In their first meeting since the 2017 Ontario Junior Hockey League semi – final series with the OJHL Trenton Golden Hawks defeating the OJHL Cobourg Cougars, the 2017 Central Canada Dudley Hewitt champions, the OJHL Golden Hawks hit the ice against the 2017 RBC Cup host, the Cobourg Cougars in game two of the national championship on May 13th.
With 54 seconds left in the opening period and on a Cougar power play, Josh Maguire finds the back of Golden Hawk netminder Chris Janzen’s net on an unassisted goal to send the hosts into the first intermission up 1 – 0. 1:52 into the middle stanza, Anthony Sorrentino finds the bottom right corner of Cougar goaltender Stefano Durante’s net to even the game 1 – 1 on a Trenton unassisted goal. On their fourth straight power play with an unassisted goal, Matt Carroll jams the puck behind Trenton’s Janzen to take the lead with 2:33 remaining in the second period with scramble in front of the Golden Hawks net.
With a bounce off the back boards behind Durante’s net, Golden Hawk Jeremy Pullara slides a goal past Durante at 15:33 of the final period on a Trenton unassisted power play goal to pull the game even at 2 – 2. In a four on four overtime at 3:54, Cougar Josh Maguire tips the puck behind Janzen on a Nick Minerva pass to give the hosts a 4 – 3 overtime win over the Golden Hawks. Game stars were Chris Janzen (Trenton Golden Hawks) and Josh Maguire (Cobourg Cougars). Trenton netminder Chris Janzen turned away 36 of 39 shots while Cougar goaltender Stefano Durante stopped 25 of 27 shots in the overtime win.
21 year old Minerva told the Junior Hockey Network that “playing the RBC Cup has been a dream for me since I was 17 playing for the Wisconsin Wilderness in the SIJHL. To be able to play in this is surreal, loving every minute of it. The nerves have been with me for two days now and have had trouble sleeping as well because I was so excited leading into this evening’s game, but I took it like any other game at the end of the day though I am 21 years old in my last six games of my junior career. I find I have to be a leader and set an example for the younger guys and my team.”
“Our team competed, we finished our checks and we stuck to our systems. We said let’s get out of the first period so just keep it simple and we did, got our feet under us and rode the wave after that. Trenton played us strong, but we just kept plugging away and we were rewarded” said Minerva.
“Getting the helper on the final goal was just me trying to help my team win. I stepped on the ice every shift in that over time and told myself to be the difference maker. While I rushed the puck and gained the blueline I pulled up I had a second to look over at the right and the play develop and saw the defender let go of Josh Maguire so I decided to sauce it off the goalies pad and got the bounce I was looking for and literally ended up on my tape.”
The Golden Hawks will be back on the ice on May 14th when they meet the LHJQ Terrebonne de Corbas in a 7:30 p.m puck drop while the hosts, the OJHL Cobourg Cougars will face the BCHL Penticton Vees in the lone game of the day on May 15th. Game time will be 7:30 p.m.
Photo Credit: Tim Bates (OJHL Images)