WHITE BEATS RED IN INTRASQUAD OPENER AT SELECTION CAMP
JASON LA ROSE
RED DEER, Alta. – Dylan Cozens (Whitehorse, Y.T./Lethbridge, WHL) and Philip Tomasino (Mississauga, Ont./Oshawa, OHL) each scored a goal and set up another, helping White double up Red 4-2 on Saturday in the first of three intrasquad games at Canada’s National Junior Team Sport Chek Selection Camp.
Gage Goncalves (Mission, B.C./Everett, WHL) and Connor McMichael (Ajax, Ont./London, OHL) took care of the rest of the scoring for White, which opened up a three-goal lead late in the second period before holding off a push from Red.
It was Red who had the first chances thanks to an early power play, but White goaltender Dylan Garand (Victoria, B.C./Kamloops, WHL) was up to the task, including a stretching right-pad stop off Samuel Poulin (Blainville, Que./Sherbrooke, QMJHL) late in the man advantage.
The play went the way of White in the first period with a 12-7 edge in shots on goal, and it struck for the opening goal on a power play of its own; Goncalves corralled the rebound of a Kaedan Korczak (Yorkton, Sask./Kelowna, WHL) shot and beat Red netminder Taylor Gauthier (Calgary, Alta./Prince George, WHL) at 12:43.
It was almost a two-goal advantage just a few minutes later, but Gauthier slid to his left to deny Dawson Mercer (Bay Roberts, N.L./Chicoutimi, QMJHL) on a two-on-one.
Cozens doubled the lead early in the second period on another White power play, working his way to the top of the face-off circle and wiring a shot low past Gauthier.
Both teams swapped goaltenders midway through the middle frame; Brett Brochu (Tilbury, Ont./London, OHL) replaced Garand, who stopped all 11 shots he faced, while Tristan Lennox (Cambridge, Ont./Saginaw, OHL) took over for Gauthier, who turned aside 17 of 19.
Tomasino welcomed Lennox less than four minutes after the change, squeezing a shot through traffic and through the five-hole right off a face-off win by Cozens.
But Red quickly started to turn the tide late in the second period, and Justin Barron (Halifax, N.S./Halifax, QMJHL) got it on the board just three minutes after the Tomasino goal, walking in off the blueline and snapping a quick shot upstairs on the far side past Brochu to make it 3-1 after 40 minutes.
Red started the third period on a power play, but it was White with the best chance; Lennox’s attempt at a stretch pass was picked off by Mercer in the neutral zone, but he couldn’t find the back of the net with his backhand.
McMichael added a little more insurance five minutes into the final stanza, cleaning up a loose puck in front for a 4-1 lead, before Jakob Pelletier (Quebec City, Que./Val-d’Or, QMJHL) redirected a Cole Perfetti (Whitby, Ont./Saginaw, OHL) shot past Brochu to cap the scoring.
Red pushed hard to cut the lead to one as time ticked away, but Brochu was up to the challenge – he made point-blank stops on Peyton Krebs (Okotoks, Alta./Winnipeg, WHL), Perfetti and Hendrix Lapierre (Gatineau, Que./Chicoutimi, QMJHL) less than a minute apart to keep the two-goal cushion intact.
White finished with a 27-25 edge in shots on goal, although Red had a 18-15 advantage over the final two periods.
The teams are right back to action Sunday night at the Westerner Park Centrium (8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT) before wrapping up their intrasquad set on Tuesday (12 p.m. ET/9 a.m. PT).