In the final game of round robin at the 2017 RBC Cup in Cobourg, Ontario, the hosts, the Ontario Junior Hockey League’s (1-1-0-1) Cobourg Cougars hit the ice on May 18th at 7:30 p.m against the (2-1) Western Canada Cup Alberta Junior Hockey League champions, the Brooks Bandits in junior ‘A’ national championship action.
With the hosts on a power play 29 seconds past the halfway mark of the opening period, Cougar Brennan Roy finds the back of Bandit netminder Alex Horawski’s net to give Cobourg a 1 – 0 lead with Brenden Locke and Ryan Casselman setting up Roy’s power play marker. Jesse Baird fires a pass to Cobourg’s Connor MacEachern 47 seconds into the middle stanza to bring the Cougars lead to 2 – 0. 35 seconds later, Brooks Dennis Cesana finds the back of Cougar goaltender Stefano Durante at the 1:22 mark of the period to pull the Bandits within one. Nathan Plessis and Louis Jamernik had the assists on Cesana’s goal. At 5:57 of the second, Luke Bast evens the game 2 – 2 for Brooks with Oliver Chau and Joe O’Connor drawing the contributors on Bast tying goal.
Registering his second point of the contest with his first of the game was Jesse Baird at 16:57 of the period on a Cougar power play to give Cobourg a 3 – 2 lead with Locke and Roy adding the helpers on Baird’s power play goal. With 56 seconds left in the second, George Miranda sends the Cougars into the intermission up 4 – 2 with Spencer Roberts and Theo Lewis notching the assists. 1:58 into the third, Cougar Spencer Roberts cements Cobourg’s win with Locke setting up Roberts goal. Cougar Stefano Durante made 25 saves for Cobourg in the hosts 5 – 2 win while Bandit netminder Alex Horawski stopped 25 of 30 shots in the loss.
Cobourg forward Nick Minerva told the Junior Hockey Network that “another great team effort in tonight’s win, we are buying into our systems, playing strong and finding ways to score and win. We are proving to be a team that can compete with anyone and its a great feeling. The Vees are a team and an organization that are built to win. They always find ways to win, they are quick skilled team, but we as a team are getting better and better every game.”
“If we just keep doing what we are doing, compete hard, grind it out and be physical we will find success” said Minerva.
With the win, the Cougars finish the round robin at the top of the 2017 RBC Cup standings with eight points and will face the fourth place BCHL Penticton Vees in an afternoon matinee on May 20th in the first semi – final of the day at 2:30 p.m (EST) while the AJHL Bandits will take on the LHJQ Terrebonne Corbas in a 7:30 p.m (EST) puck drop.
Photo Credit: Tim Bates (OJHL Images)