If you’re a fan of overtime then the 2018 RBC Cup is the tournament for you.
Five of six games so far have required extra minutes to settle, the latest Tuesday afternoon’s tilt between the Wenatchee Wild and the Ottawa Junior Senators.
Only OT didn’t decide this one. It took five rounds in the shootout and a goal by Matt Dorsey to give the Wild the win.
Wenatchee stayed unbeaten at 3-0 while the Senators dropped to 1-2.
For the third time in three games the Wild gave up the first goal when Ottawa’s Michael Thomas scored at 9:57. With Wenatchee’s Jacob Modry serving a roughing minor, Thomas sent a wrist shot toward the net from the left point. Wenatchee goalie Austin Park probably never saw the puck through a herd of players in the goal-mouth. The disc seemed to hit a body in front and fluttered over his glove for a 1-0 Senators lead.
The Wild answered back at 14:55 on a power play of their own.
AJ Vanderbeck controlled the puck below the end line, and fed it into the blue paint of the Ottawa goal crease for Matt Dorsey. The 18 year old displayed quick mitts, pulling it from backhand to forehand in a flash and popping the puck past Senators netminder Connor Hicks.
The Wild took the lead in the final minute of the opening frame on a goal by Jasper Weatherby.
August (Baron) Von Ungern set him up, flying down the left wing and delivering a pass into the high slot. With a lightning quick release, Weatherby roofed the puck over Hicks’ glove.
Ottawa had the only goal in period two, but it wasn’t for lack of chances as both teams went end to end with too many near-misses to count.
Ethan Manderville scored for the Sens off a frantic goalmouth scramble.
Everything was set off when Park weirdly failed to cover a puck in his crease. There it sat, waiting for him to slap his big mitt on it, but when the netminder couldn’t get on top of it and the puck was poked away. Seconds later it was back in the goalmouth, where Manderville was able to pop it past Park at 8:24.
The goalie otherwise ranged from solid to spectacular. He benefited from big-league puck luck later in the period when an Ottawa pass floated across the goalmouth to Isaac Anderson, who had a wide open net for an easy tap-in. Anderson flubbed the chance, knocking the puck off the inside of the left goal post. It settled in the paint where Park was able to dive on it. Anderson had raised his stick in celebration, but after looking back he then looked up to the rafters in frustration.
At the other end, Hicks made a couple huge stops, his biggest a highlight reel job on Vanderbeck. A Wenatchee defenceman put a pass down to Weatherby to the left of the Ottawa net, and he one-touched it across the goalmouth to Vanderbeck. The 20 year old didn’t waste any time shooting, but Hicks reached out with his glove to take a sure goal away.
Hicks and Parks continued to slam the door shut in a scoreless third period that landed the teams in four-on-four overtime, and 10 minutes later in a shootout.
Each team started with three shooters all of them missing. It came down to round five, with Wenatchee’s Dorsey coming straight up the middle with a handful of stick moves before beating Hicks through the legs. That put the spotlight squarely on Ottawa’s Finn Evans, who needed to beat Park to keep his team alive.
Evans couldn’t do it as his five-hole attempt was stopped by the Wild goaltender, finally ending a very entertaining match.
Hicks was an easy choice as Ottawa’s Player of the Game with Dorsey earning the same honours for Wenatchee.