THERIEN DOES IT AGAIN, CANADIANS TAKE OVER FIRST PLACE AT RBC CUP
JASON LA ROSE
PORTAGE LA PRAIRIE, Man. – Guillaume Therien was perfect again, stopping all 13 shots he faced for his second shutout in as many nights and leading the Carleton Place Canadians past the host Portage Terriers 3-0 on Sunday night at the 2015 RBC Cup.
The Canadians are the first team since the 1995 Calgary Canucks to open with back-to-back shutouts at Canada’s National Junior A Championship; that Canucks team won the national title.
Owen Stewart, Stephen Baylis and Bryce Van Horn did the scoring for Carleton Place.
Despite being two of the country’s highest-scoring teams, the Canadians and Terriers both failed to generate much offence; final shots on goal favoured Carleton Place 18-13.
The first period was a scoreless but hard-hitting affair, and the physicality carried over into the second.
Stewart finally broke through at 12:27 of the middle frame, just seconds after a Carleton Place power play had expired, wiring a shot off the post and in past Portage netminder Justin Laforest, who had slid just too far out of position.
Baylis doubled the lead early in the third period, using a Portage defenceman as a screen before getting a wrist shot past Laforest, and Van Horn converted on a breakaway chance just 50 seconds after that to put the game out of reach.
The Terriers got into penalty trouble in the third period, taking four minors – and 24 penalty minutes in total – in the final 20 minutes, eliminating any chance of a comeback.
It’s just the second time Portage, which scored an MJHL-high 285 goals in 60 regular season games, has been shut out this season; Devon Fordyce led the OCN Blizzard to a 2-0 win over the Terriers on Dec. 5.
The game matched up a pair of former teammates between the pipes; Laforest was the back-up to Therien with the Canadians on their run to the RBC Cup championship game last year.
Both teams are off Monday before returning to the ice Tuesday. The Canadians face the Penticton Vees in the day’s matinee (2 p.m. CT), while the Terriers take on the Soo Thunderbirds in the night cap.