The 2014 OHL Cup Showcase Tournament continued on Wednesday with 16 round-robin games on the schedule at Buckingham Arena in Toronto.
Game 5: Guelph Gryphons 4 vs. Waterloo Wolves 1
The Guelph Gryphons may have got into the OHL Cup as a wild card team but it appears they are here to make some noise.
Despite playing a triple overtime marathon on Tuesday, Guelph showed no fatigue against the Waterloo Wolves Wednesday morning, coming up with a big 4-1 victory.
Solomon Bussey provided the Gryphons with two goals including the game winner on a scramble in the crease during the second period. The ruling on the ice was a goal but the officials huddled to discuss the play before finally ruling it a good goal.
“It was nerve-racking (waiting) any time like that especially when it was only 1-1 at that point, we really needed that goal,” said Bussey. “After that we had the confidence and we steamrolled them after.”
Bussey said his team wasn’t worried about being tired after the triple overtime game Tuesday.
“Finding that extra energy is just about the boys firing each other up,” said Bussey. “Also we don’t want to end the season, we want to keep on going.”
Nick Mainprize notched the insurance marker for the Gryphons late in the third on a two on one and also added an empty netter for a two goal game.
The lone marker for Waterloo came on a shorthanded breakway for Brendan Schneider in the second period. He was awarded the Wolves’ player of the game for his efforts.
Bussey’s two goal effort was good enough for him to be selected as Guelph’s player of the game.
Game 6: TPH Thunder 4 vs. Thunder Bay Kings 0
The TPH Thunder squad from the United States were a bit of an unknown entering the OHL Cup, but they wasted no time making a statement.
The Thunder rolled to a 4-0 victory over the Thunder Bay Kings in both teams tournament openers.
Thunder Bay was unable to capitalize on six powerplays in the game, as TPH goaltender Brendan Melody was excellent from start to finish for the shutout and player of the game honours.
Quinn Larson, Paul Raby, Darek Davis and Jake Walker provided the goals for TPH.
Raby said post-game his team wanted to make a statement.
“We came in here thinking we are a bunch of kids from the south and we need to establish ourselves against these Canadian teams,” said Raby. “I think we did a great job of that today.”
Thunder Bay was able to stay disciplined in a hard hitting game but couldn’t find any offense. Forward Evan Krassey was named the Kings’ player of the game.
Game 7: South Central Coyotes 2 vs. Ottawa Valley Titans 1
The South Central Coyotes were able to carry the momentum from their Wild Card game victory Tuesday into their game Wednesday morning against the Ottawa Valley Titans.
The Coyotes fell behind late in the first period after the Titans, Tye Felhaber broke the deadlock.
The Coyotes responded with a late period goal of their own in the second period. Walter Scullion finished off a two on one from a pass off the stick of David Pearce to tie the game.
In the third period, Coyotes forward, Cameron Searles, put South Central on top 2-1 midway through the period.
South Central then put the game in shut down mode and got good goaltending from Ryan Franz to pick up the victory.
Searles said post-game his team was well prepared for the game after yesterday’s wild card game.
“We got the nerves out (yesterday) unlike some other teams with all the scouts here the pressure can get to guys,” said Searles. “We knew we could beat this team, we had beat them twice before so we didn’t see ourselves as underdogs.”
Coyotes defencemen, Sheldon Nolan and Ottawa goaltender, Peter Brooks were named players of the game.
Game 8: Ottawa Jr 67’s 5 vs. Team NOHA 2
A big second period helped lift the Ottawa Jr 67’s to a 5-2 victory over NOHA All-Stars Wednesday morning.
Both teams found the back of the net in the first period with Ottawa’s William Bitten opening the scoring before NOHA’s Jakob Porco replied a few minutes later.
However, the second period would be one-sided as the Jr 67’s took control of the game.
Ottawa’s Alexandre Way snapped home a shot from the slot and then 40 seconds later set up Cole Carter on a two on one to put the 67’s in front 3-1.
“That was definitely a turning point in our game,” said Way about the back-to-back goals. “It got the boys hyped up and from there we just buried them.”
Jacob Hould and Keenan Reynolds would extend the lead for Ottawa to 5-1 before NOHA’s Thomas Farrell stopped the scoring run late in the third.
Way said the 5-2 victory for the Jr 67’s was a perfect way to start the tournament.
“The first game is always a big one and you want to win it to get yourself going for the rest of the tournament,” said Way. “Some of the boys and myself were a bit nervous but as soon as we got out there for the warm up everything was great.”
Player of the game honours went to Ottawa defencemen, Jacob Ramlho and NOHA forward, Makenzie MacMillan.
