The Ontario Junior Hockey League’s Hawerchuk all-stars stormed back from an early two-goal deficit to defeat Team Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League 5-3 Wednesday in quarter-final action at Eastern Canada Cup Jr. A Challenge in Cornwall.
It was a perfect start for Team NOJHL on what appeared to be a set play off the opening face-off; they struck just six seconds into the contest as Darian Pilon (Soo Thunderbirds) darted in and snapped a shot left side past Nathan Colitto (Markham Royals) in the OJHL net.
The NOJHL then went up by two with eight and half minutes to go in the first as during a man advantage opportunity, Seamus Maguire (Cochrane Crunch) was parked in front and neatly redirected in a Jaren Bellini (Soo Thunderbirds) feed to extend the lead.
However, despite carrying the majority of play in the opening stanza, the NOJHL faultered late allowing OJHL Hawerchuk to score twice in the final minute of the frame to knot the affair at 2-2 through 20 minutes.
Ryan Garvey (Oakville Blades) got the first one following a goal-mouth scramble beating NOJHL netminder Garrett Forrest (Powassan Voodoos) while Colin Tonge (Kingston Voyageurs) notched the equalizer after the OJHL side forced a turnover as he corralled the loose puck and fired the tying tally off the post and in.
The power play allowed OJHL Hawerchuk to take their first lead early in the final stanza as Drew Worrad (Oakville Blades) buried a loose puck from the side that beat Forrest.
Regaining their composure Team NOJHL tied at 4:15 as Tyler Peters (Powassan Voodoos) chopped in the rebound of a Marc-Antoine Arseneau (Kirkland Lake Gold Miners) shot from the right side.
Drake Board (Aurora Tigers) however came right back and scored the eventual game-winner from a sharp angle whistling a shot that eluded Forrest.
Kyle Locke (Aurora Tigers) then added some insurance for the OJHL side with 4:11 remaining as he drove down the right side and converted for his side’s second man advantage marker of the period to round out the scoring.
Shots on goal favoured the OJHL 21-15 with Colitto picking up the win and Forrest the loss.