TRENTON, Ont. – Team NOJHL rode the stalwart goaltending of Carter McPhail (Soo Eagles) whose 30-save shutout backstopped his side to a narrow 1-0 victory over the Quebec Junior Hockey League’s Burrows Division Selects Tuesday in Day 2 play at the Eastern Canada Cup All-Star Challenge in Trenton, Ont.
An evenly-played opening 20 minutes saw the session go scoreless with McPhail handling all 14 attempts he faced while LHJAAAQ goaltender Samuel Gagnon was called upon to make 11 stops, including thwarting Stewart Parnell (Timmins Rock) with a quality save on a two-on-one.
After Team NOJHL failed to capitalize during a four-minute power play in the final frame, Quebec pressed the pace moments after that, but McPhail stood tall with a couple of stellar saves to keep the contest scoreless.
Backed by McPhail’s brilliance, Team NOJHL chipped in offensively for their netminder to produce the only goal of the contest with 5:08 remaining in regulation.
That tally came about as the Soo Eagles trio of Nick Techel, Chris Bardarson and Kobe Keller moved the puck around nicely into the Quebec zone with Techel getting the last touch of the puck that bounced off the stick of a Burrows defender and slid across the goal line for the eventual game-winner.
From there McPhail continued to stymie his opponents, along with a couple of key shot blocks from his teammates, as Team NOJHL secured their initial win at the 10-team event improving to 1-1 overall.
Gagnon faced 17 shots in defeat for his side.
Team NOJHL is back at it later today as they take on OJHL Hawerchuk at 4 p.m.
All Eastern Canada Cup All-Star Challenge contests are streamed online at HockeyTV.com.
Photo credit: Tim Bates/OJHL Images