Day in Review

May 16, 2004 – Day 8 Review
Game #13 - Gold Medal
Central (Aurora) 7 vs. West (Kindersley) 1

The championship final featured the surprising Kindersley Klippers up against the experienced Aurora Tigers. After upsetting the host Grande Prairie Storm 4-3 one night earlier, the Kindersley players had less than 20 hours of rest before they had to face off against the well-rested Tigers, who dumped the Nepean Raiders 7-2 during semifinal Saturday’s afternoon game. "We’re playing on TSN," said Kindersley’s Casey Lee, who scored the game-winning goal against the Storm with 35.5 seconds left in the game. "That’s the No. 1 think in all of our heads." With a sold-out crowd and a national audience tuned in to watch the game, the Aurora Tigers scored two goals in a span of 1:06 to jump out to an early lead. Francis Walker one-timed in a perfect pass from Sean Scully at 8:19 of the first before defenceman Mike Kostka beat Kindersley goalie Kevin Dziaduck with a long wrist shot 66 seconds later. The Tigers then went up 3-0 when Jesse Olden batted in a rebound at 12:38 of the opening frame. The Klippers hit the scoresheet with 4:17 left in the period when Jason Fleck snuck a bad angle shot past Aurora netminder Chris Whitley with traffic in front of the net. But the Tigers regained their three-goal cushion when Scully banked a shot in off of a Kindersley defenceman at the 19:00 minute mark of the first. In the second, the Klippers tried to switch the momentum by replacing Dziaduck in net with Nathan Deobald. But the Tigers kept pressing and increased their lead to 7-1 on a pair of second period power-play goals by Andrew Hotham and Walker and an even-strength marker off the stick of Michael Tonelli. After the teams battled to a scoreless final frame, the Tigers jumped onto the ice to celebrate their 7-1 victory. They wound up outshooting the Klippers 57-22 in the game. With the win, the Tigers became the first-ever team from the Ontario Provincial Junior Hockey League to win the RBC Royal Bank Cup. The last time an Ontario-based team won the national title was when the Thunder Bay Flyers of the United States Hockey League captured the title in 1992 when it was known as the Centennial Cup.

 

May 15, 2004 – Day 7 Review
Game #11 - Semi-Final
Central (Aurora) 7 vs. East (Nepean) 2

The first semifinal contest of the day pitted the second place Tigers against the third place Raiders, who were out looking for redemption after a 3-1 preliminary round loss to Aurora two days earlier. Aurora started off quickly as Tigers forward Matt Bahen pounced on a loose puck in the slot and backhanded it past Nepean goalie Mitch O’Keefe. The Raiders tied the score at 12:37 of the first on the power-play when Emmond Bell wristed a perfect shot into the top corner over the outstretched glove of Aurora goalie Chris Whitley, who was screened on the play. The Tigers regained their one-goal advantage with 3:16 left to play in the opening frame when Francis Walker scored on a nifty backhanded wrap-around effort past O’Keefe. Aurora added to their lead at 2:51 of the second stanza when defenceman Derek Joslin scored on a point shot, which prompted Raiders coach Chris Byrne to pull O’Keefe from the net in favour of Ian Dams. Nepean refused to quit and battled back to within one goal when Raiders captain Brennan Sarazin scored his fourth goal of the tournament at 11:59 of the middle frame. But Aurora kept pressing and proceeded to build up a 5-2 lead before the intermission on goals by Walker, his second of the game and fifth of the tournament, and Jamie Minchella. The Tigers then put the game away with two more goals in the third off the sticks of Sean Scully, his fifth of the tournament, and Joel Kitchen, his third, to make the final score 7-2. Aurora now moves on to meet the Kindersley Klippers in the RBC Royal Bank Cup championship game on Sunday at 5:30 p.m. (MT).

