CAPE BRETON WEST ISLANDERS WIN ATLANTIC CANADA'S FIRST-EVER TELUS CUP
Apr. 30, 2017
PRINCE GEORGE, B.C. – Logan Chisholm tied the game with 5:51 left in the third period and won it 5:39 into overtime, giving the Cape Breton West Islanders a historic TELUS Cup with a come-from-behind 5-4 win over the Blizzard du Séminaire Saint-François on Sunday.
The Islanders are the first Atlantic team to ever win the gold medal. In the previous 44 years of the tournament, only two – the 2002 Dartmouth Subways and 2016 Saint John Vito’s – had even reached the final.
With both teams generating chances in a back-and-forth overtime, Chisholm turned in the slot and let go a wrist shot that tipped off the glove of Philippe Gaudreault and fell in behind the Saint-François goaltender, setting off a raucous celebration in the CN Centre that was likely heard all the way back in Nova Scotia.
(PHOTO FROM HOCKEY CANADA IMAGES: The Islanders celebrate Atlantic Canada's first-ever TELUS Cup victory on Sunday.)
The winner came after Chisholm had poked a loose puck past a sprawled-out Gaudreault to force the extra period and complete the comeback from a two-goal deficit in the final 16 minutes.
The teams met Monday in the tournament opener, a 2-1 win for the Islanders, and it was quickly apparent the gold medal game would be nothing like the curtain-raiser.
Samuel Dickner got the scoring started for the Blizzard when he hammered a shot past Cape Breton West netminder Colten Ellis just 3:08 in, but Jacob Hudson – fresh off being named MVP on Saturday night – wired a shot past Gaudreault to tie the game just over two minutes later.
Yan-Cédric Gaudreault would restore the lead for the Quebec champions 25 seconds after the Hudson goal, only for Stephen Fox to sneak in a backhand and bring the Islanders even again 1:44 after that.
In all, the teams combined for four goals in a span of 4:46, and the race was on.
(PHOTO FROM HOCKEY CANADA IMAGES: Cape Breton West captain Jacob Hudson hoists the TELUS Cup.)
The Blizzard seemed to take control late in the opening frame, scoring twice in the final four minutes. Dickner was first, tucking a forehand around Ellis on a shorthanded breakaway, and Vincent Guy tipped in a Thomas Pelletier shot on the power play to send Saint-François to the intermission up 4-2.
Both goaltenders settled in after a wild opening period, keeping the score the same heading to the third.
Ellis was at his best in the final 20 minutes, making 22 saves, including a game-saving glove save off Dickner on another shorthanded break. After a shaky start he stopped 43 of 47, including the last 37 shots he faced.
Fox scored his second of the game at 4:38 of the third, picking the corner past the glove of Gaudreault, making it a one-goal game and setting up Chisholm for his late-game heroics.
The win capped off a historic season for a team that won its first-ever provincial championship just last month. That series victory over the Dartmouth-based Steele Subaru Major Midgets earned the team the right to represent the province at Atlantics in Miramichi earlier this month where the Islanders defeated Moncton in the championship game.
(PHOTO FROM PAUL MORASH: The Cape Breton West Islanders celebrate after winning their first-ever NSMMHL title.)
This is all even more impressive when you consider that the Islanders, a team consisting of players from small towns in western Cape Breton and northeastern Nova Scotia, only had 38 players attend their try-outs at the start of the season.
Hockey Nova Scotia would like to congratulate the players, coaches and management of the Cape Breton West Islanders on their incredible season. We are very proud of you all.