ATLANTIC 5 PACIFIC 4 (OVERTIME)
By/Par: Graeme Kishiuchi
The Edmonton SSAC Athletics faced off against the Cole Harbour MaCains with both teams looking to bounce back from opening game losses. Edmonton got into penalty trouble early and the MaCains finally capitalized. Huey Lasaga put home a rebound from a point shot for a 1-0 lead at 12:45. The MaCains carried the play until the 15 minute mark when the Athletics captain Jason Vokey responded with a great individual effort. Taking a slash that was going to be called for a penalty, Vokey drove to the net hard and beat Michael Muir over the blocker to even the score at 1-1. Vokey followed his goal with another great chance when in alone 2 minutes later, but Muir made a great save on the backhand deke. With the scored tied at the first intermission, the MaCains held a 15-9 shot advantage.
The second period was characterized by both teams playing 1 or 2 men short for most of the period. The Athletics were in early penalty trouble to start the second, with the MaCains carrying much of the play. David Sotheran came out of the penalty box and got a breakaway pass, but put it off Muir’s mask. That signalled a momentum change, as the MaCains found themselves in penalty trouble. Edmonton capitalized at 7:14 when Garrett Meger slid home a shot to make it 2-1, with assists to Riley Laforge and Scott MacNeill. The MaCains caught a break 80 seconds later when the usually stellar Keenan Boomer misplayed a long shoot-in by Zach Sill and it trickled into the net off his glove for a short handed goal to tie it at 2-2. Edmonton responded 49 seconds later with Meger’s second power play goal in 2 minutes, beating Muir short side to give the Athletics a 3-2 lead. Cole Harbour evened the score at 3-3 when, on a 3-on-2, Michael Winthrow blew a slap shot over Boomer’s blocker at 12:53. With the MaCains on a 4-on-3, Sill scored his second of the night, beating the Athletics goaltender short side to put Cole Harbour in the lead 4-3 with 2:11 left in the second. Edmonton out-shot Cole Harbour 15-4 in the period.
Both teams continued to have penalty trouble in the third, with both goaltenders repeatedly bailing out their team-mates. Boomer recovered from a shaky second period to make several big stops. That gave his team some life, and Cameron Ritchie beat Muir glove side on a nice passing play from Matt Wear and Jesse Craig at 9:46 to even the score at 4-4. The remainder of the third was evenly balanced, but the Athletics slightly out chanced the MaCains with a late flurry. With the physical play taking its toll on both teams, they headed to overtime even at 4-4.
In overtime, Edmonton continued to out chance Cole Harbour but Muir held his team in with some timely saves. Cole Harbour couldn’t escape their end for extended periods of time, and the Athletics thought they won it at 7:18, only to have Justin Delong called for crosschecking a MaCain into the goaltender on the play. On the ensuing power play, assistant captain Lindsay Nielsen put home the rebound of a point shot to give the MaCains their first win of the TELUS Cup with 1:27 left in OT. Jason Vokey (1 G, 1 A) was selected Player of the Game for the Athletics and Zach Sill (2 G, 2 A) for the MaCains.
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