 

Game #12 - Semi-Final
West (Kindersley) 4 vs. Host (Grande Prairie) 3

In the late game, the upstart Kindersley Klippers took on the hometown favourite Grande Prairie Storm. The Klippers were coming into the contest with high hopes after their 4-2 upset victory over the Nanaimo Clippers two nights earlier, primarily thanks to a 53-save performance by Kindersley netminder and tournament MVP Kevin Dziaduck. It didn’t take long for the hosts to get on the board as Stephan Knowles placed a perfect shot over Dziaduck’s shoulder and under the crossbar 1:44 into the game on a Grande Prairie power-play. Less than four minutes later, the Storm went up 2-0 when Mark Szott tipped a point shot by Kyle Radke past Dziaduck. With the Storm looking to go up by three on another man advantage, Kindersley’s Curtis Bazylinski intercepted a clearing attempt by goalie Jonathan Cayer and deposited it into the gaping net past the diving netminder. Troy Schwab of the Klippers then silenced the partisan home crowd (and ignited the section of Kindersley fans) when he one-timed a pass from Chris O’Connor past Cayer on a Kindersley power-play to tie the score at 2-2 with 1:22 left in the opening period. In the second, Grande Prairie regained the lead when Szott scored his second of the game on a Storm power-play 3:06 into the period. The hosts held the lead until the 3:22 mark of the third period, when Kindersley’s Jason Fleck found himself open in the slot and converted a feed from Casey Lee to tie the game at 3-3. The visiting Klippers then pulled off their second straight upset as Lee tipped in a pass from Jesse Fischer past Cayer with 35.5 seconds left in the final frame. Dziaduck made 32 saves in the 4-3 Kindersley victory. The Klippers now move on to face the Aurora Tigers in the RBC Royal Bank Cup championship game on Sunday at 5:30 p.m. (MT).

 

May 13, 2004 – Day 6 Review
Game #9 Central (Aurora) 3 vs. East (Nepean) 1

This game did not have any impact on the semi-finals other than which team had the final change as the home team. Neither team wanted to show all their tricks as these two teams meet again on Saturday at 2pm in the first of two semi-finals. Joel Kitchen opened the scoring for Aurora at 12:25 of the first period to give the Tigers the lead. Andrew Hotham added to that lead when he scored at the half way mark of the second period. Nepean continued to battle as they were having a tough time solving Tigers goalie, Chris Whitley. Scott Cowie finally got the Nepean Raiders on the board when his solo effort paid off on the power-play, and brought them to within one. But that was all they were able to do as Whitley shut the door after that. Aurora added an empty netter to take the game 3-1. Nepean will get a chance to avenge the loss Saturday when they meet again in the semi-finals. Aurora finishes the round robin with a 3-1 record, good enough for 2nd place. Nepean finishes with an even 2-2 record, and finishes in 3rd.

 

Game #10 West (Kindersley) 4 vs. Pacific (Nanaimo) 2

In a Clippers vs. Klippers match-up, this game was to decide which team would play Grande Prairie in the semi-finals on Saturday, and which team would go home. Kindersley had not yet won a game in the tournament, but only needed this win to advance. Nanaimo was throwing everything they had at the Kindersley net, but Kevin Dziaduck was up to the challenge. Jason Fleck opened the scoring for the Klippers five minutes into the first period. The big Green machine added to their lead when Curtis Bazylinski scored a power-play goal to make it 2-0. Despite being out shot 20-5 in the first period, Nanaimo trailed 2-0. Kindersley scored their third goal 1:44 into the second period to go up 3-0. Jason Fleck scored his second goal of the game on the power-play to give the Klippers a commanding 4-0 lead. Nanaimo did not go away, as they finally slipped a puck past Dziaduck with two and a half minutes left in the second period to pull to within three. Nanaimo out shot Kindersley 15-7 in the second for a total of 35-12 after two periods. The third period was Nanaimo’s last chance, and they fired everything they had at the Kindersley netminder. Nanaimo’s Brennen Francon scored to bring his team to within two at 9:28 of the third. But it was not enough, even though Nanaimo out shot Kindersley 53-20, they lost 4-2. Nanaimo goes home with a 1-3 record, while Kindersley finishes with a 1-3 record – but claims 4th spot because of the head-to-head tie breaker. They now face Grande Prairie Saturday, May 15th at 7:30pm.

 

May 12, 2004 – Day 5 Review
Game #7 - West (Kindersley) 0 vs. Central (Aurora) 5

Kindersley was desperately searching for their first victory of the tournament. But it was Aurora who played with the type of vigor that made it look like they were the ones in need of the win. The Tigers scored two special teams goals in the first period. Alex Lalonde opened the scoring with a short handed goal, and Francis Walker scored his third goal of the tournament on the power-play to give the Tigers a 2-0 at the end of one. The second period was dominated by the Tigers as Kinderlsey continued to take penalties. Aurora added two more power-play goals in the second period to take a commanding 4-0 lead. The Tigers added one more power-play goal in the third to win 5-0. The shots on net were fairly equal as Aurora edged out Kindersley 43-39, but Kindersley was unable to solve Chris Whitley as he records his first shut-out of the tournament. Aurora is now 2-1 and is tied with Nepean for second spot and have clinched a spot in the semi-finals. Kindersley is now 0-3 and will face Nanaimo tomorrow in a game were the winner will advance to the semi-finals.

