PELLETIER PLAYS HERO, SENDS BLIZZARD TO TELUS CUP FINAL
JASON LA ROSE
PRINCE GEORGE, B.C. – Jakob Pelletier scored 3:41 into overtime, giving the Blizzard du Séminaire Saint-Francois a 4-3 semifinal win over the Regina Pat Canadians on Saturday afternoon, and a spot in the gold medal game at the 2017 TELUS Cup.
The Blizzard will meet either the Cape Breton West Islanders or Mississauga Rebels in the final on Sunday afternoon (6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT, TSN 2/3/5) at the CN Centre.
It is the 10th time the Saint-Francois franchise will play for gold at Canada’s National Midget Championship, and the first since 2001, when it was known as the Gouverneurs de Ste-Foy and won its fourth national title in Prince George.
Early in the overtime period, Pelletier picked up the puck on the half-boards, walked around a sliding Regina defenceman and outwaited goaltender Dean McNabb before roofing the game-winner.
Pierrick Dubé got the game to an extra period, tying it with 2:53 remaining after the Pat Canadians had scored three in a row to erase a two-goal deficit.
A fast-paced first period failed to produce a goal, despite 17 shots from Regina.
The Blizzard needed just 68 seconds of the second period to open the scoring on the power play; after McNabb denied Dubé on a wraparound, Vincent Guy was there chip the puck up and over the Regina netminder.
Yan-Cédric Gaudreault made it 2-0 at 13:57, knocking a rebound past McNabb, but the Pat Canadians got that back late in the middle frame when a centering pass found its way to Preston Brodziak, who beat Philippe Gaudreault up high to send the West Region champions to the third period down just a goal.
Lukas Sillinger tied the game 7:16 into the third period, getting a couple whacks in front before beating Gaudreault, and a shot from Eric Pearce hit the Blizzard puck-stopper in the mask before popping over his head and into the net to put Regina in front for the first time midway through the final frame.
That set the stage for Dubé, who stuffed in a loose puck in the dying minutes to force overtime.
The loss means the Pat Canadians will meet the loser of the Cape Breton West-Mississauga semifinal in the bronze medal game Sunday morning (11 a.m. PT). Regina is after its second medal in three years, having won bronze in 2015.