Silver Medal for Kings as Season Winds Down
STEINBACH, Man. – The Regina Pat Canadians used the strength of three power play goals then withstood a furious Thunder Bay major midget Kings comeback bid to claim the 2017 TELUS Cup West Regional title in Steinbach, Man., Sunday afternoon with a 4-2 victory.
With the win, Regina now moves on to represent the region at the TELUS Cup Canadian National Midget Championship, April 24-30, in Prince George, B.C.
An early man advantage allowed Regina to notch the contest’s opening tally as Pat Canadians’ captain Alex Kannok-Leipert let loose a point shot that changed direction after hitting a Kings’ defender’s stick and bounced past Thunder Bay starter Ryan Fanti 2:37 into the contest.
The Saskatchewan midget AAA champions pressed the paced throughout the stanza, outshooting the Kings 17-4 in the session were rewarded with another marker with 15 seconds left in the period thanks to defenceman Peyton Gorski’s effort.
Another Regina power play saw them extend their cushion to three in the middle session as for a second time a shot hit a Thunder Bay defenceman en route to the net and changed direction causing it to go high on a different angle past Fanti, with Carson Denomie getting credit for the goal.
The Kings capitalized with a man advantage of their own at 16:40 of the period as Cody Bruchkowski finished off a goal-mouth scramble stuffing one past Regina goaltender Nathan Moore with Justin Stewart and Robert McCollum earning assists.
Shots on goal in the period were 11-10 in favour of Thunder Bay.
The Kings applied a lot of pressure in the third and then after killing off a penalty, pulled within one with 3:16 left in regulation as Keon Fox let loose a right point blast that was neatly deflected in by Garrett Gammond from in front.
Thunder Bay captain Jacob Brown had a solid chance to draw his club level moments later but his shot from the slot was snared by the glove of Regina’s Moore.
However a late penalty put the Kings shorthanded the rest of the way as the Pat Canadians used their third man advantage marker of the afternoon to claim the West Regional title getting an empty netter with 17 seconds remaining to end it.
Fanti was rewarded for his tremendous efforts over the course of the four-day tournament for the Kings by being named the West Regional’s most valuable player.
He was also selected the top goaltender after round robin play, which was announced at the event banquet Saturday evening.
The Regina duo of Preston Brodziak and Alex Kannok-Leipert were named top forward and defenceman respectively.
2018 TCWR: The Kings along with Hockey Northwestern Ontario and the Thunder Bay Minor Hockey Association will host the 2018 TELUS Cup West Regional next April at Fort William First Nation Arena.
TELUS CUP West Regional
At the T.G. Smith Centre
Thursday, March 30
Regina 2 Winnipeg 1
Thunder Bay 5 Eastman 1
Friday, March 31
Thunder Bay 3 Winnipeg 0
Regina 4 Eastman 1
Saturday, April 1
Regina 7 Thunder Bay 2
Eastman 7 Winnipeg 5
Sunday, April 2
Championship game: Regina 4 Thunder Bay 2
Regina advances to TELUS Cup Canadian National Midget Championship, April 24-30, in Prince George, B.C.