REBELS BLANK BLIZZARD TO STAY PERFECT AT TELUS CUP
JASON LA ROSE
PRINCE GEORGE, B.C. – Michael Hill scored twice and Christian Purboo earned a 34-save shutout, helping the Mississauga Rebels past the Blizzard du Séminaire Saint-François 4-0 to open play Tuesday at the 2017 TELUS Cup.
The win keeps the Rebels unbeaten through two games, with an impressive +7 goal differential in wins over Séminaire Saint-François and the Regina Pat Canadians.
The Blizzard, meanwhile, dropped to 0-2 with the loss. They are the first Quebec team to open the tournament with consecutive losses since the Cantonniers de Magog in 1995.
The Quebec champions had a decided edge in shots on goal in the first period, 16-5, but found themselves in an early hole; Massimo Petricca carried into the Saint-François zone and went cross-crease to Bair Gendunov for the 1-0 goal at 3:54.
Purboo did the rest, making almost half of his saves in the opening 20 minutes to get the Central Region champions to the intermission up b6y a goal.
After a pair of failed power plays in the first period the Blizzard got another chance on the man advantage early in the second, but instead it was Hill who struck shorthanded; a dump-in from the Mississauga zone took an advantageous bounce into the slot and right to Hill, who doubled the lead.
Both teams had their chances on the power play throughout the game, but the Rebels and Blizzard combined to go 0-for-12 while a man up – both were goalless in six opportunities.
After a penalty-filled opening half of the third period, Mississauga added a little more insurance at 11:22; Petricca picked up the puck at his own blue-line and raced away from the Blizzard defenders before tucking a forehand around William Hardy-Murray to make it 3-0.
Hill netted his second goal just over two minutes later, blowing down the left wing before picking the top corner past Hardy-Murray. He has the early tournament scoring lead, with three goals and two assists in two games.
Purboo capped his performance nine saves in the third period, posting the first shutout of a Quebec team at Canada’s National Midget Championship since Winnipeg Thrashers puck-stopper Teagan Sacher blanked the Lions du Lac St-Louis in 2011.
Mississauga will try to stay perfect Wednesday when it takes on the Leduc Oil Kings (12 p.m. PT), while Saint-François tries again for a first win when it faces the Regina Pat Canadians (4 p.m. PT).