Cornwall Colts 5 - Oakville Blades 4
COLTS CRACK WIN COLUMN WITH THRILLING WIN OVER BLADES
The host team is on the board at the 2008 RBC Cup.
Jean-Phillipe Beaulieu stuffed the puck past Oakville goaltender Oliver Wren with less than eight minutes to go, snapping a 4-4 tie and sending the Cornwall Colts to their first win of this year’s National Junior A Championship, 5-4 over the Blades on Sunday night.
Beaulieu’s goal capped off a wild game that saw four lead changes and 55 shots on goal, and gave the Colts momentum in their quest to become the fifth straight host team to play in the semi-finals.
After being shutout in the tournament opener on Saturday night against Humboldt, the Colts continued their offensive ineptitude early in the first period of Sunday’s game, missing a number of opportunities in the opening minutes.
With the Colts on the powerplay late in the first period, the tournament hosts turned to their captain for leadership and Darcy Findlay finally put a number on the scoreboard for the Colts, snapping the puck past Wren from the slot for a 1-0 Cornwall lead.
Findlay’s goal seemed to awaken the Colts, as Matt Pinder – named Cornwall’s player of the game – made it 2-0 just four minutes later, banking the puck in off a defender’s skate.
Coming out of the dressing room with a 2-0 lead, whatever momentum the Colts had disappeared in the opening four minutes of the second period, as the Blades struck for three goals in 1:23 to turn a two-goal deficit into a one-goal lead.
Undaunted, the Colts came back and put the pressure on Oakville, keeping the puck in the Blades’ end for minutes on end, and were rewarded when Patrick Sitko snapped a shot from the face-off circle under the arm of Wren to pull Cornwall even.
Deadlocked entering the third period, the two teams went back and forth, trading goals just 55 seconds apart.
Player of the game Luke Moodie gave the Blades the lead back by tipping in a Braden Birch point shot with Oakville shorthanded, but Damian Cross responded on the same powerplay, dancing through the Oakville defense to score one of the prettiest goals of the tournament.
Despite being outshot 16-4 in the third period, and 32-23 overall, Beaulieu’s goal gave the Colts the all-important win, pulling them back to .500 and giving them momentum entering their day off on Monday.
The Blades return to the ice on Monday night (7:00 p.m. ET) when they face the Weeks Crushers in a battle of winless teams.