Third period goals secure 2016 TELUS Cup for Rangers in Quispamsis
QUISPAMSIS, N.B. – With the bronze medal game concluded and the two teams who would compete for the 2016 TELUS Cup set, the final game of the tournament was upon us. A capacity crowd was on hand at the qplex hoping to cheer their hometown Saint John Vitos to victory. However, a few late lapses by Saint John allowed to North York to jump in front by three goals and they would never surrender that lead.
The opening seven minutes or so of this gold medal game consisted of back-and-forth action with both teams trading chances. Finally at 7:35 the Rangers would draw first blood. Aidan Casey fired a shot that beat a screened Vitos goaltender Jake Stewart giving North York the 1-0 lead. Jeremy Smith and Noah Holm got the assists.
After that the Vitos started buzzing in the offensive zone. Kyle Anderson put a shot on net from the point and Will Kelly was on the doorstep to bang the rebound through Jett Alexander’s fivehole. That tied the game at one goal apiece with just over 12 minutes to play in the first period.
Midway through the second period North York jumped back in the lead. Liam Gillanders’ point shot it a Saint John defender in front and hit the back of the net to restoring a one-goal lead for the Rangers, 2-1. James Turner and Jason Pineo added the helpers as that would remain the score after 40 minutes of play.
It stayed a 2-1 game most of the third period until their were less than three minutes to play in the 2016 TELUS Cup final. Aidan Casey capitalized on a breakdown by the Vitos and scored on the breakaway to give his Ontario squad a three goal cushion as Gillanders grabbed the lone helper. The Rangers would ice the game and the guarantee themselves the 2016 TELUS Cup championship with an empty net goal at 18:21.
After the game Casey talked about how he kept working despite being quiet on the scoresheet during the week: “I tried to find other ways to contribute, kept trying to play my game, kept working hard and it paid off this game.” Rangers head coach Rob Vessio was asked about the fact that his team is the second team from the GTHL to win the TELUS Cup in as many years, and said “there’s nothing in the water there, we just take pride in what we do and this was the end result.”
Players of the Game:
North York Rangers – Jeremy Smith
Saint John Vitos – Will Drummond