CHILLIWACK, B.C. – Following a break that lasted nearly nine weeks after losing in the first round of the BCHL playoffs, the host Chilliwack Chiefs have won the 2018 RBC Cup by erasing a one-goal deficit in the third period to defeat the Wellington Dukes 4-2.
“I told them to believe in themselves and stay with it. I knew our conditioning would take over and I felt we had the legs to make a push in the third,” said Chiefs head coach, Brian Maloney. “The team didn’t get fancy, they didn’t try to win it on every shift. We just kind of controlled the puck, wore them down a bit and the results started to show for us.”
After suffering a 2-1 overtime loss to the Wenatchee Wild in their RBC Cup opener, the Chiefs went undefeated for the remainder of the tournament and beat the Ottawa Jr. Senators 3-2 in their semifinal, setting up a championship game match-up with Wellington. Chilliwack found itself trailing 1-0 after an early goal off the stick of Wellington’s Ted McGeen (Windsor, Ont.). The Chiefs and Dukes would trade goals in the second period before Chilliwack tied the game early in the third. Corey Andonovski (Uxbridge, Ont.) sealed the RBC Cup with the game-winning goal with 11:28 remaining.
“I saw one of our guys going and he chipped the puck in. It took a funny bounce off the glass and popped out right to me,” said Andonovski, who was named player of the game for the Chiefs. “I tried to get a quick shot away and I was lucky enough to get it through on the second little poke I had.”
Tommy Lee (Calgary, Alta.) and Andonovski led the offense for Chilliwackwith one goal and one assist each. Captain Will Calverley (Toronto, Ont.) scored the game-tying goal under five minutes into the third period, while Skyler Brind’Amour (Raleigh, N.C.), Anthony Vincent (Wilton, Conn.) and Bryan Allbee (Prince George, B.C.) added an assist apiece.
Goaltender Daniel Chenard (Waterloo, Ont.) recorded 26 saves to secure the win.
Mitchell Martan (Whitby, Ont.) gave Wellington the lead on a shorthanded individual effort in the second period, while Andrew Rinaldi (Montreal, Que.) collected an assist on the Dukes’ first goal. Goaltender Jonah Capriotti (Hamilton, Ont.) stopped 31 shots in the loss.
“We executed very well in the first half of the game, we got a couple breaks, got a couple goals and took the lead,” Dukes head coach John Druce said of his team’s performance. “We knew this team wasn’t going to give up and quit. They’re very well-coached over there and they have a high skill-level. I’m very proud of my boys, they came out and played really hard.”
For more information on the 2018 RBC Cup, please visit HockeyCanada.ca/RBCCup or follow through social media on Facebook and Twitter.