MACS SCORE FOUR IN THIRD, STUN ROCKETS FOR FIRST TELUS CUP WIN
MOOSE JAW, Sask. – Ethan Marsh scored the winner with 3:23 to go as the Halifax McDonald’s erased a three-goal third-period deficit and earned their first victory at the 2014 TELUS Cup, 5-4 over the Okanagan Rockets on Thursday afternoon.
Patrick Stewart, Jordan Yochoff and Dillon Boucher also had goals in the final period for the Macs, who scored four times in 10:31 to stun the Rockets. Shawn Hubley had the other Halifax goal.
Liam Finlay led Okanagan with a pair of goals. He was joined on the scoresheet by Kobe Oishi and Linden Hora, and Mitchell Oliver and Tanner Wishnowski chipped in with two assists apiece.
Okanagan came out firing in the first period, and were rewarded when Finlay picked up the rebound of an Oliver shot off the end boards and beat a sprawling Reilly Pickard at 15:53.
Wishnowski made the second goal happen, making a hit at the blue-line to keep the puck in. He chipped the puck to Oliver, who found Oishi in the slot to make it 2-0 in the last minute of the opening frame.
Halifax’s first goal came on an early second-period power play. Morgan Nauss moved the puck from the point to Nick Ormon down low, and Ormon one-touched a pass into the slot for Hubley, who snapped a shot past Rockets goaltender Brendan Barry.
Finlay’s second of the game – scored almost identical to his first – restored Okanagan’s two-goal lead just past the nine-minute mark, and Hora made it 4-1 at 14:03, going backhand-to-forehand before roofing a shot over Pickard’s shoulder.
The Hora goal was the first by Okanagan not to include Wishnowski, who was in on the Rockets’ first nine goals of the tournament.
The goal also meant the end for Pickard, who was replaced by Justin Ritcey.
The Rockets also made a goaltending change, with Reid Kilburn making his first appearance of the tournament in relief of Barry to start the third period.
Stewart got the comeback started at 6:06, banging in the rebound of a shot from Johnny Jones, and Yochoff made it a one-goal game at 11:26, finishing off a pass from Luc Poirier.
With the Macs carrying the momentum and buzzing around Kilburn, Boucher tied the game at 15:46, burying his own rebound, setting up Marsh’s winner just 51 seconds later; the Halifax forward danced around an Okanagan defenceman and tried to sneak a backhand through Kilburn before roofing the rebound.
The teams combined for 77 shots on goal, with Okanagan holding a 43-34 advantage.
The Rockets have an early start Friday, closing out their preliminary round schedule against the Toronto Young Nationals at 9:30 a.m. MT, while the Macs try to keep their semifinal hopes alive against the Prince Albert Mintos at 1 p.m. MT.