Host 4 Central 3
by/par Dan Kinvig
Twenty one years after the Weyburn Red Wings last claimed Canada’s Junior A hockey championship, the 2005 edition of the Wings delivered another big Mother’s Day win.
The Royal Bank Cup host team rebounded from a heartbreaking double-overtime loss to the Portage Terriers in their opening game to defeat the Georgetown Raiders 4-3 on Sunday.
On Mother’s Day in 1984, the Red Wings defeated the Orillia Travelways 3-0 to claim the championship, which was then known as the Centennial Cup.
On Sunday, the Red Wings got their home fans cheering early when Matt Wheeler scored only a minute and a half in. The Weyburn defenseman claimed the puck at the left point and walked in on the wing before ripping a wrist shot past Raiders goalie John Barrow.
Weyburn fans were looking for more after Robert Sgarbossa of the Raiders was whistled for roughing, but Georgetown’s John Wheaton quieted the crowd with a shorthanded goal. With the Weyburn defense caught on a bad line change, the Raiders captain skated in all alone and snapped a low shot past Wings goalie Brenden Cuthbert.
Ryan Grona re-ignited the crowd at 3:31 of the second period with a pretty breakaway goal. Grona snuck behind the Georgetown defense to accept a long lead pass from Marc Schweitzer and leaned into a wrist shot that found the top right corner.
The Red Wings made it 3-1 just over two minutes later on a two-man advantage after the Raiders took a pair of undisciplined penalties. Colby Nichol found the puck in a scrum in front of the net and swatted home a backhand.
The momentum swung Georgetown’s way midway through the third period after Barrow stymied Weyburn winger Jordan Stevenson on a partial breakaway. The Raiders took the puck the other way, and Frank DeAngelis punched home a rebound to make it 3-2.
Weyburn scored a key insurance goal with six minutes left when Brendon Vertefeuille converted a feed from Kent Lillejord on a two-on-one break. Georgetown’s comeback attempt was hindered by penalties. With 5:40 left, Kevin Harvey took a charging penalty, and with 2:32 left, the Raiders were whistled for too many men on the ice.
Michael Gurtler of the Raiders banged home a cross-ice feed with two seconds left in the game to round out the scoring. It was the third straight one-goal game to open the tournament.
Players of the game were Joe Pace of Georgetown and Brendon Vertefeuille of Weyburn.
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