It was only fitting that the best of 3 series went the complete distance for intrasquad supremacy as Team Red was able to overcome Team White by way of shootout to capture the inaugural Barnes Cup by a score of 4-3.
The first period got off to another hot start as Cubby Myers tallied his first of the tourney batting home a feed from Jacksenn Hungle the he dug out from behind the net. Dylan Sydor was able to level the ledger after Alex Ochitwa turned the puck over at the offensive blueline and found Sydor behind the D in front. Sydor slid the puck to his backhand before sliding it five-hole past Phillips-Watts to tie the game 1-1. On a delayed penalty call, with the extra attacker on, Brandon Dent was able to provide Team Red with their first lead of the game. Settling down a bobbling puck, Dent went from skate to stick to far-side glove on Phillips-Watts to tally his 4th goal of the Barnes Cup. Jerzy Orchard answered back for Team White after a goal mouth scramble and a big save from Josh Dias left him out of position, Orchard found the empty net upstairs to tie the game at 2. Shots after 1 were 11-9 White.
In the second stanza both teams pushed for the go ahead goal, but none could find it until a former Nelson Leafs connection came to the fore. Alex Erichuk was able to hold the right point and direct a centering pass to Joe Davidson who from in tight, fired upstairs and tucked the puck under the bar to make it 3-2 Team Red. Not going away quietly, team White battled back on a 2-on-1 opportunity with Orchard and Ward breaking down the ice together. Orchard feathered the pass over to Ward who was able to fire through the five-hole to keep the game tied heading into the third period. Shots after 2 were 20-19 Red.
The third period saw a time constraint lower the remaining time to 15 minutes, and the teams forfeit their break between periods. No ice clean didn’t provide for the cleanest play as the teams ground each other down until no time was left on the clock. The teams skipped the 5 minutes of 3-on-3 overtime and went to the shootout. Despite some crafty dekes from both sides, it was the goaltenders who stood tall through 6 rounds of the shootout. It was until big Joe Davidson came cruising down the ice, and fired a shot mid-glove side that the stalemate was broken, and with the opportunity to tie the game on his stick young Jacksenn Hungle couldn’t provide a goal to extend the shootout. Josh Dias denied all comers and reeled in his teammates of the bench to celebrate the inaugural Barnes Cup victory. Final shots were 33-29 Red.
After the game, Head Coach Derek Sweet-Coulter said that this gave the staff a realistic opportunity to evaluate the team.
“This whole series gave us an opportunity to see the talent we have and brought us as close to a game situation as we can be. Some of the players and combinations we put together really started to stand out, and we are excited to see what kind of team we ice on Saturday night.”
The Cents next contest will be another step towards the closest thing to a regular season tilt. An exhibition contest against the visiting Prince George Spruce Kings.
Puck drop 7pm. Pre-game 6:45 on Q101 and HockeyTV.
Fans that have been enjoying the free to watch games during the intrasquad matches, will have to have an ALL ACCESS account to take in Saturday night’s action. Use promo code – BCHLCENTENNIALS20 – for $80 your annual subscription.