Prince George, B.C.
SMILSKY SCORES WINNER, REBELS BLANK ISLANDERS AT TELUS CUP
JASON LA ROSE
PRINCE GEORGE, B.C. – Nathan Smilsky scored the lone goal of the game early in the third period, helping the Mississauga Rebels to a 1-0 win over the Cape Breton West Islanders on Thursday afternoon at the 2017 TELUS Cup.
The victory gives the Rebels sole possession of first place, and clinches a spot in the semifinals.
Just over four minutes had elapsed in the final period when Smilsky took a pass from Elijah Gonsalves, set himself in the slot and snapped a shot that beat Cape Breton West goaltender Colten Ellis to the blocker side.
That would be more than enough offence for Rebels netminder Christian Purboo, who needed to make just 12 saves to record his second shutout. He has allowed just two goals in his three starts.
Mississauga carried the play in the first period with the help of four power plays, but Ellis stopped all eight shots he faced to get the game to the intermission scoreless.
The stalemate continued into the second period, with both teams having their chances with the man advantage, but Purboo and Ellis continued to steal the show, combining for 29 saves in the opening 40 minutes.
After Smilsky broke the ice the Rebels went into defensive lockdown, allowing just a single shot on goal in the third period. A late double-minor put the Islanders on the power play for the final 3:36, but they could not manage a shot on goal, and dropped their second in a row to even their record at 2-2.
Mississauga will finish its preliminary round Friday against the host Cariboo Cougars (6 p.m. PT), looking to clinch first place, while Cape Breton West will try to book its semifinal spot when it closes against the Regina Pat Canadians (10 a.m. PT).