Clearly, the Whitby Warriors didn’t like losing a game in the Minto Cup’s best-of-five finals. After dropping a close decision to New Westminster in Game 2 of the series, the Warriors dismantled the Salmonbellies 13-4 last night to take a 2-1 lead in a game that turned rough, with four fights and a total of 224 minutes in penalties. Whitby outscored New West 3-1 in each of the first and third periods. As has been the case for much of the tournament, though, it was the second period where the Warriors did most of their damage, outscoring the Salmonbellies 7-2 thanks to two of their four 3-goal runs in the game. Michael MacDonald led the way with 3 goals and an assist, but the scoring was well spread out. Ten different Warriors scored goals and Ryan Keenan had 4 assists. Alexis Buque stopped 34 of the 38 shots he faced in the Whitby net and Josh Delves stopped both of his shots after relieving Buque with a few minutes to play. Josh Byrne scored a pair of goals for the Salmonbellies.
The rough stuff got going in the second period. Rylee McKinnon and Emerson Clark of Whitby and New Westminster’s Justin Goodwin got into it at 4:39 with all three earning roughing minors. A couple of minutes later, Clark took a checking in the crease call that eventually led to McKinnon and Goodwin dropping the gloves.
Clark wound up fighting Dylan Long eight and a half minutes into the third period. Then, with just a couple of minutes to play and the result long since decided, Mitch De Snoo and Brodie Tutton of the Warriors and Jeremy Bosher and Connor Robinson of the Salmonbellies tossed down.
Whitby has a chance to wrap up the Minto Cup championship tonight at 8pm Pacific Time when the teams square off for Game 4 of the series. If the Bellies are able to extend the series to a fifth game, it will go Monday night, also at 8pm.
Minto Cup Best of 5 finals
Whitby 13, New Westminster 4 (box score)
Six Nations 22, Onondaga 8 (Six Nations advances to gold medal game, Iroquois to bronze medal game)
Calgary 15, Nova Scotia 10 (Calgary advances to gold medal game, Nova Scotia to bronze medal game)
Quebec 9, Manitoba Selects 7 (Quebec advances to fifth place game)
Manitoba 15, SWAT 12 (Manitoba advances to fifth place game)
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