Game 9: Toronto Jr Canadiens 3 vs. North York Rangers 2 (OT)
It took longer than expected but the Toronto Jr. Canadiens were able to defeat the North York Rangers 3-2 in overtime.
The Jr. Canadiens were coming off a defeat in their tournament opener and fell behind early when North York’s William Calverley opened the scoring five minutes into the game.
The Jr. Canadiens responded with back-to-back goals in the first period from Kevin Hancock and Drake Rymsha to lead 2-1 after one.
North York’s Luke Kutkevicius tied the game with under five minutes to go in the second period.
The third period and overtime saw the Jr. Canadiens take the play to the Rangers but, North York’s netminder, Matthew Petizian, was outstanding carrying the game to overtime.
The Jr. Canadiens continued to dominate and with under a minute to go in the extra frame, Toronto’s Hancock snapped home a wrister from in front to win the game.
“(Travis) Barron was in the corner working and he just chipped it to me in the middle and I just put it on net and it found its way in,” said Hancock about his overtime winning goal. “We knew we had to win this game to keep going on in this tournament, we were tired with only four defence but they worked hard and we got the win.”
Hancock’s two goal game was rewarded with being named player of the game for the Jr. Canadiens, while North York’s award went to Petizian, who was outstanding between the pipes.
Game 10: Whitby Wildcats 7 vs. Kitchener Jr. Rangers 3
Matthew Hotchkiss had the first hat-trick of the 2014 OHL Cup to lead the Whitby Wildcats to a 7-3 victory over Kitchener.
Hotchkiss opened the scoring for Whitby on a powerplay in the second period. Kitchener would equalize moments later off the stick of Matthieu LaRochelle.
The Wildcats then took over scoring four straight goals from Steven Elliott, Hotchkiss, Joshua Argier and Jonah Gadjovich before Kitchener’s Nic Hague stopped the Wildcats run.
Whitby added two more in the third period with Hotchkiss recording the hat-trick and Matthew Bumstead adding a powerplay marker.
Hotchkiss said his team used physicality to turn the game in their favour.
“I think we got a couple big hits and gained some momentum,” said Hotchkiss. “Once the first one went in they just kept on coming.”
Owen Lane added a late goal for the Jr. Rangers who drop their first game of the tournament, while Whitby picks up their first victory after a tie on Tuesday night.
Game 11: Toronto Marlboros 4 vs. Elite Hockey 3
Cliff Pu tallied two goals in a span of 3:02 of the second period to help the Toronto Marlboros remain undefeated at the OHL Cup.
The Marlboros jumped out to an early lead on the Elite Hockey Group with a Jake Harris goal.
Elite Hockey fired back in the second period scoring twice with goals from Cam Dineen and Joey Kubachka. Marlboros forward, Cliff Pu, wouldn’t let Elite enjoy the lead for long as he scored only 25 seconds later.
Pu then scored shorthanded just over three minutes later to give the Marlboros the lead.
The Marlboros controlled play for a large portion of the third period. Harris added his second goal of the game for an insurance marker. In the final minute, Elite Hockey pulled the goalie for an extra attacker and Marcus Dickerson connected to get his team to within a goal.
Elite got the puck to the net once again in the dying seconds but came up just short, falling 4-3 to Toronto.
Harris said his team plays a simple game.
“We just have to keep getting big bodies deep and we knew after the first goal we just wanted to keep going and not let goals shake us,” said Harris. “We just have to take it game by game and just keep going and motivate everyone to play their best.”
Harris was named player of the game for the Marlboros, while Elite Hockey’s recipient was forward, Alex Frye.
Game 12: Peterborough Petes 2 vs. Mississauga Senators 2
The Peterborough Petes made a late rally to tie the Mississauga Senators 2-2.
Mississauga led 2-0 after two periods with goals from Matthew Danner and Michael Pezzetta but, Peterborough came fighting back in the final frame.
Petes forward Zack Pearson scored with just over seven minutes remaining to get to within a goal. The Petes continued to gain momentum and tied the game when defencemen Cole Robbins showed great patience before firing home the game tying goal.
“I saw him go down and I thought he would wait and slide over,” said Robbins. “It managed to work and goalie left the top corner open.”
Mississauga had the better of the chances in overtime but Petes goaltender Drew Hutchinson made some clutch saves to end the game in a tie.
Senators defencemen Francesco Luca was a force on the blue line and was named Mississauga’s player of the game. For the Petes, Robbins tying goal and steady defence earned him player of the game honours.
Game 13: Southern Tier Admirals 4 vs. Waterloo Wolves 0
The Southern Tier Admirals held their composure in a hard-hitting game to blank the Waterloo Wolves 4-0.
The Admirals powerplay was given many chances and connected for their three goals. Conor Timmins had a pair on the man advantage and Christian Girhiny added the other powerplay goal to make it 4-0 with fewer than two minutes to go in the game.
