STRATHMORE SPREADS OUT SCORING, TOPS GLADIATORS AT TELUS CUP
RIVIÈRE-DU-LOUP, Que. – Gary Haden, Kyle Gordon, Markus Lavallee and Zachary Vinnell each had a goal and an assist, and the Strathmore Bisons beat the Newbridge Academy Gladiators 6-2 to open play Thursday at the 2015 TELUS Cup.
In all, six different players put pucks past Newbridge Academy goaltender Matthew Williams as Strathmore took a big step towards confirming its spot in the semifinals.
The Bisons came charging out of the gate, capitalizing on a very early power play when Austin Cameron hammered a slap shot past Williams just 44 seconds in.
Trygve Many Guns outmuscled a Gladiators defenceman in the slot before roofing a shot at 6:11, and Vinnell made it 3-0 just 22 seconds after that, giving the Pacific Region champions all the offence they would need.
Morgan Barron gave the Gladiators a little bit of hope before the end of the period, bursting down the wing and converting on a breakaway opportunity at 13:55, cutting the Bisons’ lead to 3-1 after one.
Just as it did in the first Strathmore struck quickly in the second, with Gordon’s third of the tournament coming just 92 seconds into the middle stanza, but Gladiators forward Noah McMullan fired an absolute howitzer that beat an unscreened Kurtis Chapman over the glove at 7:58 to make it 4-2 through 40 minutes.
Strathmore added two more goals in the third period to pad its lead. First it was Lavallee scoring on the power play at 7:10, knocking in a rebound after Vinnell’s shot hit the cross bar and dropped into the crease.
Haden would seal the win six-and-a-half minutes later, chasing Williams in favor of 15-year-old Cole McLaren, who saw his first action of the tournament and stopped all five shots he faced the rest of the way.
The Bisons will look to officially clinch their semifinal spot when they wrap up the preliminary round on Friday morning against the Toronto Young Nationals (9:30 a.m. ET), while the Gladiators, who are out of playoff contention, will finish their schedule against the Regina Pat Canadians (1 p.m. ET).