 

Game #8 - Pacific (Nanaimo) 7 vs. Host (Grande Prairie) 2

This was without a doubt the most anticipated game of the round robin portion of the tournament. The re-match between the two Doyle Cup Finalists (AJHL Champions vs. BCHL Champions) was the hottest ticket in town as the home town crowd was anxious to avenge a 4-1 series loss to Nanaimo in the Doyle Cup. Nanaimo had their best period of the tournament going two for two on the power-play and carrying a 3-0 lead into the middle frame. Craig Gaudet, Brandon Laidlaw and Tyson Mullock each scored for the Clippers. The second period was scoreless until the half way mark when the Clippers’ Brandon Kushniruk deflected one home on a shot from the point by Ryan Burns to increase their lead to 4-0. The Grande Prairie Storm pulled starting goalie Jonathon Cayer in favour of recently acquired Brett Jaeger. Brandon Kushniruk scored his second goal of the period on a screened shot from the top of the circle with just over a minute left in the period to go ahead 5-0. Nanaimo kept their foot on the gas pedal, and Blair Lefevre scored a power-play goal just 50 seconds into the third. Grande Prairie finally broke the goose egg when Jason Jubb lite the lamp at 4:10. The Storm added a power-play goal of their own when Josh Welters walked in and sniped one high over the shoulder of the Clippers goalie. Nanaimo responded with a short handed goal on a Brett Jaeger miscue to put them up 7-2. Grande Prairie suffers their first loss of the tournament, but will finish in first place with a record of 3-1. Nanaimo won their first game, but it doesn’t guarantee them anything as they play a do or die game vs. Kindersley tomorrow.

 

May 11, 2004 – Day 4 Review
Game #6 - Host (Grande Prairie) 7 vs. East (Nepean) 2

This was a battle of the unbeatens, as both Grande Prairie and Nepean had identical 2-0 records. Grande Prairie continued to thrive off the 3,000 home crowd. The first period was all Storm, out shooting the Raiders 16-2 and outscoring them 3-0. Goal scorers for Grande Prairie were Jean Bourbeau, Ryan Chrenek, and Mark Szott on the power-play. The Raiders woke up for the second period as Josh Fudge solved Jonathon Cayer to pull to within two. The Storm regained their three goal lead with a short-handed marker by Jonathan Labelle. Grant Clitsome replied for the Raiders with a power-play goal 19 seconds later. Grande Prairie added one more before the end of the period as Kyle Radke potted one. With a 5-2 lead heading into the third, the Storm still had a few goals left in the tank. Mark Szott and Kyle Radke eached added their second goal of the night as the Grande Prairie Storm kept their perfect record intact with a 7-2 win. Nepean sits in second place with a 2-1 record.

 

May 10, 2004 – Day 3 Review
Game #4 - East (Nepean) 2 vs. West (Kindersley) 1

The Kindersley Klippers came in needing a win after losing in their opening game vs. Grande Prairie. But it was the Nepean Raiders who scored the first two goals of the game, both on the power-play. Chris Priolo scored both goals for the Raiders, one in the first, and one in the second. Kindersley had been swarming on a few power-plays, including a 5 on 3 advantage. After hitting the post and the cross bar, Josh Sim finally got the Klippers on the board with only 35 seconds left in the second period. With Nepean leading 2-1 heading into the third, Kindersley was fighting to get their first win, and Nepean was trying to keep their perfect record intact. The third period remained scoreless, despite Kindersley pulling their goalie for the extra attacker. Mitch O’Keefe made 31 saves for the win in the Nepean net, while Kevin Dziaduck had 23 saves in the loss for Kindersley. Nepean is now 2-0 and tied for the tournament lead, while Kindersley is 0-2.

