TORONTO, Ont. – Brayden Point (Calgary, Alta./Moose Jaw, WHL) scored a pair of goals, both on the power play, to lead Red to a 5-4 win over White in the intrasquad finale at Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team on Monday afternoon.
After dropping the opener 7-4 on Saturday night, Red closed the camp with back-to-back wins; it scored a 4-1 victory on Sunday night to even the three-game intrasquad series.
Daniel Audette (Blainville, Que./Sherbrooke, QMJHL) and Nelson Nogier (Saskatoon, Sask./Saskatoon, WHL) had a goal and an assist each for Red, which relied on its power play to earn the win – in addition to Point’s two goals with the man advantage, Jake Virtanen (Abbotsford, B.C./Calgary, WHL) scored at five-on-four and Nogier’s game-winner came just one second after a power play had ended.
Goaltending once again played a big role in the Red victory. One day after combining for 37 saves, netminders Mason McDonald (Halifax, N.S./Acadie-Bathurst, QMJHL) and Julio Billia (St-Léonard, Que./Chicoutimi, QMJHL) teamed to make 45 stops in the Red goal.
Red opened the scoring for the third day in a row thanks to Virtanen’s power play goal at 10:55 of the first period, and Audette doubled the lead less than five minutes later, deftly redirecting a Nogier shot through White goaltender Brent Moran (Ottawa, Ont./Niagara, OHL).
Ryan Gropp (Kamloops, B.C./Penticton, BCHL) cut the Red lead in half just 22 seconds after Audette’s goal, the only one of 18 White shots to beat McDonald in the first period.
Special teams took over in the second period, with all three goals coming with the man advantage. Point’s two goals were sandwiched around a White marker off the stick of Nicolas Aubé-Kubel (Sorel, Que./Val-d’Or, QMJHL), sending Red to the intermission up by a pair at 4-2.
Brendan Lemieux (Buckingham, Que./Barrie, OHL) made it a one-goal game with yet another power play, pulling White to within one at 4-3, but Nogier’s blast from the point restored Red’s two-goal advantage less than three minutes later.
Jaden Lindo (Brampton, Ont./Owen Sound, OHL) rounded out the scoring with White’s third power play goal with 2:32 to go, but that’s as close as White would get, despite a wild scramble in front of the Red net in the dying seconds.
With camp done, 22 players will be selected Monday afternoon to represent Canada at the 2013 Memorial of Ivan Hlinka tournament, which opens Aug. 5 in Breclav, Czech Republic and Piestany, Slovakia.
(Nathan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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