BC slips past Alberta to finish first in WHL Cup round robin; semifinals set for Saturday
Team BC 5 Team Alberta 4 (OT)
Call them Team Resilient.
Less than 24 hours after wiping out a 4-0 deficit and posting a 5-4 overtime win over Team Saskatchewan in the WHL Cup tournament, Team Alberta stormed back from three goals down with a trio of third-period goals to force overtime against Team BC Friday.
BC, however, prevailed 5-4 on a goal by Oliver Josephson 3:36 into the three-on-three extra frame.
Hiroki Gojsic, with a pair of goals, Miguel Marques and Tij Iginla also tallied for the winners at the Peavey Mart Centrium.
Brock Souch netted a first-period goal for Alberta, which cut BC’s lead to 4-2 with a goal from Zane Saab at 7:42 of the third period.
Just over five minutes later, Red Deer’s Keith McInnis fired a wrist shot from the point that caught the top of the net behind goalie Jesse Sanche, and Saab scored again at 15:30 to tie the game 4-4.
All three were power play goals.
BC, which finished first in round-robin play with a 3-0-0 mark and will meet Saskatchewan (0-2-1) in a semifinal Saturday at 12:30 at the Centrium, got a 24-save performance from Sanche, while Christian Francis turned aside 31 shots in the Alberta net.
Alberta, which finished 2-0-1, will face Manitoba (1-2-0) in the other semifinal set for 3 p.m. at the Red Deer Polytechnic Gary W. Harris Centre.
Team Manitoba 3 Team Saskatchewan 2
In Friday’s final round-robin game played at the Gary W. Harris Centre, Clarke Caswell’s third-period power play goal lifted Manitoba to a 3-2 win over Saskatchewan in a battle of previously winless teams.
Cole Bilous and Ian Lavallee also scored for Manitoba while Ethan McCallum made 22 saves.
Replying for Saskatchewan were Trae Wilkie and Raiden Zacharias, on the power play. Chase Wutzke was stellar in defeat, turning aside 36 shots.
The semifinal winners will meet in the gold medal game Sunday at 1 p.m., which will be preceded by the bronze medal contest at 10 a.m. Both games will be played at the Centrium.