QUINTE WEST, Ont. – Ontario Junior Hockey League Coffey scored in the final minute, with an extra attacker, to force a shootout where they went on to defeat Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League East 3-2 Wednesday morning in the final game for both sides at the Eastern Canada Cup All-Star Challenge at Duncan McDonald Memorial Gardens.
Capitalizing on a two-man advantage, OJHL Coffey opened the scoring with four minutes left in first period with Ryan Nicholson chipping a shot over NOJHL netminder Joe Vrbetic (Powassan Voodoos) from the right of the crease.
Splitting the goaltending duties saw Gregory Brassard (Kirkland Lake Gold Miners) enter to play the final frame for his team.
On the power play themselves, the NOJHL side drew level with 7:19 left as Jake Desando (Hearst Lumberjacks) fed Derek Sequin (Timmins Rock) who darted into the high slot and wired a shot into the top left corner over the shoulder of OJHL goaltender Will Barber.
Building on that momentum, Team East went in front a few shifts later as a Sam Ellwood (Kirkland Lake Gold Miners) backhander fooled Barber and found its way low into the right side of the net.
Then with their goaltender out late in favour of an extra skater, OJHL Coffey tied it with 25 seconds left as Riley McCutcheon deflected a shot from the left point over the outstretched pad of Brassard to force the shootout.
In the extra attempts the OJHL scored on both attempts they had while Barber foiled the NOJHL on two chances to pull out the win.
Shots on goal in the contest favoured the victorious side by a 26-12 margin.
With the outcome, NOJJL East finished the 12-team tournament with a 0-2-1 record while NOJHL West went 2-1, but fell just short of advancing to the semifinal round.
NOJHL regular season action resumes Thursday on two fronts as the Soo Thunderbirds host the Espanola Express while the Rayside-Balfour Canadians entertain the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners in a pair of 7 p.m. starts.
Photos by Christian Bender – OJHL Images