 

Game #5 - Central (Aurora) 4 vs. Pacific (Nanaimo) 2

Despite being considered two of the favorites going in, Aurora and Nanaimo where both looking for their first win of the tournament. Aurora opened the scoring on an individual effort by Francis Walker to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead. Tyson Mullock responded for the Clippers with a power-play goal three minutes later to tie things at 1-1. Sean Scully ripped one top shelf from the point for another power-play goal, this time by the Tigers, to restore their one goal lead. With a 2-1 Aurora lead in the second, penalties continued to play a big part in this game as Nanaimo’s Tyler Mugford scored his teams’ second power-play goal to knot things up at 2-2. Aurora, with their second two man advantage, scored yet another power-play goal when Sean Scully scored his second of the night in a goal very similar to his first period goal picking the top shelf again. As Nanaimo struggled to stay out of the box, Aurora capitalized on its third 5-3 advantage with Francis Walker’s second goal of the night. The Tigers held a 4-2 going into the third, and that proved to be enough. Nanaimo faces the Grande Prairie Storm tomorrow in the only game on the slate. This is the most anticipated match-up of the round robin as it will be the first time these two team meet since the Doyle Cup final that Nanaimo won 4 games to 1.

 

May 9, 2004 – Day 2 Review
Game #2 Pacific (Nanaimo) 3 vs. East (Nepean) 4 2OT

The Nanaimo Clippers came in as the favorite in this one, but both teams were feeling each other out in a scoreless first period. However, the second period was all Nanaimo as they scored 3 unanswered goals, including 2 power-play goals by Brandon Kushniruk and Raymond Sawada. The Clippers peppered the Raiders goalie, Ian Dames, with 20 shots in the second period alone, whereas the Clippers goalie only faced 4 shots. The third period saw a swing in momentum as the Clippers got into penalty trouble. The Raiders finally got on the board when they scored a power-play goal on a two man advantage at 12:26 of the third period, and the Raiders were now the ones carrying the play. Nepean added another power-play goal less than a minute later to bring them to within one. With just three minutes remaining, the Raiders tied things up at 3-3 on an unassisted goal by Brennan Sarazin, his second of the game. In the first overtime period, both teams exchanged chances, but the two netminders were up to the task. The comeback was complete when the game was decided in the second overtime. The hero was Brennan Sarazin scoring the game winning goal for Nepean at 19:06 of the second overtime period, and completing his natural hat-trick.

 

Game #3 Central (Aurora) 2 vs. Host (Grande Prairie) 4

The host team played their second game of the RBC Royal Bank Cup against the pre-tournament favorite, Aurora Tigers, in their first game at the 2004 RBC Royal Bank Cup. Josh Welter opened the scoring for the Storm with an unassisted short-handed goal to give the home town team a 1-0 lead. The Tigers responded immediately with a goal by Jeff Gilbert to tie things up at 1-1. Grande Prairie carried the majority of the play as the Storm added two more goals to give them a healthy 3-1 lead going into the second period. The Aurora goalie was extremely busy in the first period making 20 saves as his team gave up four power-play opportunities. The second period opened up with a power-play goal for Aurora as Michael Tonelli brought his team back to within one. Kyle Radke help the Storm regain their two goal lead with a power-play goal late in the second period. Grande Prairie held a 4-2 lead into the third period, but that was all that was needed as the Storm won their second game of the tournament. The Aurora goalie made 34 saves in the loss for the Tigers, and Jonathan Cayer had 28 saves in the victory for the Storm.

 

May 8, 2004 – Day 1 Review
Game #1 - West (Kindersley) 3 vs.
Host (Grande Prairie) 5

The 2004 RBC Royal Bank Cup kicked off with a game featuring the host team, Grande Prairie Storm and the Western representative, Kindersley Klippers. The Stormhad been waiting for over a year for this game, and it showed. They came outblazing, and took the game to Kindersley right from the opening whistle. Scott McCulloch opened the scoring for the Storm just 6 minutes into the game witha power-play goal. Dustin Sather and Stephen Knowles each added a goal to givethe home town team a 3-0 lead. Kindersley responded with an unassisted goal by Derek Dorsett, but ended the first period trailing 3-1. The Storm where all overthe Klippers in the second period, and Kyle Radke scored a power-play markerto increase the led to 4-1. Kindersley’s Jason Fleck scored a late power-playgoal to bring the Klippers back to within two goals. Grand Prairie held a 4-2heading into the final frame, and where out-shooting Kindersley 31-8.

Kindersley refused to go away, despite being badly out shot. At the half waymark of the third period, the Klippers’s Jesse Fischer scored to bringthem to within one. Grand Prairie drove the final dagger through the heart withan empty net goal to earn a 5-3 victory. The enthusiastic home crowd went homehappy as the Storm started the tournament with a win.

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