Once again, I just want to remind everyone that Jeremie is also working out at the RBC Cup as a linesman, meaning he can't show favoritism one way or the other, but he's been gracious enough to provide first-hand perspectives for the majority of the games! Jeremie's piece will be in yellow below, and I'll add some commentary as we roll through these updates. One things is for certain after two days of play: the competition is intense, and the level of play is through the roof for these Junior-A players!
The Vees are playing their second game, so their history is posted on Day One's action. Since we haven't met the Mustangs, let's roll through their history a little. The Mustangs finally return to Canada’s National Junior A Championship after a 19-year absence. The last time they played in the RBC Cup, they hosted the event in 1996 where they lost in the final to the Vernon Vipers. The Mustangs had a rather outstanding regular season, winning the SJHL regular season title for the first time in franchise history before plowing through the playoffs with a 12-2 record.
Game 3 of the tournament kicked off Sunday with Penticton and Melfort. The pace was fast and you were able to see that these two teams had just played each other one week ago in Fort Mac. Penticton would open the scoring at 3:56 mark into the first period. Later in the first, Penticton would strike again to take a 2-0 lead after the first period. In the second period tempers started to heat up and with that being said, Penticton would strike on the power play 4:54 into the second period to take a 3-0 lead. That was all the scoring in the second and in the third 5:57 into the period the Vees would strike again to take a 4-0 lead. That was all the scoring in a feisty game. Penticton evened up their record at 1-1 and Melfort fell to 0-1.
Scoring in this game saw Matthew Serratore and Jack Ramsey score in the first period for Penticton. Conner Chartier added a power-play goal in the second period, and Tyson Jost would round out the scoring in the 4-0 Penticton win. Hunter Miska was perfect on the 17 shots he faced while Richard Palmer stopped 26 of 30 shots in a losing effort for Melfort. Penticton's next game is scheduled for Tuesday against the Carleton Place Canadiens in the 3pm ET game while Melfort will go to battle tomorrow evening in Monday's only game against the Soo Thunderbirds.
Both of these teams won their opening games on Saturday as Portage downed Penticton in a 3-2 victory while Carleton Place easily handled the Soo Thunderbirds in a 4-0 victory. One of these two teams would drop to 1-1 after this game. The only question would be which team?
In the second game of the day, the Portage Terriers took on the Carleton Place Canadians in what was a highly anticipated game. In what was a high pace first period with plenty of scoring chances, the score remained 0-0 after the first. In the second period, Carleton Place drew first blood at the 12:27 mark to take a 1-0 lead. That was all for scoring in the second period, but in the third period; the 2014 RBC finalist came out flying. The first goal of the period came 3:06 into the period and 50 second later; the Canadians would at another one to take a 3-0 lead. For the second game in the row, the Canadians shut out their opponent and improved their record to 2-0 with a 3-0 victory over the Terriers, who fell to 1-1.
Owen Stewart opened the scoring for the Canadians in the second period in what was becoming a very undisciplined affair for the Terriers. 18 minutes in penalties, including a 10-minute misconduct to Taylor Friesen for contact with a player's head, certainly didn't help Portage, but they escaped without giving up a power-play goal and only down 1-0 with 20 minutes to play. However, things took a dramatically-worse turn for the Terriers in the span of 50 seconds when Stephen Baylis potted a goal at 3:06 and Bryce Van Horn made it a 3-0 game at 3:56. Three straight penalties by the Terriers in which Matt Alexander was excused from the game for his third stick infraction saw the Terriers come unraveled as a comeback wasn't in the cards. The Terriers would only manage 13 shots Guillaume Therien as he remains perfect in the tournament in leading the Carleton Place Caandians to the 3-0 win. Portage's Justin Laforest stopped 15 of 18 shots in the loss.
Carleton Place is now 2-0, Portage and Penticton are both 1-1, and Melfort and Soo are 0-1 two days into the tournament. Carleton Place looks like they're the team to beat in this tournament after pitching two straight shutouts to open the tournament, and the Penticton Vees will get a shot to score the first goal on the Canadians on Tuesday.
Until next time, Happy Mother's Day!