GOLDEN HAWKS SCORE TWO LATE, WIN BATTLE OF ONTARIO AT RBC CUP
JASON LA ROSE
LLOYDMINSTER, Alta./Sask. – Quinn Lenihan and Curtis Harvey scored goals in the final eight minutes, and the Trenton Golden Hawks made it two wins in as many days at the 2016 RBC Cup, topping the Carleton Place Canadians 3-1 on Sunday afternoon.
The win all but assures the Golden Hawks of a spot in the semifinals next Saturday; since the start of the five-team format in 1990, no team has won twice in the preliminary round and not qualified for the semis.
Lucas Brown had the other goal for the Golden Hawks, and Daniel Urbani made 20 saves.
Bryce Van Horn answered with the lone marker for the Canadians, who lost their opening game for the first time in their three consecutive appearances at Canada’s National Junior A Championship.
Brown got the scoring started midway through the first period, banging a rebound past Carleton Place goaltender Colton Point on the power play after a Lenihan point shot had hit the post and dropped into the Canadians’ crease.
Both teams picked up the pace in the second, almost doubling their shots on goal; the Golden Hawks had a 16-10 advantage in the middle frame after outshooting Carleton Place 9-6 in the first.
Van Horn pulled the East Region champions even at 4:04 of the second stanza, catching Urbani wandering out of his net and burying a pass from Jordan Larson with the Canadians enjoying the man advantage.
That would be it for offence for the next 30 minutes, as Point and Urbani turned away scoring opportunity after scoring opportunity to keep the game tied until the dying minutes.
With overtime looming, the Golden Hawks got the puck in deep and Jordan Chard spun out from behind the net and found Lenihan parked at the top of the crease to knock in the go-ahead goal with 7:14 remaining.
Harvey added insurance less than three minutes later, keeping on a two-on-one and snapping a shot off the post and past Point.
The win made the Golden Hawks the first Central Region champions to open the RBC Cup with back-to-back wins since the Rayside Balfour Sabrecats at the 2000 tournament in Fort McMurray.
They will try to make it three in a row Tuesday afternoon when they take on the West Kelowna Warriors (3:30 p.m. MT), while the Canadians are back in action Monday night, facing off against the host Lloydminster Bobcats (7:30 p.m. MT).