TROJANS EDGE BUFFALOES, WIN TELUS CUP BRONZE
JASON LA ROSE
THUNDER BAY, Ont. – Jayden Wiens scored twice, Tanner Martin was terrific in a 34-save effort and the Tisdale Trojans hung on in the third period to beat the Calgary Buffaloes 3-2 on Sunday afternoon and win the bronze medal at the 2019 TELUS Cup.
It is the second medal in as many appearances for the Trojans, who won gold in their only other trip to Canada’s National Midget Championship in 2002.
The Buffaloes carried the play in the first period, outshooting Tisdale 20-7, but it was the Trojans who took a lead to the intermission.
Wiens opened the scoring just shy of the four-minute mark, swatting the rebound of a Zac Robins shot past Calgary goaltender Jonah Chambers.
Dylan James tied it for the Buffaloes on the power play at 6:43, banking a shot in off Martin from behind the net, but Davis Chorney forced a turnover at the Calgary blue-line and beat Chambers with an unassisted effort to restore the lead for the West Region champions.
Tisdale came out firing to open the second period, quickly closing the gap on the shot clock, and was rewarded with a two-goal advantage when Trenton Curtis circled the net and found Wiens for a power-play goal at 11:27 of the middle frame.
The Buffaloes picked up their game and got one back in the final minute of the second when Carter King spun in the slot and hammered a quick shot past Martin to cut the Calgary deficit to 3-2 after 40 minutes.
Neither team generated much in the way of offence in the third period (six shots apiece), but that was more a product of the Trojans clamping down defensively to protect their advantage.
One last face-off with four seconds to go produced a point-blank opportunity for the Buffaloes, but Martin calmly gloved the shot from Dylan Witzke to finish his stand-out performance.
The bronze is the 22nd medal won by Saskatchewan since the start of the six-team format in 1984 (13 gold, four silver, five bronze), the most of any province that isn’t guaranteed an annual berth.