TORONTO BLANKS HALIFAX, GETS FIRST TELUS CUP WIN
MOOSE JAW, Sask. – Izzy Benigno made 22 saves for the shutout, leading the Toronto Young Nationals to a 3-0 win over the Halifax McDonald’s in a Tuesday afternoon match-up at the 2014 TELUS Cup.
Tyler Longo had two goals and Nik Kalpouzos added the game-winner for the Young Nationals, who evened their record after a tournament-opening loss to Prince Albert on Monday.
Max Routledge chipped in with two assists for Toronto (1-1), which won while being outshot 22-19.
Despite seven first-period power plays – four for Halifax, three for Toronto – the teams struggled to find any offensive rhythm, combining for just six shots in the opening 20 minutes, although a number of shots were blocked on both sides.
Kalpouzos finally broke the scoreless deadlock at the 6:33 mark of the second period, taking a pass from Mac Graham and wiring a seeing-eye shot through traffic and under the pad of Halifax netminder Reilly Pickard for a 1-0 lead.
That would be it for scoring through 40 minutes, although the Macs (0-1-1) won the race to 10 shots on goal, reaching double digits with a minute left in the second period.
Longo took advantage of a poor Halifax line change four minutes into the third period, keeping the puck on a two-on-one and snapping a shot under the glove of Pickard to double the Toronto lead.
He made it 3-0 in the dying minutes, one-timing a pass from Routledge past a helpless Pickard for the final nail in the Halifax coffin.
Both teams struggled on the power play – Toronto went without a goal in 10 chances on the man advantage, while Halifax was goalless in eight opportunities.
Toronto will try to make it back-to-back wins when it takes on the host Moose Jaw Generals on Wednesday night at 7 p.m. MT, while the Macs take on the Grenadiers de Châteauguay in the day’s early game, with puck drop set for noon MT at Mosaic Place.