Friday, December 13, 2019

U Sports, Team Canada Split Series

The U Sports all-stars - coached by Gardiner MacDougall - and Team Canada junior prospects played a two game series on Wednesday and Thursday in Oakville, Ontario and each side emerged with a one goal victory.

On Wednesday afternoon it was Team Canada picking up a 4-3 win, despite being out-shot 27-21 by the U Sports team. Mount Royal's Ryley Lindgren opened the scoring 48 seconds into the contest - with Tristan Pomerleau picking up an assist on the goal - but that would be the only lead of the night for U Sports. Kris Bennett tied the game 2-2 with a power play goal 3:16 into the 2nd and Saint Mary's Huskies forward Stephen Johnson, from Bennett and Tyler Boland, equalized the game at 5:53 of the 3rd period. However, Bowen Bryam responded just under a minute later for Team Canada with what would prove to be the game winning goal. Team Canada hopefuls Hunter Jones and Olivier Rodrigue shared the crease for U Sports. After the 60 minute regulation game the two teams played a five minute 4-on-4 overtime period, which saw Team Canada score the only goal, and then held a five round shootout that U Sports won 2-1.

In the rematch on Thursday it was the U Sports all-stars stifling Team Canada for a 2-1 win in which the shots in the game favoured the university stars 22-12. All of the scoring game in the first 11 minutes of the game with Ryerson Rams forward Matthew Santos connecting for a power play goal from Boland and McGill's Nikolas Brouillard at 6:45 and Alberta's Trevor Cox making it 2-0 at 10:34. Alex Newhook of the Boston College Eagles replied for Team Canada at 11:15 to cut the lead in half, but there would be no scoring over the final 48+ minutes. The two teams switched goalies for the game with Canada's Nico Daws and Joel Hofer playing for U Sports. Once again there was a five minute overtime period - 3-on-3 this time - and shootout held afterwards and the U Sports team swept both.

Overall, it was another strong showing for the U Sports all-stars against some of the best junior players in the world. This event continues to be an outstanding showcase for U Sports hockey and shows just how strong university hockey is in this country.