It took overtime in Game 4, but for the second time in three years the Whitby Warriors are Minto Cup champions. A day after walloping New Westminster 13-4 in Game 3, the Warriors had to score the last goal of regulation time to get to the extra frame against the resilient Salmonbellies, but once there they scored the only 2 goals to pull out a 10-8 win and hoist the trophy that they also won in 2011.
Whitby scored on all four of their power play chances in the first two periods to take a 5-3 lead after 40 minutes and put the title squarely in their sights. New Westminster showed early in the third, however, that they weren’t about to give up without a fight, although this time it was figurative rather than literal as it had been a night before when four players on each team were ejected for fighting. The Bellies got goals from Jeremy Bosher, Luke Gillespie and Anthony Malcolm in the first three minutes of the third period to pull into a 6-5 lead.
Reilly O’Connor evened things up a minute later, then Bosher and Stefan Diachenko traded tallies to run the score to seven all. Quinn Smith made some amends for his two second-period penalties by putting New West back in front at 12:28. The penalty bug bit the Bellies yet again, though, when Justin Goodwin was called for holding the stick. Whitby made it a perfect 5-for-5 on the power play when tournament MVP Dan Lintner connected on what would be the final goal of regulation time at 15:04.
There was no scoring for the first half of the 10-minute overtime period. Then Graeme Hossack struck for an unassisted goal that proved to be the game winner at 5:14. A minute and 10 seconds later, Austin Shanks gave the Warriors a bit of insurance but they wouldn’t need it, holding off the Salmonbellies the rest of the way even after goalie Alexis Buque was called for illegal equipment in the final minute.
Lintner led the Warriors in scoring with 2 goals and 4 assists and led the tournament with 15 goals and 16 assists for 31 points. Curtis Knight added 2 goals and an assist and each of O’Connor, Ryan Keenan and Michael MacDonald had a goal and 3 assists for Whitby. Bosher, Smith and Malcolm each scored 2 goals for New Westminster while Nathan Stewart contributed a goal and 5 assists.
Minto Cup Best of 5 finals
Whitby 10, New Westminster 8 OT (box score) Whitby wins series 3-1
WLA playoffs Best of 7 finals
Victoria 11, Langley 8 (box score) Victoria leads series 3-2
Six Nations 17, Calgary 12 (Six Nations wins gold medal)
Onondaga 14, Nova Scotia 9 (Onondaga wins bronze medal)
Manitoba 12, Quebec 1 (Manitoba finishes fifth)
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