DAY 8 – SUNDAY, MAY 8
Francis Dupuis (G) – Pembroke Lumber Kings
The stakes could not have been higher for Francis Dupuis – facing the two-time defending RBC Cup champions, in the national championship game, on national television. So what did the Lumber Kings netminder do? He turned in the performance of his life, stopping all 40 shots he faced to help Pembroke finally win its first National Junior A Championship, 38 years after its first appearance in the final. The Orleans, Ont., native made 15 saves in the first period, 11 in the second and 14 more in the third, becoming the first goaltender to shut out Vernon in its 50 all-time games at the national championship and the third netminder in four years to record a shutout in the final.
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DAY 7 – SATURDAY, MAY 7
Bryce Kakoske (F) – Vernon Vipers
A two-time RBC Cup champion with the Vipers, Kakoske made sure he’ll get a chance at a record-setting third on Sunday, scoring twice in Vernon’s semifinal win over Wellington. With the Vipers struggling to score on Dukes netminder Jordan Ruby despite a number of terrific chances, the Vernon native got his team on the board in the dying seconds of the first period, and doubled the Vipers’ lead early in the second, scoring the eventual game winner. A victory by Vernon on Sunday would not only make the Vipers the first team to win three straight national championships, but would give Kakoske, Adam Thompson and Steve Weinstein three titles as players.
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DAY 6 - THURSDAY, MAY 5
Joe Zarbo (F) – Wellington Dukes
The Dukes’ top line of Zarbo, Sean Rudy and Steve Evans all did damage on Thursday afternoon – Zarbo and Evans had two goals and an assist each and Rudy added three assists as Wellington finally earned its first victory of the RBC Cup – but it was Zarbo’s goals that proved most important. He opened the scoring just over four minutes in, giving the Dukes a lead for just the third time in the entire tournament, and his goal in the first minute of the third period – Wellington’s sixth – was the one that eventually propelled them to the semifinals. Without that goal, the Dukes would have finished behind Portage in the tie-breaker and been eliminated.
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DAY 5 – WEDNESDAY, MAY 4
Patrick McGillis (F) – Vernon Vipers
The Vipers’ second-leading playoff scorer, McGillis hadn’t played since Game 3 of the Doyle Cup against Spruce Grove, a layoff of 17 days. But the Calgary, Alta., native showed no signs of rust, scoring twice to help Vernon to its third consecutive win in Camrose and 17th in its last 18 games at the National Junior A Championship, dating back to 1999. McGillis is chasing a rare feat – three national championships in three seasons. He won the TELUS Cup with Notre Dame in 2009 and the RBC Cup with Vernon last season, scoring in the Vipers’ 8-1 romp over Dauphin in the championship game.
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DAY 4 – TUESDAY, MAY 3
Clayton Jardine (F) – Camrose Kodiaks
The lone player on the Camrose roster with previous RBC Cup experience – he played one game at the 2008 tournament in Cornwall, Ont. – Clayton Jardine knows the importance of quick starts at the National Junior A Championship, and of clinching a spot in the semifinals as soon as possible. The Kodiaks captain opened the scoring just 38 seconds after the opening face-off to spark the offence in a win over the Portage Terriers on Tuesday night, helping the tournament hosts score that all-important second win and ensuring they’ll be playing on the weekend for the sixth time in as many RBC Cup appearances.
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DAY 3 – MONDAY, MAY 2
Dylan Walchuk (F) – Vernon Vipers
One of eight returnees from Vernon’s 2010 RBC Cup championship team and the Vipers’ top scorer in the regular season and playoffs, Walchuk led the way in Monday’s victory over the Portage Terriers by scoring a pair of goals and assisting on David Robinson’s first-period power play marker. Walchuk, who had only three points in six games during Vernon’s march to a record sixth national title one year ago, equalled that total in just 33:02 on Monday afternoon against the Terriers, helping the Vipers stay undefeated and rise to the top of the preliminary round standings with a perfect 2-0 record.
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DAY 2 – SUNDAY, MAY 1
Dalyn Flette (G) – Camrose Kodiaks
The Kodiaks’ win over Wellington helped them avoid becoming the first host team in 10 years to start the RBC Cup 0-2, and they have their goaltender to thank for it. Flette was at his best in the first period, stopping 16 shots as Camrose was outshot 17-6 in the opening 20 minutes but trailed only 1-0. The Calgary native added 13 saves in each of the second and third periods as the Kodiaks fought back from a 2-1 deficit to beat the Dukes for the second time in as many National Junior A Championship meetings, although Sunday’s victory was a little tougher than Camrose’s 7-1 romp over Wellington at the 2003 tournament in Charlottetown, P.E.I.
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DAY 1 – SATURDAY, APRIL 30
Darren Nowick (F) – Vernon Vipers
Three times the Vipers took two-goal leads on the host Kodiaks and three times Nowick played a role, helping the two-time defending champions to a tournament-opening victory over Camrose. First the Long Beach, Calif., native gave Vernon a 2-0 lead early in the third period; he then set up Michael Zalewski for the 3-1 goal early in the third before earning an assist on John Knisley’s 4-2 marker with just under eight minutes to go, helping the Vipers get their quest for an unprecedented third straight RBC Cup kicked off on a winning note. Nowick had just 10 points in 23 playoff games, but recorded almost a third of that total on Saturday night alone.
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Ryan Robins Manager, Marketing Services