2012 RBC Cup

Star of the Day

Joey Benik (F) – Penticton Vees

Penticton hockey history is full of big goals and big moments and Joey Benik provided one of the biggest on Sunday night, scoring the game-winning goal with 51.3 seconds to go in the third period to give Penticton a 4-3 win over the Woodstock Slammers and help the Vees win the RBC Cup as national Junior A champions. Penticton’s leading scorer in the regular season and playoffs, Benik was unusually quiet until Sunday, scoring just a pair of goals in five games. But his third was the biggest of a long and successful season for the Vees, completing their comeback from a 3-2 third-period deficit and giving the city its first national title since the Penticton Knights were Centennial Cup champions in 1986.

Ben MacSwain (F) – Woodstock Slammers

While goaltender Matt Murphy did his part with a 40-save performance, it will be Ben MacSwain that will forever be a part of hockey lore in Woodstock, N.B., for scoring the biggest goal in Slammers history – the overtime winner to give Woodstock a 4-3 win over the Humboldt Broncos and send the Maritime Hockey League champions to the championship game at the 2012 RBC Cup. MacSwain needed just 35 seconds of overtime to end the national championship dreams of the host team, finding a loose puck in a scramble in front of the Humboldt net and beating Broncos netminder Matt Hrynkiw to make the Slammers the first MHL team to reach the final since Halifax won it all when it hosted in 2002.

John Kleinhans (G) – Soo Thunderbirds

There were no games on the ice, but Kleinhans, as he was for most of the preliminary round, was the talk of Humboldt after the Soo goaltender took home both the Most Valuable Player and Top Goaltender awards from Friday night’s awards banquet. There was simply no player more valuable to his team than Kleinhans, who stopped a remarkable 182 of 194 shots in four starts – an average of 45-and-a-half saves per game – and is arguably the biggest reason the Thunderbirds will play this weekend. Kleinhans made 44 saves in the tournament-opening win over Penticton, and followed that up with save totals of 68, 39 and 30 to help the Soo reach the final four and setup a rematch with the Vees on Saturday night.

Andrew Johnston (F) – Humboldt Broncos

Andrew Johnston was arguably the best player on the tournament’s best team through the preliminary round, and capped off an impressive four-game stretch with two goals in Humboldt’s 5-3 win over the Portage Terriers on Thursday night, which capped a perfect prelin for the Broncos. Johnston, who led the tournament with five goals and seven points in four games, had what has to rank as one of the strangest multi-goal games of his young career – he gave Humboldt its first lead at 2-1 on a second period penalty shot, and scored the eventual game-winner early in the third period from outside the Portage blue-line, as his dump-in skipped and changed direction past Terriers goaltender Adam Iwan to give Humboldt a 4-2 lead.

Michael Garteig (G) – Penticton Vees

With his team’s season on the line for the second night in a row, Michael Garteig ensured the Penticton Vees would live to play another day, making 20 saves in the Vees’ 3-1 win over the Portage Terriers, clinching a semifinal spot for the Pacific Region champions. Garteig made only 20 stops but came up big when he had to, including a remarkable stick save off Brendan Harms late in the second period, saving a sure goal that would have given the Terriers a 2-0 lead entering the final 20 minutes. Garteig was the Vees No. 1 netminder all season, posting a ridiculous 41-4 record and a miniscule 1.93 goals against average, but was just 4-3 in seven games prior to Wednesday since returning from an injury midway through the Doyle Cup.

Joey Benik (F) – Penticton Vees

Desparately needing a victory to avoid a shocking 0-3 start, the Penticton Vees turned to their leading scorer for help. Joey Benik tipped in a Mike Reilly point shot 2:41 into the third period to give the Vees a lead they would not relinquish en route to their first win of the 2012 RBC Cup, a 2-1 decision over the Woodstock Slammers. Benik’s goal awakened the dormant Penticton power play, giving the man advantage unit its first goal in 13 chances, and gave the Vees their first lead of the tournament after they spent the 167:38 over three games either trailing or tied. Benik has been lights-out for Penticton all season – he led the Vees with 96 points during the regular season, and topped the scoring chart with 26 in the playoffs.

Robert Visca (F) – Woodstock Slammers

With the Woodstock Slammers needing a victory to avoid joining Penticton at the bottom of the standings at 0-2, Robert Visca got the East Region champions started off on the right foot, scoring just 55 seconds after the puck dropped and helping set up Andrew Langan’s 2-0 goal 15 minutes later as the Slammers jumped out to a 3-0 lead after 20 minutes en route to a 4-1 win over Portage. Woodstock’s leading goal scorer during the playoffs, Visca picked an ideal time for his first of the RBC Cup, picking up a loose puck off a scrambled face-off and finding space between the legs of Terriers’ netminder Adam Iwan, putting the Slammers on the road to an important first victory as they joined Portage and the Soo in second place at 1-1.

John Kleinhans (G) – Soo Thunderbirds

Why not a return engagement for the Soo Thunderbirds’ remarkable netminder? John Kleinhans makes his second appearance in as many days as RBC Cup Star of the Day, this time thanks to a 68-save performance in a 4-3 double overtime loss to the Portage Terriers. Kleinhans faced 72 shots in just over 99 minutes of work, made 22 saves alone in the first period and made mind-boggling stop after mind-boggling stop to give the Thunderbirds a chance for an unlikely 2-0 start. Despite the loss, Kleinhans has stopped a ridiculous 112 of 117 shots through two games, giving him a better-than-respectable .957 goals against average and showing why he led NOJHL goaltenders in every major statistical category this season.

John Kleinhans (G) – Soo Thunderbirds

Facing a Penticton team that averaged close to six goals a game in the regular season, and had scored six in each of its last two games during the Doyle Cup series, John Kleinhans shut the door and stole a win for the Soo Thunderbirds. Kleinhans stopped 11 shots in the first period, 18 in the second and 15 more in the third to finish with 44 stops and lead the Thunderbirds to an unlikely tournament-opening 2-1 victory over the Vees, who lost for just the 11th time in 81 games this season. It was the netminder’s second consecutive stand-on-his head performance – Kleinhans made 44 saves in the Soo’s 5-3 win over Stouffville in the Dudley Hewitt Cup final, a game in which the Thunderbirds were outshot 47-16.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012
7:30 PM MT
WST 1 - PAC 3
Thursday, May 10, 2012
3:00 PM MT
EST 4 - CEN 7
7:30 PM MT
WST 3 - HST 5
Saturday, May 12, 2012
2:00 PM MT
EST 4 - HST 3
6:00 PM MT
PAC 3 - CEN 0
Sunday, May 13, 2012
5:30 PM MT
EST 3 - PAC 4

CLICK HERE for complete event schedule
Recent News
Most Popular