Portage la Prairie, Man.
HYRSKY IS HERO, MUSTANGS BEAT CANADIANS IN OVERTIME
JASON LA ROSE
PORTAGE LA PRAIRIE, Man. – Cole Hyrsky scored the game-winner 5:36 into overtime, leading the Melfort Mustangs to a 4-3 extra-time victory over the Carleton Place Canadians in Wednesday’s lone game at the 2015 RBC Cup.
While the win still leaves the Mustangs in fourth place, it keeps their hopes of finishing atop the preliminary round standings alive going into the final day of round robin play on Thursday.
Melfort will face the host Portage Terriers in its preliminary round finale (7 p.m. CT).
Hyrsky stripped a Carleton Place defenceman in the offensive zone and took the puck to the net, causing a scramble in front of Canadians goaltender Guillaume Therien; it was Hyrsky who found the loose puck, spun and snuck a backhand just inside the post, ending the first overtime game of the tournament.
Adam Fauchoux scored twice and Travis Mayan added one for the Mustangs, who have won back-to-back games after a tournament-opening loss to Penticton on Sunday.
Andrew Dodson, Adam Lloyd and Ryker Killins did the scoring for the Canadians, who dropped their second in a row to finish the preliminary round and will watch Thursday from the sidelines to see where they finish.
Fauchoux got Melfort on the board first at 12:17, knocking in a rebound after Therien popped the rebound of a Regan Wilton shot back into the slot.
Dodson scored shorthanded to tie the game at 18:19, but Justin Boyer found Mayan alone in front to restore the Mustangs’ lead at 2-1 with just 19 seconds left in the opening period.
The Canadians came out with jump in the second, tying the game when Lloyd tipped in a Bryce Van Horn shot just past the six-minute mark, but the Mustangs took over in the latter half of the middle frame.
Melfort outshot Carleton Place 13-3 in the final nine minutes of the period, and hit two posts, but couldn’t find a way past Therien, who ensured the game would go to the final 20 minutes tied 2-2.
Killins gave the Canadians their first lead with 6:28 to go, rifling a wrist shot past Mustangs netminder Richard Palmer, but Fauchoux stepped around a defender and beat Therien to the far side just 2:25 later, forcing overtime.
An early Melfort power play meant more heroics from Therien, who was spectacular in a 46-save performance, but Hyrsky finally ended it on the Mustangs’ 12th shot of overtime and 50th of the game.
The Mustangs finished with a 50-27 advantage in shots on goal.