Overall Southern Tier’s powerplay went three for ten.
The lone even strength goal was the first goal of the game for the Admirals with Reid Yochim opening the scoring five minutes into the game.
Admirals netminder Brandon McCorriston was excellent in the shutout win. McCorriston made several key saves when the Wolves turned up the attack to start the third period.
“It was very important (to play well),” said McCorriston following the game adding his team is a close group. “We stick together really well under a good system, and everything works out.”
McCorriston’s shutout earned him player of the game for the Admirals. Waterloo forward Ryan Sparkes was the Wolves’ player of the game in the defeat.
The Admirals now have a win and a loss to their record, while Waterloo is 0-2.
Game 14: Vaughan Kings 3 vs. TPH Thunder 0
The Vaughan Kings jumped out to an early lead and then sat in cruise control to blank the TPH Thunder 3-0.
Jackson Savery and Adam Mascherin got the Kings out front with goals in the first period. James Ranson added a goal early in the second and then, the Kings defence and goaltending did the rest of the work.
Kings netminder Griffen Coutts was lights out to pick up a shutout in his first appearance of the tournament.
Coutts said he couldn’t have a better team playing in front of him.
“There is nothing else that I could ask for helping me defensively throughout the game,” said Coutts. “I was a little nervous but confident, I like how I’m playing right now so I didn’t have anything to worry about.”
Coutts perfect performance earned him player of the game for Vaughan. TPH forward Bradley Ingersoll was the player of the game for the Thunder in the loss.
With the victory, Vaughan now has one win and a tie, while TPH finishes their first day of competition at 1-1.
Game 15: Ottawa Jr. 67’s 4 vs. Hamilton Jr. Bulldogs 3
For the second time Wednesday the Ottawa Jr. 67’s top trio came up clutch to secure a victory.
The Jr. 67’s top line of Alexandre Way, William Bitten and Cole Carter teamed up for two third period goals to lift Ottawa past the Hamilton Jr. Bulldogs 4-3.
Ottawa got two first period goals from Jacob Hould and Keenan Reynolds before Hamilton replied with two of their own in the second from Mitchell Rooney and Brendan Saigeon.
In the third period, Way put the 67’s ahead with a one-timer, taking a perfect pass from Bitten. The top line then hooked up again with Bitten redirecting a shot home after good puck movement from Way and Carter.
Hamilton’s Brendan D’Agostino got the Bulldogs back within one with a beautiful individual effort with four minutes remaining. However, Ottawa was able to hold the Bulldogs and bay and pick up a 4-3 victory.
Bitten said his line with Way and Carter has found perfect chemistry since the start of the year when Carter joined the team and they were united.
“Way and I have been playing with each other for the past five years and we know where we each are and what plays to do,” said Bitten. “Carter is just exceptional he has been a great player on our line and we really like him.”
Through two games, Bitten and Carter have five points each and Way has tallied four.
The 67’s forward Ugo Roik was named player of the game along with Hamilton’s Brendan Saigeon who had a goal and an assist.
Hamilton is now 1-1 in the tournament, while Ottawa picked up victories in both of their games today.
Game 16: Ottawa Valley Titans 6 vs. Chatham-Kent Cyclones 5
Ottawa Valley and Chatham-Kent put on a shootout Wednesday evening at the OHL Cup.
Both teams found substantial offense at different times throughout the game. Ottawa Valley took a 2-0 lead early only to have Chatham-Kent respond with two of their own. The Titans would fire back scoring two more before the period ended to lead 4-2.
The Titans Tye Felhaber scored early in the second period for his second goal of the game. Chatham-Kent would stop the bleeding to trail 5-3.
In the third period, Felhaber clicked again for his third goal of the game to make it 6-3. However, Chatham-Kent scored twice in the next 34 seconds to get to within a goal.
Despite the high scoring, the goals would stop their as the Titans would clamp down on defence and preserve a 6-5 victory.
Along with Felhaber’s three goals, the Titans got goals from Samuel Meisenheimer, Cale List and Cole Timchuck. Chatham-Kent’s Jarrett Marks had two goals, also contributing goals was Kyle Fife, Blair Derynck and Brett Ross.
Felhaber said following the game, his team didn’t draw up the victory this way.
“We got the lucky bounces and also we got the unlucky bounces but just glad we got the win,” said Felhaber who credited him team for his success. “Whenever the team is rolling it makes it easier for yourself but a big team win and that feels good.”
The multi-goal scorers, Felhaber and Marks, were each named player of the game for their respective clubs.
Both teams now have records of 1-1.
