Thursday, May 7, 2009

Semi Finals Set

Press Release

VICTORIA, B.C. – It is on to the semifinals at the 2009 RBC Cup for the host Victoria Grizzlies.

Needing a victory to assure themselves a spot in the final four and avoid what could have been a complicated mathematical tiebreaker, the Grizzlies got a goal and two assists from Jonathan Milhouse and opened up a four-goal lead after 40 minutes before holding on for a 6-3 win over the Summerside Western Capitals on Wednesday night.

The loss means the Capitals – the only winless team at 0-3 – cannot make the semifinals, regardless of the outcome of their final round-robin game on Thursday.

Coming off of a heartbreaking overtime loss to Vernon on Tuesday, a game they led in the final two minutes, Victoria came out like a house on fire against the East Region champions, outshooting them 18-6 in the first period and taking a 2-0 lead on goals by Justin Courtnall and Brian Nugent.

Steven Brazil got the Capitals on the board late in the first period, cutting the lead in half, but goals from Milhouse, Dustin Mowrey and Evan Pighin in the middle frame sent the Grizzlies to the second intermission with a comfortable four-goal advantage.

Brazil and Jason Gallant cut the lead to two with goals early in the third period for the Capitals, but Courtnall rounded out the scoring into an empty net in the final minute.

The Grizzlies will await the results of Thursday’s final round-robin games before finding out who they play in semifinal action on Friday. Summerside wraps up their tournament when they face Humboldt in the evening game (7 p.m. PT).

Press Release

VICTORIA, B.C. – The Humboldt Broncos are one step closer to defending their RBC Cup championship.

Shawn Hunter set up Scott Schroeder for the insurance goal early in the third period and rounded out the scoring into an empty net in the final minute as the Broncos all but locked up a semifinal berth with a 5-2 win over the Kingston Voyageurs on Wednesday afternoon.

Humboldt can lock up a final four berth as early as Wednesday night, depending on the outcome of the Summerside-Victoria match-up. A Victoria win eliminates the Capitals and ensures the Broncos play on Friday.

After stonewalling Summerside on Monday, making 45 saves in a 7-5 Kingston win, Voyageurs netminder Shawn Sirman continued his strong play early in Wednesday’s contest, keeping the game scoreless after one period despite his team being outshot 18-9.

Jarrett Burton and Mike Farrell scored goals 4:56 apart in the second period to give Kingston a pair of leads at 1-0 and 2-1, but those would be the only pucks the Central Region champions put past Humboldt goaltender Andrew Bodnarchuk.

Taylor Piller, Dimitri Levin and Tory Allen scored second-period goals for the Broncos as they took a slim 3-2 lead into the final 20 minutes before pulling away.

Both teams wrap up round-robin play on Thursday – Kingston faces the undefeated Vernon Vipers in the matinee contest (2 p.m. PT), while Humboldt takes on Summerside in the late game (7 p.m. PT).

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

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