TROJANS DENY COMEBACK, BEAT KINGS AT TELUS CUP
JASON LA ROSE
THUNDER BAY, Ont. – Trenton Curtis and Jayden Wiens scored goals in the third period, and the Tisdale Trojans held off a comeback attempt by the Thunder Bay Kings to earn a 4-2 win Tuesday at the 2019 TELUS Cup.
It’s the third time in three weeks the Trojans have beaten the Kings; they earned a 3-1 win in the preliminary round at the West Regional on April 4, and a 6-5 overtime decision in the regional final three days later.
Mackenzie Carson and Colby Vranai had the other goals for Tisdale, which joined Calgary, Halifax and Toronto with 1-1 records through two days of prelim play.
The first period was all Trojans; they held a massive 18-3 advantage in shots and struck for a pair of goals late in the frame. Carson was first at 15:26, crashing the net to knock in a rebound, and Vranai walked out from the corner and beat goaltender Eric Vanska with a backhand to the far side at 17:19.
Thunder Bay, though, picked up the pace in the second period, and was rewarded when Mason Bazaluk jumped on a turnover and found Peter Hannula to cut the Tisdale lead to 2-1.
Nicholas DeGrazia had a glorious chance to tie the game just two minutes later when he was pulled down on a breakaway, but Tisdale netminder Tanner Martin got his right pad on the penalty-shot attempt to keep the SMAAAHL champions ahead.
DeGrazia finally did get the Kings even when he cleaned up a rebound on a 4-on-3 power play in the first minute of the third period, but Kalen Ukrainetz forced a turnover at the Thunder Bay blue-line and fed Curtis for the redirection to restore the Tisdale advantage just 62 seconds later.
The Kings held an 11-8 advantage in shots in the third period but couldn’t put another puck past Martin, who finished with 24 saves in the win.
Wiens added insurance into the empty net with 24.2 seconds to go.
The Trojans are in action next when they face the Halifax Macs on Wednesday afternoon (4 p.m. ET), while the Kings will try again for their first win kin an all-Ontario match-up with the Toronto Young Nationals (7 p.m. ET).