Game 17: Thunder Bay Kings 2 vs. Kitchener Jr Rangers 1
In a battle of teams looking for their first win at the 2014 OHL Cup the Thunder Bay Kings got into the win column with a narrow 2-1 victory.
A hard fought battle from start to finish the Kings established the lead early in the second period on a goal from Alex Maticic. Jr. Rangers forward Owen Lane tied the game just tied minutes later.
Avery Siau scored for Thunder Bay with under four minutes to go in the second period. That goal was the eventual game winner but not without some help from Kings goaltender Dylan Ossachuk.
Thunder Bay went shorthanded twice in the later stages of the third period but good goaltending and penalty killing did the job for the Kings.
Siau said his team bounced back nicely from a defeat earlier in the day.
“We bounced back really well with a good team effort,” said Siau. “I think we had a few jitters coming into the OHL Cup so we had to get those out.”
Siau also noted the Kings got back to their systems and played a good all-around game.
Siau was awarded player of the game for Thunder Bay with a goal and an assist. Kitchener’s player of the game went to forward Bobby Young.
Game 18: Elite Hockey Group 5 vs. Guelph Gryphons 2
The Guelph Gryphons were picking up momentum over the first couple days of the OHL Cup, until they met the Elite Hockey Group.
The Gryphons, who won a triple overtime wild card game Tuesday and then an early morning game Wednesday, finally appeared to have fatigue set in.
The Elite Hockey Group picked up their first win of the tournament with a 5-2 victory over the Gryphons.
All the scoring came in the first two periods of the game with Elite grabbing a 2-1 lead after the first, and then adding three in the second to Guelph’s one.
Five different goal scorers lit the lamp for Elite. Marcus Dickerson, Joey Kubachka, Sam Sternschein, Sam Field and AJ Drobot all notched their first goals of the tournament.
As for Guelph they weren’t able to grab any momentum over the course of the game despite excellent efforts in their last two outings.
Connor Bunnaman and Austen Keating had the goals for the Gryphons.
The Elite Hockey Group is an all-star team from the United States just recently put together and captain AJ Drobot said his team was ready for the game against Guelph after spending their first game getting familiar with one and other.
“We were trying to get chemistry together in the first game against the Marlboros who are a good team,” said Drobot. “We got some set lines and we were working the puck well so coach kept them and we pounded on them (Guelph) early and that led to the win.”
Sam Sternschein had a goal and an assist and was named player of the game for Elite, while Guelph’s Connor Bunnaman was the Gryphon’s recipient.
Both teams are now 1-1 in round-robin play.
Game 19: North York Rangers 3 vs. Team NOHA 2
After a loss earlier in the day, both the North York Rangers and NOHA All-Stars were desperate for a win Wednesday night.
The two squads played a competitive game that saw equal chances at both ends of the rink.
The Rangers Danill Verity opened the scoring early, but the NOHA responded with back-to-back goals from Raphael Lecours and Broedy Bertrand.
The Rangers tied the game late in the second period off the stick of Liam Gillanders setting the stage for an exciting third period.
Lucas Colalilo finished off a chance in front of the net to put North York ahead just over three minutes into the third. NOHA had multiple chances down the stretch but couldn’t find an equalizer allowing the Rangers to pick up a 3-2 victory.
Gillanders said his team didn’t change anything despite a loss earlier in the day.
“We just played hard, worked hard and our main goal was to just throw shots on net,” said Colalilo. “The goalie gave up a lot of rebounds and we capitalized on them.”
Gillanders was named player of the game for North York. NOHA’s post-game award went to goaltender Joseph Roberts who kept the All-Stars within a shot of tying the game multiple times in the third period.
North York, a wild card entry, now has a record of 1-1, while the NOHA now has two losses in two games.
Game 20: Peterborough Petes 2 vs. South Central Coyotes 2
The Peterborough Petes needed overtime once again Wednesday night, and once again ended with a tie this time against the South Central Coyotes.
South Central’s Kyle Thomas opened the scoring in the first on the powerplay but, the Petes’ captain James Allen tied the game only minutes later on a powerplay of their own.
Max Kislinger put Peterborough ahead in the second period 2-1.
The Coyotes didn’t quit and with the netminder pulled Cameron Wright ripped home a wrist shot from the slot top shelf to tie the game 2-2.
Overtime saw both teams with a couple chances but neither team could find a game winning goal.
Allen and Wright were named player of the game for their respective teams.
The tie leaves South Central with a record of a win and a tie, while Peterborough ends their first day of competition with a pair of ties.
Action continues on Thursday with eight more games before the round-robin wraps up on Friday. Quarter-Final and Semi-Final games will be played on Saturday with the Championship Final on Sunday afternoon, March 16, 2014.
Click here for tournament standings
Click here for tournament top scorers
Recaps written by Mark McKelvie