TERRIERS BEAT CANADIANS IN RBC CUP FINAL, WIN SECOND NATIONAL TITLE
JASON LA ROSE
PORTAGE LA PRAIRIE, Man. – Shawn Bowles scored once and added two assists to lead the offence and lead the host Portage Terriers to a 5-2 win over the Carleton Place Canadians in the championship game Sunday night at the 2015 RBC Cup.
The national title is the second for the Terriers, who won the Centennial Cup in 1973, while the Canadians became the first team ever to finish as national runner-up in consecutive seasons.
Portage is also the seventh host team to be crowned national champions since the start of the five-team format in 1990, and the first since the Weyburn Red Wings in 2005.
Grant Valiquette, Davis Ross, Jordyn Boyd and Brad Bowles had the other goals for the Terriers, who capped a dominating season that saw them finish with ridiculous 74-5-5 in the regular season, playoffs and RBC Cup.
Alex Robinson and Maxime St. Pierre scored for Carleton Place.
The standing-room-only crowd at the PCU Centre was rocking from the first puck drop, showing just why home ice had been so good to the Terriers all season; Portage was 37-3-1 as the host.
Valiquette gave them even more to cheer about at the 14:13 mark of the opening period, taking advantage of a bobbled puck at the Canadians blue-line and roofing a wrist shot over the glove of Carleton Place goaltender Guillaume Therien on a breakaway.
Ross doubled the Portage lead at 2:42 of the second, dropping the puck off to Garick Gray and driving to the net before knocking in the rebound of a Shawn Bowles shot.
Robinson got that back with 7:13 to go in the middle frame, finishing off a three-on-one break by going bar-down over the shoulder of Terriers netminder Zac Robidoux to cut the lead to one through 40 minutes.
Boyd took advantage of a four-minute Portage power play early in the third period, knocking in a gorgeous no-look, behind-the-back feed from Dane Schioler, and Brad Bowles batted a bouncing puck five-hole on Therien six minutes later on another man advantage to push the lead to 4-1.
With the PCU Centre on its feet in the dying minutes, Shawn Bowles found the empty net with 2:58 remaining to officially get the party started, although St. Pierre scored with 60 seconds left to cap the scoring.
The RBC Cup heads west next spring, with Lloydminster, Alta., and the AJHL’s Lloydminster Bobcats playing host to Canada’s 46th National Junior A Championship.