ST. JOHN’S, N.L. – The Winnipeg Thrashers (West) have won the 2011 TELUS Cup, claiming Canada’s 33rd National Midget Championship with a 3-1 win over the London Jr. Knights (Central) in Sunday night’s gold medal game at Mile One Centre.
Justin Derlago scored the game-winning goal midway through the second period, Connor Lockhart and Corey Petrash added insurance goals 1:39 apart early in the third period and Teagan Sacher stopped 31 shots as Winnipeg became just the second Manitoba team to win the national championship, joining the 2004 Brandon Wheat Kings.
The gold medal is the seventh in eight years for the West Region; it has appeared in every gold medal game during that stretch, with only the Thrashers in 2008 failing to take home the national championship.
It took until the 9:16 mark of the second period for the first goal to be scored in Sunday’s game, with Derlago’s shot from a sharp angle sneaking past London netminder Craig Wood, who was named the tournament’s Top Goaltender at Friday’s awards banquet.
That was it for scoring until Lockhart buried a rebound on a Winnipeg power play 1:01 into the second period, and Petrash returned from getting second-intermission stitches on his forehead to make it 3-0 just 99 seconds later.
Cale Duberry ended Sacher’s shutout bid with six minutes to go, but that was the only goal the Jr. Knights could manage against the Winnipeg goaltender, despite outshooting the Thrashers 32-18.
In Sunday morning’s bronze medal game, the Lions du Lac St-Louis (Quebec) got a pair of third-period goals from Anthony Duclair to break a 3-3 tie and earn a 5-3 victory over the Vancouver North West Giants (Pacific), giving the Lions their sixth medal in as many trips to the National Midget Championship.
The 2011 TELUS Cup is the third and final event held in Newfoundland and Labrador during the 2010-11 season to help celebrate the 75th anniversary of Hockey Newfoundland and Labrador. Last August, Canada’s National Junior Team held its summer development camp at Mile One Centre, while the top four women’s teams in the world – Canada, Finland, Sweden and the United States – took part in the 2010 4 Nations Cup in St. John’s and Clarenville in early November.
The 2012 TELUS Cup will be held in April 2012 in Leduc, Alta., with the Leduc Oil Kings serving as the host team.
For more information on the 2011 TELUS Cup, visit www.hockeycanada.ca/teluscup, or follow the tournament via social media: