FIVE DIFFERENT GOAL SCORERS LEAD STRATHMORE TO A WIN OVER TORONTO
RIVIÈRE-DU-LOUP, Que. – William Conley had a goal and an assist, five different players scored and nine had at least a point as the Strathmore Bisons topped the Toronto Young Nationals 5-3 in the final preliminary round game for both Friday at the 2015 TELUS Cup.
The win means Strathmore (3-2) finishes third in the round robin and will meet the Grenadiers de Châteauguay in Saturday’s semifinals, while Toronto (2-3) is the fourth-place team and will take on the Regina Pat Canadians.
Cole Noble, Jordan McConnell, Gary Haden and Zachary Vinnell had the other goals for the Bisons, who got two assists from Barrett Sheen and 40 saves from Cody Campbell in his first start since Strathmore’s AMHL regular season finale on Feb. 15.
Mack Graham, Ryan Bonsteel and Nate Mueller scored for the Young Nationals.
The Bisons had the lone goal of the first period off the stick of Noble, whose wrist shot through traffic beat Toronto goaltender Dalton Ewing with just 79 seconds off the clock.
Strathmore struck again early in the second period when McConnell knocked in a rebound on a Bisons power play at 1:24, and Haden capitalized on a two-man advantage at 4:32 to make it 3-0.
Graham got Toronto on the board on a Young Nationals power play at 13:09 to cut the Strathmore lead to 3-1 after 40 minutes.
Just as they had in the first two periods the Bisons scored quickly in the third; Vinnell restored the three-goal lead at 2:57 of the final frame, but Bonsteel scored a second power play marker for the Young Nationals at 12:03, and Mueller’s goal with 1:47 left made it a one-goal game and set up a frantic finish.
Conley iced it for the Bisons with just 23 seconds left, setting up his shorthanded, empty-net goal with a beautiful deke in the neutral zone.
Both teams got plenty of practice on special teams; the Bisons and Young Nationals each finished with two goals on 11 chances with the man advantage thanks to a combined 62 minutes in penalties.
Toronto will be up first on Semifinal Saturday, meeting Regina at 2 p.m. ET, followed by Strathmore vs. Châteauguay at 6 p.m. ET, both at Centre Premier Tech.