Team West takes President’s Cup CJHL Prospects Game crown

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. – Austin Wong (Okotoks Oilers, AJHL) tallied twice, including the game-winner, to help propel Team West to a 5-2 triumph over Team East Tuesday evening to capture the Canadian Junior Hockey League Prospects Game President’s Cup at Port Credit Memorial Arena in Mississauga, Ont.

Team West picked up the lone marker of the opening 20 minutes following some strong work along the boards as the trio of Ben Sanderson (Okotoks Oilers, AJHL), Simon Boyko (Brooks Bandits, AJHL) and Damon Zimmer (Spruce Grove Saints, AJHL) teamed up to dig out the puck before Sanderson drove to the net and banked in an attempt from the side off an East defender that redirected past netminder Jett Alexander (North York Rangers, OJHL) at 13:07.

The East would tie it early in the middle session as Ben Tupker (Carleton Place Canadians, CCHL) sent a cross-ice feed over to Declan Carlile (Wellington Dukes, OJHL) in the slot, who in turn snapped the equalizer high over West starter Matt Thiessen (Steinbach Pistons, MJHL).

Jacob Wasserman (Humboldt Broncos, SJHL) as well as Christian Purboo (Oakville Blades, OJHL) entered midway through the night to mind the nets for the West and East respectively.

A nice three-way passing play with 3:15 to go in the second stanza saw the West regain as the lead as Angus Crookshank (Langley Rivermen, BCHL) saucered a perfect set-up to a hard-charging Corey Andonovski (Chilliwack Chiefs) who chipped the go-ahead tally past Purboo.

Team West then went up 3-1 early in the final frame as they capitalized on a man advantage opportunity with Wong connecting on the power play with assists going to Chrystopher Collin (Flin Flon Bombers, SJHL) and Simon Boyko (Brooks Bandits, AJHL).

After a skirmish the East ended up with a four-on-three power play and some crisp passing saw defenceman Evan White (St. Stephen Aces, MHL) wire one off the post, but the puck bounced right to Ethan Manderville (Ottawa Jr. A Senators) who ripped a one-timer that flew past Wasserman with 13:08 to go.

However the Western CJHLers went back up by two a couple minutes later with Jonny Tychonick (Penticton Vees, BCHL) putting a back hand on the stick of Josh Prokop (Vernon Vipers, BCHL) who in turn wired one past Purboo to make it 4-2.

Wong’ second of the night put the game away for the West as he connected from close range by knocking in Riese Gaber’s (Steinbach Pistons, MJHL) pass to round out the scoring.

Earning Jostens player of the game laurels were Wong and Manderville.

Team West outshot Team East 31-21 on the night with Wasserman picking up the win and Purboo the defeat.

With the result, Team West won their second straight President’s Cup crown and now lead the all-time series 8-5.

Team West Photo credit: Tim Bates (OJHL Images)