HORA SCORES IN OVERTIME, ROCKETS WIN BRONZE MEDAL
MOOSE JAW, Sask. – Linden Hora scored his second goal of the game 3:28 into overtime, giving the Okanagan Rockets a 3-2 win over the Toronto Young Nationals on Sunday afternoon and the bronze medal at the 2014 TELUS Cup.
Hora picked up a loose puck behind the net before surprising Izzy Benigno with a shot that beat the Toronto goaltender through the five-hole, ending the first bronze medal game to go to overtime since 2006.
It’s the first medal for the Rockets in their first appearance at Canada’s National Midget Championship, while the Young Nationals came up one goal short in their quest for a second TELUS Cup bronze.
Liam Finlay scored the other goal for Okanagan, which trailed 2-0 six minutes into the third period.
Marco Bozzo had a goal and an assist to lead the attack for Toronto, which also got a goal from Kaelan O’Flynn.
Each team hit a post and each fired eight shots on goal in the opening period, which ended scoreless.
It took 35 minutes for the game’s first goal, and the Young Nationals struck twice in 3:03, both on the power play for a two-goal lead; first it was O’Flynn, who rocketed a slap shot over the glove of Okanagan netminder Reid Kilburn with Toronto on a two-man advantage, followed shortly after by Bozzo, who also went upstairs on Kilburn to make it 2-0.
The Rockets, who hammered Toronto 11-2 on Friday in the preliminary round finale for both teams, came out firing in the third period, holding a 17-8 advantage in shots on goal in the final frame.
Hora got the Pacific Region champions on the board at 6:14, beating Izzy Benigno to the rebound of a Kobe Oishi shot and slipping a loose puck around the Toronto goaltender.
Okanagan’s offensive push continued, and it was rewarded on the power play with just 4:50 to go; Tanner Campbell carried the puck behind the Young Nationals’ net before dropping a no-look, behind-the-back pass to Finlay.
With Benigno looking the other way, Finlay had no trouble tying the game and forcing overtime and setting up Hora’s extra-time winner.
Kilburn got the win in his first start of the postseason, making 27 saves, while Benigno stopped 34 of 37 in a losing cause.
Both teams converted on the power play; Okanagan finished 1-for-5, while Toronto had two goals on four chances.