SPECIAL TEAMS KEY AS GRENADIERS AND ROCKETS SKATE TO TIE
MOOSE JAW, Sask. – It was all about the special teams Monday afternoon as the Grenadiers de Châteauguay and Okanagan Rockets finished 3-3 in the first game for both at the 2014 TELUS Cup.
Both teams tallied once with the man advantage, and Okanagan added a goal shorthanded.
Tyler Hylland, Jean-Sebastien Taillefer and Mikael Sabourin had the goals for Châteauguay, which led 3-1 late in the second period before the Rockets mounted their comeback.
Hylland also added an assist for a two-point afternoon, while Grenadiers captain Martin-Olivier Cardinal chipped in with two helpers.
Brett Young, Tanner Wishnowski and Liam Finlay scored the goals for Okanagan, which held a 30-25 advantage in shots on goal, including 15-5 in the third, when it tied the game and pushed late for the winner.
Wishnowski led all skaters with three points, finishing with a goal and two assists.
The Grenadiers were the first on the scoreboard – Cardinal hit Hylland with a stretch pass and Hylland made no mistake, tucking his backhand deke between the pads of a sprawling Brendan Barry at 8:47.
But the Rockets tied it late in the opening frame when Young pounced on a loose puck while shorthanded and snuck a shot past the glove of Châteauguay goaltender Étienne Montpetit to pull the Pacific Region champions even after 20 minutes.
The Grenadiers restored their lead, and doubled it, in quick succession in the second period.
The first goal came off the stick of Taillefer, who took a pretty drop pass from Pascal Laberge and snapped a shot past Barry at 6:23, followed by Sabourin, who converted a power play opportunity at 7:48 for a 3-1 Châteauguay lead.
Okanagan cut the Quebec champions’ advantage to one before the end of the middle frame, with Wishnowski finishing off a feed from Tyson Jost at 16:26.
The Rockets carried the momentum into the third period, buzzing around the Châteauguay net in search of the tying goal.
But it would take until the 12:04 mark for the Rockets to pull even; with Okanagan enjoying a man advantage, Wishnowski found Finlay with a cross-crease feed, and the forward buried the tying goal.
Montpetit finished with 27 stops in the Châteauguay goal, while Barry stopped 22 of 25 for the Rockets.
Both teams are back on the ice Tuesday at Mosaic Place in search of win No. 1; the Grenadiers take on the Prince Albert Mintos at noon MT, while the Rockets meet the host Moose Jaw Generals at 7:30 p.m. MT.