’ head coach/GM Fred Harbinson. “I thought we had a lot of chances to make it 2-0 and it didn’t happen. They made a play, they are a great team. We scored a goal in the first overtime, unfortunate quick whistle. We have seen that before. It wasn’t intentional. It’s one of those things that happens. They were able to make the last play.”
Dakota Conroy’s shot from the slot appeared to win it for the Vees. The whistle was blown as Canadians’ goalie Guillaume Therien, down on his knees, had the puck slowly get past him. Therien made 36 saves.
After a scoreless first period, in which the Vees were edged 9-8 in shots, Tyson Jost gave the Vees a 1-0 lead in the second period. He put away a rebound from a Connor Chartier shot. That lead lasted until two minutes remained in the period when Stephen Baylis picked off a pass from Gabe Bast and skated into the zone before beating Miska with a wrister, high glove.
Baylis was the main threat for the Canadians in overtime, but he couldn’t solve Miska.
Harbinson said led by their captains, “each guy left it out there.”
The Terriers become the first Manitoba team since 1974 to win the national title. They also became the first host team to win the RBC Cup since the Weyburn Red Wings in 2005.
Portage opened the scoring in the first period when Grant Valiquette got a partial breakaway and picked the top corner on Therien. Davis Ross tapped in a rebound in the second period off a Garick Gray shot to make it 2-0 Portage.
Alex Robinson converted a pass from Wesley Baker going top corner on Terriers’ goalie Zac Robidoux to make it a 2-1 game.
It was a one-goal game after 40 minutes but the turning point of the game came in the third period.
Killins high-sticked Terriers’ d-man Kevin Pochuk in the face, drawing blood and resulting in Killins getting a double minor penalty.
The Terriers capitalized on the ensuing powerplay – Jordyn Boyd drove the net and stuffed home a loose puck to make it 3-1.
The Terriers got another power play later in the period and the tournament’s Most Valuable Player, Brad Bowles, batted in a puck out of mid-air off a pass from his twin brother, Shawn Bowles, to make it 4-1 game.
Shawn Bowles added an empty-netter.
Things got nasty after that.
Carleton Place forward Tyson Stewart slashed Terriers’ captain Tanner Jago in the back of the leg.
A scrum followed and Stewart shoved the official who pulled Stewart out of a gathering of players.
Stewart was given a match penalty for abuse of officials and got ejected from the game.
Maxim St. Pierre scored for the Canadians with 1:00 left in the game to make it 5-2.