LANGLEY, B.C. – Adam Tambellini (Port Moody, B.C./Vernon, BCHL) scored the game-winning goal 2:01 into overtime as Team West drew first blood in the 2011 CJHL Prospects Games with a 4-3 victory over Team East on Saturday afternoon.
Tambellini, son of Edmonton Oilers general manager Steve Tambellini and younger brother of former national Junior A player of the year Jeff Tambellini, picked up the rebound off his own shot and beat East goaltender Brock Crossthwaite (Kanata, Ont./Kanata, CCHL) to give West a one-goal lead heading into Sunday’s finale of the total-goal series.
Morgan Zulinick (Kamloops, B.C./Salmon Arm, BCHL), Jordan Larson (Fort Frances, Ont./Fort Frances, SIJHL) and Braxton Bilous (Langley, B.C./Victoria, BCHL) scored the other goals for West, which three times erased one-goal deficits, capped by Bilous’ tying goal with just over six minutes to go.
Langley native Austin Plevy (Langley, B.C./Langley, BCHL), named to the West roster as an injury replacement, finished with three assists and was named his team’s Player of the Game, much to the delight of his hometown crowd at the Langley Events Centre.
Ben Dalpe (Paris, Ont./Pembroke, CCHL), Ross Johnston (Suffolk, P.E.I./Summerside, P.E.I.) and Stephen Anderson (Morell, P.E.I./Summerside, P.E.I.) scored goals for East, which outshot West 44-30.
Dawson MacAuley (Prince Albert, Sask./Yorkton, BCHL) (22 saves) and Matt Tomkins (Sherwood Park, Alta./Sherwood Park, AJHL) (19 saves) combined to turn aside 41 shots in the West goal, while Crossthwaite (10 saves) and Simon Lemieux (Sept-Îles, Que./Longueuil, LHJAAAQ) (16 saves) were 26-of-30 between the pipes for East.
The series concludes Sunday afternoon (noon PT), right before Canada East and Canada West face off for gold at the 2011 World Junior A Challenge (5 p.m. PT, TSN2).
(Nathan can be reached at email@example.com)