QUICK STRIKES FROM CAINES SEND NATIONALS TO FIRST WIN
SUDBURY, Ont. – Harrison Caines netted a natural hat trick in less than five minutes, and the Toronto Young Nationals did all their damage in the second period of a 5-1 win over the Moncton Flyers on Thursday afternoon at the 2018 TELUS Cup.
The win – the first of the week for the Young Nationals – puts Toronto in a semifinal spot with one preliminary-round game remaining.
Toronto had an 11-6 edge in shots on goal in a scoreless first period, before the floodgates opened in the second.
Caines got it started at 4:49, taking a feed from Christian Lepone and beating Moncton goaltender Daniel Thompson for a power-play goal and a 1-0 lead.
He doubled the lead at 8:54, grabbing a loose puck and outracing a defender before going up stairs on Thompson, and hammered in a slap shot to finish his hat trick 21 seconds later for a 3-0 advantage.
The Flyers shut down the shutout at 9:45 when Lukas Cormier picked off an errant pass and went top shelf on Toronto netminder Sean Wu, but that would be the lone goal for the Atlantic champions.
A scramble in front led to the fourth Young Nationals goal when Cole Burtch took advantage of a downed Thompson and beat him over the pad at 17:07, and Austin Brimmer finished a busy period with the 5-1 goal with 1:15 left.
Moncton outshot Toronto 10-6 in the third period, but couldn’t get any closer, and fell to 1-3.
Toronto will take on the Sudbury Nickel Capital Wolves Friday evening (7 p.m. ET) to close out the preliminary round, while the Flyers face off against the undefeated Notre Dame Hounds in their finale (12 p.m. ET).