PUNKARI SCORES WINNER, EAST GETS FIRST WIN AT CJHL PROSPECTS GAMES
DIGBY, N.S. – Ryan Punkari (Lively, Ont./Sudbury, NOJHL) broke a 2-2 tie late in the second period, helping East to a 4-2 victory over White on Friday night in the first of two CJHL Prospects Games.
The win means East will take a two-goal advantage into the second game of the two-game, total-goal series, Saturday afternoon (4 p.m. AT) at the Mariners Centre in Yarmouth, N.S., looking for its first President’s Cup since 2010.
Tanner Spink (Williamstown, Ont./Cornwall, CCHL), Matt Alvaro (Toronto, Ont./St. Michael’s, OJHL) and Dylan Sikura (Aurora, Ont./Aurora, OJHL) had the other goals for East, which won despite being outshot more than two-to-one, 42-20.
Spink and Sikura each finished with a goal and an assist, while Cray Roberge (Val Caron, Ont./Espanola, NOJHL) added two helpers.
Brad Bowles (Elkhorn, Man./Portage, MJHL) and Mitch Meek (Victoria, B.C./Victoria, BCHL) had the goals for West, which led 1-0 and 2-1 and held a massive advantage in shots, but couldn’t hold on.
Bowles opened the scoring 12:24 into the first period, but Spink answered for East not even four minutes later, sending the game to the intermission even at 1-1.
Meek connected on a West power play just past the 12-minute mark of the second period, but East battled back again; Alvaro tied it 1:34 after Meek’s goal, and Punkari’s eventual game-winner gave East its first lead at 18:23 of the middle frame.
Sikura gave East some breathing room three minutes into the third period, rounding out the scoring.
David Richer (Mirabel, Que./Vaudreuil-Dorion, LHJAAAQ) stood tall in the East goal, finishing with 40 stops, while his West counterpart, Zac Robidoux (Winnipeg, Man./Portage, MJHL) took the loss with a 16-save performance.