The OJHL North Division All-Stars downed the CCHL Robinson Division All-Stars 2-1 in a shootout to earn a spot in the first-ever Central Canada Cup championship game.
Jason Pucciarelli of the Newmarket Hurricanes was a rock between the pipes for the North and despite being outshot 14-6 in the 1st period, the North came away with a 1-0 lead thanks to a breakaway goal courtesy of Pucciarelli's Hurricanes' teammate Christopher Chiste.
It was much of the same in the 2nd period, before Tyson Spink, Pucciarelli's Team Canada East teammate at the recent World Junior 'A' Challenge, finally broke the shutout with just under five minutes remaining in the period.
After a five minute 4-on-4 overtime solved nothing, it was off to yet another shootout. The first round saw Jeff DiNallo of the Hurricanes stopped and Pucciarelli with a save. Then Stouffville Spirit star Drake Caggiula scored to give the North a 1-0 shootout lead followed by another Pucciarelli save. OJHL leading scorer Christian Finch of the Stouffville Spirit had the game in his hands but was foiled by CCHL netminder Lukas Hafner before Pucciarelli stopped the third shootout attempt to win the game.
(Nathan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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