Jason La Rose – Hockey Canada
LLOYDMINSTER, Alta./Sask. – Liam Blackburn scored the lone goal of the shootout in Round 5, and the West Kelowna Warriors handed the Trenton Golden Hawks their first loss of the 2016 RBC Cup, 4-3 on Tuesday afternoon.
It was the first shootout in tournament history. Until last year, preliminary-round games were played until a goal was scored in overtime. There were no shootouts in 2015, when it was first introduced.
Blackburn came down the right side with speed before letting go a shot that just squeezed past Trenton goaltender Jackson McIntosh and trickled inches over the line for the game-winner.
Keelan Williams stopped Lucas Brown to clinch the win on the Golden Hawks’ last opportunity. Williams stopped all five shooters he faced, and made 32 saves in regulation time and overtime.
Jonathan Desbiens, Quin Foreman and Brett Mennear scored the goals for the Warriors, who temporarily moved two points ahead of Brooks for second place, and two points behind Trenton for first.
Hunter Fargey, Quinn Lenihan and Lucas Brown provided the offence for the Golden Hawks, who trailed 3-0 midway through the game before running off three goals in less than eight minutes to pull even.
West Kelowna got the start it wanted, striking twice before the game was five minutes old; Desbiens opened the scoring at 2:24, beating Trenton starter Daniel Urbani right off the face-off, and Foreman buried his own rebound 2:03 after that for a quick 2-0 lead.
Mennear added to the lead just 70 seconds into the middle frame, poking in a loose puck after Kylar Hope hit the post and chasing Urbani from the Trenton goal after three goals on 19 shots.
McIntosh came in and shut the door, stopping all 15 shots he faced the rest of the way.
Fargey got the comeback started at 9:34 of the second on the power play, knocking in a rebound at the side of the net, and Lenihan roofed a shot from in close at 14:49 to make it a one-goal game.
Brown completed the comeback less than three minutes after that on another man advantage, intercepting a clearing attempt in the slot and snapping a quick shot past Williams to send the game to the intermission – and eventually overtime – tied 3-3.
After an evenly-matched and scoreless third period, the teams played a fast-paced overtime, with more than six minutes between whistles at one point, but neither could produce the game-winner.
West Kelowna wraps up its preliminary round in the lone game Wednesday, taking on Carleton Place (3:30 p.m. MT), while the Golden Hawks close out their round robin Thursday against Lloydminster (7:30 p.m. MT).