LAVOIE SCORES TWICE, GOLDEN HAWKS GET FIRST WIN AT RBC CUP
JASON LA ROSE
LLOYDMINSTER, Alta./Sask. – Kevin Lavoie had two goals, including the third-period game-winner, to help the Trenton Golden Hawks edge the Brooks Bandits 3-2 in the opening game Saturday at the 2016 RBC Cup.
It’s the first time since 2012 that the Central Region champions opened Canada’s National Junior A Championship with a win, and just the second since 2007, when the region won its most recent national title.
Danny Hanlon had the other goal for Trenton, which improved to 21-2 in the postseason, while Jesse Pereira and Kyler Nachtigall replied for the Bandits, who dropped to 17-3.
A fast-paced and physical first period didn’t get its first goal until the 15:28 mark; Josh Allan threw the puck into the neutral zone ahead of Hanlon, who outmaneuvered a Brooks defender and snapped a quick shot under the glove of goaltender Garret Hughson for a 1-0 Golden Hawks lead.
Lavoie doubled the advantage just 43 seconds into the second period, letting go a shot that tipped off the glove of Hughson and dropped into the net, but the Bandits would pull even before the end of the frame.
Jesse Pereira got the pro-Brooks crowd at the Centennial Civic Centre excited with an early candidate for goal of the tournament, racing down the left wing and cutting into the middle before going bar down, wiring a wrist shot over the blocker of Trenton netminder Daniel Urbani for a shorthanded marker.
Pereira set up the game-tying goal less than three minutes after that, dropping a pass to Nachtigall and driving to the net to provide the screen that helped Nachtigall’s shot beat Urbani.
The Bandits continued to press in the third period, outshooting Trenton 9-5 in the final frame – and 31-22 overall – but Liam Morgan found Lavoie alone in front of the net, and he went skate to stick and tucked the puck around Hughson with 12:04 to go.
Urbani took over from there, shutting the door and assuring the Golden Hawks of their eighth consecutive win, dating back to the Ontario Junior Hockey League final.
Both teams will see action again Sunday; Trenton takes on the Carleton Place Canadians in the day’s early game (3:30 p.m. MT), while the Bandits take on the West Kelowna Warriors in the night cap (7:30 p.m. MT).